Just Me And You
Summary: If Lily thought James was joking every time he asked her out, just using her to get people to laugh, would she go out with him if she knew he was serious? One-shot.
"Hi, Evans." At the back of the deserted library, Lily Evans was trying to do her Charms homework while everyone was at dinner. So James Potter, a continued annoyance in her life, appearing at her table, didn't make her happy.
"What do you want?" she asked absently, crossing out a misspelled word.
"Can't I say hi?" He asked brightly, and she finally looked up. "Hi." He said brightly, smiling at her. Telling herself she didn't like his smile, Lily looked back down at her homework.
"Hi." She replied. he sat down. She wished he hadn't.
"So, busy this weekend?" He asked.
"Maybe." She muttered.
"I was thinking, you and I, we could do something. Like a date kind of something?"
It was one time too many. She snapped.
"I'd have thought even you would be sick of that joke by now Potter." She snapped, jumping to her feet.
"Joke?" James repeated. She was so mad she didn't notice the confusion in his voice.
"I'm sick of it! Using me to get people to laugh, asking my out all the time to get attention, I'm sick of it!" She yelled, throwing her things in her bag. The hurt was clear in her voice, stronger than the anger. "Sick of being treated like a joke. I'm not a joke Potter, I'm a person."
"Lily - wait -"
"Just leave me alone." She said. He was startled by her voice - she sounded close to tears. Not knowing what to do - or even what he had done to upset her, he watched her leave.
"That could have gone better." He sighed.
Lily walked quickly through the corridor, glad it was so empty. I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry.
"Damn it." She looked quickly around her, then slipped behind a nearby tapestry and through the door it concealed.
She was in a narrow corridor, one of the lesser known short-cuts. She walked a few feet inside it, then lowered herself to the floor against the left-hand wall, pulled her knees to her chest, rested her arms on her knees, her head on her arms, and left herself cry, tears of anger, frustration and upset.
It was a sick kind of irony that she'd started liking James Potter. She always disliked him, always, and was always angry at the way he used her as a joke, asking her out all the time just so people would laugh at him. And now, now he'd gotten less arrogant, gotten nicer, she liked him. Like him the way he pretended to like her.
Her own mind was tormenting her. And it sucked.
Lily looked up in horror. She hadn't been crying loudly - she never was a loud crier - but she'd been so involved in herself she hadn't hear the door open. And, of course, if she had to be discovered sat on the floor crying, it would be Sirius Black and Remus Lupin to find her. Potter's best friends. Of course.
So now fate was tormenting her too.
"Are you OK?" Remus asked as the two boys moved forward.
"Fine. I'm fine." Lily said quickly, wiping her face with her sleeve.
"Yeah, most people who sit crying are fine." Sirius muttered. Lily glared at him.
"What's wrong?" Remus asked. Lily hesitated, considering. They were unlikely to let her pass by them, and she didn't want to hike up the corridor.
"Nothing." She muttered, and tried to get past them.
"Come on, Evans." Sirius said. "Sure, some girls sit around crying for no reason, but you're not one of them. Has something done something?"
"No. I...I just...I just kind of had a row with Potter. That's all." She should have lied. She knew that, but somehow the truth had escaped before she could stop it.
"What did he do?" Remus sighed.
"What he always does." Lily muttered. "You'd think it wouldn't bother me anymore after all this time...but I don't like being used as a joke."
"A joke?" Remus repeated.
"I don't like him using me to get people to laugh, humiliating me for a little bit of attention."
"What are you talking about?" Sirius asked blankly.
Lily glared at him. "Just move out of my way." She sighed.
"Lily, when you say he uses you as a joke..." Remus said thoughtfully, as if he was figuring something out. "Do you mean when he asks you out?"
"Yes. I'm sick of it, he could use someone else every once in a while, I don't like being used -"
"He's not joking." Sirius said, and he laughed. "He's completely serious. Jeez Evans, have you never seen him when you've turned him down? Sometimes he just sits and sulks for the rest of the day."
"No he doesn't. He just laughs, along with everyone else." Lily replied.
"Yeah, of course he does." Remus said, looking amused. "He can't show everyone how hurt he is, can he? But when there's only us with him, he's all upset."
"Drives us mad." Sirius added.
"He's not...but...he always acted like it was a joke...like I was a joke..."
"He's liked you for years." Remus said, shaking his head. "He thought you hated him."
"So did we." Sirius put in. "We kept telling him to let it go. But he'd never give up on you."
"I...Are you sure?"
"Haven't you noticed how he's always such an idiot around you?" Remus asked.
"I thought he was always like that."
"He's worse around you." Sirius nodded.
She couldn't believe it. She'd always been sure he was joking...but...if he was serious...she...could they...?
Her thoughts were confused, conflicted, and she was starting to get a headache.
Sirius' next words, though, stopped all her thoughts.
"So if he asked you and you knew he was serious, would you go out with him?" Sirius asked curiously.
Lily shrugged and put her head down, the blood that rushed to her face burning. The blush must have given her away, because Sirius gave a bark of a laugh.
"So all these years he's been upset that you don't like him...and really you do. And you've been upset 'cause you think he doesn't like you...but really he does...wow these guys are messed up." He said, looking over at Remus.
"I haven't...I mean I never used to like him...He was so annoying...it's only recently...I...I mean..." Her face was the same colour as her hair now, and she was dizzy and embarrassed.
