Chapter 2 : James
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Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
The fire is starting to die out, but I'm too lazy to do anything about it. I don't know why I don't want to go to bed today; I hardly got a wink of sleep yesterday. Not to mention the detention that I had just finished with, curtsy of Filch. Plus the practice that I had been on, just before detention. It's not one of my better days.
Sirius had, as usual, been with me through all of it. But he collapsed out of tiredness the second we came through the common room door. I had to levitate him to the dorms.
I ought to be up there right now, in a half comma, with Sirius and the rest of our lot. But I'd tried for ages to get some sleep, and it never came. So I'm sitting here, watching the fire slowly fade away into nothing.
A familiar soft pitter-patter of feet greeted my ears; it was coming from the dorm doors. I looked around expecting Remus to hurtle out of the dorms, drag me upstairs by my ear, and give me a lecture on what sleep deprivation could do to me while he's at it. But, to my surprise, it wasn't Remus who had come down.
I slumped in my seat, praying that she didn't notice, as she paused briefly before continuing out of the portrait hall. As soon as I hear the door slam shut, I sigh with relief. Lily would murder me if she found I wasn't in my dorm this late; but what is she doing up now, herself?
As soon as the shock of finding Lily Evans (of all people), Hogwarts' very own Model student, up this late wore off, curiosity kicked in. What was Lily up to at this time of night? I asked myself.
I could count, on one hand, how many times she'd gotten in trouble. She follows the rules like they were laws; she goes starker every time she sees a first year run in the hallways, so what in the name of Merlin is she doing sneaking out in the dead of night? A sudden idea came to mind….
"NO! Don't even think about it James, Lily will CASTRAIT YOU if you do it!" My voice of reason warned.
"What Dear Lily flower doesn't know can't hurt you" My Marauder voice fired back.
"Hah! She'll catch you at it, you IDIOT, and then you'll regret that you were EVER born. That girl knows how to throw a decent HEX"
"Oh please! You'll die of curiosity if you just sit here; you're a Marauder for Merlin's sake! Isn't getting up to mischief and not getting caught what you do? Don't be a ruddy chicken!"
"It's better to be safe then SORRY!"
I sighed, and resigned myself to fate; if Lily found out then all hell would break loose, but if I didn't go I would sit here and argue with myself, till I go Barmy, that is. I summoned the Marauder's map and my invisibility cloak, and with that I set off, throwing the cloak over me in the process.
I open the map, I see the dot with the name Lily speeding down a near secret passageway, I walk quickly, taking a couple of secret passages myself in order to catch her up, Lily was moving fast, but she didn't know Hogwarts as well as I did, but she knew it more than I had thought, I wonder if she had snuck out before?
I finally caught up with her, and she led me through a couple of floors, then down to the grounds. Displaying an acute knowledge of secret passageways, which lead me to more or less believe she did this regularly, she avoided many random teachers (who patrolled the corridors each night, as there were rumors that there were Death Eater spies in Hogwarts.)
I watched as Lily tripped and fell. She rolled in the grass and laughed in a carefree way; I had never seen her like this before. Lily is usually very reserved and careful in whatever she did. She’d handle a book report with the care and attention one might expect she'd bestow one of those Muggle Atomic Bombs. The only time I ever saw her loose it, or let go, was when she yelled at me.
I hate it when she's angry with me; I don't know if she really means what she says when she's angry. I hope not because her harsh words, nearly literally, cut up my insides. She can take me from the highest of high, and bring me down to the lowest of lows. She, in short, can make me feel worse than anything I've ever felt.
But, I can't say I don't disserve it. I act like a complete prick around her. I just can't help it! The moment I see her, my mind goes blank, I don't know what to say, how to act, I go completely numb, and I start acting, as Sirius puts it, like an Arrogant little berk. I wish someone would tell me how to control myself around her.
