"Good morning sunshine!"
What followed was a muffled reply, which James couldn't quite catch, from underneath the pillow Lily had firmly planted over her head. Gently, yet firmly, prying the pillow from her grasp, James planted a chaste kiss on the sleeping girl's forehead.
"Time to rise and shine, sleepyhead." James sang, lifting the girl into a sitting position on her bed. She stared sleepily, wondering why, how, and since when James Potter had even invaded her dreams. He grinned cheekily back before placing her toiletries in her right hand, and pushing her onto her feet. When she simply stood there, confused, he stood and began to steer her towards the bathroom, hands warm on her shoulders.
"...What wait—what time is it?" She asked, still rubbing her eyes and firmly planting her feet into the ground so James couldn't direct her movement anymore. He stumbled slightly but recovered, leaning his chin onto her shoulder lightly so that he could look at her face.
"Why, it's 5: 30 sweetheart." That statement seemed to wake her up instantly as she stiffly turned her head slightly to glare at James. His innocent brown eyes stared inquisitively back into her smoldering emerald ones.
"And why did you decide to wake me up at such a wretched hour on a Monday morning?"
"I thought you might like a nice morning walk around the school grounds. We've been having such wonderful weather lately. Plus, since I came in early, Arabella can't yell at me for going into the girl's dorm and I can have you all to myself until at least eight."
"When the relatively sane people wake up." Lily muttered under her breath, to which James replied with a hearty, "That's right!"
"Now go get washed up." He remarked, pushing Lily gently into the girl's bathroom. She contemplated simply staying in one of the stalls to catch up on her lost sleep, but figured that James would claim "concern" and barge into the girl's bathroom in fear that Lily had drowned or something. Though drowning did seem like a mighty fine idea just about now.
Rolling her eyes and mustering any energy she had left to deal with James—which was not much—Lily walked over to the sink and began her daily, morning ritual. Glancing at her reflection, Lily was quite surprised to see her hair the natural red that she was accustomed to, and pleased to find that there seemed to be no remnant of her owl tenants the previous day.
"Well, almost," she muttered, plucking a stray twig out of her hair.
Lily sighed for the umpteenth time as she and James circled the lake in front of the school. He had his arm firmly tangled in hers—most likely to keep her from getting away. She knew this because she had already tried before—several times.
Currently, Lily was trying to devise a different way to escape from James' viselike grip and catch up on another hour of sleep or so. Perhaps she could scream "Giant Octopus attack!" and then make a mad dash for her room. Or maybe she could simply hit him—though she was fairly sure that James was at least a little stronger than her. Or, oh, maybe—
"-on't you think?"
Lily blinked. "Uh,what?"
"I said 'It's about time for breakfast, don't you think?'" James paused, suddenly grinning mischievously, "Unless you'd rather just stay out here with me all day, I certainly wouldn't mind—"
But Lily was already walking back towards the castle, unwillingly dragging James along with her.
"G'morning Lily! Geez, where did you go so ea—oh." Yumi's question was cut off, and answered at the same time, by the smiling James that Lily was tugging along with her as she made her way towards the table. She sat opposite of them, with James on her right. As he took a plate and began to pile food on top of it, he paused as Lily sighed and prodded him in the arm.
"Yes my dear?"
Yumi and even Arabella had to stifle their laughter as Lily replied in a very worn voice, "James, how am I going to eat if you continue to strangle the life out of my arm?"
He perked up, "I'll feed you."
"Then how will you eat?" She asked dryly. He seemed to contemplate this for a good while before resignedly letting go of her now sore arm. Sighing in relief, Lily flexed her arm a bit before gathering food onto her own plate.
It was then she noticed that the marauders had entered the main hall as Peter took a seat to her right—wait, right? She did a double take and then groaned as her left arm was taken captive by James. She glared with a mixture of surprise and great annoyance as she found out that James Potter was ambidextrous.
"Now that's devotion." Arabella remarked dryly, though there was a not so hidden glimmer of amusement in her amethyst eyes. Lily shot her a look that promised revenge—as soon as she had control of both her arms again.
