James Potter, for as long as he could remember, had always believed that when things were meant to be, then they happened.

It was just how he functioned.

When his dad had told him as a child that six successive generations- probably more: his dad couldn't remember- of the Potter family had all been sorted into Gryffindor, then James was sure that he would be too.

And his was.

When his mother had told him of how she had wept the day her beloved cousin was carried off to be slaughtered after being unfortunately turned into a werewolf, James had been sure that if he had ever met a werewolf, he would always ensure that his life was as easy as possible. The pain he had seen on his mother's face made sure of that.

And he met a werewolf. And he was his best friend.

There wasn't really much more that James could ask for from his lycanthropic friend, other than to let him take care of him.

So he did.

When James attended his own cousin's wedding at nine, only to have his arm broken when the whole thing was invaded by dark wizards who subsequently killed each and every one of the wedding guests- most of his relatives, he knew that he would forever hate the men who did this to him. He knew that Slytherins were sorted into that house because they were born to be murderers and so he knew that he would hate them all.

And so he went to Hogwarts. And he met several Slytherins.

All of whom he hated.

When he arrived at Platform 9 ¾ and saw a tall boy, who looked confident but out of place, he decided that he would be his friend. Because that was how he felt. Confident, but out of place. The boy was supposed to be in Slytherin. James knew that he wouldn't be. James was never friends with Slytherins.

And the boy wasn't in Slytherin.

So James was friends with him.

That was how things happened in James Potter's life. Because of fate.

Because somewhere in the universe, someone had decided that James Potter would do everything he could to take care of Remus Lupin for the rest of his life. Someone had decided that James Potter would do everything he could to make sure that Sirius Black never slipped back into the clutches of his family. Someone had decided, that after meeting every single insect that Slytherin had to offer, James Potter would spend the rest of his life squashing them like the bugs that they truly were.

Things worked easily this way for James Potter.

He didn't make decisions.

'Things' made decisions for him, and trusting them to be right, James went along with them.

That was how it was.

Unfortunately, for James Potter, there was quite clearly something that fate hadn't decided. There was someone left out of fate's plans for James Potter. Someone, who when he thought about it, James Potter wouldn't actually mind having as a part of his plans.

Maybe the unfortunate thing was that actually fate had decided that part of his life...and it wasn't her.

Maybe it was someone else. Someone who he hadn't met yet. Someone, who he mightn't meet until he was in his late twenties and actually ready to be married.

Someone who would like him.

Someone who Sirius would like as well.

Someone who actually did like messy hair and Quidditch and killing Slytherins.

Someone, who although she was stunning and sexy and fun, would never be quite her.

James Potter hated fate.

The one thing he actually wanted, and fate left it out.

Job well done.

"Mate, you're not still moping, are you?"

James was jolted out of his reverie when his serendipitous best friend came strolling into the Head Boy's dorm room, a broomstick slung over his shoulder.

James said nothing from his position on the bed.

And tried not to pout.

"Mother of Merlin, if you don't get that stupid look off of your face, I'm going to wipe it off," Sirius muttered, glaring at James- who didn't notice. The curtains were providing too much entertainment at the moment. "What happened to six months ago, eh? The 'she actually talks to me Padfoot' bollocks! You said that was enough."

It used to be, was the honest answer to that one.

When he had said that at the time, James Potter had honestly meant it. Her talking to him was like Dumbledore walking straight up to Voldemort and bitch slapping him.

Entirely awesome, but really quite unlikely.

And yet it was happening. She was having conversations with him, and laughing at his jokes and laughing at his mates' jokes and congratulating him on winning Quidditch games.

She was really being with him.

Not fighting with him. Not ignoring him.

Just being with him.

Human to human.

Boy to girl.

Hopelessly love struck individual to completely oblivious goddess.

"Come on," Sirius said persuasively, obviously noticing the pained look on James's face- the one he could actually feel himself. "We've got practise and if you sit around here, everyone's going to know that something is up. Can't have people thinking that the Head Boy's ready to drown himself because the Head Girl won't shag him, can we?" he finished, grinning and ducking as James chucked a pillow at him.

Throwing his legs over the bed, James noticed how heavy his whole body seemed. Good luck to his broom getting off the ground with this lump of depressed flesh on top of it.

Wasn't that a joke she used to make?

"Soooooo," Sirius droned as they made their way down to the Head's Common room, "what did she do this time? Moony said something about her hugging you; I thought you'd be in a great mood."

