Hi everybody and welcome to my new story, I hope you enjoy it. I've been tossing the idea around of doing something for my favourite Harry Potter ship, Lily and James, for a while and here it is. Fair Accompli.
Title: Fair Accompli. "An irreversible action that has happened before those affected by it knew of its existence." I found it apt. In the HP Universe, James and Lily exist to ensure Harry's birth, though, of course, they don't know it at the time, their role is to give the world the boy who will eventually defeat Voldemort. This is a theme that will run throughout the story.
Rating: M, for language and explicit sexual references, themes and scenes. For the duration of the story a T rating would be appropriate, but a few certain chapters dictate that the higher rating is more suitable.
Chapters: Eighteen, including an epilogue.
Characters: Our dearest Mr Potter and Miss Evans of course.
Summary: Their final year, their final chance at finding each other, his final plan. To grow up. We all know that James Potter famously "deflated his head" before Lily Evans agreed to give a relationship with him a chance, but nobody ever suspected that James's actions were due to his determination not to leave Hogwarts without calling Lily his. With Death Eaters within the walls and heartbreaking realities forcing themselves on the unlikely couple, it will be their most interesting year at Hogwarts yet.
One – Live and Let Live
"In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities"
Lily Evans cast one final look around her cluttered bedroom, ignoring her father's yells coming from downstairs. It didn't appear as if she'd forgotten anything she needed but she was still finding it difficult to leave, despite knowing that she was already running late.
Perhaps it was the almost certain knowledge that when she next returned here, everything had the possibility of being very different. So much had changed between now and a year ago, the last time she'd been home. Perhaps she would have to break the tradition she'd formed, and return home for the Christmas holidays.
Hogwarts was majestic over the festive season but this year it seemed she would have to put her family first.
With a sigh she left her familiar childhood bedroom; her trunk was already downstairs. The only thing she carried in her hand now was the cage of her beautiful tawny own, Helene, who looked up at her sadly.
"I'm really sorry girl." Lily murmured softly to the owl as she carried her downstairs. "You know I wish I could take you with me, but I need you to stay here in case something…in case Dad needs to get in contact with me in a hurry."
Helene hooted softly in reply as they entered the small kitchen; she understood. Lily sat her large cage on the counter-bench and reached her finger into the cage. Helene gave her an affectionate nip and Lily fled the room before she started crying.
"Lils, we've got to go." Her dad exclaimed, one foot already out the door. "Give Petunia and your mother a kiss and get in the car."
Lily ran into the sitting room to say her final goodbyes. Her mother was wrapped in a thick woollen that was so large her small frame was lost in it. Despite the blanket and the unseasonably warm September day she was still shivering gently.
Lily was stricken by just how frail her mother had become in the past few months and wondered, feared, just what she'd look like by the time she next made it home. Petunia was sprawled elegantly at their mother's feet, reading to her and she barely looked up as Lily ran in.
The young redhead bit back tears as she crushed her mother in the fiercest hug she thought her frail body could handle. "I'll miss you," she whispered in her mother's ear.
Elizabeth Evans stroked her youngest daughter's hair, her arms frighteningly thin. "I'll miss you too, my dearest. Have a good term, have lots of fun and don't forget to study hard. Enjoy your last year, Head Girl." She smiled proudly. "Don't spend all your time worrying about your old mum."
Lily wanted to say that it was impossible, that she had spent the last eighteen months constantly worried about her mother and that wasn't going to change now, especially when Elizabeth was worse than ever, but instead she smiled, through a film of tears.
"Of course not. Write to me lots, Helene can deliver anything, whenever."
"Lily!" Came her father's warning call, the train wasn't going to wait for her.
"Coming!" She called back. She swooped down and kissed her older sister's head; though the two girls didn't get along as well as they had when they were young, Lily still hated leaving her sister, knowing she wouldn't see her for months. "Bye Tuney."
She gave her mother a final kiss. "I love you mummy."
Lily cried most the way into London and her father never interrupted her. They were walking through Kings Cross station, headed for platform nine and three-quarters, before her father spoke.
