He always knew she'd be the death of him. Somehow, amidst the teasing, pranking, arguing, insulting, studying, dating, kissing, loving, lovemaking, childrearing, and living, he had known.
As he stood at the foot of the stairs, the only blockade between the two people that mattered most to him, and a man that even the Devil himself had no claim over and feared, James was prepared.
Because he had always known that she would be the death of him.
"Sirius, hand me that dungbomb."
"Jamesie, this might be one of the best ideas you've ever had."
"You've only known me for three days."
"That may be so. It feels longer."
Sirius Black handed the small bag of dung bombs over to his new friend, James Potter. Although they had met on the Hogwarts Express just days before, the brotherhood that they would be famous for had already begun to make its presence known.
The two black-haired first years sniggered darkly as they waited behind a corner of the castle waiting for the emerging of a red-haired, emerald eyed bird and her stringy, stingy, greasy best friend.
James took a dungbomb out and prepared to pull out the pin. They should be coming out from lunch any time now.
The doors to the Great Hall opened and out strolled the two targets, side by side, talking animatedly. The stringy haired boy was gesturing a wand movement, and the redhead took it all in, eyes glistening excitedly.
James pulled the pin and rolled the bomb out. The two dark heads poked out, one above the other to watch the chaos unfold and ensue.
With a large explosion, the bomb exploded in a cloud of putrid, puke-green stench. The two first years screamed and plugged their noses, quickly walking away to evade the grotesque smell that had interrupted their intriguing conversation. Their evasion brought them to the corner where two raven-haired pranksters rolled around on the ground clutching their stomachs, tears freely falling down their cheeks.
The boy glared and sniffed backing away slightly, lip curling.
The redhead on the other hand…
"What do you think you two are doing tossing dungbombs around the halls while students are walking! Someone could have been seriously hurt!"
James had gotten up at this point, wiping his face with his sleeves and kicking his friend gently to stand up as well. He faced the furious redhead in front of him and smirked; a look that would become only too familiar to the girl.
"Oh, come off it. Dungbombs don't hurt people. They're naturally attracted to people who stink."
At this statement, the other raven haired, but grey eyed boy doubled over again. James glanced over and smiled reveling in the response he received.
"You git. Can't you just leave people alone? Severus and I were in the middle of a…"
"Book review I expect. Well, by all means, do continue."
The boy called Severus sniffed loudly and condescendingly at James. James glared back.
"What's your problem? Need to blow your nose or something? Use her hair, it could use some shine Mr. Sniffy. Severus was it? More like Snivellus."
James and Sirius cracked up.
"Take that back. Don't you dare talk about him like that! He's more than half the man you are!"
This only made James and Sirius laugh louder.
The red head drew her wand on them.
"Oo. I'm so scared, Red. What're you going to do? Alohamora me? What's your name anyway?"
The girl glared at them, narrowing her eyes as she remembered a spell she had read about during her free reading.
Suddenly, James' and Sirius' legs began to wobble around in a sort of dance. The girl put her wand away, admiring her handiwork.
A horrified expression quickly crossed James' face, but was quickly replaced by an arrogant smirk.
"Care to dance, Red?"
"You're impossible, you arrogant, bullying toe-rag!"
James' legs were starting to get sore.
"Take the jinx off, would you?"
"Not until you take back what you said about Sev!"
"Never." He grinned.
"Come on, Lily. Let's get out of here."
The girl, Lily, stuck her nose up at James and Sirius.
"Well have fun dancing around all day. Come on, Sev."
Sev looked at the girl gratefully as the two walked away from them.
After they had left, Professor McGonagall had come across the two boys dancing. Taking 5 points from each boy for "indecent public displays," she uttered the countercurse.
James and Sirius walked up to the first year boys' dormitories in Gryffindor Tower.
"My legs are killing me."
"Yeah, that Lily girl certainly has a wand."
"Lily. She'll be the death of me."
Transfiguration was one of James' best subjects. Probably his best, now that he thought about it. The incantations and wand-movements just seemed natural to him, second-nature. He waved his wand again, lazily and muttered "duro," the sock in front of him turning completely into stone.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the fiery auburn locks of one Lily Evans as she glared at him.
Transfiguration was not one of her best subjects. But when it came to Charms, there was no equal to Lily Evans.
Smirking and giving a pointed look at Lily, James waved his wand and turned Sirius' practice sock into stone.
"Oi! That was my sock."
"Sorry, mate. Just practicing."
"Ah well. Thanks for the free passing score."
