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Judging Books by girly1393
Chapter 1 : Open Doors
 
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Judging Books

A James and Lily One-Shot
Inspired by Waking Ashland's Open Doors
 

What have I done?

The look on his face was devastated. I hadn't even said a word and he assumed that I--he assumed something horrible.

What could I do?

Sirius shook his head slowly, telling me to let it go. James would get over it. Things would be fine, they could go back to normal now.

But I don't want to go back to normal. I want fire and wind and passion; I want the heat of our arguments to transform into something new, something radiant. I want to right my wrong and heal his pain. It's all I've ever wanted.

I want James.

I want the James Potter of three months ago, who told me he would stop chasing me but never really did. Who told me life would be wonderful if I just let myself give in, he would protect me and show me what the world was like without the darkness. Who said I was the light of his world and nothing could change that, not all the pain I could give him. I want the James Potter who stared at me through teary eyes when I tried to wound him, tried to break his resolve, tried to prove I could never fall in love with him. Who laughed it off the next moment and said, "Lily, you can hurt me, but you can't break me."

Who believed me at breakfast when I said, "I'll never give in," when I lied to him one final time. Just to see if I could stomach it.

Who took me seriously today and who I've, finally, surprisingly, broken.

I want James Potter to stop walking away so I can grab hold and never let go.


You've been chasing me forever
Closing in as the days grow longer
And this could be my fault
Slowly grab a hold
To try and find what really matters


He assumes I mean it. He believes I will never fall for him. He thinks I want him out of my life.

What can I do now to prove to him the opposite is true?

"Lily," Sirius says slowly, reaching for my arm as I turn to leave. His fingers close gently around my bicep and I stare at them curiously. "Don't."

"Don't what?" I ask flatly. There is nothing he can say to me that will convince me to leave James Potter to his false perceptions. There isn't an army strong enough to hold me back from correcting my mistake.

"Don't make this any worse, Lily," Sirius begs. "Please."

"I'm not going to make it worse," I assure him.

"How can't you? Unless you bear the news to him of your undying love for him, I think you're only going to push him farther down past rock bottom," Sirius replies skeptically.

I blush and turn away.

"Oh, my God."

It isn't delivered in surprise or in disbelief. It's said as though I am bringing an end to this war, as though I bear the best news for centuries. Sirius is relieved.

"Good God!" he yells next and throws his arms around me. He laughs and picks me up. He twirls me around the room in delight. I'm surprised at just how joyful this realization has made him.

"Lily Evans has finally bowed to love," Sirius teases. I smile coquettishly at him. "Well, you'd better get going. He might decide to jump off the Astronomy Tower."

I gasp.

"I'm joking, Lils. Go. Chase after your darling James Potter. Else he might start chasing someone else."

This information propels me through the sea of students coming back from dinner. I shove a couple of the more ignorant ones out of my way; can't they see I've somewhere terribly important to go?

"Sirius!" I yell, suddenly afraid. He steps outside the portrait so the Fat Lady can close the portrait hole and stop glaring at everyone.

"Sirius," I whisper, "I'm afraid."

"You'll do wonderful."

"No," I insist. "I'm afraid because I don't know where he went and if he went to the Astronomy Tower, I'll never make it and if I go there first, he might think I delayed too long and not believe me."

"Wow. Breathe, kid," he says, seeming blown away.

I take a few deep breaths.

"Where do you think he went?" Sirius asks calmly.

"I don't know! I don't know him well enough to know! I haven't been stalking him," I tell Sirius hurriedly. Come on, move this along. I need to go.

"Obviously not."

His voice is flat, as though he's pushing at me, "How can you love him without knowing the first thing about him?"

"I've got a lot to learn about him, Sirius," I admit. "But I know enough and I know you always know where he is."

"He went to the tree we always sit under by the lake. That's where he always goes when you give him a nasty turndown," Sirius says, rolling his eyes a little.

I call a thank you over my shoulder as I charge down the corridor. The sun is dipping behind a mountain of clouds and the sunlight is dancing along the stone, shedding gentle rays across my face. I can do this. I can do this.
 


I've been judging books by their covers
You brought the color back into my eyes
I'm ready to change, progress's made now
But what will they say when they find I'm in love with you?


For years, I never wanted to believe a good person might dwell within James Potter. I wanted him to be conceited and self-absorbed, pig-headed and a bully. I wanted him to be someone I could hate. I never wanted him to change; if he didn't change, my view never had to change.

When Remus told me what James had done for Snape, I had agreed with Snape; James had only saved him to keep himself out of trouble. Or that's what I wanted to believe. It was the only answer which fit into my perfect bubble world, where James had a huge head and I could safely ignore him without remorse. All I desired was for James Potter to never change. So I forced him to stay the same; I judged him for what he wasn't.

