Chapter 1 : Finally
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Well, James’ at least.
“Remus?” His expression was one fret; something that I only saw on him when I knew that he was extremely serious about something in particular. Oh what was it now? He ushered me to one of our many plump red sofas, Sirius and Peter standing awkwardly behind him, minimal smirks gracing their lips. I sat, pulling my book bag into my lap. It was a Saturday afternoon and I had just returned from the library after finishing up my weekend homework. The Common Room was never quiet enough to do such studying- plus the library was the one room with the right resources.
“Get on with it, mate,” Sirius insisted, plopping himself onto the same sofa that James and I were already resting on. Poor little Peter just stood there, engrossed, I believe, in what the conversation was bringing. “You never were this nervous when you asked Pete and me the same thing!”
James rolled his eyes and sighed deeply, his chest pushing out and his shoulders hunching in the process. This expression of worry increased with that sudden comment. “That’s because with you two I still had more of a chance. Remus is my last hope. If he doesn’t persuade her nothing will.”
I squinted my eyes lightly at James’ comment. “Is this about Lily? Are you trying to get me to convince her that you’re her guy?” I should have known that James would come to me after all of his other attempts of his failed again and again. He was crazy about this girl- he had been since our third year and I couldn’t imagine him without Lily in his life.
The thought seemed just too unreal.
James shuffled his position and turned to face me, looking me directly in the eyes. “Please Remus? If you don’t try this for me I’ll know that I hadn’t tried everything that I could have possibly done. I won’t live with regrets if she says no again. I’ll keep on trying of course but I need to know that I did everything that I could have to get her.”
The softness and serenity of James’ expression was enough to make me hop on James’ broom and cross half the world if it meant that I could talk to Lily for him.
“You got it, James,” I assured, praying that I would be the one to succeed at getting Lily and James together after years of trying. “When would you like me to talk to her?”
A wide grin spread across James’ face. “Anytime, mate.”
“Well, uhh, I saw her in the library when I left a few minutes ago.” At this comment, James instantly perked up. “I can go see if she’s down there still and maybe chat with her then?”
James stood as I did, his smile growing wider. “I owe you, Remus. Man do I owe you.”
I chuckled as I pulled my leather bag off of my shoulder. “Would you mind running this up to our dormitory then? I think that’s enough payment for now.” James hastily reached for my bag and ran up the stairs, continuously thanking me as he did so.
Man was he one heck of a friend.
I retreated from the room after waving and addressing goodbyes to both Sirius and Peter. They seemed to be quite amused with the fact of my new mission. I could see it in their eyes that they doubted wholeheartedly that I would succeed. Despite my confidence in myself, even I believed that this would be one tough battle.
I reached the library- my second sanctuary of the castle- within a few short minutes, mentally preparing myself for what was to come. What should I say? How should I even begin? Obviously Sirius and Peter had delved into the wrong path of introduction. It was my job to conduct the right one.
I spotted Lily lounging at the same table that I had seen her in twenty minutes ago, four thick, golden tomes spread across a third of the wood. The creamy parchment that rested in front of her led me to guess that she was busy finishing up our Charms essay assigned the day before.
I stalled, turning down one of the many aisles as I tried to think of how to begin, how to persuade, how to end. Why was this so difficult? Getting Lily to go out with James once couldn’t be so hard, could it? Suddenly I knew why Sirius and Peter had failed so quickly. They probably just asked her right away and didn’t push further when she offered them her rejection.
I didn’t know exactly how I was going to go about things but either way, I came purposefully out of hiding and walked determinedly toward Lily and her mess of books and paper.
“Hey,” I greeted, smiling openly. “Would you mind if I sat down?”
Lily glanced up from her work at the sound of my voice. “Oh, hi Remus. Sure; of course I wouldn’t mind.”
I curved my lips up again out of common courtesy and pulled out a chair that sat right across from her. Perfect. I sat down and brought my large hands through my tamed sandy hair, a habit that I suppose I picked up on through James. Oh, James- right.
“Is that the charms essay that you are working on there?” I questioned, not knowing how else to start off the conversation that would hopefully bloom into an acceptance to my friends’ massive desire.
“Yeah, I’m almost done with it though. Hey, what brought you here anyways? You didn’t appear to bring any of your belongings with you.”
