Here's a lovely little one shot written by me and Pline and betad by Ahtnamas. Enjoy

Ah I didn't get to write any author notes so I'll do it now! (This is pline by the way.) Please enjoy our fic! Keep in mind that there are two different authors with two very different styles and a beta also with a different style!

Note from Ahtnamas: Read the story…it's awesome!

Inuyashakagome2 again: really, I don't think anyone would notice the different styles thing. ;;

Disclaimer: We don't own Harry Potter. It belongs to the brilliant J.K. Rowling.

Oof! Ouch!

Lily Evans scribbled down notes as she tried to pay attention to Mr. Binn's lecture about the Greek Goblin Revolution of 1287 led by Kostas the Culpable. A particularly loud snore startled her, and she looked to the seat beside hers to see James Potter, his cheek on his scroll, fast asleep. Annoyed, she turned back and attempted to pay attention once again.

In the back of the room, a particular dark haired boy by the name of Sirius Black would have been in the same position as James Potter had he not taken interest in this little scene. For months now, he had been listening to James moan on and on about his "unrequited love" and, frankly, it had become rather dull. It was time to take action.

Remus Lupin warily looked over to the seat beside him to see his friend smirking evilly. "Are you planning something stupid again?" Remus asked, a ghost of a smile reaching his lips.

Sirius feigned hurtful innocence, to which Remus raised his eyebrows knowingly. Sirius sniffed indignantly.

"I don't do stupid things," he finally replied.

"Your past record begs to differ," Remus noted dryly.

"Well, I assure you, the plan I just had is brilliant," Sirius stated proudly, and a little too loudly by the stares he was getting.

"Oh? And what plan is that?" Remus asked suspiciously.

"Operation: Tie Lily and James' Laces Together."

Sirius's triumphant proclamation was met with silence. And then, "And the point of this is…?" To this Sirius blinked.

"Well, to tie their shoelaces together!" he said, and then scoffed. "And people say you're the smart one." Remus sighed testily and abandoned his work, deciding to watch Sirius, once again, make a fool of himself.

Sirius pointed his wand and muttered a charm, watching in satisfaction as Lily and James' laces tied themselves together in a large, complicated knot. Sirius quickly looked up at their faces to see if one of the two noticed. Neither of them did. He grinned and leaned back smugly on his chair. "Operation: Tie Lily and James' Laces Together successfully executed. See Moony? Now we just wait and see."

Remus shook his head and attempted to absorb himself in his schoolwork again.

But Sirius, being Sirius, grew bored before long and resorted to restless fidgeting. Finally, Remus, being Remus, snapped irritably, "Would you stop? You're distracting me."

"I'm bored," Sirius whined.

"Well, then make yourself productive," Remus said glancing pointedly at Sirius's doodle-covered parchment.

Then, to Remus' horror, Sirius' eyes lit up.

"RAT!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. Peter, who had been sitting across the room, looked up confusedly, while the rest of the class jumped into a frenzy.

"EEEEEK!" "WHAT??" "RAT???" "Oh no, I HATE rats!" Naturally, Professor Binns did not notice, but instead proceeded to talk about the Silent Goblin Revolution of 1942 led by Puggle the Pugnacious.

"Mmm?" James mumbled as he cracked open an eye to see chaos in the classroom.

Lily screeched as she attempted to jump up to stand on her seat. Strangely, she felt a pull on her shoe and lost her balance. As she plummeted to the ground, she squeezed her eyes shut and covered her arms over her head before she unexpectedly fell hard onto another body.

"Oof," James felt the breath knocked out of him as the girl of his dreams fell into his arms. Was he still dreaming? It was a nice dream. But he soon realized it wasn't as he crashed harshly onto the ground with Lily on top of him. He blushed. Lily turned red too once she opened her eyes. Then she looked down to see her shoelace tied to his in a big messy knot.

"JAMES POTTER! How dare you tie your shoe lace to mine?!" She yelled, the redness on her face now anger.

"Wh-what?" James blinked confusedly, still trying to wake from his sleep and absorb that the object of his unrequited love was pressed closely to his body. James turned even redder at the thought. Very closely indeed...

"I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING!" screeched Lily.

