A/N: Anyone who follows my other story, i admit i'm guilty! Got a bit distracted and a sudden random plot bunny hopped in the way of the other update! Will be back there tomorrow! SORRY! :s
What had made Lily Evans change her mind on James and Sirius? People have wondered, debated, speculated, theorized and even annoyed the living day lights out of her in an attempt to unravel what had happened. But there were very few who actually knew what happened and only three people that really understood.
It was true though, Lily had hated their guts. Both of them were arrogant and self centered and annoying and she could go on. But there was another side to them. When one didn't see them as Potter and Black; when one understood Sirius and James, it was impossible to hate them.
And in a rare moment of complete honesty, Lily Evans had glimpsed reality. She had seen beneath the carefree façade to what really made them synonymous and she had fallen.
She had fallen hard for both of them. After all how could one love James and not love Sirius just as much? Even James's parents couldn't achieve that feat so she really had no hope.
So yes, Lily Evans was proud to say that she loved them. She loved them both. People – normal people with boundaries and personal space wouldn't understand, but those who knew James and Sirius would. Because her love for them, it worked the same way they did.
Physically they were different, they looked different, they held themselves differently, they were different people. But on a soul level, emotionally, mentally, they were the same. There was no defining James or Sirius. It was only one definition.
Similarly, physically she would desire only James but emotionally, she loved them both just as much because one never could tell where the two divided, after all it was a line so blurred, it had disappeared altogether and Lily did not bother attempting to find it.
And she knew, she knew it was the same with them. Sirius loved her unconditionally simply because James did. And one day when Sirius loved another woman, she would mean just as much to James and Lily knew it, accepted it even.
Sirius wouldn't love another woman though, not when his heart belonged to her, just as much as James's did. It was only a matter of luck she supposed. Had Sirius fallen for some girl first, James would have been the playboy who never kept one company for too long while Sirius's lady love would have gotten both him and James.
Okay, its complicated. She would admit that. But she had no proper defense, just a story. A story that spanned only a few hours but the consequences of which would remain a life time.
It had started out as a normal day, nothing life changing about it at all. That was until she had the misfortune of meeting Potter and Black, who after receiving a liberal amount of punishment were still cat calling after her. In her rage, she stalked to the library, cursing the two of them and their stupid pranks all the way there.
Within the safe heaven that was a room full of books, she happened across a third Marauder. The one she barely, if ever noticed. The small blonde boy seemed to have watched the entire scene from two corridors away before he came to her with a silent suggestion; a suggestion that would not only help her but also hopefully Remus and himself.
Lily had been thrilled. It was a brilliant idea. Sort of like a complete win-win situation and with her NEWTS only five months away she would go to any lengths to get some peace, so this plan suited her perfectly.
With a smile and a wave to Pettigrew, she returned the way she came, heading purposefully towards where she had seen Potter and Black ten minutes ago. They were still there of course, trying to make an entire flight of stairs disappear.
"POTTER!" She called out from a good ten feet away.
"Evans? Missed me already?" He shouted back excitedly. She smirked in reply.
"As it happens, yes" She answered casually; making both the idiots drop their jaws in surprise.
"Fancy a walk with me Potter?" She asked, twirling her hair lightly in an attempt to captivate the already staring lover boy's attention.
Black whistled loudly and Potter seemed to have frozen. She tapped her foot impatiently and raised her eyebrows, prompting a response.
"Uh now Evans?" He asked doubtfully. She nodded and held out her hand, motioning for him to come forward.
He exchanged one last glance with Black before jumping down the last few stairs to reach her. She quickly withdrew her hand of course and started to lead the way. Completely mystified, he followed after her all the way out to the school grounds.
Once they were by the lake, she sat down, patting the ground next to her for him to join her. Still completely stunned, he thanked every lucky star and complied.
"So, you love me" She stated. He nodded vigorously.
"More than you know" He replied, eager to make her hear it when she was willing to listen.
