Chapter 1 : Introducing Lily Evans
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Lily Evans sat at her desk during a History of Magic class in her second year. She was so focused that she didn't notice any of her fellow students nodding off or just tuning out the entire lecture. Her full attention was devoted to the story of the Chamber of Secrets as if it were the only thing that mattered at the moment, and she turned her eyes from the professor only to take notes. She was blissfully unaware of a pair of hazel eyes gazing at her from behind square-rimmed glasses.
They watched her intently as she scrawled down a sentence, and then turned her eyes back to the front of the classroom where Professor Binns was rambling mindlessly as it seemed to the other students.
The eyes belonged to a tall, pale boy with messy black hair that refused to lie flat, who sat across the aisle from Lily. He was surrounded by his three best mates, who were all asleep. He has been fascinated with the red-haired, green-eyed girl for quite a while, but right now...well, he didn't know what had come over him. Suddenly, he just couldn't take his eyes off her...the way her wavy red hair fell like a curtain until she brushed it back behind her ear, from whence it proceeded to fall once more until the scenario was repeated...the way her almond-shaped eyes could focus so easily, even when the lesson was so dull he couldn't help but tune it out...he was just fascinated by the way she was. He wondered how it would be to have her look at him with as much interest as she was looking at boring Professor Binns right now. Somehow, he thought in the back of his mind, he had realized his attraction to her in just under an hour, and now it was so strong he didn't even know what to do.
Well, he assumed he was popular enough, he could probably ask her out and have a fair chance of getting a positive answer.
And just like that, the class was over. Lily stood and turned to leave, but another girl stuck her leg out, so that she tripped and plunged forward.
James Potter jumped up from his chair with such speed he seemed only a blur for a moment, and just managed to catch Lily before she hit the floor. He felt her exhale sharply, and helped her back to her feet slowly, strongly aware of how close she was.
Lily was gripping his wrist so hard her knuckles were white, but when she looked up into his eyes, he didn't even register that his hand was going numb. Her eyes were such a deep green and stood out so beautifully surrounded by her thick, dark eyelashes. How had he not noticed how completely gorgeous she was before?
Then she blinked, and he felt her hand leave his wrist. It seemed vaguely like she was trying to pull away from him, but he was so struck that he didn't even think to loosen his hold on her. Other students were beginning to stare at them.
"Thank you," Lily whispered, "Um..."
"James...James Potter," James said, sounding so awed that it caused Lily's eyes to widen. His arm around her waist was gentle, but still confining. She desperately hoped he intended to release her voluntarily very soon, because she could feel her breathing building up to hyperventilating.
Lily Evans was a philaphobic: she was absolutely terrified of romance, falling in love, closeness to the opposite gender, and anything remotely related to those. She was so different from the other teen witches that it made her feel like a completely other species around them sometimes. She had a few friends, but even around them she felt awkward sometimes, because, young though they still were, boys always seemed to be an interesting topic to them.
The thought of everyone's stares suddenly got through to James, and he slowly released Lily. She could almost sense his reluctance, but didn't want to seem ungrateful. He had just saved her from humiliation from one of the girls who seemed to have a personal vendetta with her for no reason except that she was 'weird'.
Even in her distress at James' closeness, the way he was smiling at her now made her feel kind of...accepted...as if he really thought she was, well, worth looking at.
But as soon as that thought crossed her mind, Lily forced a smile, waved lightly, and hurried off as fast as she could without making anyone think she was even stranger than they already did.
James still looked a bit lost, and Sirius Black, his best friend, stepped in front of him to wave a hand before his eyes in an attempt to get his attention.
James blinked and focused on Sirius with more than a little effort.
"You alright, mate? You look like someone just slapped you," Sirius prodded, looking briefly after Lily, and gathering a slight explanation for James' odd behavior in his mind.
"I'm just fine...in fact, better than I've been in quite awhile. Sirius, what do you know about Lily Evans?" James said, as he, Sirius, Remus, and Peter walked towards the door of the classroom.
"Well, she's a muggleborn," Sirius began.
"She's gorgeous," James said, as soon as they were in the hall, "Think I could get her to go out with me?"
"Whoa, slow down, mate. Since when are you smitten at first touch...that's supposed to be what the girls are like around us, not what we're like around them," Sirius said, in a tone that said he should not be messed with on the topic, "It's just the way it goes."
James frowned, "I don't care how it goes."
Peter Pettigrew stepped forward and turned to James, "Are you in love?" he asked, always the blunt one of the group.
James actually thought for a moment, earning an elbow to the ribs from Sirius, who answered for him, "Of course he isn't in love. The Marauders do not fall for girls: girls fall for us."
Remus Lupin pondered this statement for a moment before adding, "But...well, if we fall back, then that's to be expected."
Sirius made a dramatic gesture of a bow, "Of course, my learned friend. Always the logical one, you are."
James punched Sirius in the arm, "That's for answering the question wrongly; and Peter, I think I am in love."
"Good grief, mate, you're such an idiot," Sirius said.
Lily sat on her bed that night, wondering about James strange attitude about the situation they'd been in. Surely he didn't...like her...
She shuddered at the thought. No, it was too awful to think about. No one should fall in love with her, it would make it even harder for her never to fall in love with them. She just couldn't deal with the oddity that people called romance, it was terrifying.
Especially when it didn't work out...
If there was one thing that scared Lily Evans more than being in a relationship, it was for that relationship to fail. For the person she had believed herself to be in love with, and who had told her he was in love with her, to just leave...and maybe even get together with someone else...it just made her want to cry to think it could actually happen to her.
No, she was not going to even consider the possibility that James even found her nice to look at. Let it be what it was, she was going to forget it had ever happened.