Chapter 1 : James and Lily
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Lily had always loved the rain; there was something comforting about sitting curled up in an armchair with a good book while the rain fell outside.
In all of her life, she had never set much store by what others had said. Conforming to the social norms wasn’t something in Lily’s rule book of life. Lily liked her independence, and she liked her freedom.
Just because everyone else was signing their lives away for the Order of the Phoenix didn’t mean Lily couldn’t take her time to really think. Lily was nothing but if cautious and careful.
Lily didn’t have to join the Order of the Phoenix.
Something that she hadn’t realized, however, was that independence and freedom weren’t things that were going to get you through the night. They weren’t going to place a comforting arm around you when you were crying, nor were they going to run down to the kitchens and fetch a treacle tart just because you felt hungry.
What good would independence and freedom do, if Lily was all alone?
Lily had never been alone since the day she found out her true identity as a witch. From her first train ride, she already had a friend, though he couldn’t be considered as anything now. Then, she had her friends and dorm mates, Marlene McKinnon, Dorcas Meadowes, and Mary McDonald. She had the Marauders as well, Sirius, Remus, and Peter, whom she had gotten quite close, especially this past year.
Most of all, Lily had James.
As Lily sat in the Gryffindor common room alone, she couldn’t help but laugh silently to herself at how far she and James had come since their first train ride to Hogwarts.
Had someone told her eleven year old self that she would date and fall in love with the bespectacled, messy haired boy that she met on the train, her eleven year old self would have screamed bloody murder.
Now, it was quite difficult for Lily to imagine her life without James, as though she hadn’t spent a good five years disliking him and another year finally becoming friends.
His presence in her life was such a constant, such a necessity, that thinking back, it was difficult for Lily to fathom why she even needed time alone to think about such a decision.
James should be here with her, sitting beside her while she thought through Dumbledore’s request very carefully. Lily had half a mind to go wake James up when a suddenly, a forbidden and scary thought came into her head, the thought that had made Lily hesitate when sitting in front of Dumbledore earlier this week.
What if something happened to James?
Not that Lily could stop James from joining if he really wanted to, as she knew there were only two career choices for him, being an Auror or being a professional Quidditch player.
But the idea of losing James was so crippling a thought that Lily gripped her armchair tightly, forcing herself to take deep breathes.
For as long as she lived, she will never be able to forget the first time Lily truly realized that she would never be able to live without James.
“Honestly, James, don’t you want to come inside before you two freeze to death out there?” Lily asked, concerned, as she watched James and Sirius indulge themselves in a war involving magically charmed snowballs.
Lily thought dryly to herself as James just waved to her dismissively, this must be what a relationship is like. I am waiting for my boyfriend out in the December cold with extra blankets and jackets as he indulges himself in a snowball fight with his best friend.
Remus and Peter had done the right thing, Lily thought, by going back inside the warm castle before they get hypothermia. Hypothermia- and the fact that Peter had yet to complete his Transfiguration assignment- was definitely a good motivator for going back inside.
From a long distance, Sirius hollered, “Glad to see how much you care for my well being, Lily. Your concern for my health is just staggering.”
Sirius let out a bark of laughter at his own words, momentarily distracted as James flung a huge snowball at his best mate.
“Oi! Watch it!” Sirius cried, wiping the snow off of his face furiously.
“You have to be paying attention Padfoot!” James laughed as he danced around Sirius, ducking as Sirius decided to break the rules and kick snow towards him.
Lily smiled to herself, however, as she watched her boyfriend of three months laughed happily, his face showing not a care in the world. Without her noticing, Lily’s heart swelled, a rather overwhelming feeling enveloping her as she suddenly had an urge to march up to James and kiss him. Her heart was just full of endearment and affection for this messy haired seventeen year old boy.
Before Lily could dwell on her feelings any longer, however, her thoughts and James and Sirius’s snowball fight was interrupted by three menacing Slytherins, all three of whom James, Sirius, and Lily herself disliked with a passion.
“Good holidays, there, Potter?” Avery sneered as he strolled over, to the best of his ability in the snow, over to where James and Sirius had paused, glaring at Avery, Mulciber, and Snape with eyes full of dislike and aversion.
Lily’s body acted on her own accord as she left behind the extra blankets and jackets, moving over to her boyfriend and his best friend with her wand being pulled out.
“Ah, and here comes the girlfriend,” Mulciber laughed hollowly, fingering his wand in a way that can only suggest he was about to get a bit wand happy.
Though Lily didn’t say anything and just glared back at the three, Lily could see, out of the corner of her eyes, that James had become very tense, his knuckles almost turning white from how hard he was gripping his own wand.