Thinking about it put a pain into his stomach that made him not want to eat. And James always wanted to eat.

He had finished the patrol timetables for her when it was her turn to do them.

She found out.

Hugged him.

And then, just when he felt like he was going to drift off of the ground from happiness...

"James you are the most wonderful friend that a person could have!"

"Ouch, mate, that rots something terrible. Friend is the word every guy hates to hear," Sirius said sympathetically, giving him a pat on the back that actually did nothing to help.

"I don't want to be her friend, Padfoot," James moaned, placing his head in his hands. "I want to be her..."

"Vagina filler?" Sirius cut in helpfully.

James stopped and fixed him with a glare.

The smirk that was on Sirius's face was one that said 'I just did something bad and there's nothing you can do about it!'

"I'm telling Moony," James said simply before walking on.

"What?! Wait, Prongs...no!" Sirius said running to catch up with him. "Now let's not be hasty! We're brothers right? Mother Moony doesn't need to know everything we say, does she?"

James had often thought it ironic that the one person in the whole world who Sirius was scared off, was possibly the nicest person James knew.

Although, Remus did know some pretty nasty hexes.

James had a good idea that most of them came from her.

"You mentioned Lily's....thing," James said accusingly, shoving his best friend's shoulder. "We've had this discussion before Padfoot...you can say that crap about anyone you want- McGonagall if you must...just not Lily," he finished seriously, hoping that for once Sirius would actually listen to him.

"Fine, fine," Sirius grumbled, swinging his broom about recklessly. "I'll leave the flower out of it. So long as you don't tell Moony, agreed?"

"Agreed," James replied simply, thankful that they were now almost at the pitch.

What he really needed was a good old fly to make his forget troubles.

Actually what he really needed....

Was something that he probably would never get.


"Where's Padfoot?" James asked disinterestedly, as he sat playing exploding snap on the floor of his old dormitory with his so called 'mother'.

"Detention," came Remus's predictable reply. "He stole Mary McDonald's bag during lunch and McGonagall saw it."

"Eyes like a bloody hawk, that one," Peter interjected from his position on the bed. "Seriously though! How can she see from that far back at the teachers table? The woman's a vampire I'm sure of it!"

Groaning at the thought of another one of Peter's "McGonagall's a vampire" lectures, James was thinking up of ways to get out of it, when Sirius came bounding through the door.

"I AM A GENIUS! I AM THE GENIUS OF HOGWARTS! I AM THE BIGGEST GENIUS THAT HAS EVER..."

"ALRIGHT, Padfoot we get it!" Moony said over him irritably. "What have you done to deserve the accolade this time?"

"Wait here!" Sirius replied excitedly, before bounding out of the dormitory again.

"If he's stolen McGonagall's knickers again, I'm outta here," James stated honestly.

"What do you think he...?" Peter asked before he was cut off by Sirius's blinding presence.

"YOU!" Sirius said vibrantly whilst pointing at James, "owe me SO MUCH!"

Just as James was about to enquire why, Sirius presented the answer- by shoving Mary McDonald head first into the dorm.

"Alright..."James said slowly, thinking that if this was one of Sirius's attempts to set him up on a date then it was a poor decision.

Mary McDonald, whilst clearly a nice girl, was obviously not Lily.

"Talk!" Sirius said urgently, pushing the poor girl down to her knees and setting them all up in a circle around her.

Instead of saying anything, Mary reached into her satchel and pulled out four pieces of parchment. Laying them all carefully on the floor in front of the boys, James felt his eyes pop out of his head.

Remus looked scandalized.

Peter looked curious.

And Sirius looked like he'd just won the lottery.

"Welcome, gentlemen," Mary said confidently to them all, "to the underground world of the Hogwarts soft core erotica drawing business."

Straightening his glasses to make sure he was seeing things correctly, James was surprised to see that the shirtless picture of himself with very low trousers and eighteen abs was still staring back at him.

Unsure of what to say, he looked to Moony to find that his usual mentor was still dumbstruck.

Coughing to find his voice, James said the first thing that came into his head.

"Did you...er...draw these?" he asked Mary who nodded her head brightly.

"Indeed," she replied beaming. "I'm quite good don't you think?"

"I'll say," Sirius interjected. "There's no way that Peter's bulge is that big."

Ignoring Peter's protests, Remus leaned forward and clearly averted his eyes from the drawings.