But suddenly, there he was, right beside me. Walking through the corridors in the middle of the night with me, making me laugh, letting me make a pet of him academically. His dazzling smile at the bottom of the staircase every morning, weakening my knees. His charming laugh when I scolded him for brushing off an assignment. His shining eyes every time I smiled back at him. The way he would reach up to mess up his hair, pause, and lower his hand slowly, remembering how I loathed it. Only, I didn't loathe it anymore. I wanted to mess it up myself, running my fingers through it endlessly. His gorgeous face staring longingly at mine.

How obvious his love was; how hidden mine had been.

Well, not any longer.

As I charge through the doors, the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stands up, courtesy of the frigid temperature. I realize I have no coat and my shoes aren't heavy boots. My mittens and hat are tucked safely in the arm of my coat and I'm going to have to brave the winter snow without them if I want James.

I wonder briefly what everyone would think. Lily Evans has truly bowed before love, Sirius is correct. What will they do, knowing how much I love him?

I stand in the snow, paces away from the ever-beautiful James Potter. I shiver and wish I even had a scarf. I force myself forward one step at a time until I'm casting a shadow over him. He looks up at me and I melt a little inside.

"Not you," he groans, putting his head in his hands. "Anyone but you."

I can't blame him, I suppose. I did lie to his face at breakfast. I have been denying any feelings for him all term.

I don't move from my place. I shudder and try to find my courage from somewhere deep in me.

"How did you get Sirius to let you come?" he mutters, his voice dusty gravel against the perfect white snow.

I kneel down beside him and wait until he pulls his eyes to mine. But he quickly looks down, spoiling my chance.

"You're not wearing a coat," he mumbles after a moment and reaches out with two fingers to touch my arm. "You're freezing." He places his whole hand on my arm and I revel in his touch.

"Why did you come?" he chokes out, pulling his hand away sharply. "Do you have worse things to say to me? How much farther can you push me down? Is this just a game to you? Am I nothing, a worthless being you can torment?"

He's shouting by the end and tears are running down his face. I reach out to place my hand on his cheek, but he jerks away.

"I'm done playing with you, Lily Evans," he growls. "You're a monster."

I try not to let what he's saying affect me, but how can I stay grainte when he truly believes I am not in love with him?

I lean forward slowly, watching his eyes all the time. I feel my eyes flutter gently closed and I press my mouth to kiss carefully, as though he'll jerk back from me again.

James freezes, his body as still as a statue. I worry he'll shove me back any second and before he can humiliate me quite that much, I slowly pull back.

I don't have to worry.

Before my lips have even left his, he wraps an arm around my shoulders, another around my waist. He's smiling and laughing and his tears are still running down his face, mixing with my fearful ones. He plants quick, gentle kisses around my face.

His mouth lingers on my forehead and his fingers brush my jaw. I hold the palm of my hand to his cheek.

His kisses me deeply, on my mouth this time. I can't seem to stop smiling. This is what I want.

"I called you a monster," he whispers, his forehead against mine. "I didn't know why you were coming; I called you a monster."

"I am sort of," I admit, opening my eyes. He opens his in surprise.

"Why?"

"Because I lied to you." I pause. "I've been lying to you," I amend.

James looks at me skeptically.

I shiver and he wraps his arms tightly around me, pressing the heat of his body into mine.
 


You've been watching me
Like the moon watches the sky
Pushing me to find
You open doors, you open doors
It's hard to make believe
When the sun slips out of view
And I don't care what they say
I'm in love with you, so in love with you


"I've been in love with you since the moment you said you wouldn't chase me anymore," I whisper. "I've been in love with you since you continued to pursue me, even after your promise. I've been in love with you since the first time you made me laugh. I've been in love with you since I first watched you watching me, making sure I wouldn't fall or get cursed or even break a nail. I've been in love with you since I realized you care more about the chance of my heart being broken than you could ever care about your own pain. I've been in love with you since the first time you calmly told me I would have to accept you as Head Boy. I've been in love with you since the first morning you waited for me at the bottom of the stairs with your eager grin."

He buries his face in my hair, but I can't stop now. If I stop, I'll never finish. And if I never finish, how will I ever know if this is true?

"I've been in love with you for twice as long as I would ever have dared to admit before. I've never wanted anything quite as much as I want you. I don't care what I said earlier, I don't care what I've said for years. I love you, James Potter, and I always will."

"But what will they say about this, Miss Perfect?" James teases. I know which 'they' he means, but I shake my head.

