It was a dark and gloomy day at Hogwarts castle, the very humidity of the fall afternoon had James sweating in his robes and school uniform. He was walking down the hallway gilded in grey stone to meet Lily Evans; he brightened up at the very thought.
She was everything he had ever imagined. She was beautiful, friendly, generous, witty, and plenty more adjectives could roll off his tongue but he didn't like to think of it too much. It was too painful. She was too painful, just to look at, just to dream about.
Her head of brilliant auburn red hair flashed before his vision quicker than he could mentally prepare himself for. James stood back for a moment, letting his breathing return to normal, before grasping her hand in his. And it felt comfortable walking as just the two of them. Normally they would talk about whatever was on their minds, be it a Quidditch game coming up soon or a Charms test that was impossibly hard. The years of silence and hatred meant nothing to the two of them, they could talk about anything without a fear of being judged, it was as comfortable as breathing ... or so James thought.
James looked to his side, a brilliant smile on his face, to see Lily with tears staining her cheeks.
The overwhelming urge to brush the tears away his his thumb or kiss them away with his lips almost overcame him. He hesitated slightly before enveloping her into a hug tightly near his chest.
'Lily?' he asked hesitantly. She looked up at him, her eyes still wet.
'I - I ...' she hiccomphed and looked down at her feet. James felt that his heart was breaking at the mere sight of her tears, it was so unlike her - he'd never seen her cry before.
'What happened Lily? I can fix it. Or I can try ...' he wanted to fix it so badly; he wanted her to stop crying so badly.
It took her a few moments to compose herself. She hiccomphed and sighed and took deep, long strangled breaths.
'I cheated, James.' she said, looking up at him with wet eyes. 'I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to, it just happened! It didn't mean anything, I swear!' Tears were pouring down her cheeks.
James furrowed his brows confusedly, considering the problem at hand.
'On what, the charms test? Lily, it's alright - it's not the end of the world! Jut ask professor -'
'What are you talking about, James?' Lily looked up at him angrily.
'On you, James! I cheated on you! With Marcus Bones!' She screamed hysterically, hugging herself tightly. 'But I didn't mean to, I swear! He just came up behind me when I was patrolling last night and kissed me! I couldn't get away, he had me backed against this wall and ... and ... I was s-s-so scared of loosing you! I'm so sorry James!' The tears were coming heavily and fast.
'But Lily ... what? We're - we're not dating ...' He searched her face confusedly. Where was all of this coming from?
Lily looked at him in complete horror. She yanked her hand from his grasp and ran down the hall, as far from him as she could. James watched her go, still feeling utterly confused.
Then he looked down at his hand and felt a light tingling there. He had been holding hand with Lily Evans, and hadn't even noticed it!
James ran a hand through his hair as he contemplated everything. She thought we were dating? She'd go on date with me? And then he felt crushed because he knew that he'd ruined everything that had ever began between the two of them; she would never date him now. She'd never hold his hand in that comfortable, easy way again.
'Were we dating?' he asked himself as he slid his back down the stone wall and landed on the floor.
'Shit, shit, SHIT!' Lily yanked her robes off of herself and threw them onto her bed before falling face first against her soft duvet. The duvet that couldn't stop her tears.
'Lily? Lily! What's wrong?' Lily's best friend Molly Montgomery was standing beside her, looking down at her worriedly.
Lily made some indistinguishable growls and moans into her duvet.
'Lily.' Molly pulled Lily by her shoulders and turned her over on her bed, seeing the tears running down her face.
'Oh, Lily...' Molly murmed quietly, sinking into a squat on the floor. She raised the back of her hand to Lily's forehead and felt for her temperature.
Lily waved Molly's hand away. 'Not necessary, Molly. I'm not sick, I'm just ... upset.'
'Oh.' Molly stood up and walked over to her own bed. Lily sighed and fell onto her back on hers.
'Tell me, Molly. Do you think James and I are going out?' She asked timidly.
'Well, yeah.' Molly looked at Lily uncertainly.
'You spend every waking moment together.' she said. 'He walks you to all of your classes, carries your books for you, and you've gone together on Hogsmede trips the last two times - not because there weren't any other options because if I recall you guys ditched us.'
'Sorry about that.' Lily mumbled apologetically.
'He holds hands with me too, in the hallways and stuff.' Lily muttered quietly. 'Although sometimes I don't even think he realises it. It's become sort of second nature, you know?'
Molly nodded understandably and sat criss-crossed on top of her bed.
'Why the sudden interest?' she asked. 'Does it have anything to do with why you've sulked in here looking like Moaning Myrtle? Ahh, no. He did not break up with you -'
'No. He didn't.' Lily sighed.
'Then what is it?'
Lily sighed. 'He didn't think we were dating. He'd just rather be friends, I guess.' Lily turned onto her side to hide the new gush of tears from her friend.
