It was very early in her seventh year when Lily Evan realized that she may actually like her ex-nemesis, James Potter. She'd seen him and Sirius over the summer, though they hadn't seen her, and since then, she couldn't help but think about him. she didn't even know why he occupied her mind, but every time her thoughts started to drift, they drifted to the same place: a memory of her seeing James and Sirius in a park near her own home. She'd never seen James and Sirius doing anything but attempting to impress people, so she was surprised at first to see the two of them relaxed, happy, and polite to ever person they came into contact with. She regretted walking up behind them so late in their conversation, because as she walked up to them, she'd heard them say her name for the last time in their conversation.
"Don't be thick, Pads. There is no other girl, no other 'fish in the sea' as you say. There's just Lily. And I know, if I could get one chance with her, one date, I could at least be happy knowing she'd given me a chance."
James word still rang in her ears every time she thought about him, and now that he'd really stopped being such an arrogant toerag, she was seriously considering giving him that chance and seeing if he didn't blow it.
It was later that night when Lily was sitting in the common room, mostly everybody else in bed. The warm air blew in from the window and made Lily wish she could be outside. She was just starting to feel the effect of the passing hours when who was to come down the stairs, but James.
"Out of bed, are we?" Lily asked, not using the attacking tone that usually struck her voice around him.
"It seems that we are." He said playfully.
"I'm not sneaking out." Lily retorted.
"Nor am I… Tonight at least." James said. Lily laughed a little. "Lily," he started, getting her attention. "I haven't had the chance to ask you this in a while, so I was wondering, will you go out with me?" he said casually. 'No' had become the obvious and expected answer, so James was only half expecting hearing the word she'd yelled at him so many time as he sat, the other half expectance was that he'd get no answer at all, and they'd assume Lily had said no. Lily sighed.
"Fine, James." He looked at her, dumbstruck. "You've asked me thousands of times, so there. You have your chance." She said tiredly.
"Are… are you serious?!" James said, the little grogginess in his voice completely vanishing.
"Sadly, James, yes." Lily said jokingly. "Tomorrow night, plan something." She said with a little smile. James grinned.
"I will!" he said. Lily made her way up the stairs to the girls' dormitory. "I'll see you tomorrow." James said love struck as she turned the corner of the spiraling staircase. Lily laughed at his giddiness as she made her way to bed.
When she awoke surprisingly early the next morning, she went down the stairs and saw James, asleep in the chair he had been in last night.
"Morning." She whispered in his ear. He awoke abruptly.
"Lily! I- hi- I mean, good morning." James stuttered as footsteps came down the bys staircase.
"I hope you didn't stay awake all night; you may be too tired for our date tonight." Lily joked.
"Woah!" Sirius said as he walked into the room. "Did I just hear what I thought I just heard or did my ears deceive me?!" James and Lily laughed.
"I didn't hear a thing…" Lily said teasingly.
"Why, Paddles, what did you hear?" James said.
"Are you guys serious?! No… that's me… but forget that! Tell me!" Sirius demanded. Lily and James laughed again.
"Fine, Sirius," Lily said. "I admit it, it's true. James and I are going on a date tonight." Lily said.
"Tonight?!" Sirius asked. "Well, I hope there aren't any problems…" He said. Lily and James looked at each other, very confused. They silently decided not to question the inner workings of Sirius' mind, and let his statement rest.
They anxiously got through their classes, James more excited then Lily, and finally, they met back in the common room at about six.
"So… where are we off to?" Lily asked.
"It's a surprise." James said with a hinting smile. Lily took his arm and together they walked together out of the common room and into the hall. "I assume you'll want something to eat first." James said.
"We're going to the great hall?" Lily asked skeptically.
"Not exactly…" James said. He took her down a long hallway up to a portrait of a bowl of fruit.
"This is what you meant by something to eat?" Lily asked.
"Tickle the pear." James whispered. Lily was confused, but regardless, she stuck her hand out and ticked the pear in the portrait. Lily gasped as it wiggled and sprouted a doorknob. James smiled and opened the door. Lily stepped in after him and looked around. They were in a huge kitchen occupied by at least a hundred house elves.
James showed an awestricken Lily to the table by the fireplace, where one of the elves greeted them with a bow.
"What can I get for the young master and Mistress today?" he asked. They both ended up asking for roast chicken, and they took their time eating it and talking about the kitchen, the other secret rooms in the castle, and how James and his friends found them.
After their dessert, James led Lily out of the kitchen, where the sky was now dark with night. He pulled a silvery cloak out of one of his large pockets and draped it over them. Lily was confused, but decided to go along with it anyway, huddling under the cloak after James insisted to not let their feet be seen. They walked right past professor Slughorn in the hall, who for some reason didn't seem to notice the silver colored mass that was so obviously a person with an odd sheet over them. Lily was going to ask about it, but James put a finger over his lips, telling her to remain silent. It wasn't to long when they silently agreed that Slughorn was out of earshot.
"Why didn't he stop us?" Lily asked.
"Because," James started, "This, is a cloak of invisibility." Lily gasped.
"No wonder you never had a problem sneaking out!" Lily exclaimed.
"Shh! We're invisible, not unhearable." James whispered. They walked in silence for the rest of the trip up one of the tallest towers to the astronomy balcony. Once they were out in the fresh air, James pulled the cloak off of them.
"What are we doing up here?" Lily asked. James didn't answer, instead he just smiled at her. He pulled out his wand and pointed it across the balcony at what Lily soon realized was a harp.
