A/N: Over my long, lazy vacation, I had way too much time on my hands, so I decided to try this out. The writing style is, unfortunately, not mine; it's been borrowed from the story To Love a Hero, by Pantz. I thought it was majorly cool, and when I get bored, this is what happens. Read that one, if you haven't – it's fantastic.
Enjoy, luffs. Reviewers are eternally loved.
It is first year, your first time away from home. The letter came a few months ago, and this is the day you've been waiting for. Sick to your stomach but ready to explode with tremendous keenness, step off the strange train that picked you up from a strange platform, and ride the first year boats to the castle that is soon to become your home.
Don't let the other students around you intimidate you. They're only people after all; they just do a better job of hiding the same things you're feeling now.
Talk to them as you go to ease your nerves. Find a companion in one of them, a girl who shared her train compartment with you. She's got brown hair, brown eyes, and a friendly smile. She calls herself Alice. Befriend her, and get to know a little bit about her.
Feel your heart beat madly as you enter the packed hall of first years. Notice him for the first time as you look around at this new environment.
Notice that he's shorter than you, skinny, and has glasses – an appearance sure to get him teased later. But before that, notice the light in his eyes, the animation radiating off his thin limbs, the easy, confident way with which he carries himself off.
Watch him closely during the Sorting, and find out that his name is James Potter. Tell Alice, about him; however, sit far from him at the table during the awe-inspiring feast you enjoy.
Make friends with the people sitting by you; the bubbly blonde, Marlene; the gentle boy with a large nose, Frank; the plain-looking but wickedly witty girl, Mary; the tall girl with black hair, Emmeline.
Talk to them, get to know them. Introduce yourself and eagerly learn a little more about this extraordinary world you're in. Eat abundantly, laugh even more. Enjoy the first evening and anticipate more good times ahead.
Purposefully get stuck in the traffic jam to go upstairs on the funny moving staircases next to the Potter boy. Say hello to him. Don't be disappointed when he doesn't see you, and continues to talk to the beautiful blonde girl beside him.
Months later, when you've settled in well with the surprisingly easy classes and friendly classmates and you know mostly everybody in your House, find yourself sitting in front of Potter in Charms class.
By now, after so much time, feel no interest in the boy. Despite his strange appearance, he has quickly become a favorite among the people you know and has won the attention of many. He is a notorious flirt and has already won himself a girlfriend, the blonde he met on his first night; his best friend is one of the most handsome, mysterious young men you've ever seen in your life. He no longer means anything to your studious, focused mind.
Feel stabs of annoyance at Potter when he begins the trying habit of pulling on your fiery red tresses. Eventually, stop wearing them in the low pigtails you prefer and wear it in a messy bun atop your head. The boy gives up, but not for very long.
Discover, to your horror, that there is something more annoying than Potter pulling your hair when he begins poking you with his quill next. Tell him off frequently when class is over, wondering what you could possibly have done to attract this boy's apparent interest. Long to learn a hex to threaten him with when he ignores all you say.
Try your best to ignore him when, the next year, he likes you enough to start bothering you in the common room. This doesn't work, though, so get the satisfaction of giving your entire House a few short-lived minutes of amusement when Potter steals your laboriously-written essay and you are forced to chase him around the common room for it.
Only now do people take you seriously. And you rather like it.
Grow to dislike Potter intensely, when he starts stealing your books and quills and ink bottles along with your homework. Act mildly at first, threatening him and using your middle finger to get them back with relative ease, but find that your companions sincerely enjoy your dynamics with the bothersome creature.
The day you hex him in the common room, people cheer. Potter merrily wears the tentacles you give him as though they are honorary war scars – there's a peculiar twinkle in his eye when you come into his line of vision, and it's alienating.
The best thing possible is to disregard it – so do that. Don't give him the satisfaction of confusion at the queer things he does. Continue to row openly with him, becoming more and more brash as you both progress, and introduce swearwords and attacks at his character when he begins to leave his eyes a little too long on your rear end.
By third year, gone are the days of pulling hair and stealing books; now, Potter has changed quite radically. When he steps on the train, join the people gawking at him from behind the glass compartment doors. Beckon for your closest friends, Alice and Marlene, to gawk with you, so to ease the pain of staring in solitude at the bane of your young existence.
