Author's Notes: This idea for a Lily/James one-shot struck me while I was looking at Harry Potter fan art on one Sunday. It was rather random, but I liked and here's the finished result. I probably should've been working on my chaptered piece this past week, but I couldn't just let this one go. So enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. But you knew that.
On The Ice
The lurid orange stocking cap clashed revoltingly with her hair, and her boots had a newly discovered hole in them, but Lily could hardly care less. After four days of being confined inside Hogwarts, the weather had finally cleared up enough so that she could go outside and enjoy herself.
She pushed the front doors open and hopped down the stairs, onto the snow-free path. Filch had been out this morning, supervising two students he had for detention as they shovelled the walk the old Muggle way. Sirius Black had hung out of one of the common room windows, jeering at them while they worked, until he'd gotten an enchanted snowball thrown at his face.
The snow was piled high on the grounds and was beautifully undisturbed, except for occasional animal and Hagrid tracks here and there. It was so quiet and peaceful, unlike the Gryffindor common room where two certain seventh years were slowly driving everyone mad. The sky was a clouded grey, a sign that more snow might be coming, and there was no wind to speak of. Thankfully, it wasn't unbearably cold like it had been the last few weeks.
Lily was glad to be out of the stuffiness of Gryffindor Tower and away from her remaining homework that she was still stalling on finishing. Most of all, she was glad to be away from the messy haired Head Boy whom she could not stop thinking about all holiday long.
It was funny, really, how James had grown on her in the last few months. He was no longer the stupid prick she had come to despise previously. He was no longer so revoltingly arrogant and had become more responsible as of late. He didn't go and pick fights with Snape just for the fun of it or curse random people in the hallways because he could; he and his friends had even cut back on their pranking this year. Dare she say it, but James had finally matured and she, surprisingly, had become his friend.
This new friendship may have had something to do with their appointment as Head Boy and Girl. They had to spend a lot of time together, planning prefect meetings or patrolling the corridors after hours, but even when they weren't busy with Head business, she still found herself with him. She'd come across him in the library and they'd end up doing their homework together. She's sit by him in class and pass notes with him in History of Magic. They'd even started waiting for each other after classes so they could walk together. As Black had said one day, it was absolutely sickening.
Of course, it was only sickening when they were being nice to each other. It quickly became humorous when they bickered and had loud rows for the whole common room to enjoy. Although he had improved greatly, James could still be such an utter prat at times. He still rumpled his hair whenever she got near and he tried asking her out every week; she'd thrown a book at the back of his head three days ago when he had asked if she wanted to go find a broom closet and snog.
Lily laughed, her breath misty in the air. James was like a little puppy, tagging along after her and hoping she'd pay attention to him or play with him or give in to that irresistible pouting look he had -
A loud, booming bark cut through the frozen air and she paused, looking around the grounds for the source of the disturbance. Just up ahead and off the path quite a bit was an enormous black dog. It was running and barking around in excitement as a boy chased after it.
"Oh, get back here you stupid mutt - "
She grinned and left the path, wading into the knee-deep snow to reach the two up ahead. The cold seeped through her jeans and snow poked through the hole in her boot, but she didn't mind. She had been secretly hoping that he'd be outside and thankfully, he'd come without his shadow, Black.
James Potter launched himself at the dog, grabbing it around the middle, and sending them both headfirst into the snow. He wrestled with the dog, but it was so big that it easily overpowered him and broke from his grasp after only a few minutes. The dog barked triumphantly and quickly stole the stocking cap from James's head as a prize.
"Hey, you! Give that back!"
He made a grab for the hat, imprisoned in the powerful jaws of its captor, but the dog was too quick. After a few more tries (and misses), James finally got a hold on his hat and began trying to pull it free, creating a tug of war. Try as he might, James couldn't even get the beast of dog to budge, while it - on the other hand - had such a strong pull that it had dragged James at least a yard since the beginning of the match. The dog played dirty, tugging hard on the hat and jarring James's arms, trying to loosen his playmate's grip.
