The Sugar Quill
Author: Mardia  Story: Something Better Than Safe  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

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Author's Note: This is the first James/Lily story I've written, and I hope you enjoy it. There won't be that much of Wormtail in here, since I can't stand the little rat. Enjoy!

"They're at it again. "

Sirius groaned. "Not another fight. What are they fighting about now?" he wailed to Remus in the Gryffindor common room.

Remus sighed. "Lily's going out with Amos Diggory."

"And?" Sirius prompted.

Remus shrugged. "James is having a fit."

Sirius groaned again. "What the hell could he possibly have against Amos Diggory?"

"He's dating Lily, and he's a Hufflepuff." Remus answered.

"And?"

"James said that Lily shouldn't be dating outside of Gryffindor." Remus explained.

"Are you kidding? James has dated girls in Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor. What's the difference between him and Lily?" Sirius demanded.

Remus shrugged again. "That's what Lily said. Then James said that that was different because those girls weren't after what Amos Diggory was after. Lily asked him what that was, and then James told Lily that Amos Diggory is after her virginity. Lily slapped him in the face and stormed off in a huff."

Sirius paced in front of the fireplace. "Moony, this is really getting out of hand. It's already our sixth year, and Lily has absolutely no idea how Prongs feels about her!"

Remus sighed again and sat down in an armchair. "I know, but what can you do? Prongs is refusing to tell Lily, so what on earth are we going to do?"

"Moony, Prongs loves her, okay? I can't believe James Potter, a.k.a the school stud of Gryffindor besides me, has actually fallen in love. But, it's happened. He's been in love with the girl since our first year, and for the past six years, he's refused to tell her. This fighting has got to stop." Sirius declared.

"So, what do we do? Lily's refusing to talk to Prongs now, and he's having another one of his sulky fits. Remus pointed out. "You know, the sulky fits he has after he's had a fight with Tiger Lily."

"This is the last straw. Where is he?" Sirius asked.

"In the prefect's bathroom." Remus replied, then looked alarmed. "Padfoot, you're not going to-"

"Come on, Moony." Sirius said, dragging Remus out of the chair and toward the portrait hole.

 

"I'm an idiot." James said, his head in his hands, sitting in a chair.

"Damn right you are." Sirius forcefully said. "For the love of God, why the hell don't you tell Lily that you're in love with her?"

"She won't even talk to me." James pointed out miserably, running his fingers through his already mussed-up hair.

"Out of curiosity, Prongs, what do you have against Amos Diggory?" Remus asked. "He is a prefect, and on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team."

"Don't you get it, Moony?" James asked sadly, getting up. "I don't want to be the guy she talks to about boys, I want to be the guy she talks about. I'm so damned tired of being just her best friend."

"Then do something about it, you prat!" Sirius argued. "Trust me, she'll listen. And besides, what could go wrong?"

"How about everything?" James muttered.

 

"Lily, I have to talk to you." James said, walking toward Lily, sitting in a chair facing the fireplace. The common room was empty, as everyone else had gone to the Great Hall for dinner.

Lily stood up and faced James. "James Harold Potter, you are the most stubborn, infuriating, pig-headed person on the planet! Where the hell do you get the nerve-"

"I love you." James said shortly.

"-to tell me who I-w-what did you just say?" Lily asked in disbelief.

"I love you, Lily." James said simply.

"You're-you're joking…you-you have to be…" Lily trailed off and looked into James's dark brown eyes. "Oh my God, you're not…"

James took another step towards Lily, who seemed to be frozen at the spot. "Lily, I have been in love with you since I was eleven years old. I can't stand Diggory because I want to be the guy you talk about to your friends, not the friend you talk to about your boyfriend."

"Are-are you sure?" Lily whispered. She was dreaming, she had to be….

"Lily, I think about you all the time. I dream about you at night. Yeah, I'm pretty sure." James said.

"James, I'm not-I don't-" Lily began weakly, but was interrupted when James put his hands on either side of her face and kissed her.

When they broke apart, Lily raised her fingertips and gently touched her lips, seeming to be completely speechless. James seemed to be a bit shaky as well, but still managed to give a faint grin. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that."

"James…" Lily whispered.

"Lily, listen to me. Haven't you ever asked yourself why none of your relationships have lasted beyond two weeks? Lily, I know you. And I know that right now, you are very, very scared. You've got a closed heart, Lily. You won't let anyone in. Every single relationship you've been in has been safe, because you've never really cared about any of those guys. But right now, something that isn't safe, isn't predictable is standing right in front of you. So," James finished, "when you're ready for something that's better than safe, you know where to find me." And with that, James left the room.

Lily turned toward the fireplace and flopped into the chair, completely stunned. Oh my God…

The next day, even Peter realized that something was going on. For one thing, Lily was completely distracted and couldn't even talk to any of the Marauders, especially James.

James was feeling better than he had in a long time. His feelings for Lily had taken up so much of him, and had been so hard to conceal. Finally, the truth was out.

"You told her, didn't you?" Sirius asked excitedly at breakfast in the Great Hall the next day.

James nodded, and Remus whistled. "I'm impressed." Remus said.

Sirius clapped James on the shoulder. "Way to go, Prongs!"

"So, what happened?" Peter asked.

"I told her I loved her, I kissed her, and I said that when she was ready for something better than safe, she knew where to find me."

"And what did she say?" Sirius asked, seeing that neither Remus nor Peter could ask the question while their jaws were hanging halfway down to the floor.

James shrugged. "She didn't really say much. I think she was in shock."

