"You know, I think it's something about the ways she smiles." A tall dark haired boy mused as he lounged on a rock. One arm carelessly thrown behind his head, his hazel eyes staring aimlessly behind round glasses into the deep, blue sky.
"Oh give it a rest, James," Scowled another tall dark haired boy. He was different from his counterpart, his hair was elegantly long, and his eyes were steel grey rather than hazel. "Evans won't go out with you, period." The boy gesticulated wildly, waving strong arms around, his fingers flared out in a pleading gesture.
"Sirius, I will go out with Evans, and I will marry her." The boy called James Potter said calmly, one hand creeping underneath his school shirt to scratch at his flat abdomen. "Now get along with your transformation, you're driving me crazy."
James sighed and tilted his head back, the hand that had been scratching his belly reach up and ran through his already incredibly messy hair. He mused upon a certain red haired beauty with flashing green eyes. He was certain he loved her, her smile made him want to dance with joy, and her kittenish fury made him both wary and amused. James tuned out his best mates ranting, preferring to day dream about the day he and Lily Evans would be wed.
James didn't see his other friend, Remus Lupin watching him covertly. Remus knew that James loved Lily, and wasn't certain if his friend had figured it out yet. This mornings screaming match had certainly proved to Remus that James definitely loved her. His hazel eyes had reflected pain and self loathing for making her angry, and fear that she would never love him.
"Sirius, leave James alone, the poor bloke was rejected again this morning. Have a heart, mate" Remus advised, knowing that Sirius was mostly jealous of Evans, and the affect she had on Sirius' best friend and brother of his heart.
"Yeah, yeah, okay, so what do I do again?" Sirius Black asked, yawning with boredom, they were once again practicing for their Animagus transformation. They had spent months, years even trying to become Animagus. They were almost done.
"Stand in the middle of the field, say the incantation, and hope like hell it works," Remus said tiredly, rubbing his eyes. He'd been over this ten times already, but Sirius was particularly thick when his mind was elsewhere. Remus watched as Sirius intoned the spell. There was a flash of white light and Sirius disappeared. Remus sat up, suddenly hopeful that they had actually managed it this time. The pile of clothes that had been Sirius wriggled slightly. A large, lanky dog bounced out of the clothes. It was clearly very young, and not finished growing, it's eyes sparkled with barely contained glee and were icy grey. The dogs paws were over large and it tripped over them. Remus' face split into a broad grin, "Excellent job, Sirius!" Remus applauded looking over at James, who hadn't even moved a muscle. James was clearly a million miles away, probably planning his marriage to Evans.
Sirius blinked around, his mind was desperately trying to process all the new information. The sights weren't much better than a humans, but the smells were something else. Sirius flared his nostrils wide, he could smell cinnamon, chocolate, some kind of spice and old cheese. Sirius heard someone clapping, he turned his head and saw a sandy brown haired boy laughing, his normally tired eyes filled with joy and relief. Remus. Sirius could smell the joy, the happiness emanating from his friend. He looked at his other friend, James wasn't looking at him, he was lying on the rock his shirt slightly pulled up, and his arms behind his head. He was elsewhere. Sirius grinned, he flicked a look at Remus and winked. Silently, sneakily, Sirius snuck up on James. With a great bound he launched himself up and onto the rock and onto his friends stomach. With yips of excitement, Sirius licked James' face from jaw to hairline.
James sputtered in horror, "What the hell? Where did the dog come from?" Sirius reflected that face licks were a fantastic way of getting a friends attention. Remus was beside himself with laughter. Unable to speak, he just pointed at the pile of clothing where Sirius had been. "Wait, the dog is Sirius?" James asked.
Remus managed to say "Yes," Before loosing it again.
"Man," James said in awe, he looked at the large black dog that was racing insanely around the field. "Well done, Sirius."
