A trick of light. That was a nice way of putting it. Under the light of war, the things that used to bother them, the things they used to fight about - and the ones they still fought about sometimes - they all seemed so trivial. Even if she knew they were going to keep arguing, it was also evident they were not in opposite sides. They were just too passionate about everything and they were stubborn. Too stubborn. They never gave in or backed down. However, a challenge was a challenge. They never gave up when it came to their arguments but she was certain they were never going to give up on them being together either. It was evident they both wanted this to work out. No matter for how long, right now, they might as well stay together forever. That’s how Lily felt. Being with James felt natural, it felt right, if she had believed in that something called fate she would say they were meant to be.
Of course she hadn’t notice this. She still wasn’t sure when exactly she had started fancying James, or loving him for that matter. It had just happened. The same way the sun went up and down every day and the seasons changed during the year. She had probably become really aware of him in seventh year, after he had grown up and they had started spending time together. Nevertheless, there was something in her telling her she had noticed James some time ago. There was a reason why he was the only one who could provoke a reaction out of her. Not even the Slytherins who constantly slurred her had been able to cause such a heated response. That had to mean something. The truth was that James Potter had never been indifferent to her and somehow, even if she insulted him or rolled her eyes at him, she had found herself paying attention and talking about him all through her school years. So maybe the fact that they now were absolutely and completely mad about each other wasn’t that surprising after all.
The silver doe quickly revealed the two boys hiding from them and Lily had to hold back her laughter at her boyfriend’s words. She tried to keep her straight face as the boys rolled their eyes and immediately went back to the castle. She turned to James chuckling but was interrupted by the strange look on his face. “Yes. That’s my patronus.” She shrugged, not quite understanding why the boy seemed so anxious about it. “Why?”
James knew that his prejudice against Slytherins was just something that had been handed down through generations of Hogwarts students. It was almost written into the history of every child born of magical parents that Gryffindors will never get along with those of the serpentine house. Maybe it was more of fulfilling prophecy than anything else, but it was also just the way it was. He thought most of them, though he would say all in fits of passion, were utterly power hungry prats. And that was why he was so convinced that the Mark had come from their House. Not because he didn’t think that there were others who were capable of doing the same from other ones, but because it screamed Slytherin to him. And when Lily had told him who she believed it was, who she had discovered it was from another source, it had all made sense. James wanted to nail them, he wanted to pin them down with the truth that they knew that they had committed the crime that had shocked and hurt so many people. But he knew there was no way of winning, the corruption was all the way at the top in the shape of Lucius Malfoy and he would cover up for those arseholes.
Lily was going to almost kill herself looking for a way of bringing them to justice, he could feel how tired she was. But how was he meant to stop her? She was a force unto her own and James’s voice would drown and falter against her own stubbornness. Instead, he could focus on now, and the way she laughed at him as he hypocritically (in many ways) told the boys to go back to the Castle and buzz off from the grounds they were standing in. One, because he was Head Boy and he could do that. Two, because he just saw her patronus and it made the strangest feeling sweep over him. He remembered his father explaining them to him when James wrote home excitedly and informed him that he had successfully cast one by just reading from a book. It wasn’t even a part of the syllabus. A stag needs a doe, its perfect counterpart. Some people would call it a soul mate. A soul mate. James knew his dad was just kidding around, but the words stuck out in his mind forcefully.
"What do you know about a Patronus? More than it just being a defensive thing against dementors or a physical protection or whatever else you read from a book in school," he spoke quickly, embarrassed by his sudden onslaught of thoughts. Licking his lips, he looked at her and waited to hear what she had to say, pulse thrumming in his ears. It obviously didn’t matter, right? Sucking in a breath, he looked at her properly, "Has it always been a doe?"
Oh calm the fuck down, Snape.
(rolls his eyes and glares at him)
It was strange to think about back then, when she had accepted to go on a date with him for the first time. It felt like years ago, but it had been only three months ago. Before that, he had kissed her a couple of times. The first time he was shirtless, the second time they were drunk. No one could say James and Lily’s relationship hadn’t started in a very peculiar way. Whenever she remembered her words, she wanted to laugh at herself. This is never happening again, she had told him several times after every kiss he had planted on her lips. She had given up eventually. Of course they were going to kiss again, not only that; they were going to go on three wonderful dates and spend amazing nights together and open a ball and say I love you to each other. If she had a time turner and went back in time to tell all of that to her old self - of course without taking into consideration the fact that it’s completely against the rules to do that - she would laugh at her face. Lily Evans in love with James Potter. Who would have thought?
