Chapter One: Varying Degrees of Prickiness
A quick A/N before we ('we', I mean you, I guess) start: Hi! This a companion piece to "Deflating", in which you see James's Stalking Lily Evans journals—all of them. Rather, all parts of them, because I don't think he kept more than one.
Anyway, it is a companion piece, and, while you can probably get the gist of the story from these scribblings, it might be a bit confusing in parts if you haven't read "Deflating". Might want to read that before you start this. Because James rambles a lot, and sometimes you can't understand what he's going on about unless you've read about what he's actually talking about.
Also, I will let you know what he's talking about: each chapter contains some of the stuff from the actual chapters of "Deflating". Like this chapter spans chapters…four and five. Click on my username, go to the fic, read the actual chapters. There's bits in here that weren't in those chapters, though, and that's kinda fun.
…it was for me anyway.
Anyway, there's note-passing in here. A lot of note-passing, actually; between James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter. The note passing won't ever have names in front of the lines to let you know who said what, but I've always written it like this: Sirius writes in bold, Remus in bold italics, Peter in italics, and James in just plain typeface.
….I think that's it. If there's any more questions (holy Captain Oats, I rambled a lot; I'm sorry), put them in reviews.
Here's the fic!
Monday, 20 November
11:17 a.m., Arithmancy
Saw Subject at breakfast. Said, "Hi."
She glared at me over her toast and said, "Potter, don't you have somewhere to be?"
I smiled in that very attractive way that, it has to be said, only I can smile, and replied (v. suavely, if I do say so myself), "Where else would I want to be than right here?"
Subject rolled her eyes, bit into her toast, and responded coldly, "Well, I rather thought you'd be polishing your broom or admiring yourself in the mirror or, I don't know, hexing someone because they looked at you for too long."
Actually, I did do that this morning. Hex someone, that is.
It was a Slytherin, and I swear he sneered at me.
He'll be out of the hospital wing in a few days; I don't see what the big deal is.
I didn't say that, though. I said, "No. I thought I'd maybe ask you out?"
Subject started to laugh. "Go play with your friends, Potter," she said.
I really think she's warming up to me.
1:42 p.m., Transfiguration
Moony says that I need to learn to monitor what I say around Subject. To learn the difference between what is acceptable to say to a girl and what I need to keep in my head.
I reckon that's censorship, and I told him so.
He made a face and held up one hand. "Tact," he said, raising the hand a little, and then raising the other. "Celibacy." He moved his hands up and down, like he was a scale and he was weighing the two options.
Celibacy is a strong word.
Sirius said that some of the girls he's gone out with (okay, snogged at the Astronomy Tower for a night) liked the whole 'speak your mind' thing. Said it shortened the whole courting process significantly, which is exactly what I'm looking for at this point in time.
Moony glared and said that girls like Lily didn't appreciate lines like 'What brand are your knickers?'
I don't see why not. She could be very proud about the brand of her knickers. They could be a very expensive pair of knickers, and she could just be waiting for someone to ask her that question so she can brag about it to everyone.
Even later on Monday
9:27 p.m., Dormitory
Asked Subject what brand of knickers she was wearing.
She hexed me.
I now have boils in…uncomfortable…places.
Early. Really early. Like, it's-still-dark-outside early
Had a dream where an evil, evil demon (who happened to have Moony's face and Snape's hair) forced me to choose: sex with Subject for one night and then impotence for the rest of my natural born life or Subject being moved to China to become a railway prostitute where I would never see her again.
It was really evil because she was standing there in front of me, dancing in a Chinese-Railway-Prostitute-y way, saying, "Pick meeee James, I will give you pleeeeeasure."
And then, in the dream, I started to cry because I was frustrated and I didn't know what to do, and Subject saw me crying and frowned. She says, "I don't think I could sleep with a swotty little nancy-boy like you." So she disappeared to go off and service railway workers.
While I don't think Subject would ever pass me up for Chinese railway workers, nor would she ever utter the phrase 'swotty little nancy-boy', it was chillingly real.
I woke up sweating.
Doused face in cold water to calm myself and noticed it did wonders for my complexion.
Note to self: splash cold water on face every morning. V. important for skin and brightness of eyes.
Boils have improved.
Accidentally spilled marmalade on page.
Subject is eating pancakes, I notice. She seems to like syrup a great deal. Her plate is swimming in it. She is drinking milk and chatting with one of her twin friends. I can't tell them apart, and I'm not going to try, because God knows I've got enough to do with Subject herself. Haven't got enough time to research her bloody friends.
May put Mssrs. Wormtail and Padfoot on that, though. Just in case.