"Em...you said it was a 'business?" he asked delicately, looking as though he was pleading it not to be true.

"Oh yes," Mary responded just as happily as before. "Quite a profitable one actually. I've managed to save enough for my own flat once we get out of this place," she went on candidly.

"Tell 'em how it works!" Sirius said excitedly and nudging Mary in the ribs once again.

"Well," she began matter-of-factly. "I take requests from girls of guys they want, I draw them and then they pay me. It's quite simple, really."

"Good to know," Remus mumbled distractedly. "Listen, I hate to be rude, but would you mind if you put your drawings away. I'm finding it rather hard to concentrate," he finished apologetically as James found that he quite agreed with him.

Mary gathered the drawings up and placed them delicately in her bag, after which Remus looked markedly more comfortable.

"So em...you draw these... 'pictures' and girls buy them from you?" James asked feeling wholly violated.

"Yes, eh...they sell for about ten galleons a piece," she replied as Remus choked.

Mary laughed.

"I know it's a high price," she said to Remus, "but demand has just gotten so high. Girls are willing to pay that much."

"So do you draw everyone or....?" James asked, already dreading to know the answer.

"Just you guys," Mary said promptly. "I sometimes take requests for others but the price is usually higher. The Marauder's are my most popular export," she finished contentedly,

"Right," James said. Because it was all he could think of to say.

"Who's your most popular Marauder?" Sirius asked greedily, as Remus groaned with his head in his hands.

"Eh.....let me see, I have my records here," Mary said, pulling out a parchment that looked as though it was twelve feet long. She tutted as she looked through the figures. "Hmmmm....Remus!" she said finally, as said boy started rubbing his temples from stress.

"WHAT?!" Sirius yelled in outrage. "Moony?!"

"Oh yes," Mary said sincerely, "Remus is quite popular, although the rest of you aren't far behind," she added consolingly.

Sirius huffed.

"Oh come now," the girl said bracingly. "You are in one of my most popular selling drawing."

"I am?" Sirius asked, immediately perking up.

Mary nodded.

"My best seller, actually," she said proudly. "I have it here...it was a request I believe, but I have to duplicate it over and over again," she finished, laughing slightly.

Placing the parchment onto the floor delicately, James decided that he had never regretted looking at a piece of paper so much in all of his life.

"Excuse me," Remus mumbled, bright red. Practically jumping from the floor he walked quickly into the bathroom and slammed the door loudly.

"So, you do requests of...eh...different people together then?" Peter asked quietly, as Sirius stared oddly at the picture of his naked self entwined around his best friend's own nude form.

"Yes, quite often I get requests for some of you drawn with different girls, but my most popular couple is Mr. Lupin and yourself, Mr. Black," Mary replied looking slightly downcast by Remus's response.

Sirius coughed quietly.

Soon after, Remus re-entered the room, once again requesting that Mary remove the drawing from his presence.

"Are all of the drawings....of us naked?" James asked, more for something to say than anything else.

"Most of them," Mary replied, once again looking at her records. "I go as explicit as I'm asked to really. Sometimes I get requests for wedding scenarios, kids, Quidditch fantasies...that sort of stuff but those are usually just from the regulars. The new kids just stick to the bread and butter."

Not really wanting to know what 'Quidditch fantasies' entailed, James decided to keep quiet until he found something wholly non-destructive to ask.

"How did all of this start?" Remus asked looking genuinely interested, "if you don't mind me asking that is."

"Not at all!" Mary said kindly. "It was in fifth year, and I used to have quite a crush on you," she said looking at Remus, a slight blush gracing her cheeks. "So one day I started doodling you shirtless and my friend saw. She asked me if I could draw her one of Sirius, and I did. She was so happy with it she bought me a butterbeer the next time we were in Hogsmeade. And the whole thing just escalated from there, really," she finished, smiling brightly at them all.

"Thank you," Remus replied matter-of-factly, before adding, "Excuse me," and turning to Sirius. "How does this make you a genius?" he spat unhappily.

Expecting Sirius to shrink under Remus's gaze, James was surprised to see him brighten immediately.

"Alright," Sirius said, turning to Mary. "Down to business."

Mary coughed delicately in response.

"I think I'm going to need my money now," she said quietly, looking a bit embarrassed.

"Oh yes," Sirius said, rooting around in his pockets. "How much again?"

"Twenty galleons," she replied carefully.

"What?!" James said before he was able to help himself. "What for?!?"

