Chapter 1 : No One Will Ever Understand How Much It Hurts
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James Potter was always sure of things.
When he was eleven years old and received his letter for Hogwarts, he knew that he was going to be in Gryffindor. He was not like most students who were hoping to get into a certain house; he knew that Gryffindor was the right house for him. He met Sirius Black on the train and even after finding out that he was from a Pureblood Elitist family, he was sure that Sirius wasn't like the rest of them. He was sure that something was up with Remus Lupin and when he found out about his "furry little problem" he knew there was a way to help him. He knew that he, Sirius and Peter could become an animagus, despite the odds against three of them. He knew that while many people looked over Peter Pettigrew, that there was something special in him. That he was a good a loyal friend.
He was sure that Snape was a slimy git the moment he saw him. With his greasy hair and long nose, anyone could see the sneer that he gave muggleborns and half bloods, despite his own blood status. Snape started hanging out with Mulciber and the like, even though his best friend, who James was sure Snape fancied, Lily Evans despised it.
And just like all other things, James was sure of how he felt about Lily Evans from the first moment he saw her. He was eleven years old, sitting in a compartment with Sirius, when she came in, tears in her eyes and sat herself next to the window, not giving either of them a second glance. And it was in that one moment, that James knew that there was something special about this girl.
However, it wasn't quite as simple as he thought. He thought that she would be his, instantly. But she rejected him. Time and time (and time) again, she rejected him bruising his ego more and more with each 'no'.
But he kept pushing forward. He asked her out nearly everyday in their fifth year, but she rejected every time.
During the first few years of asking her out, James's interest was nothing beyond finding out what was so special about her. But after their fifth year and Snape called her a mudblood, something shifted inside of James. He was so angry that he nearly cursed Snape right then. He spent most of June that summer debating whether or not to write Lily and make sure she was okay. He even thought about just showing up at her house to make sure she wasn't holing herself away from the world.
He just wanted to make sure she was okay.
He wasn't sure why he felt this way. He reasoned that it was probably because of his hatred for the blood status and that he knew it must have been hard for her to hear her best friend say that to her.
It wasn't until one afternoon where he was debating, yet again, whether to write her or not that Sirius said, "Merlin, Prongs, sometimes I swear you're in love with Evans" that he knew.
He knew that he was in love with Lily Evans.
That summer brought more changes too. Sirius moved in and his father went missing while on a mission. It was said that Voldemort, who was trying to convince purebloods to follow his lead against muggleborns, took him captive. The Potters knew they were at risk, because of their influential blood status but never thought they would be kidnapped over it. With his father gone, James had to take on the role of the Man of the House and tried to make sure his mother was all right. That she wasn't worrying too much and that she was still taking care of all her affairs. It wasn't too hard of a job, as his mother was strong and held her head high, but it was much harder on James. It made him realize what was actually going on out there. What was actually at risk.
James went back to Hogwarts more mature. Everyone noticed that suddenly he wasn't going around cursing random first years or Slytherins. The summer had an effect on Sirius too, as he was there right along with James, but he still would pull pranks and do all the stuff that he liked to do. Many people thought that Sirius would be upset with the change in James, but that was not the case. Sirius knew that James had grown up.
The only thing that James had ever been unsure of was how Lily felt about him. They had become friends in their sixth year, which may have been due to the fact that James stopped asking her out every five seconds. James spent the entire year convincing himself that while Lily may have been kinder to him, and sometimes very flirty, that she did not see him that way. That he was only a friend to her.
Little did he know how wrong he was.
He went and got himself a girlfriend at the beginning of their seventh year, in useless attempt to try to get over Lily. He was confused as to why all of a sudden, she was more aloof and argumentative, especially when they got onto the topic of his girlfriend. Realizing his attempts at trying to get over Lily were futile, he broke up with his girlfriend and suddenly Lily became one of his good friends again. She would smile at him and flirted with him and sometimes when they were doing rounds, he would catch her looking at him, before she would look away, blushing fiercely.
Lily Evans was the one thing that James was never sure of. It wasn't until they got into a fight and she admitted that she fancied him that he knew where he stood with her.
And after that, he never let her go.
While James was one who was always able to know things, Lily Evans, though incredibly smart and gifted, was much better at being blind to things that were right in front of her face.
