A/N: Hey guys! okay .. so this is not the fic i had said that I'll be posting .. I'm still working on that one but i thought that i'll post a oneshot and I guess I'll post many other oneshots before I post the fic that I'm currently writing. Anyway hope you like the fic .. Read on..
"No seriously, tell me how bad would it be?" asked James curiously eyeing a very apprehensive Lily.
"Do we really need to discuss it?" Lily asked wearily.
James and Lily being Heads were on their nightly patrols and somehow the topic of them going on a date came up. Their almost fragile friendship had come to that stage where they can easily discuss James' pathetic attempts of asking Lily out and Lily's creative insults clearly implicating that they should never go out together. Their companionship had built over since last year and especially this year when they were both made Heads. Over time Lily had found out that James can really be responsible and reliable. Especially the fact that he was Quidditch captain and Head Boy and was handling both these responsibilities diligently along with the crazy workload of N.E.W.T.s this year. And as for James he found out that Lily isn't always the uptight goody two shoes she seemed to be. Last year she had covered up for the marauders' pranks thrice and once even from McGonagall. However, James' feelings for Lily were still the same and if anything they were even stronger. But Lily's impression of James had changed from irresponsible to responsible, git to caring. His obnoxious attitude now seemed to be a bit attractive to Lily now that she knew he said that only to irritate and tease people around him and just how angry he got when someone talked about the pureblood mania that seemed to have spread like wildfire in these past years.
"Yes. I've spent years trying to convince you to go out with me and now that we are on talking terms I think you could at least tell me why won't you just go out with me?" James asked a bit put out when he said that they'd not go out. Somewhere he still hoped to Merlin that someday she'll say yes even if for one day. He'll live with that memory for ever.
"Because you know how I thought of you. A git. That was all that came to my mind when I saw you." Lily told him earnestly with her head bowed down.
"Do you still think of me as a git?" James asked.
"What? No!" Lily replied completely aware of where this line of questioning might lead them to.
"What are you still doing outside Mr. Potter, Ms. Evans?"
The shrill voice of McGonagall cut off James' sentence mid way.
"The patrol hours were over 20 minutes ago."
"Sorry Professor a bunch of first years gave us a bit trouble." Lily lied smoothly.
"Off you go to bed .. both of you." she ordered and left.
They walked back in silence and when they reached the Portrait hole they said their good-nights. But before James could disappear in the boys' staircase Lily called him.
"I really don't think of you the way I used to." Lily told him earnestly. James smiled reassuringly and off they went to their dormitories. James was too occupied with the thoughts of what might have happened had McGonagall not interfered that he failed to notice that there was something else in Lily's voice that was screaming to tell him that she'd say yes to him if only he asked. But James had already decided what he had to do about their unfinished business.
He hadn't spoken to her all day long and Lily was beginning to think that he already hates her. She could't exactly form logical reason in her head for him to be upset with her but she was convinced that he hated her after last night's talk and nothing except James' words could convince her otherwise. The thing that she dreaded was tonight's patrol. What should she say to him? Should she apologize? She decided that to remain silent was the best option she had.
When the time came for the patrols Lily huffed and got up to meet James outside the portrait hole. He was standing there leaning against the wall. At seeing Lily he smiled warmly. Lily, relieved smiled back. To Lily's utmost relief James seemed to have forgotten about last night's talk, although she wished that he'd ask her out.
When it was time to go back James decided to ask Lily what he's been planning for the entire day.
"You didn't wish me birthday this year. You forgot." James said to Lily.
"Hey! I sent you your gift the very next day and apologised, quite profusely if I must say." Lily said smiling sheepishly.
"But you'll have to pay the price. Your apologies didn't heal my wounded heart." James dramatically put both his hands on his heart making Lily laugh out loud.
"Okay drama queen what do you want?" Lily asked still smiling.
"Ah! Never mind." James said pretentiously.
Lily, seeing right through him, said, "Okay." and off she went ahead of him, smiling because she knew she turned the tables on him.
"Oi! Wait. Okay I do want something." James admitted, the top of his ears turning red.
