Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the amazingly talented J.K Rowling! I'm only borrowing the characters and world that she has so brilliantly created.
"Expected" a oneshot
Inspired by real events between my best friend and her boyfriend when we were sixteen.
James Potter sat in Transfiguration tapping his quill on his desk in an inpatient manner. Glancing at the clock, he inwardly groaned as he saw that only three minutes had passed since the last time he had checked.
Leaning back in his chair slightly and looking around Sirius, James watched Lily Evans as she took notes. Sirius glanced at James and rolled his eyes, but James ignored his best friend in favor of watching Lily.
She was hunched over her desk diligently taking notes, her fiery red hair hanging in her eyes. Reaching up to tuck back the loose strands, she seemed to feel his gaze and looked his way. Not the least embarrassed at being caught watching her, James merely smiled and mouthed "Hi".
To his great delight, she smiled back and raised the hand holding her quill in a kind of wave. James scooted forward in his seat, grinning from ear to ear. Today was going to be a good day.
L … J
James couldn't believe his good luck. Lily Evans was sitting at the Gryffindor table alone, not a friend in sight. Feeling rather confident, he strolled up to her and tapped her on the shoulder.
"Mind if I sit with you?" he asked, hoping he sounded as suave as he felt internally.
"James! Sure," she moved some of her books and parchment, clearing a spot for him on her right.
Stepping over the bench, James seated himself and grabbed a plate. "Looks delicious," he commented, his stomach rumbling with hunger.
Lily nodded, having once again immersed herself in her books.
"Where are your friends?" he asked, attempting to make small talk as he piled his plate high with various kinds of food.
"Library," she replied without looking up. "They forgot about the Defense essay due today."
"Ah," James nodded, spearing a cooked carrot with his fork. "I did that last night. It was pretty easy though."
When Lily nodded again, James inwardly sighed. So much for engaging her in a brilliant conversation that would leave her marveling at his wit and intellect.
"So…when's the next Prefect meeting?" he tried, desperately searching for a reason to talk with her.
"James!" Lily finally looked up from her book, a look of slight indignation on her face.
"What?" he asked, confused by her response.
"You scheduled this meeting so it wouldn't conflict with Quidditch practice."
Oh. So he had. "Er…I forgot?" he tried, feeling rather foolish at looking so ridiculous in front of the girl he fancied.
Lily giggled and smiled softly. "Seven-thirty, tonight. Have you forgotten where the Prefect's Meeting Room is, or do you need directions?"
James felt his face redden. He wanted to kick himself. "I think I can manage it on my own, thanks."
"Are you sure?" Lily teased good-naturedly. "I could draw you a map."
"I'm good," James muttered, stuffing an entire biscuit into his mouth.
Lily wrinkled her nose. "That's disgusting, James."
James swallowed and grinned, an idea forming in the back of his mind. "I won't eat like that on Saturday, I promise."
Lily stared blankly at him. "Saturday? What's special about Saturday?"
"Lily!" he cried, imitating her earlier outburst.
"What?" she asked, clearly quite confused. And very pretty looking too.
"You planned this Hogsmeade weekend," he replied with a grin, feeling rather triumphant.
"Oh!" Comprehension surfaced on her face, only to be replaced by confusion once more. "But what is this about Hogsmeade and eating?"
James took a deep breath and let it back out. For being such a smart girl, she wasn't catching on very quickly. "I'm asking you to go to Hogsmeade with me this Saturday, Lily."
There he'd said it. All he need do was wait for the affirmative reply.
"Oh….um…." Lily's face was bright red, contrasting horribly with her hair. She bit her lip in an indecisive manner. "I don't know….I'll have to think about it."
James stared at Lily. "Think about it?"
What did she mean think about it? What was there to think about?
"Yes," Lily responded firmly. "Think about it."
"But…but everyone expects you to go with me!"
As soon as the words were out of James' mouth he regretted saying them. What a stupid thing to say.
"Expects?! Just what is that supposed to mean?" Lily's green eyes narrowed dangerously.
"I didn't mean it that way!" James assured her frantically. He just had to ruin everything, didn't he?
"What way did you mean it then?" Lily challenged, crossing her arms and tilting her head to the side.
"I….I just meant…I didn't mean to say it," James finished lamely, staring at his hands, which where gripping the edge of the table so tightly that his knuckles were turning white.
Lily merely fixed her brilliant green eyes upon him with one of her famous glares, gathered her belongings in her arms, and swept out of the Great Hall.
James watched her retreating form, mentally kicking himself. He knew better than to try any follow her in the mood she was in. Still, he longed to run after her and apologize for being a right royal prat. He would just have to wait and talk to her later after she had cooled off.
