Well, I just found this story again, and realized that I left it very much unfinished. Not sure how happy I am with it, but I've been up all night and wrote this in the last half hour, so if there's mistakes shoot me, but I don't really care. If there's anything really bad, let me know in the reviews, please. Well, I know y'all don't really read these things so go on and read it, and I'll finally mark this story as complete.

I don't own Harry Potter. Honestly. I would have thought you'd have learned by now. :P

Shadow in the Sunset

Chapter 3

James had been… avoiding her. More than was usual, at least. And the usual was not at all. But recently, he had been staying away from her, even going so far as to leave the common room when she walked in.

It wasn't as if she minded, she told herself. Not in the least.

But in six years' worth of trying to avoid him, rather than the other way around, it came as a rather big shock. But then again, it wasn't as if she minded.

She was, out of character, to say the least. Even Mary had noticed it. Commented on it in the dorm room the other night.

"By God, Lily, what has gotten into you?" Mary exclaimed, blocking Lily's way down to the common room.

"It's nothing. Really." She moved to make her way out the door, only to find it still blocked. "Merlin's beard, Mary. Is it really that big of a deal. Now won't you move? I have quite the Charms essay to start working on." An edge had crept into the redhead's voice.


"Mary. What is it?"

"You've been different. Won't you tell me what's going on? I'm your best friend, for heaven's sake. At least I thought I was." Hurt colored her tone.

"Of course we're friends. Good heavens, though, Mary. Why won't you let me go? It's Charms, and you know that essay is due tomorrow afternoon."

"Yes, and I also know it was assigned two days ago and you finished it yesterday between your afternoon classes. You've been different, Lily. I don't mean to start anything, but certain people have gone so far as to call you bitchy."

"Bloody hell, Mary." There was a sharp intake of breath at Lily's unusually colorful bad language. "Get out of the way." And the redhead pushed her way down the stairs.

But really. She hadn't been bitchy recently, had she? I mean, she had been… Fine. She hadn't been too happy about James's sudden bout of ignoring her. That was it. She jumped up out of her comfortable armchair in front of the fire and went to go find James Potter, the source of all her troubles.

She stalked through the castle, looking for the annoying imbecile who had been making her so angry recently. She went down to the only place she could imagine him being: the Quidditch pitch. As much as she hated to admit it, he was quite the flyer, and she had enjoyed watching him up in the air recently, the sun silhouetting him against the bright sky.

Sure enough, there he was, flying high above the muddy grass below. She strode right into the middle of the pitch and stood there with her arms crossed, staring up at him and praying to God he noticed her and came down quickly.

He did.

After an uncharacteristic and slightly off-balance landing, James ran over toward her.

"Lily?" His voice was both breathless and breathtaking, leaving her speechless for a moment.

"James." She managed to put a disapproving air into the voice she had just frantically tried to recover. It seemed all her anger had disappeared at the very sound of his voice. His windswept hair and bright hazel eyes were enough to take it away again.

They both sat awkwardly in the newfound silence, neither knowing quite what to say to the other.

James cleared his throat. "You were here to talk to me?" he prompted.

"Yes." She coughed slightly and fought down the blush creeping into her cheeks. "I meant to inform you"— too formal, her brain screamed – "… I mean, I wanted to tell you that it's awfully disrespectful to ignore someone, especially since people have a tendency to notice when one particular person cannot stand to be in the common room at the same time as them, even if they are sitting on the other side of the room. And honestly, you should treating others like human beings instead of dogs. We're not here to act and do whatever you choose."

"What?" His face was blank.

"Ah. I knew there was more stupidity in that brain than all those stupid girls realized. Are you really that incompetent, Potter?"

"What happened to James?!" he protested indignantly. "And honestly, I haven't been, well, ignoring you. Well, I have, but probably not for the reasons you think."

"Not for the reasons I think? And exactly why are you ignoring me then, James Potter?" she said icily, tapping her foot impatiently. He muttered something incoherently, blushing slightly. "What was that?"

"I noticed that my, well, presence made you angry, and as cute as you are when you're mad, it really wasn't going well for everyone else. See, Remus and Sirius wouldn't stop pestering me about how upset I make you, and that made me a little upset, and of course Peter doesn't care at all, but we should probably just leave him out of this. Anyway, I was avoiding you because I knew it made you angry, and I'm sure you, unlike some people, are perfectly capable of finishing your schoolwork even while completely distracted by anger, but I didn't want to distract you in the least, especially with exams coming up pretty soon, so I stopped being in the same room with you, thinking it would help, but it clearly did nothing at all so I'm really honestly sorry for all of—" She put her fingers against his mouth to stop his mindless, but obviously nervous ranting. It was amazing that such an idiot could be so cute. Annoying, she corrected. Was she going crazy?

"James." He relaxed slightly at the sound of his first name tumbling from her lips. "Honestly. Guess you wouldn't realize that by ignoring me you caused way more distraction than you would of if you had just acted like normal, would you?"

"I know, but you're beautiful, Lily, and I can't really say that I can think completely straight when you're around."

"Cute," she muttered involuntarily. James froze.

"What?" he whispered.

It was Lily's turn to rant. "I know. Oh God, how did I ever get here? I honestly never thought I would ever end up falling in love with the annoying boy who hasn't left me alone since the very first train ride up to this school. Crap. Love. Love? Wait, love? When did I ever fall in love with you?" She glanced up at him. He was shocked. "And I guess I'm ranting a bit myself, but while I'm talking like this, yes. I'm in love with you. I don't know how it happened or when I stopped thinking of you as that annoying, stupid, arrogant idiot, but I guess I… yes. I guess I love—" He cut her off, but not with his fingers.

He leaned forward quickly, firmly grasping her face between his hands, and kissed her, pouring six years' worth of passion and unrequited love into their first kiss.

"You have no idea how long I've waited to hear you say that, Lily Evans. I love you."

Review please! I know I've been a little snarky; I'm just tired... Make the rest of my day happy though! :)

And the story's done! Yay! :)