Lily ran her fingers across a long, green leaf. It belonged to a family of other leaves, all emerald green, shimmering with dew, and perfect in shape and length. They belonged together.

Hidden among the family of leaves were fist-sized red swirls. Velvety petals clung together tightly, all scarlet and ruby, little pocket shaped petals of the softest material. They cupped each other, as if they had all joined in a group hug.

"You're bleeding." The voice came from behind her shoulder.

Lily had not seen anyone in the distance. How dangerous the possibilities were, if it had been one of those Slytherins. She did not turn; it was the voice she had heard since the moment she stepped onto the Hogwart's Express- unforgettable.

Her gaze turned to her finger instead, the thin skin broken by the beautiful rose's sharp thorn. A tiny drop of blood had bloomed from the cut.

"Oh," she breathed.

The blood the thorn had drawn could have been in the family of roses, so scarlet and perfect.

"Look..." James pointed to the drop of blood she was contemplating. "It looks just like anyone else's."

Lily knew what he was suggesting, an attempt at making her feel better after the 'Mudblood' incident that afternoon. "I'm sure there must be something different about them..."

She stared at the drop of blood more intensely, sure there was some sort of hidden filth in there. What could possibly be so different? Her magic was just as strong as theirs- stronger even.

James plucked a rose from the bush as well.

"Wait!" Lily gasped, just as he wrapped his entire hand around its stem.

Only one thorn pricked sharply enough to draw blood on his Quidditch-calloused hands. A tiny bead of liquid formed, just as scarlet as Lily's.

He sat beside her, taking her hand and putting it beside his. They both stared, the two index fingers side by side, a tiny drop of blood on each.

"Exactly the same," James said softly.

The corner of Lily's mouth turned up before she could hide it. "Maybe," she shrugged, though inside she was grinning uncontrollably.


A/N: Fairly short. Perhaps a missing-moment sort of one-shot. Or maybe it's just... there.

It was supposed to be different, but the story masters the writer- usually.

R E V I E W !