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Who Do You Love, Do You Love Now?

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You can’t love two people at once - you just can’t . That was what Lily told herself every night as she tossed and turned, her thoughts racing, and that was what she told herself as soon as she woke up and looked at the sun rising through her dormitory window.

You can’t love two people at once, but Lily was quite sure that she did.

She loved James for the boy he had become, the man he was becoming. She loved the way he took the time out of his day to help the younger Quidditch players, and how he had stopped pulling so many stupid pranks because she had asked. She loved the way he looked, although she would never admit it to him.

She was pretty sure she was falling in love with James Potter, but she found her gaze wandering to another dark-haired Gryffindor.

Sirius Black was fifth year James Potter, but worse. He hadn’t grown, and he was still trying to pull stupid shit even though they were seventh years. He flirted shamelessly with countless girls and boys and seemed to leave a trail of broken hearts in his wake. He was almost as smart as James, and he was twice as lazy. He never bothered to get into Quidditch, and yet he seemed to think that he should get all of the glory whenever they won. He had a cruel charm, and he still refused to see Slytherins for anything other than their founder and their worst alumni. He still tormented Severus more than anyone else, and even though Lily had long ago shed that toxic relationship, a nostalgic part of her heart still hurt when she saw him hurting.

It wasn’t love, it had to simply be lust - Lily was only months away from leaving Hogwarts and her childhood forever, and she was feeling completely overwhelmed. James had started saying he loved her once a week, and she knew that his parents had married at a young age, even though they hadn’t had James until later in life. Lily wasn’t ready to grow up, and even though she was glad that James had grown up and become a guy she actually could love, she was feeling scared.

Sirius wasn’t a responsible choice. He wouldn’t tell her that he loved her - hell, he barely tolerated her. And Lily had never been the type of person who crushed on people who didn’t want her back, but she suspected that that was no longer true.

Lily would sit next to James in the Great Hall, his arm around her shoulder, and she would blush when she and Sirius reached for the butter dish at the same time.

James would kiss her at the bottom of the stairs up to the girls’ bedrooms and she would open her eyes and watch Sirius laughing by the fireplace with Peter and Remus.

Lily would touch the bracelet that James had given her for Christmas while she was sitting next to her Potions partner, her thigh mere millimeters away from Sirius’s.

Lily would dream about James touching her, and when he would flip her over so that she was now lying underneath him, he suddenly had longer hair, darker eyes, and a handsome smirk on his face - he would change into Sirius in front of her very eyes.

So, every morning, Lily tried to push those dreams, those thoughts out of her head. She smiled at James as she joined him for breakfast, she kissed a little harder as they found a secluded hallway in between classes, and she kept her gaze away from Sirius.

Sometimes it worked for a week or two, sometimes only hours, but each time she failed, she started over again and tried, tried again.

She made sure to never be alone with Sirius. It had never really been a possibility until that night.

The Gryffindor Quidditch team had won another match, and thanks to Hufflepuff’s loss, they would now play Slytherin for the Cup. Everyone was in high spirits, drinks flowing and hormones taking over.

Lily was hanging out with the Marauders in front of the fireplace, a spot that she had become accustomed to in the past few months. Peter was sprawled on the floor, gazing up at James and Sirius with equally adoring looks for each. Remus was in one of the armchairs, a butterbeer dangling from his long fingers and a fresh scar slowly healing on his cheek. Lily and James were intertwined on the other armchair, one of her legs hanging over the arm. Sirius was lying on the couch in between, his head resting on the side closest to Lily and James.

They were laughing about everything and nothing. They kept talking and reminiscing as the common room emptied out and people scattered off to their own beds, and a few to different ones. Peter was the first one of their group to fall asleep, and Remus used that as an excuse to head upstairs, dragging a half-asleep Peter behind him. Sirius shouted insults at their backs, but all Remus did was flip him off as he climbed the stairs.

Lily jumped when she felt fingers wrap around her ankle, but it was only Sirius giving her leg a tug to get their attention. She shivered from his touch, but she hid it by snuggling up against James as she looked at Sirius.

