"So when is the next practice going to be?" Sirius asked James. It was just after dinner, James and the other Mauraders were standing just outside the Great Hall talking about the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
"I don't know, maybe Wednesday," James shrugged. "I have head duties with Evans tonight."
"Right," said Sirius. "But we really have to…"
James wasn't sure what else Sirius was saying because he suddenly felt a hand slip into his. He looked to his side, there was nothing there. He knew what that meant, just that morning he had shown Lily his invisibility cloak, he knew he shouldn't have done it but it made it easier for him to see her if they both used the cloak. She was now rubbing small circles in his hand, he could handle this he wasn't about to show her that she was having any effect on him what so ever. Then she stood in front of him, carefully brushing herself up against him while making sure she didn't alert his friends to her presence. She pressed a kiss to his neck and pulled away from him. It was then that he reached out and subtly tugged on her hand so that she couldn't walk away.
"I…I just remembered I have a detention with Filch," said James hurriedly. "I'll be back in a few hours."
He tugged her hand and led her straight to the Head's common room, where he pulled his cloak off her and pushed her up against the wall by her wrists.
"If you wanted my attention all you had to do was say," he chuckled.
"Well I want your attention," said Lily pulling her wrists out of his grasp and wrapping her arms round his neck. "And that was far too easy."
"I could have resisted you know," he said.
"Really?" she asked quirking an eyebrow at him.
"Really," he said seriously even though he knew he couldn't have and he knew she knew it as well.
"Liar," she giggled as she pulled his head down and pressed her lips against his. That was probably what she loved the most about James, he was a great kisser. She would be perfectly content to just stand there and kiss him for hours at a time.
"So was there anything in particular you wanted my attention for?" he asked a few minutes later when he pulled away.
"Hey…" she groaned she was enjoying that.
"Sorry," he said rubbing her cheek with his index finger.
"I just need you to look over the itinery for tonight's prefect meeting," said Lily grudgingly.
"And that has to be done right now?" he asked.
"Well maybe not right this second," she admitted. "But I was bored."
"Oh so I'm just…"
"Amusement," she finished for him. "Yes you are but if you'd rather go back and talk to Sirius about what the Quidditch team 'needs' then be my guest."
"Well I told them I wouldn't be back for a few hours so I might as well have a look at that itinery," he teased.
"It's right over here," said Lily ducking under his arms and walking over to the table in front of the couch, she picked up a sheet of paper and handed it to him.
"It looks fine," he said barely glancing at it. "Come here."
"What for?" she giggled as he pulled her down on the couch by her waist.
"Mmmm this," he said as he pressed a kiss to her neck. "I missed you today."
"You saw me all day," she said. "I was in all your classes."
"But I don't get to kiss you in classes or any other place except here," he grumbled. "Why can't I kiss you in public again?"
"Um…we forgot to tell our friends that we kiss now and it's been going on so long now that it would be awkward," said Lily. She wasn't quite sure how it had happened, they had gone from being enemies, to be friends to making out during rounds. It was all very confusing and they had neglected to tell anyone, but now she liked that it was just between the two of them it made it more special.
"Ah that's right," said James as he smoothed some stray hair out of her face. "So…have you done that potions essay yet I have but…"
Lily cut him off by kissing him, she was in no mood to talk about her potions essay. She didn't seduce him away from his friends to talk about schoolwork or anything else for that matter.
"Oh I see," he said when they got up for air. "I have a brain too you know, I'm not just walking lips.'
"No walking lips would know when to shut up," she said glaring at him.
Life was good, as far as James Potter could tell his life was damn near perfect right now. He was head boy, Quidditch captain, he had amazing friends, his grades were good enough to allow him to train as an Auror and the girl he adored was finally his. Lily. Sometimes he still couldn't actually believe that Lily Evans kissed him, of her own freewill, she even seemed to enjoy it.
Perhaps it would have made more sense to start dating the conventional way, weekends at Hogsmade and all that other stuff but with Lily it had all happened so quickly, during rounds one night they had accidentally gotten locked in a broom closet. At first they had just tried to get out, then they started talking and then they were kissing, the best part about it was that Lily had made the first move. When they became Head students together, he was very aware of their past he didn't want to jeopardize their friendship. But now it was different, he had never been this way about a girl before. He truly did worship her, not only was she beautiful but she was sweet, caring, funny and smarter than he would ever be. The only problem is his life in that moment was that he couldn't share this with his mates, they had no idea what was going on between him and Lily they knew everything about him except that. He didn't even know how she felt about him, they never sat down and had a serious conversation about their relationship they had witty banter about it and flirted. Did she love him the way he loved her?
"Penny for 'em?" said Lily. James was sitting on the sofa in the Heads common room, deep in thought he hadn't even noticed her coming into the common room.
"You okay?" she asked dumping her bag on the floor.
"Just thinking," he shrugged.
"Anything you want to talk about?" she asked. It wasn't like James to sit quietly in an empty room, and it really wasn't like him not to notice her when she walked into a room.
"Just thinking about you," he said pulling her onto his lap.
