Destroying the Illusion
Disclaimer: Let's see...[looks around]...am I
a successful author? Nope. Do I have two kids, with a third on the way, and a
great husband? Nope. Am I the creator of a series of books that have captivated
the whole world? Nope. Therefore, none of this belongs to me. Got it? Great.
Summary: How is it that two people can be
so blind to reality? And who is it that is about to get a rude awakening: Lily,
This entire fic is
dedicated to Annum, for being one of the most amazing people I have known for a
long time, who I’ve had so many hilarious conversations with (three letters –
H.S.D. – see me for a translation!) and who’s listened to me babble whenever I
have problems. She’s always been there for me (and somehow knows when
something’s wrong even when I don’t mention it – are you psychic?!?). Hope you enjoy this Annum, because I wrote
it for you!
Oddly enough (and in complete contrast to most of the romantic
novels Lily had dipped into), James did not choose to ignore her very existence
after the little incident they had had, as being the only balm he could use to
sooth his wounded heart. However, he didn’t actually revert to his normal
talkative manner either –at least, not with her. Instead, he treated her
normally – that is to say, as a general “acquaintance”. He did not once ask her
out, joke about or insult her, or behave in any way that could have caused
offence. His speech, when he had occasion to talk to her at Prefect meetings,
was quiet and courteous, if a little restrained. All of Lily’s friends,
although in the dark about what exactly had happened, were convinced that this
change of manner would finally make Lily stop complaining about him. It was
something she had done for the last seven years almost unceasingly, and they
welcomed the imminent relief.
And to all appearances, Lily did stop. James’ name
barely passed her lips, and she was apparently buried in her other interests,
clearly enjoying herself. Most of her friends suspected that her buoyant mood
was because she loved not having to exchange insults with James any
But inwardly, Lily was irritated to the point of
desperation. She had expected, like her friends, that not having James
constantly at her side, purposing making provocative comments, would leave her
with a kind of peace that she had not known for a long time, and instead, she
found herself becoming frustrated anyway because he didn’t. His polite
tones infuriated her beyond belief, simply because they were so restrained.
She would almost have preferred James as his normal self, which he still was –
around other people. A couple of times, she had even made comments that were
purposely intended to aggravate him. Despite failing to elicit any kind of
reaction, a certain look in the eyes of Sirius, Remus and Peter told her that
they were by no means blind to her real intentions.
It was after one such encounter that she wandered back to
the common room, fuming. Flinging herself into a chair, she stared moodily at
the wall opposite. What was wrong with him? she asked herself. When
someone totally insults someone else and you have a fight, either you ignore
them completely or you forgive and forget and go back to normal. You do not
go half and half! She knew that he was perfectly capable of acting normally
– he was certainly not playing the part of a woebegone puppy to gain attention.
Whenever she noticed him in lessons or corridors or meals, he seemed perfectly
happy, joking and laughing with his friends, with people he walked into – with
anyone who was not her.
“Argh!” Screwing up a piece of parchment, she lobbed it into
the fire to relieve her frustrations. It did not help at all.
It was a few minutes later that two figures came up to her.
When she didn’t respond to their presence, keeping her eyes squeezed tightly
shut, they sighed in unison and pulled up two chairs – one sitting down
normally, and the other turning the chair back-to-front and straddling it,
Deciding it would be fruitless to ignored them any longer,
as it was blatantly obvious that she was not actually asleep, Lily opened her
eyes unwillingly. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were both staring at her.
“What?” she asked ungraciously. She saw the two boys
exchange a look that said quite plainly that they had expected this.
“Look,” Sirius began awkwardly, without beating around the
bush. “James, Remus and I have been friends for a long time -”
“How sweet,” Lily said sarcastically.
“- and normally we don’t poke our heads into each other’s
love lives -”
“So why are you talking to me?” Lily interjected. “I have
nothing to do with any of your lives, thank goodness, love or otherwise.”