“So, when’s the wedding?”

Lily rolled her eyes as she pulled her leg from his barely-there grip. James just laughed.

“Sorry that being in a real relationship is so foreign a concept, Padfoot. We’re not senior citizens or some shit.”

Lily did her best to hide her relief at his words. Sure, he wasn’t going to go proposing to her in front of his best mate while they were still in school, but it still felt like a weight lifted off her shoulders. And he was right - they could totally be serious without being that serious. She rewarded James by reaching for his face and pulling him down to her lips.

She could feel Sirius’s eyes on her, but that wasn’t why she made a show of opening her mouth and slipping her tongue into James’s waiting smile - at least, that’s what Lily told herself. She wasn’t that kind of person. (Maybe she was)

Lily smiled even bigger when she felt James growing excited beneath her, and she almost groaned when he pulled back from her.

“Um, I think that’s my cue that I should, um maybe, I should head to bed.”

Lily thought about refusing, but she merely slipped off his lap with a smirk. James got up and leaned down to kiss her on the crown of her head, whispering in her ear: “We can continue tomorrow.”

Lily fell back into the chair, watching James stumble upstairs with a smile. She had actually forgotten all about Sirius for a few minutes, and the fact that he had been watching all that. She immediately blushed when she noticed him watching her with a knowing smile on his handsome face.

Lily sank further into the soft chair. “Um, sorry about that.”

Sirius’s smirk only grew. “Oh please, I know that was for me.”

Lily blinked in surprise (and worry?). “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sirius gracefully pulled himself to his feet and stood in front of her, placing his hands on both arms of her chair. He didn’t crowd her, but his presence loomed over her, and Lily felt her pulse tick up a notch. She looked up at him, trying to put the most defiant expression on her face possible.

“I think you do. I think you aren’t as good at hiding your emotions as you think you are.” He moved forward a mere centimeter, but Lily swore she felt his body heat everywhere. “Here’s a hint: next time you’re undressing someone with your eyes, try not to stare at them for so long without blinking.”

Lily scoffed. “I don’t think that’s advice that I need.”

He wasn’t moving closer, but his face seemed closer - Lily knew that she hadn’t had that much to drink.

(She was moving, even though she would swear to Dumbledore himself that she hadn’t)

“Whatever you say, Red.”

“So original, Black.”

“Kettles shouldn’t go around calling pots black, Evans .”

Lily glared at him. “I should probably head to bed now.”

Sirius didn’t move aside, but then again, Lily wasn’t moving either.

“You should probably follow James ,” Lily tried again, her tongue caressing James’s name as she said it.

She expected Sirius to snap back or look guilty - she expected him to do something , but if anything, his smile only grew. He was James’s best friend, and despite what she said to herself as she tried to purge her mind of Sirius, he was a good person. He wouldn’t be comfortable with messing with his best mate’s girl, even if it meant messing with Lily’s head.

This time, Sirius was the one who leaned forward, his lips nearly touching her ear. She shivered as she felt his warm breath when he spoke.

“I bet James a sickle that you would kiss me ten minutes after he went up.”

Lily reared back far enough that she could slap his handsome face. She expected him to glare at her or leave right away, but he only laughed.

“James didn’t believe me, though - he raised me a galleon and swore that you would be kissing me after a mere five minutes.” Sirius made a great show of looking down at his watch. “So, who will the winner be?”

Lily wasn’t sure what was going through her head at that moment - if she had been forced to write down her thoughts, it would be a complete mess. Sirius had to be lying - James wouldn’t bet on her cheating on him. He loved her - he had just told her last night! And sure, he had said it while she had her legs wrapped around him and her bra lay on the floor, but he had said it enough that she knew he meant it, and not just that he loved having sex with her. 

Well, she’d show that prick (wait, who was she mad at again? She wasn’t sure). Lily grabbed Sirius’ collar and dragged his head down to her, leaning in to whisper in his ear instead. “You’re lying.”

