Disclaimer: …I no think you a hoe if yo skirt is short. Just playing. Honestly, ugh, I don't have the necessary energy to come up with a cute and witty disclaimer. Much like Yoko Ono, I didn't break up the band (interpret that as you may).

Summary: James and Lily have a bit of a row over a miniskirt. Read and see what happens. L/J, one-shot (beg if you will), no smut (sorry), happy ending (naturally), but somewhat tortured (because I feel like it). PG-13 for language and sexy shoes. (Besides, people this beautiful can only be a minimum of PG-13, don't you think? Crap, I sound like an ad for the OC or something…)

The Shortest Skirt of All

By Natali K. A.

First off, we must first establish what a "short skirt" is. A "short skirt" is generally termed a miniskirt and for the sake of clarity we shall use one standard definition, yes?

min-i-skirt, noun: A short version of a skirt, worn (usually by females) for various reasons, such as to feel comfortable in what one is wearing, to show femininity, or to look nice. Often mistaken as a sign that the person wants approaches from men, when actually they don't (or in cases where they do). Usually falls at least 20 cm above the knee. A skirt is considered a miniskirt when the wearer can touch their skin below the hem of the skirt with both their ring and index fingers.

All clear now? Yes? Wonderful. Now, miniskirts have been quite the talk ever since their first appearance in the 1950s and have been the topic of much debate—are they too raunchy? too revealing? too sexy? too (and let's just say it) slutty?

Fortunately, we're not here to discuss this. In fact, let's forget this altogether. Only know that a miniskirt does have a huge part in this story. You should never underestimate the power of a good miniskirt.

"Are you bloody kidding me, Lils?" James Potter hissed at Lily Evans when she came down the stairs that connected the girls' dormitories to the common room. "You're going out in that?"

Lily blinked at him stupidly for a minute before she replied. "What's wrong with what I'm wearing?"

"Those jeans!"

"What about 'em? I love these jeans! I've had them for years."

"No kidding. Since you were what, eleven? I can see your underwear through that."

"James, don't be ridiculous, they're not nearly so tight! And I've only had them a couple years. They were big on me then and I kept them for awhile while I grew into them. And now they fit just fine. I don't see what the issue is."

James Potter stood across from his girlfriend of roughly three months, arms crossed and eyes narrowed. What was the issue? He could think of a couple issues. A couple very annoying issues. It wasn't enough, was it, that she was so bloody sexy she could turn on a dead guy, right? She was attractive in a habit. No, now she had to traipse through a castle inhabited by hundreds of horny, unsatisfied teenage blokes practically in lingerie, right?

"Change," he commanded.

She rolled her eyes. What large, stick-like insect crawled up his cute bum this morning and turned sideways? He wanted to be annoying and possessive? Fine. Just fine with her. He wouldn't know what hit him.

Lily meekly went upstairs and changed. She came back down, saw that James approved, and went about her day as if nothing had happened. James seemed to think that nothing had happened.

What a cute little fool was he.

The following morning Sirius, Remus and James Potter were all having breakfast together for the first time in weeks. Either James had had Quidditch practice or Remus had an extra tutoring session or Sirius had been off… Well, doing Sirius-like things with girls.

Sirius was the first one to get a glimpse of Lily that morning. His eyes bulged and he poked Remus—as inconspicuously as he could so that James wouldn't notice—in the ribs. Remus glared at him and was about to tell him to piss off when he caught sight of Lily. His jaw dropped. For the love of honey and biscuits, what was Lily doing in that?

At least James has his back turned… for now, Sirius thought, praying his mate wouldn't lose it completely. James wasn't exactly into the whole sharing his women with the world thing. Personally, Sirius was of the opinion that if you got it, flaunt it. But then again, Lily wasn't his…

She definitely had her modelesque qualities. Of that there was no doubt. Her hair was down and straight today, seemingly a fierier red than usually. And if anyone had the walk down, it was definitely Lily.