“On the contrary,” Remus contradicted gently, “you have a
lot to do with one of ours. Namely, James’.”
Lily rolled her eyes. “If this is some pathetic attempt to
get me to go out on a mercy date -”
“Lily, just shut up and listen for a minute, will
you?” Sirius snapped, exasperated. Lily closed her mouth and gave him a murderous
stare. He groaned. “See, I told you this wouldn’t be easy,” he muttered to
Remus. “Can’t we just go?”
“No,” Remus said firmly. “We’re staying.” He turned to Lily.
“Look Lily, what we’re trying to say is that whether you like it or not, you’re
tied up very tightly in James’ life.” Lily avoided his gaze, staring at the
floor. “We obviously don’t know what happened – James is too much of a dark
horse to open his mouth – but it’s clearly some sort of a disagreement between
the two of you, and it’s upset both of you.”
“Oh really?” Lily laughed sardonically. “I don’t see him
looking that upset.”
Sirius broke in impatiently. “Lily, do you spend
twenty hours of the day with the boy?”
Lily could only shake her head.
“Good, so my point’s made. You don’t. We do. We know how he
“Anyway,” Remus continued, “he’s annoyed about it. Well –
annoyed, depressed, some sort of a combination of the two. And considering the
way he acts around you, and the things we’ve heard you saying to him, we’re guessing
that you’re the cause.”
“I did nothing wrong!” Lily said hotly, before clamping her
mouth shut abruptly – or had she?
Remus held up a hand to placate her. “We’re not saying
either of you is to blame,” he said hurriedly. “Just…do something about it.
Talk to him. Sort it out. He’s too stubborn to do anything, but if you make the
first move, this’ll be over in a matter of seconds.”
“We thought you were the more adult of the two.”
Lily bit her lip. The words had stirred an unpleasant
memory…thought you were more grown-up…
Sirius and Remus got up to go. “It’s your call,” Sirius
advised her. “Think about it. It’ll do you both the world of good.”
“Stupid thick-headed boys,” Lily muttered as they turned. “How
do they know what’s good for me?”
A loud chuckle came to her ears. “We may be stupid,
thick-headed boys,” Remus called back, “but we’re seventeen-year-old
stupid, thick-headed boys. As opposed to twelve-year-old stupid, thick-headed
boys. And more importantly, we’re not blind.”
A few days later, however, Lily was at her wits’ end. As
crazy as it sounded, she thought she might just go mad if she didn’t
have to defend her opinions to anyone, and so, disagreeably, she resolved to
take up Sirius and Remus’ advice.
She chose a school day, just after a Charms class. The smell
of the last roses was wafting in through the open window, for weak sunshine was
still illuminating and warming the room.
Outside in the corridor, chattering students passed by, heading down to
the Great Hall, and their echoing footsteps resounded through the corridors. As
the class was dismissed, Lily whispered a few well-chosen words under her
breath, taking careful aim with her wand, and sure enough, the buckle on James’
bag fell apart. James cursed quietly.
“Go on, I’ll meet you later,” he said, fiddling with his
strap. Reluctantly, Peter, Sirius and Remus left the room. The look Remus gave
her as he walked out told her that she had been noticed, but still she stood
behind James, waiting for the door to swing shut and for him to straighten.
When he did heave his bag to his shoulders and turn towards the door, Lily
stepped out in front of him.
“Wait,” she said. “We need to talk.”
James looked at her, and almost immediately she saw the
cool, courteous mask slide on. “I would, but I really need to go to lunch.”
“This’ll only take a few minutes. Please?” Lily tried to
James let out a short breath. “Okay. How can I help you?”
“It’s – we need to – about that evening -” Now that she
finally had his attention, she was struggling for words.
“What evening?” James asked smoothly. That snapped
Lily out of her tongue-tied manner.
“You know perfectly well what evening!” she said sharply.
“Don’t play games.”
James bowed his head in acquiescence, and Lily continued,
“Look, it’s been really awkward since then, what with you not talking to me -”
“I’m talking to you right now.”