"No, this is great." Sirius said. "You just tell him you like him, and then you guys could hang out a few times...get to know each other properly -"
"I can't tell him!" Lily cried.
"Why not?" Remus asked.
"Because - we - we just wouldn't work - he still annoys me - and - it just wouldn't work out...Look, I'm gonna go. Don't...don't tell anyone about any of this, OK?"
"OK." Remus nodded, and she almost ran to the door and through it, heading for the closest bathroom to slash cold water on her face.
"Prongs isn't anyone." Sirius siad to Remus. "He's our best friend, he doesn't count as anyone."
"I think she probably meant him, though." Remus replied, rolling his eyes.
"No, she said anyone. Anyone is just anyone, like people. Prongs isn't just anyone, just a person, he's our best friend." Sirius said confidently. "We can tell him. Trust me."
"Well that's me convinced." Remus said sarcastically.
"Good. Let's go find him, do you think he's still in the library?"
"Padfoot -" Sirius sprinted from the corridor, and Remus ran after him. "She'll kill you, Lily'll kill you. Painfully."
"I'll risk it."
After splashing her face until it regained it's normal colour, and making sure she didn't look like she'd been crying, Lily walked into the grounds. It was cold out here, so she was alone. She started to walk around the lake, not thinking, not feeling. She didn't want to think or feel, and by walking she didn't have to. She could pretend she'd never cried, never told Sirius and Remus her secret, never even heard of James Potter.
"Hey - Evans!"
Lily spun around, saw him running around the lake towards her. Oh, damn.
He caught up with her quickly, but she didn't speak to him, just turned and carried on walking.
"I've just been talking to Pad - Sirius and Remus."
"Oh." She should've hexed them both. Left them in the corridor looking like slugs. Or wiped their memories. Or jinxed them out of her way. She should not have spoken to them at all.
"I'm sorry I upset you." He said carefully, clearly unsure if she was going to start shouting at him.
"Forget it." She muttered.
"I'm really sorry."
"Forget it." She said, stronger.
"I never meant to hurt you, I swear, I was always completely serious -"
"I said forget it!" She cried. "It doesn't matter, just forget about it, leave me alone -" She was going to run. Just run away from him, because she couldn't stand and listen to him apologise, being all nice to her when she was so used to thinking he was an idiot.
"Hey, wait." He said, grabbing her arm. "Don't run away again."
She sighed, looked up at him. "What? What do you want?"
"Sirius said you didn't think we'd work out, me and you. Why not?"
"Because...you're...you're you, you annoy me so much I want to jinx you, you - you -"
"Sirius said you liked me." He said uncertainly, as though unsure whether his friend had been joking.
"Maybe he was lying." She replied.
"We don't lie to each other." He replied.
"Yes, I do, OK? Happy?"
"Not yet." He replied. "If we both like each other, why wont it work?"
"It just...I just don't think it will."
"Don't you think we should at least try?" He asked. "I promise, I wont hurt you ever again."
"I...I guess we could try..." She muttered awkwardly.
"Just...give us a week, Lily. If you don't think we'll work after that, I'll never bother you again."
"OK. A week." She nodded.
A week later, Lily was sat in the grounds with James, Remus and Sirius, wide-eyed as she listened to them.
"That's a little risky isn't it?" She said. "I mean - no offence Remus, but what if you hurt someone?"
"I know, I know." Remus said quickly. "We shouldn't, but..."
"We keep him under control. Sirius and me." James assured her.
"Can...can you show me?" She asked quietly, and James and Sirius looked at each other.
"Ah..." James looked quickly around them.
"Relax, Prongs, we're alone." Sirius said. "OK, real quickly though, Lily." A second later, he had turned into a huge black dog, then, before she could even gasp, he was back to normal, grinning. Lily turned to James, who transformed in a stag before her very eyes. Next second, he was back to normal.
"That's...that's really good magic." She said finally.
"We better go, we said we'd meet Wormtail after his detention." Sirius said, rolling his eyes. "Why he can't just find us his own I'll never know." He stood up, and so did Remus. James, however, remained seated.
"You guys go ahead, I'll catch up with you later." He muttered. Shrugging, Sirius and Remus walked away.
"I can't believe you've never been caught." Lily said. "And I can't believe Remus - Moony - really is a werewolf."
"Don't...don't tell anyone, will you?" James asked. "He's a little bit...embarrassed by it."
"Of course I wont."
"Good. OK. I..."
"It's been a week." She said quietly, because she knew he was struggling to say the words himself.
"Yeah. He said. I...I still think we can make it work...us...but...it's still your decision."
He looked scared. Really scared, and Lily wondered how much she actually meant to him. All these years he'd put up with her, turning him down, yelling at him, insulting him. He'd just revealed his biggest secret to her, along with his friends. And now, he looked terrified at the thought of losing her.
"I...I think we're pretty good together." She replied, and he looked up.
"You...you still wanna..."
"Yeah." She nodded. "I guess you were right...Prongs."
"Yes. Just let me get used to the nicknames." He smiled at her, so widely she thought it must hurt his face.
"I mean it, I'll never hurt you." He said quickly.
"I know. I - I won't hurt you either."
"No more hurting each other." He nodded. "No more secrets. Just me and you."
"Me and you." She nodded.