|Flying Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease
Author: Weird Not Boring PM
One night in her seventh year, alone on the quidditch pitch, Lily struggles with learning how to fly. With some unexpected help from James Potter, quidditch star, she learns a little bit more than what she bargained for. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Lily Evans P. & James P. - Words: 2,970 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 45 - Follows: 6 - Published: 02-03-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3375037
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: So this has been siting on my computer for months, and even though there may be little mistakes, I'm so excited that I've finished it that I have to get it up right away. This is longest one-shot I've ever written! Yay! The ending is a tiny bit rushed, but I must say that I still really like it. If you don't, that's all right, but please don't flame me - I burn easily. Constructive criticism is always welcome!
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the setting, and the title of this story is from George Leybourne's song The Man On the Flying Trapeze.
"Once I get you up there,
Where the air is rarefied
We'll just glide
Once I get you up there
I'll be holding you so near
You may hear angels cheer - just because we're together." Robbie Williams, Come Fly with Me
Flying Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease
"Up." Lily commanded, standing over her broom.
She could be nice and warm in the Gryffindor Common room, snuggled up by the fire, absorbed in a good book. But she wasn't. She, instead, opted to spend her Friday evening outside on the cold Quidditch pitch, trying to learn how to fly, something that she had failed miserably at in 1st year and had only just learned that she needed to know to become her desired profession, an auror.
"Please come up!"
"If you come up, I promise I'll never ever miss a Quidditch match ever again."
The broom didn't seem to think that was a very good plea, so Lily racked her brain further. Please, broom, she begged silently. Please.
"Broom, if you come up, I swear that I shall be nicer to Potter."
She was half-hoping this wouldn't work, and half hoping it would.
Apparently, the broom liked that promise. It was deemed drastic enough.
"I hope you keep your promise, Evans."
Apparently, someone else liked that as well.
"Leave me alone, Potter," Lily said, disappointed that as soon as she had finally succeeded in something, he had to come and ruin it.
"What are you doing, Evans?" James asked, with an amused smile on his face.
"Flying," Lily replied, gritting her teeth. "Or trying to, until you arrived."
"Until I arrived, you were merely begging that broom to jump up for you, which, might I add, you were doing all wrong."
"Begging?" Lily grinned wryly. "Oh no, I was doing the begging part perfectly."
James was taken a back for a moment, the shock of Lily - his Lily - joking with him was too much. Lily realized what she had done, too, seeing the shock flash about his face, and added a "Sod off" for good measure.
"Ah ah ah, Evans," James said, grinning. "You promised you'd be nicer to me."
"I said 'Potter'," Lily said, looking down at her broom. "I could have meant your father."
"You've never met my father," James said. "Or my mum," James added before she could open her mouth. "So you had to have meant me."
"Fine," Lily said, letting go of her broom, hoping it would still stay up.
"Argh!" Lily exclaimed, frustrated. She stomped her foot on the ground.
"Here, let me help you," James said calmly, walking over.
"No!" Lily exclaimed, turning around. "I can get this! I don't need your help!"
"Lily, you can't possibly-"
Lily interrupted him. "Of course I can!"
"I don't need anyone's help!"
"Yes, you do!"
"No, I don't!"
James was now close enough that he could lean down to grab at her broom. "Please, Lily," he said.
"No!" She exclaimed.
"Evans, you're being ridiculous! Nobody has ever taught him or herself how to ride. Ever."
"Well then I'll break that rule!" Lily exclaimed, snatching her broom back.
"Fine!" James exclaimed, walking over to the stands, very close to where a very spiffing broom stood propped against a wall. Lily wondered if it was his. "Have it your way. I'll be over here if you need me."
"I won't!" Lily exclaimed, tossing her broom down on the ground.
James winced. "Fine."
Lily glared at him before beginning again. "Up," she said firmly.
The broom didn't comply.
James snickered then did a horrible time of covering it up with loud coughs.
Lily glared at him, and then at her broom. "Up," she demanded, stomping her foot.
The Broom didn't seem to like that way either.
James sat down in one of the seats, slouching back, waiting for her to admit defeat, which, surprisingly, only took 15 minutes.
"UGH!" She exclaimed, throwing a temper-tantrum. "WHY" Stomp! "CAN'T I" Stomp stomp! "GET THIS?!"
James grinned and walked over. "You've almost got it," he said, unfolding his arms from his chest. "All you need to do is-"
"I don't need your help!" Lily exclaimed, turning around to face him.
Without waiting for his reply, she swivelled back around and yelled "UP!" at her poor broom, concentrating with all her might on just getting that broom to move.
