AN: Co-written with AyaMellarkPotter as per usual =) Snaps, you're amazing and you should all go say nice things to her. Enjoy =D

All Good Arguments Lead To Snogging

or

Fanfiction #7

"Lily," the Head Boy snapped. "I /told/ you it wasn't me who hexed those First Years!" His tone is the one of someone who has repeated this many times to an in attentive audience. They were on rounds and James had been trying to convince his fellow Head that he hadn't done something she was accusing him of since they'd left the Common Room. "Why would I?"

"Because you're /you/." she glares at him and continues walking, slamming a broom closet open, flushing a little as the two inside it break apart from their heated kisses.

"Oh that's rich!" He snorts. "Let's see, Mr. Price 10 points from Ravenclaw for being out after hours, the same from Hufflepuff for you Ms. Richies," James is tone is bored as the two scamper past their Heads, the girl straightening her clothing as they part for their respective Common Rooms.

Lily is still scowling as she shuts the door with anger, slamming it shut. "If it wasn't you, then who /was/ it?"

"Oh I don't know! Slytherins maybe? I wasn't even anywhere /near/ the fourth floor corridor! In /case/ you don't remember I was at lunch with /you/!" They keep walking down the corridor and James throws open another broom cupboard door with unnecessary force. "For fuck's sake Sirius!" He roars.

"Prejudiced much?" She screeches, ignoring Sirius completely. "And you were /NOT/ HAVING LUNCH WITH ME! I THINK I WOULD REMEMBER!"

"I'm NOT prejudiced! And I was! I was sitting across from you and you YELLED AT ME TO STOP LOOKING AT YOU!" Sirius states to the pretty, dark haired girl they'd just found him in the cupboard with that this was better than taunting Snivellus. He would have done better to keep his mouth shut because James turns on him. "20 points from Gryffindor for being out past curfew, Black, MacDonald! Now scram before I make it more!" They don't need telling twice and scram.

Lily takes a few calming breaths. "We're going to wake half the castle if we keep this up." she hisses through bared teeth. "Just... Ugh! Just leave it, forget about it. We just need to find out who /actually did it/!"

James sighs but at least she seems to have accepted the fact that he hadn't done it.

She comes to the entrance to their common room, opening the portrait with a mutter of their password, and stepping in, having finished their rounds.

James follows her in, still glowering at her back.

She turns and glares back at him. "We need to change the patrol schedule." she hisses through her teeth.

"Obviously," he responds sarcastically. "But you're the one that decided we would be able to work together."

"Only because I thought that maybe you would put in an EFFORT!" she is rummaging through her drawer full of sheets of parchment. She takes out a clean one and starts (messily) drawing up a new schedule.

James takes the quill off her. "Oh give me that before you hurt yourself." He scrunched her messy schedule up and throws it towards the fireplace without looking. It lands square in the centre of the fire and bursts into flame. James starts to redraw it, and while quick, it is still neat. "Now... I'm guessing you'll want to patrol with Remus?" It's more of a statement then a question and he's already inking it in. That leaves the now partner less Ravenclaw fifth year girl that Remus had been patrolling with, with James.

She looks and shakes her head. "You can't put the Slytherins together..."

With a pointed sigh, he screws this one up to and it joins its predecessor in the fire. Pairing Remus with Lily, he sets about fixing it. The Slytherins are now paired with either a Hufflepuff or a Ravenclaw, he knows better than to put them with a Gryffindor. James himself is now patrolling with the Gryffindor sixth year girl Prefect. "Happy now your Majesty?" As he holds out the completed schedule.

She rolls her eyes and looks it over. "It's fine." she charms it to appear like that on all the prefects' schedules, adding a postscript about anyone who is unhappy to come to them.

"Now that that's out of the way, I'm going to bed," he says huffily, still miffed that she had been so quick to jump to conclusions. Really... He'd never hex /First/ Years... Not even Slytherin Firsties!

"Good for you." She huffs in return, taking out her pencil and diary, and starting an entry while sitting on the couch she had plopped onto a few seconds ago.

He stares daggers at the back of head before walking into his room and slamming the door. Sure it was juvenile but it made him feel better.

Lily glares at her diary as she writes, though it falters after a bit and turns into a concentrated expression. By the time she's finished the entry, she seems calm as she locks her diary again and walks calmly up the stairs he had walked, though further to get to her room.

James had thrown himself down onto his bed with an angry huff. "How dare she... I would never... Argh!"

She collapses onto her bed, almost asleep as soon as she hit the pillow.

James rolls over, lying awake for a long time before sheer exhaustion overwhelms him.

Lily dreamed. She had several dreams. In one, her sister was getting married, and Lily was her maid of honour. In another, she was walking with her boyfriend... But she didn't know who it was... But he was tall; she could fit under his chin... They felt right. In another dream, she was sitting in someone's lap... James'? The thought would have confused her, but by the time shed woken up, she had forgotten.

James also had strange dreams. Some nice... Others... Not so nice. He tossed and turned, trying to escape high, cruel echoing laughter that was following, following always following. He only knew he must lead it away from someone... Someone? And that he had to keep moving, if he stopped the owner of the laugh would find... What? He didn't know. He wakes in a cold sweat, gasping for air. "Fuck" he mumbles and turns over, falling back to sleep instantly.

