Chapter 1 : The Parchment
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Author’s Notes: This was written for strengthfairy937’s “Cheery Holiday Fic” challenge. This is my first Lily/James fic, and I greatly enjoyed writing it. Please review; any and all comments – positive and negative – are greatly appreciated.
strengthfairy, I hope this is what you were looking for. If not, then I’ll write something else for this challenge.
Lily Evans sighed in defeat as she left the store she’d been looking in; it was time to return to Hogwarts after the last Hogsmeade weekend before Christmas and she still hadn’t gotten James a gift.
A year ago, she’d barely started calling him “James” instead of “Potter” and still wouldn’t have bought him a Christmas present, but that was then. That was when he was just beginning to change from an annoying prat to the guy he was now.
Until their sixth year, Lily had hated James. He was an egomaniacal bully and she wanted nothing to do with him. She couldn’t see why any respectable person could like him with the way he acted.
Lily’s opinion began changing during sixth year, beginning when she found out about how he and his parents took Sirius Black in after he had been disowned by the Black family. She knew that Black and Potter were friends, but giving someone a home when they weren’t blood family was something that many people Lily liked more than James wouldn’t even do. However, this act of friendship didn’t excuse the things she did, and it would still take a lot to happen for her to like him, even if he had earned some respect.
A lot did change; slowly, but surely. Lily noticed James started treating and speaking to Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew more like they were true friends than someone to just hang out with and a tag-along. In addition, he stopped talking back to many of the teachers for no reason, stopped pulling really harmful and overly-embarrassing pranks, and started to pay attention in class a bit more. He eventually even grew tired of picking fights with Snape for no reason and only attacked in retaliation.
Despite these changes, James was still James; just an improved version. He still pulled pranks, but ones that were easy to get over and didn’t seem to be targeted at anyone in particular as payback for something unless they really deserved it. He did get cheeky with Slughorn, but not outright disrespectful (and besides, she’d be the pot calling the kettle black if she complained about that). He was still a show-off, but not exactly an annoying one.
Yes, James had grown up in the past year into someone Lily didn’t only like, but loved.
She had denied these feelings at first and told herself that James, although he’d made a few changes in character, was still the aggravating Potter boy that he’d always been. But eventually, denial did her no good, especially the closer friends she and James had become.
Yes, they had become friends – something that hardly anyone believed. How it happened was even strange. James had walked up and began talking to her out of nowhere; she thought he was going to try to ask her out again, which would make her have to yell at him since he had a girlfriend (and it would have proved that he was worse than she had originally thought). Instead, he apologized for various embarrassments he’d caused her and asked her if she could ever be his friend – just his friend.
With reluctance and disbelief, Lily accepted. Now, not even a year later, James and Delia were no longer an item, James had proven to be one of the best friends she’d ever had, and she wanted to be much more than just his friend. She didn’t know if James felt the same way or not; all she knew was that Christmas was quickly approaching and she had to find him the perfect gift – a task that was proving to be beyond difficult.
She didn’t want to get him a typical gift. She wanted to get him a gift he’d never forget and that would say everything to him that she couldn’t find the courage to.
As she walked down the street of Hogsmeade lost in thought, she walked into a man in a Muggle sweater. After apologizing, she was struck with an idea; a sweater! She would knit him a sweater! Nothing reaches the heart like a home-made gift, and it was something he’d definitely use. She had done some knitting when she was younger, and, though that was years ago, she should still be able to do it with little trouble!
Lily smiled to herself and noticed that Hogsmeade looked extra nice for Christmas this year.
It was now Christmas Eve and things had not turned out as planned. Much to Lily’s distress, going four years without practicing knitting did not a perfect Christmas gift make. The sweater had three sleeves and no hole for the head.
“Oh, what am I going to do!?!” Lily cried out while holding her pathetic attempt at a sweater. Noticing a piece of parchment on a nearby table that was probably left there by a first-year, Lily was struck by an idea – a crazy idea – but an idea nonetheless.
I hope this works Lily thought to herself as she got her quill and ink and nervously began writing.
“You know you didn’t have to get me anything,” James said as Lily handed him a box.
“Oh, nonsense, I always get the people I care for gifts! Now open it!” Lily ordered with a mix of eagerness and nervousness.
James tore through the wrapping and opened the box, surprised to see nothing but a piece of parchment inside. After picking up the parchment, he began to read.
Miss Lily Anastasia Evans has henceforth agreed to be the best girlfriend that Mister James Aaron Potter has ever had, as she loves him very much and would need nothing more than this to be happy. If Mister Potter does not wish to have this gift, he should inform Miss Evans quickly to prevent from breaking her heart, which has already been through hell from pure nervousness.
James smiled as he read the letter again to himself. Before saying anything to Lily, he quickly grabbed a quill and scribbled something on the back of the letter Lily gave him.
Taking the letter with confusion and hesitation, Lily slowly began to read and dreaded what she might find written.
Mister James Aaron Potter gladly accepts the gift of Miss Lily Anastasia Evans, as he is also helplessly in love with her and has been since her third year when she punched Demetrius Jones for looking up her robes. In return, Mister Potter promises to continue to love Miss Evans with all of his heart and to be the best boyfriend he possibly can.
Nearly crying with joy and smiling brightly, Lily dropped the parchment to the floor and ran quickly into James’ arms and kissed him.
“I tried to get you the best gift possible, but I think that you’ve given me the best gift”, Lily said after they parted lips.
“Well, good, because that’s probably all you’re getting from me,” James responded.
Seeing the look of confusion on his new girlfriend’s face, he continued to explain. “I have been searching for a month to find you the perfect gift, and it’s been damn impossible. I could find nothing good enough and I doubt I’ll ever attempt to shop for you again.”
Lily laughed and slapped him playfully before kissing him again.
“Now that I think about it,” James said while smiling mischeviously. “I do believe there is another great gift we could give each other. Sirius, Remus, Peter, and Frank probably won’t come to the dormitories for a few more hours.”
“Why, Mister, Potter!” Lily exclaimed in a mock-shocked voice. “I do believe that it is too early in our relationship for that kind of talk!” she said seriously before walking away from him.
“How about next week?” he shouted after her before running to catch up with his girlfriend.