Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not my own, and the haircut thing is not my own, but stolen from Grey's Anatomy.
Summary: Is it just a haircut? It's a very personal thing, getting your haircut, which implies a trust of the person doing the cutting. It's that kind of trust that can lead to having a certain, special kind of fun. L/J, one-shot, PG-13.
It's Just a Haircut
By Natali K. A.
"I'm going to give him a haircut," Lily Evans declared early one Sunday morning to the three Marauders seated before her. "It's driving me bonkers."
"Women," Sirius Black snorted, shaking his head as he popped a grape into his mouth. "Always trying to change a man. And she's not even dating him yet."
Lily blushed and glared at the black-haired man seated opposite her. She gave Remus Lupin a glare as well when he started chuckling.
"I don't have a clue why you included 'yet', as there will never be anything between Potter and me," she told him through gritted teeth. "So we've become friends, what's the big deal about that?"
"You're our friend now, too," Remus pointed out, ever the thoughtful one. "You weren't exactly chummy with us prior to this year."
Lily rolled her eyes. "Because you lot were a right bunch of pricks. Anyway, Remus, you and I got along pretty well, don't you think?"
"Yes, but we never spent time with each other outside of Prefect duties. It would have been awkward and decidedly odd," he concluded. "Peter, don't eat that off the floor, please. You're a man, not a rat."
"At least, not at the moment," James said, plopping down beside Lily with a happy smile on his face. "Who agrees it's too bloody early to be up on this wonderful Sunday?"
Sirius stared grumpily at him. "Your perkiness at this hour disgusts me, mate. No offense." He took a bite of his toast. "Lily's gonna give you a haircut."
James burst out laughing. "Alright, I'd like to see you try," he told him, eyes twinkling mischievously. "You'll find that my mop of hair tends to have a mind of its very own, and most times it's quite opposite to what I want."
"Poppycock," she told him. "It's just that your hair is positively driving me up a wall, James!" She reached out a hand to try to make it lie straight. "It's always sticking up at that annoying angle!"
Sirius and Remus both took in a sharp breath, causing James and Lily to look at them.
"What's that about?" James asked them.
"You've just moved into a whole other stage," Remus informed him seriously. "She's just taken your relationship into the 'Seemingly Innocent Touching' stage. Congrats, Prongs."
"Go fuck yourselves," Lily said, fighting to keep her hot and ever-ready temper under control. She stood up, taking a roll with her. "No, better yet, since you seem to find yourselves so amusing," she told the laughing pair, "fuck each other."
"Don't you love it when she gets feisty, James?" Sirius asked, guffawing into his goblet of milk. "You know redheads and those infamous tempers of theirs."
"You lot are idiots," he told them sourly. "Pass the orange juice, will you? You'd better apologize to her soon before she really gets riled up."
"You know she's not really upset," Sirius shrugged. "She's just embarrassed. If she's been hanging out with us for as long as she has and all it takes to really offend her is a remark like that, then she can't take the heat."
"Well, I really don't think she likes it," James told him, unable to make up his mind whether or not to follow her. He didn't really think she was too distraught over it. "We're just friends."
"And the haircut isn't just a reason to touch you and get up close and personal?" Remus asked with a raised eyebrow. "Listen, it might have been a bit crude of us, but you can't tell me that you don't agree with us. It's not just a haircut."
"We're just friends, as she's made clear to everyone, not just us four, on countless occasions." He pushed his plate away, appetite gone. "And you two being 'cute' isn't helping things any."
Sirius, Remus, and Peter shared a look between them. James just didn't see what they saw.
"Just don't get too discouraged, alright?" Sirius said finally. "She's coming around."
"She's our friend, and you're trying to muck things up," James hissed, grateful that everyone else in their house had decided to stay abed for a little while longer.
"There's no rule about friends getting friendly," Peter said softly.
James threw his napkin down. "It's just a haircut," he said firmly. "Apologize to her before the hour's up. I'm going for a jog."
"He's pissed," Remus muttered as he stomped off. "What set him off, do you think? He was in a spectacular mood earlier."
Sirius rubbed his temples. "I think we were insensitive. Poor lad just wants a chance to get in her pants." He cocked his head to the side. "That sort of rhymed, didn't it?"
"Sirius Black, you are a man of many talents," Remus said, rising too. "But diplomacy has never been one of those talents. I'm off to find our redhead."