The next morning, Lily is awake at exactly 6:30 (as usual) and is ready to go (hair up in a bun with her deep red ribbon tied around it, robes on, etc.) to breakfast by 7. She feels guilty for blaming him the night before, and is waiting for the chance to apologise.

James stumbles blearily downstairs, uniform crumpled and untucked, tie loose around his neck. He looks like he'd just rolled out of bed and, truth be told, he had.

She restrains herself from rolling her eyes, as she watches him come into the room.

"What?" he mutters annoyed at the eye roll he can tell she is restraining.

She bites her lip and mutters an "I'm sorry", turning back to her food.

He snorts. "Yeah sure you are."

She turns back nervously. "I... Am. I'm sorry I blamed you... I should have realized that you're head boy for a reason and... You wouldn't." she apologizes, her face full of guilt.

He doesn't look at her, wanting to stay angry with her and he knows if he catches her eye he'll be lost. "Fine" he mutters.

She turns slowly back to her food, seeing that he's not in the mood.

James eats in silence, quickly and a lot more neatly than he usually does.

She is surprised, but doesn't comment, leaving when she's finished, and having a free period first, she was headed for their dorms.

James follows her to their dorm, also having a free period. He stalks into his room and grabs his homework. Throwing himself down at his desk, he starts on a Transfiguration essay, still endeavouring to not look in Lily's direction.

Since her desk was right next to his, she felt rather awkward doing her homework. She took one of her books and flopped down on the couch, reading.

He does his best to ignore her. It works, to a degree and he focuses on his essay.

She continues reading her novel, though she has to try her hardest not to look at him. She didn't like loose ends... That must be the reason she was so anxious.

Unfortunately, the essay was on Animagi theory, something he was ridiculously well versed on so he didn't even need to research.

She finishes her book; he had been halfway through when she'd started. She charms the book to put itself back in her shelves, as she lies down on the couch, thinking about what to do.

She looks up and smiles a small smile. "Thanks... "

"What?" His head jerks up from where he'd been laying on his folded arms.

"Thank you." she reiterates loudly. She looks up at him again and smiles guiltily. "I felt... I don't know, bad."

"Lily Evans felt bad because she misjudged James Potter? Let me call the Prophet!"

She grins and rolls her eyes. "Shut up."

James can't help the answering grin that spreads across his face.

She giggles and plays with her hair. She then realised what she was doing, and stopped. No, this could /not/ be happening. She... But... It was /James/. James POTTER.

His grin widens and he stands up, wandering over to the couch and leans over the back of it. He reaches out and playfully tousled her hair. "It's really cute when you play with your hair, you know that?"

She glares playfully and adjusts her hair to be neat again. Instead of redoing it into a bun, she puts it in a messy pony tail. "Thanks, I think." she bats her eyelashes and exaggerates the flipping of her hair.

James steals her hair tie. "I like it better down," he states matter-of-factly. "And you're welcome," he beams at her.

She rolls her eyes. "Give it back. I prefer it up."

"Nope," his grin widens. "It's mine now."

She rolls her eyes and reaches to grab the hair tie from him.

He simply raises his arm, holding it high above her head. "Still mine."

Lily pouted and pulled out her wand. "Give it. Now." her tone is playful.

"But I want to keep it... I think it matches my shoes perfectly," he chuckles. He is being obviously sarcastic.

She grins and summons the hair tie.

James pouts. "No fair!"

She grins. "Since when is magic unfair?"

He continues to pout, looking pitiful.

She smiles at him and ties her hair up again.

He taps her nose. "You're evil"

She smirks and bows. "Thank you, thank you very much." she imitates Elvis with humour in her now lower voice.

James simply looks at her oddly. "Er... You're welcome?"

She rolls her eyes. "Muggle stuff."

He shrugs. "Okay"

She moves her legs off the end of the couch. "Come sit..." she motions for him to sit where her feet had been.

He doesn't need telling twice, but instead of walking around and sitting on it as she probably expects, he vaults over the back of it, landing in the spot her feet had vacated with a thump. "So..."

She grins and puts her feet on him, her grey-tights covered feet rested across his lap. "So indeed."

"So... Now what?" He absently pats her legs.

She grins wider. "Foot massage."

James rolls his eyes but obligingly picks up her feet, gently massaging the sole.

She beams and her eyes flutter shut as she enjoys the massage. She moans softly with pleasure, her foot feeling as light as a feather.

James bites his lip, lightly running his fingers along the arch of her foot.

She breathes heavily and sinks further into the couch.

He chuckles and picks up her other foot to give it the same treatment.

She groans again at the relaxing feeling. It was amazing... "Thank you..." she murmurs.

"Feel better?" His voice is full of laughter.

She nods. "Thanks" a smile is on her face.

"Any time," He pats her knee gently, a soft smile on his face.

She keeps her feet rested on his lap, and she closes her eyes relaxedly. She is lying across the couch and looks peaceful, as if sleeping.

James tries to stifle a yawn but it cracks his jaw wide.

She smiles, her eyes still closed. "Tired?"

"A little," he responds quietly. James is too comfortable to move though.

Lily turns over a little, now lying on her side. "Same..."

James gently runs his fingers through her hair. It soothes him and he forgets that he'll probably get hexed because of it.

Her smile widens and she leans into his hand. She was surprised at how nice it felt.

He almost falls off the couch in shock. James keeps stroking her hair, going to make the most of it.

Lily is almost asleep when the bell goes, and she gets up, though regretfully. "What do you have?"