"Ego Musicum" James quietly enchanted. The harp began to play slow, beautiful music. James took Lily's and, and they started to dance. They waltzed around the room for a few silent minutes, Lily noticing that James was actually a fine dancer. Lily thought it was the most romantic thing in the world, sneaking out after curfew and dancing under the stars and the full moon. Their dancing slowed to a stop and they both started to slowly lean closer to each other. Their lips were only seconds away from kissing when something howled in the distance. James turned his head towards it abruptly.
"Did you hear that?" he asked Lily as he went over to the railing of the balcony and looked out into the forest.
"James? What are you doing?" Lily asked him. The howling filled the air again. James glanced behind him at the moon and swore under his breath.
"Lily," he started as he walked over to her and grabbed her hands in his, "I'm so sorry, but I have to go." Lily pulled her hands out from is and looked offended.
"What do you mean?" Lily asked him with an upset look.
"Lily, I'm sorry, but I have to leave." He pulled the invisibility cloak out of his pocket. "Take this. Don't get seen on the way back to the common room.
"You aren't even coming with me?!" Lily demanded.
"Lily, I can't, I'm sorry. I really am." James said before sprinting through the door and down the stairs. Lily tried to follow him, but by the time she'd gotten down the steps after him, he was gone.
She pulled the invisibility cloak over herself and went back to Gryffindor tower. She felt bad about awakening the fat lady so late at night, and apologized to her numerous times before climbing through the hole in the wall. She first decided to wait up for James to come back in, but after an hour or so she gave up and went to bed.
James and his friends slept in the next day, much to Lily's disappointment; she wanted to yell at him for ditching her last night. At about noon, a new all time late, even for the marauders, James, Sirius, and Peter wandered down the staircase and started to make their way over to the portrait hole.
"Just where do you three think you're going?" Lily asked spitefully.
"Nowhere." Sirius said. James elbowed him.
"Don't lie." He said. Lily somewhat appreciated this, but it didn't stop her from being angry with them. "We're going to see Moony."
"Isn't he still upstairs?" Lily asked cynically.
"No… he's in the hospital wing." James said as though he was admitting to have committed a horrible crime. The three of them left before Lily could re-gather her shattered thoughts. She was so confused. She wasn't sure if she wanted to pity James or not, but found herself doing so against her will. She wanted to follow them to the hospital wing, but what would they think of her if she followed them. Why did she care what they thought of her.
She sat for a moment with her head in her hands before decided that she'd go after them, under the invisibility cloak. She went up to her room and grabbed James' cloak, then sprinted out the door and up towards the hospital wing.
Once she was pretty close and was sure nobody was watching, she pulled the cloak over herself and hoped it worked on it own. She walked up to the door of the hospital wing and saw James, Sirius and Peter all around the bed Remus was in.
"And then Prongs comes out of nowhere and tosses you off to the side!" Sirius said to Remus as though finishing an epic story.
"Yeah… sorry about that… it may be the cause of your back pain…" James said, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
"I wouldn't undo it if I could." Remus said. "Padfoot's alive and I'm well enough, great turn out really." He said with a smile.
"Besides, once madam Pomfrey gets back with her wand, he won't even notice that you fractured a few of his ribs again." Sirius said jokingly. Just at that moment, Madam Pomfrey came into the room so hurried; Lily barely had time to move her invisible self out of the way.
"I don't understand what you bits do to get you hurt like this." Madam Pomfrey complained. "And Black, if I have to tell you to stay off that leg one more time…" she threatened. Sirius sat on the bed next to Remus'
"It's just a scratch." Sirius said indifferently.
"Well I don't know what's been scratching you, but that my boy, is more of a gash." She said.
"Ah, the beauty of Dumbledore refusing to let you question us." Sirius started. "I wish everything else we did came with that sort of protection." James rolled his eyes. Lily wondered why Dumbledore would stop them from releasing information to other staff members. Madam Pomfrey healed Remus' bones and Sirius' gash quickly and easily, and the boys started to leave.
"See you in a month." Sirius said jokingly as they walked through the door. Lily quietly followed them down the hall.
"So how'd I get out?" Remus asked.
"Oh, I don't know. You always find one way or another out." Sirius said. "So, James, how was your date?"
"Ended at convenient time." Remus said seriously. "If you stayed out any later, Sirius might he a dead puppy right about now."
"Well," James started, "It was convenient for Sirius at least."
"What happened with Lily?" Peter asked eagerly.
"I kinda gave her the invisibility cloak and ran." James admitted.
"What?!" they all asked in unison.
"What's wrong with you?!" Sirius continued. "This is Lily! Love of your life, Lily. How could you run out on her?!"
"I heard Moony in the forest. Closer to the school than was healthy if you ask me." James said.
"But Lily…" Sirius tried to argue.
"Sirius, you just came this close to dieing at Remus' hand" he said, holding his fingers very close together. "I wish I could be in two places at once, but sadly, I can't. I have no regrets saving your life. Hopefully, Lily will get over it." He said, less confidently in his last sentence.
"I have." She said from behind them. They all turned around and saw nothing.
"I thought…" Remus started.
"I just heard…" Peter continued.
"Lily." Sirius ended as James took a step forward and grabbed blindly right in front of him, luckily grabbing the cloak in his hand and pulling it off her. She looked ashamed, but James smiled.
"Hi." He said plainly.
"Hi." She mumbled back at him, continuing to stare at her feet.
"Forgive me?" he asked her. She looked up at him and smiled.
"Already have." She said. James put his arms around her and she returned the favor. A second later, though neither of them knew how, they were kissing.
"Wait," Peter asked. "Does she know that Moony is a werewolf, then?" Remus slapped his hand to his forehead and Sirius put a hand on peter back.
"She does now…" he said jokingly.