Ah, Mr. Padfoot just came downstairs. When I left, he was just starting on tousling his hair, so I knew it'd take him a long time. But that was only twenty minutes ago. And it shows, too: his hair doesn't look nearly messy enough.
"Overslept," he grumbled, reaching for some toast. "Does my hair look okay?"
I lied and said yes, mostly since I had to ask a favor. "Mr. Padfoot, Mr. Prongs was wondering if you and Mr. Wormtail might be so kind as to research Subject's friends."
Padfoot flashed me a disgruntled look over a bite of toast. "I'm not doing your work for you. It's your sodding project."
Padfoot is just grumpy because his hair looks like crap.
"Some friend you are," I mumbled.
"Might be able to convince Wormtail, though," Sirius said thoughtfully. "It's not like he has a social life or anything."
This is true. Must ask.
Time for Charms.
Wormtail is skiving off. Makes sense, we have a Herbology test next hour. Will ask him at lunch.
Subject is sitting over there, twirling her hair around her finger while she writes…
Padfoot, distract me please.
I dunno, first thing that came to my mind was 'Quidditch'.
How about something specific about Quidditch?
God, I have to do everything. Fine, how about them Arrows?
That's not working. She's raising her hand…asking an intelligent question…
I'm handing you over to Moony. You're annoying when you're swoony.
Prongs. Prongs. You are drooling. Please stop. It is disturbing.
He's not listening.
I know. PRONGS. PRONGS. We're losing him.
I know. It's sad.
I was not drooling.
Saliva escaped your mouth, Prongs. There is a wet spot on your tie. It's disgusting. Do you need a bib? We can find you a bib. Padfoot here's pretty good at Transfiguration.
I can fix that tie into a fabulous red-and-gold-striped bib.
It'll be spiffing.
I spilled tea on myself this morning.
You drank orange juice this morning.
I slept in these clothes last night. I sleep with my mouth open.
You slept in your tie?
Yes. I find the tie is rather reminiscent of my mother's arms around me as I sleep. It's comforting.
Your mother put her arms 'round your neck while you slept?
And you're still alive?
She wasn't throttling me. She had her arms comfortingly around my neck…I don't have to explain myself to you.
Wednesday, 22 November
10:30 a.m., History of Magic
Wormtail, good man that he is (even if he did skive off yesterday, leaving me alone with the Idiot Twins), procured me a little meeting with one of Subject's twin friends. This twin's name is Charlotte (which is kind of awkward as I think I've been calling her Carla for six and a half years) and she will grant me ten minutes to talk to her about Subject.
Moony suggested I prepare a list of questions to ask. I think this is actually a good suggestion, and have complied:
1. What is up with the romance novels? Seriously, she's got them all the time. I hope I don't have to have a six- pack like the guys on the covers of those stupid books to get Subject's attention because, while I am attractively lanky, I am not muscular.
2. What does she wear to bed?
3. How often does she mention me on a daily basis?
4. Does she wear underwear? If so, what kind are they?
5. What is her favorite color? (So I can be sure to wear it as much as possible around her. Well, we can't actually wear stuff that is not uniform, so maybe I will buy ink in that color and write her love letters in it)
6. How would she respond to love letters to her from James Potter?
7. Does she like opera and the symphony and stuff like that? My parents get tickets to stuff like that all the time,and it's dead boring. But if she likes it, I can bring her and we can snog in the bathroom or something. That would be awesome.
8. Does she like Quidditch? I know she hates to fly (she cried on the day of flying lessons when she actually had to…you know, hover…) but does she at least like to watch the sport? Moreover, does she like to watch me play the sport and get sweaty? I am an attractive sweater. Not like an attractive sweater, like the clothing, because I'm not striped or made of yarn. I meant I look good when I sweat.
9. What does she like to do on a date? Has she ever been on a date? If not, why not? Does she put all guys through the three-ring circus as she's putting me through, or am I special?
10. Does she think I'm special? Would she go out with me? Would she let me buy her a Sugar Quill in Hogsmeade next weekend? Would she let me talk to her in front of other people without cursing me? Okay, say we're the last two people on earth—does she procreate with me?
Later on Wednesday
9:26 p.m., Dormitory
Had my chat with that twin friend of Subjects. Here are her answers to my questions:
1. "She likes the romance novels because she thinks they're funny. The dialogue is so cheap, you know. It's mostly just sex. But secretly, I think she kinda wants that to happen to her, you know?"
"What, sex?" I asked. Because if that's what she wants, I don't know why she keeps turning me down. I understand that women have needs, and I am only too happy to fulfill them.
Charlene (that is her name, right?) made a face.
2. "I am not telling you what she wears to bed, you disgusting pervert."
3. "She mentions how annoying you are several times a day."