Sirius changed back, with loud whoops and yells he ran up to James and tackled him. "I did it! I fucking did it!" He howled with triumph again as he bounced up and ran over to Remus this time and with a excited yell he grabbed Remus in a giant hug. "You won't be alone anymore!" Sirius yelled happily pounding Remus on his back.
Remus winced as Sirius started to bruise him, "Yeah, thanks Sirius, but, do you think, you could stop beating me up for a sec?" Remus moaned as he tried to wriggle out of Sirius' grasp.
"Oh shit, sorry Remus!" Sirius apologized. He let go of Remus and stepped back, looking slightly ashamed of his actions.
"Hey, look, here's Pete!" James said happily, "Wait till he hears about this!"
"Wait till he sees!" Sirius crowed still completely excited by his success. "You should have a go next James," Sirius said more calmly now as he watched the fourth member of their group arrive. "How was detention, Pete?"
Peter Pettigrew looked around at the other taller boy nervously, his watery blue eyes showed a serious lack of confidence within himself. "Oh, it was alright I guess," He said trying to be nonchalant. His blonde hair was plastered with sweat from walking so quickly down to where his friends sat practicing the Animagus charm. "How's practice going?" Peter asked not really expecting any results.
"I've done it!" Sirius yelled, unable to hold in his success any longer. He bounded over to his least favorite friend. "I've succeeded!" Sirius pulled out his wand and quickly said the spell again. This time there was no bright light, but rather Sirius shrunk and changed quickly. The large black dog raced around Peter, his tail wagging furiously. Changing back Sirius struck a heroic pose, "Ta-Da!"
"Wow," Peter said his eyes wide with amazement, "Have you done it too, James?"
James grinned, "No, but I'm about to try now!" James moved slightly away from his friends. James frowned slightly, his normally sparkling hazel eyes turned serious as he thought through what he had to do. James firmly said the spell, a flash of white light exploded from his wand. Where James had stood, was a magnificent stag. His auburn coat faded into cream on his belly. On his face were two round markings that circled his eyes, where his glasses usually sat.
"Well done, James," Remus breathed, his eyes wide as he took in the stags majesty. He was slightly amused though as the stag warily tilted it's head side ways several times, clearly adjusting to the weight of its antlers. "You look slightly awkward doing that." Remus said in amusement. "Wait, where do you think you're going?" Remus was alarmed as his friend walked towards the Forbidden Forest. The stag turned his head slightly and snorted, someone was coming.
Moving quickly, Sirius collected up his and James' robes. "Ah, hello, Evans," Sirius greeted the dark red headed beauty that was the object of James' love. He felt Annoyed by her intrusion. James had had to leave because of her. And she continually broke his heart, without a thought for him. Sirius scowled at her.
"Black, Lupin, Pettigrew, what are you lot up too?" Snapped Lily Evans, her bright green eyes glaring at them accusingly.
"We're studying," Peter said quickly.
"Oh, really, then what's with the light show?" Lily spat clearly not believing a word Peter said.
"Practical work, dear Evans," Sirius lied glibly, his grey eyes laughing at her.
"I see," Lily said, less certainly this time. "Where's Potter then?" She asked curiously.
"Detention," Remus supplied. "Why do you want to know?"
"Planning to take back your rejection, Evans?" Asked Sirius leering down at her.
"I don't. And no, why would I want to go out with Potter?" Snapped Lily coldly.
"Probably because the boy is head over heels with you, Lily," Said Remus tiredly.
"No he isn't. I'm just some kind of temporary-" Lily stopped her mouth hanging open in awe. Sirius and Remus spun around and groaned. James was standing uncertainly on the edge of the forest in his Animagus form. "Oh my, what a gorgeous animal." Lily breathed, she didn't see Sirius suddenly bend over double with paroxysms of laughter, nor did she see Peter splutter with mirth. Lily was entirely too focused on the majestic animal before her.
