Disclaimer: Nope, not JK Rowling, so I don't own anything. I have asked Santa to bring me Remus for Christmas, though.
A/N: This is just a piece of festive fluff inspired by too much mulled wine. It's set in the Marauders' sixth year. Hope you enjoy it...
"I think James wants to kiss me," Lily said.
"I think he does too," Remus said, with a slight snort of laughter.
It was Christmas Eve in the Gryffindor common room, and nothing was stirring except two Gryffindor prefects. There was a thick layer of snow on the windowsill, and more was falling outside against a black velvet sky peppered with fat grey snow clouds. The fire was blazing away in the grate, and Lily and Remus sat side by side on the floor, their backs against the sofa, warming the soles of their feet on the heat of the dancing flames, a small collection of butterbeer bottles, mostly empty, scattered around them. Remus had liberated them from the kitchen earlier, and after a little token protesting, Lily had given in and agreed to help him drink them.
"Do you think I should?" she said. He wondered why she was asking him such a strange question.
"It's not really a question of should, Lily," he said. "It's a question of whether you want to or not."
Lily sighed. "Have another butterbeer," he said, offering her a bottle.
"Are you trying to get me drunk?" she said. He thought about it for a moment.
"Yes," he said, and she giggled. She took the bottle from him.
"In that case," she said, "cheers."
She clinked her bottle against his and took a large swig. "I just don't know about James," she said. "Sometimes he seems so nice, and sometimes he seems like such a git. A big-headed git."
"You make him nervous," Remus said. "He's not really himself around you."
Lily frowned, and red hair spilled onto her face. She pushed it away with a frustrated hand and turned to face him, drawing her feet underneath herself. "Do I make you nervous?" she asked.
"No," he replied.
"I don't know," he shrugged. "You just don't."
Lily sighed. She twisted round and rested her elbow on the sofa's squishy seat, bouncing her butterbeer bottle against her lips in thought. "Are there any girls that do make you nervous?"
"Oh yes," he said. "I find girls in general very frightening. Especially that six foot Slytherin – what's her name? Louise something."
Lily laughed, and it echoed around the room accompanied only by the crackle of the fire. She dropped her bottle to the floor and rested her chin on her hand, peering at him through the firelight, her head on one side. "So there's no-one you like, then?"
"I thought we were talking about you and James?"
"I wanted to change the subject," she said. "I'm glad I don't make you nervous. I'm glad you talk to me like a human being. The way James is all bluster and bragging – I think I'm supposed to find it endearing."
"You should find it endearing," Remus said. "He only does it because he really likes you."
"Does he, though?" she said. "We've never really talked. He doesn't really know me. He just fancies me."
"Is that not good enough?"
Lily starred into the fire for a minute, and then snatched up her bottle and drained it. She reached over him for another, and toppled onto his outstretched legs. She laughed hysterically, and he felt the rise and fall of her stomach on his shins. "I think I might be a bit drunk," she said, giggling, as she pushed herself up. He held out a hand to her, and she leant on it as she sat up, her hair all over her face.
"I think you might be too," he said. He finished his own drink, thinking that he was well on his way to tipsiness too as a warm glow filled his stomach. He handed her another bottle, then opened one for himself too. When he turned to look at her she was resting her head on the sofa seat and twisting a strand of her hair through her fingers.
"So do you think I should kiss James?" she said.
"I thought you wanted to change the subject?"
"I can't think of anything else," she said.
"If you can't think of anything else other than kissing James then I think you probably should," he said.
"Oh that's not what I meant," she said. "I meant I can't think of anything else to talk about. I think it's the butterbeer. If you were me, would you kiss him?"
"He's really not my type," Remus said.
"I said if you were me," she said, swatting him half-heartedly on the arm.
"I know," he said. "I don't know, Lily. I'm not you. I don't know how you feel."
"Neither do I," she said.
"Then I can't really say," he said with an amused sigh.
"You're not being very helpful," she said, and swayed slightly on the spot as she reached up to punch him more forcefully on the arm. He rubbed the spot she'd pummelled and frowned at her in admonishment. "Sorry," she said, "but you're not."