"Your mother's right Lils, Tuney and I have everything covered here. You go off to school, work hard, enjoy your last year and work on becoming the best," he lowered his voice conspiringly "witch you can be. We're so proud of you Lily."
"I know, daddy. Thank you." Lily bit her lip again, determined not to let the tears start flowing again now that she had finally stemmed them. "Let me know if anything happens; if she gets better…or worse."
"We will," he promised. They had reached the gate to the platform. "I'll leave you here baby, I'm sure you don't want your old dad embarrassing you on the platform now that you're Head Girl and everything." He ruffled her hair affectionately.
"Aw dad, of course you won't embarrass me!"
"It's okay Lils, I better be getting back. Have a great term." He hugged her tightly, and she squeezed him back, just as fiercely. She straightened up, brushing tears from her eyes again and straightening her blouse.
"How do I look?" She asked her dad, catching sight of her blouse and jeans combination in the reflection of the train on platform ten.
"Very head-girly," George Evans replied with a laugh. He gave her one last kiss on the head. "Go get 'em Lils."
Lily gave her father one last smiled and leaned casually against the barrier between platforms nine and ten, stumbling as she was absorbed between then. Lily smiled broadly at the sight of the crowded, busy platform; the scarlet steam engine and the misty fog that obscured all its inhabitants.
As much as she loved going back to the 'Muggle' world for the holidays, Hogwarts and the wizarding world was where she truly belonged.
Lily dragged her trunk into the undercarriage of the train before climbing aboard, calling hello to people she knew as she worked her way through the small crowds that were lingering in the hall between carriages.
She was prepared for a challenging year. Not only did she have N.E.W.T.s to contend with, but also the reality of the departure of her best friend, Dorcas Meadows. She and Dorcas had been best friends since their first trip together on the Hogwarts Express, two Muggle-born girls, awed and astounded by everything around them.
Both had excelled as soon as they were settled into their new lives at Hogwarts; Lily academically and Dorcas, on the Quidditch pitch. At the end of the last school year Dorcas had been targeted by the Holyhead Harpies to play for them, their youngest player, and she'd been ecstatic, accepting immediately.
While Lily was delighted for her friend, she had to admit it was odd returning to school without her.
As she continued to push through the train she heard a voice calling out her name again. She looked up to see the bright, shining face of Alice Pengrave smiling at her from the inside of a compartment.
"Alice!" She rushed forward to hug her friend. "You look fantastic."
"Thanks, Lily. How about you come in here and sit with me?"
"I'd love to." Lily felt a sudden rush of gratitude for Alice. Though they'd shared a dormitory for some years, they had never been the closest of friends. Though now, with the departure of Dorcas, and their other dorm mates, Mary MacDonald and Pricilla Henry, they would be alone in their dormitory.
Lily realised that Alice must feel as displaced as she herself was. Alice had been dating Frank Longbottom since their third year, but he had been a year above them, and had graduated the year before; moving on to Auror training and leaving Alice at Hogwarts.
"I'm surprised Frank isn't here to see you off." Lily questioned, looking out at the platform and the scenes of farewell as they chatted animatedly.
"He wanted to come, but I told him not to. I didn't want to end up crying in front of everyone." Alice admitted sheepishly. "It's going to be weird without him at Hogwarts."
Lily nodded, but personally, she could not understand how Alice could be in such a committed relationship at such a young age. She did not see the draw, surely it was better to be on your own, committed to studies and the future, rather than snogging.
It wasn't that Lily wasn't interested in boys, she was, she'd even had a boyfriend just last year for a few months, and it had been nice; it was just that, surely, it had to be more practical, not to have one, until after one's schooling was completed.
The train started moving slowly from the platform, and Lily jumped up, smoothing out her blouse once more.
"I've got to go and talk to the Prefects!" She looked down at Alice. "Head Girl," she smiled faintly.
"Congratulations! I knew you'd get that." Alice smiled at her. "I wonder who the Head Boy is; I hope its Remus."
So did Lily. Remus Lupin had been the other Gryffindor prefect with her since their fifth year, and even if Lily didn't get along well with the people he considered friends, she got along very well with him.