Once again, size was the winner in this battle. The dog gave the hat one last hard tug that the force tore it from James's grip and sent him flying headfirst into the snow again. James dug himself out after a moment and wiped the snow off his face and glasses. His cheeks were flushed with cold and excitement and a grin crossed his features as the dog came trotting haughtily back, the hat clenched proudly between its teeth.
"Think it's funny to make me look like an idiot, huh?" he asked, glancing at the dog with an exasperated look on his face. He ruffled the dog's fur affectionately, though, and it gave a muffled yip in response. "Well, now that you've had your fun, care to give me my hat back? I don't want to catch a cold because of you."
The dog sniffed snootily at him, stood up, and then promptly kicked snow into his face.
"Ack! Jesus, I just want my hat back, you - " James paused and then looked around the dog, hearing Lily's laughter. That lopsided grin grew wider at the sight of her and he hurriedly stood up, ignoring the annoyed bark from the dog. "H - Hey, Lily. What're you doing?"
"'Lo, James...I'm not doing much, actually," she responded, stepping closer to him. Funny how she had just finished comparing him to a dog and lo and behold, he was playing with one. "But who on earth is this adorable thing?" She bent down to pet the dog that had come instantly rushing to her side, scratching it between the ears. It certainly looked pleased about this and shot James a rather smug look. "I thought dogs weren't allowed on the grounds."
"He's not mine, if that's what you want to know. He's a stray - one of Mopsy's beasts. Remus and I have seen him a couple times wandering around the grounds and Hogsmeade though."
"Isn't Mopsy that crazy old bat who lives with all those dogs at the edge of Hogsmeade?"
"Yup," James confirmed, brushing some stray snow out of his hair. It looked more frazzled than normal, which was of no great surprise.
"Oh, how can the poor thing stand it? It must be horrible, with that smell and all the yapping... " she replied, continuing to pet the dog as she looked up at James. She was just beginning to notice how lovely his hazel eyes were behind his glasses...
"Well, you know how dogs are. They're not too picky about where they live, so long as they've got someone who loves them enough to feed and play with them...What's so funny?"
"Nothing," Lily said quickly, trying to hide her grin. "So, does he have a name?"
"Besides 'stupid mutt', you mean?" James asked. He looked down at the dog and thought for a moment. "I think I heard her call him Snuffles once...Then again, it could've been Noogums or Fluffikins."
"I think I like Snuffles the best."
She patted Snuffles one more time and stood up. The dog observed them with its grey eyes momentarily, before it did that snooty sniff again and dropped James's hat at his feet. Then, catching the scent of something interesting, it rushed off, toward one of the many trees littering the grounds.
"Stupid dog," James muttered, bending down and picking up the hat. He held it out at arm's length with a disgusted look on his face. "Ugh...Trust him to get it soaked with his drool." He shoved the hat into his coat pocket and then looked at her. "So...what're you doing out here all by yourself?"
"I'm going to the lake to go ice skating," she replied, showing him the skates she'd throw over her shoulder. "It's finally frozen properly by now."
James frowned. "You can't be too sure about that...Remember in our third year when me, Sirius, Remus, and Peter went out on the lake that one winter and - "
"You fell in?" Lily finished, starting to trudge through the snow, toward the lake. Her legs were absolutely freezing from just standing in the all that snow. "Of course I remember that story - you tell it before every Christmas holiday and it gets more fantastic every time you tell it. But unlike you three, I happen to be interested in a recreational activity, not trying to see whether or not the Giant Squid has turned into an ice pop."
"The Giant Squidsicle," James laughed, finding humour in one of his near death experiences yet again. It took him a few minutes and an exasperated smile from her to get him to calm down again. "Er...Anyway, you shouldn't be going alone...I think I'll come with you, you know, to make sure nothing dangerous happens."
Her smile grew unintentionally larger in response. Why did James accompanying her to the lake suddenly make her feel so ecstatically happy?
