Disclaimer: It's all JKR's
This is just a fragment of nothing very much that leapt
into my head and wouldn't go away when I came across this passage from
'Carpe Diem'. I've neither read nor written Lily and James before, but
I've had a great time meeting and getting to know them.
Hopefully Harry would have approved.
"They turned, as if with one mind, to stroll clockwise
round the lake, the earthen path worn smooth by feet of yesteryear.
Harry briefly wondered if his parents had been amongst those who had
walked this way once, and half-smiled to himself. Ginny slid her hand
into his, but said nothing as they wandered along the undulating track
beside the shore, stepping around tree roots, and glancing out over
the tranquillity of the stretch of water on their right."
~ from 'Carpe Diem' Chapter 16.
"So what are you going to do about it?" James Potter demanded, staring
into the deep green eyes that sparkled so furiously at him.
"Do about it?" she hissed at him, oblivious to the throng of students
bustling around them in the entrance hall. "Do?" she repeated, her voice
creeping higher with passion, and her hair spitting fire as she continued
to glare at him. James writhed uncomfortably under her gaze, his awkwardness
increasing by the moment as he saw Sirius grinning over at him and winking
conspiratorially in his direction.
"Lily, I'm sorry," he protested, flinging out his hands in a gesture
of surrender. "You were never meant to get caught up in all this. Forgive
me?" He brushed his dark hair out of his eyes and smiled winningly, in
the way that would have had half of the girls in his house swooning at
his feet. But not Lily. She glowered furiously at him and jabbed him hard
in the chest with her forefinger to emphasise each word she spoke.
"You ever do this to me again, James Potter, and trust me, the
consequences will be far more excruciating than last time. I take it you
can stretch your mind back as far as Christmas?"
James felt his face flame scarlet, and there was a muffled chortle behind
him. He could remember that occasion all too well. They should
have known better than to get Lily embroiled in one of their escapades
again. It had been Padfoot's idea. Well, something like this could have
only come from Sirius.
James' mind instantly flew back to their arrival at Hogwarts in September.
Sirius had been clearly up to something, and once they were safely ensconced
in their circular dormitory high in Gryffindor Tower, Sirius had swung
the door shut with a theatrical flourish, and a devilish grin had spread
across his face as he looked from face to face.
"Well, gentlemen," he said, clear blue eyes alight with anticipation.
"New mischief for a new term. Highly against the rules, of course, but
it promises to be a lot of fun." He bent and picked up a large wooden
box, heaving it onto his bed by the window. They crowded curiously around,
watching expectantly as Sirius lifted the lid.
"It's a few bits of dead wood," Peter wheezed with a sense of anti-climax,
leaning in to pick one up to prove his point. "What are we going to do
"I'd not touch that if I were you," James chuckled, realising instantly
what Sirius was up to. He exchanged grins with his best friend, as one
of the 'pieces of wood' made a savage snap at Peter's finger with ferociously
Peter backed away hurriedly, whimpering slightly, and rubbing his fingers.
"Dugbogs," Remus smiled. "Well, they're certainly going to be an interesting
addition to the dormitory. Better start watching your ankles now."
"Oh what's a little pain between friends?" Sirius proclaimed airily.
"Just think of the fun we can have racing these across the common room.
They can go pretty fast, and I think a little bit of betting here and
there may just help to ease the pressure of our N.E.W.T.s this year. Wouldn't
"Couldn't be better," James agreed, loving the idea. "But we've got one
problem though, Padfoot. You know as well as I do that Dugbogs only move
in water, and how are we going to do that in the common room without McGonagall
"Easy," said Sirius, with a widening grin. "A certain girlfriend of yours
is rather an expert at charms."
"Sirius, you can't be serious," James protested, unable to resist the
tease. All the same he felt a sense of deep foreboding. "We'll never manage
to get Lily involved with something like this."
"We won't, but you will," Sirius laughed. "You just need to use
some of that famous Potter charm. Come on, Prongs; it'll be a laugh."