Sirius groaned, dragging Peter off his bench as he stood. "Come on, Wormtail. We'll go, too."
"You wouldn't happen to know where I could find a brooding young redhead who wants to cut my hair, would you?" James asked, leaning against the tree Lily was sitting against. "Did they find you and apologize?"
"Yeah. And I'm not brooding."
He indulged her with a little nod. "Mind if I join you?"
"Find a piece of ground and join me."
He did just that, seating himself right next to her so that their arms touched.
"They really did feel bad about the whole mess this morning," Lily giggled. "I think they thought I was seriously out of sorts with them. I knew they were just teasing."
"I might have influenced them some there," James admitted. "You're a wonderful actress—had me going, too."
"Nah, I know their tune. They only say things they know they can get away with. Actually, I was surprised that Remus joined in—it was a bit more ballsy than his usual stuff." She absentmindedly braided her hair. "I really do plan on cutting your hair."
"How much do you want to bet that it will have grown back by tomorrow morning?" he asked, picking up a pebble by his butt and tossing it into the lake. "I'm willing to bet money, that's how sure I am. Only, being the gentleman that I am, I wouldn't be able to bring myself to collect from you."
She laughed. "Not a year ago you would have bet for a date."
"Firstly, you would never have accepted, and secondly, it's a sad day when James Potter has to stoop to the point where someone would be forced to go out with him."
"Don't talk about yourself in third person—it's eerie," she sighed, putting her head on his shoulder. She mentally kicked herself. She was becomingly increasingly comfortable with her new friend, and the boys' comments this morning had really brought it home. But if she removed her head now, that it had crossed her mind would be obvious.
"Hmm." He resisted the urge to place his own head on hers. That would definitely be obvious. "You seriously want to cut my hair?"
"Would you let me?" she laughed. "I'll admit that I don't have much experience with scissors, except that I trim my bangs every now and again."
"James Potter is so hot that no funky hair-do would deter the ladies," he chortled. "He is that irresistible."
"Irresistible indeed," she snorted, shoving playfully at him. "Cocky, too. Boy is that James Potter one cocky peacock."
"He currently fights the urge to make a crude joke," he muttered, closing his eyes as he let the breeze run over him. "But he shall restrain his hot self."
"Smokin'," Lily added. "Come on, then. If we're going to do this hair business, then I want to start straight away in case we need to find you a hat to cover it." She started to push herself up.
"Please, allow me," he said hurriedly, jumping up and offering her a hand, which she took. They jokingly swung their linked arms the entire walk up to the castle.
"Have a seat," she commanded him, pushing him down in front of the mirror in the Prefects' fifth floor bathroom. It was the only place she could think of where he'd be A) allowed, B) they'd get some privacy and C) a mirror was handy.
She picked up the sharp shears she'd found in her drawers (where they'd come from, she'd never know) and doused his hair with some water.
A little snip here, a little snip there… And bam, James Potter was trimmed and ready for action.
"See? You look spectacular," she assured him.
"That would imply that I didn't before."
"Shut it. I'm rather proud of myself, I do admit."
"Well, you had a fantastic model to work with. You could plop bird shit on my head and I'd still look… what was is? Smokin'?" He winked at her in the mirror. "No, really, it looks great."
She laughed. "I'll give you a trim every bloody day if I have to. That hair will no longer haunt me. I promise you that." She tucked a stray lock of his hair down. "You won't be able to fend off the girls for real now."
James didn't say anything, but a small part of him felt elated at the hint of a sigh in her voice when she'd said that last sentence.
The entire haircut ordeal became a bimonthly ritual. That's not to say that not even three days later that annoying little clump of hair didn't pop up to say hello to its biggest fan (that is, Lily), but it was much less noticeable.
Anyway, she was more than a few inches shorter than James, so she didn't have to worry about it much, unless he was seated and she was standing.
He made sure she sat down before he did, no matter were they were. (This, of course, induced teasing from the guys as James was becoming a bit… Erm, I believe the exact term was "ridiculously infatuated to the point of making a fool of oneself".)
About a month and a half after their first appointment, James and Lily were once again in the fifth floor bathroom, Lily snipping away at James' rapidly growing head of hair.
"You're quiet today," she remarked. "What's up?"
"Nothing," he replied, watching her closely in the mirror. In all honesty, she'd chosen to wear a most flattering fragrance that day and it was overwhelming. He couldn't even see straight. "You smell delicious."
