A/N: I own nothing at all. Just playing around.

Warning: A bit smutty & absolutely AU.

The pain was bearable, but with little effort it seemed to wash over her, bringing tears to her eyes, tension to her shoulders and a sneer to her lips. A small sound escaped her lips and he turned. One look at his face revealed she had acheived the desired effect. He was beside her then, concern etched in his face, his lips pressed tightly together so that they disappeared between his teeth. His eyes had lost their hollow look and appeared full of worry, fear and...something unknown. She could only hope it was not suspicion.

"Lily, are you okay?" he asked, his voice barely controlled. She silently noted his use of her first name, instead of the usual Evans, and nodded, biting her lip against the pain from her ankle.

"I'll take you back to the castle," he said softly. She expected his help in standing and limping back to Hogwart's, but instead, he threaded his thin arms under her knees and around her back, lifting her with some ease. Her surprise must have been evident, as she felt him tense up and he said, "Did I hurt you?"

The chuckle came from deep inside her and she relaxed against him. "No," she whispered to him. This could not have gone better. She wrapped her arms around him and snuggled against him. It was definitely snuggling, she thought obliquely and she chuckled against his robes as she noted the slow tightening of his arms. For a brief instant, she desperately wished she could read his thoughts.

He had not yet begun to walk and she wondered if he was having trouble with her weight. As she pondered on a charm to lighten her, he let out a strangled sound. As if she had been pressing on his neck and suddenly he could breathe again. This image popped into her head, bringing a fleeting smile to her lips. He did not speak, instead kissed the top of her head and seemed to be whispering or breathing heavily against her hair.

Her smile remained as she stroked his neck with her fingers, feeling odd hanging from him, yet comfortable, too. She considered being bold, making the first move and kissing him. Too soon, she thought.

"Too soon?" he asked quietly.

She started. Had she spoken it aloud? That wasn't good. She needed to control the situation. It would do no good to start speaking all her thoughts to this person. She decided to play dumb. "No, this feels nice. My ankle doesn't hurt at all." She was glad he could not see her smile. He would have thought her wicked.

"Right," he grumbled and began walking, slowly but carefully, through the woods toward the school.

Lily rested against his chest and upon seeing the great doors of Hogwart's, her eyes drifted shut and she had a familiar dream.

"Do you, James Potter, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forth?"

All she could see was his eyes, beneath his glasses. They were an average color, neither too light or too dark. It was not the color that struck her. It was the love and adoration beaming from his eyes. She could practically feel the love emanating off him in waves timed to his breathing. She barely heard him when he said, "I do."

She looks down and watches as they exchange rings, this Muggle custom he is so unfamiliar with. They would be joined in a wizard ceremony in a week, she knew, but she did not know how she knew. The Potter she knew was an immature git. Yet, here, in the pale sunshine of sunrise, she felt so much love for James, it was painful. She couldn't understand it.

And this is the part that always brings Lily the realization that she is having a prophetic dream.

"You may kiss the bride!" And James' lips were pressed to hers and he was dipping her dramatically. The big difference between other dreams was that she could feel him...his arms holding her securely, yet gently, and his lips, coaxing hers with his tongue, pressing to her lips until she let him in. This was not a normal dream.

She has dreamed of this wedding hundreds of time now. It is always the same and she never realizes it at first. After consulting her books, she determined the prophetic dreams would increase as the event got nearer. If this was any indication, it was quite close.

She awoke in the morning, in the infirmary, alone. She had slept well and stretched slowly, realizing her ankle was not even sore.

She closed her eyes and considered the dream, for what must have been the four hundredth time. So she was to marry James Potter. Part of her understood it. He was cute, of course, but had an ego and a serious mischievious streak. She tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, the dreams basically spelled out she was going to marry the idiot. But over and over, he disappointed her. He always did what was fun, not what was right. And he could be quite snobby when he was so inclined.

