Chapter 3 : Lily and James
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One particularly cold night in the Gryffindor Common room when Lily was meant to be reading over her Charms essay, she found herself staring, yet again at the boy with the scruffy black hair who slouched on the sofa near the fire. He looked so calm when he wasn’t surrounded by Sirius, Peter and Remus, when he was just himself. Partly because she was cold and partly because it had been a very boring Friday and she deserved a laugh she quickly collected her things and sunk in to the sofa next to James.
“Come on, Potter” she sighed. James looked up, his hazel eyes gasped.
“I didn’t do anything” he exclaimed instinctively but Lily just laughed and cuddled herself up in a ball.
“I finished that essay hours ago” she said with a sigh and a laugh.
“Well wonderful miss Perfect Lily Evans has probably done next week’s homework too” he teased
“Oh shut up” she replied and before waiting for him to hand her the parchment she leaned across him and took it from his hands. The sweet smell of her hair infected every part of him as she passed him, he could not believe what was happening and as she read, he stared at her. Taking in every aspect of her, she was so outrageously beautiful, it was unfair how perfect she was, her eyes, the greenest green, her hair the reddest red.
As her eyes drifted to the bottom of the page she looked up and caught him staring, but his gaze did not shift.
“It’s good” she said but not wanting to leave a full complement “for you, anyway” she smirked and gave it back to him.
“Why thank you for the Evans approval” he laughed bit still did not move his stare.
“Is that what you came over for? To read my work?” he said with a smug grin.
“No, it’s just cold over there, that’s all” she lied. Eager to change the topic she asked the whereabouts of the others to discover they were all in bed already, given up on work. Remus had finished his hours ago, Sirius gave up half way through and Peter hadn’t even started yet.
They wheeled on through conversations for what felt like hours, talking, laughing and playfully hitting each other. Lily learned about James’ family properly and his life before Hogwarts and James was highly amused by the things Lily learnt at Muggle School before she discovered she was a witch. They reminisced and recalled many memories of their early years at school together and Lily revealed thing she had never told anyone, her relationship with her cruel sister Petunia who had recently moved out and married a muggle man by the name of Vernon. She was shocked to discover James had never had a girlfriend or at least a kiss although she was slightly glad, she was just as innocent and too had never had a first kiss or a boyfriend. She loved how attentive James was, he listened and responded and enquired about her, yearning to know any detail her could about Lily Evans.
The common room clock roared with a gentle chime, Lily looked up and realised it was two in the morning and they were now the only two left in the room. She let out an involuntary yawn but did not wish to move, she only just realised how tired she was and come to think of it, it was freezing here. James noticed her attempt at supressing a shudder.
“Cold, Evans?” he said with a slight grin.
“No” she yawned through chattering teeth. At that moment, James took off his large Gryffindor Quidditch team hoody, Potter, 3, in gold shining letters on the back and handed it to her.
“Put it on, it’ll warm you up” he said and she obeyed. Instant warmth and comfort was what she felt as she shoved on the large hoody and the smell of James Potter. She buried her nose in the front of it and inhaled, never wanting to forget the smell.
“I want that back at some point you know, Lils” he said as he noticed her face light up.
“Not likely” she replied with a cheeky, teasing grin. She definitely approved of him calling her Lils. And then before she knew it his arm was round her shoulder and she was being pulled in to him, she did not resist for a moment and buried her face in to his chest and without hesitation she moved her legs on top of his and cuddled herself in to him. His beat of his heart that years ago she would have said was non-existent thundered through every part of her being, calming her.
“Aren’t you cold?” came her soft voice.
“No” he said, looking at the perfect thing that was Lily, finally cuddled up to him and in his hoody. “I’m great” he said with a large beam.
James brushed the gorgeous red locks out of Lily’s face and pressed his soft lips against her forehead. He expected this to be the last straw and she would leave but he could not help himself. Something so beautiful deserves to be kissed he thought. Yet she did not move away, instead she just pulled herself closer to him.
“You know what Potter? I think I might have finally found something I like about you” she breathed.
“Oh yeah?” he replied, half listening, half lost in thought.
“You make quite a good pillow” she finished, followed by an involuntary giggle and mere moments after she was asleep and dreaming.
She could not feel James stare upon her nor could she feel when he picked her up in his arms and took her upstairs to the boy’s dormitory. He laid her on his own bed, tucked her in and kissed her forehead once again. She was beautiful even as she slept; she was the physical embodiment of perfect. Taking one last look at her he closed the curtains of his four poster bed and lay down on the carpet next to it, dragging out his bag to use as a pillow and putting his invisibility cloak over himself so nobody would realise he wasn’t the one sleeping in his bed. He did not care that he was uncomfortable because he knew his bed would smell of her for weeks and then he heard her mutter a word in her sleep under a heavy breath “James” she said and his smile did not leave his face even as he fell into deep sleep.