James and Snuffles (who had followed them to the lake) had been busy testing the strength of the ice while she had been putting on her skates. James would throw a stick out on the ice and Snuffles would fetch it eagerly. Well, he had been eager before James had started chucking it further and further out onto the lake. Lily was sure he was only doing this to get the poor dog back for stealing his hat.
"Well, I'm ready," she called, standing up and wobbling at bit. Her skates pinched in places they hadn't the last time she'd worn them, but they were still comfortable enough.
James looked up from trying to wrestle the stick away from Snuffles.
"Do you need help getting onto the ice?"
She shook her head and waddled closer to the bank. She stepped off and onto the surface of the ice, taking a few seconds to regain her balance before she dug the blade into the surface and pushed off confidently.
The last time she had put on skates had been over the Christmas holidays in her fifth year, but she glided along the surface easily enough. She was still a bit rusty and stumbled occasionally when she hit a kink in the ice or made a turn too sharp, but she had yet to fall, a fact she was rather proud of. She made sure to stay within James's sight, mostly just to humour him.
She'd just finished practising her figure eights and some easy turns and was trying to practise skating backwards, when she spotted James watching her with a rather funny expression on his face.
"What?" she asked, stopping to brush a stray piece of hair back under her cap. She turned around and began skating toward him.
"...Where'd you learn how to move like that?" he asked, shaking the expression off his face. "I've never seen anyone skate as well as you before."
"My mum taught me...We went skating every winter when I was younger," Lily replied, blushing at his compliment. "I- I'm not that good compared to my sister...Petunia can do jumps and all sorts of twirls. I broke my wrist the last time I tried to jump, so I'm afraid to do them now."
James cocked an eyebrow in amusement. "I broke my right hand and four fingers the last time I played Quidditch. You don't see that stopping me from playing."
She stopped and fixed him with an exasperated stare.
"Quidditch and skating are two different things, Potter."
He shrugged and said a very simple, "I know," before bending down to harass poor Snuffles (who'd been lying innocently in the snow) again.
It was strange, seeing him in jeans and a brown over-coat. Usually she only saw him in his school uniform and this was a welcome change. Muggle clothes simply hung off his tall, lean frame amazingly and showed off his wonderful physique better than the baggy school robes. Of course, he generally looked good in whatever he wore and -
"Oi, Lily! Since you're just standing there, does that mean you've finished and we can go back up to the castle?" he called, looking over at her curiously as he rubbed Snuffle's belly. "We've been out here for nearly twenty minutes and my ears are about ready to fall off!"
"Well, why don't you put your hat back on?" she suggested, closing the distance between them. "Anyway, if you're bored, why don't you come out here and join me?"
She stopped in front of him and crossed her arms over her chest challengingly. He looked at up at her, as if trying to discern whether or not she was being serious, and then stood up. Even with her skates on, he was still a few inches taller than her.
Snuffles snorted, annoyed that his belly-rubber had turned his attention elsewhere, and rolled back onto his stomach.
"I don't have skates," he responded at last. "And besides...I don't even know the first thing about skating."
"The amazing James Potter not knowing how to do something? What has our world come to?" she gasped in mock horror. His eyes narrowed at her as he pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. "Well, it's not that hard...I could teach you, if you wanted."
"I don't have skates," he repeated.
"Well, you're a wizard and you have a wand, don't you? Why don't you just transfigure you trainers into a pair of skates?"
"Because I like my trainers the way they are, thank you very much," he muttered sullenly and for a moment, she believed he wasn't going to do it, but then he pulled his wand out of his coat pocket. He sat down on the snow and muttered a few spells under his breath, causing his trainers to change into quite a few different pairs of footwear. Finally, he got the right combination and a pair of skates were laced and ready on his feet.
He got up slowly, his legs wobbling uncontrollably underneath him. He took a step without gaining the full of his balance and his skates slipped, pitching him forward onto the ice. Lily moved quickly and caught him before he fell too far. She wrapped her arms around his torso as his went around her neck. She moved closer, trying to help him regain some type of balance. After minutes of cursing and close calls, he could stand straight without falling over.