“- all right, not talking properly to me, and it’s really
bugging me. And about all that stuff that night – I can’t really excuse my –
well, my, uhm, hormones – you are good-looking… “ Lily was blushing
violently as she said this, “ – so please, can’t we just be fr – can’t we just
be normal again?” She had realised in the nick of time that perhaps ‘friends’
wasn’t the most accurate word to describe the two of them.
James looked up and down at her searchingly. “That’s why you
want to sort things out?” he asked finally. “So everything can go back to
“Well…yeah.” Lily shifted uncertainly. The next moment, she
knew she had said something very wrong, as James’ eyes flared.
“You haven’t heard a word I’ve said, have you?” It was not a
question. “Everything I’ve – why do I even bother?” Spots of red appeared on
his cheeks, but his eyes did not diminish in intensity. “Look, you can’t stand
me. The way I walk, the way I talk, the friends I have, the way I work, the way
I think – you can’t stand anything. And yes, I’m an arrogant, big-headed,
self-obsessed, conceited, over-ambitious prankster with no regard for rules or
for other people, and with less general potential than the Giant Squid.” James’
face twisted slightly. “In case you haven’t realised, yes, I have heard
everything you’ve ever said about me – I just preferred to think you didn’t
mean it. Well maybe I am all those things to you. Anything to keep you
in your own cosy world, right? Let’s just leave it there.”
Lily opened her mouth in shock to protest, but, for the
second time that week, James had already left.
October 13th, 19—
Well, would you look at that? Unlucky number thirteen. And
this time, that phrase couldn’t be truer. It’s been three weeks so far, and I
know I haven’t written in here for ages (blame the homework), so I’ll summarise
the last events by saying that after our last little “chat” James has resorted
to ignoring me. In a way, it’s easier, because I know where I stand, but it’s
also painful, because I don’t – I still don’t follow why he’s doing this.
That’s a lie. I get that I’ve disappointed him somehow,
but it’s all so hazy – it’s infuriating, because if there’s nothing definite
I’ve done, there’s nothing definite I can apologise for. I suppose that, as
much as I hate to admit it,w hen I tried to sort things out, I was basically
doing it as a way of making life easier, but he didn’t have to be so harsh
about it! Even though it wasn’t really an admission of a fault, so didn’t mean
anything. But what am I apologising for?
This is really bugging me.
Ugh. He is so ANNOYING – why does he have to mess with me
like this? I can’t work out what’s going on, him being so obscure does NOT
help, and I can’t ask for help, because Savita doesn’t know what’s going on – I
haven’t told her the whole story of what’s happening.
You know, he’s being really inconsiderate by doing this.
That’s another lie. He’s been far more…well, something,
than I expected him to be. The other day, I was moaning to Savita that I didn’t
know how to collate the month’s detentions and points record, because I didn’t
know how to get James’ work, and when I went up to bed that night, there were
these rolls of parchment lying on my table. All his half of the accounting.
Heaven knows how he got them up there. Spooky, right?
And I will say that him ignoring me has been just that –
him ignoring me. No malicious comments, no blatant insults, nothing that would
make it really obvious to anyone else – to his credit, it’s just that he
doesn’t acknowledge me. In a way, it would be easier if it was public,
because I’d have other people to fight for me, but that would entail a
schoolful of gossip too, so I shouldn’t really complain, should I? Every
prefects’ meeting, I keep hoping that he’ll have to say something to me, and
then this’ll all be over. But it never happens. Either he’s far enough away to
pass a message through someone, or he sort of addresses the room in general. I
can’t blame him, though…
I don’t believe this! Half of this entry has been me
actually defending him! I must be going crazy…
And when did I start calling him ‘James’?
Lily snapped the diary shut and sat on it. She was curled up
on the window seat of the common room, having retreated from the too-warm fire
at the other end. Staring into the cool darkness outside, she was ensconced in
the shadows, deep in her own thoughts, which seemed to grow more and more
miserable as time ticked on. Thankfully no one had noticed her here.