"Me? What did I do?"
"You didn't do anything," he said. They never fought anymore. "I was just thinking about what happened yesterday."
"What happened yesterday?" asked Lily. They had had rounds together, that was the only time they had spent with each other yesterday and it had been pretty uneventful. "I thought rounds were pretty fun yesterday."
"I'm not talking about rounds, I was thinking about yesterday afternoon in the courtyard…"
"Ah you saw that," said Lily guiltily. She sighed and rested her head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry about that."
"Barry Gordon asked you out, to Hogsmade next week," he said.
"I told him I wasn't interested," said Lily cuddling into him. She hated seeing James upset, especially because she was the cause, he was such a good man he didn't deserve to be hurting.
"I know," he said stroking her hair. "But there was no reason for him not to ask you out, if he liked you and you liked him."
"What?" asked Lily. Where was this coming from? Why would she want to go out with Barry Gordon when she was mad about James?
"I mean technically you are single and so is he," said James. He had been sitting there thinking and thinking it over, and he still couldn't work it what any of it meant. He had no idea how Lily felt about it him, maybe he was just someone she was having fun with until someone better came along, she had rejected him for years, he wasn't good enough for her back then why would he be now?
"So maybe I should have said yes then?" asked Lily on the verge of tears but she was too proud to let James see that, so she got up off his lap and walked over to look out of the window. She didn't understand why he would say these things, she didn't want to date anyone else, she just wanted to keep seeing him, she wanted to keep learning new things about him. She loved him and couldn't even imagine dating someone else, someone else couldn't make her feel the way he did, they wouldn't laugh at the same stupid things she did, they wouldn't kiss her the way he did and they wouldn't look at her the same way James did.
"If you want to," he said bluntly. "There is no reason why you shouldn't go out with him, I'm sure he's an alright bloke…"
"I mean what we're doing…it's not anything is it?" he said begging her to tell him that it did mean something to her, because she was everything to him.
"I guess not," she said wiping the tears that were spilling from her eyes, she quickly turned round to face him. "Since we've now established that it isn't anything, there is no need to continue nothing then."
"We're just head students now," said Lily firmly. "Since I'm not anything to you, fine I'll really be nothing to you…you bastard!"
"Lily," he sighed but she had already stormed out of the room.
Why couldn't she just tell him what they were doing? All she had to do was say that he was wrong and that their relationship meant something to her. But he had all but told her she should go out with Barry, why had he done that? Why couldn't he just ask her how she felt about him? He didn't want to just be head students with her, he looked forward to talking to her everyday, now he would be lucky if she even said good morning to him.
It was the last day of school, Lily had so far refused to talk to James about anything apart from Head duties. He tried to apologise for the way he had been but she wouldn't listen. She had been going out with Barry Gordon for over a month now, and it broke James' heart every time he saw them holding hands in the corridor. It should have been him. But he was leaving that night for a year long Auror training course, he had to talk to Lily just one last time to say goodbye.
He walked down to the Heads common room, if he knew Lily she would be in there saying goodbye to the room she had spent so much time in the past year. He muttered the password, and sure enough she was sitting at the window she had been standing at when they broke up.
"I'm just leaving, don't worry," she said when she heard him come into the room.
"I actually came to talk to you," he said.
"You see it's funny that is what I have actively avoiding doing for the past month," said Lily getting to her feet.
"Come on just give me a few minutes," he said physically aching to just talk to her and see that cute little smile on her face, just one last time.
"You've got sixty seconds," said Lily. She was trying to keep up the act that she hated him, because if she didn't she would have to show him how badly he had hurt her. She didn't want to give him the satisfaction and she didn't want him to feel guilty, he had never told her that she meant anything to him she was the one that had built their relationship up in her head because she fell in love with him, when she should have known better.
"I just wanted to say goodbye," he said having to stop himself from reaching out and cupping her face.
"Lily I'm sorry," he said. "I have never wanted to hurt you. I would never hurt you on purpose."
"I know," she said grudgingly. James was not a hurtful, spiteful person, she believed that.
"I got accepted into an Auror training course," he said. "I'm leaving tonight for a year."
"That's good, it's what you always wanted to do," said Lily sincerely.
"Yeah," he said. "But I need to fix things with you first because…"
"There isn't anything to fix," said Lily. "We had a brief 'thing' it ended…"
"And now you're with someone else," said James bitterly.
"Like you said he's an alright bloke," she said. "Anyway as I was saying, it ended we've both moved on. I'm sorry I wouldn't speak you afterwards, that was childish."
"I've been an idiot," said James.
"Ah you can't help it, it's just your way," said Lily. She walked up to him and gently pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Good luck James."
"You too," he whispered savoring having her so close to him.
"Goodbye," she said pulling away.
"One last thing, I need to know," he said. "Did I mean something to you?"
"Yeah," she said looking at the wall. "You did. Did I?"
"You meant everything to me," he said honestly.
"It's too bad then," she said sadly. "All you had to do was tell me or not tell me that I was nothing."
"I'm an idiot I know that," said James. "The irony is I just said that because I didn't want to lose you."
