Lists and Things I've Never Done
Edited: June 22, 2012
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
"I love you, Lily Evans."
He had said he loved her. He loved that broken, redheaded girl of seventeen. Despite her numerous flaws and her too-many-to-name problems, he loved her.
Standing there in the Room of Requirement in each other's arms the two were themselves. For the first time in ages they felt relatively normal and free of worries. Finally.
She was the do-good perfection striver while he was the excel-without-trying prankster. She was quite, but often had a roaring anger while he was loud, but had a soft side. She had red hair, he messy black. She had green eyes while he had hazel. No matter how different they were, he still loved her and maybe, just maybe, she loved him back, only time would tell.
The look on Sirius's face as Lily and James sat down next to the rest of the Marauder's the next morning was one of pure joy. No, he didn't yet realize that, dare Lily say it, the two were dating. His joy was brought from the bit of color that had returned to Lily's forever pale face and her nicely groomed hair that was far from the rat's nest it had been in the days previous. It was also the small upturn of her lips that suggested the smile she used to wear. That brilliant sparkle of white teeth she had always shown to the world hadn't yet returned, but it was progress and progress was better then nothing.
Sirius's good mood lasted all through breakfast. His bark-like laughter mingled with the clattering of silverware at every possible moment, whether the moment was funny or not. His high spirits made even Lily's mood rise and she came to an enlightening realization that gave her an ounce more of hope.
That was how Sirius handled things. He didn't mope until the trial he was facing was overcome, he stationed small parts of the trial to battle one at a time. Milestones, if you will. Every time one of his milestones was passed or completed he would celebrate, in this case grant Hogwarts with a light spirit and temporarily permanent smile, and then move to the next milestone. It was genius really and Lily suspected he didn't even realize what he was doing.
Lily also realized that this method would be absolutely perfect for her. Every time she's come close to jumping over an obstacle she's jumped only slightly too low. In one large attempt, she would never get anywhere. In several tiny steps she could eliminate her worries.
Lily gave off a genuine smile for the second time since the death eaters had attacked the Potter's house. The first had been after James had kissed her. James…and Sirius too, they would be the ones she could trust to help her with this. It could only be done together.
"We need to make a list is what your saying, right?" James had asked once Lily mentioned her plan after classes that day.
They were back in the Room of Requirement, but they had a new addition to their stakeout of sorts. Sirius had decided he was going to follow the two around all day so he was currently sitting in one of the plush chairs that occupied the room. She hadn't told either of the boys that Sirius inspired her answer, but that didn't matter.
"Yes, exactly" she replied with a nod.
Lily's thoughts were flying through her head as she stared at some random book title on the wall. Ideas of things to add to the list, flashes of the death eaters she fought, a grotesque image of the man she almost killed, and both of the times she had kissed James were among the flurry that was her train of thought.
"Okay, so step one," Sirius started, letting his voice fade at the end to signal that he didn't know what "step one" should be.
"Get Lily to understand that we're here for her, always," James finished after a moment of thought. He jotted it down on a piece of parchment and Lily nodded in response. "Step two," he continued.
"Get you back onto a schedule so that you'll have a routine to rely on," Sirius said looking at her, a nod was once again given.
James and Sirius shared a look at Lily's silent responses and intense concentration on the wall. Sirius shrugged his shoulders and walked over to the seat next to Lily and plopped down. James took the seat on her other side and clasped onto her hand, smoothing it out and fiddling with her thin fingers.
Sirius had a vague suspicion that something was going on between them, but decided to let it slide until they decided to tell him themselves. Of course even the thought of Lily being with James made his mood brighten even further, which had previously seemed impossible.
"Step three," he started.
"Convince you that you're not a bad person," James said tilting Lily's head to look into her eyes.
They were sparkled with tears and her eyelashes were wet. He scooped her up and held her in his lap while Sirius took the seat she had previously occupied and looked at James with worry. Lily wasn't crying, but she was close to it and her head was buried into James shoulder as if she was shutting out the world.
"How about we take a break?" Sirius asked after a long, awkward silence.
Lily lifted her head off of James's shoulder, moved her hair out of her face, and blinked a few times to get the almost-tears out of her eyes.
"Good idea, Sirius." She said with a curt nod.
"Let's play a game," James said grinning.
Lily squeezed her eyes shut and a jar of pennies appeared on the floor. She smirked at James and Sirius's confused looks while trying to compose herself. Sliding off James's lap she took the jar and dumped its contents onto the floor. Sirius picked one up and rubbed it between his fingers.
"Shiny," he said to Lily's quiet and almost forced laugh in the background.
"They're pennies, American muggles use them for money, but they aren't worth much," she said sifting through them with her fingers, scrutinizing each one individually.
"What're we going to do with them?" asked James, obviously confused.
"We're going to play Never Have I Ever. One person says something along the lines of 'never have I ever snuck into Hogsmeade' and everyone that has, has to put a penny in their pile. The person who has the most pennies at the end of the game loses while the person who has the least wins."
"What about the person in the middle?" childishly asked Sirius.
"They're just stuck in the middle," Lily said shrugging.
"Well I'm game" James said sitting next to Lily on the floor. Sirius sat across from them.