Until now. A dark-haired girl with deep-brown, almost black
eyes, had come over to sit down.
“Hi, Savita,” Lily said tiredly, not bothering to look up.
Savita nodded in acknowledgement. “How’s it going?”
Lily shrugged. There was a short pause.
“You know, you’ve seemed a little down for a while now,”
Savita said offhandedly. “Want to talk about it?”
“Well, I wouldn’t really blame you if you were a little
depressed,” she continued. “I mean, no one’s in the best of moods, and you’ve
got more to deal with than most, what with school, and homework, and your Head
Girl responsibilities, and dealing with James Potter - ”
“It’s got nothing to do with any of them!” Lily said
“I never said it did,” Savita said calmly. She remained as
she was, staring into the window just as Lily was doing.
“Well,” Lily said, at long last, “maybe it’s got something
to do with one of those. But I’m not saying which!”
Savita was still. “What if we go down to the library later?
I was thinking that maybe you could help me with some Charms? And I can help
you with Transfiguration too? Although, do you have Head stuff as well?” Her
gaze was still fixed on the window. “I suppose even if James was doing part of
“Well I wouldn’t know anyway, would I, seeing as he’s not
talking to me,” Lily interrupted bitterly.
Savita raised her head. “That’s what’s bothering you, isn’t
Lily nodded, keeping her eyes fixed on Savita’s reflection.
Then she realised what had just happened. “Damn you and your psychological
Savita smiled. “Hey, don’t dismiss them – they work.” Her
tone softened. “So, now that you’ve divulged this much, feel like telling me
“It sounds really stupid,” Lily mumbled.
So, slowly, Lily related the whole story, right from the
sordid conversation that had driven her to the library in the first place, to
the last disastrous conversation with James. Savita listened intently, her dark
eyes fixed on Lily’s averted face.
“Well,” she said, when Lily finally finished. “I knew it was
something to do with him, but I didn’t realise it was like this.”
“And I would be able to get past all of it, if it wasn’t for
the fact that I don’t even know what I’ve done wrong in the first place,
because he’s so vague about it!”
Savita looked thoughtful. “Tell me what he said the first
time – when you actually fought.”
“Uhm…you mean, how I wasn’t as grown up as he -”
“No, no. Before that.”
Lily thought hard. “That…is this what it is?…I have to
justify things with every reason under the sun except the truth…then the
growing-up stuff.” She screwed up her nose. “Why does he have to talk so
Savita stared at her so unreadably that Lily wondered if
she’d heard her at all. A few seconds later, she widened her eyes.
“I knew that line was bugging me,” she said. “That’s it, Lil.
There’s your reason.”
Savita rolled her eyes. “Lily, do I need to spell it out to
“No, O Great One, I’m already enlightened,” Lily said
sarcastically. “Yes, you do, if you’d be so kind.”
“James likes you,” Savita said patiently.
Lily grimaced. “We established that.”
“And you like him.”
“And he knows that you like him.”
“You like him and he knows it,” Savita repeated
“No – no I don’t! How could I?”
Savita sighed. “It all makes sense, Lily. You’ve always been
so vehemently anti-James-Potter, but now look at you. You’re purposely trying
to get him back to what you’re used to him doing.”
“That’s just because I don’t like having people angry with
me!” Lily protested.
“Mmmhmm.” The look on Savita’s face soon broke Lily’s
“You’re right, aren’t you?” She heaved a sigh. “Damn you
Savita, you’re too logical. Maybe I do…do like him.” She buried her face in her
hands. “There, I said it. I never imagined it would come to this.”
“Good,” Savita said calmly. “So, now that you’ve admitted
it, all that remains is for you to do something about it.”
Lily stared at the window. “Like what?”
“Like talk to him.”
“No, I can’t.” Lily shook her head. “I tried that last time,
remember? He won’t talk to me anyway.”
Savita raised her eyebrows. “Coward.”
