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‘I’ve always liked you, Lily,’ Potter said to me, twisting his hands in his lap. ‘Since the day we met on the train.’
I laughed. ‘I remember, my first thought was that you were someone to avoid.’
‘And so you have managed to, these past few years. But – at the beginning of this year – when I heard you were Head Girl – I kind of hoped you wouldn’t avoid me any more,’ Potter said, sighing. ‘I guess it was just some stupid hope.’
‘No,’ I said, reaching out and placing one of my hands on his. ‘No, I’m going to give you the truth, and maybe you’ll change your mind.’
Potter moved his hands so he was holding mine. With the other hand, he brushed away some strands of red hair that had fallen onto my face. ‘Then tell me.’
‘I told you that my first thought was to avoid you. That – that wasn’t really true. When I first came into the compartment, you were nice to me. Said hello, and you were friendlier than you’ve ever been. At first, I thought we could be friends. I thought, maybe, if we were in the same house, we could be nice to each other. See, the only boy I’d ever been friends with before Hogwarts was Severus. He was my best friend – but somehow he seemed different. So different, he always had these sick dreams of world annihilation and the Dark Side taking over. I never said anything, though.’
‘I’m surprised,’ Potter said, ‘I’d have told him to stop creeping me out and start being normal.’
‘I bet you would’ve. But – when I came into that compartment, I felt a little bit of hope. Just – just a tiny bit, because I was upset, because of my sister, you know. I did think you were kind of cute, too,’ I admitted.
‘Well, it has been said,’ Potter smirked, striking a noble pose. Impulsively, when he let go of my hand, I jerked and grabbed them again. He looked at me in surprise. ‘What –?’
‘I need you to listen to me,’ I said. ‘After that, when Severus came rushing in, that little bubble of happiness inside me when I saw you – it just popped when he came in. That’s when I knew I couldn’t be friends with him anymore. But I still didn’t say anything.’
‘Why not?’ Potter asked.
‘I don’t know, I just – couldn’t. In our second year, I felt like I was drifting from Severus. Just a smidge, but we were still really close. I knew you fancied me; I kept seeing you staring at me. You made it as obvious as you could, didn’t you?’
Potter smiled shyly. ‘I just wanted you to notice me.’
‘How couldn’t I, you were always in the middle of everything, the centre of attention.’
‘Well, did wonder how a beautiful girl like you would ever see me when there’s all your friends and handsome, dashing Sirius Black.’ Potter said, biting his lip.
‘No one’s as handsome and dashing as you, Potter,’ I said reassuringly, patting his hand. ‘Anyway, I never really bothered with you, I just thought you were some annoying, pompous idiot who thought the world of himself.’
‘I didn’t think the world of myself!’ Potter said indignantly. I raised an eyebrow. ‘All right, maybe just a little bit. Anyway, more of my world revolved around you more than me.’
‘It’s very sweet, but I still think of you like that. Just a little less than I did before. Third year ...' I laughed. 'Do you remember in third year you asked me out for the first time? Just before the first Hogsmeade trip. You came storming up to me and said "Evans, go out with me right now!" or something like that.'
'Well, maybe I wasn't as ... refined as I am now. I guess that was a bit stupid,' Potter admitted. He was grinning.
'Yeah. That just confirmed my thoughts: "This guy is a weirdo. And I hate him." Asking me out just pushed me further away,' I said. 'So anyway, when we were in fourth year and you put your name in for the Triwizard Tournament, and you became a champion ... as much as I hated you, I was terrified for you. People have died in the Tournament. And ... I didn't want you dead. You won the Triwizard Tournament. I remember seeing Severus in the crowd, glaring at me as I cheered when you came out of the maze. I know I said I hated you, but seeing you suffer like that, getting hurt by the dragon, almost drowning under the lake – I realised, for about the tenth time – you might not be so bad after all.
‘In fifth year, after our Charms OWL, when you started duelling Severus like that, I changed my mind about you completely. When I was walking towards you, to save him, I thought “I hate him”. Just like that. But when Severus called me a Mudblood, I knew I’d lost him. He tried apologising, but if it slipped out like that, who knew when it would turn into a habit? Anyway, I told him to live his own life and stop worrying about me. So he did. And I’d lost one of my best friends.’
‘Very touching, Little Red, but what does this have to do with anything?’
‘Just listen. Please. Last year, when I found out about Remus and his ... problem. I was really scared. He just doesn't look the same anymore. But then, when you, Sirius and Peter managed to become Animagus, I realised, you're a lot cleverer than you looked. Maybe, if you managed to do that, you might be worth going out with after all.
‘You see, I never really liked Sirius. I only said yes so you’d stop asking, and also, I wanted to make you jealous. I like you, James Potter. I really do.’
‘So …’ he said quietly. ‘Do I get a kiss now?’
'Let me break up with Sirius … if you don’t mind me breaking your best friend’s heart?’ I said, tucking my hair behind my ear.
‘Not when I have you,’ James said.
Not being able to have a kiss, he just had to settle for a hug.
And that’s when my boyfriend burst through the door.
A/N I'm sorry, I know this is a bit of a weird chapter. It took me so long to write, but I hope you all like it! P.S. Sorry about the massive gaps between paragraphs, it does that automatically :P xx