Hey everyone! I know it's been ages since I've posted anything new. But that's about to change! This is my new one-shot that I came up with one day while searching for a good James-Lily story with my best bud, Darvia. We both wanted a good James-Lily story, so she told me to write one. And here it is! I hope you like it, comments are always appreciated. I love you all, my faithful readers! Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters; J.K. Rowling owns all, and I am simply borrowing them. =]
As we all settled down to the Halloween Feast, I looked down the table and my heart raced at the sight of Lily. She tilted her head back and laughed at something Alice had said, her brilliant red hair swaying. My breath hitched in my throat as I saw the smile spread through her beautiful features, making them even lovelier. My heart ached as I thought about letting her go, but I knew it was inevitable. She would never love me back. I jumped when something hard and greasy hit me in the face.
"We all know you can't take your eyes off her, but could you focus for just a minute?" Sirius asked, another strip of bacon held at the ready to launch at my face if needed.
I held my hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay, I'm focusing." I told the other three members of our group. "I think it's about time I bow out gracefully. I know a lost cause when I see one."
The bacon fell out of Sirius' hand and Remus' fork clattered onto his plate. The three of them just started at me.
"What?" I demanded hotly. "We all know Lils will never love me, so what's the point? I'm tired of chasing air."
"Chasing air?" Peter asked, looking confused.
"It's a metaphor, dipstick." Sirius replied with a roll of his eyes.
Remus looked at me with concern. "Are you sure?" He asked. "I mean, it is possible that she's running away from her feelings. Maybe she—"
I held up a hand to stop him, "No. Thanks Moony, but no. It's not going to happen. This conversation is over."
I swallowed, trying to force the lump in my throat to go down. I shoveled a forkful of Shepherd's Pie into my mouth – not because I was hungry, but simply so I wouldn't have to talk anymore. It felt like paper in my mouth and I had to take a large drink of pumpkin juice just to swallow it down. The others seemed to accept that I didn't want to discuss it and went back to planning our next outing. I listened and threw in ideas, but my heart wasn't in it. Not this time.
I had thought at the beginning of the year that things might be different. I was mistaken, though. Lily still hated me. She couldn't stand the sight of me and constantly reminded everyone of that fact. I couldn't take this pain anymore. As much help my fellow Marauders tried to be, they couldn't understand. They weren't helplessly in love with a girl who hated their guts. They weren't giving up on the only person they had ever truly loved. They weren't surrendering after six and a half years because they had no other choice. Or because they loved her so much they cared more about her happiness then their own. I did.
After the feast I stayed behind in the Entrance Hall as my three best mates ascended the stairs. I had to go make rounds with Lily.
"Jamesie!" I flinched at the annoying nickname I had been given by one of the many girls who were "in love" with me. They didn't know what real love was. I turned toward the voice, a dazzling smile on my face despite the dead feeling I had inside me.
The brunet barreled into me, pressing her lips to mine. I pushed her away roughly. I couldn't deal with this right now. Not with Lils glaring daggers at me from five feet away.
"What?" I asked.
The girl was bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Oh nothing; I just wanted to tell you goodnight."
She whacked my arm lightly. "Because, I'm your girlfriend, silly!"
I have a girlfriend? I wondered to myself. How do I forget I have a girlfriend? I sighed. I guess I've been more out of it than I originally thought.
"I have to go," I told her as I pushed past her. My heart rate increased just by being near Lily. I rubbed the back of my neck, trying to remove the knot there.
"You ready?" I asked.
"I've been ready. Are you ready, Potter? Sure your girlfriend doesn't want to snog some more first?"
I winced at her icy tone.
"She'll get over it. Come on." I grabbed her hand, my nerve endings going into over drive. How could she not feel it? I pushed the thought away as I took her down the first hallway on our patrol. It was like a stab in the chest when Lily yanked her hand out of mine forcibly.
"I can walk for myself, thanks." She snapped.
"Sorry," I muttered, not looking at her. Usually, I took the time we had together while we made our rounds to my advantage. I'd bug Lily, constantly asked her out on dates, teasing her. But not tonight. Tonight I just wanted to run far away.
"So what number is she? Twenty?" Lils asked with disapproval. I just shrugged, looking anywhere but at the obstinate, determined, strong, gorgeous girl beside me. If I did, it would only be that much harder to walk away.
"You don't even know? That's pathetic, Potter. Is there even a reason you go out with every girl that fawns over you?"
I shrugged again, provoking an irritated grunt to come from Lily. I could have given her an answer. I could have told her that she was the reason. That I went out with every girl who fawned over me because they took my mind off her, if only for a few minutes. That they made it hurt less when Lily repeatedly rejected me because I knew that someone wanted me. But they would never mean anything to me. How could they, when the only girl I'd ever wanted was the only one who wouldn't take me?
The rest of our rounds were made in silence, which was a first. I prepared myself mentally for what I had to do – for my own sake as much as Lily's. We finally made it to our last corridor. I took a deep breath before stopping and turning to face Lily.
"We need to talk, Lily." I said, forcing my voice to sound casual, forcing my face to be calm –trying to ignore the sharp pain slowly increasing in my chest.
A frown pulled at her enchanting face and her liquid emerald eyes narrowed at me.
"Talk about what? I don't need you to waste my time, Potter. I have things to do."
"And so do I," I said, irritation coloring my tone. "So just let me talk, okay?"