"Thanks," he muttered, turning his head and fixing her with that damned lopsided grin of his. Lily felt her knees go weak and she fought to maintain her balance.
"N - No problem," she stuttered, a stupid smile crossing her face as well. They were terribly close together and she wasn't minding it at all, though she should've let go of him by now. "Do...Do you think you can balance on your own now?
That roguish grin grew even wider. Clearly, he was relishing their closeness as well. She smacked him on the chest, irritated.
"Potter, you utter prat."
"All part of my charm, Lily."
She rolled her eyes and let go of him, hoping he would fall flat on his confident arse. But he remained standing, much to her disappointment. She moved in front of him.
"First of all, you need to learn how to balance properly on skates because if you don't, you're going to be falling all day until you do," she instructed, lifting her leg off the ice. She pointed the blade on her skate. "You have to centre you balance on the surface of the blade...Once you've got that, then you have to push away at an angle, otherwise you won't move very far at all...Do you think you can do that?"
She backed away and let him have a go at it.
He pushed off well, but once he got moving steadily, he ignored her advice and tried to skate his own way. After getting a good ten paces between himself and Lily, he suddenly wobbled violently on his skates and slipped, falling hard onto the ice.
"OW!" he exclaimed, wincing. He tried to stand up and promptly fell back onto his bottom. "Bloody hell, this is hard!"
She skated over toward him, trying to conceal her laughter. She bent down and kneeled on the ice beside him.
"Of course it's hard - everything's hard on the first try," she reasoned. "You're going to fall until you learn how to balance properly. It's no harder than riding a broomstick."
"Right," James muttered crossly, running a hand through his hair. He looked like a child who'd just been denied sweets.
"It isn't - you've just got a lot more to balance on a broomstick - "
"I don't have problems with balancing - it's moving that's the problem."
She shook her head and stood, holding out a hand to help him back to his feet. After falling one more time, he managed to get back onto his feet, looking fairly disgruntled when she laughed.
"Sorry...Anyway, you were trying to walk; you don't walk when you skate, you glide...And, remember, your skates have to be at an angle when you move. You only had them like that when you first pushed off...Watch me." She circled around him three times, making sure he got an ample look at her movements. "See? Do you think you can do it now or do you me to hold your hands?"
He thought for a moment, chewing on his bottom lip. He shifted his feet, testing the strength of his movements and his balance.
"I think...I think that if you guide me, I'll learn better."
She stared up at him in surprise. She had been joking about holding his hands, after all; he probably just wanted to get close to her again...But his eyes looked serious. Maybe he didn't have an ulterior motive after all.
"A - All right."
Lily held out her shaky hands and he took them in his own. He had a strong grip from all that Quidditch, but it was surprisingly gentle. She wondered briefly if their hands meshing so perfectly together had anything to do with their bulky gloves...
She shook herself, trying to clear these thoughts from head and focused on skating. She began to move backwards, pulling James along with her. He stared intently at his feet, watching the movements carefully, analysing every step he took. It was incredibly slow work and it tried Lily's patience. They had to stop many times because James would lose his footing or she would start going too fast for him to handle without stumbling or falling. He fell a total of three times in five minutes; she only fell with him once.
Eventually, he got the movement down correctly and could look something other than his feet. Usually, when he got too absorbed with looking into her eyes, he stumbled and had to return to staring downward until he got it right again.
"See? It's not as hard as you first thought, right?" she asked, grinning at him as he began moving faster. "You've got this down! Do you think you can try it by yourself now?"
"Sure," he responded, shrugging. "I think I've got the hang of it now."
He let go of her hands and they suddenly felt very cold, despite having a pair of Flapwick's Ever Warming Gloves on. She skated out of the way and he zoomed right past her, confident in his new skills.
They were once again near the lakeside, the ice covered in scratches from their blades. Snuffles had disappeared from his spot and had probably gone back to Hogsmeade once James had started ignoring him.
James was doing very well by himself. He was very coordinated (for the most part) and could successfully stop himself from overbalancing. He wasn't as graceful as he was on a broom, but he probably would be after a few practises. Once he got better at it, she could show him how to do turns and maybe the small jumps she wasn't afraid to do.
