Reach Out (I'll Be There) , songfic inspired by JK Rowling's Harry Potter characters and Four Tops' 1966 hit "Reach Out (I'll Be There)"

"Did you hear? Lily's parents were killed."
"Death Eaters?"
"No, some kind of muggle car accident."
"Oh. Is she okay?"

James Potter paused midstride, his smile fading slowly from his face. James turned and grabbed the passersby. "Wait!" James forced out hoarsely. "Did you just say that Lily's parents were killed? Lily Evans, the Head Girl? That Lily?"
My Lily? He thought.

They nodded mutely at him as he stared them down, searching their faces for the truth. He abruptly dropped his hand and turned back to his Head quarters.

After finding the Head quarters empty, James went to his trunk and unearthed the Marauders Map.
Lily.
Lily.
Lily.
Lily Evans, just where James Potter feared she'd be… in Dumbledore's office.

"Why didn't she tell me?" James wondered. How could random Gryffindors know something so monumental before he knew? These thoughts swirled through his head before he discarded them. Thinking now of Lily. Only of Lily. How Lily must be feeling.

So alone.

So sad.

He wished he could be there for her. To put his arms around her as she went through something no young adult should ever have to endure.

James knew Lily wasn't likely to accept true comfort from him.

The only comforting thought James could think of was that he loved Lily. And that she was not alone. James would always be there for her. If she would only see.

But how to make her see?

When she'd been so blind these past 6 ½ years? Was there any hope at all that Lily would accept that James truly loved her?

He had to make her see.

He not only loved her romantically, but he loved her as a friend, as a companion, his partner. And he couldn't bear that she would go through such anguish alone.

Knowing that Dumbledore's office would be closed to him for now, James decided to channel his fears and concerns for Lily by going for a run outside. He needed speed, so as soon as he was clear of anyone's line of sight within the castle, he changed into his animagus form, a stag.

Galloping along the rocky pathway in the Forbidden Forest, James focused on the sound of his hoofs hitting the ground. Over and over the rhythm sounded, which reminded him of the beginning of a song he'd heard years ago.

The song's lyrics played in his mind as he thought over Lily's circumstances.

Now if you feel that you can't go on (can't go on)
Because all of your hope is gone (all your hope is gone)
And your life is filled with much confusion (much confusion)
Until happiness is just an illusion (happiness is just an illusion)
And your world around is crumbling down, darlin'
(Reach out)

Come on girl reach on out for me
(Reach out)

Reach out for me
I'll be there with a love that will shelter you
I'll be there with a love that will see you through

James knew enough about Lily's situation to know that her remaining living relative, her sister Petunia, would be of no comfort to her. Perhaps Lily's sister would even go so far as to blame Lily for not being there to save their parents… with magic.

He knew that magic has always been a source of contention between the girls.

James sighed.

He wished he could help Lily. What could he do?

Lily had to be willing to reach out to him.

He's waiting. He feels like he's been waiting forever for her to jump into his open, waiting arms.

He shook his head, dispelling the gloom of the depressing thought of his arms being empty forever.

Proactive action is what was needed now, so he headed back to the castle to wait for Lily.

When you feel lost and about to give up (to give up)
'Cause your life just ain't good enough (just ain't good enough)
And your feel the world has grown cold (has grown cold)
And your drifting out all on your own (drifting out on your own)
And you need a hand to hold, darlin
(Reach out)

Come on girl reach out for me
(Reach out)

Reach out for me
I'll be there to love and comfort you
And I'll be there to cherish and care for you
I'll be there to always see you through
I'll be there to love and comfort you

Lily exited Dumbledore's office. Slowly. Carefully putting one foot in front of the other. Holding herself together through sheer willpower.

Though still reeling in shock, the tears had yet to come.

She had just sat there, absorbing the heartbreaking, life-altering news that Dumbledore delivered so gently. And now she was gone. Out of his office. Not quite sure how. Not quite sure what reasons she'd given for leaving. She'd simply needed to go. Somewhere.

Somewhere that felt like home.

So she walked on.

Dazed and determined.

Her eyes focused on one foot stepping in front of the other. Both feet following a familiar path.

I can tell the way you hang your head (hang your head)
Your not in love now, now you're afraid (you're afraid)
And through the tears you look around (look around)
But there's no peace of mind to be found (no peace of mind to be found)
I know what you're thinking,
You're alone now, no love of your own, but darling
(Reach out)

Come on girl reach out for me
(Reach out, Reach out).......... Just look over your shoulder
I'll be there to give you all the love you need
And I'll be there, you can always depend on me
I'll be there to always see you through
I'll be there to love and comfort you

Just as she was about to enter the Head quarters, the entrance opened and she saw a pair of familiar shoes stop right in front of hers.

Lily looked up, tears shimmering in her eyes as she met James' somber, tender gaze.

Without a word, James opened his arms, lovingly and questioningly. Lily looked deep into James' eyes, and seeing something in them that reached out to her…

She finally reached out to him.