Disclaimer: If I said it was mine, I most likely wouldn't have been sitting in a suburban neighbourhood with completely ruined Hurley chucks but instead basking in my many piles of lovely money. In other words, nothing is mine.
AN: This is very fluffy and quite odd, written late at night with my mum screaming at me to go to bed. It's a one-shot. If you review, I may be prompted to write another one.
A slender, pale finger traced the column that the reader was trying to absorb into her memory, pausing at the longer words and the more complicated footnotes. The reader, a redheaded girl with shockingly green eyes sighed restlessly, taking a long swig from the goblet of water that sat beside her before continuing with her studious work.
A few minutes later, she decided to take a bite from her blueberry muffin, sinking her teeth sinfully into the soft pastry and creating a small flurry of crumbs to rain upon her textbook pages. She swore under her breath, brushing the crumbs off of her skirt and the aged sheets. She silently pushed away her midnight snack, looking at the collection of assorted sweets ruefully before seemingly lecturing herself mentally and going back, once again, to her studying.
It most obviously wasn't working the way she wanted. Finally, with a small growl in the depths of her throat she slammed the book shut and sat there sullenly, staring out the window from where a few rays of moonlight were streaming from. They were rather pretty, holding an ethereal look to them, as if they were slender ribbons of glowing, white light. She shook her head, trying to beat some sense into her sleep depraved mind.
It was a Thursday evening, quite late actually, about 11 o'clock at night. This was not the usual time that the girl sat up to; she was rather fond of her beauty sleep and liked lazing around bed in the morning. Yet, as exams were coming up for the seventh year girl, she knew that she'd need to work as hard as she could to achieve the grades that she was striving at. Yes, NEWTs were coming up, and for everything invested in her, she couldn't figure out why people weren't having frenzied late-night, all-nighter study groups going on.
It was rather unsettling, to tell you the truth.
An ember inside the fireplace exploded with a crack, and she jumped, eyes wide. Even though she'd never admit it, she, Lily Marie Evans, aged 17 and then some, was deathly afraid of the dark. So, there was very little sense in her staying up, all alone, in the empty, cold darkness with no lighting except for the rapidly decreasing candle and the dying fire.
"This is completely useless," she finally muttered under her breath, slamming her quill to the tabletop and gritting her teeth in frustration.
"I agree, perhaps we should both go to bed and forget about it." A voice said dryly from somewhere behind her chair.
Of course, as it appeared that she was very much alone, the entire ordeal was rather shocking and even more frightening. Therefore, being Head Girl and reasonably intelligent, she did the only thing she could. Grabbing the heavy, leather-bound text that she had "borrowed" from the library and with great speed and strength (she was quite proud of her quick thinking skill, later on) she swung around, kicking her chair to the ground, and slammed the book into the intruder.
Obviously, this was a good idea, as this might have very much been a randy young male that wanted to rape her. The only problem with this plan of action was that she hit nothing but thin air. The air, as expected, couldn't hold the weight of her propelled body and the strength she had thrown herself at it with, and she found herself face-first in the wooden-panelled flooring, being involved in very personal relations with the fuzzy carpet.
By now, any professional rapist would have captured her and had his way with her, so she cautiously rose up on her hands and knees and glanced behind her. There was nobody there. She clenched her hands into two identical, white-knuckled fists and unsteadily rose to her feet.
"Who's there?" She said, feeling very foolish that she appeared to be talking to thin air. "I know you're there, commenting on what I said wasn't very bright, you know?"
Once again, the invisible person replied. "Well, obviously. Don't underestimate my intelligence, dearest Lily."
"You know my name!" She knew she had all the right to be affronted. After all, all the people she knew couldn't be rapists, unless they were hiding secrets. But… what if he was stalking her?
"I thought we had gotten past this stage already, Lils. Now, could you please tell me, as clearly as you can manage, what my name is?" The person, a male she had decided, laughed.
"You bloody berk!" She grumbled, before throwing herself in the best tackle she could manage in the direction that the voice was coming from. This time, she was successful. Her head had butted into (rather painfully) into a warm, firm, very solid something.
Shrieking in success, Lily quickly opened her eyes (she had been too frightened that she would ram into a wall), and stared at the few strands of dark hair that were poking out from under… nothing?
"An invisibility cloak you clever bastard, you!" Lily said, tugging at the cloak as realization dawned on her.
"You know, Evans, as much as I like you fondling my bits, it's getting a bit uncomfortable." He said, shifting under her.
Then, finally, she recognized the voice at about the same time she unveiled the figure and found herself facing someone's crotch. "Potter! Oh, of all the dratted things you could do, did you have to frighten me out of my skin?"
