"Shit, I'm so sorry."
James ran a hand through his hair, pacing in front of her.
Lily felt numb. He had moved away so quickly and all she wanted his hands in hers and his body against hers again. She sunk down to the floor, her back against the wall.
Shit, Prongs. What the hell? You're not thinking. What if that had gone—Merlin.
James' steps were quickening as he continued to pace the floor and Lily just stared as his feet went back and forth and back and forth.
Merlin Lily, control yourself.
His pacing stopped abruptly. He closed his eyes before looking down at her. "Say something."
"What's wrong?" Lily asked carefully.
James took a deep breath and let it out. "What you said…"
"Yes?" she prodded warily.
"About being my girlfriend," James continued. "Is that because…" he trailed off, waiting for her to supply the answer.
"I lost the bet," Lily repeated. "I told Alice-"
"I know you lost," James told her.
You do? So then why didn't you say anything?
"Now, is losing your reason for coming in here or your excuse?" James pressed.
Lily was either dismissing his question or hadn't heard it as she wasn't paying attention. "If you knew then why did you let me win?" she asked.
"Because I didn't want you to be with me unless you wanted to!" James exclaimed.
What is so bloody hard for everyone to understand here?
Lily just stared at him.
James let his head tip back tiredly. When he looked at her again his expression was hard to read. "Did you break the rules on purpose?" he questioned.
She shook her head no.
Damn it. Then that-
"I realized I'd lost last night," Lily explained. "But James…I wasn't disappointed."
His eyes met hers again. "You mean-"
Is losing my reason or excuse?
"Losing the bet is my excuse," Lily told him, standing up and walking over to him. "Wanting to be with you is my reason."
James' face spread into a wide grin. "You love me, don't you?" He stepped closer and slipped a finger in her belt loop, pulling her close to him as well.
"Don't push it Potter," Lily warned. His hand slid up to her neck, his thumb brushing over her jawline.
Potter? We've come this far. We are not going back.
"James," he corrected. "And go on, I want to hear you say it."
She rolled her eyes slightly, but found it increasingly difficult to be annoyed as his other thumb stroked over the warm skin near above her hip, his two fingers still curled through her belt loops and his thumb slipping just under the hem of her shirt. His fingers were sending tingles through her skin and she let out a short sigh. She placed a hand on his chest and looked down at the ridiculously short distance between them.
Her fingers traced purposeless shapes on his chest as she pushed his open dress shirt out of the way and felt the soft cotton fabric beneath her fingers. She drew small circles absentmindedly, around and around and around.
"Tell me," James whispered.
Lily eyes narrowed a bit as she stared over his right shoulder. "I've fallen for you…James. And I want to be with you."
Her hand slid up to the neck of his shirt and her fingers grazed over his collar bone, reaching up to play with his hair. "There was something I meant to ask you earlier…" Lily smiled and looked up at him. "I wanted to know if you'd like to go out with me."
Merlin, how I've waited to hear that.
Her hand slid back down as she patterned random swirls across his chest. James watched her hands, her fingers, her eyes, and then landed on her pink, pink lips.
"James," she said. "An answer?"
James snapped back to attention. "Lily…" he swallowed down hard, "if you want a proper answer…you're going to have to stop doing that." He put his hand on hers.
Lily gave him a rather coy look. "Alright," she conceded, letting him lower her hand. "So…?"
"Yes," James answered.
"Great," Lily bit her bottom lip and slid her arms around James' neck.
Merlin, I love her. And…she's trying to kill me.
Lily got up on her toes and kissed him softly, sweetly, but as she went to pull away James arms circled around her waist and pulled her right back.
By the time he pulled back, Lily was flushed and James was out of breath. "Screw the date," he panted, "marry me. And we can go on our honeymoon tomorrow."
Lily laughed and stepped away from him, smoothing down her hair and fixing her cardigan. She shook her head. "James," she laughed again. "Careful or you'll scare me away."
Holy crap. Don't say things like that!
"If not my wife, how about my fiancée?" She gave him a look. "My girlfriend?"
"That I can handle," Lily agreed. James stepped closer to her again, ready to resume what had been momentarily halted. "Wait," Lily said, stepping back from him. "If we're going to be together I have a few rules."
"And I agree to all them," James told her, not really wanting a long discussion at the moment.
