"Lily, come back here," he shouted, running after me and into my front yard. The ground felt very hard under my feet, but I didn't care. It was cold, and I was only wearing a thin sweater, but I didn't care about that either.
"Lily!" he said, the sound of his feet hitting the ground coming quicker and closer by the second. "Just wait," he said, grasping my upper arm lightly. He was out of breath, as I had gotten a good two minute start on him, and he had run to catch up with me.
"How could you, James," I said, turning to face the boy, hunched over and leaning on his knees. "You know," I said, lifting his face to meet mine. "You know I don't do magic in front of them." I shook my head, trying to avoid his apologetic hazel eyes.
"Your parents can accept you, that's all that matters." I rolled my eyes at his still crunched form.
"You don't have a sibling, you don't get it! It's like, if Sirius hated you. Think about that."
"Lily, you shouldn't have to hide who you are," he said softly, standing up to his full height.
"I'm not!" I yelled, throwing my arms up in disbelief. "It's just I would like to go to my sisters wedding, and if I'm still invited, I sure as hell won't be bringing you!" I said, poking his chest.
"I was just trying to show them that magic is completely normal," he said, trying to find something that made sense in my mind.
"They won't ever believe that. You were just being a bloody prat, and you know it."
"I was defending you! They were talking all sorts of shit about you." he said angrily, clearly not wanting to have told me that.
"You don't have to be my goddamned hero all the time, James!" I shouted, crossing my arms defiantly. I didn't need him. We stood there for about thirty seconds, just standing and staring. The wind blew my hair around harshly, and I glared at him when he went to move it out of my face.
"At least come back with me to the house so you can put some shoes on," he said, noticing that my feet were fidgeting around on the ground.
"No," I said shaking my head and walking towards town. I just needed to get somewhere warm. I don't care how ridiculous I looked without shoes, I wasn't going back to that house. "And for the record," I said turning around quickly, realizing he had insulted Petunia. "I am the only one allowed to talk about Petunia," I said dangerously. My face was much closer to his now, and my nose was almost touching his, as he had bent down a bit. I'm sure he was planning on kissing me.
"Don't even think about it," I said, as he leaned forward and I stepped backwards.
"Well that's just embarrassing," he said, scratching his head, and pushing his hair down, which was even crazier than mine at the moment.
"Now you know how I feel," I exclaimed hopelessly.
"That's what I'm trying to say, love," he said, holding my hands in his. "You shouldn't be embarrassed by what you are. You are a witch," he said, spreading out the words purposefully.
"Stop telling me what I should and shouldn't do!" I put my hair behind my ear even though I knew it would continue to blow in my face anyway. "I think we should-" I began, before I saw his face, his eyebrow crinkling sadly.
"We have one little fight and you're ready to quit?" he asked, his voice calmer but much sadder than before.
"One?" I asked, raising an eyebrow. "One fight. You don't remember all the other fights we've had in the past two months?" I asked, knowing that it would break his heart to do this. But it's better in the long run, anyway. It'll prevent both of us from getting hurt even more later.
"I guess you're not the Lily I fell in love with," he said, taking off his glasses quickly and rubbing them on his shirt to rid them of frost. My lips pursed as he said that. That, all along, was the real reason I never wanted to go with him. I could never live up to the expectation.
"Moony told me this would happen," he muttered, fiddling with the zipper on his sweater that refused to zip up, his hands shaking. I lay my calm hands over his and took them away from the zipper. The sound of me zipping up the jumper was very loud in out tense silence, and after it was done, it was like that was our final hurrah. It just felt like that was the ending to it, us. It just felt like it.
"It'll be nice to just be friends," I lied easily. It would be way worse than it ever had been. It was who we are.
"No, Lily. It won't," he said, looking at me again, his eyes fiery, more protected than sad.
"I'm sorry," I said. "There were two choices when we got together. We'd either get married or break up. Which is more probable?" I asked trying and failing miserably to laugh it off.
"So just to be clear, you're done with me?" he asked, his Adams apple bobbing around in his throat. It took me a bit to answer, as I was mesmerized by the strange movement that seemed almost nervous, frantic.
"Yes James," I said, bowing my head to avoid his eyes that I knew would be steely. They wouldn't be the eyes that I normally saw.
"Look at me and tell me that Lily. Tell me that you don't want to see me anymore." My hands roamed my face anxiously, and he stood there, a good half a meter of distance between us. Where he usually would be bringing my hands down and kissing my knuckles, he was standing there, watching me.
"I don't want to see you anymore, James." He sniffed a bit, and I couldn't tell if he was crying or not behind his fogging glasses. He pushed them off of his face, and they were lost in his hair for a moment. It was clear now that he hadn't been crying. His eyes were dead now, just empty and tired.
"I'm going to kiss you now, Lily. Is that alright?" I nodded silently, letting my mouth loosen. I hadn't realized that it had been set in such a tight lock throughout the conversation. He walked forward, and as soon as he began, I had to close my eyes. I couldn't watch his face as he did this. I heard his own bare feet crunch on the gravel. My toes squirmed a bit in the cold air, but I didn't want to think about that right now.
"I'll go get my things after this," he said, dragging his hand up and down my arm a bit. I could feel his fingertips through the thin sweater and it made me want to forgive him right there; but it wasn't worth it. He wasn't worth it. I nodded slowly, my eyes still shut. I swayed a bit, my balance gone as my eyes were closed, and he grabbed my lower back with his hand to stop the swaying. I felt his exhalation of a snicker on my face. The little prat was laughing at me.
"I'll take my things and leave to go back to my house." There was another crunch of gravel with another step forward. This was tortuously slow. I didn't want to acknowledge him again, so I did not answer this time.
I could always sense when he was going to kiss me. I'd learned the feeling that came with it. It was like my chest and shoulders froze up right before, and then relaxed into butter when he finally did kiss me. And I wanted to feel that again. I felt my neck become tense as he brushed my hair away slowly, letting his fingers linger softly on my collarbone.
"No James, don't do this," I said impulsively. I knew if I hadn't said it, I never would have. And I knew it probably crushed him, and it crushed me even more but I had to put my feelings aside for a moment. I knew I loved him, but he was just too childish. He was too immature for me. He wasn't a good influence, and it would just end up getting one if not both of us hurt.
And he was right. I wasn't the Lily he fell in love with. I mean I was, but I was pretending I wasn't. I wanted to be with him no matter the costs, but it was just too dangerous. Especially in these times.
"James," I whispered, completely expecting him to be standing above me like he always was. I opened my eyes when there was no response, and I realized why he didn't respond. He had gone. I felt my legs crumble terribly. They simply refused to cooperate with my brain any longer. I fell onto the gravel, my feet now numb, frozen with the cool ground.
I heard the rocks grind beneath my weight, but it was distant. It was all distant and blurry now; especially his lanky form I saw in the distance, walking back to face my parents and tell them what their daughter had done.
But, knowing James, he'd tell them it was his fault. Bloody Gryffindor. I wiped away one of my tears, and got comfortable, settling into my place on the ground. I'm always saying I'm the hero. Always. But, if I'm the hero, why do I always need James to save me?