Disclaimer: Yes, I own this crappy piece, and yes, I'm sure you're glad you don't own it.
Author's Notes: I'm truly sorry for how awful this is, I really am. I just can't for the life of me write a dialogue. So once again, sorry.
All It Took Was a Gal
James Potter studied the girl across from him. She was pretty, he had to admit; that was probably the reason he asked her to drinks in the first place.
Her name was Anna Hagerman. She had straw blonde hair in a single French braid that reached to her mid-back; it looked very soft as it shimmered in the light of the Three Broomsticks. Her cobalt blue eyes caught his hazel and she smiled, flashing a set of tiny white teeth. A few wisps of hair had escaped her braid and fallen around her round, cheery face, her cheeks glowing pink.
"So," said James, breaking the silence of two near-strangers, "you said you lived around here?"
"Yes," she replied, her German accent shining through. "Two of my friends and I have a home right outside the village."
James smiled. "Odd. So does a friend of mine."
"Really?" Anna said, looking surprised. "I wonder why I've never seen you before."
"I don't come into the village often," he said with a shrug.
"I practically live here. I've been working at Madam Malkin's the last few months," she elaborated.
"Ahh, so you must be the pretty blonde my friend was going on about," said James with a laugh.
She joined him, her voice tinkling as she laughed. "I must meet this friend of yours sometime, James," she said. "He sounds precious."
James chuckled. "I wouldn't go so far as to say precious, but I'm sure he'd love to meet you as well."
A lull fell over the conversation as Rosmerta came bustling over.
"James, my favorite costumer!" she exclaimed. "And… Anna?" She sounded somewhat incredulous. "Why James, I never imagined you to see any other gal than Lily Evans!"
"Rosmerta," muttered James, looking thoroughly embarrassed, "Lily Evans and I were never seeing each other."
The barmaid frowned. "But I could've sworn I saw you in here with her just last weekend."
"Just Heads' duties, Rosie," he said, "We'd figured that it was time for a scenery change and we came here… to see you, of course," he added.
She shrugged him off with a wave of her hand but her pleased smile gave her away. "So, what can I get my two best-paying costumers?"
"I'll have a butterbeer," said James, "and Anna will have…?"
Mead, if you would, Rosmerta." She flashed the other woman a gleaming smile.
"Right away, dears," said the barmaid, before hustling off to fetch their drinks.
Anna grinned at him for a moment. "I didn't know you were still in school…."
"My last year," said James. "What about you? I don't remember you from Hogwarts."
"That's because I never went to Hogwarts," she said. "I went to school in Germany. We have a small wizarding academy there." She smiled fondly.
"Really? What's it called?" asked a curious James.
She smiled secretively at him and tapped her nose. "Not allowed to tell you that. Classified information."
She gave a bit of a laugh before changing the subject. "So tell me then, if you don't mind my asking, how old are you?"
"I'll be eighteen in two months' time," he said, handing Rosmerta a few coins as she placed the drinks in front of them. They both thanked the woman, who winked at them.
"And you?" he asked, then added, "If you don't mind my asking, that is."
"Twenty-first birthday just last month," Anna clarified.
"Really? You don't look twenty-one at all. You're quite sure you're that old?" he inquired.
She giggled. "Yes, James, I'm quite positive that I'm twenty-one."
"'Cos you know, on might tend to forget," James went on exaggeratedly. "Why, this one time that mate of mine I've told you about—Sirius is his name—sat up stock straight in the middle of the night and called out to me, 'James, mate how old am I?' And I told him he ought to sod off so I could go back to sleep, but then he told me off foe being wrong. 'You twit!' he said, 'I just turned eighteen!' And then, if I recall correctly," said James, barely able to contain his laughter, "I told him that if he didn't shut his gob I'd stuff his foot up his left nostril and give his gift to Lily Evans."
"And what did he do?" asked Anna, in between fits of giggling.
"He was completely gobsmacked, of course," James said, shaking his head fondly at the memory. "I think he was more concerned about me giving his gift to a girl rather than the thought of his foot up his conk."
Anna giggled and shook her head like James, her braid twisting and jumping from side to side.
Eager to keep the conversation going, James burst out with: "So, what's Quidditch to you?"
She gave a sigh. "The Harriers are doing less than I'd hoped this year."
"I'd say the same, but the Prides are doing rather splendid this year," said James, grinning. "Though I do hear that Catriona McCormack is retiring this year."
Anna nodded sympathetically and took a sip of her mead. James did the same with his butterbeer; over the base of his upturned bottle he noticed something that nearly made him shower his date in warm butterbeer.
"James, what is it?" asked Anna concernedly.