Lily shook her head again. “Trust me, I don’t need to dig a
bigger hole for myself than I have already.” Her expression was so adamant that
it was Savita’s turn to heave a sigh as she got up.
“It’s up to you, Lily.”
Another two weeks passed by, and still there was no change
in the situation. The last lingering hints of autumn had left the air, and
winter was moving in to take its place, complete with sharp winds and cold
frosts every morning. The crisp air snapped at Lily’s face every time she
ventured outside, and more often than not, she retreated hastily indoors after
a few minutes. Savita’s words had not left her mind, but she preferred to
remain as she was. It seemed somehow safer than sorting things out with James,
only to expose things that she had ignored for so long. A rut it was, but it
was a comfortable one, and Lily had no intention of stirring from it for a long
However, it seemed that she was not supposed to pick and
choose where and when anything would happen. She was walking up to the
Gryffindor Tower one day, when her feet suddenly locked to the floor. For a
moment, she kept going, not understanding what was going on, and promptly
overbalanced. When she had pulled herself back up again, Sirius was standing in
front of her.
“Accio wand,” he said, and before she had time to
think, her wand had flown out of her pocket and straight into Sirius’ hand.
“Sirius,” she said angrily, trying to pull her feet away.
“What the hell is going on?”
“Nothing,” Sirius said cheerfully. “Just stay right there.”
Her smirked. “Oh wait…you don’t really have a choice, do you?”
Lily glared at him as he walked off. She looked up and then
down the corridor, hoping that perhaps someone would come and help her, but
only bare expanses of dull grey stone met her eyes. A few shafts of cold winter
daylight lit up the passage here and there, for it was not yet dark enough for
the torches to ignite, but as she was standing in the shadows anyway, it didn’t
make much difference. There was almost complete silence, and the smell of must
was pervading her nostrils.
Finally, after what seemed like an age, two sets of footsteps
could be heard, and Lily looked up to see a triumphant-faced Sirius walking
back up towards her. The figure behind him was hidden, but looked vaguely
Oh God, Lily prayed. Please, please don’t let it
And then Sirius stepped aside, and Lily looked straight at
the boy behind, whose eyes widened as he saw her.
“What the hell is going on, Sirius?” he said furiously. “I’m
going.” He turned, but before he could take more than a few paces, Sirius had
deftly frozen him in place and captured his wand.
“Sirius…” Two voices echoed warningly. Sirius merely looked
“Now, let’s see,” he said musingly, as if to himself.
“Turned around, for a start, I think.” He flicked his wand, and James revolved
on the spot until he was facing Lily, whose eyes were firmly fixed on Sirius.
“Perhaps a little closer? Yes, I think so.” He flicked
again, and James slid uncontrollably forward, until he was no more than a few
inches away from Lily; so close than his breath ruffled her hair. Still he
gazed steadfastly upwards, over the top of her head.
“Now,” Sirius said, in a tone so insufferably self-satisfied
that Lily’s one dying ambition, at that moment, was to hit him. Hard. By the
mutinous expression she could just about make out above her, James’ mind wasn’t
running along a very different track. “You two are going to stand there. Until
you’ve sorted things out. For as long as it takes. Do I make myself clear?” He
eyed them both. “I don’t care if I hear shouting, yelling, arguing, crying, or
even walls being punched. You won’t be free until your differences are settled.
Without waiting for a response, he sauntered off, both their
wands sticking mockingly out of his back pocket.
Like Lily before him, James immediately tried to pull his
feet off the ground manually.
“Don’t,” Lily said dully. “I tried it. It doesn’t work.”
At her words, he gave his right thigh one last tug, and then
stopped, but resumed his gaze over her head. Lily opened her mouth, but nothing
came out. What was she supposed to say anyway? ‘I’m sorry’ clearly hadn’t
worked out the last time. She looked discreetly up at him, towering above her.