"It doesn't matter, James. It doesn't matter at all," I reply breezily.

"We should get you in," he says concernedly, rubbing my arms to create a bit of heat.

"Not if we stay here forever," I disagree.

He laughs, throwing his head back. His lips are rosy red and his eyes are alive, dancing and swimming. I want nothing more than to stare at them for eternity.

"I love you, too, Lily," he says quietly, his warm breath tickling my ear.

I smile. "I know," I assure him. I laugh. "I've always known, I think."

"How?" James suddenly looks stricken, like I told him Quidditch has been declared illegal and anyone playing it will receive a Dementor's Kiss.

"You're fairly obvious about it and, let's face it, rather easy to read," I shrug.

"Oh," he says mischievously. "So you know what I'm thinking now?"

I stare at his eyes and smile knowingly. "Yes, I do."

"Really? What?"

I kiss him again, throwing my arms around him. His hand gets lost in my hair and I finally get to mess up his always messy hair.

"Okay, so you can read my mind," he contends.

"Call it…woman's intuition," I tease and shudder a little. My teeth chatter against my will and I know what's going to happen now.

James lifts me off my feet, which I'm extremely grateful for. I don't think I could stand on my own yet.

As I get my land legs back, he melts me again with another incredible kiss. My knees actually start to give out and I have to rely on him to hold me up.

"Wow," he says, laughing. "Your legs really turned to jelly."

"You hexed me?" I cry, outraged.

"No, no, no," he backtracks, laughing harder. "I've just been told it can happen. I've never witnessed it myself, but here you are. Living proof!"


There's choices to make with so much at stake, and how will I know?
Push reason aside, I will find you



As we approach the front doors, James stops, puling back gently on my arms. I shudder and shiver and chatter and stutter out a question.

"I forgot one very important thing," he says, "in all the commotion."

Commotion. What a word to use for love.

"Wh-wh-wh-what did yuh-yuh-you forg-gh-get?"

"Will you go out with me, Lily Evans?"

I stare in disbelief at him. "Ja-ja-James! I'm geh-gett-ting hyp-po-pothermi-mi-mia and yuh-you want t-to know if-f I'll guh-guh-go ow-ow-out wi-wi-with yo-you!"

"Please," he insists. "It's very important."

"F-f-fine. I'll guh-guh-go out wi-with you."

"Really? You mean it?" he asks, staring into my eyes as though I'm a lying toddler.

"Yuh-yes," I stutter.

James picks me up and carries me in and toward the hospital wing. "I probably should've brought you in sooner," he says, biting his lip.

I nod. He invents a wild story about him throwing my homework into the snow and the wind blowing it everywhere and me chasing it all around and finally him feeling guilty to Madam Pomfrey. She hands me a chocolate bar as he talks and insists I eat every bite. She watches me as I eat half of it.

"If you feel uncomfortably cold or numb at any point in the next 48 hours, come and see me. I'll give you some more chocolate." She stops and says, "Unless you have some. Then just eat it."

I say, "Yes, Madam Pomfrey."

"Good girl, run along now."

James leads me back to Gryffindor Tower, watching me and insisting I eat my chocolate. I roll my eyes every time he says, "Take another bite! C'mon, you heard her! You've got to eat all of it!"

I understand for the first time he's going to force-feed me chocolate until I burst.

"You do understand that it was me who went outside without a coat, yes?" I ask, my mouth finally done chattering.

"I-uh…"

"So you really shouldn't be feeling so guilty," I continue. "And, anyway, why'd you make up that crazy story she didn't believe?"

"Who said she didn't believe it?"

I point to myself.

"Because I thought it would be awkward to tell our nurse that we were snogging in the snow." He looks down the hallway and opens his mouth. His closes it and his eyebrows furrow. "Uh-oh."

"Uh-oh what?" I ask, worried thoroughly now.

"Sirius."

That one word makes me turn in slow motion to look down the hallway. Sirius is running down the hallway toward his, his arms open wide. I stare at him in absolute fear. "Oh, my God, what is he doing?"

"Still don't care what anyone thinks?" James questions, tossing a glance at me.

"Still don't care," I say in a small voice. "But I do care what they do."

James laughs, an enormous laugh that bounces around the castle. I realize the only light in my days has dipped behind the sky and the night as begun. But to me, it doesn't seem that way. With James laughing and Sirius running toward us with a grin befit a five year old, life seems well filled with light.


And you've been watching me
Like the moon watches the sky
Pushing me to find
You open doors, you open doors
It's hard to make believe
I love you
And I don't care what they say
I'm in love with you, so in love with you

 




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