"James," Lily stopped him seriously and he sighed.
"Alright, alright. And these rules are?"
"Well, okay…um, public displays of affection," she started. "They shouldn't last any longer than five seconds." She considered this, "Unless it's hugging or hand-holding."
Five seconds. That's fine.
"Fine by me," James agreed.
"Really?" she blurted out.
James chuckled, "You sound surprised."
"Well…yes," she said bluntly. "I mean, everyone's seen you in the halls with girls and-"
"The show wasn't for everyone," he interrupted.
He looked sheepish, "It was sort of…well you were supposed to see. I was trying to make you jealous. I guess that was pointless."
She twirled a lock of hair on her finger, "Mostly. Anyway, that's another thing: jealousy. Neither of us act on it, please. Talking is fine, irrational behaviour is not."
That'll be more difficult.
"Okay," James nodded slowly. "I can definitely try."
"Well it goes for both of us," she said.
Lily, jealous? I'd sort of like to see that.
"And fighting," Lily stated. "It's inevitable it will happen and that whole 'don't go to bed angry' thing? Bullshit when it's me."
I don't want to think about us fighting.
"If, or actually when, we fight and I want to go to sleep, trust me, it's for to the benefit of both of us. I'll probably be nicer in the morning," she smiled at the thought of her own flaw; something that made James smile in return.
"Duly noted," he told her.
"Alright. And…last one: if we're together than there's nobody else," she rushed.
Nobody else? Like another girl? How could she even consider that I'd want to be with anybody else?
James shook his head at her. "Lily, it's you. You and nobody else. Not ever. No chance in hell would I ever do something like that to you."
She looked up at him, "Good. Is there anything you need to add?"
He laughed lightly, "I'd say you need to accept my friends as well as me. But given the past week I'd say that's all cleared up. In which case we're all good?"
Lily smiled, "We're all good."
I'm dating James Potter. James Potter is my boyfriend.
This is my girlfriend, Lily Evans. Perfect.
James Potter. Who would've guessed?
Come back here Lils. We have over three years of snogging to catch up on.
"James," Lily said, "it's nearly dinner." She gently extracted herself from his embrace and looked at James.
He had shrugged off his button-down and was now in his jeans and t-shirt. A t-shirt Lily saw fit him very well.
"And?" James asked.
"The rest of them will be back soon," Lily reminded. "Come on, we'll meet them in the Great Hall. I'm just going to go freshen up."
James nodded and watched as she left the room. He sighed, long and dazed, as he fell back his bed. Grinning like a fool.
Over six years. Merlin it was all more than worth it.
Lily went into the bathroom and looked in mirror. She touched her pink lips, slightly numb and almost swollen from all the kissing. Her hair was messy from James tangling and running his fingers through it so many times. Her sweater was slightly crinkled and as she stared at her reflection she could see a red mark appearing where her shoulder met her neck.
Well that's going to be a little hard to hide.
Lily grabbed some concealer and dusted it over the mark. She brushed her hair out and put on some strawberry chap stick before taking a deep breath.
"Lily?" Alice called.
Lily stepped out of the washroom to see Alice kicking off her shoes and slipping out of her jacket. "Hey, Alice," she chirped, sitting on the edge of her bed, bouncing a bit.
Alice raised an eyebrow at her, "What's got you cheerful?"
It should be seen as sad that my best friend thinks something's wrong when I'm in a good mood.
Lily grinned, "James. James Potter has got me cheerful."
Alice gave her a knowing smile, "Really, now?"
"Yes," Lily answered, ignoring her sarcastic tone.
"So you two are together then?" Alice combed her fingers through the underneath of her short hair.
Lily nodded with a smile.
"Finally," Alice sighed. "I was beginning to think you'd start another ridiculous bet."
"What do you mean 'finally'?" Lily demanded.
Alice laughed, "I mean just that. Finally. It took you long enough."
Lily stood with her hands on her hips. "Up until now he was an immature prick," she reminded.
"Up until now? You mean to say that, until the past week, James Potter was still the same James Potter you met on the train in first year?"
Alice took Lily's expression as an answer. "Lily, he didn't change overnight. Not even this week."
"What are you talking about?"
Alice gave Lily an almost pitying look. "Lils, come on, it's not that he just happened to become a nice guy by Monday morning. You just never got to know him enough."