James was bewitched by Lily, her mouth was slightly open in awe, her green eyes shining with some unnameable emotion. He slowly approached, drawn to her. He trembled as he stopped not three meters in front of her. He stood there, uncertainty filling him. Swamping him. His heart was in his throat, she was just so beautiful. God he wanted her, he wanted to be able to make her see what she meant to him. Why wouldn't she give him a chance?
Lily couldn't believe what she was seeing, a fully matured stag was standing unbelievably close to her. It's warm eyes reminded her of someone, someone familiar and close to her. The muscular body was incredibly beautiful and had moved with infinite grace. She watched with amazement as it drew closer to her. It halted, not three meter from her.
Lily was completely drawn to the animal, she unknowingly took a half step towards it. The stag mimicked her, step by step they were drawn together. Half steps became full steps as girl and stag approached each other in a glorious, uncertain dance.
James was so close to her now, he could smell her slightly spicy scent that overlay her usual floral scent. She'd been making potions recently and there was a smudge of ink on her jaw. He loved that she studied almost constantly. He loved that she took everything so seriously. He love her. She was so amazingly beautiful. James took another achingly small step towards her. The stags instincts within him fought to flee, humans were dangerous to him. But it was Lily, his Lily. The woman of his dreams. He watched silently as she took another step towards him.
Lily raised her hand slowly, so slowly, desperate not to scare or startle the animal. She could see the wildness lurking in its beautiful hazel eyes. She noticed but barely registered the smoky outlines that encircled the stags eyes. The woodsy, wild scent of the stag filled her nostrils. Again she was reminded of someone, but she no longer cared who, she was too wrapped up in the moment. Palm out, Lily froze as the stag gently lowered its head. Mere inches from her palm it's eyes widened. And then closed. Trustingly it's warm wet nose brushed her hand. Lily nearly wept from the sheer beauty of the moment. She ached to throw her arms around the majestic creature. It's wild, untamed beauty stunned and amazed her.
James could feel his heart ache, he wished she'd throw her arms around him. Press her soft body against his. His eyes closed and he pressed his nose against her proffered palm. He felt his heart expand. He was here. He loved her. He never wanted to leave her again. He would always be here for her. Time slowed, it felt like an eternity, and eternity that was far too short. He bent his head slightly, and bowed his head and allowed her hand to travel up to his forehead. He heard her gasp in surprise.
Lily gasped, the stag was rubbing his forehead against her. Smiling gently, Lily softly ran her hand down his soft nose, her fingers exploring the soft facial fur of the stag. She took another step closer, pressing her body against the firm shoulder of the stag. Lily stroked along the neck, and down to the shoulders. She marveled at the softness, the wildness that she was touching. Lily saw the tears that the stag wept, and wondered at them. She wiped them away, kissing his nose softly.
James wept silent tears, unable to believe the beauty of the moment. She was here, and for once she was okay the he was here too. He felt his heart flutter as Lily wiped them away, making gently hushing noises. He was stunned when she kissed his nose. James stared into her eyes, he could see her heart in them, saw her awe and other emotions that boiled below the surface.
Remus watched as the stag and girl draw together, he watched as James brushed his nose against Lily's palm. He watched silently as she leaned against James' shoulder. He watched stunned as James wept, and as Lily wiped away those tears. Remus felt his heart ache for James as Lily kiss James' nose. Remus suddenly understood why James was so attracted to this fiery, bossy girl. Remus turned his head at a choked sound from Sirius, as he watched his usually stoic friend weep at the beauty of the scene before him.
Sirius was amazed, Lily was walking towards the stag like it was the most natural thing in the world. He saw James' eyes and saw James was simply unable to not be drawn to Lily. It was like a compulsion. They were two halves of the same whole. Sirius understood now. He also knew James would not be able to walk away. Sirius watched and was moved by the simple beauty and extraordinary circumstances that drew these two people together. Sirius felt his world weary exterior crumble slightly as Lily and James met each other, as Lily extended her hand. As James trustingly extended his heart once more to her, and put his nose and heart into her palm of her hand. Sirius choked as Lily wiped James' tears away, her green eyes gentle and watched in awe as she kissed his nose. Sirius swore then and there that he would help James get Lily. He needed her, as much as she needed him.