Promising Alice she'd be back as soon as she could, Lily left the compartment, headed for the front carriage of the train. The meeting with the prefects wasn't to start for another five minutes, but she wanted to be early; prepared. She had thought hard about what she wanted to say, what kind of leader she wanted to be; firm but kind, everybody's friend. She hoped fervently that she got along well with the head boy, so much hinged on that relationship; as long as it wasn't Mulciber, that horrible boy from Slytherin…
As she had predicted, she was the first one in the compartment. She settled in comfortable, rehearsing what she wanted to say. She stood up smiling when the compartment door opened again, but the smile froze on her face when she saw who it was.
If possible, James Potter had grown more attractive over the summer. He was taller again, his frame filled with impressive muscles, barely concealed by the muggle outfit of jeans and t-shirt that he wore so well. His jaw was stronger; his eyes, as always obscured by wire glasses, were bright and he was well-tanned. Lily knew James's face well enough to see its flaws; his noise was slightly crooked, his bottom lip fuller than his top – but those suited him well.
It wasn't just the beauty of his face that made James Potter so attractive, it was the air of confidence he put out, a confidence Lily found intolerable.
In truth, Lily found nearly everything about James intolerable. They had clashed on their very first trip on the Hogwarts Express, seven years previously, and had repeated the experience persistently over time.
Perhaps it was inevitable that two personalities that were both so strong and yet so opposing had sparred so often.
James was everything Lily couldn't stand: proud, arrogant and so sure of his own abilities. He achieved everything without even trying and had no regard for anybody else.
Alternatively, James found Lily's frustration with him completely endearing, and had repeatedly asked her out since their first year, giving Lily the opportunity to design new ways to say "no", as creatively as possible.
So when Lily saw James, striding into the prefects carriage as if he belonged there, she was more than aware of how very attractive he had become, not that she would ever admit it; because if she knew how handsome James was, she knew he knew it as well and would surely use it to his own advantage.
Their eyes met, startling green and deep hazel and James's face twisted into a small smile. Lily's breath caught in her throat; this was not the smirk she had become so accustomed to seeing on his face over the last six years, nor the sneer she had seen on occasion when he was confronted with someone he particularly didn't like.
This smile was genuine, easy, carefree, just something that sprang into being at the look of shock on Lily's face.
"Evans." He greeted her, his voice pleasantly husky. "How was your summer?"
"Potter…what are you…" She found her voice and drew herself up to her full height, unimpressive beside his six foot two frame. "This is the prefects' compartment. You can't be in here unless you're a prefect, and you're not!"
He continued to grin at her. "No Evans, I'm not. I am however, Head Boy." He pointed proudly to the badge he had pinned to his t-shirt. Lily stared at in his disbelief, how had she missed the shiny piece of metal earlier? James Potter wasn't…couldn't be…Head Body? He hadn't even been a prefect!
"But…you weren't even…you weren't a prefect…you can't be Head Boy!" She cried indignantly, with only a slight problem of forming flowing sentences.
"There's no rule saying you have to be a prefect to become Head Boy; it's just the way it's normally been done." James was still grinning as he wound his way around the table in the middle of the compartment and came to stand beside Lily.
The smile faded on his face for a minute and Lily struggled with her sure knowledge that James Potter was being…serious. "Look, Evans. I was just as shocked as you were, but I've had a bit of time to adjust to the idea and I know what you're thinking but I am going to take this seriously." He smiled a little at her. "We should have a chat Evans, I think we could be really good partners."
Oh boy. James laid his hand on Lily's upper arm and she looked down at it in surprise. His skin was warm on hers, warmer than anybody had a right to be and his hand was so big he could have wrapped his fingers around her arm if he wanted to.
Lily was taken off guard by the gesture, by what she was hearing. This wasn't the James Potter who had fastened her hair to the back of her chair with a permanent sticking charm their second year when Professor Flitwick had been distracted. This wasn't the James Potter who had asked her out to every Hogsmeade weekend since their very first one in third year. This wasn't the James Potter who insisted on playing Exploding Snap as close to her as possible the night before their History of Magic O.W.L, relishing in distracting her.
She looked up from her arm where his hand still rested.
"Who are you and what have you done with James Potter?" She asked faintly.