Sighing unhappily, he digs through his bag, pulling out his timetable. "Ergh, Divination, you?"

She stifles a giggle. "You do divination? And I have Ancient Runes." she takes out her wand and casts a silent summoning spell, and her bag comes flying towards her.

James is impressed. "That's really hard, I've heard. And yeah I do Divination." He shrugs. "Padfoot whines until you give in." Is all the explanation he gives.

She Nods. "It's hard, but fun..." She laughs. "Sirius can be persuasive..."

"I know that," James grumbles sourly. "The bloody git."

She giggles again. "Come on, let's go. Our classes are close." she gets up and moves her hair so that it is on her shoulder.

He stands up behind her and casually slings an arm around her shoulders. Grinning he glances over at her and notices a stubborn curl that hadn't flipped back over her shoulder. Hesitantly reach out; he brushes it behind her ear, fingertips lingering on her cheek.

Lily's cheeks are slightly red, but other than that she just smirks and ducks away from his hand, walking out of the portrait hole.

Amazed he didn't get bitten or something he follows her out of the room in a daze. "Uh... Well I've got to go to the North Tower... Sooo... I guess this is "see you later"?"

"No." she said, grinning. "My classroom is halfway to the North Tower." her smile is bright, but she also has a small voice in her head saying "What... This is James Potter, Lily. What are you doing...?"

"I... Wow... That's great!" James is grinning like a lunatic and starts off in the direction of the North Tower. Remembering something, he wheels around. "Can... Would... Would you like me to carry your bag?" He offers hesitantly.

She looks puzzled. "Okay...?"

Almost reeling from shock, he reaches out and gently unhooks her bag from around her shoulder, transferring it to his own. Smiling softly down at her, he offers her his arm with a gallant bow.

She takes it with a grin.

Grinning in return, they walk arm in arm to the North Tower, James ignoring the stares and whispers that follow them.

She turns off half way through, at 6th floor. "I'll see you later..." she smiles.

"See you later," he echoes with a slightly sappy smile. Bowing, he kisses her hand, passes Lily her bag and then sets off for the top of the tower. He hopes she'll wait for him so they can walk to dinner together.

She blushes a little and walks away, entering the classroom with a small smile.

James sleeps through Divination, as usual. The bell goes and he is out of his chair like a shot, beating everyone down the silver ladder to make it to Lily's classroom, hopefully before she leaves.

She is walking down the sixth to fifth floor staircase when she sees him.

"Lily!" He yells, hurrying his pace.

She turns and smiles. "Hey... James."

"Hey Lily!" He catches up with her, smiling brightly, not really noticing her friends.

Allie looks at her strangely but with a small smirk on her face. "Err... Allie, James, James, Allie?" Lily introduces them awkwardly.

"Hi... Addie was it?"

Allies eyes roll. "Allie. Aletha. With an 'L'" Lily grins and punches James softly. "That was rude."

"Ow! I didn't do it on purpose!"

She grins and links her hand with Allies. "Well, it was still rude."

"How was checking what her name is rude?" He huffs, offended. He'd actually been being rather polite... For him.

She pouts. "Because you should have just-" "Oh Lily, shut up. If you continue you'll sound like your flirting." Lily blushes at Allies statement.

James grins at her friend; he has a feeling he's going to get on well with her. "So Lily... And Allie too... Can I escort you two lovely ladies to lunch?"

Lily grins and Allie smirks. "Whatever." said the latter, while the former just shrugged.

Offering an arm to each of them, he continues down the stairs. Reaching the base of the tower he walks with them into the Great Hall. Smirking at Allie he suggests she should sit next to Sirius as he has something important to talk to Lily about.

She pouts and waves to Allie. "What is it, James?"

"I just wanted to ask about the new Prefect rounds schedules. I mean... We're getting on again... Did you want to change it back?" His expression is hopeful.

Her expression is thoughtful. "I think so... Yeah, that's a good idea..."

James pulls out a scrap of parchment and quickly redraws up the old schedule, performing the same Charm Lily had earlier so that it would appear on all of them. He smiles at her once he's done. "I'd hoped you'd say y... Bloody hell!" He is pointing down the table at Sirius and Allie. Sirius had his arm wrapped around her waist and Allie appeared to be giggling. "I wonder what they're plotting."

She looks at her friend and rolls her eyes. "Allie and Sirius? They're probably not plotting..." her friend and his are suddenly in a heated snogging session, as if to prove Lily's point. "And there we have it..."

"They... They could still be plotting..." He starts weakly. Sirius suddenly stands and drags Allie out of the Great Hall. "Could be a ploy?"

She snorts. "Like hell." she stops and her eyes widen. "Oh, no, Allie. No..."

"What?" James is really confused now. "They're just going to go snog in a broom closet," his tone is off-hand.

"Yeah, but..." she shakes her head. "Never mind, girl stuff."

His eyebrows creep up his forehead but he doesn't say anything except "okay" and the offers her the plate of egg and lettuce sandwiches.

She takes one, smiling weakly.

"Are you okay?" James asked, concerned.

She nods. "It's nothing."

"You sure? 'Cause it doesn't look like nothing," he is still concerned, expression earnest.

"It really is." she smiles at the honesty. She'd never seen him... Caring.

"Well... Okay then," His tone clearly says he isn't convinced but that he'll drop it for now. "If you change your mind and want to talk..."