"You have to understand, Mr. Potter, that my business functions highly on codes of confidentiality," the girl mitigated uncomfortably. "Some girls don't want their boyfriends to know that they buy these drawings. Others have a reputation to uphold. What I am about to do breaches the codes seriously, and I wouldn't do it without a severe incentive."

Not really understanding much of this, James turned to see Sirius handing over the coins.

"Are you mad?!" he asked his friend.

"Trust me," Sirius said confidently. "You'll thank me later. Well, go ahead," he said nudging Mary again.

"The reason I keep records," Mary began to the four boys, "is so that I can make sure that I give out the correct amount of drawings and receive the correct amount of money in return. However, the records are also useful, as it means that I can keep an eye, so to speak, on whom my best customers are and who my best muses are."

"Right...." Remus said slowly, before Sirius shushed him.

"The reason," Mary went on, "that Remus is my most popular export, is because I receive a higher amount of young girls buying the drawings of you than of any other Marauder. The young ones find you comforting and so on," she said to Remus, who went bright red again. "However if we exclude the younger years and merely focus on the upper years- and by this I mean fifth, sixth and seventh year, then we come to quite a different result. Over all three years, Mr. Black is the most popular," she continued, ignoring Sirius's whoops of victory in the background. "But if we focus entirely on the seventh year, then the most popular Marauder, is you," Mary finished, turning to James.

"What?!" he spluttered in response. "Me?!"

"Yes, you, Mr. Potter," Mary said matter-of-factly.

"Tell him why!!" Sirius said effervescing up again and practically knocking Mary over with his nudging.

"Well," Mary said slowly, "whilst you are not the most popular Marauder overall, you do have the most...shall we say, dedicated customer."

"What does that mean?" Remus asked, sounding as confused as James felt.

"It means that there is one girl who buys drawings of you, and only you, more frequently, than the entirety of seventh year purchases the drawings at all," Mary stated slowly.

"Who?" James asked quickly, feeling scared that he might have a stalker.

"Lily Evans," Mary replied simply.

Remus now sounding as though he was genuinely about to die from choking, whilst Sirius howled with laughter in the background. So much so that he fell over and began rolling around on the floor.

Although James couldn't hear any of this. He was pretty sure he was taking a heart attack.

"Excuse me?" he asked as loudly as he could manage.

"Out of all customers, Lily Evans purchases the highest amount of drawings from the business on a regular basis. She is my number one customer," Mary said confidently.

"And she only buys them o-o-of...me?" James stuttered.

Mary nodded in response.

"Although she only started buying them this year," she added. "But yes," she went on rifling through her records, "here we are. Eh....she likes mostly ones of you shirtless," Mary continued, scanning the parchment. "Quite a few purchased of you in your Quidditch uniform...and a significant amount of you and her together," she finished brightly, smiling up at James.

Feeling nearly unable to speak, James felt his heart thump against his chest rapidly and tried not to think.

Because if he thought, then maybe it would mean that...could she?

Could she possibly?

There was no way.

"Us...together...as in me and her?" James choked out through his disbelief.

Mary nodded again.

"Here," she said simply. "This was the latest one she requested," she added, pressing a piece of parchment into James's shaking hands.

Almost afraid to look down, James convinced himself to out of sheer incredulity.

And there they were, together.

Him in his Quidditch uniform, leaning over the stands to kiss her after a match, as he had wanted to do so many times before.

There was a bright and beaming smile on her face as well as on his own.

She looked radiantly happy.

It was perfect.

"You okay, Prongs?" came Sirius's voice through the haze, and James could tell he was smiling.

He nodded in response, feeling unable to speak.

"I would say it seems like she doesn't want to be 'just friends' either, does it Moony?" Sirius went on, again grinning widely as Moony chuckled.

"It would seem so, Padfoot," Remus replied gently.

"Can I keep this?" James asked, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice.

Mary laughed quietly.

"I'm sorry but I was just on my way to deliver this to Miss Evans at lunchtime when Sirius stole my bag. I'm afraid she's expecting it. I can't very well disappoint my best customer, can I?" Mary stated through her laughter.

James nodded in understanding, wondering if he could be the first guy to request a drawing from the Hogwarts soft core erotica drawing business.

"But as it is, thanks to Mr. Black, I have run out of spare time in which to deliver the drawing. Maybe you would be so kind as to give it to her for me?" Mary went on, smiling at him knowingly.