James would murder her with his own hands.

"Dearest," she cooed, settling her hand on his shoulder. James was still currently engrossed in an omelet. "Would you mind very much if I skipped Quidditch practice today to tutor someone? They need a lot of help for one of McGonagall's tests this week."

"Mm hmm," he grunted, finally turning to greet her. "What the—"

A sudden passing of a gaggle of giggling girls by them managed to drown out the profanity coming out of his lips. However, they could all pretty much figure out what he was saying.

"What the bloody—!"

"I got what you said the first time around," Lily said harshly, glaring at him. "Dunno what your problem is. I've worn this before."

"You weren't my sodding girlfriend then and you sure as bloody hell are my girlfriend now!"

Remus and Sirius shared a look with each other. This was getting nasty and getting nasty fast. James had thrown down his napkin in anger and was practically yelling at her.

"Why don't you two take this little thing outside, eh?" Remus suggested bravely, knowing that cutting in the middle of one of their explosive arguments wasn't a good idea. He'd done it before and only to his peril. However, he felt that later on they would have preferred that they hadn't duked it out in front of the entire school. Because—and be assured of this if of nothing else—the entire school was watching by now. There were even flashes of lights from cameras from the students who did the yearbook.

She didn't say a single word—didn't give him the time—but instead walked right on out in her tiny, short, hardly-even-there miniskirt. James took off after her, hot on her heels (which were quite cute, Sirius noted, awed by how fast she could stalk off in three-inch stilettos).

Remus sighed. "Should we monitor them to make sure she doesn't rip his head off? I'm pretty sure Prongs won't hurt her—he'd never do that. But that doesn't make her above physical violence. You know how hot she gets. The anger goes straight to her head and she ends up regretting it afterward."

"Your understanding of the human psyche at times both disturbs and impresses me, Moony ol' boy. Now, don't give me that look," Sirius told him. "You know that it's true." Sirius pondered Remus' original question. "Well, leave them to it, I s'pose. They'll kiss and make up eventually. And then you'll wish you hadn't gotten involved in the first place."

Remus nodded. "You're too right, old friend, but something tells me that James is going to have an abrupt onslaught of FIMS symptoms and we should be there to keep him out of it."

"We can't always be the buffer of the relationship. We both know that James is gonna screw it up eventually—or, if all goes well, they'll just learn to stop arguing and skip right to the makeup shag and then they'll marry and live forever happy together. If we're always there to keep him out of trouble, how ever will Lily figure out his FIMS?"

Remus rolled his eyes, taking a final bite of toast and rising up off his seat. "You're ridiculous, Sirius."

"No, I'm deadly serious! No pun intended."

"You're so effing lucky it's this sodding early in the morning, or you would've had a plate of eggs all over that proud head of yours. I'll take my coffee to go, thanks. Later, mate."

On the other side of the doors to the Great Hall, James was chasing after Lily, who refused to speak another word with him.

"Lily Evans, you stop moving your sassy little arse right this minute or else—"

Lily whirled around so quickly that he almost ran into her.

"Or else what?" she asked in a deathly whispered, emerald eyes ablaze with some dangerous light that James didn't take heed of. "You are not my master, James. And you never will be, you arrogant, controlling, pig-headed arse!"

"You look like a whore," he said flatly. "Trust me, I have all reason to be controlling. What will people say?"

She laughed cruelly. "Say? What will people say? Look at me, James!" She gave a slow turn so that he could admire her in her short miniskirt, tight shirt with just enough cleavage to get lost in, and long, long legs that went on for miles on end…

"I'm looking," he said appreciatively. "And so's the entire world." The last sentence was said with disgust.

"They love it. It's hot. It's gorgeous. And I look great. Everyone is so crazy-jealous of you because you have me and all the girls are giving me green-eyed glares because I have you. What's the problem?"

"The problem," James said through grated teeth, "is that my girlfriend is parading around looking like a tramp. Because that's what you look like, Lils. A tramp."

