Dedicated to Molly and Jack,
because they're SUPER MEGA AWESOME FOXY HOT
Chapter Eight: Of Epiphanies, Smiles and Master Plans
The next morning, it was like nothing had happened. In the common room after breakfast, we had claimed our rightful comfy chairs by the fire and Evans and her posse had planted themselves in the other corner, giggling and discussing Merlin-knows-what (and I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to know, either).
That’s right; Evans was pretending I was wallpaper, Sirius was blabbering as if the eejit had hadn’t given me a dodgy potion, Remus was eyeing off Thelma Zambini’s legs—her brother was a Slytherin, really!— as she crossed the room and Peter was hanging on to Sirius’ every word.
It was the usual and it was making me want to scream—a manly scream of rage and angst, of course, not a girly scream of simple frustration.
. Remember those girlish tendencies?
Anyway, ignoring the cardinal rule of teenage boys—never approach a girl when she is surrounded by friends— I decided to tackle the problem head on. Also ignoring the questioning looks of my friends, I picked myself up out of chair and stalked over to Evans, my lips forming a tight line and a stubborn glint in my eye.
“Evans, we need to talk.”
One of the girls giggled while Evans looked up at me, a look of complete disinterest on her pretty face. “I have nothing to say to you.”
”—I punctuated this by grabbing her wrist to haul her up—“you do.”
“POTTER,” she screeched, as I manhandled her out of the common room, “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING—?!”
By the time we had exited the common room, we’d attracted the attention of pretty much all its occupants. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find them listening on the other side of the portrait hole.
“Potter.” Her voice was deadly calm. “What do you want?”
“We have to talk about last ni—”
This clicked her off. I recognised her Rant expression—so familiar!—flicker across her face before she exploded, her voice ricocheting off the walls of the hallway.
“What do you want to hear, Potter?!” she spat, her eyes flashing—fury, or were those tears? “That I saw you? Because wouldn’t that be fantastic
for you, wouldn’t it? Have you ever thought for one second that the world did revolve around your massive ego?!”
Somehow this argument felt a little redundant. However I wasn’t going to tell her that for fear of what she might do, so I stayed silent.
She took a deep breath and this time her voice was softer. A trickle of shock ran its way down my spine—this, I didn’t expect. “I did see you, though, that’s the worst part of it all. I saw you
and my sister
and my parents
and you all looked so happy
and there was me, in the middle of it all, and I was smiling
and I was happy
She broke off, tears streaming down her face. She hiccupped softly and I was now stunned, unable to so much as think about what was going on. “But you
—YOU had to-to-to trivialise
it! ‘Oh great,’” she mimed, her hands making over-the-top gestures as she mimicked—what I supposed was—me, “’now Lily Evans definitely wants me in her pants, perfect!’ You know what, Potter, I might like you despite myself—but you’re a complete and utter bastard
SHE LIKED ME!
She spun to leave, so I did the only thing I could think of to keep her from leaving—I grabbed her wrist, yanked her back into my arms and kissed her. Her reaction to this, admittedly, was not favourable—she stiffened like a plank in my arms before regaining her motor functions and kneeing me in the jewels.
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, POTTER?”
Great plan, Potter. Kiss her so she would stay and shout at you
And then it hit me. I liked
it when she shouted at me. I liked
the way her cheeks flared up in anger, the way her voice took on that screechy tone that only dogs should be able to hear. I thought back to the cottage she had envisioned us living in while she pretended to obsess over me, the wedding, even the babies!
And suddenly it wasn’t so bad anymore.
Because she liked me.
I wasn’t even listening to her never-ending tirade of insults. I was having an epiphany. “Lily, please, just—”
“WHAT? WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE TO SAY AFTER THAT, POTTER?”
I blinked. “I love you, Lily. Holy Hippogriff, it’s the bloody truth. I love you Lily Evans and I will do anything to make you see that.”
