It was well past dark on an evening in late spring, and all was quiet on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Most of the castle’s many torches were extinguished, and all of Hogwarts’s inhabitants were fast asleep… or at least nearly all of them. James Potter, one of only a handful of students still awake, paced back and forth nervously beneath the large tree situated next to the Black Lake. His right thumb constantly kept rubbing the velvet texture of a small box concealed in the pocket of his Hogwarts robes, and James was unsure as to what was making him more uncomfortable at the moment: the sharp chill in the air, or his girlfriend’s tardiness.
What’s keeping her so long? What if she doesn’t come? What if she gets caught? James thought, biting his lower lip nervously. A tiny light that could only be generated by the tip of a wand – her wand - bobbed into his view at that moment and those more general fears were quickly subdued, only to be replaced by more specific ones. What if she thinks I’m insane? What if she thinks we’re too young? What if she says no?
-I’m not that kind of guy who can take a broken heart-
James stopped pacing and stared as the tiny light slowly drew closer, and his knees were so wobbly that he thought he’d surely fall down. Nevertheless, he remained standing and made his best effort at a smile when Lily reached him, while still keeping his hand on the velvet box in his pocket.
“Would you mind telling me what was so important that I had to risk detention to come meet you out here?” Lily asked in hushed tones. The look on her face told James that there would be no delaying; she was ready to get to the bottom of this so she could return to the castle. Realizing that he’d better get on with it, James took her hands in his quickly.
“Look, Lils,” he began. “You know I love you, right?”
Lily looked startled. “Well, of course I do,” she answered. She started to say something else, but James interrupted.
“And you love me too, right?” he asked.
“James, what are you on about?” Lily inquired.
“Just answer the question!” James replied. He was far too nervous to allow her to sidetrack him now.
“You know I love you,” Lily replied, seeming slightly upset.
-So don’t ever leave; I don’t want to see us part-
James didn’t give her time to expand upon her answer. “Good,” he said. “Well, I’ve been thinking…”
“You mean you can think?” Lily playfully interjected.
“Lils, I’m serious!” he half-whined in response.
“Okay, okay, sorry!” Lily answered. Her boyfriend took a few deep breaths before continuing, and he decided it would be best if he simply blurted everything out all at once; this business of saying one or two words at a time was getting him nowhere.
“This whole war business has got me thinking about how short life is, and I don’t want to waste one minute. I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you, even though I drove you crazy and you hated my guts. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I want to be with you, no matter what,” James said quickly. Then he paused to catch a breath before continuing.
-The very thought of losing you means
That everything would go down under –
James released Lily’s hands and dropped down to one knee rather clumsily, digging into his pocket for the velvet box. When he pulled it out, he opened it as quickly as possible so that he could look back up at his girlfriend and gauge her reaction to what he was doing. Her long red hair was swaying slightly in the light breeze, and she was looking at him like he was insane.
A little more slowly this time, James said, “What I’m trying to say is - Lily Evans, will you marry me?”
-I’ll be loving you forever
Just as long as you want me to be-
Lily’s bottom jaw came dangerously close to hitting the ground beside James’s knee. She didn’t speak for several moments, which did nothing to improve her boyfriend’s nerves. James panicked, and started rambling on once more, trying to dispel all the doubts that were sure to be bouncing around in Lily’s head at the moment.
“I know we’re young and this is crazy but we’re about to join the Order and it’s going to be very dangerous. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. But I want to spend every moment I’ve got with you, and only you. I know we can make this work. And before you ask, yes, I’m sure. I know you’re the one I want… you’re the only woman I’ve ever loved, or will ever love. I know I joke around a lot, but I’m so serious about this… I want to marry you, Lily.”
-I’ll be loving you forever
All this love’s for you and me-
When the redhead still didn’t answer, James started spouting off at the mouth once more, but Lily finally interjected. “James, shut up!” she said. Slowly coming to her knees in front of him, she gazed into his eyes for a moment. Then the smallest of smiles spread across her lips, and James’s heart nearly stopped in the momentary silence. “Yes,” Lily finally replied. “I must be crazy, but yes, James Potter… I will marry you.”
The couple embraced and then kissed, and James slid the ring onto his fiancée’s finger. He then helped her to her feet and pulled her tightly to him, embracing her once more.
-This love will last forever, I can see it all now-
Author's Note: This is my first ever songfic, so I apologize if it's not very good and slightly cliche/cheesy. As stated in the story summary, the lyrics here come from the song "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)" as performed by the New Kids On The Block. WeasleyTwinMom posted a status on the forums one night a while back, saying how making a NKOTB songfic would be a real challenge, and that got me to thinking... so props to her for inspiring this piece! Props also go to TenthWeasleyWriter for inspiring me, because once I'd decided to write this songfic, I read a chapter of her story "In the Black" (Which everyone should read, by the way!), and that chapter made me decide to make this a Lily/James songfic.