"Really, Sirius. You should start doing your own work. Between James and me, you don't have to lift a finger."
"Do I ask you do to my homework, Remus?"
"Actually, you do. We're second years, OWLS are in three years, and if you can't do your own work…"
"Shove it Remus."Sirius grunted.
Remus grinned wolfishly.
James in the meantime had dawdled over to the table Lily was working at with one of her friends, Alice Prewitt.
"Alright there, Evans?"
"Get out of my sight, Potter, before I turn you into stone."
"Doubtful, seeing as you haven't even managed to turn your sock into stone."
"You share the same IQ. It would be simple."
"Yours must be lower since the sock is still a cotton sock."
Lily turned red with anger, breathing deeply.
"Allow me, Evans."
Lily pointed her wand at James' throat. James had received enough of her jinxes and hexes to step back and raise his hands in surrender.
"Get away from me Potter, or so help me…"
"That's why I came over. To help you." James smirked.
Lily exploded. A jet of reddish orange burst out of her wand unintentionally. The following flames found James' prized unruly locks and set his hair on fire.
"AH! MERLIN WOMAN, WHAT DID YOU DO?"
Lily looked horrified and just stood there, wand still out. James was running around the room batting his head screaming for water. McGonagall rushed over, pushing up her sleeves.
"MR. POTTER, HOLD STILL!"
James stopped abruptly and turned to the voice that had said his name.
A jet of cold, soothing water spurted out of the professor's wand and doused the flames on James' head. His hair was gone, and the skin on his head was red and blistered.
"Mr. Lupin, kindly escort Mr. Potter to the hospital wing to get treated."
"Yes, Ma'am." Remus stood up and grabbed James' arm and lead them out of the Transfiguration hall.
When they were at the door to the infirmary, Remus looked over at James.
"Here you are mate. I'll grab your things when class is over."
Remus gave him a smile and a gentle pat on the back and turned to make his way back to class.
James sighed and opened the door to the hospital wing. Instantly, Madam Pomfrey looked up and her eyes widened. She hurried over and all but pushed James to a bed. As she prepared a burn-relief potion and a hair-renewal potion, James lay on the bed and thought to himself.
Surely, Lily Evans would be the death of him.
They had discovered that their friend was a werewolf towards the end of second year. By the beginning of third year James, Sirius and Peter had vowed that they would find a way to support Remus. This promise had lead the three boys to a place that they had avoided at all costs their past 2 years at Hogwarts:
The room filled with books and parchments had long since been a second home to one Remus Lupin.
It had also been a sanctuary for one Lily Evans to escape the teasing and pranking of one James Potter.
Lily warily glanced at the three boys sitting at a table in the back corner of the library, eyes pouring over book after book after book on Merlin-knew-what. This had not gone unnoticed by James, who, every now and then would raise his hazel gaze to the emerald one.
What in Merlin's second aunt's name did she want? Couldn't she keep to herself?
Her frequent episodes of staring were beginning to wear on James' nerves and tolerance.
The seventy-first time Lily had looked up at them (James had counted), was the final straw for James.
"OI! Evans! What do you bloody want?"
Lily eeped and gathered her things rather quickly, exiting the library without a glance behind her.
James sat down, frustrated and rubbing his temples.
They hadn't found anything about what they could do to help Moony. James smiled at the new nickname they had made up for their friend.
They couldn't find anything, and Evans had been annoyingly staring at him… she made him so angry.
She would be the death of him.
He couldn't believe that she could be friends with him. He was a smelly, greasy, Snivelly, arse who had developed a strange and scary interest in Dark Magic. James had seen him sneak into the restricted section of the library (of course he followed, he had an invisibility cloak) and saw the books Snivellus chose as his light reading.
And the only reason he had been in the library anyway was to check out books about animagi. At the end of their third year they had discussed werewolves, and later, animagi and how animals and wizards or witches who could turn into animals were immune to the bite of a werewolf.
They had found their answer, and they intended on seeing their promise through. It hadn't been going so well lately. Poor Peter had buck teeth for a week, and Sirius had been horribly distracted by any round objects in his vicinity. He also had the tendency to drool. Even when there was no food present.
James had spent a week jumping, standing completely still, and staring wide-eyed at anything that startled him. Which was most things, it had seemed.
Lily laughed and gently nudged his shoulder.
Filthy Muggle-hating git. And she didn't even know.