"Huh?"

"Argh, get off me!"

"I'm not on you," James replied, even more confused. This served to make Lily even more furious. She gave him a withering glare and shoved herself off him. This would have been more effective had their shoelaces been untied so she could have successfully done so, but alas...

"OOF!"

"Ouch."

"This is all your fault!"

All the students stared at them, amused, forgetting about the rat.

"My fault? What?"

"YOU... YOU TIED OUR LACES TOGETHER! DON'T ACT LIKE YOU DON'T KNOW!" Lily blurted out.

An expression of recognition crossed James' face. He sighed and smiled understandingly. "Oh, Lily, I know what this is about now. You tied our shoes together hoping to end up in my arms and profess your undying love for me, but now that everybody's watching, you're suddenly trying to blame me for tying our laces together," James stated, glad he understand her so perfectly.

"I-I..WHAT?!?" Lily sputtered out. How could he even SAY that?

"Don't worry, Lily, I know now. And we can live a happy rest of our lives together, seeing as you love me and all," James nodded, satisfied.

"Y-Y-YOU-" Lily sputtered, "You are SO--"

"Charming? Handsome? Perfect?"

"Infuriating. I can't stand you!" Lily spat. This changed James' countenance completely.

"Well, you're not exactly a walk in the park yourself, Evans," he said coldly.

"At least I'm not an obnoxious, self-satisfied--"

"OH! Oh, you should talk!" James scoffed. "You're the most stuck-up person I've ever known!"

At this Lily's face darkened noticeably as she opened her mouth to retort--

"That's enough!" Everyone jumped suddenly. Professor Binns was floating towards them, looking mildly annoyed, a miracle considering he rarely had any expression at all.

Lily scrambled to get off James, looking highly embarrassed, and muttered a charm at the shoelaces, causing the knot to unravel. "Sorry, professor," she mumbled as she and James shuffled back into their seats.

"I expected more from you, Miss Evans," said the professor, strangely alert. "And you as well, Mr. Potter. The two of you are to serve detention for three nights starting Friday. Report to my office at six. Am I understood?"

"Yes Professor," They said together.

With that, Professor Binns floated back to the chalkboard where he continued to lecture about goblin revolutions (The Green Massacre of 1945 led by Cob the Blob). Lily sank low into her seat, mortified and distressed beyond words. Her first detention. And with James Potter no less! Feeling absolutely silly, she felt her eyes start to water and blinked rapidly to clear them. Fortunately, the bell rang, allowing Lily to go find one of her friends to rant about a certain someone. Unfortunately, that certain someone had other plans.

"Look, Ev--I mean Lily. Er, I really didn't--"

"Shut up," Lily snapped as she shoved her parchment particularly forcefully into her bag.

"Wait, I just wanted to--"

"No. Stop talking."

"Would you just--"

"You're ugly."

"What?"

"Exactly," snapped Lily. And with a glare that would make even Merlin shrink back, Lily stomped off, leaving James decidedly bummed.

Sirius appeared beside him and gave him a light pat on the back. "Bad luck, mate," he said as the Marauders walked out of the classroom together. Remus gave Sirius a look and Sirius shoved his hands in the pockets of his robes, trying not to look guilty.

Hours later found James slumped over in the Great Hall, picking at his food grumpily.

"You really should eat something, James," said Remus.

"Here, have some of my mashed corn," said Peter, brandishing said item.

"She hates me," James moaned. "She hates me; she hates me." Peter looked helplessly at Remus, who looked pointedly at Sirius, who looked away, whistling.

Over the course of the next few days, Lily made a point the avoid James. She came to every class at the last minute and left as early as she possibly could. Every time she spotted him outside of class, she immediately headed towards the opposite direction. James hadn't had even the chance to approach her.

Friday night came and James dejectedly pushed open the door to Professor Binns office to find Lily already there. She looked at him when he entered, then purposefully looked the other way. To cover his obvious dismay, James looked to Professor Binns and saw that he was sleeping. He raised an eyebrow. He'd never been sure if ghosts slept or not.

"Should we… wake him up?" came Lily's voice. It was the first thing she'd said to him in days.

