Chapter 9 : Against All Odds
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How can I just let you walk away
Just let you leave without a trace
When I stand here taking
Every breath with you
You're the only one
Who really knew me at all
How can you just walk away from me
When all I can do is watch you leave
'Cause we've shared the laughter and the pain
And even shared the tears
You're the only one
Who really knew me at all
So take a look at me now
Oh there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face
Take a look at me now
'Cause there's just an empty space
And you coming back to me is against all odds
And that's what I've got to face
Willingly, Lily accepted James as a friend. It was hard not to. He had become someone that she enjoyed being around. His bright, optimistic smile always encouraged her to try a bit harder. Even at the times when the two of them disputed, she reminded herself that their differences were to be expected.
She was still unable to accept him romantically though. That did not mean his persistence wavered; it seemed to strengthen that if possible.
So, as she sat waiting for him in the Common Room, she remembered that he was her friend. Even if he was ten minutes late for patrol, he was her friend.
“James Potter,” she screamed up. “We were made Head Boy and Head Girl due to our responsible actions. You do realize that we’re still responsible for these responsible actions!”
James heard Lily calling him. He looked into the eyes of his best friend once more. Her ringing tones made him turn away, but not before he mentioned something.
“Sirius, you do know I’ll figure out who she is,” James reminded him. “I will find out who you like.”
Sirius just smiled sweetly, moving aside some of the clutter restraining him from a comfortable night’s sleep.
James’ raven hair could be seen turning down the stone staircase. Sirius chuckled to himself. It was simply impossible that his friend would even suspect the girl with whom he possibly liked. James just didn’t have the attention span for that sort of thing.
“Potter, where were you?” Lily requested to know. Her red hair was inching into her eyes but her fierce gaze didn’t stray.
“I was just pestering a friend in need,” James replied, honest and to the point. “Come on Evans, do you really want to be late?”
“But, you’re the one who-” Lily started. She then realized how stupid she sounded. She shook her head and merely rolled her eyes. “Fine, let’s go.”
The two of them swiftly exited the portrait hole, leaving behind an alert guard to the Common room. The Fat Lady was watching the two of them with amused eyes. Her friend Violet seemed to feel something was hysterical. Lily had the curious feeling that the two portraits had been discussing she and James.
“So, where do you want to start first?” James propositioned. “We could start near the Astronomy tower, although I doubt couples are already there. It’s probably be best to patrol near the kitchens. Peter’s probably there stuffing his face. I could do with yelling at him again today.”
Lily almost laughed at this. James was completely unserious about the entire Head Boy charade. It seemed as though he knew he didn’t fit the stereotypical rule abider. It also appeared that he didn’t wish to fit that profile. There was something so keen about his whole attitude on the matter.
“I suppose the Charms corridor would be a good start,” Lily suggested. “That’s a general walking area. Most people pass through it to reach their point of destination.”
So, they went to it. Lily noticed the way James took long, slow strides opposed to her short, quick ones. His legs were much longer than hers, seeing as he was nearly seven inches taller than her.
He started whistling a tune, his hands resting in his pockets and his wand indisposed. She usually held hers at her side, in case of emergency. He felt so at ease, opposed to her constant anxiety.
He was just different. There was no other word for it. She didn’t find these characteristics as quirks either. They seemed simply new to her structured world. He lived freely, spontaneously. He was completely carefree. Lily had no idea why he hadn’t chased after Erin; Erin was a carefree spirit as well.
Why had he chased after her? Lily wasn’t the most remarkable girl. She was pretty, but not stunningly beautiful. She was nice to most, but generally short-tempered with him. She was smart, but she worked so very hard to achieve her marks. She was structured, balanced, uptight, anxious, fearful, and generally insecure. What had James Potter found in Lily Evans that he had liked?
This question poised through her mind several times during their nighttime stroll. He didn’t seem to mind the silence between them. It was actually comforting, on both ends. Lily thought it remarkable how two people could share silence without it becoming awkward.
She didn’t feel the need to express every single concern with him. Somehow, everything would be ok. It was new to feel so positive. That was what James Potter was, positive for the most part.
“What do you think, Lily?” he asked her.