She was too much in shock to realize that if anyone would wander by, perhaps in search for a warm glass of milk or a lost possession, that their arrangement looked very suggestive and almost frighteningly pornographic. Straddling him, pretending that she hadn't just been staring wide-eyed at his crotch, she glared at him, chest heaving from fury.
"What provoked you to do it?" Her cheeks were rivalling her hair and she looked as if she had completely blown her top.
"Cool off, Evans. It's over, nothing happened, no need to go insane." He said, looking at her warily and running one hand through his messy black hair.
"Urgh! Potter, what ever made you into such a prick?" She growled, pushing herself away from him suddenly and stomping off to seat herself on the plush, red sofa. She sat there, sulking for a few unnecessary moments, waiting for a response, before finally giving into his daring stare.
"Okay, I give. Where'd you get the cloak?" She finally asked.
He grinned, arrogantly, of course. "Family heirloom, I got it from my dad when I turned eleven."
"What on earth goaded him into doing that?" She said, eyebrows shooting up and a disbelieving look in her eyes.
James rolled his eyes. "Nothing, most people aren't as bad-tempered as you are, and find it actually a nice gesture. I know, how bizarre."
She looked away, trying to calm herself before she jumped on top of him and strangled him to death. He was so annoyingly infuriating; he'd be actually nice if it weren't for that overblown ego that he possessed. She almost smacked herself. James Potter, nice? Don't make me laugh.
"Look, Potter, go away. I need to do my Transfiguration essay." She finally admitted, retreating back to the age-old excuse of homework. Everyone knew how uptight she was about schoolwork.
He glanced at her doubtfully. "We have no Transfiguration essay due, Lily."
"It's for extra credit! Not everyone is brilliant at Transfiguration, you know!" She yelled, trying to get the message that she wanted to be alone across. Wouldn't he just go away?
"Evans, if you're having trouble with Transfiguration, why won't you just ask someone, me even?" He said, as if trying to talk some sense into a stubborn toddler.
"I don't have any trouble with Transfiguration! I just want you to go away!" She finally said, standing up and walking away, into a farther corner. She felt tears begin to swell up underneath her eyelids, and she wanted to die from the mortification of crying in front of him.
Then, she felt him, rather than seeing him, walk up to her, and try to catch the first tear that had spilled out from the crevice of her eye before she could tease it back. When he was so close to her, she could feel his height even more, and against her will, her heart began to race from his proximity.
Oh, you stupid fool, she thought, he's James Potter. He's mean and snarky and a complete moron… Yet, as he, without words or even touch, comforted her into a dull lull of serenity, her thoughts felt dim and far away. She could feel his warm breath on the crown of her head and the almost nonexistent feel of his fingertips on her hand.
"Potter, go away, please." She protested weakly, her obstinacy slowly being chipped away when he didn't even move. She didn't like this feeling of light-headedness and loss of blood in her head dizziness.
"Lily, you can't do this to yourself." He whispered quietly, pulling her face to look toward his, "You're overworking yourself, love."
No, please don't cry, she silently begged herself. She couldn't break down in front of him, anyone but him. But it was inevitable, Lily Evans was having a mental breakdown, and James Potter was the only one there to experience it.
"I'm fine, really, Potter." She insisted, pushing away weakly.
"You're not, Lily, stop acting like your life is all fine and dandy." He commanded, carefully leading her over to the two-seater couch in the corner of the room.
She felt her knees collapse as she fell ungracefully into the cushions on the sofa, feeling him join her after a brief moment of hesitation. Everything about that exact moment, the lighting, the feelings and the emotions running rampant made her, for some reason, slowly calmed her down from her minor hysterics.
But for the life of her, she'd never admit that it was his presence that had really soothed her. That was asking way too much from her, she had only recognized him as a quite nice, if a bit arrogant at times, bloke that rated her. If he still did, she reminded herself.
"Thank you, James." She whispered, before freezing. Beside her, he had stopped stroking her hand in a reassuring gesture and stared at her with wide hazel eyes behind his specs.
She had called his James. Subconsciously, she always referred to him as James, but when it was spoken, it seemed so much more… real. Turning away, blushing fiercely, she awaited the teasing lilt of his voice and the usual snarky comment. Yet, nothing came.
Lily looked up at him, appearing more than slightly befuddled, trying to read his expression. There was no darkness, no sardonic smirk. It was purely a nice, warm look that she liked seeing on his face. It was soothing, and right now, comfort was what she dearly needed.
"No problem, Lily." He finally replied, smiling in a way she didn't know he was capable of. It was soft, a subtle kind of thing, that didn't bring out his deep dimples the way his normal grins did. She wasn't sure which one she preferred over the other.
They sat there for another few minutes, just enjoying the companionable silence. Suddenly, the rustle of clothing and the light footsteps of willowy-built person came from the sets of staircases that led to the dormitories, and they couple stiffened.