"Er. I don't know. I suppose so," he walked up to the professor and was about to prod him awake, but his fingers went through him and coldness washed over his hand. He snickered and pulled his hand out, in, out, in…

"You're such a child," Lily rolled her eyes.

Ignoring Lily, James stuck his finger through the professor's nose.

"Look, I'm picking Binns' nose!" James snickered and then nearly wet himself when said professor's eyes popped open.

"Ah. Mr. Potter."

Fortunately, James recovered his "Potter charm and grace" and replied smoothly, "Good evening, professor. I was just trying to wake you." He walked back to Lily with a dignified air. She almost laughed out loud but mentally slapped herself for nearly doing so.

"Ahem. Well, due to your outbursts in class, I have found a punishment worthy for your detention. For the next three hours the both of you will wash dishes in the kitchens. Without the use of magic or the help of the house elves. Follow me and I will lead you two to the kitchen." The Professor floated out of the room and through the door.

Lily turned to James, giving him a dark look. "I hope you choke on dishwasher soap," she grumbled before leaving the room.

'How do you choke on dishwasher soap?' was James thought at he followed her out of the room.

Once in the kitchens, James and Lily forgot all about their differences as they were faced with a very intimidating pile of dishes.

"This is horrible," James said. And then those differences were back.

"And it's your fault," said Lily and she rolled up her sleeves.

"Mine?" said James, doing the same.

"I am not starting this with you again," cut in Lily crisply. "Let's just get this over with."

"It's not like I tied our shoes together. That was you," James took the dishwashing soap and poured some over a sponge, then passed the soap to Lily.

"I did no such thing. You did it."

"Did not."

"Did too." Lily poured soap on her sponge and after a second of thought, she poured some on James' hair.

"Wow, that was mature," James said, sarcasm evident in his voice as soap dripped from his hair.

Lily stared guiltily at her sponge. That was something James would have done, not her. "Sorry," she said shortly. Silence ensued.

She took a dish and started scrubbing it but stopped when she felt something wet and slimy slipping down her hair. "POTTER!" she screamed, horrified.

"Fair's fair," he said, smugly tilting his chin up. So Lily grabbed an empty cup and filled with water. Then she turned to James with a gleam in her eyes. He took a step hesitantly back. "Lily..." he warned. She cheerfully splashed the cup at his shirt, soaking it.

James moved to do the same but was halted by Lily's hand. "Don't. You. Dare." She glared. He cowered. "Now leave me alone."

He didn't speak. Instead he grabbed a plate and started scrubbing it. And for a while they were both peacefully scrubbing away. Until James started humming. Lily glanced over, clearly peeved, but kept her lips pursed shut, willing to make sacrifices for peace. He hummed quite horribly.

Just then an elf ambled by. "Ah, hello there, Twinkle!" said James.

"Greetings, Master Jamesy," Twinkle said, hastily bowing and falling over himself. James laughed, as if this was a familiar scene. Lily pretended not to be watching in fascination.

"Say, Twinkle," James' eyes lit up mischievously. "Would you like to do some dishes for me?"

"Oh yes very much, Master Jamesy!" said Twinkle enthusiastically. Here, Lily couldn't help but step in.

"Absolutely not!" she shouted, startling James and causing Twinkle to fall over yet again.

"Oh, I'm sorry," Lily said to Twinkle, who looked surprised at the apology. Lily looked at James. And squirted soap at his shirt. "That's cheating," she said as if she was talking to a child. "And it'd land us in even more detention." Unfortunately for James, pouting did not work with Lily, and he was forced to listen to her. "Now, do the dishes! And don't you start humming again!" Lily finished and turned back to the dishes.

James bent down to Twinkle and whispered, "She's a bit odd in the head really. Likes to pour soap on me. Apparently she'd like me to choke on it, but I'm not sure if that's possible."

"Potter! Of all the stupid immature... I heard that and I do really hope you choke on the dishwasher soap!"

"See?" Looking at Twinkle, he pointed at Lily and made crazy symbol to his head. James laughed and waved goodbye as Twinkle bounced quickly away.

Lily, however, was not amused. In fact, she looked like she was going to explode, clenching the soap in her hand. "I'm not the one who tied our shoelaces together," she said through clenched teeth.