She snuggled closer to him, feeling the warm emanating from his body immediately. That was yet another thing they were opposites at. He seemed to be always warm. When they slept together, Lily especially loved to move her feet closer to his because hers were usually unbearably cold. She didn’t know if it was because of her pale complexion or the fact that cold seemed to affect her greatly, but sometimes her skin felt like ice. Except for when she blushed and her cheeks were on fire. She sighed as they stood there, a silly smile on both their faces and the moon as their only witness. She hadn’t even realized when the sun had gone down. He pulled back slightly when she suggested going back to the castle and she almost wished she hadn’t said anything.
Lily smiled as he draped his quidditch robes over her. “Thank you. Aren’t you cold though?” She asked as he took her hand in his and she laced their fingers. She was about to say something else when she saw something move towards the forest. Her body tensed and she noticed James securing his grip. With her free hand, she pulled out her wand slowly, her eyes never leaving the line of trees and the darkness beyond. She nodded at James, motioning him to keep quiet. “Expecto Patronum!" She said firmly, watching the familiar silver doe pouring out of her wand and rushing towards the sea of green in front of them.
He couldn’t blame people for assuming they were both completely barking up the wrong tree when it came to going out. They both always seemed at odds, even if people knew that James was being playful and Lily just didn’t like him. They both stood on different sides and yelled, or so it seemed. Maybe it was just a trick of light, because since they had progressed - it felt like they had always stood on the same lines of the pitch, they just hadn’t listened. Lily would say one thing, James would counter, but it wasn’t with an opposing view. It was with a different one, but it would seem so pedantic and irrelevant she would scream at him. And it went on and on and on, until it could either go one of two ways. They would never speak again and move on with their lives after Hogwarts, or they would find themselves like this. Together. James preferred the second scenario, if he was being honest, he always had in a way. But he would firmly stick by the words he had always told himself: he never meant to like Lily, he never intended to fall for her, not in the way he had. It had started off as a bit of fun, a way of irritating her. It wasn’t meant to develop this way.
But it did, and they were here, and it was perfect. Even if she was cold and now he was feeling the chill biting into his flesh. He merely shrugged a shoulder dismissively as she asked if he was cold or not. It didn’t matter, he wasn’t as affected by the drop in temperature as she was. Anyway, the conversation distanced itself at the sudden sound and James’s natural protection of her whooshing up to the surface. He knew he didn’t have to be such a martyr when it came to Lily, she could take care of them both and then some, but he couldn’t help it. It was instinctive. Turning his hazel eyes behind his glasses, he tried to find something in the half light without making it obvious he had noticed anything. Lily had other ideas, before he knew what was happening, she whispered something in a determined tone and silvery light exploded across the blackened ground. A figure stepped out delicately, a gentle animal that he instantly recognised and felt his throat tighten unexpectedly.
Though before he could say anything, it stopped in front of two sixth year boys who looked shifty as anything. James rolled his eyes, “Get back into the castle, you two. No wandering around, it’s dinner time.” They muttered something back, but he was glad to see the two figures were harmless and quickly scurrying back to the castle. His attention went back to Lily, his own fingers itching to go to his wand, “Was that a doe?”
Loving James Potter was a challenge, one she never thought she would face. Not only because of their fiery tempers or the fact that they were both incredibly - almost impossibly - stubborn. There were other less important obstacles that were still there and still counted. Most people, except their close friends, were convinced that Lily and James hated each other up until seventh year had started. The same people who gave them sceptic looks every time they walked together down the hallways. She had actually heard a couple of unidentified sixth years betting on how long they would or wouldn’t last. Even though she knew the truth; that she had never hated James Potter and that she had been partially - well, mainly - wrong about him, she was sure people were going to make her explain herself more than a couple of times. She didn’t care about the gossip, but there were some people she certainly owed an explanation to.