"Nothing, it's nothing," choked out James, still sputtering, his eyes locked not on Anna but rather the figure sitting a few feet in he booth behind her.
Not a very subtle person herself, Anna ignored the still-coughing James and turned to see what had caused him to be so uncomfortable.
In the booth behind her were four people: a very pretty girl accompanied by three young men her age. They were all talking animatedly to Rosmerta at the same time. Anna assumed that it was the girl who had caused James the trouble rather than the three boys.
She turned back to James to find him exceedingly pink. He gestured to this bottle of butterbeer. "I choked."
Anna cracked a grin and shook her head. "Now really, who is she?" she said, tossing a thumb in the direction behind her.
"Er… what?" asked James. He almost got away innocent except for the fact that his cheeks were turning progressively pinker the longer she scrutinized him.
"Who's the girl that nearly caused you to choke and die?" she asked again.
"Erm…" He was extremely pink now as he took a sloppy mouthful of his butterbeer, almost sloshing some down his front.
Anna popped an eyebrow at him.
He sighed and mumbled, "Her… her name is Lily Evans."
"The Lily Evans you were never seeing?"
"Er—yeah… she's the one," he muttered, still looking thoroughly embarrassed as he avoided her gaze.
"It's alright, James," cooed Anna, suddenly taking pity on the younger man. "You don't have to be embarrassed; I don't mind."
"But I do," he said with a sigh. "I'm here to have a good time with you, not think about Lily Evans."
"You obviously can't help it," Anna pointed out to him.
He leaned in dramatically. "You'd think that after so long I'd be able to help it, but… I just can't," he finished, looking dejected.
"If you don't mind me asking," she said softly, "but how long, exactly?"
"Three years, three months, and six days," he said without batting an eyelash.
He nodded curtly.
"That's a long time."
He nodded again.
"Well, haven't you asked her out yet?" Anna asked, confused.
"Of course I have!" exclaimed James, effectively gaining the attention of the four people at the table next to theirs.
"Oi, Prongs!" cried Sirius Black, having just noticed the two. "Hey, and pretty blonde from Madam Malkin's!" He stuck his hand out across the space between the two tables and she shook it. "Sirius Black," he introduced.
"Anna Hagerman," she said, giggling.
James gave her an apologetic shrug before introducing the other three: "Peter Pettigrew, Remus Lupin, and Lily Evans."
Anna took a moment to study the girl. Dark red hair, bright green eyes, a shy disposition… it was no wonder why James was attracted to her; she was extremely pretty.
"Potter," said the girl, "I didn't know you had a date." She ended with a smirk. So much for shy, noted Anna.
He frowned. "Neither did I. Anna and I met at Zonko's and decided to grab a drink. She's pretty and willing to go out with me so I figured, why not?"
He must have touched a nerve, Anna decided, for the girl simply frowned and sank lower into her seat.
"You think I'm pretty?" Anna asked, quite surprised that he'd said that when the girl he'd fancied for so long was sitting across from him.
"Well, yeah," he said, shrugging. "You are."
A stiff silence fell over the group in which the three young men began whispering together, Lily glared openly at James, James glared at his butterbeer for giving him away, and Anna watched back and forth between Lily and James.
"So Lily," Anna said, trying a stab at conversation with the girl, "James tells me you're Head Girl."
"What? Oh, yes, I am," she said coolly, keeping herself occupied by playing with her bottle of butterbeer.
"You two come in her often, then?"
"For Head duties strictly," Lily shot back.
"But of course," she replied, raising her eyebrows humouredly, something that Lily missed. Anna turned toward James, who was frowning dejectedly.
Suddenly Lily's three tablemates stood up.
"Well, we're off to the Shrieking Shack," said Sirius merrily, motioning to the two boys behind him. "Nice to meet you, Anna, and we'll see you later, Prongs."
"Wait!" said Lily, sounding affronted. "You're just going to leave me here all alone?"
"You're welcome to come with us if you'd like," offered Remus Lupin kindly.
She wrinkled her nose. "You know I don't fancy a walk there, Remus. That place gives me the shivers."
"Then I'm sure you'll be fine here," said Sirius quickly, grabbing onto the arms of his two companions and dragging them through the bar. "Oh, and Prongs? You want to pick up the tab for us, mate?"
James gave a sigh as his friends abandoned him. "I'd be glad to," he muttered, reaching into his pocket.
But as he went to drop the coins on the table, he noticed the charge had already been taken care of by one Lily Evans.
"Evans, you don't have to pay," said James, pushing the money back at her.
"I bought a drink too," she said, frowning. "Why shouldn't I pay?"
