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Author: Swishy Willow Wand

Title: Sleep at Night

Summary: She definitely did not love him. At all. Or at least, that's what she told herself to help her sleep at night. One-shot L/J

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-ATTENTION-

The hand part was inspired by an episode of Gilmore Girls, where Jamie grabs Paris's hand, and she's all, "Can I have my hand back," and he's all, "Let me finish," etc, etc.

And if I mentioned the dimple too much, whoops. I was all, "Oh, yay, character quirk!" And besides, aren't dimples way sexy?

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Disclaimer: I own nothing.

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Sleep at Night

She definitely did not love him. At all.

Nope. There was nothing in the world that she loved less than James Potter. Except for, you know, Voldemort and poison ivy and things. But he was definitely up there in the top ten.

She didn't love his hazel eyes. Nuh-uh. It didn't matter how shiny or puppy-like they were whenever they looked at her across the Gryffindor common room. She did not think they were the most beautiful, perfect eyes to ever be framed by a dorky-looking pair of glasses.

She didn't love his hands. His big, strong looking hands that had not been so, so warm every time he had passed her a paper in class, or grabbed her arm when she was turning away from him. She didn't notice the way he seemed to always be able to catch a Quaffle, or the way that his knuckles dimpled when his fingers stretched out. She hadn't even paid attention to them. Not once.

She didn't love his hair. She didn't care how soft or shiny looking it was. She didn't even think about running her hands through his messy, messy ebony colored hair. She didn't get distracted whenever she had to sit behind him in class and he would run his fingers through it over and over. Seriously, distracted? Her? Never.

She didn't love the dimple in his left cheek. Not even though it was the deepest, deepest dimple to ever exist. She didn't love the way you could see it when he smirked, or frowned, or smiled. Especially when he smiled. Phooey, she said. Who cared about dimples anyway?

She didn't love his voice. His incredibly deep voice. The kind of voice that commanded attention when he was loud, but could be the sweetest tone when he apologized to her. She didn't stop short whenever she heard him in the hall. She didn't hang on his every word when he was explaining things to the younger students at the Prefect meetings. She didn't secretly love it every time he said her name sort of adoringly when he talked about her to his friends, or in this martyred, almost desperate sort of way when they argued.

She didn't love his sense of humor. She could've cared less about his witty remarks, or the sarcasm that rivaled her own, or the quips he made whenever he was getting into trouble with a teacher.

She just didn't love him. Plain and simple.

Or at least, that's what Lily Evans told herself to help her sleep at night. And most of the time, she had herself convinced.

But one night, in the middle of April during her seventh year at Hogwarts, it didn't work. Nothing worked. She counted sheep, she reviewed History of Magic notes, everything. But nothing could distract her and her blasted one-track mind.

All she could think about was James Potter. Stupid Potter, and the way he always looked so bloody sad whenever she yelled at him.

She rolled over on her side in her small, twin-sized bed that was standard issue in all Hogwarts dorms, and glared at the small, glowing clock on her bed stand.

It read 11:33, which meant that seven minutes had passed since she had last looked at it. Lily took a moment to curse NEWTs, and the slow-moving hours.

Ever since the NEWTs had started three days ago, the entire Gryffindor tower had been going to bed at 10:00. The seventh years had done it in preparation for the grueling days ahead, and the rest had done it out of fear for their lives. The seventh years had, after all, gotten rather nasty the previous year when they had been kept awake by a raucous group of third years.

The last thing Lily had needed was time to sit in bed and just think. This always brought about her downfall. Because when she took the time to think, her thoughts always ended and revolved around the same subject: Potter.

Back in her early years, it had been stupid Potter this, and bloody Potter that.

And, well, it still pretty much revolved around those lines, but in different contexts.

What Lily really, honestly hated was the way he could make her feel so guilty. He would do something, like ask her about the Charms homework, and she would do something, like tell him to shove his quill up his arse. It was a reflex for her. Snapping at him, that is. She had been doing it for so long that it was this unstoppable force. Like a tornado: completely uncontrollable, and unpredictable. You could only tell it was coming by the signs: red face, rolling eyes, frowning, and, of course, James's mere presence.

She hadn't always felt so bad about it, though. Not back when he levitated first years, and cursed Severus Snape.

But when he had come back for their seventh year, he had completely flip-flopped. He was quieter and more studious. Not as studious as, say, Lily herself, but more than he used to be. And he was polite! It was always 'please', 'thank you', and 'you're welcome'. It made Lily quite sick to her stomach.

And so, what with his new and improved people skills, it was much harder to be rude to him and not feel guilty. Because he hadn't really done anything wrong to her lately, and so he would look at her with those stupid, wonderful hazel eyes, and say, "I'm sorry, Lily," with his bloody, gorgeous voice. And he looked so hurt!

The more Lily thought about it, the more aggravated she got.