Mary, for example. Lily had never been too close to the blonde girl. They were somewhat friends and they had to share the dorm, since there were two empty beds and Mary had landed on one of them even if she was a year younger. They had never taken the time to get to know each other. Probably because Marlene had a fit every time the blonde seeker mentioned Liam, or perhaps it was because they were too different. Nonetheless, Lily was able to understand Mary’s surprise after realising she was dating no other than James Potter. She knew her roommate had had a crush on the guy since she entered the team. It was logical, she was a Quidditch enthusiast and he was an extremely handsome captain. When James first kissed her in the Quidditch locker rooms, she hadn’t even thought about Mary for a second. It was only afterwards that the girl had crossed her mind. It had been terribly wrong of her not to tell Mary anything about her and James. She had let her found out through gossip and comments. She knew she was going to have to talk to her sooner or later.
However, now it was not that sooner or later. Right now she was alone with James and she had told him that she loved him for a third time. Merlin, she wished she could say the words a thousand times more. She wished she could compensate for every time she had wanted to pronounce them and hadn’t been able to. She moved even closer to him, shivering slightly and suddenly feeling every single one of her muscles relax. She felt at ease, the way she hadn’t felt for days. “I’m afraid you’re right. You’ll have to learn to live with it mr. Prongs, because I’m not letting you go anytime soon.” She said, smiling sheepishly. “Should we head back to the castle? We’re going to freeze otherwise.” Lily continued and yawned. Apparently sleep was coming back to her.
When she had first agreed to go out with him, there was a part of him that thought she might be doing it as some sort of prank. Or as a means to get him to focus on his Head Student duties. That was why he had gone all out, because she might have let him snog her twice before, but it didn’t mean she was really into it. James didn’t know if she had liked him when he had asked her to go on a date with him, he didn’t know if it had started after they had spent some time together. He didn’t care, because either way, it had culminated into this moment where they both knew they loved each other and she would always drive him crazy but he wouldn’t mind because there was a rhyme and a reason to it. There was something here, real, something that could grow and flourish and they could nurture to whatever ends it came to. Maybe they would break up before the end of the year, though he doubted it. Maybe they would just… carry on. It was a strange thought, the future, especially for someone who was so stubborn he only wanted to live in the present.
James could feel the vibrations of her muscles as they tried to warm her, instinctively lifting an arm to scoop her closer to him. He was always warm, like a furnace. Maybe it was the smoking that did it. He felt her relax, and it filled him with such an indescribable joy that his lips were set into a grin she would probably find a little alarming. I’m not letting you go any time soon. James scoffed, his chest inflating, and cheek coming to rest on top of her head for a moment - before she suggested they turn back and go to the castle. It was probably a good idea, plus he was sure he smelled a little sweaty from Quidditch practice, so clutching onto her and making her stand in such close proximity was a little unfair. He may have showered, but it was probably peeking out under the soapy scent.
"Here, put this on," wriggling out of his robes, leaving his torso in his school jumper and shirt, he draped the voluminous fabric over his petite girlfriend and picked his broom up before taking her hand. It was only then he caught a movement from the corner of his eye, inclining his head towards it and tightening his grip on her fingers, "Did you see that?"
Here to blow up a cauldron, Potter?
Of course. Mind shoving your head in one first?
At first Lily had found it extremely annoying that James called her dragon. She wasn’t like that. She wasn’t that fierce and wild. She was just Lily. She was practical and logical and almost too nice to function. After some time she realized James’ nickname wasn’t that incorrect after all. Not because she was dangerous or anything, but because there was a fire inside her which was difficult to explain. Whenever she obsessed over something or got passionate about anything, there was a determination and a stubbornness in her that couldn’t be put out. That was the reason she insisted so much on finding out who had conjured the Dark Mark at the Ball. It was a serious crime. She had heard muggle born children wanting to go home, afraid of their safety. She had never thought she would see the day when people believed Hogwarts wasn’t a safe place for everyone. Those two stupid Slyhterin had caused that and she needed to fix that somehow. It was worth the sleepless nights. The fire inside her was awake again and she wasn’t going to give it up that easily.
