Chapter 1 : Perfect Night
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“James, we should go back,” Lily said softly. Her voice said they should leave, but her actions stated otherwise. She continued to lie in her spot on the cool grass against him.
“I don’t want to go back,” James muttered, as he nuzzled his head into her neck making her giggle at the touch.
They had escaped the crowded tent not too long ago. She knew that no one would miss their presence, Sirius was too busy entertaining everyone after he had one too many bottles of Firewhiskey but she was being paranoid as usual.
“But James, people will notice if the Bride and Groom go missing,” Lily pointed out, always the rational one.
“I don’t care. Let them notice. It’s our night, not theirs,” James replied defiantly.
For a moment, Lily looked as if she would argue her point further, but in the end, she rested herself deeper into him and closed her eyes.
They were married. Who would have thought? The first time Lily had met James, he hadn’t made a very good impression on her. At the time, if someone told her that she would be marrying James Potter in the future, Lily would have scoffed, thrown her red hair over her shoulder and told them that they were absolutely mad. She had been so young, childish, and naive. So had he. But everything had changed once the war started. Her innocence had all been lost once the realization of the war had hit her.
It was almost ironic really how the war had caused bonds to form between people so unlikely to such as James and herself. But now, she wouldn’t have it any other way. He was her James. Hers. No one else’s and she was his. She would love him forever until she died. She had been too young to see past his arrogance before to realize that he actually cared. Perhaps she would have been happier if she had, a long time ago. But no matter. They were married now, weren’t they? They had said their vows only a few hours ago and she would be happy because of him for the rest of her life.
She opened her eyes and turned her head slightly, to face James. He had his eyes closed. Lily lifted her hands and traced his jaw line with her delicate finger. James’ eyes remained closed but a smile found itself a place on his face at Lily’s touch.
“What are you thinking about?” James asked knowingly.
“Us,” she replied with ease.
“Hm, what about us?” He asked as she brought her hand back down to lace it with his.
“How when we first met, I would never have expected to marry you,” Lily replied smiling.
James chuckled at this. She knew that he agreed with her. Maybe he hadn’t thought it so impossible but he knew that Lily did. She was always rash, jumping to conclusions while he was calm, patient and confident. But he balanced her out and she him. They were opposites but when they were together, they created one whole. He was other half, she knew it. He was the yin to her yang.
“Well look at us now,” he said opening his eyes and looking at her with an unreadable expression.
“Look at us now...” she mused to herself.
Lily liked where she was right now. She liked everything about it, from the surroundings to James being next to her, enjoying life with her. She wouldn’t have it any other way and she hoped that he thought so too. She knew he did, but it was nice to hear it from him. The reassurance soothed her. As if he could read her thoughts, James responded.
“I love being here with you Lily,” he said kissing her gently on the lips.
“Me too,” Lily replied, smiling.
Above her, she could now spot little glowing lights. Fireflies. There were so many of them. She reached out to try and grab onto one but they scurried away, too fast for her touch. Pouting a little with disappointment, Lily reluctantly put her hand back down, curling it around the cold grass instead. The fireflies soon came back, curious as ever, hovering above them causing a glow around their figures.
“You look beautiful tonight,” James said to her, love laced in his every word. Even now, any compliment from James caused a blush to creep into her cheeks.
“Thank you,” she eventually replied.
“No I mean it. You always look beautiful but tonight, especially,” James said seriously. He used his free hand to brush a loose curl away from her face.
Lily’s red hair had been put into an up-do for the wedding so that her veil could be placed on top. A few curls had been kept out. Alice told her that it looked nice that way and Lily trusted her insight. She was wearing a simple white gown made of lace. It had beautiful thick straps and a v-neck but she didn’t think there was anything special about it.
Her dress had been her mother’s before her. Petunia had refused to wear it for her own wedding day but Lily couldn’t disappoint her parents like Petunia had. She had gladly worn the dress and somehow, it flattered her body but she was nothing like those other brides she had seen. Compared to them, her dress was meager.
“Don’t even think that,” James warned.
“Think what?” Lily asked confused.
“Anything negative. You look beautiful and that’s that. I think you’re the most beautiful woman on the planet Lily Potter,” he said cupping her face in his hands. She looked at his eyes, a beautiful hazel colour and smiled at how well he knew her. It was a gift that he possessed. He always knew what she was thinking, how she was feeling but the best part was how he could make her feel better in an instant.