She was convinced it was all his fault. The way she felt guilty, and the way she couldn't stop think about him, and the way she…well, the way she loved him.

Sitting straight up in her bed, she reached over and lit a candle sitting near jer. Peering through the dimness of the room, she saw that all of her roommates were asleep. Everyone that is, except for a rather tall girl who was walking out of the bathroom, a candle of her own hovering in the air in front of her. Jennifer Smith.

"Jen!" Lily whispered, startling the poor girl half to death. "Jen, come here for a sec!"

Jennifer shot a longing look over towards her bed, and then quickly made her way towards Lily.

"Yes?" she asked, looking a bit unnerved. "Is everything alright?"

Lily shrugged, looking a bit sheepish. "Well, I guess."

Jen nodded. "Right," she said after a few seconds. "Well, then, I'll just be getting back to-"

"It's just that I keep thinking about Potter!" Lily burst out, interrupting her. Jen's eyebrows shot up and disappeared into her hair.

"You mean James?" she asked curiously. "I thought you hated him."

"I do," Lily said hastily, blushing. "It's just that lately, he's been acting so…odd."

"Well, yeah," Jen said, nodding her head. "He has been acting different this year. But maybe he's just growing up." At the displeased look on Lily's face she said, "…or he's doing it to get to you, maybe."

Lily perked up. "Yeah," she said, sounding a bit happier. "That must be it."

Standing up suddenly, almost knocking Jennifer off of her feet, she slid on her slippers, grabbed her robe and her candle, and without another word, slipped silently out of the room.

Jen shook her head. "That girl," she said. "So strange."

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After tip-toeing quietly down the stairs that lead to the common room, and racing up a second set of stairs, Lily stopped, and stood for a second, her mind racing.

She wasn't quite sure what she was doing. There she was: her curly red hair wild and uncombed, her green eyes probably bigger than they had ever been, her heart beating quite rapidly, wrapped up in a fuzzy green bathrobe, all the while standing in front of the door that separated her from the room where the seventh year boys-James Potter included-were sleeping.

She was just going to talk to him, she decided. Maybe yell at him a bit. Tell him just how much she hated him, and how he could drop the gentleman act. She would slip into the room, and quietly wake him up. He would be startled of course, so she would have to make sure he didn't make a peep; maybe she would stuff a pillow over his face, or slap her hand over his mouth unnecessarily roughly. She would not, under any circumstances, wake anyone else up. It all started with the opening of a door…

…which evidently was going to work out as well as she hoped. She put her hand on the knob, and turned it. Or at least, she tried to. But the knob wouldn't turn.

"Locked!" she whispered in dismay. "I didn't even know we were allowed to lock these doors!"

She jiggled the handle a few more times, but to no avail. And then, almost as if a light bulb had switched on, a thought appeared in her head.

"Wand!" she exclaimed, more loudly than she had intended. So she began to grope at her robe with both of her hands, frantically searching for her wand…

…which also wasn't working out too well for her. Once she began to search for her wand, she let go of the candle in her hand. It fell to the floor with the loudest 'thump' ever heard.

She stopped, terrified. "Bloody hell!" she whispered, horrified. And just when she was about to turn around and race back to the safety of her warm, snuggly duvet, the door that seemed to hate her swung open, and a boy with black hair blinked blearily at her.

"Evans?" he asked, sounding tired. "What are you doing here?"

She smiled nervously at him. "Hello, Sirius!"

Sirius Black was James's best friend, and was just like him, minus the personality switch. Lily had never quite understood the appeal of Sirius Black- he was handsome, yes, but he was also quite immature. Something that, she was sure, was about to bite her in the arse.

"What are you doing?" he repeated, though sounding much more curious than tired now. She smiled at him once more.

"Er- well, there was an, um, complaint that someone was, er-"

Sirius rolled his eyes at her. "Sure," he said, smirking. Then sticking his head back into the room, he called, "James?"

There was a grunt from the far corner of the room. Sirius grinned devilishly at her and said, "Your girlfriend's here."

Lily's jaw dropped open in protest. "I am not his-"

Another louder, more surprised grunt interrupted her, and a very groggy James stepped into view. Sliding his glasses into place, he asked, sounding more than a bit worried, "Lily? Is everything alright?"

She scowled at him, trying to cover her nervousness. "I need to talk to you. Now."

Sirius grinned. "Knock 'er dead, mate."

Then he pushed him out into the hall and closed the door.

James looked at the door in annoyance. "Bloody idiot," he muttered, reaching up and trying to comb through the hair that was even more tousled than usual.

Lily felt like slapping herself. She had definitely not thought the situation through. She was cold, she looked like hell, she was embarrassed, and she had completely lost the will to profess her hate to him.

After a moment's silence, James said uncertainly, "Didn't you want to talk to me?"

Lily blushed. "Oh, yeah, I did. I mean, I do."