I hate it when she makes sense.
"Dinner's going to start soon," Lily said. "We should go."
Alice shook her head, "Way to change the subject, Lils."
"Was that really necessary?" Lily asked as Alice continued to laugh.
"Really necessary? No. Necessary? Yes," James replied.
Lily hit his arm, "I cannot believe you! We haven't even gone on a date yet. We just got together an hour ago. But you find it necessary to announce to the entire Great Hall that we're together?"
Remus chuckled at James and then looked at Lily. "Oh come on Lily, the poor bloke's been waiting for this since he was eleven. Give him a break."
"Yeah, cut the guy some slack," Sirius chimed.
James leaned over and pecked Lily on the cheek. "I'm sorry," he apologized.
Is she really that upset?
Well…I mean who does that? Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. It was a romantic gesture. Not idiotic.
Lily sighed. "It's alright. But do know how many questions they're going to ask? And how many hours I'll be up tonight with them squealing my ears off?"
James winced, "You could hang out with us?" he offered.
There's a solution…no, they'd just bother me tomorrow. Might as well get it over with.
Lily shook her head as the food appeared on the tables. The chatter rose to an even higher volume as students' began to pile their meals onto their plates.
Sirius raised his goblet just as Peter was about to start eating and everybody else was reaching to serve themselves dinner.
"I would like to propose a toast!" he declared.
Put the goblet down Pads.
"To my best friend," he began, "and to the girl he's chased since we got here. James and Lily. Two-"
"Shut up," Remus said as he pulled Sirius' arm down and placed a piece of roast beef on his plate. Grabbing a Yorkshire pudding for himself he told Sirius to shut up and eat his dinner.
"Sure thing, Father," Sirius retorted, but he still cut into the meat and took a bite anyway.
A group of sixth year boys sat down beside Alice, Lily on her other side and James siting on Lily's left. James, Sirius, Remus and Peter gave the sixth years questioning looks for being so close when there was, in fact, an entire stretch of the table still empty on the other side.
One of the boys looked at Lily. "Get into any more catfights in Hogsmeade, Evans?" he winked. And from beside her Lily swore she heard James growl.
Lily ignored the boy and continued to work her way through her meal.
Really James? Calm down.
Sod off you prat. Stupid sixth year.
Lily put her hand on James' and squeezed it slightly before continuing her conversation with Alice. She felt James relax a bit and she smiled at him.
Good grief. You can't expect to throw spoons at every immature bloke I encounter.
Not acting jealous and protective so soon. Not acting…she's got the prettiest smile.
Lily stepped into the common room and froze.
If you turn now, maybe you can find James, maybe he knows a secret passageway that could get me into the dormitory unnoticed and—James is already in his dormitory. You could try and slip by and just pray they won't see you—
A fifth year turned around just as Lily was slowly and quietly stepping into the common room.
"Lily!" the petit brunette exclaimed. "She's here!"
"Hello," Lily greeted, trying to sound cheerful but hearing her voice waver in the middle anyway. She spotted Alice in the midst of the group of girls and she shot her a look. "Alice, can I talk to you for a minute? Alone?"
Alice nodded and pulled herself away from the crowd, letting Lily lead her to the side of the room.
"What's up?" Alice asked.
"Get rid of them," Lily ordered, skipping any pleasantries between her and her best friend.
"Lily," Alice said, "it's the Gryffindor common room. I can't really kick them out."
"If there's a will, there's a way," Lily sing-songed.
"Lily," Alice said pleadingly.
Oh no, this isn't my problem. They will not die if they don't find out what it's like to be pined for and then officially with James Potter. They will survive just fine.
"I'm going up to our dormitory and I'm going to work on my homework," Lily decided firmly.
"And if they follow you up there?" Alice questioned amusedly.
Lily shrugged, "I'm not letting them in."
"Alright, good luck," Alice wished her as she headed off up the staircase.
Lily went into their dormitory and pulled off her boots, placing her wand on her nightstand. She flopped onto her bed and got comfortable, pulling out her Potions book to do the reading for Monday. She had gotten a page into it when Alice slipped into the room and scurried over to her own bed.
"They're coming for you," she whispered eerily. "They're coming for you…up the stairs and down the hall….they're coming for you…"
Lily threw a paperback off her nightstand at her.