Over one summer, Potter has shot up in height to become taller than you rather than shorter. He has filled out, gained a bit of muscle, and looks much healthier – his eyes are even more mischievous behind his new glasses, and his jaw is more prominent than you remember it.
Everybody loves the transformation, but be proud that you don't.
Be prouder still when Alice informs you that you are the only girl in Gryffindor who has not looked with longing at the new, apparently gorgeous Potter.
Potter tries out for the Quidditch team this year, and is discovered to have natural talent. He makes the team, further elevating his ever-growing social status.
Watch his try-out, but only because Marlene tries out too. Admit only to yourself that he deserves his place on the team, but badmouth his abilities if asked. Laugh at him copiously with your huge circle of friends.
Overhear Emmeline remark to Marlene that you are one hell of a feisty warrior-princess. Enjoy the ring of the compliment.
However, this year is unusual for more than one reason; because of the unhealthy amount of womanly attention Potter is receiving, he has realized belatedly that his long-time victim of childish misdeeds is indeed a living, breathing young woman possessing female sex organs.
Everything about your unstable acquaintance with him changes the day he first asks you out, publicly and obnoxiously, after a victorious Gryffindor Quidditch match.
Turn him down as nicely as you can muster the first time, secretly a little flattered by his offer and putting his lack of judgment off as the result of too many flirting girls on his newly-muscled arms.
React with less kindness when he does the same thing in the common room two days later.
React quite violently when he continues to harass you for two entire weeks after this.
Blow up when he attempts to slip his arm around your waist in a corridor. Stop traffic and attract a huge crowd of interested spectators as you berate him with every nasty word you know, calling him a right arrogant sod for womanizing you in such a way. Being a social darling and an athlete gives him no right to act like this. Threaten him to an inch of his life. Finish a fantastic display of hollering by stomping neatly on his foot and stalking away from his stunned, startled form.
After this breakthrough with rowing capacity when it comes to Potter, feel slightly ashamed of your behavior and stay away from the people swarming the two of you, waiting for a fight. Start to abhor him only with your friends, never in public. Tear the mickey out of him when he can't defend himself, because it's a surprisingly savage pleasure.
Take delight out of the laughs you can generate. Know that although what you're saying is cruel, it's only fair to need to let out a little steam.
And that's all you do at first; let out a little steam.
But, one evening, Emmeline's statement of being a feisty warrior princess comes back to mind. Decide only now to live up to it, since it is no longer petty schoolgirl possessions you are fighting for.
Since Potter is playing dirty and redoubling efforts on you in horrific ways by fourth year, playing dirty back is the only natural course of action. So, do the only thing you can do – take your initial repugnance a step further.
Tell him to his face what you've been saying to others. Announce it at the top of your lungs in front of people when he so much as glances at you in a way you deem inappropriate.
Ignore the small glimmers of hurt you think you see in his face, and focus only on taking him down a few pegs in front of his friends. He deserves it; you're just the first person to take action.
Breathe with relief when he quiets, prepare for battle when he starts up again. Train your mind to think quickly to contradict all he says. Pitilessly begin to enjoy every minute of it.
Pick fights with him, even if it's not always his fault. Rile him up because you love to see him get angry with you, which happens more frequently with each new row. Feel yourself flit in and out of control, paying no heed to the warning looks Alice and Marly sometimes give you. Remember only how much people like and fear the rows you get into with him, and how much he irks you.
Make a hobby out of hating him with a pure, heated lust only a hormonal teenager can harbor, as he has made a habit out of mortifying you.
Never stop to consider him. Never stop to wonder why you do this anymore. Just trust the shiver that goes down your spine when he enters a room, the hairs that stand up on the nape of your neck when you fight, the frantic beating and sinking of your feverish heart when he walks away.
Stopping only distracts control, and you won't let him get to you when you're distracted. Consider yourself too clever to give up your hard-earned handling, just for him.
Little changes when fifth year comes around and you are given what you've always wanted – a prefect's badge. Fifth year is particularly difficult, because of O.W.L. exams, so change around your homework schedule to get in extra studying time. Relish your badge, and adhere to the new responsibility placed on your shoulder.
Treat the students below you with kindness; listen to the Head Boy and Girl when they ask you to do something. Do no such thing with Potter, who is as handsome and sought-after as ever this year.
