A/N - So, here's that Lily and James fic I promised. This chapter should be familiar to some of you (its from my songfic of the same name) but it's changed a little, so check it out anywho. Next chapter coming up shortly.
I don't own Lily and James, or most of the characters in this fic - they belong to JK Rowling. If there's a character who sounds unfamiliar, then they're my own creation. Enjoy!
What's your name??
James sat on the muggle underground with Sirius in London. Muggles surrounded them on all sides, crammed like sardines in the tiny carriage. Again they stopped and the doors snapped open to admit even more passengers into the already congested car. Sirius was staying at James's house for a couple of weeks to wait to get that special letter that would inform them that they'd be attending Hogwarts.
The two boys had been friends ever since they met each other at their primary school - a wizard run school that taught the same subjects as a muggle school, with some differences of course. They were the most popular guys in the class, and were, naturally, always up to mischief. So much so that their teacher had given up on even yelling at them and just kept them on permanent detention in their lunch breaks.
James mentally laughed, remembering what their teacher had told them on their last day.
"You'll get no such leniency at Hogwarts," she had said sternly. "What I wouldn't give to see the kind of punishments Filch will think up for you!" She was a young woman, only just graduated from Hogwarts a year or two ago.
Sirius' voice broke him out of his reverie.
"Look at her James, mate! Over to your left," Sirius said in a hushed voice. "She just got on with a whole bunch of girls."
James looked to where his friend was indicating and his eye was instantly caught on a sweet red haired girl around their age. One of her friends must have said something very funny because at the moment he saw her she was laughing heartily. He noticed the way her eyes sparkled, the corners of her mouth turned up just enough to reveal a set of straight dazzling white teeth and a pair of perfect dimples in her cheeks.
Sirius was saying something but James didn't understand a word.
"She's beautiful." he said with awe, and then there was a sudden throbbing pain in his arm.
"OW!" he yelled out. Sirius guffawed.
"What on Merlins beard was THAT for?" he demanded. Sirius shrugged.
"Had to bring you back somehow," he replied. "Back to what I was saying - isn't her hair the best colour you've ever seen?" James nodded numbly.
"Like curls of fire," he managed to say. Sirius quirked an eyebrow at his friend.
"No… it's straight and blonde you dolt."
"Huh??" James scanned the group and he spotted a tall blonde girl. She was very attractive and looked older than the others, just the kinda girl Sirius would go for.
"Yeah, she's ok," he said with a shrug and went back to staring at the girl with the auburn curls.
Every second he looked at her he fell more in love with her. It was an emotion that was completely new to him, and he didn't even know it was what that funny feeling in his stomach was, but James Potter fell in love that very instant he laid eyes on the pretty girl.
Sirius poked him painfully in the side and waved his hand in front of James' face.
"It's our stop next mate," he said and grimaced. "Stop drooling."
"I'm going to introduce myself to her Sirius," James told him with a slur. "I've gotta know what her name is."
The train came to a jerking halt and half the crowd stood to leave. James jumped up fast as he could but he lost sight of her. He stood on the seat and searched the crowd, but she was gone, out of his reach.
"C'mon, we better get off before it starts moving again," said Sirius impatiently.
"But, what if she's still on here? I have to find her Sirius." Sirius just rolled his eyes.
"Forget it mate, she's just a girl."
James shook his head as they ran out the doors and up the stairs onto the street.
"No, she's an angel." he murmured.
Wondering around the muggle streets a couple of days later, James still could not get the image of that girl out of his head. He was with Sirius again and they were hanging around in the arcade at the mall where they were amusing themselves with trying to figure out how to play each of the muggle pinball machines and computer games.
Sirius had yet again doubled James' score half-way through his turn while his friend stared out the front window of the store. James replayed again exactly what he would do if he saw her again. He'd walk right up to her and tell her she was the most beautiful creature he'd ever seen in his life. Then he'd give her a super dose of the 'Potter Charm' and very sweetly ask her what her name was. It was foolproof.
Sirius jumped up and whooped.
"That's the fourth time I tripled your score mate!" he cried triumphantly. "I'm running aces around you today!"
James nearly fell over. There she was. He couldn't believe it! Sure he'd thought of seeing her again but he didn't seriously believe he really would. His eyes bugged out as he stared at her. It had to be her; there was no way that kind of beauty could be duplicated that perfectly.
"Earth to James, earth to James – come in please," called Sirius, his hand waving furiously in front of James' eyes.