I look at Lily now; she's just lying on the grass, looking at the stars, she's playing with her hair and frowning, like she always does when something was bothering her, apparently lost in thought. I wish, I could see what was going on inside her head, talk to her maybe, or just help out with whatever's got her so worried. Not that she'd ever let me in.
A smile tugs at my lips as I see her begin to smile as she looked at the sky; her smile is so warm and sincere, that the cold night air seems slightly more bearable. I wish that I could make her smile like that.
Lily's the only person that I've never been able to charm. My Mum used to drag me to parties and outings because I was, according to her, a very good ice breaker. If you'd leave me alone with a group of the biggest stuffed shirts in all of England, for just half an hour, I could have them doing conga lines faster than you could say "Potter's charm."
But, just my luck, I had to fall head over heels for the one girl who, not only thinks I'm not charming, but thinks I'm an absolute toe-rag! And, the worst part of it all is that no matter what I do, no matter how many times she'd told me she'd rather go out with the Bloody Baron, I can't stop myself from having these damn feelings for her!
She slices and dices at my insides, she steps on my pride, and she reduces me to a blithering idiot every time I look at her. But these feelings just won't go away! I've had these feelings since the first time I saw Lily. Back when I was just a first year, I grinned as I remembered that first incident; which gave me my first friend, my first enemy, and my first crush, all in one!
I pulled my trunk up along the train corridor; I noticed a group of tall, older looking, students. They were talking, very angrily, with a kid with black hair and stormy grey eyes. He didn't look too much older than me; I wouldn't be surprised if he was my age.
Though there were about seven of them ganging up on the poor guy, he wasn't in the least bit scared. He was actually whispering something which, judging by the looks of outrage on their faces was a pretty good insult.
The boy picked up his trunk, apparently satisfied, turned his back and began walking away. While he was leaving, I noticed an eighth person among the group, it wasn't surprising that I didn't see him; he was incredibly short, with greasy hair and dark eyes.
The short boy whispered something to one of the taller boys in the group, I immediately recognized him as a Malfoy. The pale skin, trade mark sneer, and white blond hair were a dead give away.
Malfoy nodded to the boy approvingly, the greasy haired kid took out his wand and pointed it at the back of the boy who was leaving.
Reflexively, I took out my wand and yelled one of the very few incantations I knew "Expelliarmus” The greasy haired kid was thrown backwards, and the kid he nearly hexed had ducked so as to avoid the spell. The gang who had been encouraging the grease ball to attack was now laughing at him; a real example of true friendship, that lot.
I was about to go help the boy -who'd nearly been hexed- up, but I was stopped by a compartment door being thrown open, and a shockingly pretty red haired girl came out. Much to my surprise, she started yelling at me.
"You don't even know what he did! I yelled indignantly, what gave her the right to yell at me! I'm the good guy!
She turned and stormed back into her compartment; I noticed that she looked quite cute when angry. The boy I had helped grinned at me and said "Thanks for helping me out, but you might want to close your mouth now, everyone's starring,"
"Maybe it's because I'm so good looking," I said to cover up my embracement. The boy laughed; I extended my hand and introduced myself "James Potter"
He took it and introduced himself as "Sirius Black"
I nearly chuckled out loud as I remembered the "prank" war that had transpired following the events of our first train ride. But luckily, Lily didn't notice; she was still lost in her own world. She was biting her lip, and unconsciously twirling her hair around her fingers; thinking over what ever was bothering her.
I love the grounds at this time of night; the stars are shining so brightly, there's always a bit of refreshing wind, even in summer. It reminds me of home, in the open countryside. If I closed my eyes, I could just picture it.
The white villa, two miles of from the village of Godrics hollow. I could nearly smell the signature scent of the large garden, which my Mum worked so hard on. And, if focused, I could hear the soft music that Dad would listen to in the evenings, sometimes he would play music in languages he didn't even understand, but it brought a smile to his face none-the-less, as it does to mine right now.
I can picture bringing Lily home with me one day, show her around all the hidden nooks I used to play in as a kid, show her off to Mum and Dad, which would probably embarrass her to death. And, finally, be able to show Sirius that's he's not the only one who can 'Get a girl'.