If Sirius had noticed James’s tensing anger- which he must have-, he ignored it as he snarled, “What are you doing here? Your useless presence is not wanted.”
Snape, who had his eyes darting back and forth between James and Lily who were standing in quite close proximity, turned to glare at Sirius with pure hatred. “If you want to talk about uselessness, then perhaps you might want to start with looking at yourself, Black.”
Sirius let out an angry snarl as he forgot all about his wand and the usage of magic. He launched himself onto the greasy haired, long hooked nosed Severus Snape, but not before James held back his best friend, his eyes keenly sending a message to Snape that this was not a message that either of them backed down.
“Sirius, careful,” James said in a measured tone that to Lily could only mean he was moments away from losing his own temper. “We don’t want to start anything.”
“Oh but you already have,” Avery’s eyes glinted with excitement that only boded ill for others.
Mulciber smirked as he said, “See, Potter, fancying a Mudblood is one thing. We thought perhaps you still had some hope left in you. But seeing as you’re actually dating a Mudblood… well you see, that’s unforgivable.”
James completely forgot all about his earlier words as he released his hold on Sirius and a flash of blue light appeared from his wand.
Luckily, or unluckily for James, Sirius, and Lily, Mulciber had anticipated the jinx and deflected it with ease.
“Don’t use that unforgivable word!” James all but shouted, his body literally shaking with fury.
Despite the completely inappropriate time, Lily couldn’t help but inwardly smile with exasperation at her boyfriend. She did, instead, put her hand on James’s arm, silently warning him to be calm.
“James, it’s okay. My blood may not be pure but at least I’m not the scum of the earth,” Lily said, her jaw locking with intensity as she glared at each of the Slytherins, her angry gaze resting on an unreadable and cold Snape the longest.
Avery, however, wasn’t going to take that lying down. He hollered, pointing his wand at Lily, “You’ll pay for that, Mudblood!”
That was incentive enough as James and Sirius’s temper wouldn’t be held back any further, three full out duels occurred, right there on the grounds of Hogwarts, only days before Christmas.
Lily’s attention was fully occupied by Avery, who had taken it upon himself to avenge her words. Out of the corner of her eyes, Lily noticed that James and Sirius were dueling with Mulciber and Snape respectively, all four of them battling their hardest though James and Sirius had an one up due to the ungodly amount of time that they practiced dueling.
Though Avery was good, Lily also was putting up a very good fight, the arrogant smirk on Avery’s face wiped off as it turned into a furious grimace.
Just moments before Lily was sure she was about to win her own duel, there was a flash of light and a roar of anger.
Both Avery and Lily were distracted as they turned to look at the scene in front of them. Mulciber was frozen on the snow, but that wasn’t what had Lily gasping and shrieking in horror.
It was James, the huge gash on his stomach, and the gushing blood from the cut. Sirius was furious, his face whitened with concern as he struggled to heal his best friend’s wounds.
“JAMES!” Lily screeched as she rushed over to James’s side and tried in vain to help Sirius. James needed to be taken to the Hospital wing.
Lily didn’t need to look further than three feet to see the look of pure satisfaction on Snape’s face as he high fived an impressed looking Avery.
There were many words that Lily wanted to yell at that moment, and none of them nice thoughts. A thought of hexing Snape to death flashed in her mind before disappearing with her mental reprimand that she didn’t have time to deal with him at the moment.
“Hospital Wing,” She muttered to Sirius who quickly nodded, his body shaking as he helped Lily support James, who was slowly losing conscious.
James remained unconscious for another day. Even with Madam Pomfrey’s reassurance that he would be just fine, this didn’t stop Lily, and Sirius, Remus, and Peter, from staying wide eyed and awake besides James’s hospital bed, praying for him to wake up.
Lily hadn’t left at all, and neither had Sirius. It was only Peter, who dragged a reluctant looking Remus down to the Great Hall or the Kitchens to bring all of them food.
Even Madam Pomfrey couldn’t stop the four of them from staying besides James.
Never had Lily felt so afraid as she watched James’s unconscious figure. Lily had experienced horrific events, the most recent being the Death Eater attack on her parents.
But even the attack on her parents, Lily felt uncomfortable to say out of respect for her parents, didn’t match up to how afraid she was now.
It wasn’t like James to be this still and this quiet, ever. Even in his sleep, James liked to toss and turn, muttering incoherent things or snoring. The only other time that Lily had seen James this still was the first time she stayed up to wait for the boys after a full moon.
Even then, James, and Sirius, was snoring loud enough for people in New Zealand to hear.
It was so unlike James, to be this still and this quiet.
James was such an open and free person, a person without any sorts of falsity about him, a person without any sorts of deception.
It was one of the reasons why Lily had fallen for James in the first place. He never had any trouble concealing his feelings, and he never had any trouble standing up for what he believed in.
