A/N: Gaspeth. I actually posted another story in less than multiple months since my last one! Who would have known I had it in me?
To the disclaimer!
I no ownes Harry Potter. I shall own Harry Potter when Dobby is happy being a regular house elf (no pay, no weekend off, NADA). So yeah. Never. DOBBY IS A FREE ELF.
"James Potter, I swear I don't know what I'm going to do with you!" The black-haired teenager sat on a couch watching as his kind-of-girlfriend stormed around the Head Common Room, yelling at him. James sighed. He hated having her as a kind-of-girlfriend, considering how long it took her to get the "girlfriend" part. "For years, you ask me out. YEARS! I finally say yes and you don't even have a plan?" AND that's why he still had to stick to the "kind-of" label. "Oops?" James' voice wavered a little on the single syllable. It still amazed him how much power one girl held over him.
The indignant redhead stopped pacing around the room and turned to face James, her hands on her hips, obviously waiting for a more sufficient answer.
"Well, you see, Lily-flower…"
"Don't call me that!" snapped the red head girl, though her voice was a tad bit warmer than before.
"Right, Lily-flower." James continued, ignoring Lily rolling her eyes. "The thing is, while I always expected you to say yes someday, I never really thought about what we would do…"
"So, you expected me to say yes, but then didn't plan anything? What kind of sense does that make?" With that, Lily started storming around the room again in frustration.
"Well, why don't you think of something then?"
Lily stopped and glared at James. "That is a preposterous question. It's our first date. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO PLAN IT. You're ruining everything." The last sentence came out softly, pouting.
James, determined to not upset her, spoke up. "Now, let's not be so… dramatic now, shall we? We'll think of something. Let's throw around ideas. You first."
"Are you kidding?" Lily looked shocked, watching James as he sat back and actually waited for her idea. Then, something inside Lily snapped. He was ruining the first date! This was supposed to be perfect! How dare he? With all these thoughts storming inside her head, she reached for the closest object, which happened to be a pillow, and threw it at him with all her might.
"Oh, so you want a pillow fight, do you? That could end very well for me…" James smirked, his tone suggestive. However, it only made Lily madder. She went over to the two desks and started grabbing things off of James' desk and throwing them at him.
"How. Dare. You. Ruin. This? After you worked so hard to get me to go out with you, you have the arrogance to expect me to decide? Do you not know how first dates are supposed to work? Are you really so self-centered that you don't think of others' expectations? You ARE still just an arrogant toerag! I can't believe I expected anything different from you! UGH!" Running out of things to throw, Lily stomped up to her dorm. James, trying to stop her so he could calm her down, grabbed her arm, but she shook it off. However, she didn't manage to make him let go in time to hide the tears that were threatening to spill from her eyes. With James looking on in shock at possibly having hurt Lily, she ran up the stairs to the Head Girl dorm and slammed the door. James knew better than to go after her.
James walked back to the couch and plopped down on it, a distressed look on his face. "Great. Now I've ruined it. My one chance after all these years and I ruin it." James sat there in silence. After a few minutes he put his head in his hands and thought out loud. "What should I do? Hmm… I can ask Moony, but he was studying and had threatened me not to bug him… Wormtail would have no idea what to do. Plus he's in detention… I guess that leaves…" James' head snapped up, a shocked look taking over the distressed one. 'Oh wizard god. I must be really desperate. I can't believe I'm actually considering asking Padfoot… Oh! Frank might know what to do! Except he's probably busy snogging Alice." He sighed. "It looks like I have no other choice…" At that, he pulled a mirror out of his pocket. Of course, that was the moment that Lily chose to walk down from her dorm room. She looked at him.
"Ugh, you really are arrogant. I come down here to talk to you, to apologize for blowing up, and you're staring at yourself in a mirror. Figures." Lily shot James a look of contempt, though James, as only someone who has studied Lily for a long time could, caught the hurt underneath it. She grabbed her wand and stalked off through the common room and through the entryway, probably to the Great Hall or to the Gryffindor common room.