It was her turn to blink at me. Stupidly, really. “W-What? Come on, Potter, surely you can—”
I interupped her, my voice in a crazy-calm sort of place. “I’m in love with you. Nothing will stop me from proving that to you—and no, this isn’t like before, you know, when I just wanted you because, well, you’re fit.” She glared at me but I moved on, taking her hands into mine. “This time, I’ll be better. I’ll give you your hearts desires, Lily. I’ll be nice to Snivillus, I’ll be nice to your sister—whoever she is—Merlin, I’ll even throw your parents into the lot!” I winked at her as she stared, utterly dumbfounded as to where the conversation had turned to. “Anything, Evans.”
It happened in a flash—one moment, Evans was staring at me, stunned, and the next I was on the floor, a searing, burning pain shooting up one side of my face and she was standing over me, a furious glint in her eye.
But the last thing I saw on her face was a small, self-conscious smile as she walked out of the room.
And, so, I smiled too.
Back in the common room, I finished my tale with a smile. Evans had disappeared into her room with a friend, obviously going to discuss my charming smile and devilish good looks.
“Told Evans I loved her.” I took a great bite out of the apple I was currently devouring, and scanned over the letter I was writing in front of me. Having decided Dumbledore wasn’t just going to give
me my Head Boy badge back, I had decided to take up the initiative and do something to prove myself. Hence, I was a proposing a Fair—complete with Squid Rides (supervised, naturally) and a Kissing Booth (Lola Turpin had already been asked, much to Remus’ disapproval).
All the proceeds would go to St. Mungo’s charity and if it all went down without a hitch, I would be reinstated. And Lily would fall on her knees at my feet in praise and wonder, but that was just speculation.
Oh yeah. I was that
Sirius blinked. “You what?
Remus hit him upside the head. “Merlin Padfoot, you sound like a broken record.”
“Oh for—oh yeah, Peter, because that was phrased so much better.”
I ginned at the parchment as I carefully scribbled down my proposition. “I think she liked it.”
This time, it was me whom Remus’ incredulous look was aimed at. “Really? What did she do?”
I took another bite of my apple. “Clocked me in the jaw.”
Sirius snorted. “Oh yeah, she took it great.
“But!” I paused for a moment while I choked on my bite of apple. “But,” I resumed, “she smiled.
Remus rolled his eyes. “Probably at the satisfaction of seeing you rolling about in pain.”
I shook my head. “Nah, there was something different about it. Something that said I-just-might-be-pleased-you-love-me.”
Peter shook his head. “More like I-just-might-do-that-again-soon.”
I chose to ignore him, finishing my letter and signing my name with a flourish. “She wants me.”
Suddenly Sirius looked uncomfortable. “James, mate…there’s something I have to tell you.”
“Go for it, Pads—nothing you say could rain on my parade today!”
He shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I slipped you some real Felix Felicis in your pumpkin juice this morning.”
My apple fell to the floor. “You what?
“I spiked your pumpkin juice while you were moping about Evans’ antics,” he said, smiling. “I knew the first one was a dud, so I nicked another one. I set up the whole thing; I showed the first years the squid, I put Lola up in the Three Broomsticks, I made sure Lily saw me give you the vial.”
I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t speak I was so shocked. Beside me, Remus snickered and Peter could barely hide his grin.
Sirius grinned at me. “I just executed the most brilliant plot known to man, Prongs. It was epic.
Merlin, he was brilliant.
“And chances are, she does
like you! Well, maybe. You are, you know, you. Maybe be less of…this.”
“You just gestured to all of me.”
“Yes! You’ve got it!”
A/N: Finally! Hope you have enjoyed the ride as much as I have, this truly has been one of my favourite stories to write and I’ll miss James and his antics! So what do you think? Satisfying ending? Were you surprised? Do you think Lily’s smile was for James or just the satisfaction of getting her violent on?
Let me know in a review and thanks so much for reading!
(Disclaimer: the “You just gestured to all of me” part comes from DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon. I couldn’t help myself.)