Chapter 1 : Starry Nights
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"What's with you, James?"
James glanced down behind him at his Head partner as she stretched out on the grass, eyes staring straight into the dimming sky. His hand absentmindly picked at the grass beside her foot. "What do you mean?"
"Oh come off it, James. Really. I'm not blind, much less stupid."
"Never said you were."
"Then why do act as if I don't notice things?" Lily asked. The two were in their third month of seventh year, both Head students. They were now what people could call friends, unlike a few years ago. Their friendship happened casually, subtly. It wasn't anything announced with fireworks at breakfast in the Great Hall. James had stopped being a prick (most of the time) and Lily had stopped being so hard-headed (most of the time).
"Things? What things?", James asked in a strange voice, throwing bits of the green grass at Lily's jean covered legs.
She shook the grass off. "Well, for one, you've been avoiding me."
James held up his hands. "No avoiding here."
Lily rolled her eyes, still staring at the sky. "You mean taking the long way to transfiguration just so you don't have to walk with me isn't avoiding me? Or possibly all of a sudden becoming "deaf" when I call your name in the corridors between classes every once and a while." Lily wondered if James was tired of her. After a few years of fancying her, she thought she'd be sick of herself too. Ironically, Lily hoped James wasn't tired of her. She liked being friends with him (most of the time).
"Hey, it's hard to hear with the crowd of people." James said defending himself.
"Right." Lily said with a snort before letting their conversation trail off into silence. She finally spoke again. "And like just now, you've been so. . .quiet around me. You've never been quiet around me, James."
There was silence again. James was sitting upright, back a bit hunched over, gazing out over the lake. He didn't answer Lily. Lily found this irritating. She shifted a bit on her back, glancing at James before looking at the sky once again. A few stars were just barely visible by now. It was chilly outside tonight, dead leaves blowing around with the wind occasionally
"I wish you'd just tell me what's been on your mind lately. . ."
"I doubt you'd be interested."
"We'll never know unless you tell me."
"I've just. . .been feeling confused about. . .people lately- just been thinking alot." James finished finally, picking and throwing grass at Lily's legs again.
"Wow, James Potter's been thinking." Lily was given a dry look from James.
The conversation trailed off again. Silence resumed. Again. It was about ready to drive Lily insane. James Potter was about to drive Lily insane- of course, James Potter had always just about driven her insane.
"Do you think we'll see each other after Hogwarts?"
Lily shrugged, glancing at a menacing looking beetle scurrying around a few feet from her. She inched away from it. "Of course we will. Probably. Why?"
"Well?" Lily questioned once again.
James glanced behind him again, at Lily. He turned towards the lake again. "Just wondering." He paused. "Like I said before, there's this person who's. . .been on my mind lately. . .more then usual."
"In what sort of way?" Lily asked curiously. Who was this "person"? Was he talking about a girl? Lily felt the green monster of jealousy cross her mind for a split second before she shook the creature away. She herself began picking at the grass around her.
"In an. . .awfully bigger way then usual."
Lily didn't know how to reply. "Huh."
"Yeah. You seem to be understanding it just as much I am." James joked.
"Who's the "person"?"
"That's another thing." Lily commented. "All you ever seem to do is shrug at me."
"Maybe I can't think of anything else to say."
He couldn't think of anything to say to her? Since when? This boy would never shut up around her when they were younger. "You don't say anything in the first place. You shrug, James. Not speak."
James tutted. "So technical, Miss Evans." He picked up a nearby twig and began lightly tapping one of Lily's shoes.
Lily thoughtfully analyized James' answers in her head. He had been thing about someone more than usual. And he was feeling confused. If he had fallen for a girl, he would have said "girl", not this "person". Was he thinking about. . .another boy? The puzzle pieces were coming together for Lily now. James was thinking about a boy more than usually- in that way. That's why he was so confused- because he'd never thought about a boy in that way before. Or, at least, Lily didn't think he had. . .
This was quite a surprise to Lily. After a few years of being infatuated with her he began to swing the other way. Maybe that was saying something. . .Lily couldn't help but feel a twinge of something. . .hurt? Disappointment? She wasn't sure.
She shook her head. Just forget it. She wouldn't let this bother her. The question was now, what boy had James fallen for?- Oh, wait! Of course!