And of course, this brought her back to Severus. Her best friend. She had met him before the first wedding dream. She often wondered if her decision to marry Severus at the age of 11 was the reason she had dreamed of the wedding to James. The first time she had the dream, she certainly had believed so. The thought of already knowing who her betrothed was made her all the more drawn to Severus. She could not imagine him with another woman. She felt ashamed to admit it, but she figured she had probably ruined him for other women. As his best friend, she was the closest person in his world...ever. And the fact that she was female only meant no other girl would be able to get as close as she had. And it was a double-edged sword, because she also knew they would not end up together. It broke her heart.

In all the time she had known him, her only wish was to see him truly happy. Long ago, when the tension between them was not yet palpable, he had admitted to her he wanted, above all else, a powerful, respectable job and a woman who loves him as much as he loves her. This had seemed quite odd coming from a 12 year old, but Lily had come to accept the random seriousness Severus could sometimes come up with. They were her most precious possessions, Severus' secrets.

She snapped from her thoughts when she heard a familiar voice. She turned and sure enough, Severus had appeared with the healer. His eyes widened when he met her own. She saw the mask of cool detachment slip into place.

"Lily," the healer said, "I have one last treatment and then you can go." Lily nodded. "I will be right back. Severus, please stay here." And the witch hurried away.

Lily found her eyes on Severus and smiled weakly at him. She was frustrated by his need to hide his feelings from her. She had a devious thought of grabbing him and sticking her tongue in his mouth. Shivers went down her spine.

"Cold?" he asked, his soothing voice steady and cool. She shook her head and flung off her blanket. She was suddenly very warm.

"Lily, I..." he began, but he stopped when he saw the healer entering the room.

Lily continued to stare at him and he did not look away. Instead, she said, "Meet me tonight. The usual spot. Say 9?" He nodded and exited quickly, ignoring the healer's attempts to stop him.

The first person she came across upon release from the infirmary was the one person she was not prepared to see. His black hair was tousled expertly, of course and his slightly askew tie made him seem casual and impish. She refused to let herself look into his eyes and so looked at his hands, the wall, her shoes...anything but his eyes.

"Evans, do you need help? Are you okay?" He was by her side in an instant, his hand loosely on her elbow. She did feel safer like this, but she gently pushed him away.

"No, Potter, I can manage." She continued walking, but he seemed to be following her.

"Evans, really, I mean, if I can help you, why not just accept it?" This time, he had grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back against him, clutching her lovingly, his face so close to her neck. She couldn't believe he had the nerve.

"Potter! Enough!" she screeched and pulled away. He let go reluctantly, but she couldn't help but notice: he had let her go. She ran back to the dormitory and headed straight for the girls' showers.

That evening, she arrived at the owlery five minutes to nine and he was already there. That small gesture, which meant so much more, brought a smile to her face. She wondered just how long he had been there before her.

He just looked at her. No smile, no frown. Blank. She can't help but be frustrated by it. But there is no way for him to know that time is short. That before either of them knew it, she would be Mrs Potter.

A thought flickered through her brain, completely unbidden. Maybe she should tell him about her prophetic dream.

It was a fantasy, of course. He would not believe her, or if he did, he would be so upset, he would not be able to be around her anymore. She wasn't ready for that.

They climbed to the roof of the adjacent building, using the openings of the owlery to boost themselves to their usual spot. It was hidden and private. It was much like their relationship. Sheesh, she thought, I am so silly. She tried to collect her thoughts as he sat in the middle of the flat spot of the roof. He silently beckoned her over and suddenly light-headed, she settled on his lap, resting her head against his chest and savoring the feeling of his arms wrapping around her. It was not warm outside, so she unbuttoned his outer cloak and robe until she got to his school shirt and green and silver tie. She rubbed her hands on his chest for a second, daring a quick glance at his face, which was relaxed, so that his lips were slightly parted and his eyes were barely open. She rested her head on his chest, two layers of cotton separating her from his skin and just the thought made her shiver. He pulled his clothes over her, tightening his hold on her, rubbing her with his hands to warm her.