Knowing he couldn't really mess things up anymore than they were, James spoke into the mirror, still staring after Lily. "Padfoot. Padfoot. Snuffles. Paaaaaaadfooooooooot. Sirius. Siriiiiiiusssss. Pads. Paddy. Footy. Ok, that last one was bad. Still. Padfoot! We got these mirrors so that you would respond. PADFOOT. SIRIUS."
Finally, a disheveled looking Sirius appeared in the mirror. "What do you want, Potter? This better be good, considering what you interrupted."
"I don't even wanna know."
"No, you probably don't, especially since you're Head Boy and all…"
"ANYWAY." James interrupted, knowing Sirius would probably end up giving him too much information. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I need your help."
"Oh. And to what can I lend my awesome Marauding skills to?"
"I need help with Lily." James wasn't sure how he had been expecting Sirius to react, but it certainly wasn't the way he did.
"Ok. What did you do?" asked Sirius.
James looked a bit startled at this. "Wait. You're not going to laugh at me? Or try to give me joke advice? Or tell me just to shag her? Are you serious? Do you need to go to the hospital wing? You can stay in Moony's bed…"
"Always so surprised. Believe it or not, Prongs, I am capable of occasionally helping my brothers out. And I'm always serious. It's my name, remember? Do you want my help or not?"
"I guess so, since Moony instructed me not to bug him today."
"Nice to see that I'm your last resort." Sirius huffed.
"Not my last resort! I haven't gone to any Slytherins yet, have I? Hopefully I'm never that desperate… Anyway. Lily's mad at me."
"Well, yes, I figured that much out on my own."
"How did you figure that one out?"
"Well, first of all, you're asking me for help. Second of all…" Sirius trailed off, looking uncertain as to whether he should give his other reason.
"What? Is she screaming it all over the Great Hall or something?" James looked concerned.
"Well, no, not that I know of. It just seems that she got… revenge, of a sort, for whatever you did…"
At this, James looked really worried. "What? What is it?"
Sirius snickered. "Well, you might want to take a look at an actual mirror…"
James got up and ran to the mirror hanging on the other side of the Heads' common room. Upon seeing his reflection, he groaned. Lily had turned his hair red and green on her way out. His mess of a hair now looked like Christmas. Sirius started laughing from the mirror.
"Ugh. Well, I guess I deserved this."
"How about this: tell me what you did and I'll tell you how much you deserved that."
"Well… You know how we've been friends for a while and how she finally said yes?" Sirius nodded.
"It's all we've been hearing about. Of course I know."
James made a face at him and continued. "Well, today was supposed to be our date, but I forgot to plan something. I was so busy being Head Boy and with Marauder duties and with Remus' furry little problem that I just didn't get around to it."
Sirius grimaced. "Ooh, that's a tough one to fix. I can see why you didn't plan, but she definitely has a reason to be upset, especially considering what happened earlier with Snivellous…"
"WAIT. What happened?"
"AAAANNND that explains it. Of course, you snuck to Hogsmeade with Peter this morning, so you wouldn't have heard the gossip…"
"JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED."
Sirius looked a bit apprehensive. "Remus made me promise not to tell… and not to hex that slimy git. Remus learned a particularly nasty jinx last week and I still haven't learned the counter-jinx, so I'm making that apply to you, as much as it kills me. Ok? You still want to know?"
"Yes, of course!"
"Well, I guess I could trust you… Or I could end up getting jinxed by Moony… I don't know, Prongs, Moony can be quite scary…"
"Padfoot, you better tell me, before I tell everyone about that time you proposed to Minnie."
"THAT WAS A DARE."
"No one else needs to know that."
