Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
A/N: When you see this symbol: ** it signals the beginning/end of James' memory.)
"Forgive me, Professor, but…why is Potter Head Boy?"
James stifled a laugh at how indignant Lily was. She was actually almost rude to the headmaster, a definite first. The three of them were standing in the Headmasters office, having just arrived at Hogwarts for their seventh year. Lily had not been very happy to learn her Co-Head had been him. However, he truly was curious to hear the answer to her question. He had been sure Moony would get the place of Head Boy; after all, James did nothing but pull pranks while Remus tried to stop him.
"Now, now, Miss Evans, Mr. Potter is in fact a very responsible young man. When he isn't playing a trick on an innocent first year, that is," he added, looking at James with a gleam in his eye.
She started to protest, but Dumbledore cut her off. "I have plenty of faith that the two of you will make an excellent pair, Miss Evans. I am fully confident in my choice for this year's Head Boy and Girl. This will be a good year for the two of you."
Lily sighed. "Alright, professor, thank you for your time." She turned to leave the room, giving James an evil glare on her way out. James grinned; she was adorable.
James looked back to the headmaster. "Thank you, professor."
"You are very welcome, Mr Potter." And, right before James turned to leave the room, Dumbledore winked at him.
James walked out of the office. As soon as he was out of Dumbledore's sight, his calm walk turned into a full out sprint. "Lily!"
After reaching the bottom of the staircase to the Headmaster's office, he stared down the corridor to see her walking, maybe twenty yards away. The corridor was pretty dark; the feast had already ended, so it was pretty late. But he could just make out her fiery red hair.
"Lil, wait up!"
"What do you want, Potter?!"
He ran to catch up to her. She didn't look at him.
"C'mon, Lil, I didn't ask to be Head Boy, don't take it out on me."
She whirled to face him. "Who do you suppose I take it out on then, Potter? Professor Dumbledore? Not likely. I'm not taking it out on anyone, because there's no one to blame. Did you think we would come back to school and we would suddenly be best friends? Fat chance."
"Oh come on, Lily, can't we just be civil towards one another?"
"No!" she spat. I've tried that, Potter, and then what happens? You turn around and do something stupid, like asking me out for the millionth time, and that ruins it! I can't be friends with someone who just makes it awkward and infuriating to be in their presence!"
James was getting desperate. He hated when she yelled at him like this. "Lily, we're gonna have to at least not hate each other this year; we're the two Heads."
She just groaned. "Don't remind me."
He sighed. "C'mon, Lily, it won't be so bad. I won't ask you out again, I promise."
She looked up at him. "Why make a promise you can't keep?"
He almost sighed in relief; she had calmed down. His mood went from desperate to light-hearted, just like that. Being around Lily had that effect on him. "You don't seem to have much confidence in me, do you, Lily-Flower?"
"Don't call me that, Potter."
He held up his hands in defense. "Fine, fine. I won't call you Lily-Flower – although I really don't see why you hate the name so much – and I won't ask you out. But in return, you need to at least try to give friendship a shot. Deal?"
She stared at him for a few moments, contemplating. In the dim light, he could just make out the brown flecks in her bright green eyes. He loved her eyes.
"Fine, Potter. I'll be civil. But the second you slip and do something stupid, it all goes down the drain, understand?"
He held out his hand for her to shake. "No more stupidity; got it."
She shook his hand slowly, and he couldn't help but feel the electric spark that flew up his arm at her touch.
Bloody hell, this was not going to be easy.
"Prongs, have you gone mad?!"
James had returned to the dormitories and told his three best friends all about the conversation he had had with Lily. Obviously, Sirius did not have much confidence in him.
"Oh, c'mon, it won't be that hard, will it?!" James asked desperately, but even he could hear how hopeless his voice sounded.
"Prongs, listen to me." Padfoot sat down on the bed opposite from James' in their dormitory. "There is absolutely no bloody way you will be able to stop asking that girl out. Just accept it."
"That is not the right attitude to have, Padfoot," Moony said in James' defense. "I'm sure Prongs can handle being friends with Lily."
Wormtail shook his head. "I'm with Padfoot on this one, Remus. Prongs is never going to give up on Evans."
James groaned and lay down on his bed, putting the pillow over his face. He didn't think he had it in him to jut be friends with Lily. It would drive him mad.
James suddenly remembered that he had to meet Lily for head duties at seven o'clock. He bolted upright and looked at his watch. 6:57. Bloody hell.
"Gotta go, bye!" And with that, he ran out of the dormitory. Lily was going to kill him.
"C'mon, Potter, we have to put up the Christmas decorations."
James sighed and got up. "Alright, Padfoot, you win this time."
Sirius whooped in victory and flipped the wizard chess board over, sending the pieces flying everywhere. "Thanks, Evans!"
Lily just rolled her eyes. "Don't thank me, Black. Thank Dumbedore; he's the one who made potter Head."
Sirius stood. "Even so, you're the only person on the planet who could make Prongs forfeit a chess game." He winked at her.
James groaned; being friends with Lily was hard enough, but Sirius talking like that all the time – talking as if James still liked Lily, which they all knew he did – was not helping anything. "Come on, Lil, we gotta go," he said, before Sirius could do any more damage.
They started towards the portrait hole, James taking care to ram into Sirius' shoulder jokingly on his way out. Sirius grinned wickedly, then called after them, "Have fun!"
