It was the last day of school, they had all just graduated and were now on the Hogwarts Express for the last time. James, Sirius, Remus, Peter, Alice, Frank and Lily were all sitting in a compartment together. Alice and Frank had finally gotten together. Lily was sitting at the window looking out of it miserably. James was on the opposite side of the compartment watching her.
It just wasn't right, thought James. Lily shouldn't be over there, she should be there with him. She wasn't happy, he could tell that she was miserable but she wouldn't talk to him, he had tried but she wouldn't listen. Even now she couldn't even look at him. He had to at least say goodbye to her.
"Ugh we have to…remember Moony we have that uh…thing," said Sirius. He had always been a terrible liar.
"Right so we do," said Remus. "Come on Wormtail."
"Come on Frank," said Alice. "I want…to see…the view from another carriage." The five of them piled out of the carriage.
"Subtlety was never their strong point," said James. Lily was still just staring out of the window.
"They mean well," said Lily.
"Will you look at me?" James asked. "Please. I'm not going to pounce on you or anything."
"Sorry," she said as she tore her eyes away from the window.
She really wouldn't have minded if he had pounced on her, she was missing him so much it was now physically painful to look into those wonderful, loving soft brown eyes. His old jumper that she had borrowed from him before they broke up had stopped smelling like him weeks ago. He had behaved so perfectly that she wanted to scream at him for it, he had remained civil to her even friendly, her friends were his friends and vice versa so he had made it as easy as possible for them to be around each other. But it wasn't enough, every time they were together in a group of people she would watch the way he stood or sat and she would remember how easily she had fit into his body almost like she had been made for him.
"Lily I just want to say goodbye to you, properly," he said emotionally. "I didn't want to wait until we were at Kings Cross."
"Okay," she said. This was not going to be easy, how are you supposed to say goodbye to the love of your life?
"Now that I have you alone, I don't know what to say," said James nervously.
"Well I do," said Lily. "James I wish you all the luck in the world. Look after yourself especially with the way the world is right now. You're such a good man, and you will make someone very happy one day…"
"I wish I could have made you happy," he said.
"You did," said Lily. "And don't let this stupid war change you in anyway."
"You sound like you rehearsed that," said James.
"Maybe I did," she said. "But I really mean all of it."
"Yeah I know," he said. "You were always better with words than me."
"You always managed alright," said Lily.
"So I guess this is the time I start saying goodbye, and wishing you luck," said James.
"Well good luck with everything you do in your life, you're going to make an amazing Healer one day. Keep yourself safe, don't take any stupid risks you don't have to. Don't try to be a hero, it's okay to run away from some fights. And if you can find someone who made you half as happy as you made me…then you'll have done good."
"Thank you James," said Lily truly touched by his words. She knew it wasn't easy for him to say the last part. He was trying so hard to pretend that he was okay to her, but she saw the pain and sadness in his eyes.
"Just one thing," he said nervously. "Can I kiss you?"
"It's just I didn't know that the time I kissed you would be the last time and I can't remember it."
"James I…really don't think that would be good idea," said Lily. If she let James kiss her, she would never be able to walk away from him, she would melt and never want to let him ago.
"Okay," he said sadly. "I understand…I'm sorry."
"Our last kiss was at the lake," said Lily softly. "I kissed you after you kissed the top of my head. Just before you told me about being an animagus."
"I remember," said James. "Just after you told me you loved me."
"Right," she said guiltily. "I should go and say goodbye to some of my friends."
"Okay," said James. "Goodbye Lily."
"Goodbye James," said Lily. She slipped out of the carriage and ran all the way to the bathroom, where she broke down in tears. She was never going to see him again, he was going to go out and fight in a war. If by some miracle he survived the war, he would meet someone else and get married and have beautiful children and she would still be pining after him.
By the time the Hogwarts Express stopped at platform nine and three quarters, Lily had almost managed to pull herself together. It was so hard for her to imagine not seeing James every day, she really couldn't believe that this was the end. Life was cruel. Why couldn't she just have James? She didn't care about the rest of it she just wanted him.
She looked over the platform at him, he was looking at her. He just looked at her longingly. She truly did hate herself for hurting him so much, he didn't deserve it. He looked away when someone started to talk to him. She could feel tears welling up in her eyes again. She just wanted him!
"Just talk to him," Alice whispered to her. "At this point what do you have to lose by just telling him the truth, whatever that it."
"Him, I could lose him."
"You're about to lose him anyway," she hissed pointing to where James was disappearing into Kings Cross station.
Suddenly it hit Lily, Alice was right. She was already losing him. What harm could it do to just tell him how she was feeling, she was going to before she found out about Remus and everything else. She sprinted to the platform barrier shouting to Alice to take her trunk for her.
"James!" she shouted as he was about to disappear into the crowd.
"Are you okay?" he asked as she ran up to him. She had been crying, her cheeks were tearstained and her eyes frantic.
"No," she said as tears fell freely from her eyes again. "No I'm not."