She smiles shyly. "Thanks... That's kind of you."

He smiles back, a real, crooked smile. "I just want to help Lily-flower"

Her small smile is also a little crooked. "Thanks."

Amazed he hadn't gotten hit or yelled at or hexed for the nickname he decides to not push his luck. He eats in silence for the rest of the meal and when the bell rings offers her his arm to head off to Transfiguration. Halting by where Allie and Sirius had been sitting he notices their bags still there. Sighing and muttering something about "bloody best mates" he grabs Sirius' bag and reaches for Allie's.

She takes Allies bag before he can reach it and takes it along with hers. Together they walk to transfiguration.

Sighing, James shakes his head as they pass a broom closet from which is coming giggling. He bangs on the door, "Oi Pads! Class!" and the keeps walking.

"Allie, I hate you!" she calls, and continues walking with her fellow head.

"Love you too Lils," Allie's voice echoes from the broom closet. "Pads!" James yells, "You're going to be late!" He keeps walking muttering gits as they reach the classroom.

She rolls her eyes and enters the classroom, saving as many spots as needed.

James sits next to her, dumping Sirius' bag on the seat next to him and getting Lily to put Allie's bag on the seat next to hers so the lovebirds are separated.

She stifles a giggle when Allie and Sirius come in. When her best friend realizes what they've done she huffs a little, but takes her seat next to Lily. "I hate you, Allie." the redhead whispers. "You are evil."

Her friend's reply is with cheek. "Now it's your turn!" Allie's charming smile is also quite wicked, and Lily glares daggers as Professor McGonagall comes into the classroom.

McGonagall begins the lesson on Animagi and James slants an glance at Sirius, mocking a yawn. "This'll be boring," Sirius murmurs and James nods in agreement.

Lily looks at the pair quizzically. Animagi seemed very interesting... She thought that they'd have liked it.

James sees her looking and pales. "I mean... Er... Interesting... Really... Interesting..."

Her eyes roll and she looks back to the front, listening to the lecture.

Sirius stealthily tosses him a note. James scribbles something back and slides it back. They continue to pass notes until the end of the lecture. James drops the latest one and dives for it, falling off his chair. "Ow."

"Stop it!" she whispers furiously. "This is class!"

"A class we already know everything in Red," Sirius responds cheekily.

"A class we already know everything in Red," Sirius responds cheekily.

"You shouldn't be passing notes!" Lily whisper furiously. She then turns on James. "Especially you! You should be setting an example!" and she turns back to the front before McGonagall can spot her.

James has the grace to look guilty. "Sorry," he mutters. Sirius makes a whip cracking noise and James glares at him. Allie leans around Lily to glower at Sirius and he cowers. "Who's whipped now Padfoot?" James hisses. "Shut up Prongs." His best mate mutters. James simply grins at him before turning his attention back to the front, smothering a yawn.

She is confused, but laughs when Sirius cowers from Allie. She nudges her friend; "Good job." and grins, before returning to concentrate on the lecture.

He gives up on concentrating, really, he /knew/ all this and /more/ but of course he couldn't tell McGonagall that. He starts to absently doodle on a piece of parchment, absently tracing an LE, embellishing it as the lecture continues.

She listens intently; if there was one type of transfiguration she was interested in it was Animagi. When the bell finally goes she waves to the boys and drags Allie to her room, chatting softly to her on the way.

James yawns widely. "Well... That was..." "Boring," Sirius states as they head back to the Common Room. "Want to grab Moony and Wormtail and we'll get planning?" James' grin is wicked. Sirius nods enthusiastically and they part ways, James to drop his stuff back in his own Dorm and Sirius to grab the other half of the Marauders.

"Allie. You purposely did this, didn't you?" she hisses. "The pact-"

"The pact was made because I thought that I would never date him." Allie interrupts. "You have 2 weeks." Lily's mouth hangs open as they enter her room. "2 weeks? But..."

"Lils, we made a pact. And plus, you're starting to like him. I can see it in your eyes. I wouldn't do it otherwise..."

"You... You think I should?" Lily's eyes are wide. "What if... What if he's over me?" her friend rolls her eyes. "Right. Sure. James Potter over you? Not going to happen. 2 weeks."

James had dumped his stuff and wandered back to the Gryffindor Common Room to collect the rest of the Marauders, he'd had a brilliant idea. Explaining his plan with a lot of arm waving an excited gestures the others, even proper Prefect Moony agree to his plan. James grins evilly, this would be awesome.

They had changed subjects, moving from boys, to school, to everything best friends talk about. "Sleepover tonight?" the redhead asked the brunette. She agrees and they continue talking until the bell for the end of the school day rings.

The four Marauders set up their pranks in the empty Great Hall and race out of their when the bell goes. They can't wait for dinner. Heading back to the Common Room, James starts up a mock argument with Moony so that, walking back in, no-one would think anything off it. "Moons! I'm /telling/ you, I think she's warming up to me!" 'Prongs,' his friend sighs, 'I think you're seeing things.' "I'm not! Lily is..." 'Right over there and listening,' Peter interjects.

Lily was sitting with Allie and Tori, she looks back at Allie. "Told you!" she says meaningfully, ignoring the Marauders.

James heads over to the girls, Sirius trailing along behind like a lost puppy. Inwardly sniggering at the mental image, James wanders up to them. "Hullo my precious Lily-flower," he greets Lily cheerfully. "May I have the honour of escorting you to dinner?"

