Disclaimer: Don't own it.
Summary: Mistletoe and James Potter ruined Lily Evans' Christmas… or did they?
Author's Note: I know, this is very out of season, as Christmas is over four months away, but I was in a Christmasy mood today, and felt the urge to write this. This takes place the night before Christmas break, just before the Marauders and Lily return to their respective homes (except for Sirius, who would probably go to James').
Christmas should have been the best time of the year for Lily Evans. The snow covering the grounds in great white sheets should have made her smile. The enormous pine trees situated around the Great Hall, decorated magnificently, should have made her merry. The cheerful fire blazing in the Heads' Common Room should have warmed her right up.
"Should have" was the key phrase, because, in truth, Lily felt none of these things.
Why wasn't Lily happy this year? The answer was simple: mistletoe. Well, it was actually more of a combination of mistletoe and James Potter than the plant alone.
Her problems began when she had started to like James as a friend, and then as more than a friend—it was impossible not to, if you spent five minutes actually talking to the guy. It should be illegal for a man to be that attractive and charming—during her seventh year of schooling. So what did James do when Lily started to like him? He stopped asking out.
To give James some credit, he didn't know that Lily was starting to fall for him; he had chosen the worst time to move on simply by chance. It was much more satisfying, however, to forget this detail and blame everything on James than it was to remember and take some of the responsibility for herself.
"So much for his undying love," Lily muttered under her breath, glaring as pretty fifth year girl dragged James under the mistletoe. The girl giggled and looked up the plant while James scanned the room awkwardly. Shrugging slightly, he kissed the girl, who immediately turned the peck into a full-blown snog. "Prats. Both of them."
Mistletoe had to be the absolute worst plant ever. What kind of school was Hogwarts to endorse the behavior that it promoted? Honestly, mistletoe was just an excuse for people to cheat on their boyfriends and girlfriends, or to snog without any attachments. How could anyone—
"Jealousy definitely isn't an attractive look for you, Evans," a cheerful voice interrupted her thoughts. Scowling, Lily turned to find Sirius Black watching her, a huge and knowing grin on his face.
"Living isn't an attractive look for you, Black."
"Merlin, what a horrible insult! That hurt Evans, it really did; I think I'm scarred for life," Sirius said dramatically, holding a hand to his heart as if struck.
"Shut up, Black," snapped Lily. "And stop looking at me like that."
"Like you think I'm jealous." Sirius merely grinned wider. "Because I'm not."
"Who said anything about you being jealous?" asked Sirius. "As I recall, I only said jealousy doesn't suit you, Evans; I never said you were jealous now."
"You implied it."
"Don't assume that," chided Sirius. "You know what they say about people who assume…"
"Black, I don't have time for these games," Lily said flatly.
"Aw," pouted Sirius, and Lily had to admit that he looked incredibly attractive like that, in a way that James never could match. "You don't want to play any games with me, Evans? Not even one?"
Of course, she knew that Sirius didn't actually want to play games in that sense—not when James, his best friend, loved her—but she was still annoyed. "I'd rather gouge out my eyeballs with a spoon," Lily commented acidly.
"… That's disgusting…" Sirius said slowly, eyeing her oddly. Lily shrugged uncomfortably, and shifted her gaze back to James, who had finally disentangled himself from the girl. Following her gaze, Sirius smirked again and got up.
"Where are you going?" asked Lily, both suspiciously and apprehensively.
"Oh, don't worry, Evans, your secret is safe with me." Sirius winked before walking towards James.
"Secret? Black," Lily warned, "I'm not—" It was no use to go on, she realized. Sirius was no longer paying attention to her; he had reached James.
For about a minute, the two whispered together, and Lily rolled her eyes. What was Black up to? James' gaze suddenly landed on her, his eyes widened slightly, and Lily, realizing she had been staring, quickly forced herself to glare at the two. Sirius had better not have said anything about...
"Lily…" James greeted, grinning hesitantly at her.
"James," Lily replied neutrally. Maybe Sirius hadn't told him, maybe Sirius was talking about something else…
"Sirius just said—"
That stupid git! "Sirius is a liar who can't possibly be trusted," Lily interrupted angrily.
"I beg to differ, Lils—sorry, Lily," James amended. "I can trust Sirius with my life. But that's not the point. What I really want to ask is, do you know what he said?"
"I don't care what he said."
"He said," James continued, as though Lily hadn't spoken, "that you were jealous when I kissed Susan. Fancy that, eh? You. Jealous. Over me."
"I guess Black's completely lost his sanity, then. I was not, am not, and never will be jealous over you. Why in the world would I be? What's Susan got that I don't? Idiocy, that's what. I mean, she had to kiss you! She wanted to kiss you! And let me tell you, the thought of kissing you is the most vile, revolting, down-right disgusting thing imaginable!" Although Lily had originally been speaking very calmly, her temper flared as her need to defend herself grew.
"Lily—" James started, trying in vain to stop the approaching fight.
"I can't even believe that you would suggest it, James!" she hissed, her fury growing with each word.
"I thought you weren't as full of yourself this year, but I guess I was wrong!" Other students were turning to stare, as Lily had begun to shout. Arguments between the two had been common during their previous six years at school, but they had turned over a new leaf when they became Head Boy and Girl, and no longer fought so openly. It was a bit odd to see them at it again, now that they were Head Boy and Girl; such behavior would hardly be tolerated, if a teacher were to find out.
"Lily!" James finally broke through her rant.
"What?" James refrained from answering for a few moments, simply staring at the ceiling, before a huge grin settled on his face. Eyeing him suspiciously, Lily asked in a slightly calmer voice, "What is it, James?"
"We're standing under mistletoe," James told her, pointing at the dreaded plant. Lily blinked blankly, her mouth working soundlessly and her anger disappearing as suddenly as it had come on. "You know what this means, don't you? You have to kiss me, Lily." His grin, if possible, grew even wider at the thought.
"I… You… I…" Sentences seemed beyond her reach now; even her thoughts were a jumbled mess. A battle raged inside her on about whether or not she wanted to kiss James Potter, now that she had the chance.
"It's the rule," James said triumphantly, interrupting her thoughts. "You have to."
Lily merely looked at James, then up at the mistletoe. James. The mistletoe. James. "You've got to be joking."
James, who expected a furious response and a great deal of reluctance, found this strange. Stranger still was when he noticed that she didn't seem too upset or disappointed with the situation… In fact, she almost seemed happy about it. Taking this as a good sign, he leaned down and kissed the immobile Lily lightly on the lips. Once she got over the initial shock, Lily couldn't help kissing him back with just as much fervor, much to the astonishment of all the watchers. Her last coherent thought was that maybe, just maybe, mistletoe wasn't so bad, after all.