Disclaimer: I'm not about to go and write a 700 page novel, that one's just not happening.
Summary: there I was, the girl who would willingly give him anything and everything, the one that was prepared to die for him, but ironically enough I couldn't fulfill the one thing that he ever requested of me.
I'm not particularly close to my family, but then again coming from a family like the Blacks, that choice is more than a bit logical. A lot of trust issues were instilled in me from growing up in an environment like the one in which I did. There were few people that I've ever allowed myself to get close to, to really know me. But Sirius, my cousin, was always the exception to that, managing to bypass whatever walls I ever built up.
As cousins, our talent was always how inordinately close we were. Even as little kids, we were the best of mates who had this amazingly strong connection that few people ever experienced. As we grew up, while things around us changed and life happened, our relationship only strengthened. It even managed to bypass the awkward "boys/girls are icky" phase that so many pre-teens seemed to go through. We lost so many people in our lives and became ostracized by our family. Ultimately that was okay with us, we were able to persevere regardless of it because we had one another and that was always enough for us. Throughout it all, we always maintained this mentality in which we believed that as long as we were together we could take on anything. We could be whoever we wanted to and throughout it all nothing could ever get between us.
We were one year apart in our schooling, but we got through that. He even let me in with his group of friends "the Marauders". In a way we created this new family to replace those that had left us, we were both able to find that solace that we so desperately needed. But we did it together, never leaving the other.
Our relationship was surreal. It was actually rather pathetic how perfect it was—we were always so in tune with one another that there never was room for arguments, just teasing and banter. Admittedly, should I have been another person I would have been disgusted by how cute we were.
We understood one another so well that there never was a need for explaining our choices to the other or even asking for something of them. It wasn't necessary, not with us. In fourth year, however, he shocked me when he finally came to me and asked me something. The fact that he changed our pattern was only a testament to how much it meant to him, how much he needed me to keep the promise.
He and Lily were sitting by the lake doing their homework and enjoying their last days of good weather. Fall was coming to an end and winter was sure to come soon.
"Lils," he said, interrupting the silent and comfortable atmosphere the two had built.
"Yeah?" she asked, never taking her eyes off of her parchment as she rushed to finish her transfiguration homework.
"I—I think we need to talk," he stumbled.
Lily's eyebrows furrowed in confusion and she turned to look at him, "So I know what that means in regards to a romantic relationship, but given that we're cousins and I'm not all that into the idea of incest, I have to wonder if the rule still applies."
Sirius smiled slightly, "No, it's not bad I just—I don't really know how to say it."
"Well, it's rather simple you open your mouth and talk. Not much to it really, we learn that talent at a rather young age," she told him with a wink.
"You're a bitch, you know?"
"But you love me regardless so it's okay. Now go on, tell me, whatever it is. You know I'm here for you."
He took a deep breath, "So you're growing up-"
"Well, as time goes on that is a rather unavoidable thing," she quipped, enjoying the aggravation her interruption caused him.
"Shut up and let me finish, Lils."
"Fine, no need to be so pissy, I swear you're like a woman in a constant state of PMS right now."
"Lils, seriously, please just let me get this out before I lose the nerve to."
She sobered up immediately once she saw how important it was to him, "Okay."
"I—you're in fourth year now, and well—since you started this year you've been dating a lot."
She cocked her head to the side in confusion, "Is that a problem or something? I have to say that if it is, that'd be awfully hypocritical for you to comment upon it."
"No, it's not that, hell you know me, carpe diem, seize the day, I think it's great that you're taking the dating world by storm—so long as there are no rumours about you being a slag I'm fine with it."
"Okay, then what is it?"
"I need you to promise me something."
Her eyebrows shot up in shock, they had never had to make requests of one another before. As much as she hated to admit it, she was scared about what it might imply in regards to where their relationship was going. Were they losing what they had had? "Whatever it is Sirius, I'll do it, I promise."
"I—I love you, Lils, you're my world, which is why I need you to promise that you won't ever date Remus or James."
"Lily, just promise me, please."
"Okay," she nodded her head slowly, "I promise."