"How many times do I have to tell you that I didn't do it?" James demanded. He didn't realize that Lily was making a curious sound--growling.

"Admit it already!" she shouted as she dropped her sponge quickly in favor of her wand. "Admit to it you slimy, disgusting, immature, scoundrel!"

James took a hesitant step back trying to think of some way to calm her down.

Lily took a step toward him, her wand pointing at him threateningly. But as she wasn't paying attention to the floor, it's not surprising that she slipped on the sponge she had dropped, and fell right onto him.

"OOF!"

"Ouch."

"Why me?"

Suddenly the door opened. "JAMES, I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE—well, oho what do we have here?"

Lily looked up at Sirius from her position on James, and she turned an interesting shade of red. She quickly tried to get off him but slipped on the sponge again, and fell back onto James.

"OOF!"

"Ouch."

"No, not again!!"

Sirius suddenly looked slightly uncomfortable. "Er. I'll leave you to it then."

"Sirius! NO! WAIT! IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THIIIIINK!!!!!!!!" Lily yelled desperately, but too late. Sirius had already left.

"ARRRRGH. This is all your fault!!!" shouted Lily again, poking James in the chest.

"What--"

"Oh by the way!" Sirius poked his head back in. "It was I who brilliantly tied your laces together. I know--I'm terribly intelligent aren't I?" Then he was gone again before either Lily or James could react.

Lily gaped at the space previously occupied by Sirius for a second before her eyes narrowed dangerously. She quickly scrambled off James and ran out the kitchen, planning to seriously hex Sirius. James followed, torn between also hexing Sirius and saving him from Lily. Lily saw Sirius go passed the portrait of the Fat Lady into the Common Room so she muttered the password and followed him in, pursued closely by James.

"Hey, guess what, everybody??" the unsuspecting Sirius yelled cheerfully into the crowded common room. "Lily and James were just having hot sweaty dishwasher soap sex back in the kitchens!"

Lily could only gawk for a few seconds while what Sirius said sunk in. "I-IT'S NOT TRUE!!!" She yelled to the common room. They stared at her. "OHMYGOD I'LL KILL HIM!" Lily yelled red with embarrassment and anger, ready to lunge at Sirius, giving him a deathly glare.

Sirius, upon realizing that Lily was in fact mad, screamed bloody murder and zipped out of the common room.

"I'll get you!" screeched Lily, running after.

"Lily, wait--" By the time James had caught up to Lily and Sirius in a series of stairs, turns, and hallways, Lily had Sirius at wand point, in front of a class of astronomy.

Professor Sinistra walked up to them at once. "Miss Evans! What in the world are you doing!? Put your wand down immediately!" Lily looked at the Professor and put her wand down as quickly as she could. Sirius let out a breath of relief

"Oh goodness. I'm so sorry, professor! I really don't know what got into me!" The red on her face changed from anger to shame and embarrassment.

-

The next evening, they both stood in silence, scrubbing dishes. Their detention had been extended to a full week.

James sighed. "Lily, I'm really--"

"Don't talk. It's bad enough having to scrub dishes with you for an entire week so don't make it any worse."

James looked at her for a moment, crestfallen, before he obediently went back to scrubbing dishes. It seemed there was no way he could make out an apology. Not that it was even his fault.

The next night Lily was there early. She set about to washing and was on her fifth plate when James walked in. She glanced at him. Surprisingly, he merely nodded to acknowledge her and proceeded to wash his share of dishes. The rest of the evening was spent in awkward silence, on Lily's part. She had told him to be quiet but she hadn't expected him to not say anything.

Clink. James' last dish. Despite arriving later, James had finished earlier. He nodded once again to Lily and went his way, leaving Lily quite alone and very confused.

This continued for three more nights when, on the sixth detention, Lily finally asked, "What's wrong with you?"

"What do you mean," asked James, not looking up from his dishes.

"Why aren't you talking to me?"

James gave her a confused look. "Well, isn't that what you wanted?" He then turned back to his dishes, signaling the end of the conversation, once again confusing Lily. Because after all, it was what she wanted, wasn't it?