It took her nearly four years to realize that her sister hated her and wanted nothing to do with her. though Petunia said it numerous times, Lily would try reasoning with her, almost begging her to let her back in. But every time Lily tried, Petunia would just stick her nose up in the air, ignoring her existence completely or just muttering, "Freak" or something of that sort. After Lily's fourth year, she gave up trying and, though she did miss her sister greatly, followed Petunia's lead and ignored her, making family dinner's very awkward.
Severus Snape was the same sort of situation. Though all the signs were there that Sev was one of the students torturing muggleborns, Lily denied it, saying that it was a misunderstanding. Even though her good friends Marlene Price and Alice Griffiths told her, countless times, that they heard Snape call someone a Mudblood or openly say that he thought Voldemort had the right idea, she still wouldn't believe them. She would ask Sev about what they said and he always denied it and then accused her of not trusting him, of not being his best friend. He always swore that he didn't agree with that and though Lily had, in fact, heard him sneer at a first year muggleborn who asked him how to fly on a broom, Lily gave him the benefit of the doubt. There were countless arguments between them about it, especially in regards to his friends, but each time Snape won out, using Lily's trust in his advantage.
But after he called her a Mudblood in front their entire year after James Potter picked on him, Lily knew that she could not deny it anymore. Everyone else had been right and she had been deceived. She had been the fool who was naive enough to believe that her best friend wasn't what he was.
She never forgave him. He tried hard to get her to talk to him. Throughout the summer between their fifth and sixth year, she received letters from him and he would show up at her house, begging her to let him explain. But she didn't. She threw away the letters and refused to see him, not wanting to listen to another word out of his mouth.
He was the same during the beginning of their sixth year too. He would beg her to speak with him, would wait outside her classes, after prefect meetings, it nearly got to the point of stalking really. But after a run in with James one night, he stopped. He stopped he stopped everything and left Lily alone, though Lily would catch him staring at her from time to time, especially if she was speaking with James.
James. That's something Lily was very blind too. She said no to his constant advantages, mainly because of Sev and how James relentlessly picked on him. Also, he did seem very arrogant and thought the whole world should land in his lap.
But in their sixth year, he changed. He became more mature and respectful of others. He apologized for picking on Sev when he saw her on Platform 9 and 3/4 and they picked up a friendship from there. It was slowly moving, for sure, but a friendship nonetheless. Lily found herself growing more and more comfortable in his company and would sometimes rest her head on his shoulder or do something of the sort. She suffered through many conversations with Marlene, who was trying to convince her that she did in fact fancy James, but she denied it. All through the summer she denied it as well. It wasn't until she met up with all the Marauders right before they went back to school that she started thinking that maybe...maybe it wasn't so insane to fancy him.
Her good friend Remus Lupin, seemed to notice then the change, since he said that she was smiling at James more and in a different way. When she asked what he meant, he said that it looked like she fancied him, more than she did during the school year.
And then Lily took one glance at James, freaking out over a new broom model and realized that she did.
She fancied the prat.
However, what everyone, including Remus, failed to mention was that James got himself a girlfriend that summer.
Which Lily found out about because when she was walking up to him on the Platform to head back to school, ready to try and win him over, someone in her year, a girl named Lisa, beat her there, pressing her mouth against his.
Lily was crushed. She couldn't help but be aloof when it came to James, since every time she was around him, she found herself fighting the urge to kiss him. If they were ever in a group, talking and Lisa came up in the conversation, she would instantly get moody and jealous, something Lily hated. Because all she would get is smug looks from Alice, Marlene and the three Marauders who knew her feelings, all of them basically saying, "Shouldn't have denied it for so long."
Thankfully, James broke up with Lisa in October. Lily went back to normal with him and found herself really to start fancy him. They're friendship didn't go back to what it was, as now Lily had feelings for him, and there was much more flirtation between them.
There were moments when they were doing rounds, where James would go on a tangent about something or they would be talking or they'd be walking in complete silence that Lily would just look at him and actually consider pushing him against a wall and snogging the daylights out of him.
He would always catch her looking and she would avert her gaze quickly, but she felt her cheeks grow hot every single time. Lily wasn't sure how he felt about her, though the Marauders assured her that he did feel the same, because sometimes he just...wouldn't do anything. Like, sometimes Lily would purposefully knock her hand into his when they were walking in hopes that he would grab it, but he would just apologize. He and Lily had somehow gotten into the habit of hugging every night after rounds before they went up to their beds and sometimes Lily would look up at him and think that she saw him looking down at her like he wanted to kiss her but he never did. He never even tried.