A boy, around the same age at they were, dressed in patched blue pyjamas walked in, looking more than a bit drowsy. The gleam of the moonlight caught his sandy, dull hair and she instantly recognized him. She calmed her heart, which had been hammering against her ribcage in fear of being caught, and offered a tentative half-smile.
Remus Lupin looked very awake when he realized he wasn't as alone as he'd like to be. "Lily? James? What're the both of you doing at this time of the night?"
It wasn't suggestive; boys like Remus weren't the type to make lewd comments. Instead, it appeared naturally curious.
"We're talking, nothing else." James said, smiling.
Oddly enough, Remus accepted this as a perfectly valid reply and after bidding a quick goodbye and nabbing the invisibility cloak from James left the room in search for a midnight snack. Once again, she found herself sitting alone with him, their breaths withheld as they glanced at each other nervously.
She liked him, especially when he appeared so genuinely warm and real. It was the only way she could describe it, it was like seeing him for the very first time. She liked this compassionate side of him, the one with small smiles and cordial words. Yet, she missed snarky James, with his wicked eyes and bold, cheesy winks.
It was odd, she liked both sides of his personality, yet she only had realized it after seeing both sides of his character. She opened her mouth to speak, yet once again, footsteps came from beyond their sight and a before long, a blonde head popped out from the entrance of the stairs.
A somewhat chubby girl, who wore a slightly suspicious look on her face, eyed the two of them as if they were in a passionate embrace, before venturing. "Lily? If he bothering you? Why haven't you come to bed yet?"
Lily smiled, though a bit forcedly, "Marlene, I'm fine. Not tired yet, we're just talking. Go back to bed; I'll be up in a few."
Taking her friend's word, Marlene shuffled back up the stairs, muttering under her breath. Lily looked back up at him, who had watched the brief conversation with an air of a very amused person.
"What's so funny?" Lily asked, cocking an eyebrow.
"Your friends. They worry so much about you, it's rather heart-warming." He said, his snarky, I'm-the-king-of-the-world tone of voice returning.
She didn't know whether to be relieved or annoyed. Settling with something in the middle, she let out a small bark of laughter that alarmed him slightly. "You're barmy, James, you know that? But I think I like you that way."
He glanced at her. "Like me? Why, is our ever lovely Miss Evans admitting to perhaps fancying me, the proverbial thorn in her side?"
"Maybe," she teased back, eyes sparkling. She didn't know why it was so much fun, but being teased by James Potter had lost its acid taste and somehow felt much more playful and lovely over the time they had spent tonight.
She had seen another side to him, and she liked it. Somehow, knowing that he was capable of human emotions and kindness made it ever so much easier to understand him. Knowing her was human was the cinch.
"I like this side of you, Lils." James said, suddenly turning serious.
"It's nice to know, Potter, really." She said, looking at him from under her lashes.
And somewhere between tackling him and crying on his shirt Lily sort of, kind of started liking him. For some reason, it felt right to sit next to him and laugh and be complete berks but always end up exactly the way it started.
"Dearest Lily, you truly are even odder than I ever believed in the first place," he mused, eyes shining.
In the same sing-song voice he used, she said, "Why, put it like that, and I might get mad."
"You, mad? Never!" He said, nudging her shoulder with him and winding his arm around her shoulder sneakily.
"You're doubting me, aren't you?" Lily cried in mock-anguish. She swooned dramatically, falling to his lap and getting her hair to stream everywhere except where she would've liked it.
Suddenly, their close proximity made her hold back her breath and look at him with eyes as wide as footballs. It was much too close, especially for her. She could catch the smell of his shampoo and cologne and she honestly wasn't ready to be confronted.
She wasn't in love, she liked him. When you like someone, you don't fantasize about his lips and how it feels to be wrapped in his arms and if Quidditch really does do some good to your physique. She liked him purely platonically, maybe even a tad less, yet he was coming closer and closer until she could see every ridge in his lips.
Her eyes fluttered to a sudden close, and he was so close that she could smell the Droobles Best Bubblegum that he probably been chewing earlier. Then, right as he was about to kiss me, a loud noise resounded from the dorms, and Sirius Black came barrelling out.
He, as always, looked like sex in shaggy pyjama pants and nothing else. He stopped suddenly when he saw her and James, sprawled on a small loveseat, their faces mere centimetres apart. Brushing a strand of glossy hair from out of his eyes, he smirked impatiently and asked,
"Well, snog already, will you?"
That was enough initiative for James, and suddenly she found him kissing her. Really kissing her, the kind of soul-searching, tingling kisses you always heard about in the romance novels that you scoffed at but secretly pined after a love life like that. It was absolutely perfect, in every way, except for one annoying detail.
He was called Sirius Black, who was at the current moment, making bawdy commentary and cheering noises.
But, since when you're in love everything seems so much better off, she supposed she could forgive him.