She scowled at him petulantly through the firelight, her lips set into a half-pout. "Maybe you should stop thinking about it," he said. "Maybe you should just see what happens."
"Is that what you do with girls?" she said.
"Which girls?" he said in mock shock. She punched him again.
"I saw you in Hogsmeade with Rose De Vere," she said.
"I'll assure you that was all perfectly innocent," he said, and she raised her eyebrow at him. "Well, almost perfectly innocent."
"She said you were a much better kisser than Henry O'Conner."
"Did she?" he said, feeling an uneasy grin spread across his face that had very little to do with anything Rose De Vere had said about him. Something was rising in his chest, completely unbidden and completely unexpected – a flutter of panic. Lily was making him nervous. He pushed the thought away and sipped his butterbeer.
"Is she your girlfriend now?" she said, her chin tilted down so she peered at him through her hair. His chest tightened, and he fought to keep his voice casual.
"I don't think so," he said. "I saw her under the mistletoe with Henry on the last night of term."
Lily sniggered. "Thank you for the sympathy," he said, clutching his chest in mock-agony. "I could be broken-hearted here."
"But you're not," she said.
"No," he conceded. "I did find her a bit trying after a while. She never shuts up."
"Do you think you'd find me a bit trying?" she said lifting her head off the sofa and looping a lock of hair through her fingers before letting it fall back into her face. "If you took me to Hogsmeade and snuck into the prefect's bathroom to kiss me?"
"How did you know about that?" he said.
"She really does have a big mouth," Lily said. "Would you?"
"I don't know," he said. "You can be a bit of a know-it-all. And I think if you knew half the things I got up to you'd report me to Dumbledore."
She punched him again. "And you keep hitting me," he added indignantly, rubbing his arm.
"You called me a know-it-all," she said.
"Violence isn't the answer, Lily," he said, and she laughed. His stomach contracted. "So, have you decided what to do about James?"
Lily considered the question for a moment, pressing her lips together in thought as she starred at his, and then turned her eyes to meet his. "I think there's someone else I'd like to kiss more," she said. Remus gulped.
"I think there is too," he said, unsure when she'd shifted closer, when he'd turned to face her.
"But I don't know if he likes me."
Remus was caught in indecision for a moment. He knew that for James' sake he should tell her that he didn't, but he couldn't lie to her, not when her nose was inches from his, and she was peering at him cheekily through a few loose strands of hair.
"I think he already finds me a bit trying, though," she said.
"He'd probably prefer you to stop hitting him on the arm," he said. "Or at least reserve it for when he really deserves it."
"Right," she said, and her whole face lit up in a smile. As she let out a soft chuckle he felt her breath on his face. "I'm worried that I don't make him nervous."
"You're making him pretty nervous right now," he said.
He reached up and brushed the strands of hair off her face, his fingers lingering on her cheek. "Yes," he said, his heart racing. "Really. Terrified, in fact."
"Good," she said, the word little more than breath on his lips.
He slowly closed the short distance between them and brushed his lips against hers. She smiled against them, but that didn't stop her responding. Her lips moved over his with a languid, teasing, pace at first, and then grew more intense, less playful. As her lips parted and his tongue met her lips he tasted butterbeer, and he ran his hand down her face and onto her neck, pulling her closer. His other hand found her waist, and she leant against him, wrapping her arms around his neck, her lips more insistent, her tongue making more forays into his mouth as the minutes passed.
He wound his fingers into her hair, his other hand moving onto her back, guiding her more or less onto his lap. She kissed him ferociously, pushing him back onto the sofa, shifting against him in a way that she must have known made his blood boil with sensation. When he pulled her closer still she let out a small gasp before unclasping her hands and weaving the fingers of one hand into his hair, while the other ran up and down his side, making him shiver.
He wasn't sure how long they kissed for – he was utterly lost to the sensation of it, but when they broke apart he was breathless and light-headed, and she was pink in the face.
Remus grinned. "James is going to kill me," he said. She punched him on the arm.
"Oww," he said, and when she glared at him, he added "I suppose I deserved that."
"Yes," she said, with a mischievous glint in her eye. "Now come here and make it up to me," she added, grabbing him by the shirt, and pulling him down on top of her on the floor.