So this is who my stupid brain chooses to like, she
thought frustratedly. Someone who hasn’t managed to grasp the concept of
combing his hair, or of buttoning his shirt all the way to the top. He is not suave. Not sexy. Not in the least. Not to mention he
fails the basic requirement of actually talking to me! In all respects, the future did indeed look
A short while later,
Sirius returned, only to find them still in the same position. He sighed
“I take it neither
of you wanted to be the mature one?”
“As if you are!”
James retorted indignantly. “Sirius, unfreeze my feet so I can come and hex you
into next year.”
“And me!” Lily
added angrily. Despite the fact that she wanted to make up with James, having
to stand in such close proximity to him while she did it was nothing if not
embarrassing. “You won’t be able to walk by the time I’ve finished with you!”
“Such tempers.” He walked up and pulled out a hand from each of them. “Look,
just shake hands, that’ll be something. That way you can at least talk to each
other and we’ll work on the friends thing.”
James wrenched his
hand away. “I don’t want to be friends,” he said flatly.
in Lily, and she too pulled her hand out of Sirius’. “But I do,”
she said softly.
There was a pause. Sirius, looking once again smug, was
watching them as he took a few steps backward. “That’s more like it. Did I
really need to spell it out to you?”
The words rang a bell, and Lily suddenly looked hard at him.
“Sirius, did Savita put you up to this?”
“Savita? Who’s Savita? What’s she got to do with anything?”
Sirius looked genuinely baffled.
“Never mind,” Lily said, rolling her eyes. She watched him
stroll away again, looking supremely unconcerned about the death glare she was
The carefree walk lasted until he rounded the corner, at
which point he crashed into another person who grabbed him by the collar and
thrust him into the deeper shadows where they were standing.
“That was brilliant!” Savita whispered excitedly. “Who’s
Savita? A stroke of genius!”
Sirius grinned. “Thank you.” He massaged his neck. “Although
you’ve clearly got a flair for dramatics too, judging by the way you dragged me
Savita shrugged. “What can I say? I just have violent
“Well anyway, it does look a little more promising now. Lily
opened her mouth, at least.”
Savita’s dark eyes twinkled mischievously. “Finally. All
this waiting might pay off.”
Meanwhile, Lily had turned from watching Sirius go to find
James staring at her. The full intensity of his hazel eyes was rather
unnerving, even from behind glasses, at this distance.
She swallowed. “What?” she asked, her voice unnaturally
“What did you just say?” James asked, quietly.
Lily screwed up her face for a moment. “That…that I want to
be friends,” she said faintly, trying to hold his gaze.
“Because – because -” Lily struggled for words. “Because I
-” She drooped. “Just because.”
“I – I, uhm…” Lily looked away from his face, hoping it
would be easier to talk if she didn’t look at his cool expression. “Look…J –
James…this is really hard, okay? I never knew…what I know now, honestly,
and Savita had to tell me bluntly before I could understand for myself. And
I’ll admit that they weren’t exactly welcome, but now I know that I can’t
function – I can’t be myself without them. I mean…without my feelings. For
She kept her head down. “And – and I tried hard, really
hard to fight what I felt – I’ll regret saying this later, but I’m so sick of
deceiving myself that you may as well know it too. The fact…the fact of the matter
is…I was under this delusion that you were exactly the same person you were in
first year – I believed in this illusion of you, just because I was – was so
used to it that it made life easier to go along with it – to have you as this
bad person that I could vent my annoyances on, because you were like a sitting
duck. So I never gave you the chance to show me who you really were either.”
She fell silent, hoping that her outburst had bridged the gap between them a
little more. It certainly could not lower her any more than she already was in
“Lily.” A finger under her chin gently forced her to meet
his eyes for a few split seconds. “Are you saying that you…like me?”
“Yes,” Lily half-whispered.
The finger disappeared, and Lily immediately redirected her
gaze onto the floor, feeling it was safer, given that her cheeks were currently
turning neon red.
“Is this – do you – are you fighting it?”