"I completely understand how you feel, James."
James' head moved quickly towards Lily. He looked taken back. "Really?"
Lily nodded, locking eyes with James for a moment before looking at the sky again. "Oh yes. I really do understand how you feel. It wasn't hard to figure out."
"Wow." James shifted anxiously. He let out a deep breath. "That's- er, that's surprising. I can't much understand what I feel. . .you really get me?" He asked.
"Yes, I do."
Why did James look so anxious? He was watching her so. . .intently now. A thought occured to Lily. "Oh, but don't worry, James. It's okay."
"Er. . .it's. . .okay?" He looked confused now.
"Yeah, I don't really care about that, James. You can swing that way if you like." The stars were beginning to get quite bright now.
"Way. . .-what way?"
Lily smiled kindly at James before reaching out to pat him on his back in a comforting manner. "You know what way I'm talking about. Don't try to hide it. I still want to be your friend."
James was really looking confused now, for some reason. He, after a few seconds, looked put out. "Oh. . .I see now. . .friends."
Lily smiled brighter at James. "Of course! I won't let a little thing like that get in the way of our friendship." She couldn't help but feel a little put out herself as she said this.
The boy in front of her was starting to look a bit. . .bitter? Is that the word? Or is it. . .angry? "Little thing? You think's it's just a little thing?" He was sitting up straight now. He had twisted his body slightly towards Lily over the past few minutes but now turned back abruptly towards the lake again.
Lily's smile stumbled a bit. "Well. . .of course, James. You know I won't hold something like that against you. I'm not that way."
James stared straight ahead and gave a laugh. A hollow laugh. "You are one awful wench, Lily Evans."
It was Lily's turn to be confused. Even bewildered. "What are you talking about?" She sat up on her elbows, watching him.
"You know exactly what I mean."
There was silence. Lily continued watching James for a moment before slowly laying back down on her back. She felt a strange sensation of wanting to cry right then. "I don't know what's wrong with you, James."
He gave another hollow laugh, picking at the grass around him extra hard now. "You don't know what's wrong with me? What about what's wrong with you?"
"You find me to be an awful wench because I don't care if you're in love with Sirius?"
At first, she thought James was ignoring her again. He sat staring straight ahead, stiffly. But, slowly, after what seemed like forever, he turned towards her, a dazed look on his face. "What," He asked slowly and carefully," did you just say?"
Lily's lips pursed slightly as she glared at a particularly bright star. "You heard me the first time, James Potter."
There was silence. Again. She heard James moving around. Was he leaving? No. Instead, he did something quite surprising: He scooted down slightly and laid down on his back, next to her. He glanced at her for a moment before looking towards the sky as well. "Lily. . .I think there's been a misunderstanding."
"Oh really?" Lily asked cooly. She crossed her arms over her chest.
"Erm- yes. I do."
"I don't see any misunderstandings here." Lily argued. She flicked a wind blown leaf off her shoulder. "You're in love with Sirius. And I don't care. What's so misunderstood there?"
They would have to be heading in soon; curfew would be starting. James bit his lip, squinting his eyes a bit, still watching the nightsky. He looked about ready to laugh for a moment, but seemed to be able to get his random (in Lily's opinion- who laughs at a time like this?) laugh under control. "I'm not. . .in love with Sirius, first of all. Second of all, I don't. . .swing that way."
It took Lily a few seconds for realization to sink in. She suddenly felt very warm and even more incredibly stupid. "Oh." She said dumbly. She paused for a second before squeezing her eyes shut tightly and covering her face with her hands. "I feel like such a bimbo now! Oh, Merlin, I am so sorry, James-. . .I- oh, jumping jelly beans!"
James' eyes were on her again. She heard him give a laugh before clear his throat abruptly and trailing off. He finally spoke again after an awkward silence. "If it makes you feel better, Lily, you were. . .sort of on the right track. I am in love with someone. I think."
Lily felt a another twinge of hurt or possibly disappointment. She wasn't sure which, they blended together into mush. So he had been thinking about a girl. ". . .Oh."
He cleared his throat again. "Yeah, I'm-. . .yeah. . .I'm a bit confused though. Never been. . .er, in love before. It's quite a confusing thing."
Lily didn't answer. The tables had turned. For once, Lily didn't know what to say while James did. Sort of.