"Really, you don't have to pay for my friends as well; I'll do it," James countered, walking over to her table.
"They're my friends too, you know," said Lily, now standing as well.
"But really, there's no reason for you to pay for them," he reasoned.
"Why ever not? Why aren't I allowed to pay for some drinks with my friends?" She was glowering now.
"Look, Evans, just sit down and have your drink," James said, taking her by the arm. "I'd be glad to pay."
She pulled her arm away. "I will not sit down and you will not pay," she said, poking him in the chest with each not. "I want to pay and that's final."
"Evans," said James wearily, pinching the bridge of his nose, "I'm trying to be chivalrous here and do something nice. Why won't you just let me pay?"
"Oh, so now I need James Potter to buy drinks for me as well?" she said, her eyes bright and glaring.
"That's not what I said—"
"Why don't you just go back to your date, Potter," she spat, plunking down in her chair and giving him another glare.
He winced, remembering the fact that he still was indeed on a date. "Fine," he said curtly, and sat back down across from Anna. He shifted in his chair before saying, "Look, I'm terribly sorry about all this. I'm sure you'd have much rather found some other bloke to go out with who didn't complain to you about girls or have his friends following him around—"
She cut him off. "James, its fine. But I—er—I reckon it's about time I left. But… but good luck, yeah?" She gathered her purse and smoothed out her skirt before planting a small kiss on his cheek and hurrying out of the bar. Frankly, she was glad to be out of there.
James drained the last of his bottle of butterbeer before flagging down Rosmerta, who, on sighting his crestfallen face, muttered a quick "I'll be back" and rushed over to the counter. She returned the two hot mugs of butterbeer and placed one in front of James.
She settled herself across from him and put on her best motherly expression. "Now, James, dear, tell me what's wrong."
He motioned vaguely behind her and she turned around to meet a pair of icy eyes. She nodded and she turned back to him. "Ahh… I see."
He took a sip of the butterbeer and sighed.
Rosmerta wrinkled her nose in frustration before saying, "Let's here the whole story then."
Without a wink of protest, James told her the whole story of his Hogsmeade visit in a monotonous voice. His eyes, however, shimmered with emotion.
"You know what it sounds like to me?" whispered Rosmerta, leaning over the now-empty mugs after James had finished his tale. "It's sounds as if she doesn't fancy you going out with other gals."
He frowned. "You're saying she might be—jealous?"
Rosmerta leaned back and gave a satisfied smirk, nodding.
Contrary to her hoped-for reaction, he shook his head. "Impossible. She doesn't fancy me. Bugger, she doesn't even like me!"
Rosmerta threw her head back where James saw Lily suddenly look away, as if she had been watching him. He looked back to Rosmerta, appearing honestly perplexed.
She gave a short huff. "I have to get back to work now, dear, but you plop your bum down next to her and I'll see what I can do for you on some drinks."
She gave him an encouraging nod as he got up from the table and trudged over to Lily. He glared at Rosmerta's turned back before "plopping his bum down next to her," as the barmaid had suggested.
Neither of the teenagers acknowledged the other as they stared at the seat James had just occupied. They sat like this as Rosmerta delivered them two steaming butterbeers, and even after the steam had long been gone from their mugs, the silence still remained.
Suddenly James spoke, his eyes still anywhere but Lily. "I'm sorry, you know. I didn't know it would bother you."
"It doesn't bother me," was her snippy reply.
"Then I'm sure this'll do the trick," he muttered, and leaned over and placed a small kiss on her lips. It was done so quickly that neither of them even had a chance to close their eyes, leaving them to stare into the other's.
He pulled back as quickly as he had leaned in and folded his arms across his chest. "Sorry," he muttered gruffly.
She snorted. "No, you're not. You're not sorry at all. You meant to do that."
She gave a nonchalant shrug. "All right."
James shifted in his seat beside her. "Would you hate me terribly if I did it again?"
There was silence for a second, then: "Not terribly."
"Oh." He was still for a moment, as if mustering up the courage to do so. He leaned forward and pecked her on the lips again.
He adjusted himself in his seat again, his ears noticeably pinker now. She gave a slight laugh.
"I'm afraid I'm never going to be able to brag to the girls about your amazing kissing abilities if I never experience them, you know," she said lightly, a trace of humor in her voice.
"I take it I'm forgiven then?" he ventured.
"I suppose you'll have to be," she muttered, and smiled against his lips as he kissed her again.
FIN. I don't mind if you tell me how awful it is, just please review. And if you do feel the need to say it's not all that good, say it nicely! ;D
I don't mind if you tell me how awful it is, just please review. And if you do feel the need to say it's not all that good, say it nicely! ;D