That is right everyone, it is finally here, the last chapter of 'Ten Ways to Say I Love You'. I appologize for the wait, and I think you, everyone, for being patient, and for keeping up with this story.
Foe everyone who has taken the time to read this, thank you so much. It will under-go a large edit on my next day off, and any horrible typos or technical errors will me fixed.
If anyone has a request for something they would like to see me write, please send me an ask!
As everyone knows, this story was written for my Padfoot, as a motivator, and gift, to get her through a very hard time with a school project that caused much stress and difficulty. 26,000 words later, she helped me, by being my inspiration, write the longest piece I have ever managed.
So, a giant thank you to my baby, my darling, my brilliant, shinning star. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She showed me that I can be whatever I want, and what I want, is to be the best person I possibly can be for her,
So this story, all 26000 words, its for you Taylor.
I love you.
Chapter Ten- Magic Hearts
The end of the school year always brought mixed feelings to the Marauders, and this year, these feelings were tripled by the new developments that Remus could only truly define as, 'growing up'. This act of 'growing up' had lead to the moment they were currently standing in. Peter trying and failing to match his socks and put them in his trunk, Remus and Sirius sitting on one of the unmade beds, fingers laced, and James, pacing the floor like a mad-man.
Remus glanced as Sirius, catching the gray eyes in that way where they were about to use that magical non-verbal communication that they had mastered over the past year. Sirius' fingers tightened on his own and Remus smiled softly.
"-I mean, I don't know what I am doing wrong! I just- I don't care if she doesn't want to...to be with me—but..." James stopped and looked at Remus and Sirius, glasses slid down the bridge of his nose, blue eyes bright and panicked. "I really...I love her..."
"Then tell her that." Sirius said. "I mean, that is what you told me to do."
"I have told her!" James balked, stopping mid-stride to glare at his best friend. Remus shook his head.
"No...you have to really tell her. Not shout it at her, or ask her on flouncy dates. You have to sit her down and look her in the eyes and tell her." Remus frowned. "Which really just sounds like a bad romance movie, but honestly James, I think in the past year we have made our own brand of cliche. I could write a book! 'Ten Ways To Say I Love You: How to use every literary cliché in existence'. By Remus Lupin." Remus wrinkled his nose. "What happened to us being a bunch of boyish pranksters?"
"Puberty?" Sirius offered.
"Guys, have you seen my yellow sock?" Peter asked from under his bed.
"Bugger my life." James sat down hard.
Lily took a deep breath and closed her eyes. The courtyard was warm, almost empty as everyone packed their things and collected themselves for another summer of swimming, romping, playing and lack of study. The sweet smell of spring tinted her hair, a brilliant flame in the rare Scottish sunlight. She was normally with Snape on their last day of school, planning how to sneak out to see each other over the summer, but as was usual with him these days, he was no where to be found.
"Shouldn't you be packing?"
"I-" Lily turned her head to see James Potter walking up, his hands in his pockets because the wind was doing more than a fine job of making a mess of his hair. He stopped beside her and looked out over the grounds, to the forbidden forest. "I was just thinking...and its noisy inside..."
"I agree. That is why I left." James said softly, looking at her from over his glasses. She watched his face, every expression. He looked so serious which was not like him at all. There was no sloping smile, no smug air of arrogance. Instead there was someone else, the someone Remus talked about who looked wise, and thoughtful. Someone who thought about what came out of his mouth before he spoke. This James that hid under his facade of pranks and playful cunning.
"You came to talk to me." She said softly.
"That might be a part of it." A very gentle smile came to his lips.
"What...what was it you wanted..." She felt thrown for a loop, not used to this serious James.
"I want to tell you something. Something very important. I don't want an answer, not yet. You don't have to say a thing, I'm just...just asking you to listen, and possibly for a chance."
Lily's green eyes didn't leave James' as she nodded, very slowly, letting him turn her so they were face to face. He took her hands, cupping them gently and running his broom-handle rough thumbs over her soft, freckled wrists. She felt the rosy pink creeping across her nose and cheeks.