"ALRIGHT. No need to make threats. Now, this is just what I heard from Remus, who heard it from Lily when he found her crying after this happened. Basically, the git cornered her and tried to talk to her. She said he'd chosen his path. He went on and on about how she should join him, how he made so many plans, and that they could be friends again. She refused, he brought you up, said something like 'I bet he doesn't even think about what you two could do together. Blah blah blah. Then something about how you just wanted her because she always said no and didn't really care about being with you. Blah blah blah. I plan out everything, blah blah blah, just be my friend again, blah blah blah.'" At that point, Sirius looked a little hesitant, but continued. "She defended you, mate. Said you were nothing like that and then she hexed him. Pretty badly. From what I hear, he's still in the Hospital wing. So she kind of has a good reason to be mad." Sirius stopped talking and looked off to the side. Then he looked back at James with a smirk. "Look, mate, I have to go, can't put my prior activities on hold forever. It's going to take some time for Lily to calm down. You're going to have to apologize and mean it. And, of course, actually plan something, if you want a semi-decent chance at getting that date. Now I have to go." At that, Sirius' face disappeared from the mirror.
James put the mirror aside. It looked like he would have to find Lily. He went up to his dorm and, after about six minutes of rummaging through things, he found the Marauder's Map.
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." He then spent about eight minutes looking for Lily (not in the Great Hall, not in Gryffindor tower, not in the Slytherin dungeons (phew), not in the kitchens…), only to have her dot disappear from the map right after he had found her on the 7th floor. He grabbed his invisibility cloak and ran to the 7th floor, taking all the shortcuts he knew. He reached the spot where Lily had disappeared and paced back and forth three times. Nothing happened. Immediately, he knew he had messed up big time. Since they became friends, Lily had not once instructed the Room of Requirement not to let him in. He put on his invisibility cloak, sat down against the wall, and waited. Thankfully, it was a Saturday and there was no Quidditch practice today, so he had nothing else to do but wait. Finally, after a few hours, he fell asleep. Once he woke up, he scanned the Marauder's map, only to see that Lily was in the Gryffindor 7th year girls' dorm room. With a sigh, he stood up and went to find his fellow Marauders.
Things went on like that for a few days, with Lily avoiding James, James constantly following Lily (though, to be fair, he'd been doing that for years), and both of them regretting everything.
Four days after the would-be date, on Wednesday, James walked down to dinner with the Marauders. He followed them absentmindedly and sat down next to Remus without paying much attention to where he was sitting. After picking at his food for a bit, his arm accidentally brushed against that of the person next to him. It was only then that he realized that the person on his left was Lily. He immediately jerked his arm away, as if afraid that he had done something wrong. Lily looked down at her arm and sighed. After a few moments of them sitting there in silence, with conversations carrying on around them, Lily spoke up.
"Look, James, I wanted to apologize for Saturday. To be clear, I do still think that you weren't right either, but I overreacted. I was mad at someone else and you really frustrated me, so I took it out on you. I shouldn't have exploded like that." While Lily was talking, Sirius, who was sitting across from James, had stopped paying attention to Remus and Peter and was listening to their conversation. He gave James a look that clearly said 'Your turn'. James gulped and then looked up at Lily, completely unsure of what to say.
"Umm… I've been wanting to talk to you lately too. About Saturday, I mean. Not that I don't want to talk to you about other things too, but specifically about Saturday." The other Marauders had stopped talking to listen. "I've been thinking about what I did and… well… It's just… I should have… I'm…" James stopped and glanced at his friends, who were watching him hopelessly, then turned back to Lily. "Could we talk in the Heads' dorm? I feel like it might be better to talk there."
Lily looked shocked. "Here I thought you were going to apologize. But no. The great James Potter can't even apologize to someone for fear of what his friends will think. I can't believe you, Potter." At least this time, James noted as Lily got up and stormed away, she didn't sound mad at all. She just sounded… hurt. James pushed his food away and put his head down.
"I made it worse, didn't I?"
It was Remus who spoke up. "It seems so. I think that she feels she's not as important to you as how cool you think you look in front of us."
James looked up and snickered. "Thanks for your morale booster. That's just the thing to help a guy feel better."
"We're always here to help." Peter laughed at that, and then spoke up.
"It really does look like you've ruined it. It's not going to be easy to get her back on your side."