She glares and turns back to her friends. "I told you."

An expression of genuine hurt and confusion crosses his face.

Lily glares as Allie leaves with Sirius, and Tori and Remus Talk about books, as Peter follows. "Potter." she greets coldly. "Excuse me." she gets up and leaves.

"What... What did I do? ALLIE!" he hollers. "I need to talk to you!"

Allie rolls her eyes and leaves Sirius. "Yes, Lily's pissed."

"I know that, I'm not stupid." He mutters. "What is she pissed /about/?" He asks worriedly.

Allie sits next to him. "She doesn't like being treated like she's... Some sort of prize to be won." she sighs. "She overheard your conversation with Remus, and it made her feel like... You don't... Care, I guess. Or you're still just that arrogant git you were in fifth year."

"What conversation with Re... Oh..." His eyes widen. He hadn't meant for the mock argument to be taken seriously. "That was a diversion! I honestly didn't mean /anything/ by it. You /have/ to believe me!"

"Well, I know that... She doesn't" is her response.

"Fuck," he mutters. "Where'd she go? I have to talk to her!"

"Let her cool down first." she says. "but.. She'll be in the library or in your dorms."

Ignoring the advice he sets out to look for Lily. Checking the library first he doesn't see her and heads to their dorms. Opening the portrait carefully, he steps gingerly inside.

Lily is in her room, angry. She doesn't see him come in, being on the top "floor".

Careful to not make noise he sneaks up her staircase, thanking Merlin for the fact that they aren't alarmed. He taps gently on her door. "Lily... It's James... Can I talk to you? Please?"

"Go away." she says coldly.

He really should have expected that reaction but it still hurts, excruciatingly so. "Lils..." he can't keep the pain out of his voice. "Lily... I didn't mean it... Please... You have to believe me..."

"You're a git, you know that?" she replies, opening her door and stepping out. "You... It's been a ploy this whole time!" she angrily starts going down the stairs. "You're still chasing after me. After everything. After all the things you've told me! I thought we were friends! But no, you just want to get into my fucking pants!"

"Wh-what?" He stutters, honestly surprised she'd come to that conclusion. And then suddenly he is angry. "So that's how little you think of me is it? That I'm that disrespectful to the girl I fucking /love/ that I'm screwing around with her feelings for sex? Glad we got that out of the way now then." His voice is low and cruel, and he can't stop the angry words from pouring out of his mouth.

"You don't LOVE me. You hardly /know/ me." her face is cruel and cold as she turns back to face him. "You've been after me since fucking first year. Can't you just GIVE UP ALREADY?"

James looks at her, all the anger draining out of him as quickly as it had come. "If that's what you really want," he says quietly, not even bothering to try and hide the anguish in his voice.

Her face shows the ghost of sorrow, as she turns away and whispers "I do." and walk back up the stairs.

"I'll go hand in my badge then... It wouldn't be fair to have you work with someone when you don't trust them." He turns around to walk out of the Common Room.

She turns back. "No. Don't.. Don't give up the position for me. You're... Obviously best for the job." her face is still expressionless as she continues up the stairs.

"I couldn't do that to you. You've made it clear you don't trust me, I won't impose my presence on you any longer."

"Don't!" she says a little too fast, then elaborates. "There are people I'd trust... Less."

"I doubt it," His tone is flat, emotionless.

"Please..." she whispers desperately.

"Please what?" His voice is still flat but he can't keep the hurt off his face. Why was she doing this?

"Don't... Don't step down. Please..." her voice is hopeless as she runs into her room and slams the door.

Pouring salt in the raw wound he follows her. "Why shouldn't I?"

"Fine! Do whatever you bloody WANT!" she replies. "I JUST DIDN'T WANT TO BE SHARING A ROOM WITH SOMEONE WHO BETRAYED MY TRUST AND CALLED ME A MUDBLOOD!"

"Wh-what? Lily! I /never/ betrayed you and I /certainly/ didn't call you a... a... that!" In contrast to her yelling his voice is quiet, almost inaudible.

"NOT YOU!" she yells to him. "If.. If you go..." her voice is softer. "He... He might... He..."

James' expression crumples. "Oh... I... I... I c-can't do that to you..."

Her sobs can be heard if you really listened. "Th-Thank-k-you.."

Ignoring his common sense which is telling him to leave and leave now, he jiggles the door handle. He couldn't stand there and let her cry without trying to comfort her.

She's on her bed, sprawled across it, her tears causing her pillow to get soaked. "I-I'm sorry..." she sniffles. "I...I w-went t-too-oo far a-as usual-l..."

"Oh Lily..." He sighs softly, sitting down beside her and gently runs his fingers through her hair. "Shhh love, it's alright... Shhhh..."

Her shallow breaths are repetitive as she sobs into her crimson pillow. "I.. I'm so... So sorry... I can't-can't lose a-any one-ne else-se..."

James gently picks her up and shifts her into his lap, cradling her head against his shoulder. "Oh Lily... shhhh, you won't lose me I promise... I was just angry and I thought that was what you wanted... Shhh..."

She leans on his shoulder, letting out all her sadness. "N-No.. I... Y-you can't-t..."

"I'm not leaving Lily-flower, I swear." James cradles her gently, stroking her back soothingly as if she were a child.

She cries into his shoulder, just staying in the comfort of his arms. Eventually it's around dinner time and she stops crying, though she stayed in his arms.

