Disclaimer: I don't own HP & Co.
Author's Note: Thanks so much to TaylorxxSue, HPfan87, me, Princess Sophie Potter, Frecklednproud, siriusforeva, opungo, carrymeaway, frizzyfro12, HarryGinny4Evr, snaplappl21, RachelElizabeth, bananaslugg, anonymous992, Blue-Eyed Chica, B, marauderette92, lmurph2592, Expectance, Katie, miss larien, Laila, NJ MacReiley the Helpless Romantic, BlAcKdAuGhTeR, pippapear, tasha27, CrazzyD', mrsjamessiriuspotter, lilyfan06, holabitches100, cheekychick, and callie258 for reviewing!
After a week, Lily began to feel more and more hopeless. How was she ever going to make this better? She had tried countless times to make James listen to her, but each failed worse than the previous. Lily had confronted him in the hallway, but he backed away from her and found an alternate way to get to class. Next, she tried to sit down across from him at dinner, but he simply got up and walked away.
During Potions class, Lily sat down next to him. She hoped that maybe, just maybe he would give her another chance. Maybe he would even say something to her, anything at all. At that point in time, she would have been pleased with a "Can you pass the armadillo bile?" But no, she got nothing. James merely sat there and pretended that she didn't even exist.
Lily sat in her bed and wondered what she could do next. She came to the conclusion that there was nothing left to do. She'd done it all. She'd done everything and anything that she could possibly think of. James refused to budge though. Only time would tell if he would ever forgive her.
Her heart sank. It was noon on a Monday afternoon and all she wanted to do was curl up under her covers. She couldn't though; she still had classes to attend. Lily sighed and stared up at the ceiling. She couldn't believe it was only Monday; she wanted it to be Friday again, then she really could stay in bed all weekend. But no, it was a miserable Monday.
She heard the door creak open and saw Camilla come in. Great, Lily thought, just great. Lily stilled hadn't spoken to Camilla since that night a week ago. They, similar to her and James, were merely coexisting in the world. Neither of them spoke to each other and neither of them even acknowledged the other's presence.
Then the unexpected happened though. Camilla did not bypass Lily's bed and head straight for her own. Instead she approached Lily and stood awkwardly by its side. "Lily," she cautiously said.
"What?" Lily snapped. She was not in the mood to deal with Camilla right now, not when James still refused to speak with her.
"I, I'm sorry," she blurted out. "I really am."
Lily stared at Camilla for a moment, observing her. She looked frightened, although of exactly what, Lily wasn't sure. It could have been nervousness for apologizing, the fear of Lily not accepting her apologies, or even because of the cold look that Lily shot at her.
"I, I just didn't want to believe it," Camilla continued on. "I thought you were on my side, against him. And even though you told me over and over that you started to like him, I just couldn't see it actually being true. All that flashed through my mind was you rejecting him over and over again, saying that there was nothing anyone could say to make you even give him the time of day… I just didn't believe that you would ever willingly be with Potter, er, James… And well, obviously I was wrong. Lily, I'm so sorry."
She continued to harshly stare at Camilla. Did she really expect Lily to accept her apology that easily? She had put Lily through so much pain and sorrow when she yelled at James. How could Lily even consider being friends with her again? She wouldn't, she couldn't do it yet. She was still too angry.
"Lily, you're my best friend, I would never intentionally hurt you, you know that. If I could take it back, I would," Camilla added. "I just hate fighting with you."
Lily continued to stare at her in silence.
"Lily, please forgive me," Camilla slowly said. "I miss you."
Lily stared at her and let the words echo through her mind. Yes, Camilla had been her best friend, but a real best friend would never betray her like that. And yes, maybe Camilla did miss her, and maybe a part of Lily missed Camilla too, but was it enough? How could it be enough? Camilla had ruined everything that James had given to Lily.
And yet, her words sounded so familiar. Lily instantly knew why; she had something quite similar to James one week ago. The words Camilla used were hers. They were both fighting for something, something they could only hope wasn't completely ruined.
Lily looked straight into Camilla's ocean blue eyes. They weren't cold or hard. In fact, they were watery. They were the same eyes that Lily had looked at James with. They were the eyes of sorrow, of sadness, of pleading forgiveness, and of second chances.
How did she expect James to forgive her, if she couldn't forgive the one person who had been there for the past seven years? How could she beg for forgiveness from James, but not even allow Camilla one more chance?
The answer was that she couldn't. She couldn't expect that double standard. It wasn't fair, not to James, not Camilla, and not to herself.
"Okay," Lily slowly said.
"Okay?" Camilla repeated.
"You messed up," Lily stated. "But one mistake isn't worth it. I'm still mad and I don't know how long it will be until I can fully forgive what you did, but I'll try."
"Thank you," Camilla whispered.
Lily couldn't help but think the very same thing, thank you. She had to believe that people could still be forgiven. She had to hang onto that last bit of hope. She had to believe that she and James still stood a chance.
"Have you talked to him?" Camilla hesitantly asked.
"He won't listen to me," Lily answered.
"You need to make him listen," Camilla stated, she paused before adding, "I don't like Potter, I may never like him, but Lily, I know you do. And I don't want to see you hurt anymore. You need to make him listen to you."