When Lily awoke on Saturday morning she was so confused, she knew it was not her bed but it was definitely Gryffindor and then she realised she was still in his hoody but he, himself was nowhere to be seen. She peered out of the tiny gap in the curtains to see a bag on the floor where James had obviously slept and it occurred to her that he must have carried her up here and let her sleep. She was touched, last night they had shared stories and cuddled up together and this morning she found herself in his bed. But where had he gone? She buried her head in his pillow and tried to imprint the smell on her nostrils, she was smiling and biting her lip, thinking about James Potter and then she heard a snore.
She was so shocked by the gruff boyish snore that her smile vanished, she again peered out through the curtain and saw Peter still sleeping in his bed at the other end of the dormitory. How was she supposed to leave without being noticed coming out the boy’s dormitory? And with nobody but Peter Pettigrew in here. Her heart began to beat hard as she assessed the situation. She would have to wait for James to return, but that could be hours? Where was he?
And then all thoughts vanished and she held her breath as she heard the door open, no voice. Who was it? Sirius? Remus? What is it was Frank and Alice? And then she saw a shadow come round the bed and open the curtain slightly.
“Morning, Evans” beamed James. She was relieved and then she noticed, he was holding a tray full of food.
“This is for you” he said “sorry, you missed breakfast and we were up pretty late last night I didn’t want to wake you so I brought your favourites” he planted the tray down next to her and then climbed on to the bed, closing the curtains behind him.
“And here, these are for you too” and from behind his back he pulled a bouquet of Lilies and gave them to her. “You said last night you’d never been brought breakfast in bed or been given flowers so there, now you have” the smile was ever present on his face.
“And” he continued “I know, head girl and all, you won’t exactly want to be seen leaving here so you can borrow this.” He threw her a silver silky cloak “it’s my invisibility cloak, you can walk out of here and back to your room without anybody every knowing”. Lily looked down at the food, his hoody and the lilies and the cloak, he had thought of everything, never had she felt so taken care of and spoilt.
“What’s the matter?” he said quietly “don’t you like it?” Lily looked up to see he was looking disappointed in himself, she did not want that.
“Thank you, James” she said “It’s perfect” with slightly watery eyes and a small smile. Her eyes started deep in to his, she hoped it would say more and then he sat up.
“Right, well I’ve got Quidditch practice, wouldn’t be good for the Captain to be late now would it? Eat up, don’t want it getting cold. See ya later, Lils” and then he grabbed his Quidditch robes and broom, gave her a cheeky wink and he was out the door.
Totally frozen, she sat there for a minute, her mind imploding, trying to cope with what had just happened. She felt warm and safe in the bed of James Potter, so taken care of and spoilt. She beamed to herself, looking down upon her breakfast in bed and the gorgeous lilies, cuddling herself up in his hoody she quickly ate through her meal.
After about ten more minutes of just enjoying laying in his bed, Lily finally resigned to the fact she would have to leave at some point. Reluctantly she pulled herself away from his sheets, gathered her bag and wrapped herself in the invisibility cloak. She gasped. She had never actually been in it before but had caught James using it several times but she was still fascinated to look in the mirror and see the wall behind herself. She slowly paced her way out of the Dormitory, unhelped by the old squeaking door. “My Dad would be saying put some WD-40 on that” she thought to herself, despite the fact she could do it ten times faster with a spell. The plan was to get in to her bed unnoticed and emerge as if just awoken from a good night’s sleep. Flawless. The common room had little obstacles for her way to her own dormitory. Only once did she nearly bump in to someone but they were so concentrated on their game of Exploding Snap that they did not even hear her accidental and squeak “”Sorry” from under the cloak.
But, as she entered the dormitory, she discovered it to be empty, all the curtains to all the beds were open. She could just say she got up really early and wrote and letter and went for a walk, which was plausible. But then she noticed a little piece of torn parchment, with big bubbly handwriting scrawled across it, on her bed.
“Lily! Where were you all night? Up late with Potter?
We’re in the Library doing homework
Come find us when you’re finished with him!
Her flawless plan lay shattered at her feet, she would have to tell the truth to her friends. They would not let her sleep for weeks until they managed to finally torture every detail out of her. “I’d rather take the Cruciatus Curse” she mumbled to herself.
