The Truth Is
Lily was sitting with James and Company by the crackling fire in the Gryffindor Common Room. They were, apparently, playing a game of 'Truth or Dare'. Or rather, it seemed to Lily, it was just 'Truth'. The dare factor seemed non-existent.
But that aside, Lily was now faced with a huge problem. She had dug herself into a hole she doubted she could get out of. Strike that, she knew for sure that she would never be able to get out of it. It was her turn, and the Marauders had posed her a question that she was not able to answer. Well, actually, she was able to answer it. The problem? She would rather declare her undying love for Snape than to answer it.
The question: Did she still fancy James Potter?
The truth: Yes, she did. Yes, she still dreamt about him at night, especially when…never mind. Much as it repulsed her to say it, she still liked James. But anyway, that was the happy part.
The not-so-happy part? Well, she doubted James returned her feelings. Most people would be thinking that she had gone mental. Of course James still liked her! James had liked her since first year! But to Lily, things weren't so clear-cut.
James had not spoken to her in…forever. He hadn't asked her out at all, he was quiet as mice during lessons. He stopped playing pranks. His hazel eyes hadn't pierced her for an eternity. To cut a long story short, he had been steadfastly ignoring Lily.
And it was driving her crazy.
All this led Lily to one conclusion: He had finally given up on her. Her continual rejections had finally taken their toll on him. She had crossed the line; she had rejected him one time too many.
And she only had herself to blame. She had convinced herself that James was nothing but a feather-brained, annoying and arrogant prat. Not to mention, his ego was already perilously close to exploding and covering everything in sight. If Lily gave in and agreed to go out with him, his ego would really explode, resulting in disastrous consequences. That would not do. So Lily convinced herself that she hated him, and that she would not want to be any more to him than the elusive girl. So she was elusive, and she never let him catch her. But look where that had landed her. All alone with nothing but a harvest of regrets.
"Hey! Lily! Lily?" Remus' voice jolted Lily back to reality.
"Wha-yeah?" She replied, feeling lost.
"We're waiting, you know." Sirius. She recognized that voice anywhere.
Lily was in two minds. Could she entrust them with her secret? What if James had really given up on her? She would die from embarrassment! Not to mention grief! But then again, what if James still liked her? What if he had changed for her? In that case… But enough. She mustn't get her hopes up.
"Hey, uh, Lily? It's alright if it's too personal, you don't have to answer," said Remus, seeing that Lily was working herself up into a right state.
"What? That's not fair!" cried Sirius, sounding like a three year old.
After Remus shot him a keep-your-mouth-shut-or-I-will-do-it-for-you glare, Sirius promptly shut it.
"Well? Do you want to pass or answer it?" prompted Remus.
Scraping together all the Gryffindor courage she could muster, Lily took a deep breath and said, "I'll answer it."
At that exact moment, James' head shot up. He appeared to listening now. Was this a sign?
Looking straight into James' hazel eyes and trying her best not to turn crimson, she said, "I do."
The Marauders burst out in whoops of joy and started doing a war-dance around the room. James did not join them. He just sat down there on the floor, looking awkward.
Running his fingers through his hair, he finally asked Lily, "You do? I thought you hated me."
"I could never hate you, James. Sad as it may be, it's the truth." Inwardly, Lily shuddered. This romantic thing was not her style at all.
Grinning widely like his old, cocky, arrogant self once more, he asked, "Want to go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend?"