Sirius pulled back and looked her straight in the eye as he clearly and simply said, “No, I’m really not.”

He looked down at his watch again. “Well, Prongs has lost his chance - now, are you going to win me a galleon, or are we all going to go to bed disappointed?”

Lily was angry at Sirius, obviously. He was lying and baiting her, not her perfect boyfriend. She was furious with the stupid boy in front of her, not the one who had gone upstairs. She should slap Sirius again.

She still had his collar bunched up in her hand, but she wasn’t removing it. In fact, she only tightened her grip. Her other hand came up to his cheek, but not in a slap - instead, she was running her fingers across the late night stubble just starting to come in.

Lily should be slapping him or pushing him aside as she stomped up the stairs. There were a lot of things she should be doing, and a lot of things she should be thinking (or not thinking), but instead she was pulling his shirt to her. She was pulling his face toward hers.

Lily was kissing Sirius bloody Black.

Lily wasn’t simply kissing Sirius bloody Black. She had pulled him almost on top of her, one hand now in his soft hair and the other skimming the exposed skin in between his shirt and pants. He had one hand digging onto the arm of the chair and the other running up and down her arm, occasionally dipping beneath the collar of her shirt. Lily had been the one to open her mouth first, just as she had done with James (she wasn’t thinking about James - she was definitely thinking about James). His hand slipped from the chair and he fell forward, onto her. Lily pushed her body back to give him more space, space that he used to climb onto the chair with her. She and James had long ago figured out that the huge armchairs by the fireplace could fit two people if they were creative and very, very close.

She and Sirius were very, very close. Every time he breathed in, she felt as though he was sucking the very breath from her own lips. His hands were everywhere, and she returned the favor right back. Lily opened her eyes, and she was staring at Sirius once again, but this time it wasn’t James’s lips she was biting at.

Lily pulled at his shirt, not worrying when her nails dragged across his skin in her haste. She knew that he wouldn’t mind, or if he did, then she didn’t care. As soon as Sirius had shucked his shirt off, almost throwing it into the dying fire, he returned the favor, his fingers catching on the hem of her shirt a few times before he finally managed to push it up properly. He paused in his quest as the bottom of her bra became visible, dipping his fingers underneath the wire as Lily struggled to remove her shirt by herself. She struggled for a few seconds, but she didn’t want Sirius to help her if it meant he moved his fingers.

“Let me help,” a voice said, warm hands joining her own. Lily hoped that she looked somewhat attractive gaping at James through one of the holes of her shirt, but she knew that was a lie. She expected to feel shame, expected to see disgust or hurt on James’s face, but he was only smiling at her with the same puppy dog look of love in his eyes.

“Did I win?” James asked once he had freed Lily from her own clothing. She shook her head in a daze, unable to speak.

“Damn,” James said with another smile.

Lily could only gasp as Sirius worked his way down her stomach, his lips leaving messy kisses in their wake. Sirius only pulled back when he reached the barrier of her jeans, and he looked up at his friend with dilated pupils that made his whole eyes appear black.

“There’s always next time,” he said with a smirk.

Lily grabbed his hair and pulled, dragging his face up to hers. “I think that’s my decision to make.”

“And what is your decision?”

Lily looked up at James before answering. Both boys were looking at her, and she was looking at James. She didn’t speak as she reached for James, pulling him towards her roughly. She nipped at his lips, her teeth biting before soothing with her tongue. At the same time, she reached for Sirius’s hands and dragged them up to her chest, trying to pull down her straps without breaking the kiss.

Lily Evans loved two people. As she watched James pull her to the couch, reaching out for Sirius with his other hand, as she kissed James’s lips while Sirius kissed James’s shoulder, she had a feeling that James Potter loved two people. She wasn’t sure if Sirius Black loved two people, but he certainly loved James, and he seemed to love the noises that Lily made as he pulled down her jeans, as his mouth and fingers moved together.

Lily Evans loved two people, and everything was right.