Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the amazingly talented J.K Rowling. I'm only borrowing the characters and world that she has so brilliantly created.
Beta by: Miss Aconite
"Who Would You Marry?"
Summer was rapidly drawing to a close, which meant that soon students would be back at Hogwarts. But for the moment, James Potter and Sirius Black were enjoying their last days of freedom from writing essays and studying for exams sitting high in a large tree in the grove behind the Potter's manor home. Sirius had somehow managed to convince his parents to let him visit James, even though the Blacks highly disapproved of the blood traitor Potters.
The summer holidays had seemed particularly long to James this year, for the simple reason that he had spent much of it longing to see the girl he fancied. He was actually looking forward to lessons, because, as a fellow Gryffindor and member of his year, she was in all of his classes.
James had not yet told his best mate about his fancy for this certain girl. Truth be told, he wasn't sure how Sirius would respond to the news. He had been keeping his feelings a secret for some time now, ever since the spring of his fourth year at Hogwarts. They would soon be fifth years, and James was itching to let someone know.
On an impulse, he leaned his head back against a large branch and said, "Sirius, if you had to choose right now, who would you marry?"
Sirius's mouth dropped open and his light grey eyes grew wide. "What brought on this question?"
James shrugged, a bit uncomfortable now that he had posed such a question. "Just curious, I suppose."
"Well, if you must know, I'm not getting married," Sirius announced somewhat proudly.
"You aren't? Why not?"
"Because marriage means commitment and responsibility. I want to be free to live life as I want without having someone at home waiting for me and counting on me. I want to live in as many places in Britain as I can and ride a flying motorbike everywhere I go."
"You ride something like that around and you're going to be living in a prison cell," James pointed out dryly. "Isn't it illegal?"
"Since when did you suddenly follow the rules?" Sirius questioned, giving James an odd look.
"I hate rules as much as you do, but I draw the line at doing stuff that's going to get me chucked into Azkaban."
"What do you call being an illegal animagus then? Once we finally manage to transform, we're going to be class A criminals."
"That's different, and you know it," James retorted. "We're doing this for Remus so he doesn't have to be alone every month."
"It'll still earn us a trip to Azkaban if we're found out," Sirius replied. "But we're clever enough that we won't get caught. Not if I can help it anyway."
James nodded slowly, ideas rolling around inside his head. Both boys were silent for a moment then James said, "But if you had to pick, under penalty of death, who would you choose?"
"Choose?" Sirius asked, looking quite bewildered. "What are you on about?"
"Who to marry, of course," James replied, thinking of whom he would pick to marry.
"Are you still on about that whole marriage thing?" Sirius sighed heavily. "Fine, under penalty of a long and hideous death, and only under the penalty of a long and hideous death, I'd choose Mary Macdonald."
"Mary?" James questioned, surprised by his friend's choice. "Why her?"
Sirius shot James a dirty look. "You ask too many questions, you nosy prat." Heaving a huge fake sigh he said, "I'd marry her because she laughs a lot. I couldn't be with someone too serious. I'd be bored out of my mind."
James stared at his best friend in wonder. "That's your only requirement for a wife?"
Sirius shrugged. "I'm not getting married, remember? That was purely under penalty of death. So," he continued happily, leaning back with his hands behind his head. "Now that I've told you who I'd marry, it's your turn to tell me just who you were envisioning as the future Mrs. James Potter."
"Who said I had anyone in mind?" James replied nonchalantly, tearing a leaf off a nearby branch. He tore it into small pieces and watched them drift towards the ground below.
"People just don't ask questions like 'Who would you marry?' unless they have someone in mind for themselves. So, who is it?"
James bit his lip, but finally his desire to tell someone won over his hesitation. "Evans."
"Evans?" Sirius echoed, incredulously. "Lily Evans?"
"Yeah," James replied dreamily, smiling at the thought of the petite redhead. To his complete and utter confusion, Sirius's face broke out in a wide grin and he started laughing madly.
"Did I miss something?" James asked slowly.
"Oh, James, that was priceless!" Sirius gasped, holding onto his sides. "Lily Evans! That's a good one, mate!"
"I wasn't joking," James said flatly, affronted that Sirius thought he was taking the mickey out of him. He wasn't being funny at all; he was telling the truth.
Sirius abruptly stopped laughing. "You're serious? You'd marry Evans? Are you - are you completely mental?"
