~*~ Mirrors and Mistletoe ~*~

A Harry Potter fanfic featuring James and Lily *Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended. All characters (or almost all!) belong to JK Rowling. I'm just borrowing them for a bit! ;)

~Chapter 1~

Snow was softly falling in feathery flakes. Soon, all the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would be completely covered in a blanket of white. James Potter heaved another disgusted sigh and pushed away from the window of the Gryffindor common room resuming his impatient pacing in front of the roaring fireplace.

"Will you PLEASE sit down?! You're driving me mad with all your sighing and pacing."

James paused to gaze at the redhead who had issued the command from her perch in the oversized chair nearest the hearth. Lily Evans was comfortably nestled with her legs tucked underneath her and a rather large, very ancient-looking book in her hands. The firelight shimmered in her hair making it appear as a halo of flames. She didn't even bother to look up at him. She simply stated her demand and continued on with her reading.

He truly hated when she ignored him like that.

He was absolutely mad about her.

Sirius, his nearest and dearest friend, was often laughing at James's unflappable devotion to a girl who so despised his very existence. (She made a point of telling him that at least once a day.) Even Remus, his more sensitive friend, kindly suggested James move on to 'greener pastures', but alas!-no other girl could ever compare to Lily Evans.

To him, she was perfection.

"Would you please stop staring at me and sit down?" she insisted with just the tiniest hint of a smile. It was all the encouragement James needed. He quickly moved into the seat across from her and struggled for just the right words. Any chance to talk with her was not to be passed on.

"So tell me how you ended up stuck here at school for the Christmas holiday forced to endure my miserable presence," he suggested, even though he already knew the answer. In fact, she was the whole reason James had stayed behind instead of going home to visit his parents. Lavish holiday parties with hundreds of people he hardly knew had been traded for an opportunity to spend more time with Lily Evans in the hopes that she would finally realize she couldn't live without him. After several long years of trying to woo her, this winter break spent at Hogwarts was his last chance. If she didn't crack over the next couple of weeks, then James had decided to finally let the notion of a relationship with her go.

Lily slid a bookmark into her book before closing it and laying it tenderly in her lap. It was one of her little habits James had learned over the course of their tenure at Hogwarts. Lily Evans revered learning and knowledge, and would sooner cut off a finger than bend the corner of a page to mark her place in a book.

"Well," she began with a sigh, "the truth is, I'm here because of my sister- -- Petunia."

James bit back a chuckle at the way her nose crinkled in mild disgust when she said her sister's name. Many times he had overheard her sharing sibling frustrations with a close friend, so he had some picture in his mind of Petunia Evans.

"It's really not very funny, James Potter," she chided. "My parents were so sick and tired of all her whining about being second best and overly neglected, that they've taken her on a special holiday in Switzerland."

"Jealous of you, is she?" he asked running his hand through his messy, dark hair.

" I suppose so. She's pure muggle-no magic at all in that one. She resents the fact that I can do things she can't."

"Makes sense," James added with a serious nod of his head. "Wand envy. I've seen it many times."

Lily grinned and then cocked her head slightly to one side. "What about you? Why are you here while all your little friends are gone? However will you make it without them?" Her bright green eyes twinkled with mischief and James thought she looked even more beautiful than usual, if that was possible.

"Well, they were all going to Sirius's house," he fibbed, "and I just--- I just didn't want to go." He leaned forward in his chair and motioned for her to do the same. Then he whispered, "To tell you the truth, Evans, Sirius's mum is a bit of a nutter."

Lily burst out laughing, and James thought he'd never heard a more magical sound in his whole life. He liked being the cause of the smile on her face.

"Laugh all you want, but I'm telling you, she's bloody scary!" he added for emphasis.

Just then, another seventh year named Howard Clarkson, entered the room and came over to clap James on the back. Lily quickly resumed reading her book.

"What do you say, Potter? Want to go down to the dining hall and get a bite to eat?"

James glanced at Lily and then back to Howard, debating whether to stay with her or go to dinner. He decided to go. He didn't want to appear to be a lovesick kid who was following her around dying for any scrap of attention she would give him. "Sure thing. Why don't you go on down and save me a seat. I'll be there in a few minutes."

"Great!" Howard said and then he stole a quick glance at Lily before practically running out the door. He hadn't been quite quick enough because James had caught the instant blush that rose in his face and the equally strange look on Lily's.

"What was that all about?" he asked.

Lily looked up from her book, the picture of innocence and said, "What was what?"

James narrowed his gaze determined to get to the bottom of things. Howard Clarkson was his quidditch teammate, a fairly popular boy, not quite as much so as James and his mates, but he still never wanted for attention. James supposed it was his perfectly groomed blond hair and blue eyes that all the girls flipped over. James's hand automatically went up to his own hair. He was usually trying to mess it up on purpose, but this time what he would've given for it to actually lie down and behave. Whatever it was that Howard had, James didn't like the look that passed between Howard and Lily--- his Lily.

And she would be his by the end of this holiday.

"Is there something going on between you and Clarkson?" he continued.

"Of course not," she stated, just a little too emphatically. Then she closed her book once again, this time without saving her place, and stood up tossing it on the chair behind her. "I'm hungry too. Mind if I walk with you down to the dining hall?"

James was thrown for a loop. She was asking to go with him? It was all so sudden and unexpected that for a moment he was speechless trying to comprehend it all.

"Of course," he finally answered and rapidly regained his composure. "But I may force you to eat with me, too. You know how used to having friends around I am. You, Lily Evans, have to help me survive the next two weeks without my fellow Marauders." He stood up facing her, his tall frame hovering over hers and offered his arm.

Lily smiled again. "Spoiled brat," she teased. "What makes you so sure I want to eat with you, much less keep you company while your playmates are away? You know that I despise your very existence, James Potter." Then she took his arm and wrapped hers around it.

"Ah, sweet Lily, your words are saying one thing but your eyes say something else entirely."

"Oh, bloody hell," she stated with a roll of her eyes.

They exited the common room and walked down the hallway. The pictures on the walls were in constant motion, their inhabitants always straining to see what was going on around them. James even caught a wink and thumbs up from a knight in armour he'd had several conversations with in the past.

"You are insufferable sometimes," Lily said softly after several moments of silence. She had already withdrawn her hand, much to James's disappointment.

"Only sometimes?" he asked curiously. That was an improvement. "And that means that there are actually times when you don't find me so horrid?"

She smiled sheepishly and lowered her head. "A rare few, I suppose. Like now when you're not trying to show off and impress anyone," she admitted.

Definitely progress, James thought.

"But I'm trying to impress you," he replied honestly.

Lily gazed up at him with a start. "Are you?"

James actually felt a tiny tremor of triumph. He had her wondering about him and he wasn't about to lose the feeling. Even though he was absolutely crazy about her and had been since he'd first laid eyes on her, he had gained a bit of confidence in how to deal with her over the years. Now was his chance to put it into action.

So he simply grinned and offered a sly wink without saying a word.