James sighed. "Why did I have to ruin it? My best chance with her and I ruin it."
"Why did I have to fall for him?" Lily's voice was muffled due to the fact that her face was currently buried in a pillow. "I always knew he was an arrogant jerk. Why did I fall for him? Why do I like him so much? Why do I wish I hadn't been right? Whyyyy?"
Her good friend Alice patted her shoulder. "Sometimes things just happen. Besides, I think he's good for you. You should give him another chance."
Lily turned over. "He's such a clueless, arrogant, troublesome boy." She laughed. "I'm basically describing all the Marauders. Except Remus. He's not clueless. He is slightly arrogant, but not to the same extent as James or Sirius. Peter, well, he's a little of all of those adjectives."
"Will you promise me that you'll at least hear him out if he tries to apologize? I know he's a stupid boy and what he did, both times, wasn't right, but hear him out. He did mean well."
"Oh, Alice. Always seeing the good in others. Ok, I promise, I'll hear him out. I don't know how good my chances are with him anymore though, everything considered."
Alice stroked Lily's hair. "It'll be ok, I promise. Come on, let's go down to the kitchens and see if they have some chocolate."
As she was getting up, Lily gave Alice a small smile. "Are boys always this stupid?" she asked.
"Oh you wouldn't believe some of the things Frank has done…"
Three days later, a full week after the original fight, James was sitting in the Heads' common room with Sirius, planning their next prank.
"Now, we'll have to get Moony's approval and help, obviously. I already mostly filled him in, but now that we have more details, we need to make sure he likes this prank. Wormtail's already researching a spell to make everyone's voice change into that of an animal. I need you to find that book that helped you figure out what your animagus form would be, ok Prongs?"
"That's fine. I still have that list of spells from last year that we never used. I was hoping we could use those this time around. I feel like a certain combination of them would have a very interesting effect."
"Ok, well, you're in charge of people's clothing, so you can figure that out."
"That won't be too hard. Umm, Padfoot do you hear something?"
Both Marauders stopped talking and listened. They faintly heard footsteps coming closer, getting a little louder with every step.
"Oh no, I think that's Lily. She's not going to be happy that you're here; she thinks I'm scheduling prefect rounds, I told her last Friday I'd do it every Saturday." Sirius snickered at that, but James continued. "You need to hide; I'm already in enough trouble with her."
Both boys looked around frantically for a bit, both of them trying to find a good hiding spot, when Sirius stopped, hit himself on the head, then hit James on the head for not thinking of his idea first.
"Oww! What was that for?"
"For not thinking of the obvious solution. Go work on prefect rounds." With that, Sirius transformed into a dog.
"I should have thought of that." James mumbled, as he started working on prefect schedules. The portrait opened and Lily walked in. She looked at him, seemingly working hard on prefect schedules, and hid her smile. She then saw the black dog.
"Uh, James? Why is there a dog in our common room?"
James looked up. "Oh, he's my friend's. But my friend is busy at the moment, so I said umm… Snugfoot could stay in here for a bit. Do you mind?"
"Oh no, I just wish I'd known. I love dogs. That's kind of an odd name though…" And with that, Lily walked over to the dog and started petting him. The dog looked at James and tilted his head, almost as if asking him what he was waiting for. James looked a bit shocked and threw a stern look at the dog before speaking again.
"Lily, can we talk?"
Lily looked up at him. She was considering telling him they would talk another time, but remembered her promise to Alice. "Sure, I guess." She sat down on the ground and continued petting Snugfoot while looking up at James.
James took a deep breath. "Lily, I know that what I did was stupid. I should have had a plan. I know you said you're sorry for blowing up, but, considering what had happened that day, I think that it wasn't an overreaction." Lily opened her mouth to speak, but James held his hand up to stop her and continued talking. "I didn't know about what had happened. I really didn't. I'm sorry."
