Chapter 1 : Care
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I wrote this because one of my friends sent me a poem he had come up with. It is really beautiful and I had a great idea to write a small story based on it.
Lily stood waiting for Professor Slughorn to let them in the potions classroom. She was talking with her friends when they suddenly stopped talking. Lily felt a tap on her shoulder and she span around. He was taller than her by at least a couple of inches. His hazel eyes bore into hers.
“What would you do if I died tomorrow?”
“James, what?” Lily asked confused.
“What would you do if I died tomorrow?” he repeated, still looking straight at her.
“I don’t know.” Lily said self consciously pushing her hair out of her face. She tried to look past him at his friends who were looking on with similar expressions of shock.
“Would you visit? Would you put flowers on my grave?” he asked his voice sounded almost empty.
“James what is wrong with you?” Lily asked she was beginning to get scared.
“Would you?” he pushed for an answer carefully touching her cheek so she looked back at him.
Lily thought about it for a second but she already knew her answer. She sighed. “Yes, James. I would.”
“That’s all I wanted to know.” he gave a small smile before removing his hand and joining his friends at the back of the line.
Lily stared after him in shock but he didn’t look at her again. She shook her head in confusion.
The common room was quiet. Lily was perfectly content with sitting curled up on the armchair in the silence with her book and she was glad that when people came in through the portrait whole their voices would lower automatically when they saw her reading. A few would whisper a ‘Goodnight Lily’ and she in turn would reply a simple ‘Night’. After eleven people stopped passing through, she had no more interruptions. Until that is, she heard someone descending from the boys dormitory.
She didn’t look up until the person sat on the sofa and stared into the fire. “Hello James” she said casually before lowering her eyes back to her book. She didn’t continue reading she just thought about him. He sat there staring at the flames in silence and it was almost as if the James she had known last year had died and been replaced by his empty shell.
“James are you okay?” Lily whispered.
“I love you” he said quietly.
“Pardon?” she asked in shock.
“You don’t have to reply. I don’t want to be lied to” James stood up and headed back up to his dorm.
Lily dropped her book. She could’ve hit herself. He said he loved her and she sits here gaping. But what would she have said? Would she have lied to save the person who had died? But she thought. Was it really a lie now?
Lily was exhausted. She hadn’t slept well and the lessons were getting tougher the closer it got to NEWT times. She dumped her bag in her dormitory before turning and walking back out. James was sat with his friends around the fireplace she caught his eye before she exited through the fat lady’s portrait. Her feet carried her up a spiral staircase. She blinked. She was in the astronomy tower. It was not yet fully dark so she sat down with her back against the wall. Her eyes closed.
“Whatever you do. Promise me you’ll never cry over me” A voice said. She didn’t even need to open her eyes to tell who it is. The same person who had only spoke a few sentences that she hadn’t understood to her in the past few days.
“I can’t make that promise” Lily said slowly.
“Just because I’m not with you, you’re not alone.” his careful fingers found her cheek again and he let his feather light touch pass over her lips and finished with him tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
Before she could ask what he meant, his touch disappeared and when she opened her eyes so had he.
Over the next week Lily didn’t see him. She was worried; he wasn’t in lessons at feasts or even with his friends in the common room.
On the third day of his disappearance she had even asked Remus and Sirius where he was. They had just shook their heads at her and supplied simply. “We couldn’t tell you even if we knew”
This left her more confused and panicked than she was already and on the seventh day she gave up. She knocked lightly on Dumbledore’s office door.
“Enter” his wise voice called.
“Sir?” Lily asked approaching his desk.
“Ah Miss Evans what can I do for you?” Albus asked looking at her steadily.
“Sir I’m worried about James” Lily admitted. “He hasn’t been in class and I haven’t seen him at meals.”
“Alas I believe this is my fault.” Dumbledore said sadly.
“Your fault, sir?”
“James has been away on my orders.” Dumbledore explained.
“Oh” Lily said stupidly.
“Not to worry, not to worry.” Dumbledore assured her. “He is returning tomorrow as a matter of fact”
Lily couldn’t stop herself from smiling at the man. “Thank you sir. Sorry to bother you.”
“Goodnight Miss Evans.”
“Night Sir” she replied closing the door behind her.
Lily had been so assured that he would be in the common room the following night she couldn’t explain the feeling she had when she saw the solemn faces of his friends. Remus looked up and met her eyes and she realized. He wasn’t back.
She ignored him calling her name and she backed out the room.
Ignoring the looks she got from the students who were out at this time she ran back to Dumbledore’s office.
She knocked a little harder this time. The door opened slightly. Dumbledore’s head appeared his face relaxed when he saw her.
“You said he’d be back!” Lily wiped her eyes with her sleeve she hadn’t noticed she was crying until now.
“Lily?” an exhausted voice from in the office asked.
Dumbledore smiled before opening the door and allowing her to enter. Her hands found her mouth when she saw James slumped in a chair.
“James what happened?” Lily asked.
To say he looked tired was a compliment. James was almost unrecognizable if Lily hadn’t seen him how he was last week she would be terrified. There was no humor in his eyes and he had cuts across his face and arms. She wondered if he was injured underneath the clothes that covered up most of it.
James looked at Dumbledore. The older man knelt by the younger and picked up his wand which he had left before answering the door. He began healing the scratches and bruises. James watched at Dumbledore’s face carefully. “Albus…”
“No James don’t look at him I want to know, now” Lily felt rude but didn’t care too much right now.