“James didn’t send you here, did he?’ Lily rubbed her cheeks thoroughly and let out a very frustrated sigh.
“Care for a chat?”
Lily’s bright eyes grew wide as her assumption became confirmed. “The answer’s no, Remus. You can tell him that and smack him across the head while you’re at it!” She returned to her essay, well tried to even though her expression was fuming and her cheeks were an appealing red. I was quiet for a few moments, searching and praying for some chain of words to come to mind. As I knew it would, my mind slung something together.
“Why don’t you give you him a chance, Lily? Why not one date? That’s not too much to ask. The boy’s crazy about you and you are just making him crazier by avoiding him as much as possible. What’s he supposed to do, slump around for a few days and magically get over you? It’s not that simple and I know that you know that,” I whispered hastily, not wanting anyone to overhear anything and get any ideas about where things were headed.
Lily’s eyes closed in aggravation, opening again moments later when it came time for her reply. “But it is too much to ask.”
I gapped, unbelieving. What was she talking about? “What?”
It just is,” Lily replied, sighing as she brought her pale hands up to her face. I could tell that she really didn’t want to talk about what she was trying to get at but as a friend it was my job to at least uncover the source for her constant declines. Therefore, I shuffled in my cushioned seat and waited to see if she said anything more.
“Lily can I just know why? If it makes you feel any better I won’t tell James about it for now. He can wait awhile until he learns the truth,” I assured, my voice desperate and polite. If I knew what was keeping Lily from accepting James’ offers than maybe he would be able to work in her favor for once and she wouldn’t find him so repulsive.
Lily’s voice broke through the integrity of our silence a few minutes later. “I have never had a boyfriend, Remus; I’ve never gone out on a date. Think about it. Would you want waste your first girlfriend or first date on someone that you don’t know as well as you should? I can’t do it! I have to be completely sure before I put myself out there, before I can do any of this dating crap. I’m not ready for a relationship unless any guy can prove to me that they know what I want.”
“Lily, do you even know how ridiculous you are sounding? Relationships aren’t about knowing the other individual inside and out, they’re about learning to know the other and doing it as time progresses. You can’t expect so much of a boy especially at such an age like this. Everyone is preparing for their life after his place and no boy is ever going be able to meet up to your qualifications just yet. But I can tell you one thing: James would not rush into things with you. Hell, I think he’d be afraid to hold your hand within the first month! If any guy can meet what you’re looking for it’s one that completely and entirely devoted to you. James Potter is the one.” My voice hitched and faltered at the end of my argument due to the wide grin that now molded my lips.
I could tell that my side had won the argument.
“You really think so?” Lily tore her hands away from her face, her cheeks hot and pink from embarrassment. I must say that even though she would soon undoubtedly be James’ she was a very beautiful woman.
“Yeah, I do,” I reassured, beaming. “He’s been my best mate since we were eleven. I know his potential and I can see that the two of you would be extremely happy together.”
Lily smiled, pulling her books into her bag, obviously meaning it earlier when she said that she was almost done with her Charms essay. She finished cleaning up the table and sighed, resting her right cheek against the cold wood of the table.
“What do I do now?”
“Well,” I began, rising out of my chair. “I can tell James that you finally agreed since that was my job in the first place or I could let you tell him yourself?”
Lily appeared to contemplate this for a minute, allowing herself to mull over the two options completely before coming to a conclusion. “I’ll do it, at dinner.”
I grinned, noting that my prayers had come true. I was the one who had succeeded at getting Lily to say yes and it took only ten minutes. I must have been one persuasive man.
Dinner came an hour later and I avoided returning to the Common Room due to knowledge that James and Sirius would try to beat Lily’s answer out of my mouth. I couldn’t ruin this for Lily and I wouldn’t. Tonight was just too magical.
I hastened through the doors of the Great Hall, rushing to find a seat with my friends before Lily told James her news. I arrived at our usual spot on the benches to find that only Sirius and Peter occupied them. I sat, hoping desperately that they wouldn’t hound me for any answers that I did not wish to provide them with.
“What did Lily say, mate?” Sirius whispered from my right.
Ahh, Sirius and his thirst for gossip. What’s new?