"James, bathroom." Lily said, pointing to the door of the girl's bathroom as they passed by it on the way to the Great Hall.
"You go to the bathroom...a lot..." James raised an eyebrow at the girl, who smiled innocently back.
"I have a small bladder." She replied without missing a beat, rushing through the door as soon as he had loosened his grip on her arm.
"Ugh." Once inside, Lily slumped onto the floor of the girl's bathroom. She rubbed her sore arms, trying to get some feeling back into them before she had to join the world outside the girl's bathroom—James—once more. She vaguely considered jumping out the window—despite it being the seventh floor—but figured that if it hadn't worked the last fifteen times, it wouldn't work now. Stupid James and his stupid quidditch abilities always caught her right before she made it to the ground.
"Problems?" A voice asked from within one of the stalls; it was a voice that was quite familiar to Lily.
"Trina?" She asked wearily.
"In the flesh." The blonde replied as she opened the stall door with a flourish. Lily stared blankly and Trina coughed, as if she hadn't really been expecting a grand applause.
"If you're going to yell at me, can you do it some other time? Please? I don't even have the strength to listen right now." The red head whimpered, placing her head upon her knees and closing her eyes tiredly.
"Oh no, I'm far past pining over James." Trina replied cheerfully, scrutinizing her reflection in the mirror carefully. That statement made Lily jerk her head up to the girl in surprise—and cracking her neck in the process. She winced and rubbed the back of it as she watched Trina reapply her lipstick.
"Surprised much?" The blonde asked with a wry smile, smacking her lips and blowing the mirror a kiss.
"Crestfallen is the word. I was hoping someone would get him off my back soon."
Trina snorted, "Fat chance, hun. Not only is every girl quite aware that they don't stand a chance against James' affection for you, but they're horrified of the—very special attention—he gives to you." Lily groaned and Trina laughed
"This isn't just some ploy to get James back, is it?" Lily asked, curiously, hands on her knees as she looked up at the other girl.
"Didn't I just say I was over him?"
Lily groaned again and Trina laughed.
"I just wish he'd hurry and realize that he doesn't love me, so he would just leave me alone." Lily scowled, now irritated.
"He said he loved you?" Trina's eyebrows rose.
"You mean you actually didn't hear it?" Lily asked dryly, remembering the commotion they had made in the Gryffindor common room.
"So, he said he loved you...and you don't think he loves you?" Trina asked, surprise still written on her face.
"No," Lily shook her head, "I know he doesn't. How could he? We've gotten to know each other for barely a month."
Trina hummed lightly, "You know, I'm disappointed in you Lily Evans."
"And here I thought you were a smart girl."
"Pardon?" Lily growled, irritation peaking.
Trina crouched down in front of her and tapped her on the forehead lightly, "James is a smooth-talker, yes, but he's not a liar. If he doesn't like someone he'll say it—or express it in other ways. In the same way, if he really loves someone, he'll say it. He's not the type to throw around such words so lightly." She paused, pursing her lips, "He's the type to do whatever stupid things he must in order to win the attention and affection of the one he does love—though I'm not sure if that's a good point of his or not…"
"B-but you," Lily frowned, before firmly repeating, "you can't fall in love in a month's time. There's no possible way."
"Have you ever been in love?"
"Well…" Lily trailed off, turning the question in her head.
"Then what makes you such an expert on love and its limits?" Trina asked pointedly, rising from her spot in front of Lily. The redhead moved to retort, but found she had nothing to say.
"Don't forget to invite me to the wedding." The blonde grinned as she pat Lily on the shoulder made to exit.
"Since when were you one of the good guys?" Lily asked wearily, resting her head against the wall and staring up listlessly at the ceiling.
Trina laughed, "The story's about to end, hun, and even I'm fond of happy endings."
"Story?" Lily repeated confusedly as the other girl exited.
James nodded at the blonde as she walked out of the bathroom. Lily followed shortly afterwards and James shot her a quizzical look.