“I think you’re beautiful too,” Lily teased.
James pouted at her.
“Beautiful? But I’m supposed to be handsome, rugged, chiseled,” he said frowning slightly at her. He was kidding of course. He could never be mad at Lily. His sweet Lily.
“No. I like beautiful better,” Lily replied smiling. “Yes, beautiful,” she said placing her hand on his cheek before bringing his face down so that she could kiss him.
“Ok,” he agreed happily.
Lily smiled at that. He was always willing to give in to her so easily. She wouldn’t take advantage of it, but it showed how much he cared. Lily liked that. She would always care for him for the rest of her life and she knew he would do the same for her. There was no doubt in her mind that he cared. He had for many years now otherwise he wouldn’t have chased after her for seven consecutive years. He had always been faithful to her, even when she wasn’t his to begin with. Lily smiled fondly at the memory of them at Hogwarts.
That seemed so long ago. Back when they were kids. They weren’t kids anymore. Now they were adults, living in a big, dangerous world. The thought scared her. There was an evil wizard running around, killing off Muggles and Muggleborns. Unfortunately, Lily was a Muggleborn. Her parentage had never bothered her before. It still didn’t. What bothered her was that now, she put James’ life in danger. She would never be able to forgive herself if anything happened to James because of her.
“What are you thinking about now?” James asked stroking her cheek lightly.
“I’m scared,” she replied softly, her voice barely audible.
“Scared of what Lily?” he asked her gently.
“Scared of the war, scared of you getting hurt, scared of how our life will turn out,” she said looking away from him, sitting up.
Right now, she couldn’t face him. Her fears weren’t childish. They were real. Everything was too real. She had never really thought how real everything was until now. And she was already married. How could she have done this to James? Panic started to rise in her and Lily began shivering involuntarily.
“Lily stop,” he said, sitting up so that he could place his hands on her arms. “Look at me Lily,” he murmured, bringing her face towards him. He looked into her eyes but the contact was long enough to make Lily turn away again. “No Lily, please, look at me,” his voice, pleading, rang through her ears. The thought of not wanting to hurt him further was the only thing that made her turn and face him.
For a moment, they just stared into each other’s eyes not knowing what to say. Each one taking in the other completely. James finally broke the silence.
“You have every right to be scared,” he started, “but that doesn’t mean you should hide. I won’t get hurt and even if I do, it won’t be your fault. Just know that, ok?” he said seriously. James had that look in his eyes that Lily could never read. What was it? Hurt? Annoyance? Anger? No, it couldn’t be anger. She had seen him angry before and this wasn’t it.
“You don’t know that. What if you get hurt because you’re involved with me?” She whispered, eyes tearing up.
“Don’t. You know I don’t like to see you cry,” James replied in a pained voice.
Lily quickly fluttered her eyelids a few times to blink the tears away. She wouldn’t hurt James. She had already put him in great danger but she wouldn’t hurt him any further. She promised herself that.
“I’m sorry.”She didn’t know what else to say.
“Don’t be. You have nothing to apologize for. You’ve made me the happiest man alive and don’t you dare think that you’ve put me in danger. I chose to be with you Lily and I will always choose to be with you,” James said looking at her with those sparkling hazel eyes of his.
“Really?” Her question almost seemed childish yet she had to ask it.
“Yes really,” James replied smiling at her.
“I’m still scared,” Lily admitted honestly.
“I am too. But you know why I’m still happy?” He asked her.
“Why?” Lily asked, already knowing his answer.
“Because I have you Lily. No one makes me happier, you know that?” He asked softly.
“I know that and no one makes me happier than you do either James.” She liked the sound of his name on her lips. She always had. For so many years he had always just been ‘Potter’ to her but now, he was James. Her James.
“You don’t have to be scared Lily,” he said gently.
“And why’s that?”
“Because you have me and I will always protect you,” James told her, a tender smile on his face. A similar smile broke across Lily’s face and she wrapped her fingers around his neck. She felt his arms wrap around her waist as he pulled her in for a hug. He smelled of oranges and something else, something muskier. She couldn’t identify the smell but she didn’t care. All that mattered was his embrace. She pulled apart suddenly.
“Promise?” She asked him quietly.
“I promise,” he said pulling her back into his embrace.
And at that moment, it was those two words that mattered to her more than anything. Two words that brought calm to her. Lily smiled against him, lying back down on the smooth grass and pulling James down beside her. It really was a perfect night.
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