A/N: Yes, finally, Zay attempts a fic in what counts as James's POV! Haha, how refreshing; I don't do that often. But this one…it's a little weird, at least to me. I don't know if I like it, but I posted it anyway, because I wrote it and had no other use for it. Read if you dare, and remember to review if you do!

He was probably one of the most ardent boys dating at Hogwarts during his years, hands down.

He was famous for it, had a reputation tacked on to the end of his name because of it.

He was known for investing himself, heart and soul, into each girl he loved. He hand-picked them, swore to be loyal to them and actually followed through with it; as the clichés of the world put it, he wore his heart proudly on his sleeve, and not even once did he let it slip.

He liked honesty. He didn't live without it, couldn't stand the idea of a lie, and he expected this morality from his girlfriends in return.

He was intense, almost too much to handle for a lot of the girls he'd dated, and although he knew how to lighten up, he took everything more seriously than most would expect.

That was part of the reason why he was so popular among the women – he would openly give his all, and if they didn't want his all, he refused to give anything. Black or white, jackpot or dust. That was just how he was.

He'd been in relationships of passion before. Banging-on-the-desk-of-an-unused-classroom-in-the-dead-of-night passion. Passion to the extreme, passion to the point of obsession, passion that could be considered sinful by the squeamish.

He would never deny that he enjoyed them, even if he fell down hard when they wore off – they had undeniable heat. Tension. Challenge. He liked the feeling of wanting, and of being wanted in return.

However, he'd also been in relationships of misery. He fought with those girls all the time, over anything and everything they could think of, and he'd hated every moment he spent with them. Those never lasted long, but he still had them, along with a few of the painful memories that he hadn't managed to block out yet.

He'd additionally been in relationships of ache; the yearning, fervent sort of ache that bordered on pining, anguish, and sheer torment, all at the same time. He was almost the male version of a damsel in distress from a classic fairytale; dependent, hopelessly in love, a little clingy. Those were the most extreme, where his very ideas of right and wrong began to blur along the edges, change before his very eyes.

But out of the various types of relationships he'd been in, the only one that really mattered was the one he had with Lily Evans – soon-to-be Potter.

She was different from all of them. She always had been. She made him think – think about who he was, what he wanted, what he was going to get. She didn't want to give him an easy time, because she simply didn't work like that.

He was indeed intense, but she was even more so. She had this way of making the simplest action reveal something profound about his disposition. He had to remain on his toes with her, play her games and play them well, and he found that even when she was at her most invincible, he could still hang on by the tips of his fingers if he tried hard enough.

She was forever changing – running faster, reaching higher. She didn't wait up for him to catch her; she just assumed he was right there, behind her, when oftentimes, he was several steps behind.

He loved that about her though. He loved running with her and reaching after her. He loved all those little things about her – how she laughed like she was choking, could cry like a baby when he said the right words, could give him this Look that made him squirm, ate too many Sugar Quills when he took her to Honeydukes.

But the thing he loved the most about her was the she made him happy.

Not estrogen-rampant or tragic-hero happy, but the good kind of happy – the subtle, healthier one.

She was a simpler pleasure. He loved her with all he had, of course, and he couldn't imagine not living with her, but unlike with girlfriends in previous years, he needed her like the sun and the grass rather than like a drug. She was the piney mountain air around him rather than artificial perfumes from a bottle.

She was the real thing.

She was everything he needed because the way he acted around her was instinctive, rather than adapted. She didn't mold around his shape, he didn't mold around hers.

Sure, they clashed, but most of the time, he fit exactly with her. It was all in the way she said his name sleepily in the middle of a yawn when she met him during breakfast, how she squeezed his hand until his blood circulation nearly died out when they had to use live ingredients in Potions, how she kissed him so sweetly before she had to leave him for the evening.

He may not have banged her on a desk, or yearned for her like he had with other girls, but he didn't need to.

With her, he just…was.

Passion to passion, skin to skin, soul to soul, complexity to complexity.

That was it. She was it. When the whole world crumbled around him, he knew she would be the only one standing, ready to dance in the rubble with him.

And that was how it was always going to be.