Lily Evans, a seventh year student at Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry, was sitting in the Gryffindor common room, completely alone. She'd been planning this moment all summer, and now she was finally going to take it into action. All she had to do was find something to blackmail James Potter with, and he would leave her alone. So, while all her fellow students were at the Halloween feast, which she had pretended to be too sick to go to, she was going to sneak into his and his friend's bedroom and find anything worthwhile. She slowly snuck up the boys staircase, into the topmost room, which housed the seventh year Gryffindor boys, and immidiatly started to tear through his things, yet she did it so delicately that it seemed like nothing had been disturbed. There was nothing in his trunk or under his bed, so she started to search in other place, and through his friend's stuff.
She would not have been proud of herself for what she was doing, but she needed something, anything to get James Potter off her back, and she'd tried every reasonable way at least four times already. So she continued with her last resort and started looking in their drawers. There was nothing but a heap of dirty clothes in there, so she moved on to the one large dresser in the room. She opened it, and to her surprise, there was something in there that would most likely help her. James Pottter, had a pensieve. She stood there thinking for a moment as she looked down at the stone cauldron, looking through another person's stuff was one thing, but their memories, she knew that was wrong. She started at it for a while, but what finally came over her battle of good and bad, was her curiosity. What would James Potter keep in a pensieve? So she finally decided to just take a look, and only consider even mentioning it to him.
She leaned forward into the blue swimming memories, and was sucked in the second it touched her nose.
She looked around. She was in the great hall near James and Sirius, who were shoveling food into their mouths. She saw them both look over at Peter, who was sitting alone at the end of the table, barely touching his food. She expected them to start plotting something mean to do to him, not knowing that they would soon be friends, but they didn't say a word to each other, James just said something aloud.
"Oi, Pettigrew." He said loudly. Peter looked up quickly and afraid. "Your name's Pettigrew, right?" he asked. Peter nodded his head quickly. "Come sit with us, we've got an empty seat over here." A smile stretched across Peter's plump face as she quickly stood up and power walked over to them. Sirius patted him on the back as he sat down, and James passed him the turkey.
Lily was unexplainably surprised. She'd never seen James perform a random act of kindness, especially not to someone who was so obviously inferior to him. but she had very little time to think about it, because she was soon sucked into the next memory. She was in the boy's dormitory, which looked like it had been attacked by something fierce. But what was more important were the four boys all sitting on one bed. Remus' face was hidden in his hands as he cried, and James had an arm around his shoulder.
"It's okay, Rems." James was saying. "It's not that bad, we can fix up the room quick." Lily had never heard James speaking in this tone. It sounded so helpful, accepting, and comforting.
"It's not okay!" Remus protested. "I'm a werewolf! I'm a danger to you guys; I'm a danger to everyone and nothing anyone ever does will change that! I'm just sorry I didn't tell you, at least then you would've known to stay away, to not even try to make friends with me…" he went back to crying into his hands. Lily wanted to help him, but she was in a memory, there was nothing she could do. "I knew I would never be able to have friends…" he said.
"You think that this'll stop us from being friends?!" Sirius said. "You're going to have to try a lot harder to get rid of us!" he said. A tiny smile appeared on Remus' face.
"Yeah," James agreed confidently, "We'll find a way around your furry little problem." He assured him. "We'll do whatever it takes."
"Thanks, guys" Remus said with a sniff. Lily was touched. James and Sirius, helping someone with a problem. It was unbelievable. She was suddenly pulled into another memory, this one of him sitting alone under a tree in the middle of the night, holding a rose. He was at least a couple years older now, and this time, he was crying. A big, black dog walked up to the tree and sat next to him. He tried to wipe away the tears, but he wasn't at all trying to hide the fact he was crying.
"Hey, Padfoot." James said woefully. The dog turned into Sirius and Lily gasped, though nobody could hear her.
"You okay, Prongs?" Sirius asked. James just looked back down at the rose. "Valentine's Day tough again, huh?" he said. James sighed.
"I don't get why… why she can't just give me a chance." James said, and Lily knew that they were talking about her.
"One day, mate. One day." Sirius said, wrapping an arm around his friend's shoulder. Lily was on the verge of tears when the scene changed again, they were no older than in the last memory.
"You guys aren't coming to the shrieking shack with me!" Remus was saying to his friends. "I'm serious!"
"No," James started, "He's Sirius, and we've been working so long for this! You wont be a threat to us as animals, it's fine."