Then came the fateful day of the seventh and last detention. James felt a sinking sensation in his stomach. This was the last time he would have this time alone with Lily. And he couldn't even talk to her. He had come earlier than her today.

When she came in, he locked eyes with hers for a moment before getting to his dishes. She took her place beside him.

One hour passed in total silence.

Two hours passed. She risked a glance at him. He looked hard at work on the dishes. She looked back at her own.

After a while, they were both nearly done with their piles but seemed to be working more slowly.

Suddenly she put her plate down with such force the clang made James wince.

"Why aren't you talking to me?" she demanded.

"We've gone over this, Lily," James said. Lily spluttered for a moment before finally saying quite eloquently...

"Argh, I hate you!"

James calmly continued to wash dishes but Lily could see his hands were clenched. This added fuel to her anger. "Even if you didn't tie our laces together, you're completely horrible. You're obnoxious and stupid, and you're not talking to me because you're immature!"

"ME?" James scoffed indignantly. "ME? Immature? Who's the one getting angry just because I did what you wanted me to do?"

"Well, you shouldn't have!"

"But you wanted me to!"

"This always happens!" Lily declared exasperatedly. "You always find something to do to get on my nerves. Even when you're doing something right, you screw it up!"

"How am I screwing it up?" James threw down his dishtowel. "Besides it's not as if you're perfect. Maybe to the teachers but everyone else can see through you!"

Lily glared at him. "...Well, Fine. I suppose you just don't want to talk to an imperfect girl like me. I don't care!" she threw her sponge into the sink and stormed out of the kitchen.

James gaped. "Wait! DONT EXPECT ME TO WASH UP THE REST OF YOUR DISHES! EVANS! COME BACK HERE NOW!"

But she'd already gone.

-

The next morning in the Great Hall, James was picking at his food gloomily once again and staring quite openly at the cause of his gloom.

"Why don't you go talk to her?" James glanced up moodily at Remus and then directed his gaze back to a certain someone.

"Talk to who?" he muttered.

"Lily, duh," said Peter, plopping down. "Chocolate eggs?"

"If you ask me," said Sirius not bothering to notice no one had asked him, "It's a waste. There are plenty of other girls at Hogwarts. It's not like she's the prettiest. Certainly not the nicest--I'll have an egg, Pete."

James wasn't really listening. Lily glanced at James, and he looked away, pretending he hadn't been staring, slightly red.

"Prongs, you're acting like a fourteen year old schoolgirl," Sirius told him, his mouth stuffed with chocolate eggs.

"Shove it," answered James, very maturely indeed. Peter quirked an eyebrow.

"He's still brassed off 'cause I tied their shoelaces together," Sirius explained.

"You completely ruined our relationship!" James protested.

"You barely had one," Remus cut in logically. James swelled as if to start bellowing but then deflated.

"You're right," he moaned. "It's hopeless!"

"I'm sorry to bother you, Remus," said a voice. James looked up. Lily! "But I was wondering if you could tell certain people at your table to be quiet. And to stop staring at me."

James pushed his seat back from the table. "How bout I just leave?" He stormed out of the Great Hall. Lily barely spared him a glance as she strode back to her friends.

"That Potter!" Lily seethed immediately when she sat down. "Acting as if I'm the one in the wrong! And what was with him staring at me, honestly! He's always doing that!" Her tirade was met with blank stares from her friends Samantha Chang, Pauline Abbot, and Sindhu Patil. "Well??" Lily demanded expectantly.

"I really can't say, Lily," said Pauline hesitantly. "I mean--don't you think that perhaps…?"

"You're being unreasonable," said Sindhu simply.

She glared at her supposed friends. "I'm certainly not being unreasonable," she said shortly.

"Maybe the reason you're being so unreasonable is because you're falling for him," Samantha piped in.

There was a silence.

"I've never heard a more ridiculous thing in my life," Lily said and she pushed her chair out, gathered her things, and left.

-

The next morning in the Great Hall the Marauders sat eating in their normal spot. James was being unusually quiet.

"Anyone like a chocolate egg?" asked Peter, trying to break the silence.

Ignoring Peter, James stated in a defiant voice, "I have an announcement to make." The Marauders looked at him expectantly. "I no longer fancy Lily Evans."