James shook his head. Despite how difficult he had thought being 'just friends' with Lily would be, these last three months had gone surprisingly well. The two of them were now fairly good friends. He didn't ask her out at all this whole year so far – a record for him, and Moony had received 10 galleons so far; the three Marauders had made bets on whether or not he could do it. Lily had also become friends with the three of them, making it very easy to be in her presence; when other people were around, it wasn't quite as hard for him to resist doing 'something stupid', as she had put it. She had even almost called him 'James' instead of 'Potter' a few times. Almost. She would start to say James, catch herself mid-word, then switch to Potter. He grinned every single time she did it.
"Potter! Can you hear me?'
James shook his head. "What?"
Lily grinned and rolled her eyes. "I said, you can hang some garland over there, and I'll take care of the mistletoe."
James nodded, getting to work. He smiled, remembering the time he had almost kissed Lily, thanks to some well-placed mistletoe. He had been so close when she had caught on to what he was doing….
** "Potter, what are you doing?!"
James just grinned. He loved her temper; it matched her hair. He could hear Sirius chuckling from behind him.
"Calm down, Lily Flower," he muttered, propelling her away from the stream of students in the corridor, behind a pillar.
"Potter, get your hands off me!" she yelled, struggling to get out of his grip.
James just chuckled, loosening his grip on her arms. He rubbed her arms, expecting her to pull away, but she didn't. He felt goose bumps form under his fingers. This encouraged him. Did he just give Lily Evans goose bumps?
He traced circles in her arms with his fingertips, and she shivered slightly – very slightly, as if she were trying to suppress it. He held back a grin, knowing it would anger her.
"What are you doing, Potter?" she asked, trying to force some anger into her voice, but it was shaky.
"Oh nothing, Lily Flower." In fact, he really didn't know what he was doing anymore; he had fully expected her to yell at him and storm off the second she got the chance. But she didn't, and he was disoriented by it; he didn't know what to do next.
He knew that right above their heads was the mistletoe. He had planned it this way. He took his hand and –extremely hesitantly – touched her cheek. She didn't flinch away. He began to move in, encouraged by both the fact that she hadn't resisted so far, and the excuse of the mistletoe if she questioned him about it.
He watched as her eyes darted above his head, then widened, obviously realizing his intent. She shook her head and pushed him away. "I have to go," she muttered, and hurried off. **
He shook his head, ridding it of the memory. That was the first – and only – time Lily had shown weakness. It was also the first and last time he had been as brave as that; he had been young and stupid, the two of them only in their fourth year.
He looked around, realizing they were in the exact corridor those events had taken place. He looked at her, and she was standing right in front of the pillar he had pushed her behind. He grinned, using their newfound friendship to remind her of that incident. He wondered if she remembered.
He dropped the Christmas decorations he was holding and walked towards her.
"Hey Lil," he said quietly. "Come here." He took the mistletoe out of her hands, putting it on the ground, and placed his hands on her shoulders, gently pushing her backwards, to the very spot they had stood in fourth year.
"Potter, wha-," she said, bewildered.
He put his finger over her mouth. "Shh. Do you remember this place?"
She looked thoroughly confused. "The Charms corridor?"
He shook his head impatiently. "No, this spot, in particular. Here-," he jogged back to the pile of mistletoe and picked some up. He hung it in the same spot it had been back then, and then looked at her expectantly.
She started at it for a few moments, and then understanding dawned on her face. If he had done this a few months ago, she would have gotten mad for sure. But now, she just smiled and looked at him. "Yeah, James," she said softly. "I remember."
Then, she stood on her toes and kissed his cheek. Without a word, she walked around him and went back to hanging the decorations, leaving James completely dumbstruck.
Final Quiddich Match of the Season: Gryffindor Vs. Slytherin.
"AND GRYFFINDOR SCORES! ANOTHER TEN POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR! SCORE: 60-20, GRYFFINDOR!"
James punched the air in triumph. If he caught the Snitch now, the cup would be theirs. He continued to search for it, flying high above the rest of the game, keeping a close eye on Lucius, Slytherin's Seeker.
Suddenly, James caught sight of something gold. The snitch was flying on the other end of the pitch, just 20 feet off the ground, if that. James grinned; he loved dives. He tilted his broom and dove straight for it, deciding speed, rather than deception, was the best way to get to the Snitch first. Lucius saw what he was doing and dove after him, but James had a head start.
The stands had gotten very quiet. That, or the wind in James' ears was blocking out all noise. He was getting closer to the Snitch, to the Cup, by the second.
He could hear Lucius behind him, saying something to distract him, but James wasn't listening; his eyes were fixed on that glimmer of gold, and it was closer than ever.
The next instant, James had reached out and snatched it out of the air. He felt the tiny wings fluttering against his hand as the crowd erupted into cheers. James pulled the broom to a halt, holding the little golden ball in the air victoriously.
"GRYFFINDOR WINS! GRIFFINDOR WINS!"
James and the rest of the Gryffindor team flew back to the ground, where the rest of Gryffindor House was waiting for them, yelling excitedly.
"Yeah Prongs!" Sirius and Remus were running towards him, their faces bright with enthusiasm.
Before they could reach him, however, someone jumped on him, wrapping their arms around him in a tight embrace. James staggered backwards from the impact.
"L-Lily?" James said, trying to catch his breath; she had knocked the wind out of him.
But he had no time to catch his breath, for at that moment Lily crushed her lips to his. James' mind went blank. What was happening?!
The entire crowd was silent, and James didn't have the excuse of wind blocking everything out as an excuse this time. No, this time, everyone really was silent.
Lily pulled away, smiling brightly. James stared at her for a few moments, completely baffled.
"James," she whispred. "You did it!"
James laughed in elation, wrapping his arms around her tightly and kissing her again. The crowd went wild. He could hear Sirius' barking laugh over everyone else's.
He did it.