"Well, what?" Lily asked. She shifted.
"Don't you want to know who I'm in love with?"
"Why? You said I wouldn't be interested a while ago." Lily wasn't interesting in who James Potter loved. No. She wasn't. Well, maybe a little.
"That was a while go. This is now." James continued. Why did he sound so strange?
Lily sighed. "Fine. Who?"
"Well," James started, running a hand through his hair,"it's, er, sort of. . .you, Lily."
Lily didn't reply. Her hands that had tightly covered her face in embarrassment slowly fell limp at her sides. She hadn't really expected that! Actually, she probably would have expected James to be in love with Sirius, more then expecting him to be in love with her. . .of course, he had fancied her for quite a while before. . .but, that- that was nothing but a crush. Or at least Lily thought it was. Love, though? James Potter was- or at least thought he was- in love with her?
"Lily?" His voice was quiet, questioning. She could feel his gaze on her.
She replied after another long, tense silence. "Me?"
"You're in love with me?" She asked.
"Uh. . .yeah."
"Oh." Out of the corner of her eye, Lily could see James' left hand lift hesitantly towards her own hand, which had been lying limply at her side for quite a while. James seemed to think better of it and hastily set his hand down at his side too.
Silence. Silence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "-Lily? Hate to rush you, but do you think you could say something?- Anything?" He asked uncomfortably.
"Er. . ." Lily shifted awkwardly on the ground. Other then the fact that this new piece of information was hard to sink in, Lily was thinking about how she actually felt- giddy? She was giddy about James Potter being in love with her. "Well." She started again. "That's- That's. . .er. . ." She had suddenly become very, very aware that James was laying right next to her.
"Yes?" James asked abruptly. He nervously scratched the back of his head. Lily vaguely wondered if that menacing beetle she'd seen earlier had crawled into James hair.
". . .er, that's. . .nice."
". . .Nice?. . .Oh."
"In a good way!" Lily hastily added.
"Is there a bad way of something being nice?" James asked.
". . .Erm- I don't know."
James repeated his question from earlier. "So. . .Lily. Do you still think we'll see each other after Hogwarts?"
Lily swallowed before slowly turning her head towards James'. She bit her lip, staring into his hazel eyes. "I. . .think it's there's a good possibility of seeing each other after Hogwarts, yes." She was surprised that her words only stumbled around a bit this time. Her face burned as James returned her gaze. She turned her eyes to the starry sky above them.
The boy next to her watched Lily closely for a few seconds before a slightly hesitant smile crossed his face. "Good." His smile faded a bit, staring even more intently at Lily, it seemed. Lily felt so. . well, bizarre under his gaze. He took a deep breath. "I can't get you out of mind, Lily Evans. . .Not now and not ever. . . And frankly, I don't really. . .want to. Think that's what being in love is?"
"I. . .suppose so." It sounded quite like love to Lily. Yet, did she, much less anyone really know what love was?
After James had leaned over and given Lily a hesitant kiss, the two laid side by side. Lily wondered if she should say how she felt about James- Merlin, she hardly knew how she felt about James. It was too soon to know. She found this funny consider they'd known each other for so long. Lily finally decided that she had time. Time to figure just what this giddy feeling she felt around James Potter was exactly. Her right hand slowly moved towards James' left and slipped in between his. Nothing was said, just simple silence.
As the minutes passed, a calmness fell over the two. Crickets were chirping. Leaves were stirring around a bit and an owl soared through the sky of twinkling stars.
Author's Note: Hey. I was listening to this song (Actually, I watched this Padme/Anakin fan-made music video on YouTube and it had the song. LoL), "Tonight and the Rest of My Life" by Nina Jordan and it got this one-shot into my head. Now I can't get the song out of my head. It's a pretty good song. A thanks goes out to Natallie for being a huge help to me while writing this!
Er, I haven't had the best weekend so far, and I really don't feel up to writing anymore (this weekend), so, er, just think of this one-shot as a "sorry" for most likely not updating POAT or JtG this weekend.
Head over to my website- there's yet another new page there! Yes, I never can make up my mind about something. It's a Lily/James story recommendation page. Anyone's who's read a really, really good L/J story lately, email/PM me and I'll add the story to the page, crediting you; )
Yeah, so anyways, hope someone like the one-shot.
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