"How much?" She asked, still not meeting his gaze. At that he laughed.
"Enough to die for you" He answered immediately. Lily heard the casual tone but she had missed the sincerity in his gaze.
"But can you actually prove that?" She asked him, still steadily looking away.
"Absolutely!" He answered confidently.
"How?" She asked turning to him with a raised brow.
"Tell me how" He asked in return.
"You'll really do anything for me?" She checked and when he nodded, eager to prove himself.
"Anything" He promised in a heart beat, his head still bobbing in excitement.
"Stop talking to Black" She said, now focusing completely on him.
"I – sorry –what?" He asked; there was honest confusion written all over his face and Lily felt something within her stir.
"If you want me to believe that you love me, if you want me to date you then prove you love me the most. Stop talking to Black" Lily answered clearly.
"You – you want me to – to actually stop talking to Sirius?" he asked before checking again "Sirius?" Lily nodded.
"You wanted a chance Potter, this is it. Me or him" She answered.
James stood up. She was honestly not that surprised. True Pettigrew had said he would choose her and that apart, they wouldn't cause so much mayhem but she had been going for the opposite effect. He would choose Black and leave her alone.
"I love you Evans, believe me I do" Potter said sincerely and she was taken aback. Was he actually choosing her?
"But I really cannot give up on Sirius" He continued and she almost breathed in relief.
She watched as James Potter turned away and took a couple of steps before turning back around and coming back to her.
"This was never a game Lily. I really love you and maybe if you see that someday…But never mind, you finally found a way to get rid of me, even though it was below the belt. Good luck." Potter whispered the last words to her so quietly that she barely heard him before he turned back around and walked away.
Lily stared after him. She hadn't expected him to choose her. She wanted him to walk away. She meant for him to leave. But he was really going and in her gut she knew he wouldn't return and somewhere it stung. Or maybe it was just guilt. What she had done was plain evil.
Convincing herself that it was only guilt, she walked back to the library and then down to the great hall one hour after that. James Potter sat laughing with Sirius Black, there was nothing new in that but he didn't turn. Not even once did he look her way, not even when she walked right past him.
Sirius however was watching. He had spotted Lily the minute she entered and was waiting for James to profess undying love or call out or at the least turn towards her and stare like she was an oasis in some desert.
But James kept laughing with him and devouring the food. Sirius frowned. There was something, he knew that because James hadn't met his gaze since he had returned from meeting her but Sirius supposed he could decipher more when the witch herself showed up.
Except now that she did show, he was only more confused. She glanced James's way a couple of times but he steadily kept himself facing away from her. With a frown, Sirius decided he needed to do something.
"Oww!" he exclaimed, making James look up from his food and accidentally meet his firm gaze.
Once he found himself caught there was no looking away and James knew that and he also knew what Sirius was seeing in his eyes. He could tell that regardless of how much he tried, losing Lily was far too painful for him to successfully cover up.
Sirius held the gaze only for a fraction of a minute before saying something about accidentally biting his tongue and then continuing with their previous conversation like nothing happened.
According to the world nothing had happened but Sirius knew everything he needed to know and James knew that Sirius knew much more than he had intended for him to find out and the damage was done.
One hour later, the head girl and boy of Hogwarts were seen walking through the sixth floor corridor when a handsome Marauder leaning against the wall made them stop.
"Sirius! It's after curfew!" Remus admonished but the werewolf hadn't missed how Lily was seemed caught in Sirius's gaze and seemed unable to look away.
"I know Moony, just fancied a chat with the head girl" Sirius said casually.
Those words, along with the intensity in his gaze made her cringe. She had never thought the second part of her plan through. Of course Black would be annoyed to no end when he found out what she had asked….damn!
"Padfoot what is-?" Remus began when Sirius cut across
"Moony it's just one more floor left, how about you go back to the dorm and I'll finish the rounds with Evans for you?" The estranged Black heir asked.