And for once in her life, that pissed Lily off.
She knew that it was the seventies. She knew that she could have made the first move. But she didn't want to. She wanted him to. She thought that her feelings for him were so obvious, but he was either ignoring them or oblivious or all her constant rejections had made it so that he would never try asking her out again.
Lily didn't understand why he wasn't making a move. She flirted with him nearly every chance she got. They hugged every single night before they went to bed. If he was in the Common Room and she was reading, she tended to cuddle up to him. He gave her his Quidditch jacket one night because she was cold during rounds and she wore it to the Quidditch game the next day. She basically wore a sign saying, "I'm taken!" since his name and number were on the back, where everyone could see.
And. He. Still. Did. Not. Make. A. Move.
Where was his bloody Gryffindor courage? Where was his arrogance she used to despise? Where was the annoying prat who didn't take no as an answer?
Lily was fuming when she went to rounds that night, having thought all that up while she was supposed to be doing homework. She met James outside of the Common Room like always and instantly started walking, not even bothering with a hello for the git. James caught on and called her out on it, just like he always did.
"Why are you in a bad mood?" James asked, blocking her path.
"I'm not," Lily said curtly, trying to move around him.
"Oh, so you're just pmsing then?"
"No! Merlin, you are so thick sometimes!" Lily yelled.
"What the bloody hell is that supposed to mean?" James yelled back.
"It means that you can't even see what's right in front of your face!"
"And what would that be?"
"The fact that I fancy you, Potter! I fancy you and you're too bloody stupid to see and do anything about it! I mean, I was subtle at first but then I wore your bloody jacket to the Quidditch match! I basically told the entire school that I fancied you and you still didn't get-"
James shut her up by pushing her against the wall and snogging her.
And the rest was history.
Because they were James and Lily. He was always sure and she always denied until she couldn't deny anymore.
And nothing was different about that when they died.
James knew they only had a matter of time. He stared out the window, looking at all of the kids walking past their house with their Halloween costumes on and he knew that there was a very good chance that Harry would never go trick or treating. There would never be a chance for him and Lily to take Harry to Diagon Alley or Platform 9 and 3/4.
He knew that they were going to die.
But more than that, he knew that he was going to die for them.
He felt his wife's arms wrap around him from behind.
"Looking out the window isn't going to make us any safer James," Lily said softly into his back. "We're already as protected as we could be and Peter is hidden too. We're safe."
Lily had always been good at denying. That's why she chose to deny this, though she knew that if they ever left their little cottage, they would never be safe.
"We're not safe, Lils," James said quietly. "Harry will never be safe and because of that, we will never be safe."
"Harry's safe," Lily said, eyeing her son who was flying around on a toy broom. "He's here with us, he's the safest that he could ever be."
James didn't respond to that and instead turned in his wife's arms, wrapping his arms around her tightly. He kissed her head and wished that he could believe it.
"I should put Harry to bed," Lily said, pulling away before kissing him softly on the lips. "Stop worrying. Everything is going to be okay. We're going to be okay. Once this is over, we can move out to your parent's old house and have Remus, Sirius and Peter move in, just like we planned and we'll have more kids. There will be that big back yard for you to teach them how to play Quidditch and for Remus during the moons. We're going to get through this James. We're going to have the life we wanted."
He nodded and watched as Lily picked Harry up and brought him up the stairs. And though he wanted to ignore the turning in his stomach, he couldn't.
"Lily!" James called, running up the stairs to where Lily was, coming out of Harry's bedroom. She had a worried look on her face and he could tell that she thought that she had been wrong, but she wasn't. James grabbed her and pulled her close to him. "I want a dog too," his whispered softly in her ear.
Lily giggled and looked up at her husband. "Sirius isn't enough?"
"I want a real dog. A yellow lab, preferably," James said, smiling.
"I'm sure we can arrange that," Lily said.
And for a few blissful moments, everything in James and Lily Potter's life was perfect.
But it couldn't last forever.
You almost feel ashamed
That someone could be that important
They heard the footsteps in their yard. They weren't Sirius's heavy ones or Remus's light ones or Peter's shuffling. They were walking with a purpose, with determination, and Lily saw in her husband's eyes that he knew exactly who it was.
Voldemort had found them.
Lily began to panic and James held her head with both his hands, kissing her softly.
"I love you Lily Evans Potter," he said. "Don't forget that."
Lily looked up at her husband and saw the determination in his eyes and even she was unable to deny what he was going to do.