"You were in there an awfully long time."
She shrugged half heartedly, "Making room for lunch?"
"Has anyone seen Lily?" Arabella asked several people in the common room, looking for her red headed friend. They had a project to work on and time was ticking away.
"I think she's in the dorm room..." One person trailed off and Arabella hurried off to find her, a frown on her face. They had promised to meet ages ago, just what—
Arabella found she was at a complete loss of words as she opened the door to what seemed like another dimension—another very pink dimension. The entire room had been transformed into various shades of pink and was littered with various pink knickknacks, flowers, dolls, balloons, and countless other things Arabella couldn't even begin to describe. It was like a perpetual Valentine's Day—only, pinker.
In the center of the pinkness were Lily and James. Lily sat reading a book with one hand, while James occupied the other, prattling on about something or another.
"—and we'll get married and have a son, and we'll name him Harold after my grandfather. He'll have my good looks and your beautiful eyes. Oh! And he'll also be a fine Quidditch player like his daddy, and he'll be brilliant like his mother. I bet with our genes he'll become a great wizard—hell, I bet he'll even have his own book series! And..."
That was all Arabella could stand of the horrific sight before slamming the door shut, all thoughts of finding Lily forgotten. It was the one of the most horrible things she had seen and would probably scar her for the rest of her life. Oh the pinkness!
"Hey uhm, you see James by any chance?" Sirius asked, hesitantly placing a hand on the shoulder of the shell-shocked brunette. He had asked just about everyone else in the common room and it seemed she was the only option left. She pointed to the door in front of her, but when Sirius reached for the doorknob, Arabella grabbed onto his arm without any thought.
"I...don't think you want to go in there."
At the look of sheer horror on the brunette's face, Sirius wisely chose to obey.
His sudden change of tone from carefree and cheerful to slightly uncertain made her start, but she replied with a simple, "Yes James?" while keeping her eyes on the book in front of her.
When he didn't reply and let go of her arm, Lily blinked and turned towards him, "James?"
"Are we going to say each other's names all day or are you going to talk?" Lily asked lightheartedly, but only got an awkward smile in return. She frowned.
"James, you're worrying me. What's wrong?"
"Huh? Yeah sure, it's okay. Just tell me what's wrong." Lily waved the apology away absently; wanting to know what had happened to the smiling James she had grown accustomed to.
He cracked a thin smile, "No, that's just it. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for bothering you and wasting your time."
"Did you finally realize that whatever you were feeling for me wasn't love?" Lily asked, now triumphant.
"No, no, I'm still quite in love with you. I just realized that I can't force you fall in love with me. Seeing Trina today kind of made me realize that. I told myself that if you didn't love me by the end of today, then you probably wouldn't ever. So, I'm sorry, Lily." With that, James pulled her into a sudden embrace, lingering just a little longer than he should have, before getting up to leave the room, taking the pinkness with him. Lily sat quite still, mind reeling from the recent turn of events.
A few minutes after James had left, Arabella opened the door cautiously. Seeing no trace of any pink, she sighed in relief and walked in. "So how'd you finally get James to let go of your arm?"
Lily turned her wide emerald eyes on her friend, "I didn't."
But Lily didn't reply, couldn't think of anything to say; simply stared at the door, a strange prickling sensation in her chest.
A/N: Two chapters up this time around cause I figured I should—though the wait between updates is one of the shorter ones this time around, I believe. This leaves just one chapter left! Huzzah! And then this story will be out of my mind and off my conscience—again! When that will be, however, I'm not too sure of. At least, it'd be a two week wait—that is, if I'm ridiculously bored at home during the first few days of my summer break. But it's going to have to compete with my itching desire to continue FFIX, which I had started a new game of during Easter. At most, it could be anytime during the summer, because I'm sure at least sometime during the glorious 3 full months I have off, I should be able to pump out the last chapter.
Thanks again for those who commented and waited and supported me. I'll try my best to finish this story off!