I frowned at that thought. It wasn't right, Lily wasn't just 'A Girl' She was 'The Girl'. Sure, it would be great to be able to finally 'Get Lily', and show her off to my family, and it would be REALLY great to be able to rub it in Sirius's face, but that’s not why I've been going after her from the day I set foot in Hogwarts; it's not even part of it.
Lily's enchanted me from day one; from the first time she yelled at me for hexing Snape, which I was perfectly entitled to. But she didn't know the whole story, it's one of her flaws; she always rushes in to save someone who looks vulnerable. But that's one of the things I like about her; she stands up for anyone who can't stand up for themselves.
I know she's not perfect, she's far from it, actually; she tries to be perfect, even though, I'm sure she knows she can't be. She's a hot head, especially when it comes to me; I don't know why pranks bother her so much, it's just a bit of fun.
But her flaws aren't that serious. I'd take someone with a short fuse over someone that's cold any day. And, I don't mind that she's trying to better herself, even if she's going a little overboard with it. All her flaws are insignificant; to me at least. I'm too overwhelmed by her good aspects to bother about them, anyway.
In short, though I don't think Lily's perfect, I think she's perfect for me. It's scary to even think about something like that, at our age, but I just can't turn it off and on. It just doesn't work that way, not that I haven't tried.
Sirius has been practically throwing girls at me, trying to get me to 'Get-Over' Lily, and I tried to, I really tried; once, twice, thrice…a hundred times, it never worked. None of them felt right, none of them were what I was looking for, and none of them was Lily. And, I don't want anyone other than Lily.
It's funny how it all started though. The pranks we used to play on each other, then the truce, that practically our entire house forced us to sign. I remember it had been so weird that I didn't have a reason to fight with her anymore, and I started looking around for just some reason to be around her.
Sirius had, of course, taken the Mickey out of me for running around after Lily all the time. So he convinced me to ask her out, and I did, just to prove that I could. Lily had said that she'd think about it, and in my mind, well back then, I was a shoe-in. What kind of a girl could resist me? I was a cocky little brat.
I hadn't taken it seriously though. I'd snogged, Merlin knows how many girls, before I asked Lily what her finale word was. I was so sure that she'd say 'Yes' that I had gotten quite the shock when she said 'No'. I don't doubt that word of one of my 'Escapades' had reached her.
I was an ass to her for the rest of the year, and the year after that. But I think I cleaned up my act a bit in sixth year, when I finally realized what she meant to me. I wasn't just attracted to her; I wasn't after her because I couldn't get her (Sirius's favorite theory on the subject), it was more than that.
Try as she might, I won't let her get away from me this year. I'm not going to risk loosing her forever; it's our seventh year for Merlin's sake! I have no more chances, I screw up this year, and I'll be wondering for the rest of my life what would have happened if I didn't.
But the problem is how do I get to her? How do I get her to see that I really do care? What do I say? What am I supposed to do?
Before I could agonize over these questions anymore, something knocks me straight off my feet, and I land on flat on my back. I looked up and I saw a surprised Lily, who had undoubtedly been heading back in, looking around for what she'd banged into.
To my absolute horror, Lily got on her knees and started feeling around on the floor. As her hands found they're way to my invisibility cloak, her eyes turned from confused to shocked and finally to furious.
Trying to stay calm, I need to say something. The last thing I should do is show Lily I'm scarred of her when she's angry, but I'm not sure what to say. So, I said the first thing that came to mind "Err…Top of the Morning to you, Evans?"
I mentally berated myself; I antagonized her! That's not a good move, not good at all. I could only watch in horror as Lily's face started to go red with anger, and her previously serene eyes grow cold with fury. I gulp, audibly, and cringe slightly as I hear her whisper in a deadly voice "You are so dead Potter."
A/N: Feedback is more than welcome, especially since I posted this in a hurry.
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