"I-its her!" he managed to choke out.
James only pointed and Sirius looked where he was indicating. With a guffaw he slapped James on the back.
"The chick off the underground the other day?"
James nodded numbly. He took a deep breath and stood up straight.
"I'm gonna talk to her this time Sirius."
He walked toward the door, his step turning unconsciously to a strut. An older group of rowdy muggle boys shoved past him almost knocking him off his feet. He growled and regained his composure, then looked around to make sure she hadn't seen that - he didn't want her to think he was a wimp. But she was no where to be seen.
"What?" he yelled and looked around frantically. Again she'd disappeared without a trace.
He stalked back into the arcade and slumped down on a stool next to Sirius, who was now playing a computer game.
"She reject ya mate?" Sirius asked with mock sympathy. James grumbled.
"No," he replied tersely. "She disappeared before I got to her."
Sirius chuckled and accidentally made the little man on the screen jump onto a spiky monster.
"Aw man! I didn't even get past the first level!"
James rolled his eyes. Sirius was a great friend, but he tended to be just a little self-centred. He did however, seem to realise that his mate was out of sorts.
"Look, I said it before," he told James, "just forget her. You were lucky you saw her twice… I'll be really surprised if you ever see her again." He gave James a slap on the back. "What do ya say we go to the Beach Street pool tomorrow and find some group of girls in bathers to take your mind off her?"
James laughed appreciatively and shoved Sirius with his shoulder.
"C'mon, you've had your fair share of winning these cumpitor game thingies, move over and let me show you how it's really done!"
Mrs Potter dropped James and a couple of friends off at the pool the next day. Apart from Sirius, James had no other close friends. He was, however, good with friends with a couple of other guys from down his street - Paul Hobbs and Garry Lamiae. They had practically grown up together and he hadn't objected too strongly when his mum suggested he invite them to go with them, particularly seeing as he wasn't going to see them much while he was at Hogwarts.
"You boys have fun!" Mrs Potter called out as they jumped out of the car. "And don't you break too many hearts Sirius love, or there'll be no girls left when you actually want them to like you!"
The boys all laughed and tumbled their stuff out of the car. Mrs Potter gave them all a last wave goodbye and drove back onto the road. As James watched the car pulled away he noticed a flick of red hair in the corner of his eye. He searched the cars nearby and found what he was looking for. It was her again!
"Sirius!" he said and looked beside him but his friends weren't there. Glancing around, he found them nearly at the entrance to the pool.
"Hurry up James!" Paul called over his shoulder.
James looked back at the car the girl was in. Again she was with her friends. She had a green one piece swim suit on with a sarong tied loosely around her hips. Her skin was pale and he could see the bright sun flashing off the water droplets that covered her body.
"JAMES!" his friends called.
He gave a huge sigh and reluctantly turned back and jogged to the pool and his friends. Throwing one last glance over his shoulder watched her as the car was driving away, then he paid his entry. But no matter what the boys tried they could not get him to really join in with their games and competitions all afternoon.
All he could think about was how that girl with the auburn curls had got away from him again. In fact, how did she turn up being in the exact same place as him three times? Not that he objected, but even to him it seemed strange. In the midst of his thoughts, James suddenly found himself climbing the ladder to the high board. He looked down and saw the others wading next to it and realised he must've just accepted a dare of some kind.
He laughed and continued climbing. Trust them to take advantage of his state of mind to get him to do something stupid. At the top he stood on the board and looked at the water 20 feet below. He could hear Sirius, Paul and Garry jeering at him from below and he grinned. Bouncing a couple of times, he jumped off and speared towards the rippling surface, sliding into the water like a king fisher.
The looks on Paul and Garry's faces were priceless. Because they were muggles, they knew nothing about James' passion for flying on a broom… or of his particular skill at diving.
"That was ruddy brilliant James," Garry shouted and clouted him on the back.
James just shrugged.
"It would've been better if I knew that girl's name."
They just rolled their eyes.
"You're bordering on obsessed James," Sirius told him with a grin. "Look! There's a whole group of gorgeous girls just waiting for us to talk to them."
James grinned and waded a while as he watched his friends swim over to the side of the pool where the group was sitting.
"But they're not her."
The next day James and Sirius finally got their long awaited letter. They had decided that they were going to stay home that day so they slept in late. Sirius was still sleeping when the owls arrived a little before noon. James had just started his breakfast when a tapping on the kitchen window alerted him to two tawny owls sitting on the windowsill.