Peter was stunned, the scene that unfolded before him was unlike anything he'd ever seen before. The stag and girl moved in a stately dance as though entranced. They met each other in the middle, pausing to stare at each other. Peter watched as James placed his nose in Lily's palm and knew then how much James loved Lily. Peter had known that James and Lily would marry eventually, no one could resist James long when James wanted something. He was just too determined. But now Peter saw it wasn't about possession, or pride. No, James, Peter saw, loved Lily. And Peter could also see that Lily could love James. If she was given a chance. He was moved to tears as the red headed girl wiped his friends tears away, and kissed his nose with infinite gentleness. James needed Lily, and Lily needed James. And Peter would do everything to help them get together.
The stag stood majestically framed by the trees of the forest, his head cradled by the girls arms. The girls hair was picked up by the wind, tugged and played with like a fiery banner. The girl rested her head in the crook of the stags shoulder. A feeling as private as the day she was born stole over her, a smile gently tugged at her lips. Lily was amazed by the gentleness and serenity the stag exuded. James was blissful and happy for the first time in months. His head was cradled by the most amazing woman in the world, and her fingers slowly and gently traced his nose. The grass and trees waved in the breeze.
James slowly noticed the time, he could have stayed as he was for eternity, but he couldn't. He agonized over the decision to be responsible or to stay as he was with Lily. His Lily. His heart, his love. Lily. A gust of wind decided it for him, Lily shivered as the cool wind traced its icy fingers through her hair and down her bare arms. James gently tugged his face from Lily's grasp. He backed away, and turned himself to the forest.
Lily felt the stag move, she watched unhappily, one hand extended towards him filled with a loss greater than anything she had felt before. The stag turned his head and glanced over his shoulder at her. Lily saw the promise, the reassurance that he would be back. Lily let her hand fall back to her side, her heart aching with loss for her stag.
James paused as he walked away, he had heard Lily's wordless cry and it had torn at him. He glanced back at her and nearly lost the will to walk away. She stood there, her hair tangling in the wind behind her, one hand cradled in the hollow of her throat, the other extended in a wordless plea for him to come back. Her eyes were filled with loss and pain, her mouth open once again but this time not in awe, but rather pain. James wept once more as he silently tuned his head, and walked away.
"No, please," Lily whispered to him, to the stag.
James flinched at her plea, he couldn't. He entered to cool of the forest and disappeared.
Sirius and Remus watched the goodbye and wondered at Lily's possible comprehension that the stag was James. They watched as her shoulders slumped in grief and loss when the stag disappeared from view. Her soulful green eyes met theirs and they felt her pain.
"Why did he go?" She asked sadly, turning back to stare at the forest.
"He's a wild animal, Lily. He can't be tamed. He shouldn't be tamed." Remus said finally, deciding to play it safe and act like the stag wasn't one of his best friends.
"You should go back to the castle," Sirius said, his eyes still shining with emotion at what he'd just seen. "We should too, James- James will be almost done with detention now."
"Yeah," Lily said, reluctant to leave the area where she had seen the stag. "Okay."
The four teens left the meadow, leaving behind the stunningly gorgeous moment that had just occurred. Leaving behind the teenage boy who was weeping for his love that he couldn't have. Leaving behind an unexpected consequence of Animagus transformations. James watched them go, knowing they didn't have a choice. And wished with a fervor unknown to him that he could go back to the moment where Lily had leant against him. Where Lily had kissed his nose. Where he had been able to pretend for a moment, that Lily had been his. James thanked his other self fervently. Thankful for his experience with Lily. And reaffirmed his belief that one day. Lily would be his.
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