"We lost each other anyway," she said. "We just weren't meant to be."
"I wish I believed that," he said. "I've missed you."
"Yeah I've missed you too," she admitted. "Anyway I really have to go, good luck James."
"Good luck," he choked out. She was going and he couldn't stop her, he had blown it with her. She was breaking his heart all over again, but he couldn't blame her this was his fault.
ONE YEAR LATER
He couldn't believe it, she was there. It was James' first night back in London, he had only gotten back that morning. Sirius had talked him into going to a bar he knew, the first person he spotted there was Lily. She was sitting at a table with some friends of hers he recognized from Hogwarts. She was wearing a simple grey dress, her red hair loose around her shoulders and she was laughing. He stood at the bar watching as she got up and walked towards him, she stood a few feet away ordering drinks. He didn't know if he should go over and talk to her, he wanted to, he was dying to speak to her but he wasn't sure if she would want to talk to him. But he couldn't not speak to her, she was there and he had missed her more than he thought was possible. So he carefully walked up behind her, it was noisy so he placed his hand on her shoulder to get her attention. She turned round and she just looked completely shocked to see him.
"Hi," he said.
"James hi," Lily gasped. "When did you get back?"
"This morning," he said. "How are you? You look great."
"Thanks, I'm good. How are you?"
"I'm good, starting work next week," he said.
"That's great," she said. "Wow…feels like I haven't seen you in forever."
"Yeah I know," he sighed. "It's been a while."
"Are you here with Sirius?" she asked.
"Yeah," said James. "Apparently I need to get out after being away for so long, what he doesn't get is that training was basically a year long piss up."
"Sounds like fun," said Lily. "I'm sure you met lots of interesting um…people."
"Hmmmm," said James. "So isn't your boyfriend here tonight?"
"I don't have one," said Lily smiling a little at his blatant attempt at finding out if she was single, it was cute, it reminded her of why she fell for him in the first place.
"Oh whatever happened to Barry Gordon?" he asked in what he thought was a casual voice.
"Oh you know how the rebound fling goes," said Lily just as casually. "Just ten long months of non stop shagging and that's it."
"Oh…isn't that…oh," James stuttered. He wasn't sure if she was being serious or not and he hadn't seen her for a year so he couldn't really question her about her sex life.
"Relax I'm kidding," Lily laughed. He was adorable when he was uncomfortable. "I…haven't seen him since graduation."
"Oh right…I guess I better go and give Sirius his drink," said James. "It was great seeing you again, you look amazing honey."
Damn him! She had been doing just fine, yeah she was shocked to see him just standing behind her in the bar. But she had managed to get through a conversation with him without wanting to curl up into a ball and cry, she was stronger now she thought she was getting over him. And then he had to call her that. He had to call her 'honey', he had to remind her of what she had lost. He used to call her honey when they were alone together and when they were happy just being with each other.
"Lily are you alright?" asked James. She was just standing there with a funny look on her face.
"Wha…yeah I'm fine," she stuttered. "It was nice talking to you James."
Later on that night, James noticed that he hadn't seen Lily for a while. So he went outside to look for her, he found her out in the car park looking up at the stars.
"Are you okay?" he said. "You'll freeze out here."
"You're a jackass," she said softly.
"You're a jackass," she repeated.
"Um…I've been away for a year, why exactly am I jackass?" he said carefully.
"You called me honey, you thoughtless pig!"
"Um…you call me a jackass and a thoughtless pig and I called you honey," said James as if he fully understood her reasoning. "I can see why I'm the bad guy here."
"Don't talk to me like I've lost my mind!"
"Well I've got to say I'm a little concerned here," said James. "Are you upset? Have I upset you?"
"I'm not upset," said Lily.
"You sound upset."
"I am angry, what gives you the right to call me honey after everything that happened between us. You can't tell me I'm nothing, then tell me I meant everything to you and then call me honey. That is inconsistent!"
"Yes you are being inconsistent you big pain in the ass!"
"I'm a jackass, a thoughtless pig and a big pain in the ass. You really haven't changed have you honey?"
"Stop calling me honey," she hissed.
"Why?" he laughed.
"Because it's confusing, make up your damn mind," she shouted at him.
"Make up my mind?" James repeated. "About how I feel about you?"
"Alright," said James. "I'm crazy about you, I always have been."
"I've been in love with you since…forever," James smiled. "I have missed you so much."
"Yeah…oh," said James. "I know I was an idiot when we were at school, and I'm sorry if I hurt you."
"Uh…that's okay," said Lily numbly.
"Yeah," she said.
"So if I was to ask you to dinner…"
"Right now?" she said. "It's pretty late."
"I mean like maybe tomorrow night," said James. "Would you go on a date with me?"
"Well…yeah okay," she said. "I guess one date wouldn't hurt."
"It won't just be one date," he grinned. "I'm not an idiot…"
"All evidence to the contrary," she snorted.
"I learn from my mistakes, I'm not about to let you go again," he said lifting her chin and kissing her so tenderly she almost wept.