That was the same feelings being with James gave her. Every time they were together it was so intense, she felt herself brightening up. Even if they came from totally different worlds and even if that scared her. Right now, it didn’t matter. She loved him and she had been finally able to say it. Not only once, but twice. Lily could finally feel the knot in her stomach disappearing. She was able to talk to him, to tell him everything that had been going inside her head during the past days. That was all she needed. Those simple three words had changed everything, even if it didn’t seem so. He had been irritated at first, which was quite reasonable. He had been doubtful afterwards, as if she had made some kind of joke or she was going to regret the statement any minute. She wasn’t going to, though. Lily was certain she was never going to regret loving James Potter.
He pulled a face and she waited patiently, letting her words sink in. That was it, it was the moment of truth. He had to make the move now, take her or leave her. Loving each other wasn’t going to be easy. They were going to argue and he was going to get mad and she was going to get neurotic. It was a challenge. Fortunately both of them weren’t afraid of challenges. The boy finally moved closer to her and when his hands touched her cheeks she felt like the happiest woman in the world. She beamed and stood on her toes to kiss him briefly. She didn’t know what to say. Her heart was racing and there were tears threatening to roll down her face. Happy tears, of course. “Oh Merlin, I love you so much. I didn’t mean to drive you mental. I’m so sorry.”
Loving Lily was a challenge, one he had discovered many years ago before he understood the full weight of that word or how deep his feelings would one day run. He knew she would never be easy, when the slightest thing he said to her was met with derision or anger, when the things he did drove her so bloody and exquisitely mental. He knew that loving her was always going to be a test of endurance, sometimes he would lose his patience with her and she with him, but he was willing to go through it. He loved the fire, the passion, the constant way she kept him on his toes. The fact she was so bright and charismatic, witty and sweet. To him, there was no one else like her. Though he had gone with other girls and made himself forget about Lily, when she said she would finally go out with him, he knew he was ready. He would always be ready, in one way or another, but he would always wonder if he was good enough for her. She said he was, and he told himself that was enough. She had chosen him, for now or for however long this would last, and he wasn’t going to question it and drive her crazy.
Not the way she did him, with those gleaming emerald irises as she looked up at him and repeated those words he hardly believed again. I love you so much. It was like an echo, something reminding him that this had happened. That Lily had yelled at him and he had yelled at her, that they had argued and that it was all fine because she loved him too. She loved him so much. As much as he loved her. It felt right, it didn’t feel forced or as though he had pressured her with his unspoken fear she would never reciprocate. She loved him. He loved her. What did anything else matter now? She might hate the way he smoked and he would hate the way she burrowed into books and forgot about him. She might hate the way he would smirk at her when they were fighting because it was irritating, and he might exasperate at the fact she couldn’t take a joke when she was too passionate about something else. It was all a part of it, this love thing so many people spoke about.
"You’ll always drive me mental, Evans," he answered with that same, easy, smile. His fingers moved to hold back the strands of hair the breeze around them kept picking up and throwing into her face, "It’s just the way you are, you drive me crazy." Never in a bad way, not in the full sense of the word. James wished he knew what to say now, because the silence was settling though it didn’t feel uncomfortable. He wished he knew how to tell her how much this all meant to him, that she was the most special person in the world to him and he would do anything for her because he loved her. “Don’t worry, I’ll learn to live with it.”
woodland // the paper kites
Run, Run, Don’t trail behind keep moving
The beasts wont stop till we’re dead
All the scrapes on our knees
Will tell you where we’ve been, where we have bled.
Oh we play,
in autumn days
Won’t lay down our heads till the day is won
Won’t stop running till we reach the sun
Chasing all the things that are keeping us young
We won’t stop running till we reach the sun
Oh we’re building a home
With the mud and the stones and the branches we bind
We’re all just searching for something
Bigger than we’re all able to find
Oh we play,
in autumn days
Won’t lay down our heads till the day is won
Won’t stop running till we reach the sun
Chasing all the things that are keeping us young
We won’t stop running till we reach the sun
the meaning // to james potter
That was just the way she was. She felt the constant need to control things, to make sure everyone was alright. She wanted a better world, she wanted change and she was willing to take the matter into her own hands. She had the weight of the world over her shoulders but she didn’t mind, not it that was what it took to make things happen. Somehow when she was with James, that weight was lifted though, and she didn’t felt that troubled anymore. He was there, not to fight her battles, but to stand next to her. He didn’t want to save her; he knew she wasn’t a damsel in distress. He had her back, as much as she had his. And that was unique. That was something some people spent their lives looking for. Lily had it, she had him. She couldn’t believe that for a minute she had almost thrown it all away. James didn’t know what it was like to be judged all the time. Even though she had never met his parents, they seemed great and extremely warm. Lily’s were like that as well, but they were muggles. There was no way they were ever going to understand what she was going through, even if they tried. She felt lonely sometimes, but when she saw him, trying to understand her situation, it made her believe that everything was going to be just fine.