“Shh, Sirius,” I ordered as I kept my eyes on the doors of the Great Hall. “Here comes James.”
Sirius quieted down for now as James took a seat across from me. His brown eyes were deep and hopefully. He was silently asking me what Lily had said…
“Hey guys,” Lily greeted as she plopped down on the bench next to James. I was thankful for her timing. She must have just come in. Sirius and Peter looked frightened at the fact that she chose to sit by them tonight but James’ expression was the best yet. James was, in fact, shocked as hell.
“H-hi,” James replied, trying not to tremble too hard in the process. He was nervous, completely nervous and was definitely not expecting this. Sirius and Peter didn’t bother with their own greetings. As expected, they were still in shock themselves.
The aroma of food burst through the Hall as a huge variety of food magically appeared from the kitchens below. This resulted in Sirius and Peter beginning to pile food onto their golden plates, hunger crazing the soul. I reached for some chicken, keeping a keen eye on James and Lily as I did so. James wasn’t dishing up but was rather waiting until Lily had what she wanted.
“Do you, uhh, want some potatoes, Lily?” James inquired, unsure what he should do and what he shouldn’t. Obviously Lily hadn’t said anything about why she was here but the fact of the matter was that she was here and that was enough to make James act like a complete idiot.
“Sure,” Lily replied, taking the bowl carefully out of James’ hands and spooning some of the vegetable onto her plate. She set them aside after she finished. “Turkey?”
“What?” James asked, suddenly confused.
“Would like some turkey?” Lily requested again, smiling to herself. I could see James hunch in his shoulders and suck in his chest as butterflies rose in his stomach.
“Okay.” James retrieved the bowl from Lily’s grasp and heaped some onto his plate. He set the bowl down elsewhere, where there was room and returned to his normal position.
James and Lily just sat there awkwardly, staring at their plates; Lily’s full one and James’ nearly empty one. Lily picked up her fork and gradually fed herself triggering James to reach for a few more foods to fill him up.
I had to stuff my mouth with food so I wouldn’t laugh out loud. This was hilarious.
We all continued to eat in silence for the next few minutes, none of us knowing what to say and a few of us not wishing to talk at all. Sirius and Peter were still chewing away, shoveling their food down their throats. As fate would have it, they finally finished their supper and spoke their goodbyes before heading back up to the Common Room to most likely start up a few rounds of wizard’s chess.
That left James, Lily, and me.
“Well, I’m go-“
"Wait, Remus- you can stay.”
James looked slightly confused but didn’t speak his thoughts out loud. He was a smart boy and could easily tell that this had to do fully with Lily’s and my conversation awhile earlier. I sat, my greedy mind wanting to hear this conversation since the invitation had arisen.
Lily turned to James, her lips parted and her breathing off. She didn’t know where to begin. She was quiet and then tried to speak but nothing came out.
I decided that I could butt in. “James, ask Lily out again please.”
“What?” James questioned, bewildered at the fact. I could see that he was worried that if he went that far she run off and be angry at him again. He didn’t want that at all.
“Trust me, James,” I pressed and glanced over at Lily. She was beaming, her face bright and beautiful.
“Lily, I don’t want to do this because I know that you’ll just get mad at me and all but will you go out with me?”
Lily’s face grew brighter and she brought her hand up to rest on James’ that was placed nervously on the table. “Yes.”
James’ eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped dramatically. He was expecting a smack across the face and certainly not her acceptance. “Is this really something that you want to do?” I could tell that as happy as James felt at that moment he wanted her to her happiest. If it meant taking back her offer than so be it.
“I’m sure. Remus here knocked it into me. He told me that if anyone could be the guy that I was looking for it would be you,” Lily expressed, stealing a glance at me out of the corner of her eye.
“And you believed him?”
“I sure did. He didn’t give up like the others and he defended you with strong points. He convinced me,” Lily confessed, looking at James with a certain hunger that I never thought I’d see.
“Thanks Remus,” James tossed at me, his face as bright and vibrant as Lily’s.
“I’ll go now.” I got up from the bench and passed one more glance at Hogwart’s newest couple before I turned my back on them and exited the Hall.
A/N: First ever attempt at a Maruader story. How did I do?
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