"Does she ever mention how wonderful I am?"
"I don't think she's ever said that."
4. She didn't even answer this one. She punched me in the arm instead. It's not like it hurt or anything, but it was unnecessarily violent.
5. "Her favorite color is yellow."
You can't write to someone in yellow ink, not if you actually want them to read it. What crap is that?
6. "If you sent her a love letter, Potter, she would probably die laughing. Unless you were present when she got it, in which case, she'd hex you within an inch of your life."
7. "She likes the ballet. I don't know about the opera and stuff though."
The ballet? I expect she would, guys in tights displaying their packages.
8. "She likes to go to the games, to show spirit, you know, but she gets bored with it rather easily."
9. "How am I supposed to know what she likes to do on a date?"
Of course, I should've expected that answer. If she knew the answer to that question, that would just be it for me, wouldn't it? "Yes, but has she been on one before?"
"Of course she has; she's not a leper, you twat."
10. "I don't know, Potter. I doubt it."
"Even if I were the last man on Earth?"
"I don't know. Maybe. Depends on how everyone else died."
"Why would that even matter?"
"Well, if you killed them all, I don't think she'd be too keen on repopulating the world with you."
It's nice that Carmen thinks I'm capable of annihilating the whole world. It's sweet.
Thursday, 23 November
Approximately 6:05 a.m.:
Subject was seen reading "My Secret Love" in Common Room. I proceeded to exchange very odd (lengthy, pointless, blithering, etc., etc., all usual adjectives apply) conversation with Subject concerning pros and cons of keeping each other on enemy terms. Proceeded to launch into long-winded, seemingly pointless speech, thus making an arse of myself. However, I did manage to keep a number of what would be considered pricky comments to self (did exceedingly well on that front; should receive medal of some sort for my efforts). Suggested Subject call me by me by my first name. Subject found this amusing and has elected to think on it. Am very pleased with myself. I have decided that making an arse of myself more often might be a good idea, then I might actually get somewhere.
I think Peter is drunk because he's trying to be funny, which he usually only does if he is a) drunk, b) depressed, or c) if Sirius is drunk or depressed. Never any other time.
I asked him if he was drunk, and he smirked, which means he is, and I said, "Can I have some of whatever you're having? I'm going to see if I can say hello to Subject in Charms and get a reply that includes the words, 'Hello, James, how are you doing this morning? Fancy a quick shag in the broom cupboard?'"
Peter smirked again and said, "You know, Prongs, they say that if you need alcohol for courage, you have a drinking problem."
Glared, then punched him in the stomach.
Approximately 8:45: Subject just called me by birth-given name. Am exceedingly pleased with myself; figure to move on to small talk next week. Moony says not to rush things, so I will move impossibly slow.
Though I suppose this is lightning speed for Subject.
That was pricky.
Ah, well. I guess it's best I get it out here instead of throwing it in Subject's face.
Friday, 24 November
Approximately 10:45 a.m., Arithmancy
Saw Subject reading another romance novel at breakfast this morning, but she had the cover folded over, so I couldn't see what it was. She ate bacon and a scone, which is kind of a weird combination, but this is coming from the boy who drinks his milk with ice.
Am flirting with the idea of asking out another girl, simply to avoid dying of boredom and sexual frustration.
Do you see what I did there? Flirting with the idea of asking out another girl, which clearly would involve flirting? Get it?
God, I need a girlfriend.
Or just a quick snog.
Oh, holy fucking hell, I just realized that I can't remember the last time I made out with someone.
2:10 p.m., Transfiguration
Okay, I need your help: do any of you remember the last time I made out with a girl?
Um, no, not so much.
Prongs, Mr. Padfoot cannot handle your social schedule as well as his own. Managing his schedule requires time and energy and complete attention.
Mr. Wormtail is of the opinion that Mr. Prongs is in dire need of girlfriend.
Mr. Moony seconds that.
Mr. Padfoot thinks he needs a calendar. Or a call girl.
Seriously, you guys, I'm really freaking out. I cannot remember the last time I was up in the Astronomy Tower with a girl.
What about that girl…Emily? Emma? Or was it, like, Elsa? Elizabeth?
YES!! Elizabeth! Elizabeth Chamberlain. She's a sixth year this year. We got to second in the locker rooms. She was wearing a green lace bra. Thank you, Wormtail. I really love you sometimes.
I can't decide which of them is sadder.
Oh, no question.
Monday, 27 November
3:14 p.m., Dormitory
Have Quidditch in ten minutes; just enough time for a quick scribble.
Forgot book in dorm this morning, was v. upset. Tried to make Wormtail go get it for me, but I think he was hungover or still mad about the whole punching-in-stomach thing, because he was acting extremely irritable and started swearing at me.