And she loved him. If she had loved him less, she might have been able to speak about it more. It was more real than anything she had ever felt before. Now she was standing there and the sun was almost gone. They were alone in the middle of Hogwarts’ grounds and inside the castle everyone was getting ready for dinner. She didn’t care. Her eyes were fixed on him, desperately trying to read his expression. It hadn’t been the special moment she had planned, but it didn’t matter. It had been special enough only because he was James and she was Lily and they loved each other. Despite the fights and the fact that they had just yelled at one another, they both knew it now and there was nothing that could change that.
She shifted a little uncomfortably. Unbelievable wasn’t that bad. There were worst things to be. For the first time in days, she smiled genuinely. “Yes, James, I love you. Truly, sincerely and most ardently.”
Lily Evans had visions. She had ideas. She had a goal and a desire, and that was saying a lot in times like this when such things could easily be the anchor that dragged you down. She had passion. As much as that fire inside of her had so often driven her away from James, he had always admired it. The way she would find it hard to hold back and would unleash it in one swoop. The nickname Dragon didn’t come just from the burns she left, but the fact she was so majestic in it. She snapped, it came pouring out, but he had to admire it. Well, admire it while becoming incredibly insolent about it and arguing with her over whatever it was she was saying. But he would never argue with her about this, about wanting to change the way their world was right now. Where it was safer to be a dementor than a muggle born witch or wizard. It made no sense, it was so poorly contrived and inhuman. The value of people’s lives didn’t matter, only the purity of their blood. Everyone bleeds the same, his father had told him. Magic could only be measured by ability, not by how much of it came from the old lines and flowed through you. Sirius was more pure blooded than James, he would wager, and look at how he had turned his back on that lifestyle, on that ideology.
But none of that mattered, none of that came into account, because even if the differences in their heritage had frightened her before - she had told him. She told him she loved him, and he couldn’t put into words how it made him feel. His first words were angered, because it had been days since he had spoken to her and it felt like she had avoided him because of that one thing. Because she was so terrified of admitting she may have these feelings for James Potter. The second was uncertainty, having to ask her to repeat herself because it just seemed so far-fetched. Like something he could convince himself happened, but it wasn’t necessarily true. The third was acceptance. Knowing that they were both in the chill of winter, standing outside the castle, just the pair of them - alone. Seeing her there, solid and real, with dulled red hair in the light of the windows and the emerald eyes he had come to know so well. She had really said it to him, that she loved him.
Truly, sincerely and most ardently. Pulling a face, as James would when hearing the girl of his dreams profess her feelings for him, he smiled to himself and could feel the thrumming of his pulse through his veins. He finally moved, dropping the broom and letting go of the strap of his bag. Moving closer to her, his hands cupped her cheeks for a moment, grazing his thumb along her skin so he could see her more clearly. She looked tired, exhausted, like she hadn’t slept. A pang of guilt hit him, and he lowered his face to hers so he could kiss her forehead gently, “And I love you, Lily Evans. Even when you drive me mental.”
My favourite kind of practice.
Is that the reason she’s walking around school like an inferi? Please tell me she’s not obsessing over time turners again.
I never hear that from anyone else, that’s why I tell you first.
Probably. But not time turners this time, she wants to find a way of pinning it on Wilkes and Lestrange because it’s driving her mental and that’s driving me mental.
It’s easy to remember the tragedy, to think of them only as sad paper people who met a sad, tragic end. But it means nothing unless you also remember the before - the joy and the laughter and everything that they lost.