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While Our Blood's Still Young by BellaLestrange87
Format: Short story collection
Chapter 1: A Moment
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Lily Evans pulled a comb through her tangled red hair and looked carefully at herself in the mirror. She wasn't sure why she was putting so much effort into her appearance. All she was doing was going for a patrol with James.
One hand on the comb, the other holding a strand of particularly knotted hair, Lily froze.
Potter. Lily wasn't really sure where she and James Potter stood with each other. Over the last year, he seemed to have grown up a bit. He wasn't pranking people anymore (well, he probably was. He just wasn't doing it in front of her.) Black was still going strong. The Sunday tradition of interrupted breakfast due to somebody's pulled prank would continue, although it would be Sirius Black she would be yelling at, not James.
See, there it was again. She wasn't calling him Potter anymore. He was James. Not arrogant toerag, or asshole, or conceited idiot (which were all insults she had used against him at some time or other since first year).
But no matter. Lily finished combing her hair, tied it back in a ponytail, have herself one final appraising look in the mirror, and left to go meet James.
He was down in the common room, sitting in an armchair by the fireplace, just where he'd said he'd be. When he saw her, he closed the Defence Against the Dark Arts textbook he'd been reading and set it down upon the table. Then he ran his hand through his hair, looking very self-conscious, and Lily realized that he only ever did that when he was around her. Was he nervous, by any chance?
"Hey," he said, standing up. He reached up to his neck, straightened his tie, and then flattened the hair he'd just pushed up.
Yep, Lily thought, definitely nervous.
"Hello," she replied. She wasn't all that surprised by the sound of her voice - calm, friendly. She was, however, surprise by the way her body had reacted upon seeing James.
Her heart had sped up, her throat felt dry, and her hands were clammy. Lily hoped that James didn't notice.
"So," James said, "shall we go?" She nodded.
"I talked with Professor McGonagall today," Lily told him, pleased that her voice was still obeying her fully. "She said that as it's almost Halloween there are bound to be some people setting up pranks for tomorrow. She added that they were to be given detention with Filch if we found them setting up anything." She paused, letting her words sink in to James. "So," she continued, "we're not going to find Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew in the dungeons setting up a massive Dungbomb explosion triggered by someone opening the door to the Slytherin common room, right?"
James laughed hollowly as they left the common room. "How - how did you know about that?" he asked, surprised.
"They were talking about it in Care of Magical Creatures," she informed him. They waited for a staircase to move and then crossed down it. "It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, you know. They were lucky that Professor Kettleburn didn't notice. He usually hears that kind of thing."
"Yes, I know," James grumbled. "That's primarily why I dropped that class."
They reached the ground floor and entered the hall that signalled the beginning of the dungeons. Already they could hear the murmur of sound, a duet of voices as Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew worked out the exact details of their prank.
They rounded the corner and James hesitated.
Sirius looked up from the Dungbomb he was holding in a gloved hand and froze. "Lily, hi," he said weakly.
Lily looked around her, at Peter who was still setting up the prank. At Sirius, who was looking hopefully at her. And she looked at James, who was leaning into the wall, appearing like he wanted to disappear into it.
"You know," Lily said with a slight smile, "I'm not completely stuffy, you know." She looked at James, added, "We were never here, were, we, Potter?" and had to stifle a smile at the shocked expression on his face.
Chapter 2: A Love
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James Potter grumbled as he walked into Transfiguration class. "Bloody Sniv - Snape," he amended hastily, catching sight of Lily Evans, already sitting in her spot.
She took no notice of his slip and asked, curiosity evident, "What did he do?"
James fought to hide his confusion at her attitude. Lily Evans was not usually patient with him regarding Severus Snape. Most of the time she was fiercely defending him.
He took a piece of parchment and a quill out as Professor McGonagall walked into the room and began teaching.
"Today we will be starting human Transfiguration. This type of Transfiguration is very difficult, and I predict that all of you will make at least one mistake before the end of the period. That is entirely to be expected. Especially if you did not do your homework I assigned on Monday, or if you are playing Exploding Snap in the back of my classroom. Right, Mr. Black?"
Right behind him, James heard Sirius's quiet, embarrassed, "Yes, Professor," followed by the sound of the Exploding Snap cards being dropped into a bag.
"Now, then," McGonagall said. "I want you to partner up with the person you're sitting beside-" James stole a glance at Lily, who was staring at McGonagall. He would've thought she was ignoring him completely, except for the occasional looks she was giving him out of the corner of her eye. "-You are going to start by Transfiguring your leg into an object of your choice. As long as it is roughly in the shape of a leg and is classroom appropriate it is acceptable." She stood at the front of the room, hands on her hips, surveying the class. "You may begin."