Continue to carry your mad routine of arguing with him; continue it with grateful submission, because all of a sudden, things are changing dramatically in your little world. It's not so much to ask, this normal rivalry between you two. He's as stuck on you as ever, but you've got plenty else on your mind.
War has begun to scatter around the country. Watch with mixed horror and sadness as obituaries start building up in the newspapers. Scour them for familiar names, and startle all that are close to you by crying in private.
Talk to Alice and Marly. Tell them how overwhelmed you feel sometimes. You are fifteen and young; you want something to do, something that will help. Something to fight the dread trying to suffocate you at night when you can't sleep.
But, despite the misery in the news slowly working its way into the lives of everyone around you, life does go on.
Work on retaining as much knowledge as possible for the exams. Cheer Gryffindor on in Quidditch. Participate in victory parties. Cherish every memory you make with your friends, because all too soon, you've realized you're edging into dark times. Cling to the light, because for now, that's the best thing to do.
Mellow out considerably with all the pressures of daily life, because you're growing up and being a prefect demands poise, but never, ever feel yourself back down when it comes to the indelible, unbreakable James Potter, who despite everything going on in the country, goes on making his harebrained attempts at winning your heart.
He's the only one who's stayed the same in this worrisome year, the only one who brings you back to your naïve, haphazard childish roots, and for that, be grudgingly thankful.
But more than that, use the bizarre consistency he gives you.
Do what you always did – flame easily, criticize plentifully, regret nothing. Keep yourself at bay like this, and bear in mind who and what you are. But things continue to change this year; this year, the rumors have gotten around that Potter actually fancies you enough to decide you will be his next girlfriend.
Squash the rumors with your iron fist; threaten with your vast knowledge of hexes you've had to learn for Potter and for the exams; feel the color rise in your cheeks as your friends tease you. Don't let it get to you more than you can help, but groan internally every day the moment you see his face.
There's only one solution you can see for this atrocious mess: try harder.
Redouble your row efforts, as you redouble watching the newspaper and studying for the exams. The restless energy you've been accumulating from the latter two is well-spent on the first.
Those rows have always made your blood boil deliciously, sending it racing through your fragile veins so fast you fear you might shatter at any moment. Even now, your very being shakes, your fists clench hard enough to draw blood. Your mind is in overload, and you welcome these brief, familiar changes in pace.
They make you feel alive.
Live only for him, then, in the oddest sort of way. Live for those moments where you teeter so dangerously off the edge, where you are at the climax of your rage, where you are hanging onto your sanity by the skin of your teeth.
Live for the exhilaration, the wary expressions on your onlookers' faces, for the venomous knowledge that you have limits to push.
The most astonishing thing about the ordeal is how much you love it.
Dream about the loss of pressure, when you don't have to be anyone but yourself. Forget reliability. Forget responsibility. Forget morals, manners, smiles you don't mean. Break out of the shell you sometimes find yourself in.
Let it out. Let the inferno brewing inside of you to engulf you, to take you over, to elevate you so high you feel sick.
Priorities are changing as the war progresses at alarming, cancerous rates; find yourself wishing to be larger than life, large enough to make a difference, large enough to be seen as something titanic, more than you could ever be.
Sixth year is mildly quiet, despite your enormous aspirations. Potter carefully side-steps you as he struggles with demons of his own, something that is to be expected after that final fight at the end of last year, and classes occupy you at the moment. The war is getting worse, and tensions are visibly rising. Never has the world seemed like such a cold, frightening place.
Take refuge in Alice and Marlene. Allow yourself to need them, and be there for them too. More than ever, you need each other.
So love. Give and receive love in equal parts. Shed a few tears. Tell yourselves it's going to be okay, even though you all know it probably won't be.
But whatever you do, don't stop. Don't drag. Don't fall into a hole, because that's not what life is about.
Mounting numbers are losing their lives – make use of yours. If nothing else, strive for those who can't.
Strive because after all that's going on, it's the only thing left to do.
Learn zealously. Read the newspaper everyday with growing sadness. Write home each weekend to make sure things are all right at home. Even sneak a few peeks at Potter during class. His newfound distance has been disturbing for you. Everything about him has become disturbing. He's always been a drama king, changing when and how he feels like it, but this time, suspect that things are abnormal about this transformation.
