Date Eight

Location: Library, Hogwarts, Scotland

Time: 4ish

"Your boyfriend's behind you." Lily was studying in the library, and found it only slightly concerning when she didn't question who Marlene was talking about. She still hadn't worked up the courage to tell her friends that she fancied James, though she had a new sneaking suspicion that they didn't need telling either. They had eyes after all. "He's got flowers." Lily furrowed her brow. "And he looks upset." Lily turned around at this and saw an extremely upset looking James Potter marching across the library with a bouquet of flowers. And he was heading in her direction.

"Well," Lily didn't quite know what to make of that. "I wish I had a camera."

"It is an interesting visual." Marlene agreed.

James reached their table and fell into a chair across from the two girls. Throwing the flowers on the table and crossing his arms over his chest, he set his frosty gaze on Lily. She had no idea what could have happened to make him look at her like he was, but she could feel herself getting defensive, and he hadn't even said anything yet. The last time they had been alone, was only a couple of days ago, when they were playing that stupid, 'would you rather' game, and nothing at all had transpired in the previous two days to warrant James looking at her like he was.

"Pretty flowers." Marlene reached out and rubbed one of the petals between her thumb and forefinger.

"You can have them." James snapped, still glaring at Lily. They hadn't had a good fight in a long while and if he kept this up, their peace streak was about to end.

"Thanks." Marlene picked them up and shoved her face in them, her wild blonde hair was the only part of her that was visible for a moment. "Daisies are my favorite." She looked up at James and then over at Lily. She let out a dramatic sigh and shrugged her shoulders. "Well, I'm not even going to make up an excuse as to why I'm leaving."

"Thanks." James snapped again. Marlene rolled her eyes, but packed up her things and walked off with her flowers.

"What's wrong?" Lily asked, leaning over the table. She would stay calm. She could do that. She could find out what the problem was before getting upset herself. He really did need to stop looking at her like that though.

"I'm angry."

"I've noticed." He didn't say anything. "Why are you angry? And where did the flowers come from?"

"You and I aren't dating." He said, arms still crossed over his chest like a petulant child. Lily raised her brows and then shook her head slowly.

"No." She said. "We're not dating."

"Cassidy Fisher just asked me out." Lily let out a sigh of relief. He wasn't going to start a fight with her, she wasn't going to ruin anything with her temper, he had just had an unpleasant experience with someone else.

"Wait," Lily put up her hands and tried not to laugh. "Cassidy gave you flowers?" James didn't find this amusing.

"I tried to give them back, but she wouldn't take the bloody things."

"Okay." Lily put a hand on top of his. "I realize that Cassidy isn't someone that you want to spend a lot of time with, but why did her asking you out make you this upset?"

"She said that we," He pulled his hand away from Lily to motion back and forth between the two of them, "Weren't dating." James said as though it was obvious. Lily found herself furrowing her brows again.

"But we aren't dating." Lily said, ask though explaining something to a child. A very small child. "Why would her saying that upset you? I know you like to pretend that we are, but you know we're not." James let out a heavy sigh and shifted in his chair.

"She tricked me!" James moved his hands to his hair and let his elbows fall to the table. "I was telling her as nicely as I could that I didn't want to go to Hogsmeade with her and then, somehow, I'm no longer saying that, and now, apparently, I have a date next Saturday, and it's not with you."

Lily, who did not like what she was hearing, tried her best to keep her face impassive. "Why do I get the feeling that you're blaming me for this?"

"I am blaming you for this." He was only leaning on one arm now, looking far more defeated than angry. "I hadn't asked you to Hogsmeade because we're mates now and we don't go on real dates. But if I had asked you, then I wouldn't have to go with Cassidy. I thought she fancied Sirius anyhow." His head dropped to the table.

"You don't have to go with Cassidy." Lily said, trying not to sound like she cared much either way. She didn't think she succeeded because 'Cassidy' came off her tongue sounding more like a swear word than some girl's name. Just her luck, James seemed to notice too. He picked his head up from the table and narrowed his eyes at her.

"Well," He ran a hand through his hair, leaving it stuck at the base. "I think I agreed to go with her. I can't stand her up."

"What do you mean, you think you agreed to go with her?"

"I mean, I'm not exactly sure what happened."

"Then tell her you don't want to go with her." Lily said, her anger at Cassidy trumping her desire to keep her feelings a secret. "Tell her you don't appreciate her trying to trick you into going on a date and that she's a cow for trying to do that to you." James stared at her, and the longer he did, the darker Lily's blush got.

"She'll just fumble my words up again." James shrugged at last. "Maybe I'll sneak away early or something. You could help me with that if you'd like." He gave her a pointed look, "Or maybe, I could go and tell Cassidy that you and I-"

"I'd be more than happy to help you sneak away if you're too spineless to have an actual conversation with the girl." Lily, who had been ignoring her textbook until this point, suddenly found the need to start reading at this exact moment. She picked one up and dove behind it.