Emmeline Vance, and Mary MacDonald, the two other girls Alice and Lily shared the dormitory with, were the first to enter. Mary was on the Quidditch team and Lily recalled her being part of the 'Lily Feint' earlier that morning.
The two girls got comfortable on their own beds, looking casual as just about eight other girls followed in behind them, as if it was perfectly normal for a dozen of them to be in there at once.
The girls all sat around Lily's bed, none of them daring to actually touch her bed, sitting a safe distance of at least a foot away.
Lily held her book up closer to her face, trying to block them out.
Pay no attention. Pay no attention. Just pretend they aren't there and…
"So, Lily, you're dating James, right?" Mary began hesitantly.
Lily nodded, still staring down at her book.
"How did you two get together?"
Just get it over with.
Lily put down her book and sat up a bit and immediately the other girls did as well. Lily looked at the younger girl who had posed the question and sighed. "It's a long story and most of it I can't tell. But basically, I got to know him over the last week and we became really close friends."
"How long have you been together?" Lauren Phelps, a sixth year and avid gossiper, asked with slight edge to her voice. Clearly, she was one of the many girls who had a thing for James. "Since that party Monday," she continued. "Because you two seemed pretty…um, close when you left that closet."
"Shut up Lauren," Alice snapped.
"That's hardly any of your business," Lily said, keeping her voice calm despite her annoyance.
"Is he a good kisser?" Emmeline asked jokingly.
A couple girls in the room nodded, "He's amazing."
Calm yourself Lily. You know how many girls he's been with.
"Is it a serious relationship?" A fifth year, Meaghan something or another, asked. Not rudely like Lauren, Meaghan was sweet. "You two are good together," she said kindly, "I think you guys could last."
Lily smiled at her. "Thanks. I really hope so."
She got up to the boys' dormitory an hour later.
"I just spent an hour talking to those girls," Lily sighed, sitting down non James' bed to face Remus. He and Peter were the only two in the room. "Hey, where are James and Sirius?"
"They went to the kitchens, they should be back soon," Remus told her.
Lily nodded, "So what are you two doing?"
"Waiting for you," Peter replied from across the room. "They didn't want you leaving if there was no one here."
"We're back!" Sirius sang as he and James entered the room.
"Oh great, you're here, Lils." James carried in a covered tray and sat down next to her, placing the tray off to the side. "How'd interrogation go?"
"Do you have any idea how many girls like and have liked you?" she asked rhetorically. "A lot. And do you know how many questions they have about you? Not to mention the fact that to them nothing is too personal."
Well those are girls for you.
Sirius deadpanned, "You didn't tell them anything from-"
"Not a thing," Lily interrupted. "But they wanted to know a lot about you too. What happened between you and Lauren Phelps?"
Lauren Phelps. Scary little girl.
Sirius groaned. "Story's too long to tell."
I'm so sure.
Lily fell back on James bed, her hair falling around her head in a red halo of curls. "I'm not going back there. I won't do it," she stated flatly.
"You can stay here," James suggested impishly.
Lily kicked his shin lightly.
"Kidding," he added. "Anyway, we've got something to cheer you up."
"What's that?" she asked.
Go ahead Remy.
James nodded at Remus and he got up and grabbed something from behind the door.
A gift basket.
"A gift basket?" Lily asked.
"For you," Peter squeaked.
Remus handed her the basket and she undid the green ribbon at the top with a grin. She tied it on the top of her head as a headband and spun it around so the bow was hidden under her hair.
Matches her eyes.
This is like Christmas!
She opened the cellophane and James vanished it for her with a flick of his wand. The basket itself was chocolate brown, square with a large handle. She pulled out the trophy first.
"M?" she asked. The large, gold M sitting atop a wooden base.
"Read the label," James told her.
Awarded to Lily Evans—Honorary Marauder
"You made this?"
"I transfigured it," James told her. "It was a Quidditch trophy. A broomstick. Then Moony did the engraving."
"Thanks," she placed the trophy beside her and pulled out three, small silver objects. "Dungbombs?" she guessed.
"For when you feel like wrecking a little havoc," Sirius chuckled.
"Wonderful," she gently set them on the floor. "And…" she pulled out a piece of parchment from the basket and read the first few lines. "Our contract."
"For reminiscing purposes," Remus explained with a smile.