Shaking himself back into the present from these famous last words, James
found himself backed against the wall in the entrance hall, with Lily's
livid face glaring up at him. Perhaps they had taken advantage of her
one too many times, he reflected ruefully, although she usually gave as
good as she got. Despite the seriousness of the situation, he couldn't
help a small smile flickering across his lips as he remembered some of
the things she had done to them in recent months. There was the unforgettable
occasion of the shrinking underwear, which had quite literally brought
tears to their eyes, and if that hadn't been bad enough, she'd charmed
their robes to spring into bloom whilst whistling "An English Country
Garden" at full volume. James didn't ever think he'd forget the look
on Sirius' face, as they'd fled through the crowded corridors, back to
Gryffindor Tower, covered in begonias. Even McGonagall had been seen in
fits of laughter.
"I'm sorry," he repeated, rubbing his face with his hands. He looked
straight at her, and grinned apologetically. "What do you want me to do
to prove it to you? Fly starkers at the next Quidditch match?"
Her anger flickered like a candle in a draft, and her lips twitched for
a second before she exploded into laughter at the concept.
"And what would you do if I took you up on that one, James?" she teased,
raising her eyebrows at him.
"I'd do it. You know I would," he said, never once breaking eye contact
with her. She gazed steadily back, a huge smile wreathed across her face.
A challenge was silently set between them to see who would back down first,
and after a few minutes, Lily let her gaze fall.
"You win," she chuckled, shaking her head at him. "Somehow I don't think
the school's ready for that."
"I am sorry, you know," he repeated, reaching for her hand. He
suddenly caught sight of his three friends hanging over the banister listening
intently to every word, and then feigning casual disinterest when they
caught his eye. "C'mon Lily," he muttered. "Let's get out of here for
He pushed his way through the milling crowds, with Lily following swiftly
at his heels. They slipped out of the heavy oak doors at the front of
the castle, closing them firmly behind them to block out the babbling
torrent of tongues, breathing in the blissful solitude of outdoors. The
early evening was still warm; fragments of lilac and rose-pink lazily
stretched across the blueness of the sky, heralding the beginning of a
spectacular sunset. The glow of the sun sparkled enticingly off the rippling
energy of the lake. Catching her hand securely in his, they set off down
the grey stone steps and across the sloping lawns towards the edge of
the Hogwarts lake.
"You didn't get into much trouble, did you?" James asked hesitantly,
as they drifted towards the shore and turned to walk clockwise around
it, the way they always did. The path had been well worn over the years,
and its compacted earthen surface bumped unevenly beneath their feet.
They followed the water line for the most part, twisting every now and
then to avoid the tree roots that encroached upon the track, leaves whispering
seductively in the towering trees above them.
"Enough," Lily said bleakly after a short pause. "A whole week of detentions
and a letter home about my behaviour." She stopped abruptly and James
turned to look at her, guilt engulfing him right through to his very core.
Her dark red hair caught the sunlight and sparkled enticingly, making
him long to touch her. She gave a short rueful laugh. "You can just imagine
my sister gloating about this one, can't you? Petunia will be in her element."
"Lily," James groaned, feeling worse than ever.
"It's fine," she said, glancing away from him and out across the water.
"Don't worry, I didn't tell McGonagall it was you."
"You should have," James burst out vehemently. "There's absolutely no
reason why you should take any of the blame for this at all. Come on,"
he tugged restlessly at her hand. "Let's go and see her now and get this
"No," Lily said firmly. "You know as well as I do what would happen if
I let you do that. She said last time if you put one more foot out of
line you'd lose your responsibility as Head Boy, and I've got a clean
record. I'll do those detentions. I suppose I deserve some of the blame
anyway for letting you talk me into doing that charm." She shrugged her
shoulders, resigned to her doom, and James could see by the set of her
jaw that there was no point in arguing with her. He knew his Lily better
"I don't know why you put up with me," he said at last.
"Me neither," she smiled wistfully up at him. "Maybe I should trade you
in for a trouble free model?"