The broom jumped up and wacked Lily in the face, before zooming off over the pitch, 20 feet away, before going straight back to Earth.
"ARGGHHH!" Lily yelled, holding her eye and stomping her feet.
James didn't say anything, only came over and healed her eye, which was beginning to turn black and blue where the broom had hit it.
To James' surprise however, when he pulled back his arm to put his wand away, Lily leaned into him and started crying.
"Why can't I do this?! Everyone else can! Why am I such a failure?" She sobbed.
James racked his brain quickly to try and think of something to say, but nothing was coming to him. Meanwhile, he brought his arms around her, patting her back (and feeling like an idiot!) and stalling for time.
Lily continued to sob loudly. "I mean, even YOU can do it! And Black! Even Pettigrew!"
"Hey!" James said without thinking, preparing to defend his friends, before he realized that probably wasn't the best thing to do with a tearful and emotional Lily Evans in such close proximity. "Erm, that is - you're not a failure!"
Lily stopped sniffling. Wiping her eyes, she asked, "I'm not?"
"No!" James said, thinking quickly. "You're smart, and witty, and you're top in all of your classes, why does it matter whether or not you can fly?"
Lily looked heartened for a moment, but then said, "Because I'm a witch. I'm expected to know how to fly."
James didn't know what to say to this, but he supposed his attempt wasn't too terrible. "That's not true. I know plenty of witches and wizards who don't know how to fly."
"Really?" Lily asked, looking up at him hopefully.
James nodded, trying to look positive while on the inside trying desperately to think of someone he knew that didn't know how to ride a broom. "Yeah, there was, erm ...Harry the Handicapped!"
Lily gave him a sceptical look and stepped out of his arms. James had to admit that he definitely missed the warmth her body brought, even if his shoulder was a bit soggy. "Who?"
"You know," he said. "We learned about him in History of Magic third year." Which was a complete lie, because even if there was a Harry the Handicapped (which would be a miracle, as James had just made him up), James had definitely not learned about him, (or anything else) in History of Magic third year. But Lily did not know that, he hoped.
"Oh yeah!" She said, wiping at her eyes again. James pulled out a handkerchief from one of his pockets and when Lily gave him a grateful look and took it, James was glad that his mom raised him to be so proper. "I remember him."
"See?" James said. "That just goes to prove that you don't have to learn how to fly." He continued as he walked over to where he had propped his broom earlier, "but if you are willing to try again, I'd be willing to teach you."
Lily gave him a suspicious look. "No tricks?" She asked.
James held up his hands, "No tricks. I promise."
Lily looked like she was thinking it over for a second before saying, "All right."
James grinned so wide he was sure it reached his ears. "All right."
When he came back from retrieving the beautiful broom that had been propped against the side of the stands (which had turned up to be his), Lily had almost stopped sniffling. He leaned over to gently place his broom on the ground and when his head came back up, it was only inches away from hers. For a second Lily was terrified that he would hear how fast her heart was beating or sense in her eyes how she wished that his face would move over a couple of inches and they could ... No! That was Ridiculous! Bad Lily!
James shook his head as if clearing his thoughts before beginning: "The trouble is, Lily Evans, that you are secretly terrified of flying. You put on this great front that you're courageous and strong and just infuriated at the broom, but that's not really it, is it?"
"What are you trying to say, Potter?" Lily asked angrily, thinking how she'd very much like to hit him.
"You're afraid, Eva- Lily, and the broom isn't the only one who can tell. Until you really want it, the only thing that's going to happen is nothing."
"I'm not afraid," Lily said Gryffindorically.
"Of course you're not, not of most things, but I think the one thing you are afraid of, the one thing that is your weakness - is not being able to do it. Not being the best. Having people think less of you - that is what you are afraid of."
"That's not true," Lily said feebly - because as she said it, she knew that what James had said was true. Maybe he wasn't as ignorant as she'd like to think. Maybe somewhere inside, there was more to him than Quidditch and good looks.
James smiled, as if he knew what she was thinking. "So now the only thing we have to do is make you want it."
"I do want it!" Lily protested. "I want to fly!"
"Not for the right reasons you don't," James said. "You want to fly because you can't and everyone else can. You want to prove that you can do it. But the thing is - you have to want to fly because you believe that it's the only thing in the world that you'd want to be doing at that moment. You have to really believe that if you were to learn how to fly, it could change our life. And then, the hardest part of all, you have to let it."
"H-How do I do that?" Lily asked, blushing because of her stutter.
"Easy," James said, reaching out for Lily's hand and pulling her towards him. "Come fly with me."