This time, he's grown up a million years over a few short months. Recognize flutters signaling uneasiness going off every alternate second in your stomach. Question why they are there, but let them stay, because you have no other place for them.
Then, ignore Potter. Remind yourself how little he means to you. Remind yourself that now you're free; free of him, free of the rows, free of the extra stress. Give up on yourself when you find you're still miserable.
Persist on, though. Throw yourself into your work, into spirited discussions with friends how to end this war. It's up to you and your generation to do it, end the horror consuming everybody. Hold your loved ones closer than ever because their support is the only thing that will carry you forward in one piece.
Come back for seventh year with the thing you've wanted since the day you got your prefect badge – the Head Girl badge. Foresee a busy year, but embrace the challenge. Head Girl is an enormous honor; yearn to succeed, and know that despite all this turmoil, you will.
Initially, feel shock when Potter is your fellow Head. How can this happen? He is not Head material; his silly, trouble-filled past is against him. You were sure it would have been his responsible friend, and your fellow prefect, Remus Lupin. Dumbledore must be off his rocker.
But, know deep down that he does deserve it. See it for yourself during the first few weeks of the new duty – he's grown up. He takes things seriously now.
As weeks begin to pass, find that he is the man you never thought he'd be. More bewilderingly, find that he is the man you've always wished he could be.
Establish a friendship with him, but discover yourself intrigued by him in numerous ways nonetheless. You've barely spoken to him since that tumultuous fifth year; he's like a new person now.
A person who, at last, appears to have gotten over his addiction to you.
When it feels as though he is utterly impossible, remind yourself that he's just another part of this year's challenge. Everything will be all right; treat him like a difficult piece of homework, and work through him bit by bit.
Patrol with him. Discuss policies. Go through detention slips. Keep a platonic relationship, but gradually get to know a lot about him.
It's inevitable that you must get to know him rather well as the weeks pass. Perhaps he knows this, and that is why he volunteers opinions and light conversation whenever you get a moment.
Don't tell anyone about it, but secretly, begin to admire James. Admire his ease, his grace, his wit, the shine in his eyes when he gets involved with what he's saying. He may be as old as you, and have a mind mature beyond his years, but at heart, he is nothing but a child.
And in the midst of all this darkness, realize that this is quite refreshing.
Somehow, quickly become friends with him. For someone so repugnant in childhood, it is surprisingly effortless to chat with him, laugh with him, walk with him occasionally in the corridors.
Being Heads, it's necessary to get along; yet, this thought never crosses your mind.
When he's around, it's difficult to think of the miserable, grisly stories so abundant in the newspapers. It's difficult to think of anything at all – before long, find yourself shocked when Mary Macdonald asks if you are dating Potter.
Instantly say no, but ponder the question long after she leaves. Bring it up one particularly drafty winter night, when James sneaks you down to the kitchens for a hot chocolate and consumes it with you in the corridor.
Let a startled expression creep to your features when an odd light passes through his eyes at the mention of dating, and he swiftly changes the subject to an unexpected one you've not talked with him about – the war.
Surprising you both, express the impractical wishes you'd had about making a difference, about fighting back. There's nothing you can do; it's a hopeless thought, but it's one proven to be true. Confide your fears in him, because all of a sudden, they've become anvils of weight on your mind and he is the only ear that can listen at this late hour.
And he does listen. He listens very carefully, and when you're done, he asks you, his tone even, if you still want to help the war effort.
Without hesitation, answer yes.
He gulps down his chocolate and beckons for you to do the same; then he takes you upstairs at such a speed, it's not possible to follow where he is going.
Don't ask questions. Just follow him, your heart pounding like a bouncing rubber ball in your chest, and enter into a huge room.
In the room, see the Headmaster, Professor Dumbledore, first. Then, take in the sights of several teachers, adults you don't know, a couple of people from your year even. They are all looking gravely at you and James.
Professor Dumbledore then introduces you to the Order of the Phoenix.
Join that very night, pride and revolutionary fire flying through your veins. This is exactly what you need, exactly what you had hoped for. Thank every person in the room, and agree to come to the meetings at this same time a couple of nights a week.
Upon leaving, thank James. Then, without quite knowing why, allow him to accompany you back to your shared dormitory by holding your hand.