"Hey it's okay, don't cry," he said softly.
He reached out and pulled her by the waist into him. As soon as he did, he truly realised how much he had missed her. He stuck his nose into her hair and inhaled deeply, he loved the way she smelled, he could never describe her scent it was something that was so uniquely her. He held on to her tight, never wanting to let her go. By now Lily was breaking her heart, crying into his chest.
"Come on," he whispered to her. "I'm going to apparate you to the flat okay?"
James and Sirius had rented a flat in London. James looked down and saw Lily nod, he took her had and led her to a quiet corner, where he apparated them to the flat. Lily lifted her head off his chest and wiped her eyes.
"Sorry about that," she said. "I couldn't stop once I had started."
"It's okay," said James. "Why are you so upset? Has someone hurt you?"
"No," she said. "I just…Alice said something to me that was just so simple it made so much sense that…it's so silly I didn't…"
"What did she say?"
"That I had to come and talk to you because…I'm losing you anyway," said Lily helplessly. "I haven't been entirely honest with you about…everything."
"What do you mean?"
"I lied when I told you that I wasn't ready for such a serious relationship, if it had been with anyone else then it would be true but I just…I love you so much and I'm okay with the thought of not being with anyone else ever…"
"Then why did you do it?" asked James desperately. "Just tell me why?"
"It's hard to explain," she said. "Look the world is a scary place right now, we all know that some of us aren't going to survive."
"What does that have to do with anything?" asked James. "Surely we should be spending as much time with the people we love as possible."
"That is one way to look at it," said Lily. "But this war petrifies me…"
"It scares everybody."
"And I love you so much," she said as if she hadn't heard him. "But you don't even seem to acknowledge that you could die!"
"I know I could die," said James. "But what is the point in dwelling on it?"
"Because it is real!" Lily shouted at him. "You could get killed and you don't even seem to care. You were running around the forbidden forest while we were at school…what are you going to do in the real world when you don't have Dumbledore's protection?"
"But…that was for Remus…"
"I know that and it was a great thing to do for him and I love you for it," said Lily. "But your life is not something worthless that you can just risk all the time!"
"I know but you can't expect me to sit at home and do nothing!"
"And you can't expect me to watch you kill yourself!"
"You are," Lily shouted. "You are going to fight them and you don't even seem to care about your life. You are nothing but a selfish git!"
"Selfish? How the hell have I been selfish?"
"Because you don't care about how your life affects the people that love you."
"Are you classing yourself in that category now?"
"Do you have any idea what it would do to me or to your friends if you got yourself killed?" Lily shouted at him.
"It would destroy us," Lily shouted. "How would you feel if Sirius was killed?"
"Fine! You've made your point," James roared.
"It's just scary that you don't seem to place any sort of regard on your life. I get that you want to fight them, I do too but you…you have to at least be careful because if I had to read in the Daily Prophet that went and got yourself blown up instead of knowing when to just run…"
"Well you see the thing is I haven't had much reason to be careful lately," James shouted. He hated that Lily had a point. "What is the point in fighting to get back in one piece if you don't have anyone to come home to?"
"You have plenty!"
"I don't have you," he countered.
"No you don't," said Lily quietly. "Because I wouldn't want to change who you are and I would if I asked you to not to fight them. I just thought you at least deserved the truth."
"So now you just leave," said James having now calmed down. "And we don't see each other anymore."
"Looks like it," she said. "Be careful."
"Do you love me?" James asked suddenly just as Lily reached his front door.
"Beyond all human reason," she said turning round to look at him. "I always have and I always will."
"I love you too," said James. "It doesn't seem right that we can't be together."
"I know," said Lily sadly. "At least you know why though."
"It doesn't make it much easier," said James.
"I know," said Lily then she turned and reach for the door handle.
"What if we came to an arrangement?" asked James cautiously. "I won't solve all of the issues but…"
"What kind of arrangement?" asked Lily curiously.
"Well," said James walking over to Lily and standing in front of her. "We could be together."
"I like it already," said Lily.
"I am going into Auror training and I will fight them because I can't stand by and let them kill muggles and muggleborns without trying to stop them, and if they ever came after you then…I couldn't live with myself," he said stroking the side of her face. "But I promise you that I will fight like hell to make sure I come home in one piece, and so that you don't have to lose me."
"Trust me," he said gazing into her eyes. "Trust me when I tell you that I want a future with you and I don't intend on leaving you all alone."
"I do trust you," she murmured. "But do you really…"
"Yes I really think we can do it," said James. "Just say yes."
"Okay," said Lily. "But you better know when to run."
"I will," said James. "I'll look after my life as if it was yours."
"It is," said Lily leaning forward and resting her head on his shoulder. "I love you."
"I know and I love you too," said James. "And I have missed you so much."
"I've missed you too," said Lily. "I'm sorry I put you through that."
"It's okay as long as you never do that again."
"I promise," she said.
"Good," he whispered into her ear. "Now. Will you marry me?"