His boom of laughter was interrupted by the sound of the compartment door sliding open again. One by one, prefect began to file into the room, staring in shock at James Potter, with the Head Boy badge pinned jauntily to his chest.
He greeted them all cheerfully, ushering them inside and finally calling the meeting to order. All the while Lily concentrated on remembering how to breathe.
"Well, welcome everyone." James said, glancing down at Lily, waiting for her to introduce herself. When she didn't, he continued. "I'm sure most of you remember the gorgeous Lily Evans, your Head Girl for this year."
Lily snapped out of her reverie. "And you all know the dashingly handsome, fantastically talented Gryffindor Quidditch captain and this year's Head Boy, James Potter." She countered acerbically.
Somehow, it appeared her sarcasm had been lost upon the group of prefects that were crowded into the carriage. They all stared between the two seventh years that were so famous for hating one another, wondering what on earth had happened between them during the summer break.
"I think you need to work on your sarcasm," James muttered under his breath and Lily sent him a scathing glare in reply. With a smile she turned back to the prefects and gave them their instructions for the train ride.
"Well, I think that's it for now…" Lily began to wind down her talk. "We'll meet again in the classroom off the Great Hall after you've escorted your first years to your Common Rooms' tonight. You're free to go unless there's anything Pot…James wanted to add."
"I think Lily's covered everything. Don't forget to patrol the corridors occasionally and we'll see you tonight after the feast."
They all filed out, casting furtive glances behind their shoulders as they did at the Head Boy and Girl who remained behind.
"I'll take the first patrol if you'd like." James offered.
Lily's eyes widened a bit at his voluntary good behaviour. "Sure."
"Great, I'll see you later then. We can have that chat after the meeting." He winked at her and exited the compartment.
Lily was left to stumble, reeling, back to the carriage she and Alice were sharing.
"Lily? What's the matter? You look as if you've seen a ghost." Alice exclaimed as Lily sunk down into the chair opposite her.
"I feel as if I have." Lily said a little breathlessly, before finding her voice again. "Potter is Head Boy! James Bloody Potter!" She shrieked. "The boy who has spent more time in detention than anyone else ever to go to Hogwarts; he just strolls into the prefect carriage and announces it! He's so damn frustrating. How am I supposed to get anything done with him around? And he wants to talk to me after the feat! Says he's taking it serious…"
"And he looks absolutely edible now." Alice added conversationally.
"Ad that!" Lily agreed before she actually heard the words and gasped. "Alice! Don't trick me like that! Besides, how do you know that? What about Frank?"
"Just because I'm with Frank doesn't mean I'm dead. I saw James on the platform, and he looked incredible."
Lily sighed, letting her head roll back to the cushion of her seat.
"What am I going to do?"She asked Alice hopelessly.
"Say yes the next time he asks you to Hogsmeade? Have that talk with him? Jump his bones?" Alice giggled.
"I'm serious Alice! He's ruining everything."
"With his dreamy eyes, and his strong jaw and his muscles…Oh, those muscles!" Alice teased mercilessly. "Oh come on Lily, relax. Go along to your meeting tonight and talk to him, lay down some ground rules, he might surprise you. Now stop stressing and let me tell you about what Frank's mother said to me during the holidays…"
The door swung shut with an ominous click as the last of the prefect filled out of the room after their meeting. It had gone well; Lily was pleased with the easy level of agreement among the leaders of the school, even Mulciber from Slytherin.
It was late into the night and she had been awake since early that morning. With a stomach full of the best Hogwarts had to offer, all Lily wanted to do was go up to bed, but she had promised Potter that she'd listen to what he had to say and so she waited.
She lingered, somewhat patiently, while James loosened his tie and leaned against a table opposite the one she was curled up on.
"You never answered my question before you know, Evans." James grinned at her as he ran his fingers through his hair for the three thousandth time that night.
"What question?" She asked, honestly confused.
"How was your summer?"
Lily paused, still confused. James Potter was being civil, polite, enquiring after her holidays. But what could she tell him? That she had spent most her summer dreading this year to come, watching her mother get smaller and thinner and frailer in front of her eyes, knowing that there was nothing she could do about it, even with all her magical abilities.
