Lessons in Relaxing

A/N: Just felt like writing a one shot… Enjoy.

Lily sat by the Gryffindor fire with books sprawled about around her. It was late and she was the only one in the common room, the way she liked it. Lily knew from personal experience that studying was much easier without huddles of girls giggling around her or the Marauders making the cushions behave in unnatural and rude ways.

Turning the page, she heard the sound of the door open and the shuffles of someone making their way over to a nearby chair. Looking up, Lily watched James Potter, quidditch robes and all, plop onto the red velvet and kick his shoes off. With a loud (and rather obnoxious) sigh he began to massage his temples.

When he did not say anything, she asked in an annoyed whisper, "What are you doing?"

In between massaging his sweat and mud strewn face, he said simply, "It's called relaxing, Lils. You should try it sometime."

"Well, do you mind relaxing somewhere else? I'm trying to study."

"Oh sorry," Lily noted the sarcasm, "Am I intruding upon your ten foot bubble?"

Lily rolled her eyes and bent down over her book again, trying desperately to finish the sentence without becoming distracted by the sweet, masculine smell of grass and James Potter.

She had managed to successfully read one paragraph when she felt the urge, no the need, to say something to him. "What'd you mean, I never relax?" She hissed.

James, who had been lying down completely and looked relatively comfortable, flicked one eye open. "Well…" he said with a yawn, "it is a Saturday night at three in the morning and, while you could be partying in your dorms or sleeping, you choose to sit alone in the common room to study." He made an emphasis on the word study as though it were vile and repulsive.

"I am quite capable of doing otherwise, you know."

James looked mildly amused. "Oh, yes. I'm sure you're just as eager as I am to sneak out of the castle for a few firewhiskeys."

"Drinking is not the only form of relaxation." Lily said pointedly and James mumbled, "Too right you are…"

Ignoring James' perverse intrusion, she continued. "I do read often."

James snorted, "Reading doesn't count!"

"Why not? It can be really enjoyable, actually!"

"Because reading and studying are too close in the field of stressors!"

Lily raised an eyebrow. "Just because Potter's never picked up a book doesn't mean it can't be fun."

"I have read before, Lily, and I can think of a million other things I would rather do."

"Like what?" She snarled. Lily was starting to take his bash of books as a personal insult.

"Play quidditch, for one thing"

"Flying around on sticks and chasing little balls sounds MUCH more relaxing than reading a book…"

"Two: sleep."

"…While there's piles of homework to do?"

"Three: hang out with the Marauders."

"And hex people? Is that a stress reliever for you Potter? No other way to take out your anger?"

"Four: go to Hogsmede."

"Yeah, to snog fourth years senseless…"

"Hey! I do have an age limit, thank you very much. I never make the move on fourth years or below. But, if they insist…"

"You're sick."

"Come on, Lily. Are you honestly saying studying is more fun than kissing?"

"I didn't say that!" She was starting to flush a bit around her neck, "Just the way you and your friends go about it is disgusting."

"You have to admit, I've calmed down a lot. It's just… boys will be boys…"

There was an uncomfortable silence, then, "You have kissed, haven't you."

Lily nodded, a little too vigorously. "I mean… well… sort of."

Stifling a grin, James asked, "Sort of?"

"I've… you know, kissed but not snogged per say…"

With a shift in the weight on the couch, James slowly approached her and Lily's heart fluttered unnaturally beneath her robes. It suddenly felt hot. Very hot.

Chuckling quietly, he added, "No wonder you're so tense."

James continued to walk over to Lily, who was now perched a bit on the edge of the couch. What was he doing?

Bent on his knees so he was at eye-level with her, his hand inched towards the small of her back and he was now so close that she could feel his breath on her face. In a scruffy, hollow voice he managed, "May I?"

Lily didn't respond. How could she? James Potter was cupping her cheeks with his hands –his rough, yet gentle quidditch hands— and she was having some problems breathing, let alone forming coordinated sounds.

Slowly, James' lips played with her own, coyly tracing around her mouth before actually touching. Feeling a strange, yet not unpleasant, vulnerability in her abdomen, she reached up and lightly pressed her hands to his shoulders. Carefully, she felt his mouth open and his tongue touch her bottom lip. Trembling, she allowed his tongue in and mimicked the sliding in his mouth.

After a few minutes of this, Lily found herself crouched by James on the floor. Her hands slid perfectly up his neck and began playing with his hair. Breathing heavily and feeling James' warm arms snug around her, Lily realized that she would be studying considerably less from now on.

A/N: Short and simple. I thought it was sort of cute…