They meet in law school. Criminal law, senior year, to be precise. Professor McGonagall drones on and on about mens rea and strict liability and because it is an eight a.m. class on a Monday, most students are half-asleep. Potter’s not, of course. He loves it.
“And the purpose of diminished capacity is… Potter?”
"To negate mens rea.” McGonagall nods, and Lily swears she can see the corners of her mouth twitching.
The months go by. Eventually, because it is only natural, the two of them fall in love, and they fall hard. It’s the kind of love that lasts for better or for worse, forever. Lily’s never believed in soulmates, (Potter does, of course,) but, at the risk of sounding cliché, it feels like the familiar tug in her heartstrings was meant to be.
They could have had it all, but in the end, they both choose their careers.
It’s a mess, and it hurts more than anything, even more than the time Lily was fifteen and her sister went missing, only to wind up in the hospital a few days later. Potter doesn’t feel like a sibling, he feels like a part of her. It feels like her heart is being torn in two and he’s taking one half with him.
Neither of them wants it, but it’s how it has to be.
(Four years later)
It’s nine in the morning when she steps foot inside the courtroom. She walks to the bench, sits down, and fumbles with a loose thread in her robes. People start coming in, defense attorneys and witnesses and the jury and him.
She still sees him from time to time, out of the corner of her eye after a long case, in the back of her mind when she’s trying to fall asleep. He’s turned into a brilliant lawyer, like she always knew he would. She stayed in law school, studying to become a judge.
When the clock ticks half-past-nine, he runs his hand through his hair - she’s glad to see that hasn’t changed - and stands up. Today isn’t about James Potter and law school reunions; it’s about Tom Riddle and his organ trafficking business. The british government has been after Riddle for years now, and Lily prays Potter doesn’t muck it up. Riddle’s guilty, she’s sure of it, and yet she can’t do anything if the prosecutor doesn’t do a good enough job.
“Good morning. My name is James Potter and I am the prosecutor in this case.” His voice is deep - deeper than she remembers - and his face is set in a serious expression, one she hasn’t seen him wearing since his father’s passing.
The trial passes in a blur, and even though his closing statement ended with “and in conclusion, may I say that black robe is very slimming on you, Your Honour,” she can’t help but feel somewhat foolish.
She shouldn’t have been so on the edge about his performance. He nailed it, of course. And now, Riddle’s in jail. Fucking finally.
When she reaches her office, he’s beat her to it, undoubtedly waiting for her. Something is pulling the two of them together, time after time, and she doesn’t know what it is. It can’t possibly be fate, (because there is no way fate can be this cruel.)
“Evans,” he nods, fully aware of the fact that they can only drop the pretence once she shuts the door. And so, she does. “Long time no see, eh?”
“I know. It’s been the most peaceful month I’ve had ever since I met you.” He clutches at his chest, and she smirks.
“You did wonderful back there. I particularly liked your closing statement.”
“Well, you know me.” She does, even though he’s different now. Grown up. Life isn’t his playground anymore, it’s serious. His posture is straighter, his eyes are sharper. But not everything has changed. His smile is still the same, and the dimple on his left cheek is still there. They are both still head over heels in love with each other, but Lily knew that was never going to change.
Her gaze drops to the floor, and she asks, “do you remember-”
“Of course I do,” he finishes. “Criminal law. Your hair was in a braid.”
She steps closer and their foreheads touch.
“I’m sorry, James,” she whispers.
“It’s not your fault.”
“If it got out, Riddle’s lawyer could easily convince the jury of favouritism. We’ve been after this for so long-”
There’s silence, but it feels like their hearts are in deep conversation with each other. Beat, beat, beat.
“I love you, you know,” she says, because it’s true, because it is the only thing she knows to be true.
"I’ll always love you.”
His lips touch her temple, and he leaves, under the promise of someday, somehow.
To go along with this post. Some Lily/Narcissa and Drarry!
• Okay so Lily and Narcissa dated for a few years, in secret. (Yes I know age difference blablabla shut up not in this au)
• Of course it didn’t work out, as much as they had wanted it to. Narcissa had to marry a pureblood man, Lily was far from.
• Nonetheless, both married someone they were in love with, but it stung.
• They’d see each other in Diagon Alley or a quidditch game, and it stung.
• When Lily got pregnant, a few months after Narcissa had, they met up in secret.
• “I know it’s to be a secret, but a muggle pub Lily?”
• And they talk about their children. About what they’ll be like, how they’ll act with wach other. “Maybe they’ll be friends.”
• And they’re born, and both of them wonder what they’ll be. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.
• Skip to the end of the first war.
• Lily’s dead. No one told Narcissa, no one figured she’d care. She got up in the morning and read the paper. She got happy because the Dark Lord was dead and her child could grow up in peace.
• And then she reads about Lily’s death. Her heart shatters.
• No she wasn’t in love with her anymore. But it hurts so much, she can’t stop crying for hours on end.
• But her boy lives. Harry Potter lives.
• And when Draco goes to Hogwarts, she knows Harry Potter will be there too.
• And above all her expectations, his name is mentioned three times in Draco’s first letter.
• Hatred. Draco hates him.
• Narcissa can’t blame Draco of course, but it hurts. She can’t help but think if this would’ve been the same, had Lily been alive.
• But his letters change over the years, and maybe she realizes it before Draco does, but she knows he’s falling in love.
• And christ, she hopes he’ll be more lucky then she was.
• Skip to the war, where Narcissa is bending over Harry Potter.
• She risks her life with a lie, not only for her son but for Lily’s boy too.
• A year later Harry Potter is introduced to her as Draco’s boyfriend. When she talks about it with Lucius and Draco later, she understands her son.
• “It’s the eyes, my dear. Quite addictive.”
• Lucius laughs, Draco is confused but nods anyway.
• And her talks with Harry are just… right.
• She discovers his abuse, and feels guilty for not being able to have helped him.
• After a few months, she shares stories of his mother with him.
• “Treacle tarts were her favourite too, you’ve inherited more than her eyes, Mr. Potter.”
• Draco’s still embarrassed, but Harry loves hearing more about his mother. Everyone tells about James, but no one alive knew Lily as well as Narcissa did.
• He loves listening, Narcissa loves finally bwing able to share all those moments.
• Well maybe not all.
• And when one day she and Harry first visit the graves of his parents, the first time she’s ever been there, they both cry.
• But she smiles at him, and tells him about the talk in the muggle pub about him and Draco.
• “She’d have screamed with joy if you had told her about the engagement, you know? More than Weasley will.”