That she had fought continually, if not quietly so as not to disturb her mum, with her sister. That was the reality of Lily's holidays, but she wasn't sure James Potter wanted to hear that.
"It was nice to have a break." She replied as honestly as she could, "How about you?"
"Great. I played Quidditch nearly the entire time." He grinned broadly at her, as if nothing could make him happier.
Silently, Lily thought to herself that would account for the impressive bulk of muscles he had built and the attractive tan to his skin.
He was still grinning at her as she stifled a yawn behind her hand.
"Was there something you wanted to talk to me about Potter?" She reminded him wearily. It wasn't even technically the first day of term and he was already wearing on her nerves. "Because it's a long day and I'd like to go to bed."
James shifted in his seat and Lily was shocked to see, that just for a moment, he wasn't his normal composed self, the façade slipped, but it was up again just as quickly.
"You never have been very patient have you, Red?" He smirked at her.
Lily jumped to her feet. She'd been prepared to listen to James, half-believing that maybe he had changed, and here he was, pushing her again. She hated when he called her Red and he knew it.
"Relax Evans, I was just teasing. I did want to chat, sit down." He patted the desk beside him and warily, Lily obliged.
"I know you must have been shocked to find out I was Head Boy, I know I was," he repeated his words from earlier that day, "but I am going to try to do a good job. I really want to make this year matter, so I've decided that…I need to mature a bit. And you're the most mature person I know Evans, so I was hoping you'd help me."
"I think I've just been called old." Lily muttered under her breath, smiling a little. James's smile grew more pronounced. "You want to mature?" She asked doubtfully.
"Well, to an extent…" He grinned at her, his hazel eyes glinting. "I'm going to study and I'm going to try to make the best of this whole Head Boy thing. Who knew what Dumbledore was thinking when he made that decision."
Lily raised her eyebrows, impressed by his sudden turn around. "And no pranks, no bullying, no shirking your responsibilities?" She questioned.
"Well…no bullying or shirking my responsibilities." His trademark smirk was back. "Come on Evans, do you think the boys would really put up with me going completely tame?"
She shook her head, and, against her better judgement, smiled. James seemed to take this as encouragement because he began to speak again.
"I was thinking, over the break…" He said, and his voice was not the hurried excitement she'd been expecting, but thoughtful, and considered. "That it's only you and Alice in your dormitory now, isn't it?"
"Yeah, well Dorcas is off playing Quidditch and Pricilla moved back to the Continent. And Mary never came back after…fifth year." She replied questioningly, made very curious by his question.
"Well, the boys and I were talking about it on the train and we were thinking, being that there's only the six of us seventh year Gryffindor's left now, maybe we could help each other out? You know, with schoolwork and timetables and fitting everything in; even sit together at meals."
"Potter," Lily was astounded. "Are you suggesting that we be…friends?"
"Yes Evans, I guess I am." He grinned shiftily.
Lily thought for a second. It could be awfully lonely just her and Alice, but…to be friends with the infamous Marauders? James it seemed was trying to reform his ways, but what about the ever-mischievous Sirius? Or Peter, who followed the every move of his friends? Or even Remus, who had always taken a back seat to the more hare-brained of James and Sirius' schemes, but had never tried to put a stop to them either?
Were they trying o grow up as well, or was it just James? More to the point, could Lily really deal with the added distraction this year?
"I guess we could try that." Lily conceded slowly. She looked up beside her at James. "You've give me a lot to consider Potter; you're making my head spin."
"In a good way I hope." He winked at her.
She had to bite back a smile. That was the Potter she knew, through the change he had promised would be welcome, she almost hadn't recognized the boy-man she was sitting beside.
"I'm going up to bed Potter, it's almost midnight. Are you coming?"
"I just want to pack up here, you go ahead."
Lily stood up, stretching a little before she headed for the door. She paused, looking over her shoulder at James who was still propped against the desk.
"Goodnight Potter." She said, reaching for the door.
"Night Evans." He smiled back at her and watched the door click shut behind her.
James Potter stared at the door that Lily Evans had just exited and sighed deeply. Already he could tell that it was going to take a lot of effort on his part to undo the impression Lily had formed of him over the last six years. But he was determined.
