Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter - it belongs to the talented J. K. Rowling

Author's Note: I usually hate writing these. Anyways, this is a Lily/James oneshot told from the point of view of one Marlene McKinnon. I'm pretty sure she died during the First War, although I don't know when she did. In this story, however, she survives. Sorry I messed with canon. I haven't written in a long time, so I might be rusty. Feedback would be appreciated.

Oneshot: Marlene McKinnon's POV

'Damn it all! I'm late for Charms again! Flitwick is going to blow his lid for sure this time...'

My conscious stream of thought flew through my mind as my body propelled itself through the empty hallways as fast as humanly possible. My thighs began to burn as I skidded to the right and through a tapestry. Stumbling down the steps and into a dark corridor, I muttered a brief, "Lumos," under my breath. My destination was only a few feet away. Three... two... one...

"Oomph!" I grunted as I barrelled straight into something. Something soft and warm.

It was a human.

"SHIT!" I cursed, tucking my long brown hair behind an ear as I glanced up frantically... to see Lily Evans sprawled on the stone cold floor of the hallways, the lighting from a torch above her shining on her.

She lifted her head and groaned.

"I'm so sorry!" I babbled. I couldn't believe that I had just knocked over Lily Evans.

Lily Evans was one of those girls that everyone wanted to be. No lie. She had perfect grades, was loved by the teachers, she was Head Girl... the list went on and on. It didn't hurt that she was beautiful too. She had an exotic thing going for her, what with her emerald green eyes and red hair. I had to admit that I was jealous of her when I first arrived in Hogwarts. She was a year older than me, but she always seemed so mature and responsible. And she was so kind too! All the younger years went to her for help with their homework because of that.

To add to her 'glam', it had to be said that Lily Evans had the Marauders wrapped around her little finger.

Who were the Marauders?

They were a group of four Gryffindor Seventh year boys who were undoubtedly the hottest and most unattainable guys in the school. Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin were angels. Peter had the sweet, chubby, cute aura around him, radiating innocence. However, he always had a spark of mischief in his eyes. He had blonde hair, golden blonde, and his eyes were an innocent blue. He was kind, helpful, and from what I've heard, very loyal. Peter was the 'cherub' of the group.

Remus Lupin was the bookish one. He was lean and had sandy blonde hair and warm amber eyes. He was the 'sensitive' one of the group, and the 'nerd', sweet and somewhat shy but always polite.

Sirius Black was the 'bad boy'. He came from a Slytherin family, the Blacks, but had been sorted into Gryffindor instead. He had long black hair and piercing grey eyes, and he was always smiling and laughing. He was also a known womanizer, which wasn't shocking, considering he was the most gorgeous guy at Hogwarts.

The only one who could possibly compete for his title of 'Hottest guy' was James Potter, Sirius Black's best mate and co-conspirator. Leader of the Marauders, James was an amalgamation of Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. He wore steel framed glasses, which gave him an intellectual edge. He was the 'prep' of the group, one could say. He was Head Boy to Lily Evans' Head Girl, Quidditch Captain and came from a wealthy and influential family. He was also another of the teachers' favourite, with his smooth talking and natural talent.

The Marauders were well known for their pranks and for being, for lack of a better word, 'eye candy'. The only one who had a modicum of control over them was Lily Evans, who was as thick as thieves with that group. Lucky girl.

"It's alright," Lily winced with a kind smile as she slowly got up. It was a rather cold day, so she was bundled up in her thick black winter robe, a red and yellow scarf, and mittens. It was then that I noticed her eyes were red and puffy, as if she had been crying.

"Are you sure you're okay?" I asked suspiciously, eyes narrowing.

"Yeah, I'm fine," she said with another smile. Rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand, she said, "You're... Marlene McKinnon, right? Sixth year Gryffindor Prefect?"

"Yeah, that's me," I said, happy that she had actually recognized me.

"I'll see at the Prefect's meeting this week then. I've got to get to class now," Lily said.

"Okay, see you,"

To my utter surprise, we both started walking along the same corridor. I grinned, and out of the corner of my eye, I watched her smile too.

"Which class are you off to?" she giggled.

"Charms. You?" I laughed.

"Same," she grinned, "I'm helping Flitwick, probably with your lesson,"

We walked in companionable silence before my curiosity got the better of me. All thoughts of arriving late to class had disappeared already.

"Are you sure you're alright? It looks like you've been... well..." I repeated awkwardly.

"Crying?" she sighed miserably.

I winced, nodding, hoping she wouldn't take offense.

"Is it really that bad?" she asked, worried.

"Your eyes just look kind of red. And puffy," I commented, eyeing her critically again.

She muttered a spell under her breath and Conjured a mirror. Staring into it, she groaned.

"Here, this might help," I offered, thinking of the spell I usually used. Muttering the incantation, I watched as her eyes reverted back to normal again, as if she had never been crying in the first place.

Glancing at the mirror, Lily Vanished it before turning to me with a genuine smile. "Thanks!" she said, "Where'd you learn it from,"

"When my ex broke up with me," I answered.