"I'd forgotten I had it. I found it under my bed when I cleaned last night." She averted her gaze as she asked her next question. "You like it then?"
"Would I have said so if I felt otherwise?" He wondered whether he was overstepping some invisible line with his next words. "I heard that Hufflepuff idiot asked you out last night."
Lily jumped, eyes snapping up to meet his in the mirror. "There's no such thing as a secret in Hogwarts, is there?"
"Where'd you hear it?"
"Doesn't matter, does it?" How embarrassing it would be to have to admit that he'd been spying on the two of them when they'd taken a stroll on the grounds after dinner via Wormtail, who'd transformed into his Animagi form. "What'd you tell him?"
"Honestly? I told him I didn't see a reason to say no, but that I didn't see a reason to say yes either." She shrugged. "So we left it at that."
"You haven't had a boy toy in awhile. It's not like you."
"The same could be said for you, Mr. Curiosity."
He smiled charmingly. "Please, Sirius will always be my boy toy."
"I meant a girlfriend, you smart arse. You haven't even been scoping the female population of the school. I'm worried."
"Bloke's got to settle down eventually, no?"
She burst out into giggles. "James, you're not even near to twenty, and you're worrying about settling down? What's really on your mind?"
"Nothing," he repeated, in a fouler mood than before. He knew that she was a catch and that men everywhere were after what he considered his Lily. Yet he didn't want to place their friendship in danger just for a few dates and kisses.
"Huh. Fine," she shrugged. "I have days like that, too." After one more cut, she stood back, admiring her work. "Done. I've got to run though—a bunch of us are running down to Hogsmeade for a late lunch."
She ran out of the room, leaving him still in his chair. "Never occurred to you I might want to join, did it?" he grumbled.
The door opened suddenly. Lily stuck her head in.
"Hey, you don't want to come with us, do you?" she asked hurriedly. "I mean, I know it's not your usual group, but I thought you might be up for it."
He dropped his head to look at his hands, fighting the inclination to laugh at himself.
"Yeah, I… I didn't think so," she said, sounding a little let down. "I thought I'd ask anyway."
"No, no, I want to go!" he said, leaping off the chair.
She smiled brightly, making his breath catch. She really had wanted him to go. "Great. Just throw everything under the sink. We'll return for it later. If we're sober enough."
A few hours later, a giddy Lily and James stumbled back into the bathroom to collect their stuff. Lily was giggling madly and though she hadn't had a single drop of alcohol, she felt lightheaded and unable to control herself.
"Wasn't that so much fun?" she asked with a content sigh. "I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard."
James grinned at her, infusing every bit of charm into that smile as he could. He felt spontaneous and dangerous in this current mood.
"Sirius will never forgive us," he told her solemnly. "We had too much fun without him."
"Eh, some kinds of fun shouldn't be shared with friends," she giggled, blushing after realizing what she'd said. "No, I didn't mean—"
He stalked toward her, forcing her to sit in the chair. "What kinds of fun, Lily?" he asked in a soft voice. Reckless. He was feeling reckless, spontaneous, and dangerous.
Terrible mix. James Potter was irresistible when he felt like that.
"I hadn't meant that kind of fun," she whispered, his face just inches from hers. Kiss me, she thought. Just give me a sodding kiss, you fool. You know you want to. "We don't have that kind of fun."
Contrary to what she'd shot for, the last few words had come out as a question. She dearly hoped he didn't feel the need to have it answered.
"No, we don't, do we?" He backed off, giving her room to breathe. She was oddly dissatisfied. She had thought he would kiss her. She wanted him to kiss her.
Kiss me, she asked him silently. Just do it.
"Look, that annoying hair's back. Sit down. I'm going to fix it," she ordered.
"One of these days, Lily, you're going to do one snip too many, and I'll walk around with horrid hair for weeks." But he sat down nonetheless, eyes twinkling mischievously.
"It's just a second, relax. We're so bad. Head Boy and Girl should be in bed by… Er, must be about two now, right?"
They fell into a comfortable silence as she moistened the patch of hair she'd be working on. She was just about to inform him that she'd finished when...
Lily was startled as his hand reached up to gently grab her arm.
"What?" she asked him in the mirror. The look he was giving her was one she'd seen often, whenever he was trying to seduce some girl. This time, he was seducing her.
He tugged on her arm a bit, so that she leaned forward to look at him.