L … J
"Ah, Mr. Potter, you're late," Professor Slughorn observed as James walked in the door a moment after class had begun.
"It was expected."
Although James couldn't see the person who had made the comment, he knew it was Lily. It could only be Lily.
Looking in the direction of the voice, he found Lily staring at him with a steely glint in her eyes. He gave her a small smile, but she didn't return it.
"Take a seat, Mr. Potter. I believe there's an open seat next to Miss Evans," Slughorn instructed him. James grinned. Perfect.
"That was not expected," he heard Lily mutter as she slumped in her seat.
L … J
"Does anyone else have anything to add?" Lily asked the Prefects later on that evening at the Prefect meeting.
James raised his hand, but Lily ignored him. She'd been doing that quite a bit today. The entire Potions class he had passed her notes during Slughorn's lecture, but she had merely collected them and shoved them in her bag without even sparing them a glance. He had given up after wasting two whole rolls of parchment.
The rest of the day had gone by in a similar fashion. Aside from making sarcastic comments about things being 'expected', she had ignored him. James felt that they were a little old for these childish games. Then again, he supposed he was old enough to be able to properly ask Lily to Hogsmeade without sticking his foot in his mouth. He sighed. It was true that old habits died hard.
A fifth year Hufflepuff Prefect by the name of Riley Madison raised his hand. "When will the schedule for next month's patrol times be posted?"
Lily turned to face him, and James gritted his teeth as he anticipated what she was going to say.
"Yes, James. When can we expect the schedule?"
"Can you just drop it!" he yelled, frustrated. Standing up, he ran his hands through his hair, causing it to stand more on end than it had been before. "I know I messed up, all right? It was a stupid thing to say, and I regret even thinking it!"
The Prefects watched with unconcealed interest while Lily stared at him, a guilty expression washing over her face. Good, she should feel guilty.
"You can expect the schedule when it's done," James bit out tersely before storming to the door, flinging it open, and striding out into the corridor.
Behind him he heard a door open and close and then Lily calling his name. Although annoyed, James stopped, arms folded across his chest, and waited for her to catch up. When she had reached him, she stood before him looking very small and meek.
"Yes?" he prompted, sounding rather more harsh than he had intended.
"Well," Lily began, sounding uncertain.
James huffed and shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Judging by the look on her face, he was intimidating her, but at the moment he was cross with her and didn't particularly care.
Lily raised her chin a notch. "I came after you to apologize. Even though your comment at lunch irritated me, I behaved badly, and I'm sorry."
James felt the anger drain out of him as she looked up at him with hopeful eyes. He relaxed his stance and cleared his throat.
"Nah, I'm the one who should be apologizing. It doesn't matter what everyone expects. I shouldn't have said what I did, Lily. And then I acted like a complete git to you at the meeting –"
"I more than deserved that," Lily cut him off. "I was being an absolute cow towards you. How about we're both forgiven?"
James felt the corners of his mouth turn upwards in a smile. "All right," he replied.
The two stood there in an awkward silence for a moment, and James watched as Lily bite her lip, appearing to debate something.
"James," she asked tentatively, her voice neutral, and her eyes shinning with an emotion he couldn't read. "If you're still willing, I think I'll take you up on that offer of going to Hogsmeade."
"You're not just saying this to make me feel better are you?" James asked, warily raising an eyebrow.
"No, not at all," Lily insisted. "I want to go to Hogsmeade with you, James."
James sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, feeling slightly awkward. "You know that I like you, Lily. Have for a long time. When I asked you to Hogsmeade, I didn't ask as a friend; I want this to be a date and that could change our whole friendship. Are you sure that's what you want?"
He held his breath as he awaited Lily's answer, fearing that she would reply that she had meant to go with him as friends, nothing more.
Lily smiled gently and reached out sliding her smaller hands into his larger ones. James' heart skipped a beat.
"I'm sure. I've seen you as more than a friend for some time now, but I thought that you'd given up on me. I'm glad we became friends, James, but I'd like to be something more."
An ecstatic sensation flooding through his veins, James impulsively leaned down and pressed his mouth to hers. Resting his hands on Lily's waist, he gently pulled her closer to him, savoring the feeling of her nearness. His heart was racing, and his skin tingled when she placed her hands on his shoulders.
When Lily slowly pulled away from the embrace James grinned, still reeling with euphoria. "You finally fell for me like I fell for you."
Lily smiled up into his face, her green eyes sparkling with what he now realized was affection for him. "Well, I really had no choice. It was expected."
Thanks to my best friend for her beta work!