Author's note: This was inspired by an amazing graphic by Emily at .com and one of my favorite songs from The Civil Wars.

Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter, nor the music by The Civil Wars. Just the plot, and even that was inspired by Emily.


You only know what I want you to

I know everything you don't want me to

Oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine

You think your dreams are the same as mine

Oh I don't love you but I always will

Oh I don't love you but I always will

Oh I don't love you but I always will

I always will

I wish you'd hold me when I turn my back

The less I give the more I get back

Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise

I don't have a choice but I'd still choose you

Oh I don't love you but I always will

I always will

-Poison & Wine, The Civil Wars

Lily sat perched on one of the large boulders that stuck out into the lake, legs drawn up in front of her. She wrapped her arms around them, holding herself together as she left her head fall to her knees. Before her eyes the clouds drifted slowly through the sky, the soft sunlight peeking through to dance across the surface of the lake. But this all faded from her mind as she pictured the one thing she had been hoping to ignore. The face of a boy, now grown into a man, dark hair falling into his eyes framed by glasses, his lips quirked to the side in a ridiculous smile.

She shut her eyes tightly, desperate to block out the image, but it only burned brighter in her mind. She thought back to that morning, seeing him with her. She couldn't even place a name with the face, too furious to even take a moment to register what was going on. She thought he still wanted her, thought that he had changed for her. But there he stood, leaning casually against the marble bannister of the stairs, eyes sparkling with mischief as he teased the nameless girl. The only thing that mattered was that it wasn't her. It wasn't Lily, and she would've given anything to have him look at her that way again.


James leaned his head back against the cold stone of the castle walls. He hadn't realized Lily had been watching him, hadn't realized he was doing something wrong till he turned and saw her glaring up at him from the bottom of the stairs. He tried to send her a smile, but her name caught in his throat as she yelled up at him. Forget it, Potter. I was so stupid. The vision of her turning on her heel and storming out of the Entrance Hall played over and over in his mind as he tried to figure out what went wrong this time. But this time as he pulled off his glasses to rub at his eyes, something new appeared in that memory—Lily's face, right before he caught her eyes. Her eyes were filled with disappointment and sadness, something he had once sworn to himself he would never cause in her again. Was she upset about him talking to Anna, the sixth year Hufflepuff prefect? Was that what this was about? Was Evans jealous? He pushed himself away from the wall, already heading towards the great oak doors that led to the grounds, knowing exactly where she would be if she were really upset.


Lily pulled her scarf and cloak tighter around her body, trying to guard her body against the harsh late winter wind. There was only on explanation for the way she felt, and she was sick of hiding it, sick of trying to lie to herself and everyone around her. She reached a hand out to run along the bare rock beside her, tracing invisible patterns in the shifting grays and blues. She let out a heavy sigh, looking back out across the water. "You are such an idiot, Lily Evans," she said softly under her breath.

"That's not a very nice thing to say about yourself, Evans."

Lily jumped at the sound, spinning her head to see James Potter lowering himself to sit beside her.

"Merlin, Potter. You can't just sneak up on a girl like that. What if I had fallen into the lake?"

"I would've thrown you a rope or something, don't worry." He shot her a playful smile, hoping to ease the tension, to get her to respond the way he hoped she might.

Lily rolled her eyes. "You're a great prat, you know that?" But the smile threatening to cross her face gave her away.

James let out a laugh, shrugging when she shot him another glare. "Alright, Evans. Time to talk. I know you're pissed at me. Why don't you just come out with it?"

Lily looked straight ahead, refusing to meet his eyes. She wasn't even surprised by his bluntness anymore. The boy had a way of taking her by surprise, no matter how much she wanted to pretend she knew every single one of his moves. "If you're so bloody smart and intuitive, I'm sure you can figure it out." Her tone was harsher than she had intended and she regretted it as she saw him shift out of the corner of her eye.

Almost reflexively, she reached out her hand to grasp at his arm. "Wait, James. I'm sorry." She paused, hesitating as she always did before letting him win. "I shouldn't have yelled at you. This morning, I mean."

James looked shocked at her words, before he quickly masked his surprise with a curious expression. "Then why did you?"

Lily let her hand drop down to the rock between them, fingers picking up the same path they had abandoned minutes ago. "I don't know. Have I ever really needed a reason?"

"No, I think you know exactly why you did it. And I think maybe you've had the same reason for awhile, if you'd just admit it."

Her hand paused on the rock, her breath catching in her throat at his accusation. She kept her eyes on her hand, watching the shadows shift as the clouds continued passing over them. "James, don't make me say it."

"Say what, Lily?" He placed his hand over hers, finally drawing her eyes up to meet his.

She hesitated, her eyes searching his for some reassurance that she wasn't crazy, all the while trying to ignore the feeling of his hand on hers, the way his thumb rubbing circled against her skin was perhaps the most comforting thing she had felt in a long time. She drew in a deep breath, but rather than the lie she had intended to say, out came the words she had tried so hard to hide. "That I fancy you."

Neither of them moved, but merely stared into each other's eyes gauging the reaction. Even the blush that would normally creep across Lily's face seemed to pause in waiting. She didn't realize she had been holding her breath until James brought his hand to cup her face and a sigh finally escaped her lips. He dragged his thumb across her cheek, the feeling so gentle compared to the intense feelings their usual words could cause.

"James?" she finally asked in a whisper, desperate for his reaction, desperate to hear the voice that she had come to trust and love. Her heart beat picked up as she realized that her feelings for this boy, this bloody idiot that she had always hated, were in fact far stronger than she could've ever imagined. And when he leaned forward to press a kiss to her lips, her eyes fluttered shut, and her hand moved from where it sat on the rock to pull him closer by the front of his cloak. The kiss was sweeter than wine, more tender than their strained friendship had ever been. If this was what she had been missing for so long, then she would gladly admit her idiocy and defeat.


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