Lily's voice was quiet when she responded. "I know that I overreacted, but I really did have high expectations." She looked away from James and concentrated on petting Snugfoot while she talked. "I thought that after all that time, you would have a good plan. And then for all that to happen after I had defended you? Especially since I had defended you on that very same topic? It was too much. But I don't want to raise my hopes so high again only to have them come crashing down. How do I know that it won't keep happening? Why should I forgive you?" Snugfoot, seeming to sense her pain, climbed up onto her lap while she continued to pet him.
James had an odd expression on his face, a mix of pain and anger. He stared at the dog with mostly anger, but shook his head and continued. "Why should you forgive me? Because it kills me to know that I hurt you, that I did something so cruel as to crush your hope. It kills me inside, Lily. That alone will make me ensure that I don't ever do it again, and to do my best to make sure no one else ever does it again either. I hate having you upset with me, Lily. It hurts."
Lily looked up at him at that. "Why does it matter how I feel? I want to forgive you. I really do. But how do I know that you mean these things? You can't even apologize to me in front of your friends. If you can only say it when none of your friends are around, how can I know that it'll apply when they are? If you really cared, you wouldn't care about saying things like these in front of your mates."
"I would say these things and hundreds of other apologies and even just things I like about you in front of them any day."
"I have no proof of that. You haven't shown that at all."
James looked incredibly frustrated. If only she knew about the countless hours he had spent talking to the Marauders about her and how he felt about her. He reached up and ran a hand through his hair. Snugfoot started barking at James. James looked over at the dog, which had put up his paw to his own face. James had an incredulous look on his face, but the dog just kept nodding its head. Finally, James rolled his eyes and nodded. Lily looked on with confusion.
'"Lily, remember how I told you I'm an animagi?"
"Well, yeah, but what does that have to do with anything?" Snugfoot, at her response, laid his head on Lily's shoulder. James coughed loudly, but the dog only smiled up at him.
"Well, I'm not the only one. If you really need proof that I'm willing to tell you these things in front of my friends, well… Sirius…" At James' cue, Sirius transformed back into a human. However, he ended up still on Lily's lap with his head on her shoulder, just how he had been sitting as a dog. Lily screamed.
"Hi, Lilykins. Fancy meeting you here." Sirius laughed at his own words, but his laughter was short lived as Lily then proceeded to attack him.
"Don't. You. Ever. Do. That. Again. Sirius. Orion. Black." With each word she spoke, she hit him harder. Sirius scrambled to get up and went to stand by James, who was laughing at Lily's reaction and the fact that Sirius was getting beat up by a small witch. Lily stayed where she was, with her head in her hands.
"Well, I should probably go before I get beat up again. See you later. We still have to finish that prank!" And with that, Sirius was out the door.
Once Sirius had left, James walked over to Lily and sat down next to her.
"Are you ok, Lily-flower?" he asked delicately.
"I'm… I'm fine. You better not do that to me ever again."
"I won't, I promise. You're too smart for it to ever work again anyway."
Lily shuddered and looked up at James. "I swear if Sirius ever sits on my lap again I might…" She never got to finish her threat because at that moment James leaned in and kissed her. It was just a soft kiss, but it was enough. Lily couldn't finish the rest of her sentence. James pulled away a little bit and scooted in closer. He leaned in and kissed her again, this time a little bit rougher, his hand drifting to her back. He pulled away slightly yet again.
"What was that you might do, Lily?"
James smiled and leaned in to whisper in her ear.
"So, you up for another try at that first date?"
A/N: Now, before you go getting mad, let me explain this story. I feel like Lily, once she fell for James, would have expected a fairytale first date. James, however, is kind of a boy, and boys tend to be kind of clueless. So, I thought of what Lily's rage (which we know she has, since she uses it on James many times before their 7th year) would be like once she found at that it wasn't quite working the way she wanted it to. Remember, at this point, she's liked James for, at the very least, a good part of that school year, but she's still not sure if she can truly trust him. She finally agrees to go out with him, but he basically doesn't meet her expectations right away. So yeah. This author's note is getting long.
No? Ok. I'll just sit here and stare then. *STARES*