Months had passed, and James was finally beginning to feel like a human again. He still had bad days, days when he wouldn't smile, days when he felt as though the entire world was about to smother him. But Sirius and Remus and Peter had helped, Sirius going so far as to suggest he spend his hours as Prongs as animal emotions were much less complex than human ones. James had not questioned how Sirius knew this, he suspected in had something to do with Sirius's family. He couldn't forget how Sirius had shown up at his house last summer, looking like hell warmed over. He wouldn't talk about what happened, even now. James could empathize.
Lily too had helped, surprising all of Gryffindor tower when she would sit with James as they did homework. They talked often now, regularly exchanging stories of their families, and James found himself falling even more in love with the feisty red head. He still felt the pain of his parent's death, the days when he struggled to leave his bed, when he wasn't sure if he could ever smile again. But as the weeks turned into months it wasn't as overbearing as before. He had bad days, and he had good days, but the good were slowly outnumbering the bad. He was adjusting. He had not yet returned to his old self, the laughing, carefree prankster, and truthfully he wasn't sure he ever would. His parent's death had left its mark on him, but as the days rolled by, he had become even more determined to live his life to the fullest.
James had slept late this morning, so late, in fact, that Sirius had actually beaten him to breakfast. Not that James minded. He'd had an idea for a prank, and it was one that he wanted to pull alone. Grinning, he left the dorm room, practically skipping down the steps.
Eyes glittering with mischief, James made his way over to the Gryffindor table, and taking a seat next to Lily, he waved at the other three Marauders who looked at him suspiciously. It wasn't uncommon for him to sit near Lily, but usually they sat near the Marauders. Not at the other end of the table.
"Hey, Lily." James smiled as he reached for a goblet of pumpkin juice.
"Hi, James." She replied, watching bemusedly as he drank the entire goblet in one go.
"So, I was thinking…" he began, setting down the goblet, only to be interrupted by Lily.
"That," she said sarcastically, "has got to be a first." There was a smile on her face that took any sting out of the words.
James stood, smiling at her, his eyes alight with amusement as he held out his hand, "So Lily Evans, what do you say?"
Lily looked up at him confused.
"Care to help me pull a prank?" He asked dramatically.
She eyed him, considering. "Will anyone get hurt?"
"Will anyone get embarrassed?"
"It is highly unlikely."
"But still possible?"
"What would it involve?"
"Ah, now that is a trade secret. But I can promise you; very little magic will be involved."
Lily looked at him, deliberating.
"Alright," she smiled. "I'm in."
James smiled, then stood. Pointing his wand at his throat, he muttered, "Sonorous."
Immediately his voice echoed across the Great Hall, silencing all conversation.
"Lily Evans," He began pompously, before smiling hopefully at Lily's amused face.
Noticing that, James' smile got even wider, "May I have this dance?"
Rolling her eyes, Lily nodded her ascent, as she stood and took his hand. Gently, James guided her to the center of the hall, before pulling her close.
"Woops, half a moment." Dropping Lily's hand, James pulled his wand out of his pocket and gave it a small flick. An upbeat jazz song began to play.
Stowing his wand, he reached for Lily's hand again.
"Wait," She said, gently laying her hand on his chest to stop him. "This isn't going to work."
James face fell. "B-but you said…"
Lily grabbed her wand out of her pocket and gave it a slight flick in James direction. Immediately his robes were transformed into a dashing muggle suit. She did the same to herself, and her school uniform was replaced with a stunning black dress.
A slow grin came across James face.
The two began to dance. It wasn't the most romantic dance, that was for sure, but the two made up for it with enthusiasm and spirit. First James led Lily in a waltz, then Lily led him through a clumsy salsa, followed by an outbreak of disco dancing. Each time, the music changed to fit the dance.
The entire Great Hall watched amusedly as the two danced unashamedly. Several couples followed the two's lead, and soon most of the students had gotten up and begun dancing. Sirius could be seen leading most of the sixth year Gryffindor's in a conga line.
Professor McGonagall looked on in amazement. "Albus, are you seeing this?"
The Headmaster slowly nodded his head, the twinkling in his eyes more pronounced than ever. "Indeed, Minerva, I most assuredly am." Smiling he grabbed Minerva's hand, and twirled her onto the dance floor, where, to the delight of their students, they began an elegant foxtrot.
James and Lily stood at the center of the great hall, laughing as shy Remus was pulled into a dance by the outgoing Mary MacDonald.
Sirius whirled by the two, now dancing with Dorcas Meadows. "Great Idea, James!" He yelled. "We should have thought of this years ago!"
Still holding his hand, Lily looked up at James. "It really was, you know." She said, breathless from laughing.
James feigned shock, "Do my ears deceive me, or did Lily Evans just approve a prank?"
Laughing, Lily swatted at him.
"Of course," James said smugly, "you know that you're my accomplice, right? So that makes you a sort of honorary Marauder."
He grabbed her close as the music again changed to a slow, soft tune.
She smiled softly as she wrapped her hands around his neck. "There are worse things to be."
Slowly, they swayed to the music, chuckling as they saw Sirius and Remus standing on the table doing the YMCA.
"Thank you," James said suddenly, looking down at the redhead.
"Just… being here." Seeing that Lily was confused, he continued. "For helping me. Even though I was a complete berk. You didn't have to. I'm not really sure why you did. But you did. You understood, and you were there."
Lily smiled, "You're welcome. But you don't have to thank me. That's what friends are for."
James was silent as they continued to sway to the music.
"Are we friends, then?" He asked.
Lily considered this, "I think so. I mean, we were before. Kind of. But now… now we're a lot closer."
"So…" James began cautiously, "If I were to ask you to go on a date with me now?"
Lily rolled her eyes. "I'd laugh, come up with a thousand different reasons why I would never go on a date with you, and then say yes."
"Yes?" James questioned disbelieving, "you, Lily Marie Evans, would say yes to me, James Charlus Potter?"
"Blimey." James had a goofy grin on his face. "So," he began, refocusing on her, "Are you available next Hogsmeade Weekend?"
Lily laughed, "James, I can think of a thousand things I should be doing next Hogsmeade Weekend. Unfortunately, those things will have to wait. Yes, I will go with you."
Ecstatic, James actually lifter Lily off the ground, spinning her in circles as dancing couples around them dove out of the way.
Setting her down, he smiled delightedly at her. "Well, Ms. Evans. You have yourself a date."
AN: Not entirely satisfied with the ending, it seems incomplete to me. Oh well. constructive criticism welcome.