It was sweet. So sweet, she could not believe he was letting her be so bold. He had not stopped any of her advances. Now she was cocooned inside his robes and she could hear his heartbeat. Nothing could be better or more right at that moment. She never wanted to move.

But she did, wrapping her arms around him under his robes and pressing her face tightly to his chest. She was determined to experience as much of him as she could before she had to give him up. And he didn't seem to mind. They were not speaking and he simply had his arms around her, rubbing her back lightly through the many layers.

She rubbed his lower back gently before abruptly yanking his shirt from his pants. Before he could protest, if he was going to, she slid her hands under the shirt and his undershirt and stroked his skin. He was warm and soft, yet firm. She could feel strength in his back and it reminded her of the fact that they are no longer children...for the first time, it really sinks in that they will never be together in the way she wants. Or he wants, she reminds herself.

And as painful as she knows it will be, she cannot help but push it further. How do you stop when your so interwoven with another person? She felt utter despair, but then she realized that she had to make the time they had happy. If not for her, then for him. He would lose almost as much as she would.

They sat there, in silence, trying to figure out what came next. Finally, she spoke and pulled back. She was slightly embarrassed when she realized she was damp with sweat. It had been warmer than she realized under his robe. Her sweater was sticking to her, so she removed it and looked up at him. "I'm sorry about the...uh..." she gestured to his damp shirt, now pulled from his belt and hanging loose. He shrugged, his arms now lightly resting on her hips. She couldn't help but smile at him. She felt exposed with her damp white shirt, her hair sticking to her neck and a slight sheen of sweat on her brow.

"Well, I am sorry. Let me help you take off your robes." He shook his head and just shrugged them off, returning his hands immediately to her when he was done. She laughed and for the first time in what felt like a lifetime, he smiled at her. And suddenly, it all rushed over her at once. Her love for him, her pain at the loss of him, which had not even yet happened, her fear that he would be devastated over the loss of her. A tear sprang to her eye, but she breathed deeply and it did not fall. She reached out, touched his face and said, softly, "Should we talk about this?"

He turned sharply, but did not let her go. She saw this as a positive thing.

"Sev, I want you to be happy." Still looking straight at me, he replied, "I am."

And he looked it. The calm, the rosy cheeks, he looked at peace. It did her heart good to see it, but the pain returned when she realized it wouldn't last. She also knew he would never make a move on her. He would let her do what she was comfortable with and be happy with whatever she decided.

And so she kissed him. It was almost bittersweet, as his lips sent shivers down her spine and goosebumps over her arms. She squirmed at the warm ache she felt deep inside and leaned toward him to deepen the kiss as she knew she must. His arms went around her and though he was inexperienced and plainly nervous, his kisses excited her in ways she did not realize existed. She desperately wanted to touch his skin. When her hand touched his neck and caressed the skin there, he sort of groaned against her lips and she realized suddenly that sitting in his lap made his attraction to her very, uh, plain.

She smiled against his lips, ending the kiss. She turned, straddled him and pressed herself against him in a warm hug. His arms tightened around her and he buried his face against her neck.

She heard him whispering, but couldn't seem to catch what he was saying. She pulled back and brought his face right in front of hers. "What did you say?" she whispered, resisting the urge to bring her lips to his and instead kissed the tip of his nose.

He blushed at the gesture and whispered back, "I love you Lily. I am sorry if this ruins our friendship, but I cannot help it anymore. I love you."

Even as she kissed him, her heart broke. She badly wanted to absorb him, to comfort him, to force comfort into him with her caresses and kisses. Instead, she poured her feelings into the kiss, her hands roaming over him, memorizing his every limb and digit. He seemed to be following her lead and when his hands finally found her bare skin, she moaned softly against his mouth. She could feel his arousal throbbing and knew they were nearing the point of no return.