A small gasp escaped from Lily and she took a step away from him, hanging her head. There was silence between them for a few crucial seconds while they both let that sink in.

"Lils, I didn't mean it like—"

"Well, you won't have to worry any longer, then." She looked up and James noticed with relief that she hadn't been crying.

"You'll change then, hun?"

"Something's changing, but it isn't my clothes." She took a deep, shuddery breath. "James, perhaps we aren't ready for this. Too easily we've picked this fight. I don't think we're friends enough to be dating. I'm sorry."

He gently took her arm. "Lily, stop it, you know that's not true. Don't do something rash."

"I'm not being rash. I've been thinking about it. We should be concentrating on schoolwork, not a relationship."


"And you seem to have a problem with the way I dress and I'm sorry—I won't dress like a nun just because I'm your girlfriend!"

"Lily, please… I'm begging you to calm down."

Lily smiled up at him sadly. "I'm not angry anymore. I'm calm and I have thought about this. I think it's best that we break up." She felt something inside her break as his face fell.

"Lily, hang on a second. You can't possibly be serious about this. We've been having a great time."

"Yeah," she smiled. "A great time. And that's wonderful. I want to end it like this before I remember you in some other bad light."

"Lily, I don't want to—"

She leaned up on tiptoe and kissed his cheek. "Bye, James."

He turned to watch her go, completely helpless to stop her. And she did look every bit as good as she'd said. Even better.

James realized then that he'd lost what could possibly be the most incredible woman on earth, inside and out.

"Bugger," he muttered under his breath, kicking the wall.

Lily entered her gratefully empty dormitory to change out of that blasted short skirt. She felt terrible. She'd done it just to piss James off. She wouldn't normally wear such a short skirt and most certainly not in school. She unbuttoned, unzipped, took off, stepped out of, lay out flat on her bed.

What had she done?

Her breath caught on the first sob, silent tears sliding down the side of her face.

Five minutes later she sat up, wiped away her tears and pulled on a pair of slacks. She was done mourning. Her mum had taught her it was okay to cry and yell and sob, but then it was time to suck it up and move on.

And that's what she would do.

A few weeks later, Lily was walking from a class to the headmaster's office with a note from her professor. She liked the school best at this time because she knew for a fact that there wasn't a single Seventh Year with this period off and nearly all the teachers had a class. Therefore, the chance of running into anyone was slim to none—unless they were skipping.

It's because of this reason that beautiful redhead Lily Evans found herself greatly annoyed by the sound of footsteps just around the corner in the other corridor. After quick analyzing, she figured it was a student and took out her wand for intimidation purposes.

She rounded the corner, wand raised, only to find that it wasn't just any student skipping class. It was James Potter.

"Oh. I thought you were some shrimp skipping class," she mumbled, putting her wand down. "Yeah. Um, excuse me, must be off."

He stepped in front of her. "I was talking to Dumbledore about a possible internship over the summer. How've you been? I haven't really seen you around recently."

"Yeah I've been busy tutoring Fifth Years for O.W.L.s and other such things. You know how that goes… Seems I hardly have time to eat."

"You look good. I mean, you always do, but I just thought I'd mention it." There was an awkward pause.

"I should get going," she said nervously, but he sidestepped her again.

"Your hair looks different."

"I cut it," she offered. "I was sort of upset, it was shorter than I'd intended. But I don't trust those hair growth potions ever since you slipped some into my pumpkin juice back in Fourth Year."

"Heh. Sorry," James smiled apologetically. "It looks fine, Lily. Not too short at all. It'd look great however you wore it."

"Well, I know you always preferred it longer—"

She cut off, having realized what she'd just said. "I have to go, James. I have to give something to the headmaster. See you." She hurried off in the direction James had come from.

"Lily? Are you busy this Saturday? Would you go to Hogsmeade with me?"