"Good to hear!" Sirius gave him a good-natured pat on the back. Peter looked flabbergasted. Remus merely shook his head, a knowing smile on his face.

"In fact..." James continued with a hint of a smile. "I think it's time I found another girl." Remus' smile disappeared then. This wouldn't end well.

"Well, alright!" said Sirius. "Who's the lucky bird then?" James' eyes roamed the room when he spotted a certain black haired beauty.

"Wish me luck, boys." James strode off towards... Lily Evans?

"But didn't he just say--?" Both Peter and Sirius were confused. Remus however was afraid. If he wasn't going to ask Lily out then...

"Excuse me, Samantha?"

Said girl looked up from her tumbled Russian corn, "Oh hello, James."

"I was wondering if I could speak with you for a moment."

"Oh, whatever you say can be said in front of my friends. Go on then."

"Alright then. Would you like to go to Hogsmeade this weekend?"

"WHAT??" shouted Lily, Sindhu, and Pauline.

Samantha blinked. "Excuse me?"

"Well," James said sheepishly rubbing his neck. "You're a nice girl. And I thought I'd like to get to know you better. We've always got on, you know. So what do you say?"

"Well," said Samantha, glancing at her friends. "I suppose I'll have to get back to you."

James grinned knowingly. "Discussing it with your friends? I'll never understand why girls do that." Samantha smiled and waved goodbye as James ambled back to his friends.

"What was that?" asked Pauline.

"That was unexpected," replied Samantha.

"To say the least!" added Sindhu.

"You should go with him."

All three girls turned to stare at Lily, who was very pale and very quiet.

"You should go with him," she repeated. "He--he obviously likes you."

"Lily, are you sure?" asked Samantha. "I know you two don't get on very well and I don't really like him that way anyway."

"No, no," Lily waved her hand. "If he's out with you, he'll leave me alone! It works for everyone!" All four laughed and went back to their breakfasts. Except Lily wasn't feeling particularly hungry anymore.

Peter, Sirius, and Remus stared at James as he came back to his seat. "Are you serious?" Sirius asked.

James chuckled, "No, you're Sirius." However, instead of the usual laughter, James' three friends exchanged uneasy glances.

-

Lily, Samantha, Pauline, and Sindhu all sat around a table in Hogsmeade that weekend cheerfully drinking butterbeer. Except for Lily who hadn't touched her bottle and wasn't acting very cheerful. Samantha looked at her watch.

"Oh, I'd better go. I told James to meet me in Madam Puddifoot's," Samantha said, rising from her seat. She waved goodbye as she proceeded to walk out.

"Good luck," Lily called, forcing a smile as she remembered Madam Puddifoot's was that coffee/tea shop where couples usually went to snog.

"Lily, are you alright?" asked Pauline. "You look paler than normal."

"Well," said Lily. "I'm worried that we can't trust that Potter." Pauline and Sindhu exchanged glances. "I'm serious! I mean, he's been asking me out daily for the past three years! And then he just suddenly takes an interest in Samantha? I don't trust him. Not at all."

"Lily, I really think you're over thinking things," said Sindhu. "Come on, I need some new potion supplies."

"Oh, could we stop to get some books? I'm getting bored with mine," Pauline said excitedly. Lily looked at her friends with a mixture of shock and disgust.

"Do you not care for Samantha's wellbeing??" she demanded suddenly. Pauline and Sindhu once again exchanged glances.

"Samantha can take care of herself just fine," said Pauline soothingly.

"Besides, they really do get along quite well," Sindhu intoned.

"I know they bloody well do but I'm telling you!"

Pauline raised her eyebrows. "I think someone's jealous."

"I'm not--"

"Then stop talking about it," interrupted Sindhu. Upon seeing Lily's scowl she added, "If you're so worried, why don't you just follow them?"

"You know what?" said Lily. "I think I will!" She chugged her butterbeer, grabbed her coat, and swept off.

-

A while later Lily stood pressed against the wall, peeking into the window of Madam Puddifoots.

"Lily, are you spying?"

She jumped at the voice, thinking for a moment it was James--but James was in Madam Puddifoots.