Lily had developed over the summer. She had grown breasts, and her legs seemed to reach Avalon. Her curves had rounded out deliciously and she had a slim waist. Her wavy auburn locks tumbled down her back and her eyes were as green as ever. James found himself unable to stop looking at her, but she wouldn't even give him the time of day. He had pranked non-stop, fooled around in class, misbehaved… anything he could think of to bloody just get her to notice him already!
It had occurred to him one night while he was up reading about how a wizard had to accumulate the thoughts of the target animal in which he wished to become when it had struck him. He hadn't picked up a single thing he had read in that last paragraph and he was re-reading the same sentence over and over again.
Because Lily Evans filled his mind.
He would need a good wank later.
He bloody fancied her, and she was always around that lowlife prick who didn't even deserve her beautiful gaze to scan over him.
Why wouldn't she talk to him, or even look at him? Anytime they were in the same room it was as if his eyes were magnetically drawn to her. Every little thing she did: nibble the top of her quill when she was concentrating, tucking her hair behind her ear when she was nervous or flattered, the way her eyes would light up and her hand would shoot in the air when she knew an answer…
Anything she did was enough to make his heart beat erratically and make him hold his breath.
She was beautiful, perfect, loving, kind and smart…
He had to find a way to reach her, to get her to go out with him, give him a chance. Seeing how things were between them, it would be even more difficult than learning to turn into a stag.
She would be the death of him.
"…And I'd wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus."
In retrospect, it probably hadn't been the best way to ask out the girl of his dreams, but he had panicked. Lily hadn't exactly reacted in the way James had been hoping either, claiming she would take the Giant Squid over him. Him. One of Hogwarts' most handsome men…
He didn't come up with that title himself. He had overheard girls saying it.
James followed Lily as she fled the scene of the previous incident. He had to talk to her. He had to explain himself.
Where are you going, Evans?
Lily was almost running she was walking so fast. James tried to stay a ways behind her so she didn't feel as if she was being followed. Lily opened the doors to the castle and made her way up the stairs. James knew every nook and cranny of the castle, plus, he had the Marauder's Map with him: something they had began construction on at the end of fourth year, worked on over the summer, and finished the second week of their fifth year. Not long after, they had perfected their animagus transformations and were able to join Remus for the first time the first full moon back at school as a complete foursome: Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs.
Lily completely bypassed the Fat Lady's portrait. She wasn't headed to the common room or the girl's dormitories.
Without looking to see if anyone was watching, Lily took a sharp left and made her way down the hall where she took a right… into the wall.
James wasn't the least bit surprised that Lily had walked through the wall. He knew about this secret place. He was surprised however that she knew about it. He had stumbled across it first year.
James stopped just outside the wall. He couldn't hear anything, as the space was sound proof, and the wall shouldn't be making noise anyway if it wanted to pass as a regular wall.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
He walked through the wall and found Lily huddled in the corner of the carpeted area. It was a small space, about the length of two of him in all directions, and it had blue carpet with a large, white, image of Polaris in the center. He heard her sniffling. She hadn't noticed his entrance.
He tentatively and quietly shuffled towards her as to not disturb her.
Her back was against the wall and her knees were pulled up to her chest. Her gorgeous hair hid her even more beautiful face. James sat down next to her and placed his hand on her shoulder.
Lily jumped and gasped severely, whipping her head to look at James. She didn't seem angry, just surprised.
"H-how did you find m-me?" she asked, voice thick with tears.
"I've known about this spot since my first year."
Lily tried to wipe her eyes, but the tears kept falling. James gently grabbed her hands and brought them away from her face and futile attempts at damming the rivers.
"Don't. Just let it come out."
Lily's tears started anew and she leaned her head on James' shoulder, tucking her arm into his. He let her cry. It was his fault she was in pain. Mostly. Her pain was his pain. He had never felt like more of an arsewipe toe-rag than he did now. His heart ached for hers, even though he knew hers didn't ache for him, but for her lost friendship. This was tentative. They would go back to hating each other tomorrow, but for now, he reveled in her closeness, but withered at the fact that this would end. His heart almost couldn't take it.
She'd be the death of him.
After the disastrous fifth year, he'd decided he would leave her be. He'd caused her enough pain for a lifetime. That summer he took it upon himself to grow up; to mature and deflate his head.
Sixth year passed uneventfully.
He didn't speak to her if he could help it. He trained himself not to look at her. He forced himself not to think about her.
He actually studied to keep his mind off of her.
Not that he'd ever needed it.
Full moons were his haven. As a stag, he didn't have to worry about petty humanly thoughts. He was free to run away from his humanity and the anchors that weighed him down.
He was free of her.
However, the heart that beat in the stag's body was still his own, and it still yearned for her.