James continues to hold her close, every so often murmuring soothing words in her ear. Patting her back gently, he wants to make sure she is fully calm.

She looks up at him, only now realizing that her arms are on his chest and his are around her. Surprisingly, she likes it. She snuggles a little closer to him, and murmurs a "thank you".

"You're welcome," he whispers back, surprised as always that she hasn't throttled him yet. "I'm so sorry Lily. So, so sorry."

"No. No, I was being a bitch. I should be- I /am/ sorry." she remembers something that maybe she should have earlier. "Do... Do you really...?" she trails off.

His eyes widen as he realises what she is referring to. "Do I what?" His voice is calm but his arms tighten around her convulsively.

"Do you really... Love me?" the last part is whispered, as if she's scared of the answer.

"I... I..." he swallows heavily and whispers "yes".

Lily keeps close, though her mind is working at a ridiculously fast pace. "I.. Why?"

"You're smart, funny, witty, kind and generous to a fault." His voice which had been low, rises a little, his tone warm, his eyes alight. Any of his friends would recognise the "Lily-Look" as Sirius had dubbed it in fourth year. "You don't let anyone get to you, you stand up to yourself. You're strong and so very beautiful. You're enchanting and slightly diabolical..."

She grins here, and kisses him on the cheek. "Thank you... Really."

His hand raises to where she'd kissed him and he stutters. "I... I... It was... You're welcome?"

She giggles at him. "That's a bit... Please don't not wash that cheek. That would be... Weird." her grin is teasing. "James... I'd... Like to be friends." her tone is fully serious, but warm. "I... Know you want more... But... I do want to be friends."

He smirks at her, it softening to a smile. "I'd like that... I'd like that a lot." He is sincere, he knows if he keeps showing her how he's changed sooner or later she'll change her mind.

Lily's face lights up into a smile, and she hugs him tightly. "Thank you!"

Pleased by this turn of events he hugs her back, just as tightly. "Any time Lils." James beams. "Are you hungry?"

She nods. "Dinner?"

Remembering the prank he smiles wickedly. "Yep, I think you'll enjoy what happens."

She looks at him suspiciously. "O...kay..." she gets up and wipes at her cheeks.

"It's pure brilliance if I do say myself..." He cackles evilly, Conjuring her a handkerchief, wetting it with a soft "augumenti", before present it to her with a flourish.

She smiles and takes it, wiping down her face. "Okay then... Let's go?"

"Of course," he offers her his arm, as usual, hoping his accidental admission won't throw their... Whatever it was... Off. "Oh... And for the record... Lily, I do know you." He states softly, before heading out of her room.

She follows him out, asking him "What do you mean?"

" 'You can't love me you hardly know me' " He parrots her line from earlier. "I do know you," he says again. "C'mon, dinner."

She smiles a small smile. "Dinner" she takes his hand and walks with him.

Whistling cheerfully, James swings their hands between them as they walk. Entering the Great Hall, they're just in time for an almighty BANG! to be heard and the Slytherin table is engulfed in purple smoke. When it clears, all the Slytherins are in Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff colours and looking extremely uncomfortable. One girl close to where they are standing opens her mouth the shriek something, probably vile insults, but what comes out is the exact opposite. "Gryffindors are the best!" She shrieks and a look of horror rolls over her face. By this time the entire Hall is crying with laughter as the rest of the Slytherins find that the only things they can say are nice things about Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs or Ravenclaws depending on what colours they were wearing.

She grins at the look of horror on their faces, and hugs James. "Brilliant!"

"Told you you'd like it," James is grinning smugly and catching sight of Sirius, Remus and Peter he ushers Lily over to his friends. "C'mon, you should eat something."

Lily sits with the four boys, taking a plate and filling it. "Good job, boys."

"Thank-you Lily-flower," they chorus as one.

She rolls her eyes. "What is with you guys and that nickname? You each can have a separate nickname, so that I know who is addressing me." her grin is light-hearted.

"I call you Red," Sirius pipes up "and really Lily-flower is Jamesie's name for you, we just use it to annoy him... See look... He's turning purple... Don't be mad Jamesie! Your Lilypetal's right there..." Sirius obviously either has a death wish or really enjoys winding his friend up.

"Well... You might want to shut up." Lily smirks. "Anyway... What are Remus and peters nicknames?" she tries to change the topic slightly.

"I call you Lily, as you're my friend," Remus says quietly, smiling at her. Peter mumbles something, turning pink.

She smiles back at Remus, then looks at Peter. "Sorry, didn't catch that, Peter."

"I... I call you... Flower." He states shyly. "Real original Wormy," Sirius mocks him. "Oh leave him be Pads." James has regained his calm by squeezing Lily's hand a little too tightly.

She smiles at Peter as she ties to untangle her and James' hands. "James, too strong... And Peter, That's sweet. And it's not like you can talk, Sirius. You choose to make fun of my hair." she glares playfully.

"Sorry," James mumbles, loosening his grip. Peter smiles at her shyly, cheeks still pink before turning back to his dinner. "Hey! I... Oh.. Well... It /is/ red!" Sirius can be a bit dim at times and Remus shoots him a look that says exactly that.

"Yes, and my name is also a flower." she grins and whispers theatrically to Remus "He needs to go to a 'special school'"

"I'm special!" Sirius yells, standing on his chair. "I get to go to "special school!" The Muggle-borns and half-bloods in the Hall crack up laughing again while the pure bloods simply look confused.