"We could have that kind of fun," he said tenderly. Somehow, it didn't sound piggish when he said it. "I would like for us to have that kind of fun."
"Yes, James, I know. You like having that kind of fun with a lot of girls." She inwardly winced. Though she knew he wasn't really like that, the fact that he'd slept around previously hadn't escaped her mind. James was no virgin, even if he didn't indulge in as much "fun" as everyone claimed.
"But I specifically want to have that kind of fun with you. Just you." A hand rose from his lap to cradle her neck as he brought her head down within reach of his full lips.
She wouldn't be able to restrain herself. No matter how many times she'd told herself they were "just friends" and all that pile of shit, she knew that there was a deep sexual attraction between them, one she definitely didn't feel for regular friends.
"Any of that kind of fun that you dish out I want reserved for me," he conveyed. "I am a very jealous man, Lily. It's one of my faults."
"I know. You almost strangled that Hufflepuff when he asked me out. I didn't think I should be the one to point it out. You seem happy in your jealousy."
He shook his head, directing her so that she walked around the chair and had a seat on his lap. Funny how it never occurred to her to resist.
"I won't be happy until I know that I can die with the taste of you on my lips," he whispered, swooping down and capturing her lips in a soft kiss. She hadn't even had time to gasp.
"It really was just a haircut," she insisted once they broke apart. "I didn't have any evil designs on your lips or anything otherwise. But after Sirius and Remus dropped the hint that they didn't think we were just friends, I couldn't help thinking… Well, we get along pretty well, don't you think?"
"I'm sorry. Were we talking? I don't find myself capable of coherent conversation right now," he revealed, wrapping his arms around her waist. "And I know that in about two minutes, I will force myself to let you go and we'll walk up to the Tower, where I'll suffer for nights to come."
She gave him a small smile, shaking her head. He was more capable of coherent thought than she was at the moment. His lips really were as soft as she'd thought them.
"If tomorrow," he began to say, "you want to forget this ever happened… Tell me now so I can prepare myself to wallow in my misery and self-pity."
She didn't respond immediately, but instead stood and held out her hand. "Let's go to bed, James. It's late."
"Yeah," he agreed, cursing himself for being kind and understanding. He'd be damned if she thought he'd just forget about whatever had happened tonight.
Tonight they'd connected, and laughed like two old friends who would never get tired of each other. And although they'd been out with her friends, it had almost seemed like they were the only two in the world.
He wanted that kind of connection. That and he was so tired of lusting after her. He wanted her to be his.
But James Potter—being the enigma that he is—didn't say a word of what he was thinking and allowed himself to be taken "to bed", as she'd put it.
Only when James went to drop her hand to go up his set of stairs, she held on tighter.
"Where do you think you're going without me?" she asked, a siren's smiling on her face.
"Err… Bed?" he asked stupidly. "I-I thought—"
She silenced him with a finger. "See, that's the problem right there." She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a peck on the lips. "Tonight there will be no thinking," she whispered. "Our kind of fun does not involve thinking."
"Bloody hell," he groaned, pressing her to him and enveloping her.
Picking her up, he carried her up to the Seventh Year Boys' Dormitory where they tumbled onto his bed, shut the hangings, and proceeded to talk all night long.
Yeah. Right. That kind of fun does not compare.
Early the next morning when Sirius joined Remus at the breakfast table, they shared a look. Both were aware of the fact that the last time they'd heard from James, he'd been off to get his haircut from Lily. They were also aware that James did not return before midnight (when they'd decided to tuck in for the night) and that his hangings had been shut this morning.
Both had noticed that the scissors used to cut James' hair had been thrown haphazardly onto the floor. It usually stayed with Lily.
"Well, we did say it wasn't just a haircut, didn't we?" Sirius mumbled. "I love it when I'm right."
Remus chuckled, shaking his head. "Pass the jam. We need our energy to tease them all day long. If they get up any time soon, that is."
Sirius passed him the jam. "They'll never live this down."
And that was a promise.
A/N: Well, I've been working on this for a couple days now, having gotten the idea from Grey's Anatomy—one of the very best shows ever! If you're a devoted watcher as I am, you'll know which part that was. Just so that no one thinks I was smart enough to come up with the haircut thing on my own (though I do believe I made it my own…?).
Oh, I also stole that whole "I want to die with the taste of you on my lips" thing from Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce. Read her. She is wonderful.
Read, review, love. Or just love.