Sat across from Subject at lunch because Padfoot managed to get a seat next to her, much to her dismay. Asked her to pass the plate of sandwiches, and she wordlessly did.
Attempted to start up a game of footsie with her, but when Padfoot demanded to know 'what the hell are you playing at?' with my foot up his trousers, I stopped.
She seemed to find that rather funny, though.
Quidditch now, Padfoot just came in and told me.
He also said, "And try to restrain yourself in the locker room, okay, Prongsie? I know my body is a temple and all that, but people might start asking questions."
Well, if he doesn't stop calling me Prongsie, yeah, people will ask questions.
Have headache, can't be bothered to see what time it is
Saw Subject start to undress for bed through her window from where we were practicing on the Quidditch pitch. Flew into goalpost.
Padfoot will not shut up about it.
May hex him in his sleep.
Wednesday, 29 November
11:00 a.m., Arithmancy
Christmas is in less than a month.
Must start planning mistletoe-related "accidental" run-ins with Subject.
Should I get her a present?
What kind of things would she like?
Jewelry, maybe? What do you think, Padfoot?
Why not? I think jewelry's a nice gift for a girl.
Yeah, and it's expensive, which shows Mr. Prongs cares enough about Subject to shell out twenty Galleons for a necklace or something.
Yeah, exactly. Jewelry is expensive. And what are the chances that Subject just laughs and throws whatever present Mr. Prongs gives her in the lake or out the window?
Slim to none.
I see your point, Mr. Padfoot. Don't get her jewelry, Prongs. Stick with candy.
Candy is impersonal.
What the hell does that have to do with anything?
She might think that you think she's fat.
I don't think she's fat.
If you don't give her candy, she'll know that. And she'll like you better for it. You know how girls are mad about their weight.
Girls are mad about everything. That's because girls are mad.
But they're especially mad about their weight.
I wouldn't go around advertising that opinion, if I were you.
Why not? Girls are aware of their madness.
Show me a girl that's not mad. I will marry her right now. Save me a lot of trouble.
I didn't mean that some girls aren't mad. They all are. It's just that some of them don't know about it.
They're kidding themselves.
Yes, they are.
Ignorance is bliss, chaps.
That it is.
So, Mr. Prongs, now that we're doing this note-passing thing that we really should stop if we wish to stay in school—
Moony, we've done much worse things than pass notes and we're still here. I think we're safe.
Anyway, as I was saying, Mr. Prongs, we must discuss Small Talk.
Why'd you put it all in capitals like that?
Because it's a mission, Wormtail. Missions are capitalized. It makes them sound more important.
You didn't capitalize 'mission' when you wrote it just now.
That doesn't count; it's the start of a sentence.
It's still capitalized.
Doesn't count, though.
Are you arguing about grammar?
Yes, you are. You're arguing about grammar. You're turning into Moony.
What's that supposed to mean?
It means you go absolutely off your rocker if one of us tells you 'It isn't going to hurt no one' or 'Padfoot and me are going to get some candy' or something.
Well, you're seventeen years old, and that's atrocious. Anyway, as I was saying before you lot decided to attack my character, Prongs, have you started thinking about what you are going to say to Subject during Small Talk?
If it's a mission, why don't you call it Mission Small Talk or something?
You forgot to capitalize 'mission'.
We don't call it Mission Small Talk, Wormtail, because that's lame. Continue, Moony.
I already said everything. That was a question. It's your turn to write.
Oh. Well, I've thought about it, yes.
Anything that doesn't include the words 'shag', 'snog', 'broom closet', and 'alcohol' in these thoughts?
I resent that. All of those things are pricky. You're implying that I only think pricky thoughts.
Prongs, have you paid attention to yourself at all while you've been alive?
I pay very close attention to myself, thank you.
Right, that's why we're having this problem in the first place.
I don't want to talk about this anymore. I'm closing the book.
It's been three minutes, why haven't you closed it?
The ink hasn't dried yet, you twat.
A/N: Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to post this until "TDA" was finished, but I only have five chapters left of that, and I really liked how this turned out and I wanted to see what people thought.
…So what'd you think?
Anyway, do not expect regular updates on this until "TDA" is finished. It's taken me, like, two months to write this much, because "TDA" is a kinda absorbing fic to write, for me at least (well, obviously 'for me', there's no one else writing it but me). It takes up a lot of time, and I have people yelling at me all the time when I don't update for, like, three weeks.
This is a side project. It's really fun. There's no angsty stuff, unless James gets all frustrated and desperate and drunk. Which he probably will.
But I hope you liked it.
Tell me if you did or didn't.