Lily woke before James and watched him sleep for a little while. He looked so different without his glasses. His hair was wilder than usual, which was saying something. She ran her hand over his hair, softly, smiling as she listened to him breathing. He started smiling too, and she knew he was awake.
“Morning,” he mumbled, reaching a hand up to the back of her neck, pulling her towards him.
“Morning,” she whispered before kissing him. She wrapped her arms around him, desperate to be closer. The bed seemed to grow warmer as he pushed his body against hers, deepening the kiss. Lily reached down to feel his stomach once again.
“I guess you’ve found your favourite spot,” he mumbled against her lips. She giggled.
“I can’t believe how hard your stomach is,” she said, stroking his muscles.
“Mmm, I can’t believe how soft you are,” he mumbled, pulling her closer to him still.
Meanwhile, Sirius was looking for Lily, as the potion was nearing completion and he was starting to believe they could present Slughorn with a perfect potion, but only as long as Lily helped towards the end. He knocked on her bedroom door, but received no answer, so he poked his head in.
“Lily?” He asked, his eyes firmly closed. “I need you downstairs. Lily?”
He tentatively peeped one eye open.
Remus walked down the hall to him.
“I think I know where she is,” he said, smiling smugly. “Finally.”
“No way!” Sirius laughed. “Are you kidding me? Oh, thank god, now maybe he’ll shut up about her!”
“Yeah, he’ll have more to tell us now, come to think of it.”
“So, you need her for the potion?” Remus asked, gesturing downstairs. “Shall we go and wake up the lovebirds?”
“NO!” Sirius shouted. “Screw the perfect grade, James would murder me. I’d murder me. Leave them alone!”
With that, Sirius took off to finish the potion himself.
Later that day, James and Sirius bumped into each other in Lily’s room.
“Where’s Lily?” They asked each other at the same time. Sirius shrugged.
“I just wanted to let her know the potions finished. Oh, and Remus and Peter are leaving today,” he looked around the empty room and clapped his hands together in a bored manner. “Right then, I’ve got to go and see Mia.”
“Told her yet?” James asked, distracted by Lily’s absence.
“No,” Sirius grimaced. “I’m working up to it.”
“I wonder where Lily is?” James murmured.
“I don’t know,” Sirius answered. “I saw an owl earlier. Maybe she got a letter from her mum and went to visit her.”
“Lily’s family are muggles.”
“Oh, then I don’t know,” Sirius answered. “Why are you looking for her, anyway? Didn’t you get enough of her last night?”
“I have to tell her something.”
“I love Lily,” James declared dramatically, flourishing his hands like an overacting performer.
“So I’ve heard,” Sirius rolled his eyes. “Many, many times.”
“No,” James shook his head. “I really love her, Pads. Really, really.”
James expected Sirius to be disbelieving, but instead he just nodded.
“I understand,” he said, smiling.
“I, too, am inflicted with the deadly disease called love.”
“You love Mia?” James asked, excitedly clasping his hands together. “Oh, that’s so cute!”
“Cute?” Sirius asked angrily.
“Yeah!” James laughed, throwing an arm over his shoulders and leading him towards the door. “I guess I better go and say goodbye to Moons and Wormtail.”
As they left Lily’s room, James gave a backward glance into it.
“She’ll be around, mate, don’t panic,” Sirius said, laughing. “She’s probably just downstairs, I’ll help you look.”
“If she’s not home, I’m officially freaking out.”
“Rightio,” Sirius said, still laughing at James’ apparent overreaction.
Lily had received the owl earlier in the day. She glanced at the letter for one moment and knew who it was from. She’d recognise that handwriting anywhere. The letter didn’t have a name on it though, just a meeting place and a time.
She wasn’t sure if she could go, but a deep trust in the person drove her to apparate to the meeting spot. She hated him. But she still trusted him. Snape breathed a sigh of relief when he saw her and couldn’t help smiling for a second, before he was overcome with panic and remembered why he had organised the meeting. He walked over to her, looking around as if he were afraid of being seen.
“You have to join the Death Eaters,” he said desperately.
“Never,” she shook her head.
“You don’t have to believe it, you know half of us don’t, but it’s safer on this side, especially for you,” he said, panting. “Please, Lily, please, you just have to!”
“Why?” She asked defensively. “Why do I have to?”
“Because muggle borns will be the first to go,” he said darkly.
She shook her head.
“I don’t know what happened to the Sev I knew, but you’re not him.”
He reached forward and grabbed her hands.
“Lily, I love you, you know that. I’m trying to save your life here, please...”
“No,” she said, pulling her hands roughly out of his, feeling tears slip down her cheeks, regret for Snape and the situation he was in. “Good luck. I hope you survive, I really do.”
She started walking away.
“It’s Potter, isn’t it?” He called out angrily. “I knew he’d get you eventually.”
She turned around sharply.
“It’s morals, Sev. It’s about not wanting to be a murderer. ‘Muggle borns will be the first to go’? Are you kidding me?” She marched up to him and slapped him hard in the face, overcome by a sudden rage. “Do you hear what you’re saying!?”
He just looked at her sadly.
“Blood traitors, too, Lily. He’s not safe, either.”
They stared at each other for a very long moment. Years of friendship, love, anger and pain twisting in an almost palpable invisible shadow around them.
“I’ll do all I can,” he said, sniffing and straightening up, business like. “I’ll try to protect you, but I can’t promise anything.”
With that, he disapparated.
Lily just shook her head. She despaired for him. But she had more important men in her life to think about now. Much, much, more important.
She looked down at the letter still in her hands, and screwed it into a ball. She threw it into a nearby public rubbish bin.
“Goodbye, Snape,” she said flatly, before disaperating. The little meeting with Severus had made her realise just how special James was. All of a sudden, she felt extremely lucky to have him.