She carefully pushed him flat and moved to lay above him, reconnecting the kiss they seemed to be stuck in. As she rolled to his side, she felt tears again threatening to fall. She couldn't believe this was how it had to be. Why couldn't she change the future? And it dawned on her, how she might be able to.

From her side position, she fumbled with the buttons on his shirt, her breathing quick and shallow. She needed him. She needed him to change what was meant to be. She knew this would do it.

He turned a bit and started with her buttons, until both were shirtless, goosebumps all over both of their arms at the chill air of the night. She could not resist the urge to press her naked stomach against his skin. It felt like a missing piece had been fitted to her. She kissed him again and his hands went around her, touching her bare skin as she pushed her tongue into his mouth. She reached back and easily undid her bra, tossing it aside without a thought. He pulled away and pushed her shoulder back until she was on her back. He moved over her and she let him settle between her legs. Again, she fought her compulsion, this time to wrap her legs around his hips.

He seemed to be mesmerized by her breasts. His hand reached out so tentatively she gasped when he finally touched her. Before he could pull his hand away, she grabbed it and held it against her. He understood and began to lightly squeeze and caress the soft flesh of her breasts. Over and over, her breath caught in her throat as she savored the feeling of his hands on her and the expression in his eyes of wonder and surprise. She couldn't help but smile.

"Do you approve?" she asked slyly. He looked her in the eyes and a sly smile broke his face. Her heart skipped a beat.

"Oh yes," he said, filling his hands with her and bringing his lips to hers. Having him above her and between her legs was ruining her control. Her instinct was to pull him to her and just hold to him until they both expired from lack of water or food. She mustered her courage and reached for his belt.

He pulled back and their eyes met. He looked very serious.

"Lily..." he said softly, his voice stronger than before. "What are you doing?"

She smiled mischieviously and whispered, "Do you not approve, Severus?" She had attempted to mock his speech pattern, but she could not help but feel more Slytherin than she would have liked. He narrowed his eyes but brought his lips back to hers. She knew: he had finally given in.

From there, it had been easy to rid themselves of their clothing, mindlessly tossing it to the side as their hands moved and their lips found new spots to kiss. She was beside herself with anticipation. This was it. They would do it. He would be her first and vice versa. He had said those three words and by consummating this, she felt sure she could change the future.

--

After many moments, he pushed from her embrace and sat beside her. He did not seem comfortable with his nudity and began dressing slowly. She grabbed his hand.

"Can we sleep here?" she asked him, desperate for him to stay with her. To ensure she had changed the future.

He looked at her for a long moment, considering, she supposed. Finally, he nodded. As they settled on his robes, she realized what a giant thing they had done. Unanswered questions flew through her mind. Who would she marry now? Would she become pregnant from this? Was it enough? Desperation washed over her.

And then he was beside her, his arms looping around her, his eyes soft and...happy. She couldn't help herself. "Are you happy, Sev?"

He smiled and her heart ached again. "I am." Tears threatened and this time, she could not hold them back. He frowned. "Are you unhappy?"

At this she laughed. He had so rarely seen her cry, he must think she was regretting it. "Not at all. Never heard of tears of joy, huh?" At this he laughed. The tears came harder and they laughed together, his lips pressing against her tear tracks.

"Thank you," he whispered and she let her eyes close.

"Do you, James Potter, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forth?"

All she could see was his eyes, beneath his glasses. They were an average color, neither too light or too dark. It was not the color that struck her. It was the love and adoration beaming from his eyes. She could practically feel the love emanating off him in waves timed to his breathing. She barely heard him when he said, "I do."

She looks down and watches as they exchange rings, this Muggle custom he is so unfamiliar with. They would be joined in a wizard ceremony in a week, she knew, but she did not know how she knew. The Potter she knew was an immature git. Yet, here, in the pale sunshine of sunrise, she felt so much love for James, it was painful. She couldn't understand it.

And this is the part that always brings Lily the realization that she is having a prophetic dream. This time when she feels James' lips on hers and his arms around her, she cries.