"Or maybe I could go and tell Cassidy-"

"That you think she's swell but you'd rather not go on a date with her."

"Because I've already got myself a d-"

"James." Lily huffed, slamming her book onto the table, causing people around her to turn in their seats and send her nasty glares.

"Lily?" He asked, and honestly, he had much more patience than any one person had a right to. Lily bit the inside of her cheek and stared him down across the table. He knew, of course he knew that she fancied him, and he was just sitting there waiting for her to admit it.

"I have to go." Lily pushed her books into her bag in record speed and stood up. James stood up as well.

"I'll walk you."

"No. That's not necessary."

"Not necessary?" James asked, cracking a grin and sticking her with another one of his pointed looks. "You want to talk about things that are unnecessary?"

"No. I don't want to talk to you at all actually." She huffed, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear and starting towards the door.

"I've noticed." James had decided to follow, of course. "And why is that?"

"Don't be an arse." Was her response.

"I'm not being an arse, I'm just asking a question."

"Asking a question that you already know that answer to, makes you an arse." Lily muttered, picking up her pace. Her attempts to outrun him were futile of course, him being half a foot taller than her and all.

"Why the bloody hell do you think I know why you don't want to talk to me?" He asked, reaching out for her arm and spinning her around to face him.

"Well, I'm being rather obvious about the whole thing, aren't I?" Lily huffed, pulling at the hem of her sweater and avoiding eye contact with him at all costs. Her heart was racing and she would have very much liked to jump out the window at that point. She didn't really picture her telling James that she fancied him going anything like this. She had thought she would have a drink with him in the pub and let it slip, a coy smile on her lips and then he would kiss her and it would all be very nice. She didn't think it would happen because some stupid girl made her jealous, making everything an absolute mess.

"You're being rather obscure to tell you the truth." James muttered, pulling at his hair. "Can you just tell me what's going on?"

Lily let out a noise that she hoped conveyed her frustration. "I obviously don't want you to go on a date with Cassidy."

"Obviously." James agreed. "And why is that, Lily?"

"Cassidy is a cow!" Lily shouted, hoping that Cassidy wasn't within hearing distance. She wasn't fond of the girl, but she also didn't believe that she was a cow. She was a bit of a narcissist, sure, but not a cow. She took a deep breath and made her way towards a stone bench that was situated in front of a window. James stayed where he was, with his arms crossed, looking at a spot on the wall.

"Any other reason?" He asked quietly, shifting his eyes to her.

He was either really thick, or he just wanted to hear her say it. Either way, Lily wasn't going to tell him that she fancied him. Not yet, not now, not like this. She took a deep breath and started wringing her fingers. "I suppose I had assumed that you and I would be spending the day with each other. I know we didn't make definite plans, but-"

"Lily." He interrupted, walking over to where she was and leaning up against the wall. "I won't go to Hogsmeade with Cassidy. I'll go and find her and explain everything," Lily was about to ask what he meant by that, when he moved once again, this time to sit down next to her. He reached out and grabbed her hand, lacing their fingers together. She looked down at their hands and relished in the feeling of his warm hand engulfing hers. She also let herself breathe a sigh of relief about the whole Cassidy situation. When she looked back up at James, he was smiling at her.

"What?" He squeezed her hand.

"You're ridiculous, you know that?"

"I am not." Though she did feel rather ridiculous.

"Whatever, Evans." He shook his head. "I'll go and talk to Cassidy." He squeezed her hand again. "But on one condition."

Lily's stomach dropped. "No," She pushed her hair back behind her ear. "You already promised, you can't add conditions now- Would you stop grinning at me like that?"

"No, I don't think I will." He said, still grinning at her 'like that.' "And I can add conditions if I want, it's not like we have anything in writing. My condition is the following: You and I go to Hogsmeade together on a proper date."

And that's when everything fell into place for Lily. She fancied the James Potter sitting next to her, holding her hand, no matter how annoying he was. She fancied the boy that she'd played 'would you rather' with, the boy who had brought her to an old persons ball, the boy who had let her eat chocolate covered pretzels for dinner. She really really fancied him. The last time they had actually gone on a 'proper date,' as he'd put it, she hadn't even liked him. It was easy now, there was no pressure on either one of them to impress the other, or sweep them off their feet, they were friends and that was simple. Maybe it wouldn't be so simple if they went on a real date.

On the other hand however, she really did not want James to go out with Cassidy Fisher. Not even if it was just one date and she knew he didn't want to go. Cassidy could try just about anything in the span of one date. She could slip him a love potion and make James forget all about Lily, or hold his hand, or something else completely awful.

Lily took a deep breath and then stood up. Pulling her hair over her shoulder, she started walking off down the corridor, unable to look at him as she said, "Alright. You and I will go on a proper date then."

AN: Alright, only one chapter left! I'm really proud of myself for updating this so frequently. I think I'm going to get this done in just a month.

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