She stopped and turned to look at him. "James, I really don't think that's a good idea. Sorry. Hope you understand."

"Yeah," he lied, smiling to cover up his hurt. He had been hoping that she'd cooled down during the past few weeks and realized how very terrible he felt without her. "See you around." He turned and took a few steps before Lily stopped him.

"James…?" She sounded very, very uncertain.

"Yes?" He didn't turn around.

"As friends? Could we go on Saturday as friends?"

James frowned, letting his shoulders slump. He turned to look at her. "Lils, I'm not entirely sure I can settle for being just friends. If that's where you need to start, yes, of course. I'd love to be friends with you. But I want to know if you think it'll ever go anywhere after that."

She shrugged helplessly. "Gosh, James, I don't know. We're always fighting."

"What's wrong with that? My parents've been married for 35 years and they fight like a bloody… well, a bloody old couple is what they fight like. You can't pretend that you don't feel something for me, Lily."

"Yes, something, and it's not always any particular loving feeling—quite often it's something more like animosity!"

"That passion is one of the things I love most about you. You wouldn't be you without that passion. I would be hurt if you tried to quench that passion."

"James," she groaned, shutting her eyes, "I can't talk about this now. Promise me we'll stay friends, for now at least? Until we both figure out what we want and where we want to go?"

They looked at each other hard for a few moments before James relented. "Very well. Friends. For the time being."

"Saturday then," Lily smiled, feeling truly elated for the first time in weeks. "Around midday?"

"Only remember, Lily, that a man can only be so patient."

She arched one perfect eyebrow at him and shot him a knowing smile. "Why James Potter, I know you are nothing if not impatient. I do not think patience is part of your vernacular."

"I waited for you seven years, didn't I? And yet I wait even longer. If that's not patience, what is?"

Needless to say, that wiped the smirk off her face. She took a deep breath, trying to reply, then found she had nothing of worth to say. "Until Saturday, Potter." Turning on her heel, she went to finally give the note to Dumbledore.

Seconds later she heard footsteps running behind her and a firm hand turn her around and up against the wall of the corridor.

"Just this once, and I'll leave you alone until you're ready. You see, I hadn't known that our last kiss would be our last kiss and I want to memorize you before you leave me high and dry."

"Now, do you really thi—?"

She'd been about to point out that she didn't think that a very good idea.

A minute later, she found that she quite disagreed with that. Great idea. Splendid idea. Fantasmical idea. Why the bloody hell had he stopped, you ask?

"And that is for wearing that sodding short skirt. If you own any shorter I'm going to burn you at the stake."

"Nope. That's the shortest skirt of all. For now, anyway. Goodbye, James. Saturday."


Needless to say (as we all know) they did eventually move on past the "friend stage" after a couple months…

BULLCRAP! That same night they reinstated themselves as boyfriend/girlfriend and shagged each other silly (quite tricky to do when you didn't warn the mates to get out of your room).

And so is the story of the Short Skirt. And that is why every woman should have one.

A/N: Wow… Haven't written one of these in forever, huh? To start off, it's nice to be back. Sorry, I only write when I'm depressed, and I have been anything but depressed lately (had a moment July 4th but it's all hot). In fact, life is wonderful. I wish you all the same!

Secondly, the title (and therefore, this story) was inspired by one of my best friends Cristy's own words—"the shortest skirt of all." She was describing to me three different outfit options that she could wear, and they all happened to be skirts. I liked the sound of it and—since I've been as dry as a mummy in the writing department—decided I'd write about it. Have I lost it? Have I lost my spunk? Does being happy mean I have crappy stories?

I hope not.

I've also discovered that I've been writing in Carrie Bradshaw style lately… Funny, huh?

Recently recovered from a deathly flu and I don't know why I felt like writing this—probably the remnants of a fever or an overdose on Tylenol. Oh. I don't know. But it feels so good to have this out. I'm so glad to be back. Or at least for this short piece.