James looked down at the door, where he could see Voldemort through the glass, getting closer and closer.
Lily, knowing that no matter what she said she would not be able to convince him otherwise, grabbed his face in her hands. "I love you James Potter. I love you more than I ever thought and I am so sorry for not saying yes to you in fifth year. If I could go back to everything, to all the bad stuff that happened while we were in the Order, I would. I would go back and take all the bad if it meant that I could have the good."
Voldemort blasted open the door.
James hastily kissed Lily one last time. Lily forced it to her memory, though it was already there, knowing that if she survived this, it would be the last thing she ever did with him.
"I'd take the good for the bad too," James whispered softly against her lips.
James looked at her one last time before turning to face the intruder.
"Lily, take Harry and go! It's him," James said, walking down the stairs, ignoring the fact that he was without a wand. "I'll try to hold him off." He took one last glance at Lily, who was at the top of the stairs staring down at him. "Go!"
Lily started to go, but turned back right as she saw the green light. James landed on the steps, his bright hazel eyes still wide open.
That without them, you feel like nothing
"James!" Lily screamed, but when she saw the black cloak coming onto the staircase, she ran back to Harry's room, tears falling down her face.
James was dead. There would be no big house and no more children and no dog and no Marauders staying with them. Lily felt ashamed almost, because she couldn't imagine anything without James. That James was so important to her that a life without him hurt more than she could ever imagine.
You feel hopeless; like nothing can save you
Lily shut the door, fighting through her tears and sobs as she grabbed Harry out of his crib holding her close to him and turning on the spot, trying to Apparate away, trying to make sure that Harry was safe, that her baby boy was safe. That the only thing she had left of James was safe.
She stopped turning when she realized that her wand was on the couch.
Harry was crying now, all the noise and Lily's sobs waking him up. Lily tried calming him down, but her attempts were futile.
"It's okay, baby," she whispered, trying to be calms so Harry would be calm as well. "It's okay. You are so loved Harry. Mama loves you. Dada loves you." She kissed him on his messy head, so much like his father's. A new string of tears came as she realized that she had failed as a mother. She was unable to protect her son because she left her wand on the couch. She was unable to protect her beautiful baby boy who looked exactly like his father, but with her eyes.
"I love you Harry James," Lily said. "I love you so much."
And in that moment, Lily Evans Potter stopped denying.
She accepted the fact that she was going to die.
The door blasted open and Lily shielded Harry from the debris before putting him back in the crib and turning to face her attacker.
"Stand aside," Voldemort said.
"Please not Harry," Lily said, and though she was begging, her voice was still strong. "Please, I'll do anything."
"No!" Lily said. "If you want him you'll have to go through me!"
Lily knew that was going to be no use. But it didn't matter to her. She was going to try her hardest to make sure that Harry was safe.
Even if it meant giving up her own life.
Lily saw Voldemort raise his wand and she closed her eyes, distracting herself.
And when it's over, and it's gone
She thought of Harry. She thought of James. She thought of her two boys who meant more to her than anything.
She meant what she said James and she knew he did too. She knew that there would be no hesitation on either of their parts to go back to all the bad stuff. All the missions in the Order where their nearly died, having to go into hiding to protect Harry, everything. All the pain, all the deaths, they would do it all again if they could have their family for a little while longer. The laughter and love that their little family shared.
She died with the image of James and Harry, smiles on their faces.
You almost wish that you could have all that bad stuff back
So that you could have the good
A/N: Wow just...wow. I can easily say that I'm pretty sure this is the best thing I have ever written.
The italics and title are from the narration of the music video "We Found Love". It's not the lyrics, just a narration at the beginning.
So...yeah. What do you guys think? Thought that it would be appropriate for me to celebrate my OTP since the anniversary of their death is coming up *cue sobs*
So how did I do? This is my first go at a Marauder/Jily fic and at a fic that's in the third person. Like I said, I think I did very well. Then again, I cry over every single Jily thing, so that could be it too.
I plan on writing a Marauder Era fic and have incorporated parts that I plan to use into this. Don't know when I'll post it, but I know that I can't wait to start it!
Quotes in bold reference that I own nothing of:
"Lily, take Harry and go! It's him. I'll try to hold him off. Go!" Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban page 240
"It's okay. You are so loved Harry. Mama loves you. Dada loves you." Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
"Stand aside/Please not Harry, Please, I'll do anything/Stand aside!" Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, page 179
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