A/N: I don't know where this came from. I've just had a lack of inspiration lately, reading a lot more than writing. I've been reading a lot of Lily/James fics, and somehow today, I got inspired. This is a bit angsty, but not too bad. Let's just hear what you think?
I Like Your Shadow
James Potter. You hate him. You've always hated him. Since day one when he picked on Severus, who then was your friend. Later it turned out maybe James had been right about your so-called friend. Well, you are no longer friends, that's for sure. Some things has definitely changed in the six years that have passed since then. One thing has not. You still hate James Potter with a passion.
Why, one may ask, but you've got answers. He is arrogant. He is cocky. He thinks he owns the school and that everyone adores him (okay, almost everyone does, but he doesn't have to act like he's so damn aware of it!). He doesn't care about rules or grades or anything that's important. He doesn't care about anyone but himself.
Most of all, you hate him because he claims he cares about you (almost daily), when he doesn't.
"Evans?" he bellows behind you as you walk alone in the corridor, silently listing your Reasons To Hate James Potter (a little habit you've developed for when you don't have any school stuff to memorize, just so you'll be prepared to answer when he asks you).
You roll your eyes and turn around. "Yes, Potter?" you speak with disdain dripping from your tongue.
You'd think that'd throw him off. It doesn't. He keeps grinning at you, completely unaffected. Yet another proof that he really doesn't give a rat's ass about you; he's just going after you for the challenge and because he's so damn stubborn he won't give up.
He holds up his hands in defence. Like you have no reason at all to be annoyed with him. You can't believe his short-time memory is that bad. It was just yesterday that he once again made some stupid scene in Transfiguration, completely humiliating you in his attempts to get you to date him. You'd think he'd remember, but seemingly not.
"Your hair looks great. Did you change it?" he asks, innocently curious. Ha! Like you can't see through that.
"No change, unless washing it counts!" you snap.
The truth is you did change it a little last night; you trimmed the ends just a little. But that's so small a change, he couldn't possibly have noticed; none of your girlfriends has and they must be a lot more likely to actually see stuff like that. James Potter couldn't have, he is too busy flaunting his own ego. This must just be a freaky coincidence, you tell yourself. You also tell yourself that you're imagining the hurt look that flash through his face the moment your burning eyes meet his. It's easier to convince yourself of this however, since his smile immediately is build-up again, looking indestructible.
"Looks nice anyway, really," he says, shrugging with that lazy grin you hate.
"Oh, how original," you spit out sarcastically. "My hair, my eyes. If you want me to believe for a second that you like me even a little, you might want to be a tad more original than that!"
He gapes at you. "You don't think I really like you?" he asks, sounding genuinely confused. You have to internally compliment his acting skills. "Why do you think I've been trying to get you to go out with me for several years?"
It's obvious to you. "The chase. You're stubborn. You're not giving up. You want me to give in, cause you sure as hell won't. That you have proved," you explain, arms waving in frustration.
He is quiet, staring at you, eyes wide. Perhaps he really does like you? Otherwise, how can he be looking so surprised at this? Or, of course, if he is convinced he's too great an actor to have been discovered… Yeah, that must be it. You won't take anything back.
You're about to turn away several times, but something stops you. You wait, you do not know for what. Just once the silence is becoming too much for you, he finally speaks.
"I like your shadow," he repeats seriously. "I like the way you don't sway your hips in the usual girly way, which means that you're not aware of your sexiness and aren't trying to emphasise it like most girls with your looks would. I like the way your eyes look different shades of green when you're mad or when you're smiling. I like the way your hair blows in the wind and touches your cheek and how you get that cute wrinkle above your nose when you get annoyed with this."
You interrupt him, apparently not as speechless as you felt like. "You can't tell that from my shadow," you say breathlessly, looking straight into him. He doesn't look away.
You are both silent. You have no idea what you should say, what you could say. You don't even have any idea what you are feeling right now. His words have you numb and you just wait.
"It's not just your eyes or your hair or the chase. It's you, Lily," he says, sighing, still not letting his gaze waver.
And then he utters the same question he has asked you a million times before. "Won't you go out with me, just once? Lily?"
There's a pleading in his voice that you've never heard before. The cockiness is lost. He looks almost scared, small. And he uses your first name.
For a moment, you hesitate. Maybe this is real, what you're seeing now. Maybe he really means what he's always said about his feelings towards you, despite the way it's been said. Maybe you've really been hurting him with all your harsh rejections.
Maybe going out with him just once wouldn't be so bad.
But no, you can't give in just like that. Just as the word "maybe" has been repeated so many times in your head that it almost falls from your lips, you get a flash image before your eyes. His arrogant smile, bragging to all his friends and the whole school – see, I finally got her to give in, told y'all, didn't I, guess I really am that irresistible…
No, you can't. This is probably all just an act. His nervous hands, his eyes that almost avoids yours. This can't be him, can't be James Potter, you know him. This is fake, and you would be an idiot to give in to it. And if there is something that you, Lily Evans, are not, it's idiotic.
The word is small on your lips and comes out in almost a whisper. The usual sureness of your voice is strained and if he had just listened, he'd have heard it waver. But he doesn't, he just hears the word and then he can't analyze or interpreter voice volumes anymore. He finally breaks.
You don't look, you turn away. But before you have time, he catches your eye and you almost choke, looking into him, knowing it wasn't faked, any of it.
You don't stop, you don't turn back, you don't change your mind. Even if you'd want to, you know it's too late now. And plus, you don't want to. Why would you? This is what you've wanted for six years; to crush him, to make him understand that you don't want him. To make sure he'll never bother you again. That's done now. You should be celebrating.
What you should definitely not be doing is feeling empty at the thought of his pained eyes and the fact that now James Potter will never ask you out again.