James folded his arms across his chest. "What's wrong with her?" he huffed, feeling quite put out by his best friend's reaction.
"Number One, she follows rules. Number Two, she's going to be a Prefect this year and you know she's going to try and nail us for every little prank we try. Number Three, she doesn't play Quidditch. Number Four she's chummy with Snivellus, Number Five –"
"I get it, I get it!" James interrupted crossly, giving his supposed best friend a dirty look. He was deeply regretting his decision to tell Sirius about his feelings for Evans.
"But…but…Evans…" Sirius muttered, running a hand through his coal black hair. He needed a haircut; his fringe was hanging in his eyes. "Why?" he finally asked, staring at James, as though completely unable to fathom why anyone in their right mind would willingly choose to marry Lily Evans.
"Well," James started, eager to tell his friend his list of Evans' many virtues. "She's a Gryffindor –" Sirius snorted but James ignored him. " And she's knows as many hexes and jinxes as I do! How often do you find a girl like that? She's quite pretty too."
"If you like redheads," Sirius commented nonchalantly.
"Haven't you ever looked in her eyes?" he asked Sirius, thinking of the last time he had seen Lily. She had looked right at him too, showing off those wonderful orbs. Granted, she had been glaring at him for setting off fireworks in the common room, but she had been looking at him nonetheless.
"Can't say that I have," Sirius replied in an uninterested manner.
"They're so…green," he breathed, feeling his heart quicken just imagining her face in his mind. Her eyes were sparkling as she looked at him….
Sirius rolled his own eyes. "You're definitely going to win her with eloquent phrases like that."
"She's also extremely nice. A little too nice at times, actually," James continued, ignoring Sirius's snarky comment. "But she's not a pushover, you know? She stands up for herself when she needs to, but she's rarely ever mean. We're also quite opposites in a lot of ways, and it's important to have conflicting opinions on some things."
"Who told you that?"
"I read it in a book," James bristled, defending himself.
"What kind of book?" Sirius asked, a smile playing on his lips.
"I don't remember," James lied, not feeling like being laughed at yet again.
"Sure you don't," Sirius scoffed.
"It was just some book my mum had lying about," he allowed. Under no circumstances was he going to tell Sirius that he had read that information in a romance novel that his mum had left lying about and which that he had picked up and read one afternoon.
"So are those the only things you like about Lily or does she have other highly desirable qualities?" Sirius asked sarcastically.
Rather than ignore this, James chose to take Sirius's question at face value. "Well, she's smart. She and I are always competing for top of the class. Her worst subject is Transfiguration, but she's not bad enough at it to need a tutor, which is a pity since Transfiguration is my specialty."
Sirius rolled his eyes. "Wait until Moony and Peter hear about this one."
James flexed his arms, stretching the muscles. "Remus will believe me."
"Sure he will," Sirius replied, not sounding at all convinced by this statement.
"Well, you do, don't you?"
"Honestly?" Sirius asked and James nodded. "I think you're just infatuated with a pretty face. I reckon you'll get over her soon enough."
James glared at Sirius. "I'm more than just infatuated with her. I like her for who she is."
And he did too. What little he knew of her anyway.
"Are you going to ask her out when term begins?"
James smiled confidently. "Of course. I'm going to marry her, Sirius. Asking her out is going to be a piece of cake."
Hogwarts, March 1976
"Potter, we've been over this many, many times before. I do not fancy you. Now please leave me alone."
James watched as Lily Evans strode away, red curls bouncing, black school robes billowing behind her. He sighed heavily in defeat.
Sirius appeared from behind him, a falsely innocent smirk in place. "She said 'no' again, eh?"
"You know she did, you prat," James huffed, his chest feeling strangely tight, as though he was being slowly pressed between two walls.
Sirius chuckled, grey eyes laughing. "Still want to marry her?"
"Yeah," James decided after a moment's thought. "I do."
Sirius rolled his eyes, and steered James towards the Great Hall for dinner. "You're well out of it with her, mate. Well out of it."
James couldn't help but internally agree with this statement, but he glanced back at Lily as though hoping she had changed her mind and was now standing behind him.
"You wait, Lily Evans," he whispered at her still retreating form. "You'll date me and marry me someday. Just see if you won't."
Usually I try to reply to all of my reviewers, but shortly after I post this I'm going to be without my laptop for three months, and won't have a way to respond. Thanks for reading!