I never really had feelings for Remus beyond anything platonic, but it was the charm behind James Potter that was always an undeniable one. I mean he's everything that a guy his age should be; extremely attractive, intelligent, witty, Quidditch captain, and as is with all "perfect" guys, he's a total player. Luckily for me that was a saving factor. Even if I did have a flicker of attraction towards him I was always able to restrain myself just because he'd break my heart, I could see that fact well enough.
I never had any doubts in regards to my promise to Sirius. It was something that we never mentioned again because he knew that it was me. I was one of the few people that he could trust to never lie to him—to always protect him. And I did, I did all that I could for him because I knew that he wanted me to stay away from them. He couldn't stand to ever be put into the position where he had to choose between me and his friends should a break up occur. He never told me that, but he didn't have to—with him and me words were never all that necessary, and he knew that.
"Wotcher, Potter," Lily whispered in his ear before sliding into the seat by him at the library where he was reading a book.
"Hey, Black, what are you up to?" he asked her with a smile.
"Homework," she answered with a groan. "But why are you here—I didn't think that you knew how to read, much less where this room was."
"I'd like to think so," she told him with a smile.
"So listen, I've been here studying for my O.W.L.s for the past hour and I think my brain's about to explode. So, how about you help a bloke out by saving him from this horrible world of studying?" he asked her with one of his infamous charming smiles.
"And why should I do that?" she asked him sceptically. "I do have studying to do you know. I didn't just come in here because I have a fetish for books and like to smell them."
"Like I said, help a bloke out, Lils. Come on, you know you want to; after all, I'm rather charming and fun to be with," he said with a wink.
"Fine," she sighed as she let him pull her up and lead her out the library.
"So where are we going?" she asked him.
"How does the boys' dormitory sound?"
"Like you're pushing your luck," she smiled, well aware of the fact that he wasn't referring to what she was.
"Funny girl, but no, wouldn't do that to my best mates cousin no matter how hot she may be."
"Good to know, so why do you want to go there?"
"We can go on the roof."
Lily stopped, rooted to the ground she didn't even budge when James tried to pull on her harder so she would follow, "Are you crazy?!"
"What? What's wrong with the idea?"
"Oh, I don't know, maybe the possibility of falling off the roof and plunging to our deaths!"
"Oh, don't be so dramatic, Lily," he rolled his eyes at her.
"Well, maybe you should be a bit more dramatic. Think for once, James, it's not safe."
"Lily, you're chaser for the Quidditch team. All you do is get hit by Bludgers non-stop and here you are complaining about how this might not be safe. Please tell me that you see the hypocrisy in that statement."
Lily opened her mouth to answer, only to close it again, groaning in frustration. "I hate you!"
"So, should I take that as a yes then?"
"Fine," she grudgingly allowed him to lead her to the astronomy tower.
Once they entered the room he led her to a window, "Okay, so I'm going to climb up and then I'll tell you to come out. At that point, you just climb out the window and stand on the ledge, I'll pull you up from there."
"Um, aren't you the slightest bit worried that you won't be able to pull me up—and then, you know, I'll fall?"
"Well, that was kind of the idea behind it," he teased her.
"James!" Lily shrieked, slapping his arm.
"Lils, just trust me, I can do it, I promise, you'll be okay."
Lily sighed before conceding, "Fine."
"Okay, wait until I say to come out, no sooner."
"Got it, captain," she told him with a mock salute.
He kept his promise, he did pull her up onto the roof, and much to Lily's surprise they didn't fall off and "plunge to their deaths." Instead they lay on the roof just staring up at the sky, spending the day just talking to one another. It was the first time that Lily ever really spent any quality time with James without Sirius being there. It was also the moment at which she realized that she genuinely liked his company.
James was one of those friends that I never expected to make. While I may have always been close to the Marauders, James and I were more acquaintances than anything else. Instead, it was Remus whom I had that stronger bond with out of the two. Somehow, though, that started to change and James slowly got past my defences.
"So, what are you up to?" a voice suddenly took her out of her trance.
"Staring," she told him with a grin.
"I can see that."
"Well, you never can be too sure; I mean you do wear glasses."
"How your words wound my heart, Black, you shall never know."
"Ever the charmer."
"You know it—but seriously, what's with you?"
"I don't know, I just—it's Regelus' birthday."
"Yeah, I know."
