*Tumblr prompt: i-saw-you-sneaking-food-out-of-the-dining-hall college AU*
He's rounding the corner of the dining hall when she stops him – the beautiful redheaded girl from his history class. Just appears out of nowhere, really, running up from behind him and swinging round in front of him to corner him there. For a long moment, she just stands there and stares at him, wide-eyed and crazed and pretty. His hand jumps to his hair, gives it a slight ruffle.
"Hello," he says, trying his best to sound confident and charming and even half as cool as his best friend and roommate, Sirius, who has had more girls in his bed since the start of term than James and their two mates, Remus and Peter, have in their lives combined. "Not that I mind being cornered by a beautiful woman, but…"
Before he can give his best attempt at charming her, she cuts him off. "I saw you."
"Yeah?" His eyebrows, he is sure, are attempting to join the gravity-defying mess atop his head, but she doesn't seem to care. "I saw you, too."
He had, after all, seen her in class earlier. He didn't think she had seen him, though. Until this moment, actually, he had been under the impression that she had no idea he existed. She sits nowhere near him, is always there before him, and tends to stick around after class to talk with a small group of girls long after he heads out for his next class.
Her eyes narrow in confusion. It isn't until she switches her focus to his face that he realizes she has been staring at the two bags he's got slung over his shoulders this whole time. Oh shit.
"What are you talking about?" she asks, studying his face for a long moment and then raking her gaze down his body.
He wants to think she is checking him out – she may very well be, he's no slouch – but he gets too caught up in the fact that she is staring at him like she has never seen him before in her life. He is too crushed to have his long-held theory confirmed to rejoice in the fact that her face flushes when she realizes he caught her.
"What are you talking about?" he parrots back at her, trying to keep the surliness out of his tone. Why he is so crushed that she's never taken any notice of him before, he doesn't know. He knew she had never seen him in history before. He sat in the seat very nearest the door and never spoke in class, preferring instead to alternate between quietly staring at her and texting his mates who had somehowmanaged to get into a different history class than him, all three together. It shouldn't bother him that she hadn't noticed him. It was his own fault, really, for not speaking to her before even though he's been staring at her for five solid months.
He hefts his loot more firmly over his shoulder, which is a mistake. In an instant, she is staring intently at the two bags he is carrying, like a lioness tracking her prey. He makes to step around her, but she shifts to block his way.
"If you don't share, I may kill you." Her voice, previously so light and soft and adorably confused, comes out in a low growl.
James pauses, looks at her, laughs. And instantly regrets it when she stalks closer. His grip tightens on the straps of his bags and he clears his throat, his heart pounding and thinks, dear God, she's not only beautiful, she's crazy.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he says aloud.
"The scones, you prat!" She grabs for his bag, and he instinctively steps back.
She trips, nearly falls, catches herself against the brick wall next to them. He grips her shoulders to steady her, eyeing her warily. When she flushes, clearly embarrassed, he reluctantly relinquishes his grasp on her.
"Are you okay?" he asks. He wants to ask if she's stoned as fuck because, honestly, who else cares this much about a scone? Her eyes are clear and focused and she seems perfectly in control of herself, if not a bit scone-crazed, so he thinks she probably isn't stoned.
Sconed, says the voice in his mind and he nearly laughs aloud, but refrains, not wanting to see that warning flash in her eyes again, not so soon anyway.
"I'm fine. Sorry." She looks down at her feet for a moment, then takes a deep breath and looks up into his face again. He is momentarily stunned by the pure green of her eyes. "It's just… I really fucking love those scones. They're the only thing that they serve consistently that I actually love and you've gone and taken them all!"
Her eyes widen and go a bit glassy and he is horrified to think that she may actually cry? Over scones? Jesus Christ, she is actually a raving lunatic. He may also be in love with her, which is ridiculous and just as horrifying a prospect.
"What on Earth do you need with five dozen scones anyway?" she demands, thankfully not crying.
"I don't…" He trails off, unsure of what he should say.
"Don't try to play innocent!" She jabs a finger at him, stopping just short of actually prodding him in the chest. "I saw you! You walked right up to the scones with your empty booksacks and started talking to poor Myrtle…"
"Myrtle?" he cuts in, genuinely confused.
"Yes, Myrtle! The scone lady! Myrtle!"
Judging from the look on her face, he is a right asshole for not knowing the name of the woman who serves the very dry scones in the dining hall. He wonders if this girl knows the names of every server in the dining hall. He reckons it's probably not the best time to ask, though, so he nods instead.
"Oh, yes, of course. Myrtle the Scone Lady. Very sorry, continue."
"You were talking to Myrtle, distracting her with your dashing looks and your charming smile and your bedroom eyes and she didn't even notice you stuffing five dozen of my favorite scones into two bags!"
They stare at each other for a moment, both wide eyed for probably two very different reasons.
"Look, I'm going to be honest with you," he finally says. "All I got from that was that you were watching me and think I'm attractive."
"I didn't – I never – now you just…!" She sputters, gasps, and chokes on the words that won't come out.