"Oh Merlin's long grey beard!" he said, food forgotten.
He was so excited that when Pixy, their house elf, brought the letters to him he snatched them up and ran up the stairs to his friend's room.
"They're here Sirius!" he yelled, jumping onto the bed. "Our Hogwarts letters arrived!"
Sirius groaned and made to smack James in the head.
"Let me sleep you bloody hippogriff," he grumbled.
James shoved a heavy parchment envelope under his nose and impatiently began to rip his own open, barely taking in the flowing green script that declared it as addressed to him. Once Sirius was awake enough to realise what was going on, his enthusiasm wasn't much less than his best mate's.
"YES!" James whooped loudly after a quick glance at the letter. "Hogwarts - HERE I COME!"
"Those other kids better watch out - James and Sirius are in town!" he let out a bark like laugh. "No stopping us now, mate. No secret will be safe from us!" James nodded fervently with a huge grin.
"We'd better go tell mum."
Mrs Potter was hardly less delighted than the boys.
"That's excellent!" she cried as she gave them both a big hug. "We'll have to make a trip to Diagon Alley tomorrow so we can pick up your gear. And don't you worry Sirius dear, we'll pay for your things and your mother can pay us back later."
"Thanks Liz, but I have my own vault that my parents set up for me when I was born," he shifted his feet awkwardly. "And I don't think my mum would ever pay you back if you did that for me anyway…" he continued to look embarrassed but Mrs Potter waved away the remark with a laugh.
"It would have been no trouble at all anyway, dear," she told him "Now you two hand me your school lists so you don't lose them before we need them!"
At Diagon Alley, Sirius and James walked around in tow with Mrs Potter for most of the morning. She insisted that their time would be better spent seeing what they needed for school and where to get it all instead of drooling over the latest model of Comet brooms. They had their school robes fitted and lugged around their shopping while Mrs Potter tried to negotiate their way through the crowds of witches and wizards.
Finally, they sat down to have a rest at the new ice-creamery Floreen Fortescue's. The boys, grateful for the respite, dumped their bags down on a spare seat and enjoyed their sundaes. When they were finished, Mrs Potter clapped her hands.
"So," she said brightly, "we just have to get you boys a wand and you're all set. How about we go down to Ollivander's and do that and then you can have the rest of the afternoon to wander." James and Sirius jumped out of their seats and were half-way down the street before she could catch up with them.
"Slow down boys, getting a wand isn't that exciting," she called to them with a chuckle.
Ollivander's was a rickety old building at the very end of the winding alley. The black paint was cracked and the gold letters over the door were peeling at the edges. When they entered the store a tinkling bell trilled distantly and an uneasy quiet fell over them. James felt like the air was tingling with a mysterious kind of apprehension, like it was alive with magic and the unknown.
"Good afternoon," a voice came from the gloom of a corner door to the back of the store. The speaker was Mr Ollivander, the greatest wand maker on the continent.
"Ah… Elizabeth Selbourne – Potter I should say. So nice to see you again," his tone spoke of wells of memory. "One of these fine young men is your son I presume?"
Mrs Potter nodded with a small smile, as if she was in on some joke.
"This is my son James, and his friend Sirius Black," she told him pleasantly, indicating to each in turn. Mr Ollivander nodded formally to them.
"If one of you would like to step forward, I'll just get your measurements…"
When James finally had his wand, he stood by the grimy window and looked out into the busy alley to wait while his friend went through the same process of waving wands to find his own. He noticed that there were lots of kids outside, all shopping for their school supplies like them. Many of them would be class mates soon and James looked into the faces with a large grin on his face. He wanted to make sure that by the end of the year there wouldn't be one of them that didn't know who James Potter was.
"Where are we going first?" came Sirius' question suddenly from beside him. James snapped his head around to face his mate.
"Quidditch Supplies of course!!" he said enthusiastically and handed his bags to his mum. "Race you there!" and with that he took off out the door.
Sirius hurried to follow suit and just heard Mrs Potter shout out to them.
"Meet me at the Leaky Cauldron before dark!"
James reached the store and came to a skidding halt puffing. He bent over and tried to catch his breath, and was tackled by Sirius. They landed with a thud on top of another boy their own age who had been standing behind James.
"Gerroff me you git!" James cried to his friend and struggled his way out of the tangle of arms and legs.