After a good five minutes or so of going solo around the small area of lake, he sped back toward her with great speed.
"Show off," she muttered, a smile crossing her lips. The smile slowly turned into a frown as James got closer but didn't seem to be slowing down. "James - slow down - STOP, YOU IDIOT - "
"YOU DIDN'T SHOW ME HOW!"
Alarmed, she tried to move out of his –
James, arms swinging in panic, collided with her at full-speed, sending them both tumbling to the ice in a tangle of limbs. They landed hard, Lily on top of him, and slid a few feet before coming to rest near the bank.
Having a very heavy Quidditch player ram into you at a fast pace was no picnic. The wind had been knocked clear out of her, her lungs burned, and her ribs were becoming sore very fast. She'd banged her knee hard on the ice and it was probably swelling already. This was going to hurt tomorrow morning...
"...Ow..." James groaned beneath her. "...That...hurt..."
Lily couldn't help it. She burst out laughing and kept on laughing; even when she didn't know what she was laughing about any more or when James joined in. The two of them lay there for a few moments, just laughing.
After she'd regained enough of her senses and James had stopped chortling, she glanced up at him. She was lying on his chest, her arms were wrapped around his neck and his had encircled her waist sometime during their fall, but she found herself not caring about it at all, really.
"That's…an understatement…" she muttered, her breathing heavy and fogging the air in front of her. "Are –Are you all right?"
"Fine," Hogwarts' Head Boy answered, "though I think there's going to be a tremendous bruising on my arse tomorrow..."
She giggled and almost fell into another fit of laughter, but refrained herself. Slowly, she touched one her hands to his cheek and felt for any bruises or bumps that could result from their fall. "Are you sure you're not hurt anywhere at all?"
"Well, now that you mention it..." he said, pretending to be in deep thought. "I think I might've bumped my head – oh, wait. That's from a certain Head Girl when she threw a book at the back of my head."
"Aw, what do you want me to do? Ki - " Lily sputtered to a halt just in time, shocked by her own daring.
"What…do you want to do to me?" James asked, his tone low and slightly playful as he propped himself up off the ice. His eyes had darkened and one of his hands had moved to the base of her neck, playing with the loose strands of hair it found.
She leaned closer to his face, her heart beating erratically against her chest. If she did this, things would never be the same between them again. The two years she had spent denying and hating him would be for naught…and once again, she found herself not caring because she wanted this.
She neededthings to change between them because she could no longer stand ignoring the way her heart fluttered whenever he offered to walk her to dinner or the way her knees went weak when he grinned at her. She couldn't stand pretending not to be attracted to him or to remain impassive when he flirted.
She needed to be with James Potter.
"I want to kiss you and make everything feel better."
Before he could stop her and she could change her mind, she did exactly that. He returned the kiss lightly at first and then it grew more passionate, as if he had been dwelling for the last two years on how exactly this should go and – god, he was an amazing kisser. She hadn't had a kiss that made her tingle all the way down to her toes in a long time.
Reluctantly, she pulled away and stared into his eyes, wondering what he would say…what she could possibly say to explain herself. He looked dazed and shocked, as if he couldn't believe this had finally happened, after years of chasing of her and being shot down continuously.
"…Wow…" he breathed at last. He remained silent for another few minutes, still trying to process what had just happened between them. Soon, he fixed her with an inquiring gaze and asked, "So…Does this mean that you won't throw a book at my head the next time I ask you out on a date?"
Lily laughed and nodded her head. He let out a whoop of excitement before kissing her again.
"I don't know about you, but I really don't like snogging on a sheet of ice," Lily declared euphorically, breaking off the second kiss and grinning like a loon. "Why don't we head back into the common room and discuss over some hot coca by the fire."
"Only if you kiss my tongue when I burn it."
She smacked him in the chest.
He grinned and sat up, taking his hands in hers.
"Yes, but I'm your prat now."
"Too right you are."
Thanks for reading and please review! It makes me happy. :)