He looked at her, wondering what he could do to salvage something from
the situation, and suddenly an idea occurred to him. Checking all around
him to ensure he was unobserved, he transformed easily, limbs warmly melting
like treacle and shooting forth, stretching and flowing into a new shape.
He regarded Lily soulfully, exaggerated hurt pouring from his eyes. She
pressed her lips together trying not to laugh as she spotted his stag-like
"James, it's no good trying those Bambi eyes on me," she grinned. "It's
not going to work."
He tilted his head sideways, antlers gently nudging her, and looked up
at her again with
She laughed and stroked the soft velvety fur of his nose.
"OK, you're forgiven," she smiled, kissing his muzzle affectionately.
"Now can I have my James back please?"
"I think I can manage that," he laughed, springing suddenly back into
his shape, and shaking out his limbs. He pulled her into a tight hug.
"Love you, Tiger Lily," he murmured, using the nickname he'd teasingly
given to her back in the first year. He buried his face penitently in
her hair. "I won't do anything like that to you again, I promise."
"You'd better not," she laughed, kissing him gently, making him feel
as if he were suddenly walking on clouds.
She slid her arm through his and they continued their stroll around the
lake, watching the glorious array of colours reaching across the sky and
merging in fluid swirls of glowing shades, as the sun itself darkened
to a burnt orange hue. He felt her lean in against his arm, and smiled
to himself. He loved it when it was just the two of them, like this. Nice
and peaceful, content just to be. Not like the world outside.
"Lily," he said suddenly, as the towers and turrets of the castle began
to loom up darkly before them. "What are we going to do when we get out
of here at the end of the year?"
"What do you mean?" she asked curiously examining the mutinous expression
on his face. Then her expression softened. "Oh James," she sighed, rubbing
her hand reassuringly across his back. "You can't change what's happened."
"I'm not going to hang around and do nothing," he retorted, feeling the
bitterness surge through him once more. "There's a war going on out there
Lily and I'm going to do my damnedest to make sure he doesn't win. Look
at what he's done already."
"I know. I know," she said chewing her lip. "It might be all over by
then, James. The Daily Prophet have been really positive about
everything recently, and some Death Eaters have been captured."
"Good," he said through barely contained anger. "It's not enough, not
after what he's done. I want to do more. I want to make sure Voldemort
never gets the chance to do something like this again. Not to me, not
Silence fell between them. Gentle hooting sounds floated across the ever-darkening
evening sky as owls began to flutter from the owlery on various missions.
The dying golden glory of the sky danced on the ripples of the lake, stealing
life for as long as possible before darkness reigned.
"If it comes down to that," she said steadily, cupping his face in her
hand and gazing into his eyes. "I want to be fighting there right along
with you. No arguments, James."
"I wouldn't dare," he whispered, staring at her in awe, knowing full
well that Lily never made rash promises. "But things are getting
better," he mused, wrapping his arms around her to keep out the chill
settling on the evening. "You're right, this could be all over by the
"Leaving us to get on with our lives," Lily smiled. She chuckled suddenly
and placed her hand on his chest. "You know," she said. "I can see you
about five or six years from now forcing our children onto your broomstick
and teaching them to play Quidditch before they've even got the hang of
walking properly. If you have your way, they'll be practising scoring
goals from the womb."
"I should think so too," he grinned. "Although, I suppose I won't be
too disappointed if we end up with a Seeker or something. No kid of mine
is going to grow up without Quidditch, that's for certain."
"What am I letting myself in for?" she laughed. "Maybe I should run away
now whilst I've still got the chance."
"You dare," he said gruffly. "I've got every intention of spending the
rest of my life with you. There's so much I want to do with you Lily.
Get out there and see places, travel a bit after this war's over. Watch
you grow old and get wrinkles." He yelped as she playfully elbowed him
on the ribs.
"That'll be after you develop middle-age spread?" she queried innocently.
"Probably," he laughed, reaching for her hand again, and beginning a
happy stroll back uphill to the castle. "The future's ours, Lily. You
The last band of bright orange sunlight slowly melted into the horizon
leaving the world in a shadowy realm, the darkness tightening its grasp
as time passed by.