He hadn't really been paying attention tonight. Moony was nowhere to be found. The dog, the rat and the stag were all looking for him; swiveling their ears in the directions of sounds, sniffing the air, observing recently overturned brush.
The stag, for some reason, wouldn't let go of its humanity, and so it felt the ache of emptiness in its chest.
It didn't sense the werewolf behind him.
It was already too late when the stag's ears detected the snap of the twig. The werewolf had already launched. Its claws sunk into the rump of the stag and an animalistic squeal of pain left the stag's mouth. Instantly it collapsed to the ground, the weight of the werewolf too much. Razors ripped his flesh, canines pierced his shoulders and neck. The stag began to black out.
Just before he gave in to sweet nothingness, the stag felt the abrupt jerk of another beast knocking the wolf from his ragged form. The black dog had struck and was tumbling away from him with the barely distinguishable form of matted, coarse hair that was the werewolf.
Rat had returned to human form, Peter, something in the stag's mind told it, and the stag let go of the animal hold, morphing back into a man—broken and torn; not only his body, but his heart.
She would be the death of him.
He flipped them over so that he was on top and continued to ravage her mouth with his own. His tongue delved into her mouth tasting her, claiming her as his own because she finally was. Her hands tore at his hair bringing him impossibly closer to her. Her lips devoured his and he uttered a guttural groan as her legs wrapped around his waist opening herself to him. The change in sensation weakened him momentarily and his arms gave out on him. His body crashed down onto hers.
This did nothing to stunt the snogging session.
Lily reveled in the sudden closeness, the heat of their bodies melding them together.
His hands were doing sinful things to her body, dancing up and down her ribs and gripping her thighs to bring her closer to him. His lips were the real devil, though. It had to be a sin, the way he kissed.
It always started gentle, just a whisper of a graze of two lips. Then he would smirk and bring his hand behind her head crushing her lips to his. She would open her mouth instantly, inviting him in because Merlin she couldn't take his teasing. She always wanted him quicker than she could have him and he knew that, the bastard.
His lips would suck in her top lip and massage it with his tongue, and then he would repeat the ministrations to her bottom lip. Lily would melt and almost collapse, and that was when he would have to back her up to the wall so that he could hold her there, pressing his pelvis to hers and pinning her hips with his to support her against the wall. His hands would reach up and gently cup her face, his thumbs would caress her cheeks as he kissed her as if it was all he lived for.
Kissing Lily almost killed him every time he engaged in the activity with her. She would emit sounds that should never leave a girl's throat if she wanted a man to stay sane.
He couldn't believe that he now reserved the right to kiss her whenever he wanted to. They had discovered in the Head's train carriage that day that they would be sharing the leadership together.
It was an awkward reconciliation, as they hadn't spoken in months.
Soon enough though, a friendship blossomed. She realized he had matured, but was still the same man. Man. He had grown up. He discovered even more attributes about her that allowed him to develop a relationship with her as a friend.
It hadn't escalated to anything more until he had come in bloodied up from a full moon. Lily had been up late working on a potions essay when he had stumbled through the door.
Secrets had come out on both ends that night.
Hers had been locked away since it had been unearthed: she fancied him.
It had started and neither of them had had the strength to stop it.
Neither wanted to.
This was what they needed, what they had craved from each other for all those years:
The other's love.
And now they had it.
Lily used her strong thighs to flip James back under her.
"Minx," he uttered into her mouth, their lips meshed together like two puzzle pieces.
She grinned into his mouth and licked his lip causing him to groan and allowing her to slip her tongue into his mouth.
Her tongue was dangerous. He couldn't think anymore. He needed to stop this now before he completely lost it.
James tore his mouth away before his virtue and innocence could be compromised further. They were both panting and gazing into each other's eyes, small smiles playing on their now swollen lips.
"Why'd you stop?" Lily breathed.
"Because if I don't… Lily… you'll be the death of me."
She would be the death of him. It was something he had always known. When the wand raised and pointed to his heart the green light he saw could never be stronger or brighter than the green of the gaze of the woman he loved, and of whom he knew loved him, or the bright eyes of his son who had inherited his mother's orbs.
She was the death of him, but oh, what a death it had been.
Wow. I have been on a writing roll all week.
I suppose it's me trying to make up for the period of time I was AWOL and didn't post.
Inspiration keeps knocking on the door, and of course I invite it in, not caring if it's a vampire and drains my energy and sleeping time.
I love it.
Thank you for reading, Lovies. I hope you enjoyed it.