"Then say it." Lily said simply.
"Just don't punch me or something. We have a match next weekend."
"James!" Lily stomped her foot, getting irritated by every passing second.
"Okay. I.. just ... . I was" he started, ".. I .. was thinking that you really don't want to go out with me ..," Lily started at hearing this but James held up a hand to silence her, "But I've always thought that at least once I'd go on a date with you. And now we're spending our last year here in Hogwarts. I don't know when I'll get to see you again once we're out of here. So I was thinking whether you could spare one of your Hogsmede trip to go out with me."
Lily was stunned for a moment. They had already reached the potrait of the the fat lady and have been standing there for quite some time. At seeing her silence James started again, "I mean if the date does go really well you don't have to be obliged to go with me again. All I'm asking is just one date whether it goes well or it turns out be a living hell. You don't have to go out with me again."
"And what if I want to?" Lily asked a bit shyly. it was James turn to be stunned.
"You two AGAIN!" McGonagall's voice cut through the corridor.
This woman has some timing! James thought bitterly.
"Did some first years give you trouble again today? Honestly! Now don't you thinking I should appoint some Superior Heads to look whether the Heads are not out of bed after their patrolling time? I should not see you again or you'll lose points."
James muttered the password and they both climbed the hole. When they were inside the common room, an awkward silence engulfed them.
"Um.. about the date .. " Lily started, "I think I can spare a trip for you."
James face lit up and he seemed to be unable to form words.
"Yeah? .. okay .. er .. goodnight then." James managed to say.
None of the two could sleep that night and the nights until finally Saturday arrived.
The big day finally arrived and the news that the two sworn enemies of the past would be going together today on date spread like wildfire. Sirius kept smiling looking at a very nervous James. Normally James would wear anything that he could get hold of if he had a date for Hogsmede saying he made the clothes look better. But it was Evans this time and he was sweating like a pig.
"Okay. It's just Evans, James."
"You don't understand Sirius, this is the only date I'll have with her. I told her I just wanted to go on a date with her, and that even if the date goes well she wouldn't be under any pressure to go out with me again."
"You told her that?" Sirius asked with his eyebrows shooting up, "ha! I guess that's why she agreed."
"Ouch." Remus muttered.
"Shut up Pads." James said trying to feign indifference but this statement got to him. And then Lily's shy voice rang in his head. What if I want to go? Was she hinting that she might want to go on a date with him again?
He dismissed the thought. Five years of pure hatred wouldn't let her change her mind, James reasoned. He felt a sharp pain grow in his chest as he realised that changing her mind about himself was what he thought was an easy task. He looked in the mirror one more time and left for the entrance hall.
After three minutes of waiting Lily appeared at his side, startling him.
"Hey." Lily said quietly.
James couldn't be more tongue tied. Lily was wearing the dress that he had sent her as a birthday present last year. It was a Hogsmede weekend, he had quietly crept up to her dorm having mastered the art of getting up the girls' staircase in fourth year. No one was in the dorm, so he had quietly placed the dress on her bed, under the covers. He had signed the package An Ardent Admirer. He had thought that she'd wear it on the Christmas Ball or any other Ball or party for that matter. But then he thought that she must have recognised it was him and had thrown the dress away. He never thought of the dress again. But quite apparently she didn't find out that he had sent her that dress. She is wearing it!
"Hi.. you look .. stunning." James said after what felt like an eternity to Lily.
"Thanks, I see you've spent a lot of time trying to precisely roll your sleeves." Lily said smirking. James ears turned red. He had indeed spent a lot of time trying to fold his sleeves to make them look neat.
"But I prefer them untidy and unruly. Like you fold your uniform shirt." Lily said looking up at him, smiling, her cheeks tinted with the slightest tinge of pink.
"Yeah?" James asked, flustered himself, rolled the sleeves down and rolled them back up again untidily.
All this time Lily couldn't help but be surprised. She had expected James to throw some clever remark her way but he seemed to adamant on doing whatever she wanted.
"Looks good." Lily said, smiling. James offered her his arm and she linked hers with his and off they walked to Hogsmede.
