Disclaimer: Don't own it. Stole the idea from Smallville. And I promise I'm working on the next Shirt Story! It'll come out very, very soon, I swear!


Lily tapped her quill against the table. Repeatedly.

Nothing. James ignored her.

Eye twitching, she let her foot join in the tapping.




Nothing. James continued to ignore her.

Lily pointedly cleared her throat, an obvious indication that she was annoyed and wanted attention right now.

And James? He continued to ignore her.

The tapping of her quill increased as she tried to bore a hole into James' head. His lips quirked. AAH! He was ignoring on her on purpose! Either that or he was too bloody engrossed in his Transfiguration essay to pay her any mind.

This did not make for a happy Head Girl.

"James?" Lily asked sweetly.

"Mm?" he murmured in response, not tearing his eyes away from his essay.

"Merlin, James, when you said let's study you actually meant study!" she exploded. He finally looked at her.

"Well, doesn't let's study usually mean let's study?"

"Not coming from you it doesn't," she complained.

"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, running a hand through his messy hair. "I thought you'd like to study, Lily. You're always complaining about how spending time with me takes away from homework time, and with N.E.W.T.S approaching that's bad. I figured this way we could be together and be productive, making you positively happy."

Shows what he knows. Pfft. Stupid boy. "But you're ruining the system," she said in a tone that was suspiciously close to whining, but not actual whining because Lily Evans, Head Girl, did not whine.

"The system?" James asked dubiously.

"Yes, The System, and don't take that tone with me, mister," Lily sniffed.

"Er…And the system is…?"

"The System is The System!" she exclaimed. "It's the way things are! Set in stone! Tradition! Unchangeable! And yet here you are, trying to change it! You can't do that, James!"


"When I say 'let's study,' I mean let's sit down together, preferably in the Library, and learn theories and useless facts and write essays until our brains rot! When you say let's study, you mean let's have a secret snogging session that will render us breathless and nearly comatose! You are not allowed to say 'let's study' and actually mean it! That just goes against the code! I am the responsible one in the relationship. I enforce the work ethic and make sure homework gets completed! You are the scamp always trying to find a fun way out of doing work. You are not allowed to change things up on me. It's. Wrong."

James blinked, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He looked positively adorable when he did that. Lily could just melt. Could? She wanted to, wanted to melt all over him, and in fact had planned on doing just that before James showed a sudden aptitude for studying. Honestly, work? Her Potter? He must have gone and bumped his head in his most recent Quidditch practice. That was the only possible explanation.


"Well, I didn't know you felt that way, Head Girl, but I still have to write this essay. It's due tomorrow, you know. You should write your own."



"I wrote mine over the weekend. Otherwise I would have suggested studying and we wouldn't be in this unhappy predicament, now, would we?"

"The right answer here is no, isn't it?"


"You know, Lils, I never thought I'd see the day when you got mad at anyone, least of all me, for wanting to study instead of pander around."

Lily fixed him with a pointed stare. "Well now you've seen everything, haven't you?"

"Well, there's something else I wouldn't mind seeing, but I think you'd hex me something bad if I even suggested it."


…But it was nice to know some things wouldn't change (most likely ever).

Giving her a devilishly handsome grin, James turned back to his work and continued writing.

Lily's right eye twitched.

She could not let this go. If she let him change The System, then who knew what else he might try and change! He might try and make the role of Head Boy into a prankster that nobody took seriously. He might try and purposefully get on Slughorn's good side! He might try and eat off silver instead of gold plates at the Halloween feast (never mind that it was January and they would never spend another Halloween at Hogwarts again)!

Her boyfriend was honestly trying to give her a hernia.

"I'm as good as throwing myself at you—and this is the closest you'll ever get to me doing that—and you just want to write an essay? Unbelievable. James Potter turned down his girlfriend, the redheaded menace he's been after for years, for an essay. For a sodding essay! One he could probably write with his eyes closed!"

"Are you done yet?" he asked, amusement colouring his voice.

"Yes. I'm just going to pout in the corner now." She made to move but he caught her wrist and pulled her into his lap, his mouth covering hers. All speech and coherent thought were thrown out the window as the much sought after snogging session took place.

An unidentifiable amount of time later, James pulled back, his hair messier than usual (was that even possible?), glasses askew, and cheeks flushed. Lily was sure her own cheeks were just as flushed as she breathed heavily, looking up at her wonderful boyfriend from her comfy perch in his lap.

"You know me, never one to disappoint," he said once he could gather enough air to speak. "Just got to know the rules so I can play the game." He grinned. "Although now that I know the rules, I might just ask for a few more study sessions than usual."

Lily held up a finger. "Only so long as I get my fair share in, too. N.E.W.T.S are fast approaching."

"Yes, ma'am," he replied with a salute. "Wouldn't want to mess up the system by making it too one-sided and unbalanced."

"Of course not. Balance is good."

"One for one."

"A time and a place for everything."

"I really want to study more now."

They continued studying, James' Transfiguration essay long forgotten. All in all, it was a nice system, really.

Very nice.