The Trouble with Mistletoe
By Crystallic Rain

Notes: Happy Christmachanukwanzikah! Another fic I wrote for a Fan Fiction Contest, this time supposed to be about "A Slug Club Party". Enjoy, and happy holidays!


James Potter caught the sound of his name and stopped walking, quickly turning around. He smiled as he saw a red-haired girl rushing toward him.

"Hey, Lily," he said as she caught up to him and his friends.

"I was… er… wondering if I could talk to you for a minute," said Lily Evans tentatively.

James gave a significant look to Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew.

"Fine," sniffed Sirius, crossing his arms against his chest. "I see how it is." He walked away, Remus, who was shaking his head at Sirius, and Peter, who was looking confused, in tow.

Lily and James watched as the others turned a corner and were gone from view, and then they started walking in the opposite direction.

"So, you, er, wanted to talk to me?" James asked, looking sideways at Lily.

"Oh, I erm… well, Slughorn's having a Christmas party this Friday night…" she muttered, her cheeks turning a delicate shade of pink as she looked at the floor. "I usually end up asking Remus or Alice or one of my other friends, but… I was wondering if you wanted to go with me this time."

James looked taken aback, not believing what he was hearing. "Sure," he said.

Lily smiled at him. "I'll see you Friday, then."

"Alice, I'm such an idiot." Lily was laying on her bed on Friday afternoon. The week seemed to disappear now that she was anxiously awaiting the Slug Club Party.

"No you're not," came the consoling words of her best friend, Alice. Alice was peering into a mirror, adjusting her brown hair and fixing her pale pink dress robes, which brought out the rosy color of her cheeks.

"I shouldn't have asked him," Lily moaned rolling over onto her stomach.

Alice looked away from the mirror, putting a hand on her hip. "Oh, please, Lily. Frank asked me to this Slughorn party, but I –"

"But you've been dating Frank Longbottom since fourth year!" Lily sighed, sliding herself off her bed.

"Well, if you want to date James –"

"I don't," Lily said quickly, regaining her usual brisk manner.

Alice rolled her eyes.

"Oh, Alice, what am I going to wear?" Lily asked, distressed, opening her trunk and digging inside.

"What's it matter if you're not even interested in dating him?" she asked flatly in return.

Lily's eyes narrowed and she threw the first book her fingers touched at Alice's head.

The hours until the party passed in a haze for Lily. It was so bizarre, like she was watching the entire time in third person. Suddenly, she was thrown back into her body as she was walking toward James Potter, who was waiting for her just outside the common room.

"You look nice," said James, smiling at her.

Lily smiled in return. "Thanks. Erm… you, too," she said.

They began walking toward the room in which the party was held. It was… strange… like they had finally crossed some border they weren't supposed to. It was so different from any time they walked together, patrolling the hallways late at night…

"It's here, right?" James inquired, pointing to a door they were approaching.

"Huh?" Lily asked, startled at being drawn out of her thoughts.

"The party," said James, "it's in here, right?"

"Yeah," Lily nodded, staring at the door. James opened it for her; she smiled.

The room was full of people and noise, along with millions of Christmas decorations. Among the holly and red ribbons and trees were clumps of mistletoe, enchanted to fly above people's heads.

"Did you and Remus ever get caught under mistletoe?" James blurted out.

Lily replied uncomfortably, "Well, once or twice, yeah, but it was just… you know… a peck on the cheek, nothing more…" She looked at James, trying to read his expression, but he let nothing show.

"So… so… do you want to get a drink or… or something?" Lily said, losing all confidence she thought she might have had.

"Sure," said James in return. They walked toward the far wall, getting something to drink off the table. Lily took a gulp of butterbeer, trying to busy her mouth; she didn't trust herself to speak anymore.

"There's Frank and Alice," James finally said, breaking the awkward silence that had fallen between them. "D'you want to go talk to them?"

Lily nodded, still refusing to talk incase she said something that made James hate her.

Alice's presence made Lily relax. In fact, it made the time rather enjoyable. But then, after an hour or two at the party, Lily saw it. Hovering less than a meter above their heads was an enchanted clump of green – mistletoe. Obviously James hadn't noticed as he was still talking. Lily tried to slowly inch away from it, but it was no use. She had finally decided to make a run for it, maybe to "get another drink" or "use the bathroom", whichever excuse she chose to use later, but then, she felt a heavy hand on her shoulder and a laugh in her ears.

Lily whipped around, looking at Slughorn. James turned, too.

"Looks like you two've found yourself a little bit of mistletoe," he said in a booming voice, drawing attention from all over the room.

Lily's face burned with embarrassment and she put a hand to her head as James looked up at the mistletoe.

"Well," said Slughorn, laughing as more of the people in the room turned to watch, "get to it, then!"

Lily stared at Slughorn for a moment as though she had never seen anything quite like him. She could not believe her ears.

That's trouble with mistletoe – you never know where it is and Slughorn is a horrible, disgusting man if he finds that funny! She thought wildly, her mind racing as she slowly turned to James. He has an extremely sick imagination and must not be getting any if he enjoys watching two seventeen-year-olds snog and –

"Come on, Lily," James said in a voice so quiet only she could hear. It caught her by surprise – for some reason, she always imagined James would be positively rejoicing if they found themselves in a situation like this…

James leaned in, kissing Lily. Her eyes widened for a moment until she closed them, putting one of her slightly shaking hands on his cheek, the other on his shoulder, while he positioned his hands around her waist.

It seemed, for a moment, that everything had disappeared from around them, but then the catcalls and whistles among the muttering and giggling brought them back to reality. Lily gently pulled away, distinctly hearing the laugh belonging to Alice.

"That," James whispered into Lily's ear, "was a bit more than a peck."

Lily blushed, "I'm sorry, I just… you were…"

"Not that I minded, of course," he continued, grinning broadly.

She smiled. "Care to find some more mistletoe?" she found herself asking him.

"I was thinking broom closet," James said, feigning a thoughtful look.

Lily playfully smacked his arm.

"Kidding," he said, grinning. "But seriously. Mistletoe? You read my mind."