"So," James began awkardly, looking at Lily, "who's going first?
"You can," she said, shrugging. She had a this-should-be-interesting attitude about her as James drew his wand.
Trying to ignore Lily standing there, James focused on what he wanted: a wooden leg. He pointed his wand at his leg and muttered the incantation.
His leg, instead of turning into a wooden leg, had lit itself on fire.
"Potter," Lily said, pretending to be severe as she tried in vain to hide a smile, "what did you visualize, a fire log?"
"No," James said, abashed and slightly embarrassed as he doused his leg in water. "You go, then!" he added, raising his eyebrows expectantly.
"Okay," she said, pushing herself off the table she had been leaning against.
Much to James's disappointment, she did not light herself on fire.
"See," she said, staring down at her own wooden leg, "that's what you're supposed to do."
"I know what I'm supposed to do!" James protested. "And how to do it!"
"Then how come you can't?" Lily pressed him.
"Because-" James stopped there. Because he wasn't focusing entirely on the spell; he was focusing partly on her. Because he didn't want to make himself look like a fool in front of her and consequently he was making himself look like a fool in front of her. "I don't know," he said.
"I bet you don't," she replied, waggling her eyebrows.
James felt himself turn bright red, much to his discomfort. "Well, since I don't," he said, trying to prevent himself from stuttering, "how about you help me with this after class?"
"Sure," Lily said, smiling as she added, "If it'll prevent you from setting yourself on fire again."
Chapter 3: A Dream
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It was December, and the castle was covered in a layer of snow. It looked beautiful, but with it came cold, the kind that seeped in through every crack in the windows, ever slightly open door. The dungeons were frigid, causing Potions to be the most dreaded class.
With it being as cold as it was, the Gryffindor common room became a refuge for people. The fire was kept constantly stoked and consequently everybody vied for the top spots: the comfy armchairs and couches by the fire. These, as an unwritten rule, went to the sixth and seventh years.
James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and Remus Lupin intended to fully take advantage of this rule. They were occasionally joined by Lily Evans and her best friend, Marlene, depending on how cold it was and whether or not they had anything else to do.
"I'm happy that our common room's so warm," Sirius mumbled happily from underneath his blankets. "I'd hate to be down in the dungeons like the Slytherins are."
"You're only nice and toasty warm because you're using all the blankets, Padfoot," James said, faking a shiver. "The rest of us are freezing."
"If by 'rest of us' you mean you," Sirius told him, "then yeah, sure. Doesn't mean you have to sit here and whine and complain because you don't want to sit with me."
"I can't sit with you!" James exclaimed. "You're lying down!" He cast a quick glance out of the corner of his eye at Lily Evans, sitting curled up in an armchair with a book. She met his stare and smiled at him, causing his cheeks to turn bright red. He looked away quickly and she grinned down at her book, shaking her head slightly as she did so.
"You know what," Remus interjected, "Peter and I are going to go to the library to work on our Astronomy project. We'll see you guys later." They got up, grabbed their stuff, and walked through the portrait hole and out of sight.
"That reminds me," Sirius said, tilting his head slightly, "I want to go do my Potions essay and get it out of the way so I don't have to worry about it later."
James stared at him. "Since when do you do your homework early? Actually, since when do you do your homework?"
Sirius folded his blankets into a ball and stood up, stretching. He jerked his head in Lily's direction and waggled his eyebrows at James.
James stared at him again. "When go on then, you giant meddler."
When Sirius was gone, James looked a lot more awkward. He sat in his chair, staring down at his hands and swallowing what seemed like every other second.
"Hey, Lily," he called gently, "can I ask you something?"
She looked up at him, put in a bookmark in her spot, and set her book aside, staring at him. "Yes?"
"I have a question," James said.
"Well, I gathered that," Lily deadpanned. "Most people don't ask people things that aren't questions."
James rolled his eyes. "It's a very important question."
"What is it?" Lily smiled.
"Would you like to go out with me?"
Lily grinned ear-to-ear. "Yes," she said, "I would like that very much."
Chapter 4: A Kiss
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Lily Evans took one last look at herself in the mirror before stepping towards the door.
"You look amazing, Lily," Marlene McKinnon said from where she stood, leaning against the wall.
"I'm still nervous," Lily replied, looking down at her white wedding dress. "I know everything is going to be just perfect but I'm still nervous."
"Are you ready, Lily?" her father asked, peeking in from the hall.
"Yes," Lily said, taking a deep breath. Ever since James had proposed she'd been looking forward to the moment when she'd walk down the aisle with her father to say her vows.
They walked down the stairs of the house and out the front door. The ceremony was taking place on the long, gently sloping lawn on the Potters' property which they were slowly approaching.