"Sirius, didn't want to celebrate it, or even acknowledge it. He hasn't since we left."
James nodded, "I know."
"I can't be like Sirius, I can't separate myself from them like that. When I look at him, I still see that naïve, full of life kid that I adored," she said with a sad smile.
"Well, then let's go celebrate."
Lily turned to him, eyes wide with shock, "What?!"
"It's not like we're going to throw him a party, Black. Let's just go to the kitchens and have some cake in honour of that boy that you once knew."
She looked at him sceptically, "Are you sure you want to do that?"
He merely smiled at her in response, extending his had to her.
James and I continued to get closer during my fourth year. So much so that I even opted to stay with him the summer before fifth rather than with my mate Jason, as I had done since the summer before third year when Sirius and I both left the Black house. Regardless of it all however, James and I were always just friends, I never deluded myself into thinking it could be more. I had my promise to Sirius and he was a notorious player. That relationship was just never written in the stars, as far as I was concerned it was as simple as that.
"Hello, boys," she greeted James and Remus once she finally found them sitting on a couch in the back of the common room where the victory party was taking place.
"Lily's here!" Remus cheered as he pulled her onto his lap, "now the party can really get started."
"Judging by your breath I'd say that it already has," she teased him.
"Yes, but he has been restraining himself for a full out binge drinking experience once you joined," James assured her.
"Well, that's awfully thoughtful of you, Remus."
"Isn't it just? Oh, I see a rather attractive fifth year standing in the corner there. A beautiful girl all on her lonesome just will not do," he announced before pushing Lily onto James's lap and heading off in the direction of Lily's dorm mate.
"He's awfully randy this evening isn't he?" Lily asked James as she slid off his lap and sat in Remus' empty seat.
"Not as much as your cousin," James said as he pointed to Sirius was currently snogging some random girl in a corner.
"Did you really have to point that out to me? I swear my eyes burn! A person should never have to see their cousin doing that!"
He just smirked at her, "That's life, love."
"You're a total arse, you know that?"
"You love it," he told her with an over exaggerated wink.
"I wouldn't count on it."
"Well, then I'll just have to step it up a notch, won't I?" James asked as he pulled her up and onto the dance floor.
"James! What are you doing?"
"Securing my place in your heart, love," he told her with a smile, that try as she might, she couldn't help but feel weak at the knees when seeing it.
"You already have a permanent place in it," she told him quietly.
He looked at her in surprise, smiling slightly at the words, "Really?"
"Yeah, you're one of my best friends—I always thought that you'd be just Sirius', but—I don't know, it changed."
"Same here, Lils, same here."
"Good, I'd hate to hear that my feelings aren't reciprocated," she told him.
He laughed at her, "Now I see why all the guys seem to fall at your feet, Black."
She looked at him in confusion, "What do you mean?"
"Every guy I meet seems to be asking me to introduce you to them, and I guess—I see why, I see the appeal. I mean not only did you just help us win one of the biggest matches we've ever had against Slytherin, but you're smart, witty, and attractive."
"Um thank you—I think."
"Just take the compliment, Black."
She laughed, "Okay, Potter, I will."
"Aren't you going to say anything about me?"
"Don't ruin a good moment with your ego, Potter," was her only response.
I made a mistake, I fell for him. I let myself be the love struck girl that was attracted to the school's "golden boy". I let myself fall prey to a guy that wasn't even remotely interested, if anything he thought of me as a sister. I really doubted how appealing he would find the idea of incest.
Yet it wasn't even that that killed me, it was that I was breaking my promise to Sirius. In his life he had been disappointed by our family so many times and I had always foolishly prided myself on being the one exception. But then there I was, the girl who would willingly give him everything and anything, even die for him, but ironically enough, I couldn't fulfil the one request that he ever made of me.
I was weak.
"Hey, you okay?" James asked her as he took a seat on the grass by a shaking Lily, pulling her into his arms.
"I just—I can't believe that that's my cousin, what happened to him, James? He was never like that before," she said as she buried her face into his chest, allowing him to hold her.
"It's not him, Lils, it's the people that he grew up with, you know what they're like—he doesn't mean it."