"Oh. I'm sorry," Lily frowned, looking at me with concern.

I shrugged. It wasn't a big deal.

"It's fine. I'm over him already," I assured her.

"How'd you do that?" Lily asked with curiosity. Seeing my puzzled face, she explained, "Get over him, I mean,"

"Oh, that was easy! I only felt attracted to him, but I didn't really love him. So... I just went out on another date," I explained, before adding, "Of course, if I'd actually loved him..."

She looked thoughtful, but no other emotion escaped her troubled face.

"Why do you ask?" I broached tentatively.

She gave me a strained smile, her eyes showing an internal battle before she began to speak.

"Nothing. It's just... I think I might be in love," she said in a hushed voice.

"That's great!" I said, delighted. Who knew someone could find love at seventeen?

"Yes, but, he doesn't know. Because he's dating someone else. He only sees me as a friend," she ended bitterly.

To my understanding, Lily Evans wasn't really close to anyone besides the Marauders. She was polite and friendly and all, but she wasn't close friends with anyone else. So, logically, she was in love with a Marauder. But which one?

Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black I immediately discounted. Pettigrew, because I highly doubted Lily could actually love him. Black, because he was always dating around and I've never seen Lily this upset until now.

Which of the Marauders was currently dating someone?

Lupin wasn't. He never did. There was a bet among the girls on who would get Lupin to finally date. Most everyone was betting on Lily, because there was no other choice. So it couldn't be Lupin.

Black didn't really date. He just slept around.

Pettigrew wasn't dating anyone either. He wasn't much of a dater, like Lupin. Most girls thought he was cute, but he was just too short for anyone to actually consider dating! The thought of Lily, who was at least an inch or two taller than my five foot six, dating five foot three Pettigrew was amusing.

That left...

James Potter was dating someone. Wasn't he currently going out with Summer Reynolds, the pretty Ravenclaw Seventh Year? She was a Prefect too, and she was a Chaser for the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team. Summer was another all around nice girl, with her light blonde hair and blue eyes. She was very proper, and very perfect. Almost too perfect, sometimes.

I don't claim to know much about Lily Evans and the Marauders, but Lily and James had always been somewhat closer than others. Out of all the students in Hogwarts, I'd say Lily was closer to James than anyone else, even Remus Lupin her study partner.

"James Potter is dating Summer Reynolds," I mused quietly.

Lily stiffened, her face turning from shock to anger, then finally to sadness and reluctance.

"Yes, he is," she stated.

"That girl is just like you, sometimes. But less, because she's too perfect," I added.

"Then what's he doing fooling around with her?" Lily spat out.

Lily Evans had a temper. She wasn't nice all the time, especially not to the Slytherins who kept harassing the muggle borns. But I had never seen that look of vindictive hatred and utter pain on her face before.

"I think he'll come around. He'd be stupid not to," I offered sincerely. And that was true.

"Thanks," she said tentatively.

We had reached the Charms classroom by then, and so we parted ways.

I made it my business over the next couple of months to watch Lily Evans and James Potter closely. I was curious; so sue me.

Observing them as closely as I did, I noticed that my suspicions had been confirmed. They were the best of friends, even closer than Sirius and James were. They always sat together during meal times, and at the library studying, or under the tree the Marauders favourite. From the glimpses I had gotten while walking past Seventh year classrooms, they sat together during class too. They shared quarters, for Merlin's sakes, that's how close they were!

They seemed to be perfect for each other too. Both were responsible, moral people who were very talented at magic. They were always attuned to the other. During meals, I could see Lily reaching for potatoes and dumping them on James' plate while James, as he conversed with Remus, reached for the pumpkin juice and filled Lily's goblet. When Prefect Meetings rolled around, they were a seamless team.

So I wasn't very surprised when, one day, I was working quietly in the library at my favourite desk overlooking the Black Lake and I heard the soft whispered voices of Lily Evans and James Potter.

"Lily," said a deep voice.

"Yes, James?" came a distracted voice. I could hear books being thumped around.

"Stop ignoring me," came the response.

"I'm not ignoring you!" said an indignant voice, "I'm just... busy,"

"Busy with that git, you mean," James said scathingly, "I don't know what you see in him anyways,"

"Bit of a hypocrite, aren't you?" Lily muttered sharply in response.

"Who? Summer? She's a nice girl," defended James.

"A bit too nice," Lily mumbled.

"What was that?"

"Besides, you don't have a say in who I date, I can bloody well choose to snog whoever I want to," came Lily's firm response.

"No you can't!"

"What did you just say? Who the hell are you to tell me what or who I can't do?" Lily's fiery response came.

I smirked. Lily did have red hair, and although she was rarely very angry, you never wanted to be on her bad side.

"I'm your best friend!" James protested.

"Yeah, my best friend," Lily said, putting emphasis on the last word.

A thump was heard as something hit the book shelves, and then there was silence. Well, that and what I'm pretty sure was one hell of a kiss. I broke out into a grin.