Not really knowing what to say, James vaguely saw Sirius out of the corner of his eye checking the map.

"She's in the Head's common room, mate," he said with a wink.


The walk to the Head quarters barely registered within James. It felt like he was drifting.

And he had no idea what the hell he was going to say once he got there.

He could barely think.

How the hell was he supposed to be eloquent and suave and sweep her off her feet whenever he was having trouble putting one foot in front of the other?

Saying the password and drifting through the portrait hole, James's breath was caught in his throat when he saw her sitting there on the couch, surrounded by books and scribbling away.

She was perfect.

And happy.

He didn't want to think about the anger that would flash through her eyes whenever he handed his cargo to her.

She'd probably hate him forever.

"Oh, hey!" Lily said, snapping him out of his reverie and beaming up at him. "I missed you at lunch today," she said, moving books off of the sofa for him to sit down.

Taking the hint, James walked slowly over to her and sat down.

"Er...yeah," he said hoarsely. "I ended up going out for a fly."

Lily laughed.

"Typical!" she said, shoving him gently. "Flying over food, as usual. If you keep this up you'll waste away, James Potter," she continued jovially.

She was waiting for him to respond.

Where in Merlin's name was his Gryffindor courage when he needed it?!

"Are you okay?" she asked, sounding concerned, and placing her hand on his arm. "You seem a bit shaken up."

He nodded.

Why couldn't he do anything other than nod?!

"I'm fine," he choked out, coughing at the end to clear his voice. "I...eh...ran into Mary McDonald this afternoon."

"Oh yeah?" Lily said distractedly, now looking down at the book on her lap again.

"Yeah," James said, preparing himself mentally for what he was about to do. "She asked me to give you this," he finished, fishing the folded parchment from his right pocket and handing it to Lily.

She said nothing.

She didn't even look worried, just a small tell-tale crease in between her eyebrows.

"Thanks," she said finally sounding completely calm and taking the parchment from him and beginning to unfold it slowly.

She swallowed as she looked down.

There was silence for a few moments and all James could hear was Lily's breathing and his own heart beating.

Finally, Lily looked up; her face red, her eyes swimming with tears.

"I'll kill her," she snarled, leaping off of the couch and running to go out the portrait hole.

Luckily, at that moment, James's natural instincts kicked in. Leaping up after her, James caught her by the arm just as she was about to exit the room.

"Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!" he called, as he ran, before eventually holding her against the wall to make sure she didn't escape.

She was refusing to look him in the eyes, but he could see the tears swirling down her red cheeks.

"Before you go killing Mary McDonald, and before Sirius never lets you live this down, I need to know," he said, pulling the picture out of her iron grasp. "I need to know. Is this what you want?" he asked, holding the picture up to her face whilst breathing heavily and resisting the urge to hug her and wipe her tears away.

He wasn't worth her crying.

She didn't reply through her silent sobs and sniffles and shaking.

"Lily," he said gently, tilting her chin up for her to meet his eyes. "Please," he begged, letting her green eyes swirl into his own and take them over as they had been doing for years before this. "Please tell me."

"Since when do you care?" she bit out through her tears, her voice laden with sentiment.

James felt like shaking her.

"Since when do I care?" he repeated incredulously. "Lily, when have I not cared?! When have I ever not thought of you?! Since when has my every waking move been for another? Lily, I can honestly tell you that I have never cared more for anything than I do right now," he finished earnestly, almost shaking from his honesty.

How was it possible for one person to be so beautiful when they cried?

He finally gave into his urge and brushed the tears away from her cheeks.

"Well you didn't care three nights ago!" she yelped, batting his hands away; eyes filled with anger.

"What?" James responded in wonderment, pulling away to duck from her moving hands.

"Three nights ago!" she carried on loudly. "I called you my friend and you didn't even bat an eyelid, James! So yeah!" she said, tugging the picture out of his hands. "This is what I want, but it's never going to happen is it?!" she yelled, tearing the parchment to shreds before bolting to her dorm room and slamming the door loudly.

He would have laughed if he wasn't sure she'd hear him and kill him.

Ambling up to her dorm, he gave the door a quiet knock.

"Go away," came a hushed response.

Refusing for once to oblige his love, James cautiously opened the door to find the red head buried under her pillow, her sniffles coming through audibly now.