Lily hadn’t caught the other part of his sentence. She had been spacing out, thinking.
“What?” she asked.
“I said, it’s pretty dead tonight. That must mean everyone’s doing homework,” James spoke. “Well, Sirius isn’t. I am fairly certain he’s asleep though. Sleep does him good, he’s on his feet far too long.”
“He seems to have a never-ending supply of adrenaline,” Lily noted.
They had walked down towards the kitchens, which Lily had discovered last year. She imagined James had managed to come across it back in first year. That just proved how adventurous he was.
“Sirius is a difficult person to explain. He has to lack common sense to a certain extent. He dragged us into some pretty complicated situations before,” James reflected.
“He seems like a good friend, all the same,” Lily assured him. She had never really disliked Sirius, she had just disapproved of some of his actions.
“The best. I’d rather be in a tight situation with him than an easy one without him,” James insisted. “He’s always there for you, no matter how stupid you are.”
James knew this from personal experience. No matter how hung up on Lily he became, Sirius always supported him. He and Moony did object sometimes, but for the most part they were behind him.
“What about you?” James asked. “How are your friends?”
“My friends?” Lily questioned, somewhat shocked by the question. He knew all her friends. “You know them.”
“You know Sirius,” James pointed out.
“Well, Leah and Erin have been there from the beginning. Leah’s the one we’re all most protective of, seeing as she acts without thinking. Erin and I have been best friends since first year. Ruby is the softy. She’s amazing and gives great advice. She’s the glue for all of us. Little Vita is the mediator. She’s probably the most mature out of all of us.”
“And what about you?” he asked her, the two of them walking at the same stride now.
“Me?” Lily asked quietly. She had never really thought of herself in her group of friends. “I suppose I’m caught in the middle somewhere. I’m a blend of everything.”
“Really?” a surprised James questioned. “I always thought you stuck out a bit more.”
“How so?” Lily asked. This was partly luring him into answering the question rambling in her head. Why did he like her so much? Sure, he had mentioned natural chemistry. That couldn’t possibly have been the case. If it was natural, something would have happened before their seventh year there.
“You’re a passionate person. You are opinionated, you’re bloody intelligent. You’re funny when you think it’s appropriate. You’re mature, caring, you’ve got your heart in the right place. You’re just a good person, Lily Evans,” James calculated.
How wrong he was, she thought to herself. She had broken so many guys’ hearts, James included, for absolutely no reason aside from her own fears.
“You’re the good person,” Lily insisted. “You seem to find good in everyone. I’m not the person you say I am.”
“Oh, trust me. You have your flaws, as we all do. I wouldn’t want to know someone perfect. How interesting would that be? You’re normal and every day. I like that in a girl,” he said.
She felt her cheeks burn. He was going onto that track. They were reaching that cloudy section of their relationship. It was hazy and difficult to determine. Yet, they were steering onto that road once more.
“Listen,” he said, stopping the rhythmic pattern of their walking. “I didn’t want to embarrass you. I know it’s not in my favor for us to be together. I know you have some issues. I know I have some issues as well as some kinks. But all those things can be fixed!”
She didn’t say anything, just feeling emotions that hadn’t struck her.
“You’re so damn stubborn, Lily. That’s why I like you, though. You’re impossible to persuade. I’ve tried from day one and have yet to prevail. You’re a stubborn broad and I’m an arrogant bastard. I know this, you know this. Can’t we move past it? I just want to be with you,” James rambled on, his voice unsteady and speaking at a rapid pace.
“It’s so simple, Lily. You can’t be afraid. You just need to do it,” he said, staring into her eyes.
She looked at the floor, her cheeks still burning.
He put his hand on his hip and looked in another direction, clearly angry.
“We’re getting absolutely nowhere,” he sighed.
When looking back on such an occasion, Lily couldn’t remember what exactly moved her. It may have been his brutal use of honestly. It could have been the cute way he huffed when he was angry. It may have been a step forward in facing her fears.
All she did know was that she was kissing James Potter smack on the lips in the middle of a hallways, throwing all her rules temporarily out of the window.
A/N:Well, there's some action for all of you. They are NOT together. Please review.
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