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Chapter 1: You Don't Want That
Written for Kat1394's "Psych Quote Challenge"
My quote was "With intent to creep. Trust me, you don't want that. It'll put a big hole in your future," from the television show Psych, which belongs to USA Network. I do not own Harry Potter or any of its associations. No copyright infringement intended.
"Please, Evans, just go out with me," James Potter pleaded, clasping his hands in front of him.
"No, Potter," Lily replied tiredly, shaking her head and sighing. "No."
"But why not?" he insisted. "I don't understand it."
She sighed again, and place a hand on her forehead, clearly trying to find a dignified, polite response somewhere deep within herself. She opened her eyes and took a step back, her arms hanging at her sides. "Because I believe I can do better than someone who continuously harms other people as entertainment."
It was said without real malice, but with pity. She squeezed her eyes shut, as if she was in pain, and then blinked twice. She whispered, "I'm sorry," and walked away. She didn't look back, but kept her spine perfectly straight.
James watched, his heart breaking again. Remus was right. She wasn't interested, and she would never be interested as long as he behaved like a Second Year.
He had no choice but to change, he saw that now. But how could he change, knowing who he was? He was James Potter, Quidditch Chaser, Beloved of All. Beloved of all except Lily Evans. Yes, that was enough for James to change. To see the dislike pouring out of her eyes wounded him and he couldn't understand why, but he would do anything to get rid of it.
He would give up his claim as a Marauder. He would hand over his Invisibility Cloak to Dumbledore. He would turn in the Marauder's Map. He would be Head Boy. The only thing he wouldn't do was abandon Remus, but surely Lily would understand.
He would do anything to make her see how he felt about her, to make her understand that the feelings he had for her were real. He wasn't playing a game, he wasn't trying to "win" her, and he wasn't going to hurt her.
He loved her.
"Whoa, hold on there, Jamie boy," he whispered to himself, sitting down beneath a window. "Love?"
He'd had a fear that sort of emotion was building up within him, but he hadn't been able to prove it to himself. And suddenly, there it was, right in front of him.
Oh, Merlin, he needed to talk to Padfoot, and fast. He was the only person left in the world who could make any sense of this situation without making James feel worse about himself.
Just where James needed him to be, Padfoot was draped across the sofa. When James approached him, the textbook and parchment in his lap met with the table and Sirius stood up.
"Let's go, shall we?"
Those were the first words Sirius had given James since lunch, but they were the best he'd heard in a long time.
When life seemed difficult, the two would retreat to the Room of Requirement, having accidentally found it in fourth year. Remus and Peter occasionally accompanied them, but James always felt it was a special place for Padfoot and Prongs, the Ps of the Marauders.
"What happened with Evans?" Sirius asked, flopping down in the nearest armchair. James, on the contrary, walked straight up to the roaring fireplace and took refuge there.
"She didn't call me a bullying toerag today, or tell me the Giant Squid has a better chance, or any other variety of insults," James murmured, removing his hands from behind his back and whirling slowly to face his best friend.
"What did she call you, mate?" Sirius inquired gently.
"That's just it," James whispered, lowering himself to the nearest seat. The melancholy dripped through his soul and landed on Sirius' outstretched heart.
There was a heavy pause as James tried to collect his wits, but they seemed scattered beyond hope. He gathered a deep breath, and continued with, "She told me the truth, and she did it so kindly. She's never been so nice to me."
"Oh, God," Sirius breathed, but James paid him no mind, adding, "She told me she deserved someone who didn't hurt others for fun."
"Lily Evans," Sirius growled, clenching his fist.
"But she's right, Pads. She's right about me."
"Evans doesn't know you, Prongs, not the real you," Sirius insisted, but the words bounced off of James' ears.
"She saw right through me with those eyes, Pads," he whispered, scrunching his eyes tightly. "She saw everything about me, and she wasn't afraid. She stared at me with those eyes, and I can't get it out of my head."
Before Sirius could intervene, James interrupted him, staring intently at him with such fierceness that Sirius' mouth dropped closed. "I've got to talk to her."
The Snitch James used to play with all the time flew out of a cornered box, and James grabbed it without thinking. He stared at it, wondering if he had managed to harm it, too. If that same disappointment and pain would shine out of its eyes, just as it had out of Lily's.
"Don't talk to her," Sirius said firmly. "Wait a few days, let yourself heal. She won't be upset with you."
"No, I need to!" James burst, his hands grasping his knees for support.
The flatness and determination with which those two words were said forced James to stop short. After a few moments of a terse silence, he demanded, "Why not?"
"Do you want her to think you're stalking her again?"
"Because that's what'll happen. And it'll be worse."
"How?" James moaned from his hands, drowning in the memory of nearly being beheaded by a few of Lily's spells. Thank Merlin for Chaser reflexes.
"Easy. It'll be different. She'll add: 'with intent to creep.' Trust me, you don't want that. It'll put a big hole in your future," Sirius said, snatching the Snitch out of the air in front of James' face.
"The one you and Evans are inevitably going to have. Unless you stalk her again."
A small smile broke through. "You think so?"
"Of course I think so." Sirius released the Snitch again, directly in front of James.
James didn't even notice. "Yeah, I suppose you're right," he admitted softly.
"Course I'm right," Sirius grinned. "I'm Sirius Black!"
"As if that would mean anything!" James teased, seeing sense at last and forcibly placing what had happened in the past.
"You're just jealous that I'm more admired than you are," Sirius snapped, grinning giddily.
"Yeah, right," James rebuffed. "I've never dated anyone—I'm unattainable. I'm way more sought after."
"All right, James, if that's how you expect to get Lily…"
"Take that back!"
Sirius laughed instead, and James joined in. He couldn't help it. Padfoot was the only one who could make him laugh no matter what happened. Even when Sirius had made the grave mistake with Snape last year, it had only been a few days before they were laughing together again.
"You know what you should do?" Sirius said, grinning cheekily.
"Get her a bunch of balloons."
"She told Moony the other day that she'd rather get balloons than flowers."
"Geez, Padfoot, why didn't you guys tell me this before?" James jumped out of his chair, waving his arms around like a madman.
Sirius smiled mischievously. "Because we wanted to find a way into the girls' dormitories."
James found a matching smile spreading softly across his face. Maybe this would be the way to show Lily the truth…
Tell me what you think!
The second chapter will be up as soon as I get the start of my next challenge in, so look for it in a (hopefully) ten days.
Thanks for reading, and please do review.