"Did you know," James began quietly whilst setting himself on the edge of bed, Lily's face still hidden from him, "that in fourth year, Amos Diggory had a picture of you standing outside the Three Broomsticks and I paid him fifteen galleons for it?"

She sniffed loudly.

"Really?" came her muffled and teary reply.

"Unhuh," he said quietly, pulling the creased photograph out of his left pocket and pressing it into her palm.

Lily sat up slowly, and raised her hand to look at the photo.

"I don't know why you stopped wearing green ribbons in your hair," James went on softly, remembering the photo of the young girl with her hair pulled into two pigtails and tied with green ribbons. "I always loved them."

Finally looking at him through her tear stained eyes, Lily regarded him strangely.

"It's been months," she said oddly, looking at him earnestly. "You've said nothing."

"I didn't think you wanted me to," James replied honestly, placing his hand on top of hers and fighting a smile when she curled her fingers in between his. "I didn't think you wanted any of this really," he went on determined to say all he wanted to. "Me in Quidditch uniforms, or shirtless..." he said with a smirk, trailing off when he noticed her blushing.

"You're horrible," she said with a pout, hitting him gently on the arm.

"You know, if you want to feel my muscles Lily, all you have to do is ask!" he said cheekily, as she hit him harder.

"Quit it!" Lily cried, blushing furiously before burying her head under the pillow again.

"Okay...okay, I'll stop," James said, grinning from ear to ear as he rubbed her shoulder to get her to sit up again. "Come here," he added, pulling her into his arms doubting that he needed her permission to do so anymore.

He was right. She came willingly.

She leaned back into his chest as he relished the scent of her hair; burying his face in the thick curls.

"Are you smelling my hair?" she asked, and James could tell she was smiling.

"Judgment from the erotica queen?" he quipped, as Lily kicked him in the shins.

"You're never going to let me live this down, are you?" she asked, turning to look at him with her huge doe eyes.

"Maybe sometime in the next century," he said gently, looking back into her gaze, all humour gone.

Feeling that maybe now was the right time to kiss her, James noticed her eyes fluttering shut and gave himself a moment to believe that this was all actually happening.

Pressing his lips gently against hers, James had never felt more like he was flying than he did now. Including when he was actually flying.

She kissed him back sweetly and bashfully; her lips almost tumbling against his lushly as he pulled her as close as he could humanly manage. Feeling her pressing against him was the most infuriatingly erotic experience ever as he could tell she was being as demure as she could be. His breathing was vastly becoming erratic and feeling his palms sweating profusely, James pulled back suddenly remembering that they were on a bed. In her room. In the dorm. Alone. And he really wouldn't mind throwing her against it right now.

Her face had now turned several shades of beautiful pink and James once more fought the urge to see if he could make her blush ever deeper.


Three days later, after managing to persuade Lily not to kill Mary McDonald, James strode down the hallowed halls of Hogwarts, whistling and with a skip in his step.

Fate had blessed him once again.

Fate made him meet Sirius and had also sorted him into Gryffindor. They both became seriously mischievous through their fated meeting and consequently Sirius stole Mary's bag, thus discovering the drawings.

James smiled.

He and Lily were meant to be.

"Oi! Mary!" he called, seeing the blonde haired girl a few steps ahead of him.

"Oh James," she said happily, turning to see him running towards her. "How's things with Lily?"

The smile on his face said it all.

"That good, eh?" she asked, laughing at him now.

James nodded profusely.

Things were that good.

"So what's up?" Mary probed, now leaning against the wall.

"Oh, I wanted to ask...you said that sometimes your customers requested wedding scenarios?" James stated, an odd feeling of hope arising in his stomach.

Ever since Mary had suggested the scenario as a buying option, James couldn't stop wondering. And he didn't have the guts to ask Lily.

"Yes, lots of them actually," Mary replied bracingly. "Why? Want one for yourself?" she questioned, poking him in the ribs with a grin on her face.

"No," James breathed, thinking that maybe he might ask for one later when it wasn't quite such an embarrassing request. "I was actually wondering if...maybe...Lily asked for one?" he continued quietly, trying to avoid Mary's beaming face.

"Yes she did," Mary said sweepingly, pushing herself off of the wall. "Several of them, actually," she stated coming very close to James, her grin now huge. "Why?"

"Just wondering," James replied, now matching Mary's grin. "Just checking to make sure."

Not that he needed to, James thought as he skipped down the hall to meet his new girlfriend for lunch.

Fate had already decided everything for him anyways.