A/N: Final exams are absolutely killing me, but I still found time to write this one shot… mostly because I was having a bad case of hiccups which prevented me from doing anything productive socially or academically. So, please enjoy! And review if you feel inclined to do so (which I hope you do).
Disclaimer: Most assuredly not mine.Hiccups
She sat on the stairs to Hogwarts Castle, and the whipping wind that bounded over the grounds chilled her to the bone. So, Lily Evans, sitting on the stairs, with bones chilling quickly, decided it was high time to return to the Halloween Eve Feast.
Pushing herself up from the cool stone steps, she took in a great sigh and turned her eyes skyward briefly.
It wasn't that she completely disliked Halloween, or that she completely disliked feasts. It was simply that she wasn't in the mood. A girl could just not be in the mood once and a while. Surely such feelings didn't have to incite one's best friend to cast worried glances at her. And surely, surely it didn't mean that when she stood up to leave, every head around her at her house table must turn in her direction and wonder where on Earth Lily was heading to when such a corking spread was laid out before her.
But her current mood, or lack there of, had indeed caused such occurrences, and Lily was regretting her reappearance in the Great Hall.
When she had entered the castle, and stood outside of the warmly lit Great Hall, listening to the cacophony of revelers within, she hiccupped.
A small hiccup, granted, but a hiccup nevertheless. As soon as it was done, she smacked a hand to her head. Curse those dratted hiccups! They were a constant plague upon her.
Waking up in the morning, she always hiccupped.
Going to sleep at night, it was done so with a hiccup.
The moment before greeting her peers, she hiccupped.
In the middle of an exam, she always hiccupped.
Her nightly patrols filled the corridors with polite, girlish hiccups, stifled behind her hand, lest anyone should hear her.
And when she sat in the stands of the quidditch pitch, brooms, bludgers, and occasionally a golden snitch rushing just past her nose, of course, Lily Evans hiccupped.
They were not the loud kind, nor were they the kind that made one jump and gasp for air. Neither were they the type that sent one tittering, and waiting for the next hiccup to erupt. They were just simple little hiccups, and they served the immense service of reminding Lily that she was, indeed, alive.
A physician had said it was normal. Her mother told her it was endearing. Professor Dumbledore had told her it was sign of wisdom. Her best friend told her it was odd. Lily thought they were just plain annoying.
She didn't need to be reminded that she was alive, thank you very much. She realized her current physical state of aliveness quite often!
But curse Merlin's large, pointed cap if the foyer outside of the Great Hall wasn't ringing with her accursed hiccups. Rolling her eyes, Lily stamped her feet as she hiccupped once more.
Then, quite suddenly, she heard someone coming, his or her footsteps slapping quietly against the shiny floor. Surprised that there were others not enjoying the corking spread of the Halloween Feast, she ducked into the shadows. The last thing she was in the mood for was to be berated by a professor for standing outside of the Great Hall lurking.
Standing in the shadows, she stared out as James Potter wandered by, stuffing his wand into one of the pockets on his robe. Lily wondered why James, one of the most popular prats in Hogwarts, was standing outside of the Great Hall, staring in, as she had been moments before. If anyone could be accused of lurking, it certainly would have been James.
Lily slapped a hand over her mouth, stifling another hiccup, and mentally tallied up all of the times she had personally found him lurking in a corridor. She was just reaching twenty-three when something extraordinary happened. A hiccup sounded in the foyer outside of the Great Hall, and it hadn't come from Lily.
She snapped her eyes quickly to the figure that was James. He was roughly shaking his head and rubbing his mouth. Running a hand through his shaggy black hair, he let out a string of curses, ending with the distinct words of "bloody hiccups".
Lily's bright green eyes went wide. Surely, surely James Potter did not have a case of hiccups!
James gave another loud hiccup, followed by a string of curse words, and remained standing outside of the Great Hall, presumably waiting for his attack to end.
Lily had never really thought much of James. He was loud, obnoxious, too smart for someone who never studied, was always asking her out, and he had an unusual fondness for taking the mickey on her. In the past, she had had some very heated discussions with the boy, but as it was their seventh year, the debates had dwindled to mutual awkwardness and seeming indifference.
But now? Well, now James was hiccupping right in front of her! Lily didn't like to overanalyze things, but her mind wouldn't stop chirping in with the annoying question of "What did it all mean?"
Lily had a very clear opinion of what it all meant, and she took a breath, stepped boldly out of the shadows, and cleared her throat.
James snapped his head around so fast, it looked as if he were set to loose it. "Ev—Evans. What're you d—doing?" He stuttered.
"Case of the hiccups, James?" Lily asked, feigning a scoffing look.
"Er, yes. Bit of one. They come now and then, you know."
"I'm sure they do," Lily sneered. "I hear sugar helps."
"Yes," he replied slowly, obviously uncomfortable with the fact that Lily was well on her way to teasing him mercilessly. "But I've tried that, and it didn't seem to work well."
"Ah. Well, poor ickle-Jamsie-poo is destined to suffer then, eh?" Lily said, and James narrowed his eyes and tried, unsuccessfully, to gulp down another hiccup.
"Aye, Evans. You're right. Ickle me is just going to have to suffer. Now why aren't you at the feast? Why are you lurking out here in the hall way?"
Lily rolled her eyes. "I'm not lurking, James. I'm getting some fresh air. Too many people trying to talk to me at once, you know. All those boys—it can quite overwhelm a girl," she said.
James squinted at her and looked away. Lily had the feeling she had struck a cord. She wasn't sure why she was being so very rude to the boy. All she knew was that she was getting a very perverse pleasure from seeing James Potter so embarrassed. Her own hiccups had all but diminished, and she'd nearly forgotten about her own problem until—
She hiccupped. Once. And loudly.
As soon as it escaped her mouth, she slapped her hand over her face. James' narrowed eyes widened, and his face broke into a grin.
"Case of the hiccups, Lily?" He asked.
Lily let out a groan and said, "Bit of one, yes."
James was giving her a cheeky grin, and Lily continued sheepishly, "Actually, bit of a hypocrite, aren't I?"
He shrugged his shoulders and said, "No one likes hiccup attacks, except probably my mum. She says they're endearing."
Lily gulped, and hiccupped once more. Hadn't her mother said the same thing? "That's what my mum says, too—that they're 'endearing'. Although, my friends say it's odd."
James looked away from Lily, and mumbled, "So do mine…the right group of wankers."
Lily hiccupped, and James took a breath, which quickly turned into a hiccup. Things were getting awkward once more.
Then, at exactly the same time, they said, "I just think they're annoying."
Lily and James both colored and sent each other amused, but still awkward, glances. Lily couldn't remember the last time she had had such a long conversation with James Potter. She'd always skived off when it came to paying James much attention. But come to think of it, the conversation she was currently participating in wasn't that bad. In fact, James Potter wasn't that bad.
"Er, listen Evans—er, Lily. D'you maybe—" Began James, before Lily cut him off.
She'd had enough of James Potter asking her out. Now, well now it was her turn.
"James," she said with a hiccup, "I think that we should go into that feast and try to rid our hiccups by downing large quantities of sugar. Who knows, it might even work!Do you concur?"
James grinned, and started to say something, but he choked on a hiccup. So, instead, he nodded and put his hand out. After staring at it for am moment, and realizing that things weren't quite awkward anymore, Lily took it. Together they walked through the doors of the Great Hall, each feeling the other's hiccups in their clasped hands.
And to make things even better, Lily was suddenly in the mood for a very good Halloween Eve Feast.