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Author: Swishy Willow Wand

Title: Whirligigs

Summary: It was on the train ride marking the beginning of her seventh year that her world of order and Potter-hating came crashing down around her. (Lily/James) (Oneshot)

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-ATTENTION-

The title comes from a simple word mentioned once in the entire story that I decided I liked. So: whirligig--"a whirling motion."

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Disclaimer: I own nothing you find familiar.

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Whirligigs

It was on the train ride marking the beginning of her seventh year that her world of order and Potter-hating came crashing down around her.

She was sitting in the compartment with all of her friends, gossiping away about their summers. She had been unconsciously sucking in her stomach, sitting straighter than usual, her red hair strategically and yet unthinkingly splayed about her shoulders. Her green eyes watched the corridors out of their corners, though she wasn't sure what she was watching for.

Until he passed by, that was. She could see his messy black hair through the window, hear his cheerful, mischievous tone through the door, see his sparkling hazel eyes even though his face wasn't turned towards her, and she knew that he was what she'd been waiting for, though it had never been that way before. She froze suddenly, quite unsure of what to do. Quite unsure of why she didn't know.

Her inner angst must have made a loud bleeping sound on his radar, because he suddenly stopped his trek down the corridor and stopped a foot or two from the door to her compartment. And all of a sudden, she could feel his gaze on her.

She wasn't looking at him directly, but she knew he knew she knew he was there, and that he was staring. Her cheeks began to change colour remarkably fast, and her breathing hitched suddenly, causing her to hiccup.

Why, why, why was she like this? After seven years of careful hatred and pointed disdain, the sight of him through a bloody door made her turn a shade of red she hadn't previously even known existed?

She didn't know what was happening, but she knew it wasn't good.

A full five seconds had passed, but he was still there, still looking at her. She began to ache from sitting so stilly and stiffly, and her heart begged her neck to turn just an inch or two to the right. Her brain tried to stubbornly refuse, but the heart must've won out in the end because before she quite knew what was happening, she wasn't staring at her friend, Dorcas Meadows, anymore, but was looking past the door and straight into James Potter's intense hazel eyes.

She let out a breath she didn't even she'd been holding, and felt her stomach flip-flop, her face colouring all the more. She couldn't stop looking at him, and it appeared he was suffering from the same problem, because he didn't turn away, either.

What to do? Should she smile at him? No, absolutely not. Turn away? That was preferable, but she couldn't seem to do it. She could feel her heart hammering in her throat, and before she knew just quite what she was doing, she heard herself asking her friends to please excuse her. She rose and left the compartment, and before she realized what was happening, found herself in the corridor, still staring at him, only this time, with much closer proximity and with far less protection.

She hiccupped again.

He quirked an eyebrow at her, an action that, for the past six years, had annoyed her endlessly, and now just made her blush even more intensely. "Hullo, Lily," he said quietly.

Lily? Her heart began pounding faster and faster from its newly acquired position in her throat. He had never called her by her first name, choosing instead to refer to her by her surname, Evans. She rather liked the way it sounded coming from him, though. Lily. It had never sounded like that before.

What was she to call him? He had always just been 'Potter' to her. She wasn't sure. So she avoided it all together.

"Uhm, er, h-hello," she stuttered out finally. Not the smoothest response, she knew, but at least she had avoided the issue of his name.

She noted that a faint smile appeared on his handsome face, and the fact that she noticed his attractiveness caused her hands to flutter nervously at her sides and her eyes to widen considerably.

"You're looking well," he said politely, unknowingly causing her chest to heat up and her stomach to begin doing strange whirligigs.

Was she really? She didn't feel well-looking. She felt flustered and confused.

"Uhm…you, too," she said awkwardly, surprising herself by meaning it. He was taller and less thin, and his eyes…well, surely she would've noticed before how captivating they were, if they had ever been like this.

He looked surprised. "Really?"

He wanted to be difficult, then. Argh.

"Uhm, well, yes," she admitted clumsily. "You look--" she gracelessly gestured towards him, feeling as if her cheeks could light a room with their brightness, "--good." The way she said it came out a little more croakily than she could ever have wanted it to, and he blushed.

"Er, thank you," he said, his eyes even more intense now, a familiar look sparkling in his eyes.

They stood there awkwardly, and she became aware of the fact that her friends were staring from inside the compartment, looking completely dumbfounded.

"Well," he said a moment later, still not looking away from her. "I suppose I should--" he pointed down the hallway, and she nodded understandingly. She was relieved that she would soon be out of his presence.

"So, uhm," he said softly, "I'll see you later then."

She found herself suddenly disappointed that he didn't say her name again. "Right," she said, nodding. "At the feast."

He nodded in agreement. "The feast," he echoed. She felt the sudden, horrible urge to kiss him, and so she did the next best thing.

"G'bye, then," she said quietly. "James."

The sound of his name made him look as if he'd rather like to kiss her, too, but somehow, she knew he wouldn't do that without her permission.

"Bye, Lily," he said softly, and, with one last gaze, walked past her. And then he was gone, making her feel emptier and more giddy than she had in years.

"Oh, God," she muttered, reentering her compartment, preparing to face an onslaught of questions. This was so, so new. And yet…

She turned her head once more, towards the direction he had left, and saw him, preparing to enter his own compartment, looking at her once more, too.

And she decided that she quite liked it, no matter how strange and new it was.

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Ah, inspiration. Post one measley chapter and wham...inspiration! Don't know how good this is, but I've been dying to write a oneshot!

-Turkey