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms across her chest in a gesture I'd come to love. It was so Lily.
"Look, I've been thinking and I—" She cut me off before I could finish.
"No, Potter, for the millionth time, I will not go to Hogsmeade with you!" She said with exasperation.
"I know! That's what I'm trying to tell you!"
"What? You're not making sense, Potter."
"I would if you'd let me talk!" I told her.
"Okay, sorry. Please, go on." I ignored the sarcasm in her voice as I lost myself in her beautiful eyes.
"I just want you to know, I get when it's time to quite. I'm sure you don't think so, but I know a deadlock when I see one. So, I'll never ask you on a date again."
"Really? Oh thank God!"
I bit my lip against the stab of pain that comment brought to me. Did she truly hate me that much? I cleared my throat.
"I-I won't bother you anymore. You'll never have to talk to me again….I can't take this anymore." I swallowed, fighting the lump in my throat. I wanted to scream, I wanted to run. But I couldn't. Not yet.
"What are you talking about? Can't take what?"
"I can't take the pain. The heartache. The rejection. All of it. I can't take anymore, Lily. You hate me, and I get that. There is no reason to love someone when they will never love you back. But sometimes you can't help it. Sometimes your heart does things you don't understand. I've tried for six years to try and make you like me, but obviously it's never going to happen. I can't take being in love with someone who hates me anymore.
"I'm sorry for being annoying. I'm sorry I couldn't be what you wanted. I promise I will never bother you again. So, I guess, in a way, this is goodbye. You're beautiful, smart, strong, and sweet. I know you'll find a great guy one day. Even though, whoever he is, he'll never deserve you."
I walked away then, biting my lip and struggling to breathe. I'd actually done it. I'd told Lily how I felt. I'd told her I was giving up. But would it make things any better? I doubted it. I'd told my heart to give up thousands of times, but the heart wants what it wants. At least I could move on. Lils would never love me and I'd accepted it. Maybe now I could get over her. I doubted that, too.
I thought about going up to our dorm, but that would mean I'd have to talk to Sirius, Remus, and Peter. I couldn't handle that right now. I wasn't sure how it was possible to ache both physically and emotionally. But it was very possible and very painful. Words can't describe. I felt like I'd just fought a dragon and then played an extremely rough game of Quidditch.
I was half way down the corridor, fighting the turmoil inside, trying not to break when I heard Lily's voice.
"James, wait!" The sound of pounding footsteps followed the demand. I stopped and managed to turn around just as Lily threw herself at me.
She wrapped her arms around my chest, holding tightly.
"Please don't leave." She said, looking up at me, her tear-filled emerald eyes enchanting.
"I can't take it either. I can't ignore it."
I frowned. "Ignore what?"
"That I love you. That I'm in love with you. That I have been for years." As if to show me the truth in her words, she stood on the tip of her toes and pressed her lips to mine. My lips were on fire as I wrapped my arms around her. The tears ran down her cheeks, wet and hot, and I could taste the saltiness on her lips.
This wasn't real. It couldn't be. Lily hated me…yet here she was, kissing me like she really meant it.
I pulled back, my breathing uneven. I wasn't sure if it was from the kiss, the fact I had Lily in my arms, or because I couldn't take it all in.
"This isn't real," I whispered, resting my forehead against Lily's with my eyes closed. I felt her nod. I felt her hand on the nape of my neck, her fingers tangled in my hair.
"It is." She promised.
I opened my eyes, took her head in my hands.
"How? How can this be real? You hate me." I spoke softly, gently, as I rubbed my thumbs slowly across her cheeks to remove the wet trails.
She shook her head. "No. I don't. I can't. I love you too much. I've hated myself for loving you. But now I realize how stupid I've been to deny it."
It seemed like a dream. Literally my dreams come true.
"You have no idea how good that sounds to me." I said with a small laugh. I pressed my lips to hers again. This was real. I was finally kissing Lils. My Lils. I was holding her in my arms. It felt right – absolutely, undeniably, perfectly right.
"I love you," she whispered, resting her head against my chest. I closed my eyes, savoring the words. The pain was replaced by joy. A bursting joy that overflowed and made me so happy I almost couldn't stand it. Lily loved me!
"And I love you," I said softly, holding her tightly against me.
Suddenly, she pushed away from me. Her face had a look of horror on it. Dread washed through me, turning my insides cold. Had she changed her mind?
"What's wrong?" I asked in alarm.
"You have a girlfriend!" She said, her emerald eyes wide.
"Yeah," I said as I ran my hand down her arm and intertwining our fingers. "You."
She shook her head frantically. "No! That other girl, the one from dinner!"
"Lils, I don't even know her name."
"And that makes it better?" She demanded, misunderstanding.
I shook my head as I pulled her close to me again, calming her down.
"No, it doesn't. But I hardly think that snogging each other when it's convenient counts as 'dating.' I'll break it to her gently tomorrow."
She nodded into my chest and I rested my chin on top of her head. It seemed she was made to fit there, in my arms.
"You're the only one I've ever wanted. The only one I'll ever want." I said as she wrapped her arms around my chest again. It seemed hours later when Lily let go of me and instead took my hand in hers. Her hand seemed made to fit into mine as well. My world was complete and I was beyond happy. As we walked to the common room together hand-in-hand, I couldn't take my eyes off of the mesmerizing girl beside me. I smiled down at her, and her return smile dazzled me. My life was finally complete, just as it should be.