He nodded. "Well, let's go downstairs. We shouldn't wake anyone."

Lily nodded. "Oh, that- yeah."

Awkwardly, James slid past her and walked down the stairs. Shaking her head in frustration, Lily followed him.

Once they reached the common room, James turned to Lily expectantly. "So…?"

Lily blushed again, and said, "Well, it's sort of silly, you see -"

But before she could make up some stupid excuse, she looked up at him, into his really hazel eyes, saw that stupid dimple, and got angry once more.

"I just wanted to let you know that I hate you."

James's eyes widened. "Excuse me?"

She nodded. "Yep. I hate you. I hate you loads. There is nothing I like about you. Nothing."

James looked thoroughly angry, which gave Lily a small thrill- when he was angry, it was much easier to be a rotten bitch to him.

"Tell me something I don't know," he said bitterly, frowning at her, the dimple still creasing into his cheek in a storybook sort of way.

At her questioning look, he scowled. "You tell me that every day. It's always, 'Oh, Potter, I hate you so much just because you used to be immature,' and, 'Oh, Potter, even though you've actually grown up, I refuse to admit it, because I'm actually just as immature as you used to be!'"

Lily gaped. "I've never said that!"

He snorted. He actually snorted. "Not in so many words, Lily, no. But it's true. You know it's true."

Lily glared at him. "Well, yeah I hate you 'cause you used to be immature! And obviously you're still immature!" When he laughed openly, she added, "And if I were so immature, would I be able to tell you that I can't stop thinking about you?"

At James's wide-eyed look, Lily inhaled sharply. "I take it back, I take it back! I'm totally immature, and I never think about you!"

James shook his head slowly. "Nuh-uh. You can't take that back."

"Yes I can," she exclaimed nervously. "It's taken back! Stricken from the record!"

He shook his head again. "Nope. It's not that easy, Lily."

She mouthed wordlessly at him, before crying out in frustration, and turned around and started up the stairs…

…which, as most things that night, didn't end up working out quite the way she had intended. As soon as she began to sprint away, a hand grabbed hers.

The stupid, strong, warm hand that totally dwarfed and enveloped hers. She slowly turned around and look down at her fingers, which were currently entwined with James's.

"Can I have my hand back?" she asked, trying to snap at him, but really just asking sort of feebly.

"Can I finish first?" he asked, grinning at her. Lily gaped a bit at him- he had never, ever grinned at her. It was a whole new thing that she didn't love about him. And what with the dimple, and all…

She shook her head resolutely banishing all thoughts of dimples and grins. "No," she said in a stubborn voice. "I want my hand back. Now."

"Now, now, Lily," James said, smirking a bit. "Who's got the hand here?" He jiggled her arm a bit for effect.

Resentfully, she said, "You do."

He nodded. "And so who's in control?"

After uselessly trying to tug her hand out of his strong grip, she admitted oh, so grudgingly, "You are."

He grinned again, and Lily resisted the urge to sigh. It would do nothing for her image. So instead she said, "So talk, Potter. We have a Charms test tomorrow."

He sighed in mock bliss. "I love it when you say such sweet words to me." At the scowl on her face, he nodded. "Right. Moving on."

He ducked his head a bit, and then said, "I don't know what to tell you that I haven't told you before."

Lily let out a frustrated groan. "Like what, James?"

He shrugged. "Like I think you're fantastic." When she blushed, he looked a bit heartened. "You're beautiful, and smart, and you're really funny. You're practically perfect."

She blushed again, and said, "No, I'm not. Really."

James grinned once more. "Do you want your hand back now?" he asked teasingly, loosening his grip. To her own surprise, she shook her head. "I- I've got another one."

He nodded. "Well, then," he said, tugging on her arm, walking over to the couch, sitting down, and patting the cushion beside him. "Want to talk some more?"

Lily only sat down beside him that night because she wasn't able to sleep. And she only talked until seven-thirty the next morning with him because he still wouldn't let go of her hand. And when she agreed to go to Hogsmeade with him, it was only because her friends wanted to stay in and sleep for the entire day and she had no one else to go with. And when she eventually chose Jennifer Smith to be her bridesmaid, it was not because she was the one who made Lily go visit James that night.

At least, that's what Lily would tell herself to help her sleep at night. Only…it never really ever worked.

And she didn't even care.

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Wow. I think that was the stupidest thing I've ever written. Well, unless you count like, the first four fics I wrote, which I don't, because I've totally tried to mentally block them. But even though it was so, so, so incredibly stupid, I couldn't spend like, twelve hours writing it and then not post it.So love it or hate it. Criticism is totally accepted. Flames will completely be ignored!

-Turkey

P.S. Check out Lorelai the Coffee Slayer's fics! I'm her beta! I'm totally a working girl! Only, I don't mean that in the prostitutey way, I mean in the way that I'm a girl, and I'm actually working(sort of). But w/e. Please ignore my babble.