Sirius too got up and brushed himself off, hardly seeming to notice the poor boy they had squashed. He had sandy brown hair and pale grey eyes and was skinny to the point of looking sickly. James rushed to help him up.
"Sorry about that mate," he apologised with a pointedly irritated look at his friend, which was ignored. The boy shook his head slowly.
"It-it's alright," he wheezed, still a little out of breath.
James took his hand and shook it companionably.
"James Potter," he said pleasantly, "and the oaf over there is my best mate, Sirius Black." Sirius raised his hand in a lazy kind of wave.
"Nice to meet you both," the boy replied, "I'm Remus Lupin."
James smiled. "You shopping for school too?" Remus nodded. "Sirius and I just finished," he looked at his friend and noticed he was looking over James' shoulder with an unbelieving look on his face, which soon turned to a smug grin. "What are you smiling at now, you goof?"
Sirius just pointed and James turned. There, across the street, stood a petite girl with curly auburn hair. James' jaw dropped and he felt his heart skip a beat. She was standing next to the arch to the Leaky Cauldron uncertainly, looking this way and that like she was completely lost.
"I don't believe it," he half whispered.
Remus and Sirius snickered. Sirius explained to their new friend what had happened in the last couple of weeks and they soon began arguing over what they thought he should do next. James, of course, was oblivious to this and his eyes were transfixed. Suddenly Sirius gave him a shove.
"If you're gonna talk to her, get it over and done with will you?" he said. "We don't have all day to wait while you gape like a fish."
James shook the shock out of his head. Act cool, he thought and he made his way across the alley. People were bustling all around him and he bumped into quite a few of them to get past, but he hardly noticed. She was still standing there and she seemed too scared to move into the crowd or to ask for directions. She had to be muggle born, there was no way she could be a witch and not have been to Diagon Alley at least once.
Finally, he reached her. She was looking the other way so she didn't notice him until he spoke.
"Hello, I'm James Potter," he said to her. "What's your name?"
The girl jumped and faced him anxiously. He noticed that her eyes were emerald green and her cheeks had reddened with embarrassment. Her eyes suddenly hardened and she lifted her head with a little more confidence.
"Hello," she said. James smiled at her warmly.
"So… is this your first time in Diagon Alley?" he asked kindly.
She nodded shyly. "Everything here is so strange."
James chuckled. "It's alright once you're used to it." he paused. "You're a muggle born, right?"
The girl gave him a funny look and quirked one eyebrow at him.
"Er… I guess that answers my question," he said and ran his fingers through his hair, messing it up at the front. "In the wizarding world, we call people who aren't magic 'muggles'," he explained. The girl nodded slowly and looked around the street again.
"Do you need some help with your shopping?" he asked her in a rush. "My friend and I have just finished and we were going to help a dude we just met with his shopping, so…" he trailed off and ruffled his hair again. The girl grinned.
"No thank-you," she replied and looked up the alley again, "Someone's coming to help me." James nodded and looked down at his feet, trying to think of what else to say.
"Err… you - Did you know that you're really pretty?" he asked in a gush. The girl giggled and blushed but didn't reply.
James was at a loss - what was he supposed to say now? He looked back across the street to see Sirius and Remus snickering. James rolled his eyes.
"Bloody git," he muttered.
"I beg your pardon?" the girl asked. James jumped slightly.
"Not you!" he half shouted, "no… my friends are being – stupid… is all." He cocked his head in their direction and she looked over at them when something else caught her attention.
"Oh!" she exclaimed. "Hagrid's finally here!"
James followed her line of sight and spotted a very large man towering above the rest of the crowd. He waded his way over to them and smiled down at the pair.
"Sorry I'm late," he rumbled, "I 'ad some business to atten' ter."
"That's alright," the red head replied with a smile. "I was just making friends."
The giant called Hagrid looked at James and smiled warmly.
"Than' yeh fer tha'," he said.
"It was a pleasure," James replied with a winsome smile. Hagrid chuckled.
"Well, we'd bes' be off then."
The girl nodded and smiled at James.
"Thank you for talking to me," she said sweetly and turned to follow her oversized guide. James nearly panicked.
"Wait!" he called. "What's your name!?"
The girl turned and gave him a wide cheeky grin.
James smiled and walked back to his friends in a daze. Her voice was echoing in his head like a song. Lily Evans, Lily Evans, Lily Evans.