Lily grins and pulls him back down, explaining the joke, giggling the whole time.

At first he is grinning but the expression slides off his face. "Red! How /could/ you!" He wails dramatically, placing a hand over his heart... On the wrong side of course. "Other side doofus," Remus mutters. Sirius flips him off.

She continues giggling. "You've /got/ to admit, that was funny!"

James smirks at his friend. "You've got to admit she got you mate," Sirius sighs heavily, still pouting. "Fine... By virtue of the Marauder Code... For pulling one over Sirius Black... I am your slave for the next twenty-four hours... Happy now guys?" Smirking Remus nods and James grins, nodding pompously.

"wait... My slave?" an evil grin comes over her face. "Oh this is going to be fun."

"Jaaaaaaaamie," Sirius whines and rolling his eyes James explains the clause. "You can't make him do anything personally degrading, have him harm someone else or tell you any Marauder secrets... Other than that... Have fun... Oh..." He grins evilly. "And we want photographic documentation." "Proooooongs!" Sirius yells. "That's not faaaaair!" "Oh stop whining Padfoot," James is less than sympathetic as he spoons more potatoes and gravy onto his plate.

She grins wider. "What EXACTLY does 'personally degrading' include?"

"Well... Something that could ruin his reputation as a Marauder... And since that would only be if he was forced to hex all of us at once and publicly renounce his title as a Marauder or hug Snape or something of that sort... You've basically got free reign."

She grins at Sirius. "Today and tomorrow are going to be fun."

Sirius gulps and glances at James. "I'm using my rule four!" He states desperately. "You can't," Remus interjects mildly, "you've already used it." "No I haven't!" Sirius is indignant. "Yes you have Padfoot," Peter chimes in this time, mouth mercifully free of food, "you used it last year after the er... Well that...thing with... A certain girl?" "Oh... My rule 6?" He is getting desperate. "Can't mate," James is grinning evilly now... "You need a majority vote for that one and I'm not going to say you can... Guys?" Both of the shake their heads, identical evil grins on their faces. "Guys?" Sirius squeaks. "Not a chance," they all say at once. Sirius hangs his head. "Remember me fondly," he says piteously. They nod solemnly, lips twitching. "He's all yours Lily-flower," James says fondly. "Don't kill him, we sorta like the git."

She looks confused, but laughs at the last statement. "I won't... I'll give him a bit of a rest. You'll need it, because you're going to be outside the heads dorms at 6:45." she smiles in a sickeningly sweet way at Sirius. "You're going to be there, then, because Allies sleeping over, you're waking her up..." the evil is showing in her smile as she thought of how difficult it was to wake her best friend at 6:45. "You're going to come to breakfast with us at 7, then carry our books for us to period one, which is potions, down in the dungeons, with all those steps. And I'll tell you the rest tomorrow." her expression is now positively evil.

Sirius gulps nervously, "I'm dooooomed," he mumbles. "Lils..." James says warningly. "Don't be /too/ hard on him..."

She shrugs. "I know. /I/ wake up at 6:15. Honestly, it's not that bad. Could have been worse." she grins at James. "It's not every day you have Sirius Black as a slave, though."

"This is true..." James pretends to think, making Sirius think he might have chance to get out of it. His hopes are dashed at his friends' next words. "Have fun," James says simply. Sirius glares at him at mutters something that sounds suspiciously like "Rule 11" and James blanches. "You wouldn't..." Remus looks on interestedly. "What wouldn't he do?" "Rule 11," James states coldly. Remus glares at Sirius. "If you dare, I swear I'll bite you." James is impressed. "Wow Moony, I didn't know you had that in you..." Remus blushes but keeps glaring at Sirius who ducks his head, mumbling a soft apology. "He'll behave now Lils," James promises.

"Rule 11? What /are/ these rules?" she asks, interested.

"Can't tell you, sorry Lily," James is truly apologetic.

She huffs playfully. "Anyway I can have rights to know?" she smiles innocently.

"Only one way to get those Lily," Remus this time. "You have to marry a Marauder."

She pouts. "Even if I do, it'll be after school finishes, next year... James... Care to propose... Again?" she grins playfully and leans on his shoulder.

"We-ell..." He grins at her, Conjures a ring and gets down on one knee, affecting a sappy adoring look. "Lily Evans, you are the most amazing, wonderful, kindest girl I've ever met... And you have a mean right hook... Will you marry me? Please?" Remus chuckles and urges her to say yes, just to see the fan-club's reaction. James rolls his eyes at his friend.

She grins and pulls him back. "No attracting too much attention. And no, not on your life potter, arrogant toerag, etc., etc." her smile is light-hearted but also a little forced.

James notices this and frowns, getting back to his feet and Vanishing the ring. "Lily... What is it? I was only joking... You know that right?"

She laughs. "'course I do. Now, are we all finished with dinner?" she casts a significant look at Sirius.

"I am, Rem, Pete?" They nod and Sirius moans but agrees. "Wonderful!" James claps his hands grinning. "Let's get going then."

"Our common room?" she suggests as they arrive on the fourth floor.

"Sure thing. Guys?" They all agree and everyone troops back to James' and Lily's dormitory. Whispering the password to the portrait, James opens it. "Ready for this you lot?"

She looks at him quizzically, wondering what he was talking about. "They haven't seen it yet?"