'Bull shit!' Molly shouted. 'James has been after you since 5th year! He's bloody in love with you!'
'Please stop, Molly.' whispered Lily, cringing into her pillow. But Molly took no heed.
'The way he looks at you when you leave the room, the way he talks about you when you're not there ... Lily, you're all he thinks about!'
'Just stop talking. Please? He thinks we're just friends. That's all we ever will be.'
'You sound ridiculous even to yourself, Lily. You know you guys mean more to each other than as just friends. What did he say to you that set you off to come back here in a right fit?'
Lily cringed painfully at the memory, still a fresh open wound.
'I ... I told him about that one time ... with Bones.'
Molly's jaw dropped in shock.
'That's really brave of you, Lily.' Molly whispered in awe.
'I told him I cheated and he thought I was talking about the Charms test!' Lily rolled her face back into her pillow, taking deep breaths.
'I can't believe this.' Molly said.
'You need to, because it's true.' Lily sniffled. 'I can't believe I'd led myself to think all this -'
'It wasn't just you, Lily! Everyone thought -'
'Everyone but him!'
'Well, yeah. That is a fair point.' Said Molly
Lily sniffled again.
'You should go talk to him.' Molly suggested innocently.
'Talk to him? After what just happened? No thanks.'
'No, I really think you should. Just tell him you want to be more than friends and plant a big one on him. If that doesn't send him the right message -'
Lily sighed. 'You didn't see his face, Molly. He looked so ... baffled and confused at the suggestion - like it had never even occurred to him before that we could be more ...' She hicomphed and stopped abruptly. How am I ever going to face him again?
James walked down the hallway unsurely. Ever since Lily Evans told him she had kissed Marcus Bones, even if it was unintentional, he couldn't get the thought out of his mind. He couldn't tame the wild beast inside of him that wanted the curse Marcus into the next age.
'Speak of the devil ...' James murmured to himself as Marcus Bones walked past.
'Alright, Potter?' Marcus called out in greeting, a little too smug for James's taste.
James grunted in response and he could have sworn he heard a small chuckle from the Hufflepuff. All of his anger bottled up inside of him and he ran back towards Marcus Bones, pushing him into the stone wall.
'What are you playing at?' Marcus called wildly, his eyes fearful.
James had his wand pressed into the crook of Marcus's neck menacingly.
'I'm going to be very calm. Very very calm, do you hear me?'
Marcus nodded, frightened.
'And the only reason I'm being very very calm is that Lily Evans is only a friend to me, albeit one of the best friends I have ever had. And if I ever hear of you assaulting her or kissing her when she doesn't want to' James's voice was growing louder with each phrase as he stared at Bones, his eyes wild. 'I am going to kick your arse into next week!' He shouted.
'Am I making myself perfectly clear?' James murmured with a delicate whisper.
James let go of Bones and let him fall into a heap on the floor. Marcus Bones was only a feet away from James when he whispered something.
'Assulted my arse. Bloody asked for it, the minx did ...'
Which caused James to push him into the wall again, so harshly Bones was sure to have bruises.
'Don't talk about her like that.' He whispered menacingly, his eyes narrowing.
James let go of Bones and stepped away from the wall. His hand lept toward his hair to untidy it as he recognised the voice.
'Lily? Wha-a-at are you doing here?' He tried to lean casually against the wall, but he miscalculated and hit the wall instead with his shoulder.
Lily chuckled quietly as James gasped in pain.
'What are you doing to poor Bones?' She asked him curiously.
James looked at Bones. 'Er, nothing! Nothing at all!' and in a lower voice he whispered 'Scram' to Bones.
Bones didn't need telling twice, he rushed up off of the ground and ran down the corridor and down the hallway.
'James?' Lily took a cautionary small step toward him. James responded by walking so close up to her that he could feel her cool breath on his face.
'Yes?' he asked.
'I - I just wanted you to know that, er, we can't be friends.' She gulped, fumbling nervously the the hem of her jumper and refusing to meet his eyes.
James stumbled backwards, his head spinning. Can't be friends? What?
'I ... I want to be more than friends.' She said so quickly James could have sworn he didn't hear correctly. 'I can't stand it anymore to just go by every day without being able to ... to ...' Lily's cheeks turned a brilliant scarlet.
James's heart felt light for the first time in his life. He looked at Lily with wide eyes.
Then he kissed her. And it was all he'd ever imagined. Even better than he'd imagined. She tasted so sweet against his lips. His arms curled around her neck and to the back of her head, his fingers twirling around her bright red hair. Then he felt her hands curl around his own neck and his heart could have bursted with happiness.
And when she started to cry, he kissed each of the fallen tears away.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed! Please remember to review!!! <3