The first time they met they were eleven and sitting in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express. He thought her hair was beautiful, she thought he was an idiot.
The first time she stood up to him she was eleven and she walked out of the compartment feeling proud and protective.
The first time they spoke he asked her whether her parents were Muggles or not, over the Welcome Feast at Hogwarts. She replied they were, he nodded and asked her to pass the potatoes.
The first time he winked at her was at the same feast. That was the first time she glared at him, too.
The first time they touched he bumped into her on purpose in the Transfiguration corridor. That was the second time she glared at him, and the first time Sirius saw they would make a good match.
The first time she smelt him he was dancing after winning the first match of the Quidditch season. She was twelve and decided she didn’t like the smell of boys.
The first time they argued was over whether or not Severus Snape was trustworthy.
The first time he realised he fancied her he was thirteen and barely coping with hormones. She was glaring at him with such obvious dislike, through the multicoloured haze of smoke hovering above the cauldrons, he thought he might fall in love there and then.
The first time she found out he fancied her was when she and a friend overheard a heated discussion between him and Sirius. They giggled and then ran away. Only later did she realise this meant he would never stop bugging her.
The first time he told her he fancied her she was walking down the Transfiguration corridor and he shouted it over the heads of the milling students. Silence fell, colour flooded her pale skin and everyone burst out laughing. The portraits were thrilled – it was the first time such a thing had been witnessed in their corridor.
The first time he asked her out he did it publicly (Charms corridor this time). She gave him a withering look and stalked away. He was gutted, but pretended not to be, and then asked her out successively every week until they were sixteen.
The first time she totally lost it with him they were outside, hormones raging, exam stress leaving, friendships changing. Afterwards, she cried (but only partly because of him) and he didn’t speak for hours.
The first time he left her alone – no teasing, pinching, winking or asking out – was the week after their big, public fight. She was totally disconcerted and he was sad.
The first time he showed he was mature he lent her a shoulder to cry on when Severus Snape truly turned his back on her. She was surprised to find his body gently curved towards her, as if to accommodate her head in that nook between his neck and shoulder.
The first time she was welcomed into the Marauder’s group she was beautifully lonely, and the boys seemed to understand.
The first time they laughed together was when Sirius made a joke about Mulciber. She tossed her hair and couldn’t stop giggling. He was mesmerised.
The first time he realised he was in love was when he met her after Potions and smelt a mixed scent of her hair, perfume and the slightly smoky smell of the Transfiguration corridor wafting out of the classroom. When he asked, she told him they’d been studying Amortentia, the strongest love potion in the world.
The first time she realised she liked him was when she said goodbye at the end of their sixth year and she realised she would miss his company during her Muggle summer. He was morose for days.
The first time they saw each other in their seventh year he suddenly remembered what all the Quidditch and weight training during the summer was for.
The first time she thought he was fit was when she saw him loading his trunk on to the Hogwarts Express. Tall, muscley body, strong, tanned arms, hair you could easily run your hands through, sculpted face. Even his glasses had become more attractive.
The first time he kissed her was when they found out they were Head Boy and Girl together. He enveloped her in his strong, tanned arms and gave her a light kiss on the cheek, which sent shivers down her spine.
The first time they held hands he grabbed hers compulsively when Dumbledore was talking to them about Lord Voldemort, and didn’t let go.
The first time they kissed properly they were fulfilling their duties as Head Boy and Girl late at night in the library. One minute they were flirting outrageously, the next she was pushed up against the book shelves, and he was kissing her fiercely.
The first time she felt truly part of the Marauders’ group was when they sat her down and told her, in no uncertain terms, that Remus was a werewolf. It was nothing she hadn’t already worked out, but it was the trust that mattered.
The first time they got married Sirius jokingly presided over them in the common room. Remus was the best man and Wormtail the Maid of Honour. They snogged for ages afterwards.
The first time they had sex was after Gryffindor had won the Quidditch Cup. They found themselves back in the changing rooms, hours after the victory and slightly drunk, and made love on a bench.
The first time they got engaged he planned a romantic evening but tried to eat his tongue, knelt on some glass and dropped the ring when the time came. She said yes anyway.
The first time they moved in together they took over his parents' old house, which they had left to him in their will. Godric’s Hollow accommodated many witches and wizards, had a good pub and a beautiful church. They were happy.
The first time she told him she was pregnant he swept her up, kissed her, called everyone he knew and then made love to her on the living room floor.
Their first baby was born on July 31, 1980. They called him Harry: “the army commander”.
The first time Sirius saw his godson he burst out laughing, then explained that their son couldn’t look more like both of them.
The first time Harry had a birthday they got their first – addictive – taste of proud parenthood. They helped unwrap his presents, and found he had inherited his father’s Quidditch skill.
The first time they began to mistrust their friends was when Dumbledore told them there was a spy close to them... and that Voldemort was after them.
The first time sex became boring was when they were shut up inside all day.
The last time they heard their son laugh, kissed, hugged, loved and were brave, the last time James, Lily and Harry were a family, was on the thirty-first of October, 1981.
A/N: Thanks so much Arnel! This is for my Nana, who experienced one of the most romantic love stories I have ever heard.