Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related works do not belong to me.

A/N: Hmmmm, hmmm. This is…very different than what I've written in the past. It's…slightly angsty, but, again, slightly. It's a L/J Christmastime oneshot…though I don't celebrate the holiday. (If I did Hanukkah, nobody would know what the hell I was talking about). It's more wintertimeish than Christmas-y.It's…well, read. Comments are appreciated and freshly-baked(virtual) sugar cookies will be handed out to anybody who reviews…

So…er. Read. Please?

Bouquets

Her eyes are stinging again. And it's not welcome.

The dormitory is too dark.

She's alone.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

He wasn't supposed to have met the cheerful, bouncy blonde-haired Hufflepuff, Sophie. Lily wasn't supposed to have seen them shyly holding hands in the snow. She wasn't supposed to see him picking out Sophie's Christmas with a kind of painstaking deliberance that brought an inexplicably melancholy feeling in her throat.

Sophie probablylooked prettier with a blush than Lily, anyway.

He wasn't supposed to embarrassedly grin at Lily, tug Sophie's hand gently, and pull his girlfriend--still grinning--out of the door and probably into a nearby broom cupboard to resume snogging.

Lily was not supposed to stand in the same place for twenty long minutes, rooted still and immovable.

It was not supposed to happen, and now that it has, she feels like she's falling and she can't stop.


It was the same as always when she rejected him. For the final time. He'd been asking for years, but the sparkle, undaunted and unnerved in his eye, the confidence, it never wavered before. It wasn't supposed to. That was just how James was.

But maybe, Lily mused, maybe she just cut people out of concrete and never let them change. Maybe they changed when she had her back turned. It was like a game of Indian Chief. You couldn't see the full perimeter of the circle at once. No matter howhard you tried.

She still has the dried rose bouquets he sent her, you know. Back when he pursued her eagerly, happily. She never did throw the flowers out. She doesn't know why.

She pretends she doesn't have them, the deep red petals crushed. Why should she? Sophie receives them every day. He gives them to owls to deliver. Because that's just how he is. Lily sees Sophie opening them each morning, the glow on her cheeks squaring off against the red of the petals in her hands.


"Lily, will you go out with me?"

"Potter, stop asking."

"You're only saying that because you're flattered by my affections, and blinded by my charm."

"Stop saying that, Potter!"

"Because it's true?"

"No, it's NOT!"

"Why, then?"

"Because I never want to go out with you! You're arrogant, you're a bully, you can't keep your bloody hair under control, you're a prick, you're an idiot, and I hate you! I wouldn't go out with you if you were the LAST BOY ALIVE!"

"…but I'd still win against the Giant Squid, right?"

"Potter…I HATE YOU, I will never in the world go out with you, for any type of money. For the last time, I CANNOT STAND YOU! When will you understand that! It's a NO, NO, NO and it'll never be anything different! Go away!"

He didn't reply, but slumped away for the first time. Without a witty comeback or the twinkle in his eyes that she'd come to know and expect. Like a dog with its tail between its legs, defeated.

He isn't coming back and it's all your fault, she thought.


His friends wanted the best for him. They told him to go out with other girls, to stop moping about the fire-haired one. The one he'd been waiting for, for six long years. The one that put salt on his wounds and scrapes on his face and the one that made him bite his lips in nervousness that he disguised as arrogance and confidence.

So he let Sirius set him up with Sophie, what's-her-face, the blonde-haired cute Hufflepuff.

Lily pretended not to notice.

He didn't give roses to Lily anymore. She never found them on her bed, with a note.

He didn't talk to her, didn't flirt with her. Didn't ask her out. She thought she'd be happy, now.

He didn't smile or grin at her. Nods of politeness and simple, stranger's terms were the only words exchanged. There were no shouting matches, and no tempers flying. No jokes. He fed her no more corny pickup lines.

His eyes didn't sparkle at her anymore.


And so it's nearly Christmas.

And she's watching the flakes fall by outside, on top and on top and on top. She hears the shrieks of happiness outside, the flirting.

The angry shrieks of the flame-haired girl, in the past, when the black-haired boy jokingly shoved snow down her back. His let's-make-peace remarks as he tried to mollify her.

Her angry shrieks when she pushed him so he fell flat onto the snow.

He didn't mind, then, and he didn't let her see the bloody scrape on his cheek.

She guessed he minded now.


She tries to pretend he's not there.

It's not easy.

They're together, everywhere.

She saw him under the mistletoe with Sophie, one day. Their arms were clasped around each other. Sophie had a smile on her lips as she tilted her head up to him.

Lily quickly met his eyes, briefer than a millisecond, before he turned back and kissed the blonde in front of him.

She, Lily, felt like throwing up.

This wasn't how it was supposed to happen.


And so it's Christmas eve.

And she's sitting at night, cold, alone. She's thinking about him, again. It's some unfair trick. She can't stop. Some sick obsession, some sick addiction.

She never really meant for it to turn out this way.

And she know she'll see the couple kiss tomorrow. She'll see Sophie beam and throw her arms around him in the great hall, thanking him for whatever gift he'd given her.

So, on impulse, she rips a spare piece of parchment.

The common room is quiet.

She hesitates, biting her lip. It's an impulse. It's maybe stupid. It's maybe pointless. But maybe it's a start.

James,

Happy Christmas.

Lily

With a single, crushed red rose petal.

p.s. I always kept the bouquets…