"I'll start," said Lily, "Never have I ever snuck into a girls' dorm." She finished with a smirk.
James shook his head as Sirius collected a penny from the pile with a grin. Lily motioned for James to go next.
"Never have I ever spent over three hours studying."
Lily smoothed out her skirt and grabbed her own penny. Her eyes almost sparkled like they used to. Almost.
"Never have I ever kissed a Marauder," Sirius said.
"I should hope not," James said chuckling.
Sirius's grin grew wider when he saw Lily grab a penny with a crimson blush.
"Which one was it, Sunshine?" he asked.
"You mean, which ones." James said with a laugh at Sirius's eagerness to figure it out.
Lily gaped for a second. She didn't think Remus would have told James of their kiss in second year. Apparently she was wrong.
"You kissed more then one Marauder!" Sirius exclaimed in Lily's direction. She discreetly nodded. "Who!"
Lily mumbled something incoherent and Sirius leaned in to hear better.
"Who was it!" he once again questioned.
"Remus and James, okay!" she almost yelled with the blush still present.
"Oh right…I was pretty sure you didn't kiss Peter and you obviously didn't kiss me. I can't help but feel a little left out though." He said with an exaggerated pout.
Lily leaned over and pecked him on the cheek to the surprise of the two boys. Sirius smiled widely and James chuckled uncomfortably.
"I guess we should both take a penny then, huh, Prongs? Lily is the fifth marauder."
James smiled at Sirius' mention that Lily was one of them now. He nodded and grabbed a penny
"Never have I ever gotten a detention," Lily quickly said.
Both boys grabbed a penny once again. Sirius eyed James's two copper coins and looked to his and Lily's three. He looked at her and nodded his head towards James's pile. She nodded back in response. James was going to lose and they'd make sure of it.
"Never have I ever tripped and fell on my face because I accidently jinxed myself," James said.
Sirius scowled at his friend and snatched another penny.
"Never have I ever sung in the shower," he said smugly after he was done pouting.
James grabbed a penny and Lily's lips upturned a bit. She always woke up to James belting out tunes while he was in the shower across the common room. Sometimes she couldn't help but giggle whenever a Celestina Warbeck song was heard in his deep voice.
"Never have I ever fallen off my broom because the person I liked walked by," she said.
James grabbed another penny and Lily squeezed his hand with an exaggerated smile. He smiled back and kept her hand in his. After giving Lily a quick kiss on the forehead he gave his statement. Sirius smiled at the exchange. Something was definitely going on.
"Never have I ever had a sore back from carrying too many books," James said with a smirk.
Lily grabbed a penny. It was moments like these she wasn't very fond of books.
The game continued with as similar fashion for the next hour and James's pile of
pennies were piling up. He soon understood the motives of his best friend and the girl he loved and he sooner realized that winning was out of the question.
The American money was quickly out and James was the clear loser while Lily had won and Sirius was 'stuck in the middle'. The fun game had been full of smiles and laughs, all forced from Lily and all genuine from James and Sirius. But, a forced smile was better then none, James concluded. The game had ended just in time too for Remus walked in looking exhausted and practically collapsed onto the nearest chair.
"We've been looking everywhere for you guys!" he panted.
'We' was referring to him and Peter who was still searching the castle.
"Well you found us," Sirius said ruffling Remus' hair like he would a child.
"Are you okay, Lily?" Remus asked her with a small smile. She shrugged her shoulders in response.
"Wanna help us finish our list, Moony?" James asked standing up and sitting in a chair.
Lily got up to move to a chair too, but James grabbed her around the waist and plopped her onto his lap as she walked by.
"What list?" he asked confusedly, slightly confused as to why Lily wasn't complaining.
"Lily's list. We're going to help her be right as rain!" Sirius said with a grin.
"Sorry to burst your bubble Pads, but no one says 'right as rain' anymore." James replied with a roll of his eyes.
"Well I do, don't I count as someone?"
"Nah," said James to Lily's smile at the friends' banter.
"I'm making a few goals is all," Lily told Remus.
"We're on number four now,"
"Mind sharing what you already have?" Remus asked.
"One, get Lily to know we're always here for her and that we care about her." James started.
"Two, get her a steady schedule, and three convince her she isn't a bad person," Sirius finished with a nod.
Lily just stared silently at the floor while Remus expressed several of his ideas. Lily didn't really like them talking about how to "help" her as if she was some mental patient, but she couldn't do it on her own. She looked up when she heard Remus announce what four should be.
"Get her back in the open with her friends and the rest of the school. Back to her previous social point, you know?"
James looked at Lily expectantly, awaiting her answer. Lily ran the list of four things through her head. They seemed to be in a good order and were all things that need to be done. It would be tedious and she didn't really understand number three because she didn't wish to lie to herself. If she was a bad person that night, she could be one again and there's no convincing that she couldn't. She nodded anyway, too tired to do otherwise.
That night the four fell asleep in the Room of Requirement. Sirius splayed across his chair, his head tipped off the side, Remus squished into a compact position, and Lily snuggled into James's chest with his arms around her. She had no nightmares that night.
I hope you liked it :). This definitely wasn't one of my best chapters, but it's essential. Please review!