Chapter 1 : Nervous
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“What do you bloody well think, Pads?” He ran his hands through his already beyond fixing hair and sighed. This day had been putting him on edge far more than he could have ever anticipated. He was just asking her a simple question.
“It’ll be fine, Prongsy. She’d be a nutter if she didn’t say yes. But… well, I’ve thought she was a nutter for years.” He chuckled and waved his hand at his friend as he was swatted at. “And with that mate, you’ve lost your only friend to soothe you. Have fun with your thoughts.” Sirius continued to laugh as he apparated out of James’s flat with a loud pop.
James sighed. This was beginning to tug at his stomach and cause butterflies to slowly become hornets. It was only twelve fifteen. They weren’t due to meet for lunch until twelve thirty. This was going to be the death of him. He just knew it. He fingered the book gingerly as he slowly tried to make the time tick by sooner.
In retrospect, he should be glad that she had even agreed to meet him. Due to a lack of available funds, he had shrugged off celebrating a one year anniversary with the fiery red head. But honestly, he’d written her a nice letter! That counted for something… at least he hoped it would. He had been working that weekend. So it was a bit understandable that he couldn’t meet her. Though, he couldn’t use that as much of an excuse.
But the book. The book should do nicely to sort through any bad feelings. They hadn’t seen each other in a month, due to their jobs, and well, it was going to be a nice change of pace. Just a nice lunch and a surprise present to the love of his life, Miss Lily Evans.
After years of pestering, she had agreed to date him, and she had been ever since. Though, it probably helped that he had changed quite a bit… And of course, saving Snape sure did help his cause. While he wasn’t fond of the man, he knew that he had once been special to Lily and that was reason enough to save the bloody git. That and well, no one deserved to have what would have happened to him if he had entered the Shrieking Shack.
As James eventually brought his bumbling mind back to earth, he grinned when he read the clock. Twelve twenty-five. Enough time for him to go ahead and apparate to their destination. He was carrying her to Madame Puddifoot’s, the place where they had their first date. It was a special place, and one that James often visited without his girlfriend for reasons that were purely sentimental. After all, he had been there enough times during his stay at Hogwarts. It was nice to go and see the usual staff and catch up on the on-goings of friends he had left behind at Hogwarts upon Graduation.
With a pop, he was sent spiraling, clutching the book to his chest. The last thing he wanted was Lily’s favorite book to be messed up due to poor apparation. When he arrived, he smiled and went on through the door. He had rented out the entire restaurant; thankfully it wasn’t too expensive to do since it was one of their slow days. There was a lone table in the middle with candles lit all the way around, along with James’ and Lily’s favorite teas and biscuits seated at the table already, still steaming with freshness. “You’ve really outdone yourselves, ladies. She’s going to love it.” He smiled and fished a few extra galleons out of his pockets and placed them in the hands of the waitresses smiling at him. “You have no idea how much this really means to me.”
Most of the ladies had helped James on numerous occasions to woo women, but this time was far more important than any other. And not to mention, half the staff had watched the overly confidant boy grow up into the young man he was, which helped him to manage this whole planned event. It probably also helped that he always tipped extremely well for good service. The ladies nodded at him and continued on about their business, fixing and refixing things to make the room look presentable to Miss Evans.
James heard the pop outside the door, and he was pretty certain his heart had leapt into his mouth. Nervous didn’t even begin to describe how he felt. He placed the book in his chair and stood while he waited for Lily to walk in. The bell tinkled lightly as the door was pushed open and with every tinkle, James’ heart beat loud enough he was sure everyone in Hogsmeade could hear it.
Stunning was not even the word to describe the young woman before him. He grinned from ear to ear as he watched her walk through the door. She was clad in a simple emerald dress with her red hair tumbling down her shoulders and back. “Breath-taking.” He murmured as he strolled across the room to hug her around the waist with a small spin for good measure. She giggled and his heart leapt more.
In love? James Potter? Really? Quite possibly. No. He knew he was in love. There wasn’t another moment that he wanted to live without this wonderful woman. And he couldn’t help but smile when she was around. He kissed her softly and led her to the table.
“Its wonderful, James.” He smiled at her and nodded.
“I had hoped you would like it, Lily. I am sorry about last month. Work just go-“
“Got out of hand? I figured. The letter was a nice gesture, though a visit would have been better.” He flinched at the annoyance in her tone. But he had figured it would be there. After all, who honestly didn’t at least apparate to see his girlfriend on their anniversary?
“I’m sorry, Lils. Honestly, I am! I-I bought you a present, though! Doesn’t that make up for it?” James tilted his head to the side as he watched her bite into one of the biscuits after pouring herself some tea. He joined her, awaiting her reply eagerly, and hoping the hoops he had jumped through for this occasion was enough to be his saving grace.
“Perhaps. Depends on what it is.” She smirked at him. Toying. She always did that to him. And she always knew what it did to him. James shifted in his chair and tried to squirm his way away from her gaze. At times like this, he lost almost everything. He didn’t know how to take her toying, even after this long. Was it meant to be playful or hurtful? He always assumed playful, but not every time had been.
“A book. And not just any book. Your favorite.” He smiled and reached under his chair to grab the old book. It was some muggle book that he had stolen out of Lily’s personal library. ‘Course this was a replacement. Her real one was hidden at his flat. This one was purely a traveling device. “I know how badly you wanted it after yours went missing. So I found one for you.” He grinned as he saw one of the ladies smile and whisper to another who nodded eagerly. They had, of course, been told of his secret and were, no doubt, waiting for the answer just as much as he was.
“James! You shouldn’t have. They are quite expensive. You don’t find autographed books often!” Lily protested as she eagerly took the book and ran her fingers over the cover. “It is a nice gesture, though.” She murmured and pressed the book to her chest. It was by far the nicest, most thoughtful present he had ever gotten her… though, he had been the reason she wanted a new one in the first place… It still counted, though!
“I thought you would like it. Wasn’t too sure since some of the pages were a bit wonky…” He trailed off, baiting her to open it. Just one peak would be enough.
“Wonky? What’s wrong with-“ And she stopped mid-sentence as she opened the book and looked down to see exactly why the pages were wonky. Inside the book was cleverly cut a square in which a lovely emerald and diamond ring lay. She looked up at James with her eyes full of tears.
“Lily, what’s wrong? If you don’t want to get marrie-“
“Oh no, James. I do! I honestly do, but did you have to ruin the book?”
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Absolutely nothing. JK made up this awesome universe.
Also, this was written for a challenge. But I've been wanting to do this for a while. I love James, and well, my James (I rp as him) has yet to ask Lily to marry him, but this is defiantely how he would do it!
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by Natalie Rose