Lily should've said something, she should've protested, but when she looked into his eyes, all her words seemed to melt away, so she just wordlessly sat down in front of him, and let herself be carried away.
All the sensations seemed to hit her at once: The wind against her face, in her hair, James' erratic heart beating against her back, his hands on hers, guiding the broom with such ease that she thought immediately how practised and strong he was, his whoops of joy in her ear, creating her own screams and whoops of pleasure in return. Merlin, she couldn't believe that she'd lived seven years at Hogwarts without experiencing this! It was unbelievable.
And then she felt James' face right next to hers and he whispered in her ear, "I'm going to let you take control, okay?"
The fear struck Lily so quickly that she didn't have a chance to reply before she felt the safety slip away and she was the only one in control of the broom. She was about to scream "NO!" but then she realized that this was James' way of teaching her how to fly, so she resolved to try it out.
Her first couple of experimental moves worked out all right, but she could tell that they were steadily slowing down. Just before she was about to freak out, She heard James' voice in her ear: "Lean forward and point the tip of the broom up a little."
Lily did as she was told, and soon they were climbing higher and moving faster. "If you want to slow down, sit up. If you want to go down, point down." James told her. Lily experimented a little, still terrified that she would do something wrong and they'd die, but as James continued whispering advice in her ear, she gained more and more confidence. She was really starting to enjoy herself, enjoy the feeling of control flying gave her, when James placed his hands over hers again and steadily guided them down to the ground.
When they landed, Lily let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding and jumped off the broom excitedly, giving James a big hug.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" She squealed. "That was amazing! If I had known flying was like that, I would've started doing that a long time ago."
James grinned as they released, "I'm really glad you feel that way, Lily."
"I do!" She exclaimed. "Now I'm ready to try on my own!"
Before James could do anything, she grabbed the broom from him and said: "Up!"
And marvellously, it worked, causing Lily to jump up and down excitedly. "It worked, James!" When she threw herself into his arms once again, James laughed.
"Calm down, Lily," he said, knowing that she wouldn't.
"I can't! I'm just so excited. Can you show me more?" She leaned down to pick up the broom from where it had fallen, but James stopped her, laughing.
"Not today. You don't feel it now, but the exhaustion will be hitting you sooner than you think. Besides, it's probably time for supper."
"You're right," Lily said, almost sadly. "But will you meet me again tomorrow?"
"All right," James promised. He was amazed at what a change there was in Lily. Before, she had been angry and upset, now she seemed just like a little kitten, wanting to try anything and everything.
He accioed the other broom over to them (the one that had flown 20 feet away after hitting Lily in the eye) and carried both brooms over to the shed, where he locked them up. Lily followed him, silently. He supposed she was thinking about something.
Once he turned around to head back to the castle, he discovered that Lily was right in front of his face - very, very close.
"Thank you, James," she said softly.
"I-" James began, but didn't have a chance to finish, because Lily's hand had somehow found itself pulling James' head down to meet hers, and they were kissing.
James had tried to kiss Lily many times before, he had stayed up at night sometimes just dreaming about what kissing her would feel like, but he had no idea that it would feel like this.
All the sensations seemed to hit him at once: Lily's hand in his hair, her small body pressed up right against his. Her lips were soft and moist beneath his, his hands were on her back, moving gently up and down against the fabric of her robes. It felt almost as if they were back up on that broom again, but a little different. While riding a broom, he had control, he knew what was happening next. But kissing Lily - he didn't have any control. Soon, he was deepening the kiss - pressing her against him so that there was no space between their bodies - but then Lily pulled away, and he was brought back down to Earth.
"We should probably go to dinner," Lily said, looking over towards the castle.
"You're right," James wanted to say, but instead what came out was: "Why?"
Lily laughed. "You were the one who first brought it up," she teased.
"No, I mean, why did you kiss me?" He asked, regretting it almost instantaneously. What if that question made her nervous and made things awkward? What if she never wanted to kiss him again? And even worse - what if her answer was not what he wanted to hear?
"I don't know," she said, blushing a little. He was just about to say "Forget it," when she continued: "I guess it was because today I saw something in you James," she said honestly. "Today it seemed like you really cared about me, Lily Evans. You weren't just James Potter of the Marauders, trying to prove to the world that I would go out with you - or James Potter the Quidditch Star, trying to use me to improve your reputation. Today, you seemed human. And so I guess I decided to give you a chance." She grinned nervously, fiddling with her robes. "Don't make me regret it."
James grinned, taking her hand. "Don't worry. I won't."