He knew what he wanted and he’d be damned if he didn’t work his hardest to get it. He knew what he believed in and he’d be damned if he let someone tell him otherwise.
It was why a relationship with any other bloke would never have worked out for Lily. She needed someone who can keep up to her intelligence, someone who can handle her- at times- ferocious temper, someone who had an appreciation for her freedom, someone who truly loved her.
Lily stopped herself at that moment, being in shock with herself for what she had just thought.
Romantic love wasn’t exactly something that Lily thought about, the overwhelming idea of it often being too much for her to imagine.
Yet unconsciously, that was what Lily knew she felt for James.
Love… pure, unconditional, never wavering love for James Potter.
It was with this realization that she loved James that she also came to another conclusion. It was a conclusion so staggering yet so natural that Lily felt tears rolling down her eyes.
Lily also wouldn’t be able to live without James. He was her other half, her soul mate, if you will. He was the one she loved and the one she will love until the very end.
The rain was now completely gone and there were hints of the early sunrise when Lily came up with her answer to Dumbledore’s request.
As though he had read her thoughts, James interrupted Lily’s reverie as he asked softly, “Lily, had you been up this entire time?”
Lily turned around in surprise to see James standing there behind her, his hair messy and his glasses lopsided, obviously having just woken up.
“Why aren’t you asleep?” Lily asked, getting up from her armchair.
James shrugged. He smiled at her before answering, “Shouldn’t I be asking you that? It’s not like you to not be asleep.”
There was a pause of silence as Lily contemplated how to best tell James that she had spent the entire night up, wondering if she should join the Order of the Phoenix before getting engulfed into her memories.
“Lily, what’s wrong?” James asked gently, as he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him. He gently rubbed the sides of her arms as he watched her closely.
“I was thinking about Dumbledore’s request,” Lily said in a voice barely above a half whisper though James heard her clearly.
James nodded. Sensing that she had more to say, he stayed quiet as Lily continued. “You know I didn’t want to make a choice so quickly. Mary, Marlene, Dorcas, Remus, Sirius, Peter, and you were all so fairly decided but… I wasn’t sure.”
Lily stopped there, pausing to make sure that James was following her as she watched him closely for his reaction. He had obviously been there when Lily told Dumbledore that she wanted more time to think, but that was in front of everyone. If James had any thoughts or feelings about it, then he would tell her.
But James didn’t say anything as he nodded, gesturing for Lily to go on.
“I just… it’s dangerous and knowing Dumbledore, it’s not going to be something easy either even though I know it’s for a good cause that you know I feel strongly about. But I was just so scared, James,” Lily all but whispered, gazing steadily into James’s hazel eyes.
Everyone always said that they loved hers, Lily’s, eyes but Lily actually really loved James’s eyes. They swirled in color and looked as if they were ever changing, depending on his mood. It was always so easy to read his emotions from his eyes and this time was no different.
James’s eyes held only strong affection and love for her as he just smiled, as if he was silently telling her, “Lily, it’s okay; I understand.”
“I don’t want to lose you; I want us to stay safe together. I want all of our friends around us, all safe and all happy. But then I got to thinking, if all of you were going to sign up for this, then I’ll be all alone. I like being independent but I don’t think independence is anything important if I don’t have you with me,” Lily rambled, her emotions getting high as she tried desperately to convey to James just what she was thinking.
James shushed her as he pulled her into a comforting hug. They stayed there like that for a moment in that position, swaying side to side.
James then interrupted the silence by saying, “Lily, even if you don’t want to do it, no one is going to think less of you. And you know that I’ll always be there for you.”
Lily pulled back, however, determined to tell James what she was thinking. She shook her head and said, “It’s not that I care what others will say. But I’m going to do it James. I’m going to do it. I can’t stand the idea of being at home, just waiting for you and not knowing what you’re getting yourself into out there. I remembered what happened last December and if something like that happens, I want to be there. I can’t live without you James. I want to stay with you, until the end. James, I love you.”
James was rendered temporarily speechless at Lily’s last remark before it finally registered in his mind what Lily was saying.
She couldn’t live without him.
She couldn’t be without him, just as he can’t bear to be without her.
She loved him, just as he loved her.
In a moment of unrivaled happiness, James bent down and kissed Lily, taking her by surprise.
When they finally broke apart, James bent his head, his forehead touching Lily’s as he said, “I can’t live without you too. I love you Lily Evans and I will stay with you.”
Lily’s face broke out into a wide smile as she whispered, “You’ll stay with me?”
“Until the very end.”
please leave a review if you like it or have any other thoughts. i wrote this for lizmusic16's OTP challenge, since jily is my number one favorite ship (: