Lily sat at the fireside in the common room. She had been awake all night, and now, at nearly two-thirty, she still hadn't finished what she had been working on: a letter. She looked down at the paper she held. There were small smudges where her tears had blotted the ink. She began to read to herself.
her letter started. Lily struggled not to cry again as she began to read the rest of it.
The only friends I've ever had have walked right out my door, and the only ones I've ever loved are not around for me anymore. The people I have counted on for so very many years have left me all by myself with only my own tears. Then how can you say that you like me when I have not a friend? When you say you like me, I would like to say I also feel the same, but my fear of you is growing and I must stay away, for I am scared that you will change me. I am starting to really like you, and for me that is not sane.
That was it. She had not signed her name yet. She didn't know if she was going to give the letter to James. The next day was their graduation, and she would probably never see him again. She had not yet accepted his perpetual offer to go out with him, though she now desperately wanted to. In her seven years at Hogwarts, she had never gone out with one boy. She had never wanted to go out with anyone, least of all James.
I want to make you glad, but all the time I talk to you, you just make me sad.
she wrote. Hot tears sprang to her eyes, but she held them back, biting her lip. She would not let herself cry over James. He was arrogant. He was annoying. He was perfect. No, she would not let herself think that way about James. She hated him, and she always would.
For however much I like you, love just does not make sense to me.
she added. It was true. Lily liked James Potter. She was not afraid to admit it to herself. Admitting hit to him, however… that was a different story. She would never tell him, she vowed. He would never know. But the letter… Should she send it?
I am meant to be different, but whenever I see you, I'll think of all the times when I looked straight at you, and you looked in my eyes, and you were the only one who ever understood how I was meant to be different and why I was alone.
Lily really did remember these times. They haunted her in her sleep. James's eyes. They were beautiful. Not green like her own, and not blue, but beautiful. When she looked into his eyes, she understood that it wasn't just a simple crush that James had for her. It was really love. She knew he understood. He knew that she had to be alone. He knew that she didn't need him or anyone else in her life to make her happy. He knew that she was never going to accept his offer, and yet… he continued to offer her a date. He wanted her to know he would always be there for her, but Lily knew that would soon be changing. They would be out in the wizarding world on their own in less than one day. Without the walls of Hogwarts to protect them, life would be entirely different. They would be forced to grow up much faster than they normally would have. Even inside Hogwarts, they had matured much faster than muggle children did. She wouldn't always have James, and that was probably why she had never accepted his offer.
And maybe when you see me as someone in a crowd, you'll wonder why it was that you were ever proud when people like me were out there and so were people like you, and no one ever got along. And maybe someday you will know why things went like this, and if you chance to realize that it was because of yourself and because of people just like you that the world was ill-defined, then maybe you will know why I turned you down so many times.
Was that good enough? Lily sighed. It didn't matter anyway. She would never send the letter anyway. If she was never going to tell James how she felt, she couldn't send it. But if there was one thing she had learned that she remembered from muggle elementary school, it was that you should always have a good ending sentence, whether it was a letter, a report, or something else. So she continued to write.
Being outcast of the world may just seem bad right now, but wait until you see exactly how I turn out. When you next see my face, whether it be at my house, on the street, or somewhere else, you will know that it was better to be a nobody then and a somebody now, than it was to be the other way around…
With a sigh and a single silent tear, Lily wrote two more words:
That was it. The letter was done. Whether she would send it to James or not was a mystery even to her…