"Lily Evans, I love you. There is no other girl, no other woman. You are the only one. And I love you. I know, I know I am trouble, and I am bone-headed, and I can be a giant ponce. But I will never leave you, I will fight for you for the rest of my life."
Lily's lips parted, her eyes going wide.
He put a finger to her lips and shook his head.
"I love you, and I know...right now is hard for you, so you don't have to say anything yet...I just...I won't stop trying. Ever. I will always be right here, right when you need me. And maybe...in the fall, you wouldn't mind going on a date?"
Lily stared at James, and then her green eyes filled with tears that slipped down her cheeks and she pushed James hand out of the way and caught his shirt in her little fingers, getting on her tip-toes and kissing him hard. He went stiff momentarily with surprise, but his hands then slipped, every to gently, around her waist.
They stood their, kissing in the grass, ankle deep, and nothing seemed to be more perfect.
"Do you think he'll be okay?"
"He's James bloody Potter, Remus. He'll be fine."
Remus turned to face Sirius, his back now to the corridor window that they had been peering through to try and get a look of their best mate, off battling the war of love. Entirely Sirius' idea, mind. Remus certainly was not the type for such invasions of privacy. Never.
"'Love is Blind'."
Remus blinked and looked up at Sirius as he spoke, a strange flutter inside his chest. It was like he had swallowed a snitch. Remus wondered if Sirius would always make him feel like he had a strange magical item lodged in his lungs. "That...that's Shakespeare."
"I borrowed a few of your books." Sirius smiled warmly, his fingers brushing Remus' cheek. "Billy Shakes. He has the right idea."
"Shhhh. I'm brilliant." Sirius grinned cheekily.
"I...fine." Remus rolled his eyes.
Sirius leaned in then, kissing Remus very softly and humming happily against his lips. Remus kissed back and closed his eyes. This was how it was suppose to be. This was the most right he had ever been. Sirius had always been with him, even before they met, he had only been waiting for that moment when all that black hair, sparkling eyes, and mischievousness would come crashing into him. People always say that romance, that love is something you only ever see in books and muggle movies. Things like that don't happen in real life.
As Remus pulled back, and he slipped his fingers through Sirius', he smiled.
"Well, Moony. What say you to a little walk while Petey looks for his trousers? I hear tell of a corridor we haven't looked at yet." His eyes flashed dangerously.
"Oh? Well, we better investigate, heavens knows, we might not have time next year when we are planning weddings around O.W.L.s." he smiled casually as they walked towards the moving staircases.
"Weddings? Moony, we don't need matrimony! I thought we were going to become a swashbuckling pirate duo!" Sirius laughed, the barking laugh that made heads turn and smiles hook on faces.
"Pirates? Sirius...you need to stop reading my books. I think you have a skewed perspective of reality now."
"Come! Let us investigate! We have twelve hours before the train leaves!"
As they took the stairs, fingers laces, smiles wide and brilliant, Remus knew, cliché or not, love was real. The battles of love, the things you read about in stories, they were all real, and each person experience it at their own time, and in their own way. After all, if magic exists, why can't love? Love is its own kind of magic, the kind that come right from you heart, the magic of your soul. When Remus looked at Sirius, he felt the whole world click into place, like a finished puzzle. They were their own story, with all the elements. They were something special and unique.
This love he had, this deep, honest, infectious love for Sirius Black, it was probably the most dangerous, brilliant, and dangerous thing he had ever experienced in his entire life.
But he would never trade it.
Not for anything.
The early summer air brushed the spiraling towers and heights of Hogwarts castle, the birds singing their sweet songs and the windows glinting in the radiant glow of sunlight as the students packed their trunks, said their goodbyes, and went on their ways.
But for the Marauders of Hogwarts, it is just another chapter closed in their story, and the next is only beginning...for there is never and end when there is trouble to be had, hearts to be one, and mysteries to unravel.
There are ten ways to say 'I love you'...
But they are never the same.
For now and forever