Despite the odd phrasing, Lily heard the uncertainty in his
tone, the worry that even if what she said were true, he would still be
“If you had asked me a while ago,” she said quietly. “I
would have said yes. But…I would have been lying. To you, and probably to
myself too.” She gave a tired laugh. “You see, as much I proclaimed my dislike
of you and hung it on banners for everyone to see, and argued and fought…I needed
you, in my own odd way. So now…no, I’m not trying to fight it.”
There was quiet. Then James sighed. “Look…Lily…as much as
you want me to, I don’t want to be your friend. I can’t be your friend.”
A lump rose to Lily’s throat and she swallowed hard. “But
why?” she burst out. “I know I’ve made mistakes, but now…friendship would be
enough anyway, whatever else happens. I swear I won’t be judgemental -”
“Lily.” The word brought her back, and she blushed even more
violently as she thought of all the things she had just admitted to. Of course,
there was also that little niggling voice in her head that was rolling on the
floor in fits of laughter at the fact that she was begging for the friendship
of a boy she had ‘despised’ at the beginning of the term.
James’ voice was restrained. “Lily, I can’t be friends with
you…because I – I want to be much more than that.”
It took a moment for the full meaning of his words to sink
in, but when it did, something swelled, and Lily found herself meeting his eyes
fully for the first time. James’ gaze was still unreadable, but it certainly
“Really?” she whispered, her voice catching.
James half-smiled, and she shivered as she felt his hands
settle lightly on her waist. “As clichéd and sappy as it sounds to say this,
Lily, it’s always been you. I realised that a long time ago. All that was left
was to wait. For you.”
His voice struck an unpleasant, remorseful chord, and Lily stiffened.
“And all that time I was so awful to you.” She bit her lip. “James, maybe
you’re wrong.” Something inside her wrenched painfully as she said the next few
words. “You – you deserve a girl who doesn’t keep running away from you.”
James’ hazel eyes focused intently on her face. “So stop
running,” he whispered. Relief flooded Lily, and she lifted her face fully as
James leaned in. After a long, hesitant moment, their lips brushed.
A jolt shot through Lily as he made contact with her, and
strangely enough, as if to correspond, something flashed in the corner of her
eye. All of a sudden, she staggered into James, effectively breaking the kiss,
and both swayed unsteadily as they simultaneously discovered that their feet
had been released.
“Well,” Lily said. “I don’t know whether to kill Sirius…or
“I opt for the former, personally.” James gave her another
half-grin and shifted awkwardly. “Is this when we find out if we were just
feeding each other lines to get freed?”
“I don’t know about you, but -” Lily disengaged herself and
James was left staring at the spot where she had been
standing. He looked as if a leaden block had just plummeted through his
stomach, as, in a moment of stark clarity, he had realised that he should have
known it was too good to be true. Slowly, he began to walk back.
The feeling appeared to last, however, only until he turned
the corner. A familiar redhead was leaning against the wall, bright emerald
eyes challenging him.
“You didn’t think I was serious, did you?” she questioned,
walking up to him, her head cocked innocently to one side.
“Wha – no, no, of course not,” James stammered, looking very
wrong-footed. Was this the same Lily Evans, or had she accidentally traded
personalities with Sirius?
“Good.” Lily twisted her arms shyly around his neck. “Just
trying to speak the language of a Marauder.” She stood on tiptoe, and James had
no choice but to chuckle as he met her lips again. And this time, they did not
In a corridor further on, Savita and Sirius silently
high-fived each other, grinning.
“Operation Love a success,” Savita whispered, her eyes
twinkling. Sirius’ cool grey eyes twinkled too, as they rested on her face.
“What an original name,” he muttered, amusement evident in
Savita rolled her eyes. “Forget the name – do you think it’s
too early for us to start sending out the wedding invites?”
A/N: The end! A fluffy, plotless something that is
now complete in all its pink cotton-candy-ness! Thanks go as usual to my
brilliant and incredibly patient and sympathetic beta-reader – NightZephyr!