What was this? Both Camilla and Sirius had given her the same exact advice: make him listen. How was she supposed to do that? Didn't either of them realize that although their words sounded good, in reality, they were quite improbable?
"I've tried everything," Lily said. "He won't listen."
"Then you haven't tried everything," Camilla replied, giving her a weak smile. "You need to make sure he knows it's not a secret anymore. He needs to know that you like him."
"I've told him already," Lily stated. "He doesn't want to hear it."
"Tell him in a way that he will listen," Camilla instructed.
Tell him in a way that he will listen. Lily repeated Camilla's words over and over in her mind. She had already recounted her story to him, but that hadn't worked. That wasn't good enough. James didn't want to hear what happened, he had experienced what happened. He didn't want to hear her sad excuses either; he was sick of excuses.
No, there had to be another way. There had to be another way to tell him she was sorry. She spent their entire Potions class mulling it over. She was lucky that it wasn't a difficult potion to brew; it allowed her to lose herself in her mind.
How could she express her apologies? She considered sneaking up to his room and leaving a note, but realized that it would do no good. James probably wouldn't read it; he would just toss it in the fire or send it back her way. Maybe she could make a huge banner and hang it in the common room, one which read, "James, I'm sorry." It would certainly grab his attention, but was it good enough?
After thinking of countless ways to express her sincerest apologies, each one worse than the other, Camilla's words reappeared. Tell him in a way that he will listen. Tell him that she's sorry in a way that he will listen. No, just tell him in a way that he will listen. There was a difference. James didn't want to hear her apologies; he wanted to hear something else, something that would show she wasn't just in it for the secrecy. He wanted to hear something that would prove it all.
Her hammered for the rest of class and she began counting down the minutes until class would over. She needed to talk to him, she needed to tell him the truth. Not the truth she had been saying all along, she needed him to know the truth about how she felt about him.
The sound of the bell signaled that class was finally over. Lily jumped from her seat and threw her books into her bag. She searched the classroom for James, but he had already disappeared.
Lily ran from the classroom, squirming past her fellow students. She ran the familiar path back up to Gryffindor, scanning her eyes through the crowd. She needed to see him.
Finally, she spotted him on the staircase, with his fellow Marauders. He was halfway up in, on the small landing. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, Lily yelled, "James, wait! I need to tell you something."
He glanced over his shoulder at her and shook his head. He didn't want to hear it.
Lily spoke anyway, ignoring the fact that he walked away from her. "You can go through life being ordinary," she yelled, but stopped at what she saw.
Sirius had intentionally walked directly in front of James, blocking him from continuing up the stairs. He had his arms crossed in front of his chest.
"What the bloody hell are you doing?" James muttered to Sirius.
"Listen to her," Sirius demanded.
"I know," Sirius began. "I know about you and Evans… I saw you one night, and then she told me everything… You're my best mate, James, and I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think it was good for you. But I've seen you with and without her, and I've never see you more miserable now that she's gone. But she's here now and I'm begging you to just listen to what she has to say."
With that said, he put his hands on James's shoulders and turned him around to face Lily. His kept his hands there, as if he wanted to make sure that James wouldn't try and run for it. Then Sirius winked at Lily, signaling for her to continue.
Lily, feeling very grateful, suddenly mustered up all her courage and took a deep breath. She knew that everyone nearby had stopped dead in their tracks and listened in to what she had to say. However, Lily didn't care. In her mind, the only two people in the corridor were her and James.
From her position on the ground, Lily looked up the staircase at James. She could feel her body tremble; she had never been so nervous in her life. Her heart was beating fast, faster than ever before.
"Someone once told me that you can go through life abiding all the rules and you'll live an ordinary life," Lily began. "But, if for just a moment, you take a risk and break those rules, you might just find yourself face to face with the best thing that could have ever happened to you."
James took two slow steps down the staircase, his eyes never leaving Lily's.
"I don't want everyone else to influence my life. I don't want my reputation telling me what to do… I don't want to strive for perfection."
He took another step down, still eying her.
"I don't want to be ordinary, James."
He took another step.
"I want to take a chance."
Still, he took another step. He was now on ground level with her; face to face.
He was so close that she was whispering now. "I want to risk it all, James. I don't care what anyone has to say about it. I don't care if I'm not perfect anymore. All I care about it being face to face with the one person that might just be the best thing that has ever happened to me."
His lips were on hers and his arms wrapped around her waist. Lily thought for a moment that she might collapse into him; the only thing holding her up was knowing that their lips had finally touched again.
She brought her arms up around his neck, never wanting to break apart. The kiss wasn't full of passionate, fiery lust. Instead, it was tender and caring. It was exactly the kiss that she had missed the most. It was the kiss that told her everything was going to be okay. It was the kiss that she had spent the past week dreaming about.
Once they broke apart, Lily look up into James's smiling face and whispered her last and final confession, only loud enough for him to hear. "I love you."
Author's Note 2: Thanks so much to anyone who has ever read and reviewed this story, it means so much to me! I hope you all enjoyed the final chapter, I had fun writing it! And for the final time, I ask that you please review! Until next time... -Loves to dance