"Nope, I kept them out." He shrugs, muttering something about it being nice to have a place of his own without the gits.

She grins and steps inside, opening the door ins butler-type manner. "Welcome... To the heads' common room and dorms..." She walks them around, giving them a mini tour of the place. When she's finally finished she gestures at the three couches, the four-seater, The two and the one, letting the boys have first pick of where to sit.

Sirius stretches out on the two-seater, Remus and Peter spread over the four. James glares at them but flops down into the single chair, tugging Lily down with him.

She laughs sits on his lap. "I see why you didn't want them here..."

James glares at them a final time before wrapping his arms tightly around her waist. "They're all bloody gits," He says, loud enough for them to hear. "Love you too Prongsie-pie!" Moony laughs.

She grins and leans on him, smirking. "Prongsie-pie. I like it."

James pokes his tongue out at her. "You're so funny Lil-bit."

"Lil bit?" she's confused.

"I came up with it just now." James grins. "Do you like it?"

"I don't get it..."

James sighs. "Oh never mind. Anyway... What were we talking about?"

She shrugs. "I don't know."

Sirius picks that moment to wolf-whistle, earning him a glare from James. Without looking, Remus throws the book he was reading at their friend, hitting him square on the nose. "Ow!" Sirius yells. Remus Summons his book back with a smirk. "Good." James cracks up.

Lily grins at the boys' antics, then gets up from James lap and sits on Sirius, grinning. "You can't complain."

"Liiiiily!" James whines. Sirius is gasping in mock pain. "If I die... Tell Allie... Tell her... Tell her I... I... Tell her I love her," with one last fake gasp he pretends to die, going limp.

Lily laughs and smacks Sirius, before getting up and returning to sit on James.

"Wait..." Remus is shocked. "Did Sirius just say "love" and a girl's name in the same sentence?" James is too busy hugging Lily again to care. Digging his fingers into her sides he tickles her lightly, grinning.

She laughs at Remus' statement, then jumps away from James. "Don't do that!" she pouts.

It is James' turn to pout. "Awe, you're no fun."

Lily grins at the challenge. "No fun? I'm fun!"

"Prove it, "He challenges her with a smirk.

"Prank war. You guys, versus me and 3 friends." her smirk is wide.

"You're on!" They all yell. Unable to help himself, James tilts her face to his to kiss her.

She's surprised, but she kisses him back hesitantly, before pulling away and blushing.

James flushes. "I'm sorry," he stutters. "I didn't... Okay, so I did mean that but... Um..." He bites his lip.

Lily looks around at the four worried faces, ending up looking straight into James worried eyes. She realized something; they all thought that she would reject him, and they didn't want to see their best mate hurt. She was silent for a few minutes, searching James' eyes for something to set her off, to stop her from doing what she did next, something that wasn't there. She slowly leaned in and kissed him again, her arms suddenly around his neck.

His eyes widen. Surely... This wasn't happening... Was Lily Evans...? She was! He responds enthusiastically, kissing her slowly, sweetly and then harder, pouring all his feelings into that one kiss.

She pulls away, flushing, then looks around at the other guys. "Er..."

They burst into applause. Sirius is cheering, Peter's cheeks are pink but he's beaming and Remus... Remus has a gentle smile on his face. "I told you so Lily," is all he says. James wraps his arms more tightly around her, nuzzling her neck, smiling so brightly it's surprising they aren't seeing sun spots.

Lily blushes. "Honestly..." her smirk returns and she looks at the marauders with a look of mischief. "Rules of the prank war. What are they?"

"Nothing dangerous," James starts off, still grinning like a loon. "No harming and/or dragging innocent bystanders into the way..." Remus adds. "Nothing too horrible," Peter pipes up and Sirius simply gives him a look.

"Only on each other." she suggests. "And I will notify you on my choices of partners as soon as possible."

"Okay," James agrees happily. "Now the rest of you... Get lost." He glares mock menacingly at his friends. They scatter, although Remus comes over and whispers "Don't hurt him Lils," into Lily's ear which James doesn't hear. Finally, they're alone.

Her smile is sheepish as she looks up at him. "Er.. I don't know what to say..."

"What about it?" He asks worriedly, concerned that she regrets it. "You... I mean... You don't regret it... Do you?"

She shakes her head. "No... But.. I... It was kind of unexpected... And I don't know what to say..."

"Then don't say anything?" He suggests hesitantly. "You already know how I feel and..." He stops, running a hand through his hair distractedly.

"I like you." she smiles up at him, taking his other hand and squeezing it lightly. "I really like you."

"Y-you do?" He squeezes her hand back gently. "I... Lily... Can... Can I...?" What was wrong with him? He was James Freakin' Potter! He was /never/ this nervous when talking to a girl. Well... Any girl except Lily...

She smiles. "Course I do, you big idiot." she answers his second question with no words, as she leans towards him and kisses him softly.

"I... He-ey..." He kisses her back teasingly. "Are you really going to prank us?" He asks softly.

She smirks. "Of course."

James yawns widely. "C'mon love... I'm knackered."

She rolls her eyes. "I think that you're forgetting that I invited Allie for a sleepover...?" she grins up at him and kisses him softly. "Night."

James pouts but kisses her back. "Well, have fun. Goodnight," he adds softly, heading up the stairs to his room, murmuring, "I love you Lily Evans," when he thinks he's out of earshot.

The End