“James Potter gave you his sausage!” laughed Amelia. Lily had just finished telling them everything that happened from her sitting down next to him to him leaving in the morning.
“You make everything dirty Amelia! It was really romantic actually” declared Lily.
“It sounds wonderful” said Ariel, who had a real soft spot for romance and was probably quite jealous but nevertheless enthralled by the story.
Lily was blushing a deep red and looked away from the girls, they did not care, they now had the gossip so Lily could wander off it thought. But then she heard a noise from the shelf behind her, none of the others noticed. Was somebody listening to their conversation? She darted up and found the guilty sallow skinned, black haired perpetrator.
“Sev!” she said in a moment of shock followed a moment of rage.
“You were listening to our conversation!” she whispered through gritted teeth.
“That’s not on Snape.” She stated finally.
“Lily-I just. You and Potter?” he stuttered, she never saw Snape anymore, he looked older and stronger.
“What of it” she snapped “And what’s it got to do with you?” she was so angry at her once best friend.
His eyes darted behind her for a second, he smile, straighted himself up and said very cooly
“What happened to the Lily Evans who would spend the entirety of breaks and lunches ranting about how much of an arrogant toe-rag bighead James Potter was and how much she loathed every ounce of him”.
“So what if maybe I once said I think James Potter is an arrogant dim-witted trouble making toe rag-“
Before she got the chance to finish and explain that now he was a handsome, romantic, talented, witty and charming boy she heard that very voice from behind her.
“Oh” he said, it was a heart-breaking shocking sound, so blank and dead. He had only heard the latter part of the conversation but Lily had already caught on to that, Snape was smiling. She thought James might hex Snape
“James I-“ but before she could set the record straight he was running off, broom still in hand, out of the Library in to the direction of the entrance hall.
She gave a hatred fuelled look at Snape, dropped her bags off at the girl’s desk, they hadn’t noticed her absence, engrossed in gossip, and pelted after James. He was fairly athletic and had a head start he was miles ahead.
“JAMES” she shouted, she did not care what this looked like, the head girl running down the hallways, screaming her head off. She needed him to know she meant none of it! She finally knew exactly how she felt and she needed him to hear it, she didn’t care if the whole of Hogwarts knew. She wanted them to know!
But by the time she reached the entrance hall she saw him flying off in the distance over the top of the Forbidden Forest, a blur and he was gone. She begun to slowly walk back to the Library, her eyes watering, things had been going beyond perfectly and she ruined it if only she could explain. But then Remus Lupin appeared from around a corner and caught her eyes.
“I saw what happened” he said softly.
“I want you to come with me Lily for a few minutes, I just want to talk” he set off and she followed him, no idea what he was going to say she thought she might be able to convince Remus that she did not mean what she said, he heard it out of context. She felt a rush of sympathy for all the witches and wizards misquoted in the Daily Prophet.
Too lost in thought, she took no notice of where they were going but still followed Remus until they finally came to their apparent destination, it was a small un-used classroom on the second floor, very far away from any passers-by. They sat down at one of the tables opposite each other and Lily opened her mouth to talk.
“I’m sorry Lily, I just want you to listen for a second. Now, James I a dear friend of mine-“
“I know he is and Remus it’s all-“
“Lily, please” he interrupted again “I’m going to tell you a something that only the staff of this school, James, Sirius and Remus are aware of” he looked straight at her, he looked nervous and his eyes old.
“It may totally change your opinion of me and you may never wish to talk to me or even be in the same room with me again but I hope it will demonstrate how much of a wonderful, loyal man James Potter is and to understand I feel very protective of him and I really do not want to see him hurt by when he has been so happy this past month”. Lily did not speak, she did not know if she wanted to know the secret, she was scared, what could it possibly be?
And he told her a story of a young boy who was bitten by a werewolf, shunned by the entire wizarding community, he was alone. Until, he came to Hogwarts where he met three people who would become his best friends. The friends, intelligent and curious, discovered the boys illness but these boys were not so prejudice to believe that stopped him being a great person, to see the good in him. Very loyally and very illegally, the friends taught themselves to become Animagus to help the ill boy when he was most scared and alone.
Lily, who was a beautifully kind girl did not have an inkling of a feeling to want to leave the room in disgust because of this discovery, instead she reached out her hand to him with teary eyes and try to comfort him. James came off in the story like a fairy tale prince, a true friend. Lily could never doubt that James belonged in Gryffindor. When Remus finished, Lily could hardly speak, Remus told her to wait in the common room for James and explain everything. Tell him how she felt rather than dancing around this any longer. So Lily planned just that.