And it all starts there – the hand-holding after the Order meeting, the rational conversation before it, the thrilling, shared secret of rebellion. But, it doesn't take long for everything to tumble wildly out of control from that point on.
Like when you've rowed, find an unexpected amount of difficulty when it comes to controlling yourself around James.
Discover an invasion of butterflies in your twisted stomach when he enters the room. Sweat in places you're not used to sweating in. Stutter when you speak. Think about him often.
Apprehend that you now refer to him as James, and not Potter.
Then wonder why the hell you do any of this.
It's not right, or rational by any means. Know that, but always forget it when he's around. Lose all rights of power over yourself, and become conscious of an awakening deep within your belly.
Something's got to give. Something has always had to give when it comes to him. But never did you dream it would have to be you that gave in.
The feisty warrior princess of years past has ultimately lost a well-fought battle. The rapidly-increasing foot games, the electrifying looks you've begun to share, the intimate confessions about yourself you've started to reveal to him…they all point to the same thing:
Or, more specifically, he's won you.
One night, then, when spring is just around the corner, after a particularly rousing Order meeting, stop him outside the door when everyone has left.
Murmur something. Something about needing a word, or a moment, or maybe even a lifetime with him. Something about feeling compelled to admit weakness, admit defeat. Something about confusion, about not really knowing what to do with this abnormal relationship anymore. Feel your courage dissipate under the confused look he gives you.
You're making no sense, so do the only thing you can think to do to make him understand how you're feeling – press him securely against the hard stone wall, and capture his lips in your own.
Instantly, he kisses you back with the pent-up emotion you never thought he had, kisses you as though he's sucking life itself from within your depths. In a flash, you are the one against the wall; pull him into you and blissfully let him take what's always really been his.
It's release, when you think about it; release for all the mad things that have been happening to you for weeks and weeks. Release of the tension, the friction, the passion, the emotion trapped inside both of you for so many years.
Release for all the pettiness through the years, but for all the muddled love, too.
Get back to the dormitory, by some means, and sink into his bed, with his mouth still fused to yours. Knot your fingers in the hair you always kind of liked, and listen to him with submissiveness as he moans into your lips, his breath against your goose-bumped skin, how much he's wanted this – how much he's wanted you.
Believe him for the very first time when he tells you he loves you, and feel him believe you as well when you admit the same thing with a sort of wondrousness.
Recognize that you're not crazy after all – you're just in love. And as nutty as it is, he's the most beautiful thing that's ever happened to you.
There may be a war going on, there may be homework left to finish, there may be a million things you still want to do, but for now, none of it matters. He has made you what you are – a hot-blooded, hot-tempered girl who knows how to fight with a vengeance – and like you've needed your friends, grasp only now that you need him, too.
So, wrench your mouths apart, and as only new lovers can do, permit him to hastily undress you, while you free him of his own clothes in return. Shake with all of the turbulent, stimulating emotions flowing through you with alarming speed, but enjoy the feeling – you always have.
Lay your cheek against his bare, muscular chest, feeling like you can submerge yourself all the way into him. Feel him restlessly kiss the top of your head, and then your forehead, your eyelids, your nose, your cheeks, and your mouth again. Collapse your weight onto him as he blissfully accepts you – skin to skin, body to body, soul to soul.
Prolong every single movement; like you've learned to do with so much else, make every second count.
Let yourself look honestly into his eyes and lose yourself in all the stark, razor-sharp clarity and magnificence you see. Forget that you used to think you hated him and thought yourself too intelligent to fall for him; for you've already given yourself to him, mind and spirit, without realizing it, and he's just been waiting all this time to pour a little of himself back into you.
With an air of surrender, let him explore the dips and valleys of your slender frame, touching you in all the right places in all the right ways, making you emit moans you never thought you would ever make.
Let him ravage your neck with passion that makes your spine tingle, your being quiver. Let him say your name, over and over, like a mantra into the crevices of your throat. Let him push into you, and be with you in a way no one else has ever been before.
Let him rob you of breath, deprive you of oxygen, drive thoughts of anyone or anything else away from you, and fill you only with him. Let him bore his deeply hazel eyes into yours, an intense earnestness in them that sees all the way through you, as though you're transparent.
In short, just let him love you with the heart he's been saving you for all along.
And don't forget to shyly, finally, do the same.