“James?” She called out as soon as she apparated into the front garden.
“Where have you been?” James exclaimed, running towards her down the garden path. He scooped her up in his arms, and started looking over her for injuries. “What happened? I thought you’d been kidnapped or something.”
“I was only gone for five minutes.”
“Gone where?” He asked, now that he saw she was fine, he was cross with her. “You just take off without telling me? I was so worried, Lily!”
“I’m sorry, but, you wouldn’t have let me go, and I wanted to believe that he’d changed, but of course he hasn’t.”
“Snape. I went to meet up with him.”
“I can’t believe you’d be so stupid to go-”
“I thought he might have decided to join our side! He might have been in trouble!”
“Was he?” James asked, a slight hint of concern in his voice.
“Well yes but he’s still on their side.”
“What did he want? Did he kiss you?”
“No! Of course not,” Lily went to James and wrapped her arms around his waist. She kissed him on the cheek.
“Don’t be paranoid, Potter,” she mumbled. “I’m sorry I went without telling you, but I had to go and I knew you wouldn’t let me. Isn’t it better to seek forgiveness then to ask permission?”
“Not when you get yourself killed,” James mumbled, walking over to the stone bench beside the rose bush.
“It’s Snape, James,” Lily smiled at him. “We don’t have to worry about him killing anybody.”
“I know, I just get so worried with you out there,” he sat down, Lily sat beside him.
“Where the danger is. I worry that you won’t come back, that I’ll have missed my chance.”
“Didn’t you already get to take your chance?” Lily asked, confused. “We are together now.”
“There are still things I want to say. But I guess it’s too early to say them. But then, one day it could be too late. You know?”
“No,” Lily laughed, shaking her head. “Not really. Just tell me James, you can tell me anything.”
“I love you,” he said, slowly, deliberately, looking deep into her eyes.
“And I...am falling in love with you, I can feel it,” she said, playing with his hair. “Is that okay?”
He laughed and gave her a huge hug.
“It’s more than okay. It’s more than I ever hoped for. You are...the most perfect, most beautiful girl, no, woman in the whole world,” he said, kissing her over and over between words. “I love you; I will always love you, unconditionally. You’re so brave, and gorgeous, and such a good friend, so loyal...”
“Okay, now I love you,” she giggled.
“What? What did you say?”
“I said, I love you, James.”
“Say it again! Again, again!” He laughed.
“I love you, I love you, I love you,” she said softly, before she was kissing him too much to speak.
Meanwhile, Sirius had told Mia he loved her, not for the first time, and they had jumped into Mia’s bed, not for the first time. After, Sirius decided he absolutely had to tell her the truth – he wanted her to really know who he was.
“I love you, Sirius Black,” Mia whispered into Sirius’ sweaty neck, snuggling closer to him.
“I have to tell you something,” Sirius swallowed hard. “It’s not bad or anything, don’t worry, I just want you to love me for who I really am, not who you think I am.”
“Um, okay,” Mia said, biting her lip and looking confused.
“I have a secret,” he said. “And I really want you to know. I’m not supposed to tell you, but, I can trust you, right?”
She nodded enthusiastically.
“I have to...be myself. I have to tell you.”
She laughed and sighed, leaning back against the pillows.
“Just tell me already!”
“It’s sort of a big deal, Mia.”
“Should we get dressed first?”
“Might be a good idea.”
After they had dressed, Sirius took a deep breath, and told her. He was prepared for the look of concern that came over her face.
“Do you honestly believe that you’re a wizard?” She looked worried.
“It’s not a delusion, I am a wizard. I got to a magic school.”
“What’s that like, like, Clown College?”
“It’s not like we all think we’re doing magic and we run around pretending to be wizards, we actually are. Look, I have a wand,” Sirius went over to his jacket which was by the door where Mia had ripped it off him earlier and pulled his wand out of it. “I’ll do some magic, I’ll show you.”
“Why are you acting like this? Fine, you’re a wizard. Can we just get back to normal?”
“Magic is who I am, Mia, it’s not some bizarre quirk I have, look,” he held up his wand and her bed made itself. Mia screamed and backed away.
“What the hell was that?”
“It’s magic, I told you, and I’m a wizard. But I’ve only got one year of school left, then I’ll be moving to London, I thought you could come with me, I love you, and-”
He stopped. Mia was shaking her head furiously, backed into a corner, trembling.
“I don’t know if I believe you, but either way, get out of here.”
“What?” Sirius’ voice cracked. “I love you, let me, just let me explain.”
“No, don’t. Magic is real, huh? I always kind of believed in that stuff.”
“Yeah!” Sirius nodded. “I knew you’d understand, and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier, I was just waiting for the right moment.”
“It doesn’t matter,” she whispered. “Just get out, never call me again, never come to see me again.”
“No, Mia, wait a moment let’s talk about this,” Sirius approached her.
“Get away from me!” She screamed. “You – you freak! Just stay away!”
“Mia!” Sirius ran to her and grabbed her shoulders. “Why are you doing this?”
“Because you’re not who I thought you were, I loved Sirius Black, the hot guy with the motorbike and the funny laugh. I don’t know you anymore, and I don’t like this.”
“I’m still me!”
“No, you’re not! I don’t know you at all!”
“Well, you can get to know me!”
“How plain do I have to say it, Sirius? I don’t want you anymore, you’re weird, I – just hate this, oh my god, why, why is this – just go!!”
Sirius could see the tears streaming down her face and realised he was crying too. He walked to the door.
“Any chance that we will ever be okay again?” He asked seriously before he left.
“No,” she whispered. “I don’t like the ‘real’ you, it scares me, I’m...I’m sorry.”
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