For: Love-and-hate-the-same on Tumblr

Pairings: Unrequited!Jily and Blackinnon, Jarlene!friendship

WC: 915

James sat down next to Marlene on the grass, looking over the great lake. The smell of spring was in the air. Marlene was sitting melancholically, her knees tucked in to her chest, arms folded over her knees and head on her arms. She didn't acknowledge James as he sat down, but he knew she was aware of him.

They sat in silence, arms brushing occasionally, both lost in their own thoughts.

"Your best mate is an idiot," Marlene said eventually, a wry smile on her lips.

James raised an eyebrow. "Funny that, I was just about to tell you that your best mate is an idiot."

Marlene laughed as James bumped her shoulder.

"What did Sirius do that makes him an idiot?"

Marlene looked away and sighed, thinking that her reasoning was silly. It was silly, she thought, to get jealous because the boy you may or may not be in love with winked at another girl the same way he used to wink at you. Wasn't it?

Marlene pursed her lips, and said nothing. She studiously ignored looking over to the other side of the lake where Sirius was sitting with another girl.

James's lips slowly curled into a knowing smile as he looked exactly where Marlene was avoiding.

"You're jealous."

Marlene's head whipped around faster than you could say Sirius Black.

"I am not jealous!"

James's smirk widened at her indignant response.

"You sure about that, Marls? The fact that you can't even look at them says otherwise."

Marlene scowled and whacked him on the arm. James rubbed the bruise on his arm painfully. His smirk didn't fade.

"That's a hard punch for someone who isn't jealous."

James cocked his head to the side knowingly, lips twisting into a teasing smile.

"I'm not jealous, Potter, and accuse me of that again and I'll –"

James laughed. "You'll what, McKinnon? Punch me again?"

"Bastard," she muttered, but there was no heat behind it.

"Love you to, Marls," James said with a laugh.

They sat in a comfortable silence, listening to the sound of the wind whistle through the air, causing the leaves to rustle and the water ripple.

Eventually, James nudged her shoulder again with his.

"Would it help if I told you I know how you feel?"

Marlene looked at James questioningly. She followed his gaze to where he was looking at a certain vivacious red head with vibrant green eyes.

"She still doesn't notice me as more than a friend. The other day she was telling me about a Muggle boy she met last summer, and how lovely he was and that she hopes to see him again. It sucks, I know," James smiled wistfully, looking at Marlene. "Padfoot will come around eventually, Mars, you've been his best friend since you were kids. Honestly, you two are really only good for each other. He'll wake up one day and whack himself over the head as he realises what an idiot he's been all these years. He'll fall at your feet and beg for forgiveness."

Marlene laughed, and James through an arm casually over her shoulder. It was true, what he said. She and Sirius had known each other since they were children, and they'd both grown up under the careful eye of purist parents. Their childhood hadn't been the easiest, and the two understood each other better than anyone else could for that reason. She sighed.

"You know, Lily will come around too one day," Marlene said quietly. "She just needs more time to get to know you more. She never hated you, though. I know it sometimes seemed like she did, but she didn't."

James lips quirked up slightly. "Aren't we a sad lot, you and me. Waiting around for people who might never realise that we're here."

Marlene punched him in the shoulder lightly.

"Ouch," James whined. "What was that for?!"

Marlene grinned. "For being a pathetic moper. Cheer up or I'll punch you again."

James chuckled. "Alright, alright, settle down, Mars. No need to get violent."

The sun was setting now, the sky faded from a brilliant blue to a faded version of it, the sun from a vibrant yellow to a husky red. Marlene watched the setting sun, and placed her head on James's shoulder.

James nudged her gently. "You know, if those two idiots remain blind for the rest of their blissfully ignorant lives, then at least we have each other right? How about we make a deal."

Marlene raised an eyebrow and gestured for him to carry on. James grinned.

"If, by the time we're 40 and they haven't stopped being blind idiots, we'll get married."

Marlene raised her other eyebrow. "What if we're married to someone else?"

James gave her a look and cried out dramatically, "But, Mars! They're our one true loves! How dare you even think of marrying someone else!"

Marlene laughed. "Drama queen. If they're our one true loves, then why do you think us marrying is actually a good idea? What if we get married and then they realise how madly in love with us they are?"

James opened to his mouth to defend his argument, but then closed it again once he realised she had a point.

"I've got a better idea," Marlene said, "how about once we finish Hogwarts, we move in together and we'll have the ultimate bachelor pad and be best friends for life."

James's mouth slowly curled into a large smile.

"And that, Marls, is why I love you. James and Marlene, the ultimate friendship in the world."