"You think she was in shock?" Sirius hooted. "James, you have completely blown her mind. Trust me, Lily definitely is in shock."

As the day progressed, Sirius turned out to be right. Lily was inattentive in all of her classes, even Charms, which was easily her best subject.

"Miss Evans, what is the matter with you?" Professor Flitwick asked at last.

"Sorry, Professor." Lily muttered.

After class, Lily cornered Remus. "I'm guessing this is about what happened last night." Remus said calmly.

"You knew James was-was-"

"In love with you?" Remus finished for her. "Lily, I've known since our first year."

Lily's face crumbled. "I don't want to hurt him, but-"

"Lily, what do you feel for James?" Remus asked kindly.

"That's just it, Remus," Lily whispered. "I don't know. I feel like I don't know anything anymore." Stifling a sob, Lily ran away. Remus watched her go and shook his head.

Lily ran into the girls' bathroom and slammed the stall door shut. Moaning Myrtle drifted in, looking mildly surprised to see Lily sitting on a toilet seat, looking completely miserable.

"What happened to you?" Myrtle asked.

"Myrtle, if you don't mind, I'd really like to be alone now." Lily said dully, looking at the floor. Then she looked at her watch and realized that it was dinnertime. "Oh well, I'm really not hungry." Lily muttered to herself.

"Tactless!" Myrtle wailed.

Lily looked bewildered. "What?"

"Talking about being hungry in front of me when you know I can't-I can't-" Wailing, Myrtle went into the S-bend of the toilet. Lily sighed. Fantastic.

What is the matter with me? Lily asked herself fiercely. What do I do now? Where do James and I go from here? That kiss…No, no, no, Lily Marie Evans, don't you dare think about that! Then she started arguing with herself. Aren't I supposed to think about that? I mean, that's the only way I can decide what to do, right?

Okay, Lily. So, what do you feel for James?

Well, I can talk to him about anything. And he was really there for me when Mum and Dad died. And when Petunia kicked me out, didn't he offer me a place to stay? His parents were so nice about it, too. You've stayed at his house for the past two years, and he has been there every time you needed him. And that kiss…it was like I'd finally found someplace I wanted to stay for the rest of my life.

Okay, Lily. So you are attracted to James, and you probably have been attracted to him for a long time, but have been in denial for a long time. Now, what about James's comment about you having a closed heart?

I admit that no relationship of mine has lasted beyond two weeks, but still…oh hell, Evans, admit it. Ever since Mum and Dad died, you've been scared to let other people in. You even tried to push James away, not that it worked. Lily thought wryly. No, James definitely didn't let me get away with that.

So, what do I do now? What if this destroys our friendship? What if he hates me, and I can't stay at his house for the summer holidays? Oh God, what am I going to do?

In the common room, Lily faced Sirius. "You knew, didn't you?" she asked.

Sirius nodded. "Yeah, I did."

Lily sighed, and sat down next to Sirius on the couch. "Sirius, do you think I have a closed heart?"

Sirius looked at Lily. "Lil, ever since-well-"

"My parents died in a car accident." Lily finished for him.

"After that happened, d'you remember how you tried to shut us out right when you needed us the most?" Sirius asked.

Lily looked down and smiled faintly. "Yeah, I do. James wouldn't let me get away with it either."

"Damn right he wouldn't." Sirius said. "You stopped trying to shut us out, but you never really let anyone else in after that, either. Lily, you and James could have something really incredible, something that not many people get. Don't let that slip away." Sirius advised.

Lily looked at him, surprised and a bit shocked. "Sirius-"

But Sirius had finished being sentimental. He gave her a little shove. "So find James and start snogging him so both of you can stop all the fighting." Sirius said with the grin that made nearly the entire female population of Hogwarts swoon.

James was at the pitch, flying around, trying to get rid of his doubts. What if she really doesn't care? Maybe I pushed her too hard…

"James!" James looked down and saw Lily waving up at him. He flew down and landed next to her.

"Yeah, Lil-" He was violently interrupted as Lily grabbed him and kissed him.

Lily moved back and grinned. "So, did I surprise you?" she asked playfully.

"Uh-uh-ye-yeah." James stammered.

"After some serious reflection in a toilet stall, and talking to Remus and Sirius, I've come to a decision." Lily said firmly.

"Yes?" James asked nervously.

"I love you, you stupid git." Lily said.

James sighed in relief, grabbed Lily, and whirled her around in a dizzying circle. Then he stopped. "Um, does this mean that I can kiss you now without getting slapped?" James asked tentatively.

Lily just grinned and kissed him. "Does this answer your question?" Lily asked.

Off to the side, Remus and Sirius stood watching Lily and James snog obliviously. Sirius turned to Remus and grinned. "Cough it up, Moony."

Remus handed over five Sickles. "Unbelievable. I thought it'd take them at least a week!"

Sirius grinned. "Moony, you ought to have learned by now. I never lose."

"So, you bet on us, hmmm?" Lily's voice asked menacingly. Remus and Sirius turned to see James and Lily standing behind them.

"Uh…"

"Well…"

"I think we should get them, how about you?" Lily said, looking at James.

"Oh, yeah." James said, grinning.

"Moony?" Sirius asked.

"Yeah, Padfoot?" Remus whispered.

"Run."

Dumbledore watched the four students from the stands, looking amused. As he walked back toward the castle, he muttered to himself, "I must collect those five Galleons from Professor Flitwick. He thought it'd take those two at least another week…"

 

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