It had been a decently average Friday afternoon and James had a welcome reprieve from quidditch practice. He was stretched out on his bed his forearms covering his eyes to block out excess sunlight. Lily was studying in the boys’ dormitory, sitting at the foot of his bed, her legs curled under her and her head bowed into a large textbook.
He had been rambling on about something or the other, most likely a quidditch move he was trying to perfect. She had only made soft noises of acknowledgement, a murmur of “uh huh” here and an impassive “that sounds brilliant” there. James knew that she wasn’t listening to a word he was saying but it didn’t matter. He continued on, not bothering to steer his one-sided conversation in any sort of direction and just saying whatever popped into mind.
Lowering his arms, he opened his eyes, squinting at the sunlight streaming in from the window. He turned his head to watch Lily study, her teeth biting down on her bottom lip in concentration and her eyes focused on the text. She was oblivious to both him and the world; her studious nature was endearing and James felt his lips curl up in a grin. He reached for his pillow and in a smooth, fluid motion tossed it at her head.
Lily didn’t see the pillow coming and she teetered backwards slightly as the flying object made contact with the side of her face. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of a laugh and kept her face low, knowing without looking at him that there’d be a smug smile plastered on his face and she would dissolve into giggles. Lily slammed her textbook shut and dropped it to the floor behind her before finally looking at him. Her lips were pressed into a firm line and her brows furrowed in a mock glare. James let out a loud laugh and she was gone, grinning right back at him before she too broke into peals of laughter.
“That’s not funny, James Potter!” she said, trying desperately to stop from laughing but his humor was so contagious she could not. She picked up the pillow from where it had fallen on the bed and chucked it back at his face. “I could’ve been in the middle of something really important!”
“But you weren’t,” he replied with a cheeky grin, catching the pillow easily as he sat up. “And come off it, Lily. It’s Friday! We’ve got the whole weekend for revision.” He inched closer to her, scooting his body forward on the bed until their knees were touching in the cross-legged position. He continued excitedly, throwing his arms in the air. “Why waste all this time with who got captured in the Goblin Rebellion by some bloke nobody cares about? We’re young, Evans! It’s our responsibility to live. Really, truly live!”
“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” she warned him half-seriously but he only laughed. She held up a hand, marking off on each finger all the times he’d need to know exactly what happened in the Goblin Rebellion of 1612 but stopped after one, realizing her entire argument was pretty flat.
She scrunched up her nose, refusing to acknowledge he was right and James let out another laugh. Completely unplanned, the words slipped out of his mouth for the first time.
“I love you, Lily Evans.”
Stuck in my head again
Feels like I’ll never leave this place
There’s no escape
I’m my own worst enemy
for Devi - although you didn’t ask, I thought I should repay you for your wonderful Romione graphic
“Draco” she said softly, snuggling a bit closer to him under the covers
“Hmm” he answered, his arm moving around her but still he didn’t open his eyes.
“You’re not going to force me to leave Dhiaran, are you? I know my being here isn’t what you want but I wish that you could try to understand my position…” she paused, as words seemed to fail her “… If only you understood why I can’t leave then you wouldn’t ask me to go” She finished lamely. It was long moments before he spoke, his voice quiet but serious.
” I understand Hermione” he told her and she turned shocked eyes to meet his. Was he saying what she thought he was saying? That he wasn’t going to fight her about staying. Although his face was impassive, the clarity in his mercurial eyes gave her the answer and she reached up to hug him, relieved and ecstatic beyond words.
“I…” love you, was what she nearly blurted out but she caught the words before they could be expressed. Suddenly she couldn’t meet his eyes, knowing that it wouldn’t be difficult for him to see the depth of feelings that she held for him. She knew that by saying those words, everything would be irrevocably changed between them and Merlin help her but she didn’t think she was strong enough, at the moment, to face a possible negative response from him.
“What’s wrong?” he asked gently, cupping her cheek with his palm.
“Nothing” was her too quick response “…I guess I just can’t believe that you’re agreeing” she lied, hoping that he would believe that.
“That’s all?” he asked skeptically
“That’s all” she confirmed, looking at him steadily. He did not believe her, she could see it in his questioning eyes. After what seemed like an eternity of silence he finally nodded imperceptibly and she knew that this was his way of saying that he wouldn’t pursue it. She gratefully put her head on his chest and closed her eyes, all the while trying to control her panicked heart rate.
“You are to stay on the camp at all times unless it comes under attack. This is not optional” he spoke after a moment and there was no mistaking the authority in his tone.
Normally, she would have bristled at this but it was time for her to reciprocate and understand his position. Today he had left a mission, without his men, without any thought for his own safety in order to ensure her safety. To say that his actions were extremely dangerous would be an understatement and she knew that if any harm came to him, especially because of her, she would forever be tormented.
“Okay” she whispered, raising her head again to meet his unfathomable gaze. No more words were spoken between but when he pulled her closer to him and rested his head on hers, she new he was relieved that she had agreed.