Lily shook her head with a smile and then pulled out the remaining gift. "A notebook," she said with surprise. "Thank you."
We wouldn't give you just any notebook.
"It's like our four-way notebooks," James told her. "It's linked to ours so…I guess that makes them five-way now."
James handed her a quill and inkwell. "Write something," he instructed. As Lily sat with the quill in hand and notebook on her lap, thinking of what to write, the four blokes went to their bags and pulled out their own notebooks.
Sirius was the first to grab his quill and inkwell and in second his messy scrawl appeared on her page.
It's not a diary Evans. It's for passing notes.
How often do you use these?
Just about every History of Magic class
And we haven't gotten caught yet ~Remus by the way
I know the writing.
So you like the notebook then?
It's great. Thank you. I feel loads better.
Well we'll be ruing that in a minute.
"What do you mean?" Lily asked aloud.
James pulled the cover off the tray.
"No," Lily said. "Oh no. I think I'm going to be sick."
James grinned, "Come on, just help me eat—"
"That's what you said last time," she interrupted. "And I refuse to eat another waffle."
"Then eat the strawberries," Sirius told her. "More waffles for us."
"Fine," Lily laughed as they began to eat, plucking a strawberry off the top for herself.
"James," Lily said as the umpteenth male that morning walked by and patted James back with a quick 'congratulations.'
Are you kidding me? I think that makes twenty three now.
"Congratulations!" she mimicked.
"Look, I'm sorry if it offends you…"
"It's not offending," Lily said. "In fact, it was sort of funny at first. But now it's just getting to be a little much."
Another walked by, "Heard you finally own her over Potter, nice!"
Lily gave James a pointed look and he sighed. "It's a big deal to them," he shrugged. "They've been waiting for this day."
"Yeah, but you're getting high fives and congratulations," she told him. "I've been getting death glares and some rather rude and uncalled for comments."
Girls are mean.
"Who said what to you?" he asked.
"It doesn't matter," she waved it off. "How long will it take for this all to die down?"
"I don't know."
"It doesn't bother you even in the least?" she questioned.
"Not really. It reminds me that it's all actually happening, you know?" he said.
Lily held his hand in hers. "You don't need them to remind you of that. You've got me."
"And that's not a big deal?" he asked.
"Sure it is. To us," she agreed.
"Well as long as there is an 'us' I'm happy."
Lily looked around them. "Definitely. But…all the staring is still making me a little uncomfortable."
James squeezed her hand in reassurance. "Let them stare."
Lily looked around them and then looked at James. "Rematch," she said.
"I'll race you outside. Whoever reaches the beech tree by the lake first, wins."
"Alright," James agreed. "You're on."
"And no picking up the opponent," she told him. "No cheap tricks."
They lined up to each other and stood ready to run. And suddenly it was like there was nobody staring at them. Nobody else in the world but them.
And we'll run away from all of them.
"Ready," Lily grinned.
"Set," James waggled his eyebrows at her and she laughed.
"Go!" she yelled.
And together they took off.
A/N: Okay and THAT'S the END.
Thank you all so so much for reading this and huge thank you to everyone who reviewing. Never did I ever imagine I could get 900 reviews. Little old me. It was unbelievable. Now this is going to be a long author's not and you don't have to read it if you don't want to. I understand.
I don't know if any of you read my other stories 'Just Between You and Me' or 'So This is Christmas' or even 'Save Me' but I have wb with those and I'm not sure if I'm going to continue them so if any of you are interested in taking them over please message me.
Now Question time!
1) Two 6)Halloween 11) oops 16) Don't be so nosey 21) Superstition Stevie Wonder 26) Polo/Tennis/ golf shirt
2) A super bus 7) Wicked 12) Purple 17) The Cosby Show 22) GOF and HBP 27) Chocolate
3) Peter Pan 8) The Script 13) paterfamilias 18) I twirl 23) Strawberry shortcake
4) Viva Las Vegas 9) Eight 14) Vegetables 19) Neither. tried pepsi once when i was little 24) A cow
5) Shakespeare 10) Penguin 15) 1-2-4 20) Weeping willow 25) Untidy places
Do you think we could get to 1000 reviews? Please?
Again thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I know you were asking for a sequel but I don't think I'll be writing one. However I've already begun a chapter for a new L/J that I'm debating over. But I'm thinking I might write a Dramione instead...