Suddenly, a loud 'SLAP!' came out of nowhere.

What had happened now?

"What the hell was that for? You have a girlfriend, James! Merlin!" Lily said angrily. Storming out of the library, I saw her emerge from behind the bookshelves and walk away as fast as she could.

James came out next, his glasses slightly skewed and his hair even messier than usual. His shirt was partially unbuttoned at the top, his tie loose, and his sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He groaned as he sank down into the chair next to mine and stared gloomily out into the window... until he noticed.

"Oh! Sorry! Didn't see you there," he said sheepishly. Making to stand up, I offered him a hesitant smile.

"I-It's alright. You don't have to leave on my account. I don't take up two chairs,"

"Thanks. You're... Marlene McKinnon? Sixth year, Prefect, and Gryffindor, right?" James asked.

I nodded. Looking at the dark circles under his eyes and his troubled expression, I wondered what it was like to actually be in love. Then again, if being in love meant going through what Lily was going through right now...

I packed up my school books and stood up. But before I left the library, I turned to him and said, "You know, she's not going to wait around forever. And you'd be stupid not to take the chance now,"

I was fretting nervously as I smoothed down the satin of my dress. Turning a full circle in front of my mirror, I twisted and pivoted to make sure I looked perfect.

Satisfied, I left my friends, who were still applying makeup and the like, and stepped out of the dorm. Taking a deep breath, I walked down the staircase leading to the Gryffindor Common Room and saw a group of nervous boys sitting or lounging around. Conversations were halted and soft as I saw boys fiddling with their cuff links or ties, or their dress robes. I spotted James Potter sitting on an armchair next to the fire, looking like he'd stepped off of the Witch Weekly cover page... again.

My date, Gideon Prewitt, was approaching me with a smile on his face. I smiled back, appreciating his shining brown eyes and thick brown hair.

"You look lovely, Lena," he whispered as he presented me with a rose.

"Thank you," I said, touched, as I accepted his token, "And you're looking exceptionally handsome tonight,"

He offered me his arm, and we left the common room towards the Great Hall.

The Ball was very fun. I found myself with my friends, one of which was dating Gideon's brother Fabian, and their respective dates at a round table. The conversation was flowing smoothly, and I'm pretty sure someone spiked the pumpkin juice. All too soon, Dumbledore was tinkling his glass and calling for attention.

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us at this most special time of year. I believe most of you will be satiated already, and so I ask you to join me in welcoming our Head Boy and Girl, James Potter and Lily Evans, as they dance the first waltz,"

Amidst the applause, wolf whistles, and cat calls, I saw James leading an equally stunning Lily to the dance floor. She looked like an angel in her emerald green sleeveless dress that flowed around her. The top of the dress was a deep green, and the bottom was a bell shaped silk and satin light spring green. The orchestra struck up a lively waltz that lulled to something deep and seductive.

James was an excellent dancer. I could see that from the way he led Lily around the floor, how he spun her out and dipped her as the waltz morphed and changed.

"I always knew they'd get together," Gideon whispered to me, his hot breath on my neck.

I grinned and leaned back so that I could whisper into his ear.

"They look perfect together, don't they?" I asked.

"You girls and your sappy romance," he rolled his eyes mockingly.

"Hey!" I cried softly as I swatted his chest.

'Lily and James had the fairytale story,' I mused to myself as I slowly rocked the rocking chair I was currently sitting on. Looking out into the setting sun, I remembered the golden couple, their triumphs and their failures, and their all encompassing love.

I joined Auror training fresh out of school among many of my classmates. The war with Voldemort had reached a dangerous point, and I was eager to contribute to the society by defending those who were too weak to defend themselves. An Auror was probably the most respected profession in the Magical world, and I was determined to be one.

Both Lily and James had been Aurors too, I recall. They were excellent fighters, and had been trained under Mad Eye Moody and Steven Bones, who were both legendary Aurors. Unfortunately, Stephen Bones had died a little over a year ago. The war had ravaged the country of its best and brightest minds.

So many had died at the hands of the Death Eaters.

Frank and Alice Longbottom. Oh Merlin! They suffered a fate worse than death.

Robert Coleman, my training partner in the Auror Force. Always laughing. He was a muggleborn.

The Bones'. The entire family nearly wiped out.

Too many deaths, too much sorrow. The countryside was stained red by the heavy price we had to pay to win this godforsaken war.

Gideon and Fabian Prewitt.

I had cried myself senseless when I heard of their deaths. They had a sister, Molly, who had married a Weasley.

I glanced at the Daily Prophet that lay on the table next to me.

YOU-KNOW-WHO VANQUISHED BY POTTERS!

Lily and James were smiling on the front page, Lily looking down adoringly at her beautiful baby boy, James with an arm draped around Lily's shoulders. They were the picture perfect family. Even in the despair and darkness of war, they had managed to make something of their lives together. Wars could make or break relationships, although I wasn't surprised that they ended up marrying the year I graduated. I had even been invited to their wedding.

Lily and James, may you rest in peace.