Lily took her father's arm and tried to quell her nerves. As they passed up the aisle she saw different guests who had been invited to the wedding. Professor McGonagall was standing beside Dumbledore, his long beard gently waving in the breeze. Caradoc Dearborn. At the very front were Remus, Peter, her mother, and both of James's parents. She tried to ignore the fact that Petunia was not here, that she had returned the wedding invitation with the word "Freak" scrawled across it in angry red pen.
Lily reached the front and stood in front of James. He was impossibly handsome, his usually untidy black hair tidy for once. Sirius stood beside him, looking, somehow, even better-looking, as though he were a god.
Lily clasped hands with her soon-to-be husban as the Ministry official stood in front of them, book in hand, ready to begin his sermon.
"Ladies and gentlemen, witches and wizards," he began, "we are gathered here today to celebrate the everlasting love of two people, Lily Evans and James Potter. These two pople here have loved each other fiercely. Their love is strong enough to desire to enter into this, the most sacred of unions," the Ministry official continued.
As they began their vows Lily and James stared at each other happily, nothing but adoration and tenderness in their eyes.
" I, Lily Evans, take you James Potter, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part," Lily intoned, her voice sounding a lot calmer than she felt.
" I, James Potter, take you Lily Evans, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part." James's voice was smooth and unreadable, but his true feelings were clearly displayed on his face, which was a shining beacon of light and joy.
Sirius produced the rings and handed them over. James took Lily's hand and slid the ring onto her finger. It looked perfct, the silver of the band glittering gently in the sun.
Lily took James's hand and slid his ring onto his ring finger.
"You may now kiss the bride," the official said. James wrapped his hands around Lily and leaned in slowly his lips brushing gently against hers. Lily kissed him back passionately. Him. James. Her husband. It felt perfect to say.
Author's Note: The wedding vows are not mine; they were written by Nina Callaway in an article titled "How to Write Traditional Wedding Vows."
Chapter 5: A Cry
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Lily Potter lay back in the bed, covered in sweat and absolutely exhausted.
"It's a boy!" called out the midwife. She wrapped the infant in a blanket and handed him to Lily. "Here you are, Mrs Potter."
James Potter, who was sitting on a chair beside the bed, stretched and yawned briefly before wrapping his arm around his wife.
"Harry James," Lily murmured, looking down at their son, who at that moment opened his mouth and began to bawl.
"Sounds just like his father," Lily joked, glancing at her husband.
"Hey!" James protested. "That sounds like Sirius more than anyone else I know." He reached out and took Harry, who was still crying, from Lily.
There was the sound of a door slamming a few seconds before Sirius Black and Remus Lupin came bounding in.
"There's my godson!" cried Sirius. "Who does he look more like, James? You or Lily? Hopefully Lily." James very carefully handed Harry over to him.
"On second thought," Sirius announced after a moment, "it is perhaps a bit premature to want to know whether he looks like you or Lily, because right now he looks like a potato."
"Sirius," Remus admonished, "he does not look like a potato." He took Harry from Sirius and stared down at him quickly. "He looks a lot like you, James, except he has Lily's eyes."
James looked over at his wife, who was currently lying back on the bed fast asleep, the midwife having finished all her business.
"Guys, be careful," James said. "Don't wake Lily up." He stood up and walked over to Remus, who handed Harry back over to him.
"I think," Remus said, "that we should probably leave you three alone for now. Send us an owl if you need anything and we'll be over in a pinch." He put his cloak on. "Come on, Sirius." They said their goodbyes to James and Harry and walked to the front door to go outside and Disapparate.
As James sat in the chair with his son in his arms he felt a huge pang of love for him and for Lily. He was determined to be the best father ever. Harry was going to have a wonderful life, a life just as great as the life that he had had. James wished that his parents wre still alive so he could thank them for everything.
Harry stirred in his sleep, then woke up, opened his mouth, and let out a loud cry. He really was shaping up to be a noisy baby, James thought, amused, and he'd only been alive for an hour or two already.
Lily turned over in her sleep, stirred and then sat up blearily. "What did I miss?" she asked, yawning.
"Sirius and Remus came over," James said.
"And?" Lily asked.
"Remus thinks that Harry looks like me with your eyes," James said. "Sirius thinks that he looks like a potato."
"Well," Lily said, "that very much sounds like something that Sirius would say." She paused for a moment and then quipped, "How come we made him godfather, again? Remus would have been much more responsible."
James paused. "Um," was all he said.
Lily laughed. "I was joking, James. I just hope that Sirius becomes mature enough that we can trust him with Harry in five or ten years time."
James looked down at Harry, then over at Lily. Five or ten years seemed like a really long time, really far away. He couldn't wait to see what the years would bring.