Remus knew that when Sirius spoke in that tone with that body language, it wasn't a request but rather a command that anyone around should follow if they valued their safety. Hesitantly, he glanced once at Lily, wondering what she had done to push Sirius to this before hurrying away with a decision to find James.
"Evans? I'm sorry to interrupt like this but we need to talk" Sirius said, perfectly politely.
Lily wasn't scared easily but now she was. She never liked the loud and annoying Sirius Black but she liked him better than this polite one. Somehow this was more unnerving.
"About what?" She asked carefully.
Sirius held out a rolled up piece of parchment that she took completely bewildered.
"What is this?" She asked unsure.
When he didn't seem ready to answer, she opened the rolled piece of sheet and her eyes widened as she read through it. It was a formal request from him to change his dorm room! A request that needed to be processed through either one of the heads…
"I'll also move out of the Potter's this summer. You can go out with James" Black told her very calmly.
All she could do was stare completely mystified. What was he doing? Potter wasn't a chocolate frog card that he could simply trade with her….
"You don't see how much he loves you but he can't know happiness without you Evans and if I am your only problem, if I am all that's standing in the way…well I refuse to. So he is all yours." Black told her in a controlled voice.
She looked up at him in complete shock. There was no emotion anywhere in him, just a serene mask.
As she stared dumb founded, he neck suddenly snapped and only belatedly did she see the fist that punched his face.
Lily was more than a little surprised to see James standing in front of her with only his feet missing while Sirius's lip bled. But it wasn't the sudden appearance of James or the loud snapping of Sirius's neck that scared Lily.
No, it was two sets of burning eyes. Sirius's blank mask had given way compelling intensity and the only difference this time was that the look wasn't directed at her. If Sirius's gaze was ice, James's was burning fire and whether from the cold or the charring, both had equal potentials of leaving a person completely unable to even feel themselves.
She didn't understand either look but she could tell they were fighting. It was obvious from the way Sirius's eyes narrowed and James's lips thinned. The silence was really starting to get to her when finally after an annoyed huff and exasperated sigh, it was broken.
"You went behind my back!" James accused
"And you are one to talk! Did you really think I wouldn't know?" Sirius asked bitterly.
"You didn't have to" James snapped.
"Oh right, because Merlin knows you'd be able to take your own decisions" Sirius replied sarcastically.
"Mine are better than yours especially if this is your solution" James retorted, pointing to the letter in Lily's hand.
"What exactly is wrong with this again?" Sirius asked coldly.
"Wrong? The whole thing! You can't just look at something from only your perspective and make up your mind!" James argued heatedly.
"In case you did not notice, I took my decisions more carefully than you did" Sirius answered, his voice becoming steadily colder.
"The hell you did! You acted the minute you heard, I know -" James began when Sirius cut across
"Fine, so I decided in a minute but at least this is better for us than-" Sirius argued
"Better for us? Are you insane?" James asked appalled.
Lily watched in shock. It took her a bit to understand the argument and when she did, it left her reeling. This wasn't some fake bravado, this wasn't some sick show of affection, this wasn't them standing atop the house tables in the great hall and proclaiming they were brothers…
No, this was real. This was what lay behind the façade and even as they continued to argue, her eyes filled with unshed tears. In an unguarded moment, she had seen the reality.
She knew now that if they thought themselves unbeatable, it was because together they really were. The confidence didn't stem from the fact that they had an ocean of talent, it came from the fact that they knew that they had each other and one would never let the other fall.
When she saw what they meant to each other, everything else fell into place. She could see the heart wrenching pain in James's eyes and the soft pleas in Sirius's eyes as he begged his brother to understand him.
Suddenly, she flung herself on both of them completely astonishing both boys. She had cried then, telling them it was a stupid thing to ask and that she had only meant for James to truly leave her alone.
After she admitted she couldn't ever let either of them go in a lifetime, Lily knew that she had finally found magic in a much more realistic form than she had when she had found she was a witch.
That was the day her world had changed and there was no question of turning it back. Why should there be? Her life was perfect.