This was his last shot with her and after six years of continual failure, he didn't think he could deal with anymore.
Despite what Lily may, and probably did, think, he wasn't just interested in her because she was beautiful, though, of course, that had been the original attraction.
It was because she was brave and kind and fierce willed, because she had never backed down from a fight and because she herself fought for what she wanted.
Sirius had suggested once that all he might be interested in was the chase that pursuing Lily Evans had become, but he knew that wasn't the case. He wanted to Lily to say yes to him; of course to kiss him, to hold her in his arms, not just one but every day, whenever he wanted.
He wanted to introduce her to his parents and meet hers, to find out what it had been like for her, finding out about this other world and making the transition from the Muggle to the magical. He wanted to make love to her, to make her call his name out in ecstasy, because he was right for her, better than anyone else and because he couldn't stand the idea that anybody else could ever make her feel like that.
He wanted her to say that he was hers, and he ached to call her his. If that wasn't love, he didn't know what was.
James thought back to the conversation he had had with his father at the beginning of the holidays. Harold Potter had sat his son down and asked him about his future and where he saw it going. James had hesitated, wanting to be honest with his father, but not wanting to sound like some infatuated teenager; because all that came into his head when he thought of his future was Lily Evans.
Harold knew his son well enough to sense his reluctance.
"What is it, son?"
"I want to be an Auror." James commented honestly, though that wasn't the foremost thing in his mind.
"Well, there's nothing wrong with that James!" His father beamed, clapping him on the shoulder. "It's a lot of work but I'm confident you'll manage."
James nodded; his eyes downcast.
"And what else?" Harold asked, not at all fooled by his son's act.
James's hand jumped at his hair, tugging at it in frustration at its inability to do what he wanted. "You'll think I'm stupid, but I can't help it." He eyed his father. "There's this girl…"
Harold chucked lowly and James looked up apologetically.
"It's always a girl. Go on, son."
"I know you'll think I'm too young but I love her dad. She's constantly on my mind. She's so beautiful and smart and fiery. If I haven't spoken to her at the end of the day, I'm disappointed. I ask her out every opportunity I get, but she's never said yes. She thinks I'm an arrogant, conceited jerk."
"How do you know, how don't you know she likes you too?"
"She told me!" James burst out. "She tells me every chance she gets!"
"And what have you done to convince her otherwise?"
"What?" James was stumped.
"You say this girl thinks you're all these horrible things, what have you done to convince her you're not."
"Ummm…" He had no answer.
It was at that point Harold had taken pity on his son. "James, you say you love this girl, maybe you should show her. I'm not talking about asking her out, I'm talking about listening to what she tells you and acting on it. She doesn't like it when you hex people, stop. She thinks your arrogant, pull your head in.
"I'm not saying to change for her, just to show her your better side. You're a good person James, but I think you wear a façade of bravado when you're at school. Let it down a little bit; let her see the human side of you."
James was baffled. He had always known his father was a wise man, full of good advice, but never before had he made so much sense to him.
"Be myself, be human." James said, rolling the words around on his tongue. "Do you think she'd like that Lily?"
"If your Lily's anything like you've painted her to be, I think she won't be able to help but fall in love with you." Harold had replied warmly.
Now, sitting in an empty classroom as his new watch ticked over midnight, James remembered his father's words, coupled with the look of surprise in those haunting green eyes he loved so much, at his good behaviour.
She wasn't his Lily yet, but she would be.
And there we have it, chapter one. Thankyou for reading. Special thanks go to my beta CaseyCoops, who took this responsibility up at the very last moment and my amazing pre-reader Kait Hobbit, who's been with me and this story from the very start. Without the both of them, this story wouldn't be half what it is.
I plan to update weekly, on Friday morning, Australian time, please adjust that to wherever in the world you might be reading from. I've written a lot of this story in advance, so I can promise a fairly regular updating schedule (save natural, uni-related, or personal disasters).
Please take the time to review. I'd love to know your opinions, good or bad. I can also promise all those who review a sneak peak of the next chapter, most likely by Wednesday night, my time.
Once again, thankyou for reading and I swear not all my author's notes will be this long in the future.