"So.. what do you want to do?" James asked Lily.
"I thought you were supposed to figure it out and plan something if you've finally managed a yes from me."
"Yes but I like to go where my instincts take me."
"Then I can follow the instructions of your instincts." Lily said laughing and letting her head rest on his arm as they continued to walk like love struck fools. Every Hogwarts student that passed them ogled them for as long as they didn't pass them.
Had it been in James' hands he'd have tried to make the date special, probably even taken her to Madam Puddifoot's (a place he dreaded) but he knew Lily enough by now that she didn't like such dates. That she'd rather spend her date beside a river, or a place where everything was wild and free, where they'd be no reservation for a table or where they didn't have to wait in a line to get a butterbeer. He knew she'd prefer counting stars with her date to discussing their plans for the future. And to be honest this always has been James' idea of a perfect date too. It was one of the many reasons he thought that they were perfect for each other. Although James was happy beyond his senses when Lily rested her head on his arm, but a little voice in his head kept telling him it's just this time, never again.
Lily couldn't believe that James hadn't planned anything for her and she was just roaming along the Hogsmede roads with her head on James' arm. She'd always wanted a date like this. A carefree date where they didn't have to worry about going anywhere or doing anything. Something none of the boys that she'd gone out with had offered her, not even her own friends. Lily could notice that James wasn't taking his usual strides, aware that she wouldn't be able to keep up with him.
After fifteen minutes of walking James bought them ice creams and then they headed to sit beside the black lake.
They sat across from each other, cross legged.
"So." James said as he licked his ice cream.
"So?" Lily asked.
"Aren't girls supposed to talk a lot?"
"What?" Lily asked, confused.
"I mean when I went on dates with other girls I hardly had to talk .. they just kept talking and I kept nodding .. amongst other things." James said.
"Did you get bored when they talked?" Lily asked without looking up.
Lily smiled and looked up and said, "Good, because I'm not much of a talker."
"Poor me, the one person I had wanted to listen to them talk isn't much of a talker."
"I mean .. I can't talk, you know? Like just go on talking about things. If you ask me something I'll tell you else I can't make up things to talk."
"I see. You need prodding." James said thoughtfully, "Okay then I'll ask you questions and you'll answer. Sounds good?"
"Sounds good but not fair. I'll ask you questions too."
"Okay. I'll ask first. If you meet a stranger what will be the first thing you'll tell him about yourself?"
"Hey! No I mean consider a scenario where you've just made friends with the person."
"Uhh... That I don't like talking about myself."
"But that'll defeat the whole purpose."
"Defeating the whole purpose of talking about myself is the main purpose." Lily replied smirking.
"Okay so you don't like talking about yourself. Your turn."
"When was the one time when you have been really scared of someone you played a prank on."
"I've never been that scared."
"I meant when were you relatively more scared of the victim of the pranks."
"When I changed a phial of a potion with a potion that increases the length of canines."
"So you were scared because the person must have grown his teeth like that of a vampire?"
"No," James said meekly, his ears turning slightly pink and laughter bubbling up inside him, "I played that prank on my dad."
"What?" Lily asked, her eyes round.
"That's not even the hilarious part! The potion I changed it with was a contraceptive potion."
Lily was staring at him silently, a bit bewildered.
"You see," James replied, "the guy takes a contraceptive potion just before having sex, and since dad took the potion I kept there, he must have grown his teeth like a vampire's right before they had sex."
They both stared at each other and burst out laughing. Nothing could have stopped them from laughing that moment. The more they looked at each other the more they found themselves panting for breath.
"Boy, it must have killed the mood." Lily remarked still giggling.
It took them another five minutes to calm themselves down. When they did, Lily asked him the question she was thinking about.
"But this thing is so hilarious! How could you have been scared?"
"You see I was 12 and I didn't know what was in the phial that I took , and especially I didn't know when people take it you know? I thought it was some potion for headache or something as it was kept in my father's drawer. But he was livid when he had found that I did it. He strictly told me never to rummage in other people's drawer. And I'm so sure I had seen my father slightly smirking. But when I had found what it actually was, man was it hilarious. I kept laughing for days."