"No, he does, Regulus meant every word that he said to me back there. He's not the same person anymore, and there's no changing that, is there?" she asked as she slowly pulled back from him.
James reached for her face, wiping away the stray tears that she had missed, "No, I suppose not."
She nodded her head slowly, "I wish I did more. I feel like I sealed his fate by leaving him. I mean who knows, maybe had I stayed I could have been there for him, helped point him in the right direction. I just—I feel like I killed the sweet kid that was once inside him," she admitted, slightly tearing at the thought.
"In life there's no time for regrets, Lils, don't waste your years crying over spilt milk."
"We all know that we shouldn't, but we do anyway, don't we?" she asked him, smiling slightly at the thought.
James paused at her words, "Yeah, I guess we do—we don't realize it, but we do."
"So, then I guess you were being a bit hypocritical back there when you told me that, weren't you?" she asked, laughing slightly, all the while desperately trying to deviate form the topic that was really bothering her.
"Not anymore," he whispered slightly, as he neared his face to hers.
Lily's eyes quickly widened in shock, "Wait, Ja-" but he silenced her when his lips came crashing onto hers. She responded to the surprise of both, she responded with more fervour than she ever knew she was capable of. It wasn't sweet or romantic, but pure passion, a final release for all the built up sexual tension.
A voice interrupted them, causing them to quickly separate in the shock of the presence. "I came here because I heard what happened, but obviously you already have someone here to console you," Sirius said before walking away, ignoring both of their calls.
It was one of those moments where I had felt like time had stopped for me and no matter how much I wanted to deny it, I knew that I had lost him forever. There was no salvaging it no matter how much I wanted to delude myself otherwise.
"Sirius!" she ran down the halls after him. "Sirius, stop and just listen to me, please!"
At that final word he stopped and turned around to face her, the picture of fury, "How could you?" he asked her in a low, guttural voice.
"I—I didn't mean for it to happen it was a mistake."
"You don't just do that by accident, Lily. You don't just fall onto one another's lips, it's not possible so don't you dare try to lie to me!"
"I didn't—it didn't mean anything, Sirius-"
"So, now you betray me like that for something that doesn't even mean anything to you, that's just great. Really assures me of how much I mean to you, Lils."
"Don't, don't you dare try to explain. You promised me, Lils, you said that you wouldn't," he turned and slammed his fist into a wall as a release for his aggravation. "I may never have said why I needed you to do that for me, but you knew, Lils—you knew. I thought I could trust you, Lily, but in the end you're just like the rest of them aren't you?"
"No, I'm not-"
"Yeah," he chuckled bitterly. "I guess you're right, you're not like them, you're worse. You're the biggest disappointment of all," he spat at her before walking away.
I let him walk away from me that night because he was right, I didn't deserve him. I had betrayed him in the worst way possible; I had deceived him with false promises just as they had done to us so many times. Words like "it was a mistake" or "I didn't mean to" just wouldn't suffice. I had pushed away the one good thing that I had ever had and it was time for me to be a better person for once and accept that fact.
James walked down the corridor only to find Lily sitting on the floor shaking uncontrollably, the tear unable to come. He ran to her, taking her in his arms, but as soon as he did she pushed him away. "No, James, don't—we can't."
"Lily, I just want to help."
She smiled at him sadly, "Thanks, James, but right about now you should go find Sirius and explain to him that it was nothing if you want any chance at salvaging your friendship. I assured him once that I wouldn't ruin that for you two, let me at least keep that part of my promise to him."
"James, please," she desperately begged him.
"I'm not going to lie to him and say that it meant nothing when it did, Lily-"
"Don't, James," she interrupted him. "Don't, just—just go up there and be with him, he needs you."
"But Lily I—I think I love you."
Her eyes widened in shock at hearing his confession, but regardless of what she wanted she knew what she had to do. "Listen to me, James, what happened back there was a mistake-"
"But it wasn't, Lily, you want it too, I know you do."
She ignored him, opting for a façade of indifference, "I'm just the only girl you ever really got to know, James, that's all, just let it go."
"I don't want to—I won't," he protested.
"It doesn't matter what we want anymore, just go upstairs, support Sirius he—he really needs his brother right now," she told him before running away from him, silently thanking God that there were only two more days left in the school year.