"No!" Remus yelled. "I won't let you all get hurt! This isn't a joke."
"We aren't joking." Sirius said calmly. "We've been practicing to become animagi for years, and tonight, we're going with you, whether you like it or not."
"Yeah." James chimed in. "You hurt yourself when you're out there alone, Moony. Don't think we haven't seen the scratches."
"We want to help." Sirius said.
"Yeah." Peter agreed.
"We're going with you." James said finally, and Remus sighed in defeat.
The scene faded and the next one came up. James was sitting at home by a Christmas tree, much older than last time. The rain fell outside the window as he sat in peace, reading a book about famous witches and wizards. The doorbell rang and James put his book down.
"I got it." He said. He opened the door, and saw Sirius, soaked to the bone and freezing with a trunk trailing behind him. "Sirius!" James said both surprised and scared. It was the first time since their second year that Lily had heard James call Sirius by his name and not Padfoot. Sirius looked up at him, his eyes sad and cold. James ushered him in immediately and sat him by the fire. He sprinted up the staircase and came back with a heap of dry clothes.
"James, I-" Sirius started.
"Get dressed," he interrupted handing him the clothes. "We can talk in a minute." Sirius disappeared in the bathroom and came back out a minute later in James' dry clothes.
"I ran away from home." Sirius said as James helped him make his way back over to the fire. "I walked all the way here… It took three days." He said. James chuckled with pity.
"You're crazy…" he said.
"I pride myself on it." Sirius said with a weak smile. James smiled back.
"One sec." he said. He stood up and went into the kitchen, where his mother was. Lily heard him tell her Sirius had run away, and ask if he could stay, just for Christmas.
"James, don't be silly!" she said as she bound into the living room. "There is no way I would even consider kicking Sirius out of my house, especially, not in his time on need." She said, as if scolding her son for asking a foolish question. "You stay here as long as you like." She said softly to Sirius. "Weather that be an hour, or the rest of your life."
"Thank you, Mrs. Potter." Sirius said graciously.
"And enough with the Mrs. Potter." She said. "As long as you live here, you're going to have to call me Dorea." Sirius and James laughed as Mrs. Potter made her way back to the kitchen.
"Well, I guess it worked out, I always wanted a pet dog." James joked as he sat down next to Sirius.
"Yeah, and I always wanted an idiot owner, so we're perfect" Sirius said. They laughed again, but before the memory could change into yet another one, Lily felt someone yank on her shoulder quite roughly. She was pulled out of the memories and back into the boys' dormitory.
"What do you think you're doing?" James asked with a hint of contempt in his voice.
"I was- just- I was… curious." She said finally.
"All my stuff's been gone through. All my friends' stuff has been gone through. You're in my pensieve." He said accusingly. "How long were you in there?" he asked, realizing that he'd been gone for nearly an hour. Lily looked into his eyes, scared to tell him. "What'd you see?" he added, but he didn't get a response. Lily just looked away in shame of herself. "What'd you see?" he asked again, sounding more angry than he did before.
"I thought…" Lily finally said after a long moment of silence. "I thought that you and your friends had it great." James looked down at her with a look on her face that she couldn't have described.
"Yeah, well we aren't all perfect." He admitted.
"You're such a good person." Lily said.
"That's not true." He said.
"It is." She insisted. "You were always there for your friends. When they needed you, you helped them. I never would have guessed, that Sirius ran away, that the first thing you said to Peter was nice, that Remus really was a werewolf."
"You shouldn't know that." James said. But Lily didn't hear it.
"I always thought, that in a pinch, you would leave behind everyone to save your own neck." Lily admitted. James was about to protest when Lily put her arms around his neck. "But now I think you'd risk everything for the people you love." Her face was getting dangerously close to his. "And I want that to include me." She said, now only centimeters away from him. He held her back and closed the gap between their lips in an instant and kissed her passionately, like he'd wanted to since the moment he met her. The world seemed so far away from them at that moment, and they didn't hear Sirius, Remus, and Peter coming up the stairs and into the room to see what was taking their fellow marauder so long to get a chocolate frog. Sirius smirked, Remus smiled, and Peter stared in awe.
"Oi, Prongs, you drop a frog down Evans' through?" Sirius asked loudly. Lily and James separated the second they realized they were no longer alone, and James cursed at Sirius. "You might want to get downstairs before the common room fills up." Sirius said before leaving with Remus and Peter. They knew Sirius was right, and they went down the stairs right after them, and right before the first few people came into the room.