"Okay I don't want to know how you found out. Your turn."
"Mom or dad?"
"Ah! Daddy's princess are you?"
"Princess? More like partner in crime."
"Partner in crime?!"
"I'm not answering that. You only get to ask one question per turn."
"Okay this'll be my next question. Your turn."
"What does your mother call you at home?"
"I decline to answer."
"You're not in court. You don't get that privilege."
"Jamsie." James said in the smallest voice possible.
"I didn't catch that."
"Jamsie!" James said a little loudly, his face heating up.
"Ahha! So Jamsie, your turn."
"Daddy's partner in crime? Explain."
"Okay, so dad and I are like one team and mom and Petunia the other-"
"My sister. Long story short I don't talk about her because she hates me because I'm a witch and she's not. So anyway, and also, I know what you are thinking. No. Just because Petunia and mom team up doesn't mean my mom hates me too. Coming back to the previous question so my mom is very discipline loving but my dad is more .. childlike. It's always him who starts the food fight or starts splattering water around when doing the dishes. And well mom and Petunia hate getting messed up so dad and I pair up for doing dishes. And sometimes when cleaning up our yards or watering the plants we hide behind the fence and throw water on passerby. Not grossly but enough to get them startled. So partner in crime."
"Then why are you so uptight?" James asked completely at loss of words.
"One question per turn James."
"Oh screw that. Tell me."
Lily looked at James and saw that he really wanted to know.
"Have you ever been to a muggle world?" Lily asked.
"Maybe one day I'll take you. And then leave you there all alone without telling you how things work there. I don't think you'll manage to pull just as many pranks as you can do here." Lily said quietly looking at James whose face seemed to have hit realisation, "You were brought up here, you knew things about this world that no muggleborn does. And when I saw you four pulling pranks on people I hated it that I can't do those things because it felt so new. But then later when I did come to know the manner of magic it was too late. I was already the goody two shoes of the school. I've never been an obedient student. If only you could meet my teachers from nursery school, they'd dismiss you the moment they come to find that you're my friend."
"I didn't know you felt deprived of playing pranks all these years." James said guiltily.
Lily laughed out loud.
"Okay so now I get to ask two questions."
They kept asking each other questions until James knew that Lily's first crush was some Mr. Darcy, that she threw up when she had first found out about sex and that she was born the same way, she had cried for days when she didn't get a reply for a fan mail she had sent to her favourite singer and that she had beaten up Petunia when she had found that Petunia ha hidden the reply from her; Lily found out about James habit of collecting empty muggle quills that Lily used to throw away, that he once shaved his chest hair because he heard a guy say girls like it that way (James didn't tell Lily that it was one his attempts to make Lily like him), and that James had never had sex (which surprised Lily to no extent).
When it grew dark they decided to walk back to the castle rather than take a carriage. James held on to Lily's hand dreading that their first and only date was now over. Lily could feel the tight grip of James' hand on her's. It was as if he never wanted to let it go. And neither did she. And she'll tell him this tomorrow.
When they reached the Common Room they stood there, not wanting to go.
"Goodnight Lily, I had a great day."
"It was an amazing date."
James didn't know what to do, so he merely said, "goodnight then."
"You won't kiss me goodnight? It's standard procedure you know." Lily said smiling.
James heart was racing both with excitement and pain. Standard procedure. She just wants to seal this date with a kiss, as one should do. It'll mean nothing to her. Just a kiss, part of the deal. And with an aching heart and jumping nerves James closed his lips on hers and she responded almost immediately, bringing her hand slowly up to his neck. He cupped her cheek with one hand and wrapped the other around her waist and she leaned into him. His excitement, his anxiety, his pain dissolved into spasms of pleasure when Lily moaned in his mouth. Her hand kept stroking the nape of his neck while the other fisted in his hair. They broke apart when they were in dire need of air. They stood there together before James got back to his senses and realised that it was supposed to be a goodnight kiss. Aren't goodnight kisses brief?