James did not re-appear in the common room all day and Lily sat bolted to the sofa facing the portrait hole waiting for him to enter. She knew he could not use his invisibility cloak because she had it on her in her bag but she started to wonder if maybe he just flew straight in through the window on his broom and in to bed.
His non-appearance did not discourage her, she stayed in that place for hours. Hours and hours, there was nobody but her left in the common room. Only the sound of the sweet crackling fire which licked the bottom of Lily’s feet and her soft breathing could be heard in the entire room. The entrancing blaze of flames started to convince her heavy eyes to drop. But she did not want to give up. Well maybe a quick nap. And for the second night she was asleep on the sofa.
About half an hour later, James finally emerged through the portrait hole, he had been flying around all day and at some point he snuck in to Honeydukes and bought himself a few pick me ups. The entire day he had spent trying to get those words out of his head but they played on a constant loop and the only thing to nearly clear his head was flying.
Tired, he stumbled in, he gazed around and at first glance thought it empty, her hair did match the red chair perfectly. He did not know what to do, it was very late and he did not expect her to still be here. She was asleep, he was thankful. There was only one possible conclusion, exactly what she had kind of hoped for, for the second night in a row, James lifted Lily out of the seat and carried her up to his bed.
Again he laid her down, tucked her in and watched her calm and silently dream. The bag had still been there from the previous night and Lily still had his cloak so he got out his longest robes and lay down and tucked himself in on the hard floor.
“No” breathed a soft voice from behind his head. He turned to see the eyes of Lily Evans sparkling in the darkness, her hand reaching out to where his lay, beckoning him to join her. His body moved before he even thought about it, he climbed in to the bed under the covers really quite fast before the idea sunk in that he was getting in bed with Lily Evans. Suddenly he was aware of every part of his body, every hair stood to attention, he lay there rigid, not daring to touch her.
Lily was not at all scared and instead she immediately pulled close to him, laying her head just under his and half her body on his and then she started to cry.
“I didn’t mean what you heard” she sniffed “If you heard the whole thing you’d have realised I was saying that’s what I used to think of you. When I was Miss Goody two shoes and you were this excited loud teenage boy who was a rule breaker and in trouble all the time but you’re not him anymore, well still a bit of a rule breaker.” She laughed and took a breath, his heart was beating so fast he felt like a prize idiot but was hanging on to her every word.
“You’ve matured and you’ve shouldered some responsibility, you’re head boy, Quidditch Captain and a stag apparently…” she looked at his shocked face.
“Remus told me” she continued
“You’re a very loyal friend and a very talented wizard and slightly reckless but what girl doesn’t love a bad boy? You’re funny and so smart and so caring and brilliant and perfect” she silently cried harder with every word.
“And you think I’m good looking according to Frank, he said Amelia said so on the train” came his voice, joking was the only thing he had, his mind was so loud he could not string together a cohesive line of thought, she laughed then lifted her head so it was level was his, their lips centimetres apart, both of them, their eyes flittering between the others eyes and lips.
“Truth is, James” said Lily very slowly.
“I love you” she said finally and the words rung through James ears, fireworks exploding in his head and a smile broke out in his face wider than his face itself.
“I love you too, Lils” he said finally and then he leaned in and he was kissing her and she was kissing him. The soft lips of Lily Evans locked him in and he felt an explosion of euphoria and bliss, he felt her lips move in to a smile as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She was kissing James Potter in his bed and there was no place she would rather be, she loved the feel of his hands moving down her back and after a few blissful moments she pulled away a couple of inches.
“Well go on” she said quickly, looking almost annoyed
“What?” he said, so confused, what was he meant to do now, he hadn’t done this before!
“Ask me out!” she said and her face broke in to a hug smile and his doubled hers.
“Lily Evans, the gorgeous red headed princess of Gryffindor will you be my girlfriend?” he said for the final time. She pretended to consider for a second, teasing him and then.
“Yes” she said “But” she added quickly, he hadn’t expected that. “No touching in any inappropriate places! I don’t want to wake the others” she looked so innocent and nervous but with this James hand moved down her back and stopped at the curve of her bum, resting there,
“Uh James” she gasped with a grin but made no effort to stop him or remove the hand. “There are rules” she raised her eyebrows at him but could not hide the smile.
“Ah Lils” he said, smiling ear to ear“You said it yourself, I’ve always been a rule breaker” and then he was kissing her again and they did not stop for hours, silently cuddling all through the night.
His fingers traced over her back as he held her in close, never wanting to let go asthey drifted off to sleep together, in each other’s arms and in perfect comfort with thoughts swimming with the other. Lily and James. Finally! He thought.
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