"Now, don't worry. I'll level with you. I have watched you before…" When she takes a step back, he realizes what he just said, and his eyes widen. He holds out both hands in a reassuring gesture. "Oh God, no. That sounded awful. I just meant…"
He stops, rakes a hand through his hair, fights the urge to rip it right out of his scalp. Fuck, I'm not Sirius I can't be smooth.
He takes a deep breath and lets it out in a whoosh, forcing himself to calm down and speak rationally in spite of the erratic beating of his heart. "I've noticed you, is what I mean, and I find you rather attractive as well."
"I don't – That's not - I just –"
"And that's why," he interrupts her, swinging one bag around, unlatching it, and holding it out to her, "I am willing to share my haul with you."
She eyes him uncertainly for a moment, then stares down into the bag. The look on her face is absolutely hysterical – it's as if he has just presented her with the Mona Lisa. She is either half starved to death or she actually just really, really loves these scones.
She picks one out of the bag, and immediately starts devouring it. He decides not to tell her that these are far from the best scones he's ever had. She may literally kill him if he did.
When he zips up his bag and swings it back over his shoulder, she sends him a reproachful look. He sighs and reaches for it again, handing her one more. This is the last one, he vows silently, because if he gives her any more, then everything could very well be ruined. One missing scone? Easily explained as a miscount. Two missing scones? Well, it's not his fault if the server –Myrtle the Scone Lady – decided to take one or two for herself before serving.
"Stingy," she says, but smiles nonetheless.
This time when he laughs, she doesn't look angry. She just continues happily munching away on her subpar scones.
His phone vibrates in his pocket, his friends undoubtedly inquiring as to the status of his mission.
"I've got to go," he tells her regretfully. "But I'll see you around."
"Where?" She asks, and he understands that she's asking how he knows her when clearly this is first time she's ever noticed him.
"Tell you what," he says, grinning when she looks up at him, crumbs coating her lips. "You figure out where I know you from and I'll buy you all the scones you want."
She flushes and makes to wipe her mouth so she can reply with some dignity, but James has already turned to leave, convinced that that is the smoothest statement he is capable of making and choosing to leave it at that.
Somehow, for the first time ever, he is running early on Monday morning. When he slips into his seat at the back of his history class, his gaze slides immediately to the seat she always occupies – six aisles down and four rows to the right. His heart sinks when he finds her spot empty.
His phone vibrates in his pocket. Before he is even able to get it out of his pocket, it vibrates three more times. For once, he is relieved at the fact that his mates are going to be chatting in the group all class; the object of his affection isn't in class today, so the texting won't be a distraction. He holds his thumb over the home button and his phone unlocks, immediately opening up to the group chat.
SB: bets on whether or not prongs gets a date
RL: Bets on whether or not Prongs even gets noticed?
SB: SICK BURN
JP: i hate you all.
SB: hey two scones is worth a date right
RL: For what it's worth, I think she'll at least recognize you.
JP: what a lad, moony. wormtail, you're my least favorite.
RL: Sure. Wouldn't the face of the absolute nutter who stole every last scone in the dining hall and felt it appropriate to only give you two of them be forever burned in your mind?
JP: don't act like you're not the one who dared me to filch them all.
JP: by the way, i take it back. i have no least favorite. i hate you all equally.
SB: chin up mate
SB: just ask her out
SB: if nothing else you can always lure her in with the promise of free scones
PP: tru uve alrdy prvn urself capable
JP: what? couldn't figure out how to shorten capable?
RL: He's not wrong. I mean, you all need to work on your punctuation and capitalization, but Wormtail, it hurts to read your texts sometimes.
SB: enough of that
SB: back to matter at hand
SB: are you going to ask her out
JP: she's not even here.
PP: she h8s u
SB: shes avoiding you lol
JP: fuck off.
RL: She doesn't even know you're in that class. It's still early yet. There's time.
JP: okay, okay, i'll come clean. moony, you're my favorite.
SB: that hurts
PP: dnt wry hes v fickle ull probs b his fav in a few
Someone sits down next to him, and he looks up expecting to see his usual neighbour, a pale, perpetually-tired-looking boy who usually pays even less attention to the professor than James does. Instead, he sees long red hair and vibrant, triumphant green eyes.
"I believe you owe me all the scones in the world."
His grip goes slack for a moment, just enough for his phone to slip out of his hands and clatter loudly to the floor. He ducks down to grab it. When he sits up straight again she is smiling at him.
"James Potter," he says, holding out his hand with a wide grin.
When her small, soft, warm hand slides into his, his heart stutters. He is staring at her, absolutely enchanted by her, but she's staring right back, the smile on her face a perfect mixture of triumph, happiness, and excitement and he thinks, really hopes, that he's not imagining the flush on her cheeks. She bites her lip and ducks her head, but still manages to maintain eye contact with him.
"I'm Lily Evans."
So this was another prompt on tumblr. I had fun writing this one and I hope you enjoyed reading it :)