"I guess we should call it a night then." James said carefully, letting go of Lily.
"Yeah I guess so too."
And they went off to their dormitories.
James had known that his kiss with Lily would be something completely different. But it was so intoxicating that he couldn't feel anything. When he had briefly opened his eyes during their kiss all he could see was Lily, in his arms, her hair, her legs touching his, her hands in his hair, her hair, her smell, and her lips. Merlin knew he had never thought Lily could be better than firewhiskey for all it's worth. She made him forget that this was the only time she'd let him kiss her. A single tear rolled down James cheek when he thought that she'd be someone else's someday. And probably he'd never find someone like her. That night he didn't realise when he fell asleep.
Lily's head was spinning and all she could think was James and how is hair felt like silk (quite contrary to what she thought). She had never felt so wanted, so desired. He had lit her up within just three minutes. It felt as if her body was on fire. She had never felt so alive, so aware of her own body. This can't go on for long. She had to tell James. Tomorrow. She couldn't sleep that night.
James felt dead inside. When he had convinced himself that Lily won't go out with him he lived with the hope that maybe just one day he'll convince her. For just one date. And now that hope was gone. He had had his one date. He spent the entire day avoiding Lily. If she did come up to him when he was alone he'd make up an excuse and leave her standing there all by herself. He hated this. He hated himself for doing this. But he couldn't bear to look at her. She looked vibrant today. And he, miserable.
Lily tried all the ways she could to get James alone to talk to him. But he just wouldn't talk to her. He looked so troubled. She just wanted to ask him out for the next Hogsmede weekend.
And she knew just how to do it.
When the classes were over many students were basking in the sun. So were the marauders. They weren't under the oak tree. So she walked towards the tree and climbed it. She climbed the same spot as James had once when he had first asked her out.
Pointing her wand to her neck she whispered 'Sonorous'.
The entire student body who were present there looked for the source of noise. Not James. He had seen Lily go towards the tree but he didn't know that she had climbed it. When he looked at her they locked eyes and James stood up. He didn't know what she was up to but he was all ears.
"I don't normally do this," Lily said indicating the tree and her position, some laughed, "but since it's you, James Potter, I'll swallow my pride. Go out with me on the next Hogsmede weekend? And the one after that? And if you feel like it the rest of the Hogsmede weekends too." Lily said and heaved a sigh. Everyone on the field was quiet and looking towards James.
He raised his voice and shouted, "NEVER IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS EVANS!" and his face broke into a brilliant grin as he strode towards her. She was smiling back and to James her smile was more warm and more brilliant than sunshine could ever hope to be. When he got to her he held out his hands to catch Lily as she jumped down from the tree right into his arms. James didn't wait even for half a second before locking their lips together and making them travel the same wonderland that they both visited last night while kissing each other.
There were cat calls and wolf whistles, people clapped and hooted and amongst all that, James and Lily left for their Heads' Room. They couldn't get their hands off each other and when they did the couldn't stop grinning. They lay on the couch in silence before James started telling Lily how he had felt when they had kissed last night. And on and on they went from topic to topic until their talks came to rest upon a particular dress that someone had gifted Lily.
"Yeah, the dress looks beautiful on you, really brings out the colour of your eyes. He must have been a keen observer."
Lily giggled a bit, and said, "Come to think of it he isn't that good an observer."
"You really think James that I didn't know you gifted me that dress. Poor observer, I'd say."
"You knew it? Since when?"
"Ever since i read your note. I can recognise your messy writing anywhere."
James rolled over and got on top of her.
"I'll never know you completely." James whispered as he buried his face in her neck.
"I won't leave you ever.. so I guess you'll have plenty of time to learn." Lily said, her voice trembling as James unbuttoned her shirt. They skipped dinner and all the classes the next day and spent their time cuddling each other.
They never stopped the tradition of asking each other questions. It was how they first confessed that they loved each other and it was how James had asked her to be his wife.
A/N: I hope you guys liked the story.. do tell me what you thought of it.. anyway.. thanks for reading ..