Dumbledore chuckled as did James; Lily put her hands on her hips. “Miss Evans, James has been through a lot this week and before he tells you the stories he’s already told to me tonight, I must ask you do not repeat them to anyone else.”
“Of course not.” Lily snapped too wound up to be polite.
James laughed “Lily! Play nice.” Lily glared at him before taking a deep breath to calm herself.
Dumbledore smiled. “Well, no time like the present. James is part of an organization I have formed and I am going to ask you to join as well now.”
“Me?” Lily asked in shock.
“Yes. You are a talented witch Miss Evans” Albus smiled.
“In your organization…do you always come back looking like that?” Lily asked pointing towards James.
“Thanks Lils” James winked. Lily rolled her eyes.
“This rarely happens” Dumbledore chuckled.
“And next time he goes away you promise I can go with him?” Lily asked. James opened his mouth to argue. “Shut up.” she told him.
“As often as I can I will pair you with him. You have my word” Dumbledore grinned.
“Albus?! You’re not seri..” James protested.
“What James?” Lily asked dangerously.
“Look Lily I have no problem with you joining up but well look at me!” James winced as Albus prodded the wand into a cut for effect. “She gets it” he told the Professor who laughed quietly.
Lily was fairly surprised at how James and Dumbledore acted together; they clearly were more like friends than a student/professor relationship. James had once said that he knew Dumbledore through his parents so that could be why.
“I’m joining, and I‘m coming with you.” Lily told Dumbledore and James in turn.
James was almost returned to his normal self ten minutes later. He shook Dumbledore’s hand. “Thank you” the old man said.
“Anytime.” James grinned back. Lily smiled to Dumbledore before leaving the office. She was a few steps ahead of James due to the fact he was limping.
They turned a corner and James grabbed Lily’s elbow pushing her through a canvas. “James?! Wait what?”
“Secret passageway” he grinned. It was a long but not very wide passage which was half concealed in the dark.
“Oh” Lily said suddenly realizing how close they were.
“I thought you promised not to cry over me?” he said quietly looking deep into her emerald eyes.
“Actually I didn’t make that promise” Lily smiled he leaned in slightly but she hit him.
“Ow” he laughed.
“Why did you have to say all those things before you left did you not think it would freak me out?!”
“I didn’t think you’d care” James shrugged.
This time it was a slap. “Okay so that one hurt” James groaned.
“I do care” Lily said.
“You didn’t last year!” James pointed out.
“I didn’t know you like I do now last year” Lily sighed.
James rolled his eyes, “Fair point, though in my defense you were a little stuck up last year”
For the third time she raised her hand to hit him he grasped her wrists in his hands. She looked at him in shock. Her breath caught in her throat. He was looking at her with a curious expression one she had never seen as powerful. Love.
She could feel her breathing quicken as her heart rate accelerated. Her eyes fluttered closed as he leaned forward so there was barely an inch between their lips. He hovered there. “You scared?” he asked with a grin she ignored him but let her hands run through his hair. She didn’t reply so he let his lips find hers. His lips touched hers briefly in a chaste kiss.
She couldn’t stop the whimper that left her lips as he pulled away. He gave a low chuckle before leaning in again. He began to pull away when Lily sucked his bottom lip. It was his turn to moan now and she smiled releasing him. His lips found hers again and the kiss became more passionate as he backed her completely into the wall.
She gasped as her back hit the solid wall and James chose this moment to slip his tongue inside her mouth. Lily’s hand found his shirt and she gripped the material. James’s hand pulled at her top and it became un-tucked from the skirt she was wearing. His hand slid underneath.
Ten minutes later they began the walk towards the other end of the passage. James stole a kiss every now and again.
He offered her his hand and she took it with a smile. They reached the common room slowly neither in that much of a hurry. Lily said the password and the pair entered the common room. Lily hesitated but James pulled her with him towards the other marauders.
Remus was the first to stop staring and he raised his knuckle to James who punched it happily. “Alright?” he smiled.
Before James could answer Sirius jumped on him. “I missed ya mate” Sirius grinned sitting back down.
James nodded to Peter who was still torn between shock and joy.
James sat with his friends pulling Lily to sit on his knee. She put her arm around his neck kissing his cheek. “I’m going to go to bed. You catch up with these lot” she was about to stand up when James grabbed her hand.
“Not yet I just got back” Lily rolled her eyes before laying her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes.
Remus and Sirius raised their eyebrows at the pair while Peter’s jaw had dropped.
James laughed as Sirius groaned. “Arghh! They’re going to be one of those yucky couples”
“Real mature Padfoot.” Remus laughed.
They didn’t talk about why James was gone but kept the conversation light while Lily slept on James shoulder. Eventually James yawned which set the other off.
“Right bed it is” Remus said and they all stood up.
James shook Lily slightly. ”Lils? We’re going to bed.”
“Okay James” she murmured sleepily “Sirius always told me we would.”
James looked at Sirius in alarm. Sirius laughed loudly.
“What do I do?” James mouthed at Remus who was failing to contain his amusement.
“Bring her with us?”
“Right” James nodded he winced as he lifted Lily still sore from his injuries.
Sirius grinned taking Lily from him. James smiled appreciatively and limped up after them. Sirius placed Lily on James’s bed and James climbed in with her.
“Night guys” he said closing his curtains.
He lay down next to Lily her eyes opened slightly. She pressed her lips to his briefly. “’Night James.”