"Oh, Remus, you scared me. And for your information, I'm not spying," Lily stated as she looked back through the window. She saw Samantha's hand on the table and James' hand inching towards it.

"Well I'll spy with you," Remus said kindly and looked through the window with her. Both saw James throw back his head and laugh at something witty Samantha had said. Lily watched, her face expressionless and pale.

"Remus, does James really like Samantha?" she wondered. Remus hesitated before answering.

"Well, he did say he was over you," he said as gently as he could. "But I didn't believe him." He glanced back towards the window. "Seems like they're having a good time though, doesn't it."

"They fit," Lily said.

"Perhaps. But not as nicely as another couple," was the reply.

Meanwhile, inside Madam Puddifoots, James was genuinely having a good time. Samantha was, admittedly, a very cool girl, which James told her.

"Thank you," she laughed. "You're not so bad yourself."

"Oh, I doubt that's what your friends think," replied James leaning back into his chair.

"What, Lily?" Samantha's eyebrows rose. "She said she'd be alright with us dating." This disappointed James ever so slightly. "But you didn't want to hear that, did you?" James looked up, startled.

"I...er--"

"It's alright," said Samantha, finishing her tea calmly. "You know, this grobbyroot tea is quite good despite its name." James stared guiltily at his napkin. "Oh, honestly. It's alright, James. No offense, but I don't exactly feel that way about you." Samantha leaned in closely. "Actually, I was wondering if you could put in a good word for me with Remus. I rather like him, you see." James grinned. Samantha was a very cool girl indeed.

However, while James was feeling relieved, Lily was feeling like having an anxiety attack. Samantha was leaning in close to James. Closer and closer and oh Merlin were they kissing??

James looked over to the window and saw Lily leaning in staring at their table. His eyes widened. Was his mind playing tricks on him? Lily Evans was really spying on him? When she saw him looking, she turned red and ran. He jumped up from his seat, mumbling a quick "excuse me" to Samantha, and all but ran outside.

"She went that way," a familiar voice said.

James looked at Remus, grateful. "Thanks mate," he said before he ran in that direction. Remus shook his head and strolled into the coffee/tea shop, taking a seat straight across Samantha, who didn't seem to mind much.

Meanwhile...

"Lily! Wait up!"

"NO!"

"Would you--just--stop?"

"NO! Stop following me!"

"Look, I'm sorry I asked Samantha out," James called.

"I don't care that you asked her out!" But James distinctly heard her voice crack.

"Then why are you so upset--"

"I'm not!"

"And why were you spying?" Well, there was no response for that so Lily just ran faster. Unfortunately, she wasn't in as good shape as James was, and her legs began to ache with the strain, forcing her to stop. To her horror, she could feel tears running down her cheeks--why was she crying? She angrily tried to brush her tears away while James came to stand in front of her.

He looked slightly afraid. "Are you... crying?"

"No." came her stubborn reply as she tried to hide her face in her hands, feeling foolishly pathetic. "Go away."

"Yeah, right," he said sarcastically, "Every time I talk to you, you get angry at me."

"...Go choke on dishwasher soap."

To this James had to chuckle a little. "C'mere." He pulled her a little closer, causing Lily to rouge considerably. She rouged even more when he pulled his sleeve a little and wiped her face gently. "There. See? You're pretty again." Lily didn't bother to reply, her gaze fixed closely on the ground. "You didn't answer my question from before," said James quietly, standing much too close. Lily glanced quickly at James and then cast her gaze back to the ground. "Why were you there, Lily?"

"No reason."

"Why were you crying?"

"I wasn't." James smiled.

"Do you like me?"

"It's not like that at all," Lily said, considerably flustered.

"Alright, alright… well since we're here and all… Have a butterbeer with me?" James said, his eyes twinkling.

Lily looked at him suspiciously."... Yeah, all right," she answered, surprising herself by agreeing as they walked together down the streets of Hogsmeade, side by side.

-

That night, Lily laid in her bed, wide-awake, her stomach in jitters thinking about James. Wait, jitters? She mentally slapped herself. There was absolutely no way she could like a jerk like James of all people. But he had been really nice lately… She turned over in her bed but didn't find the new position any more comfortable. She sighed, then quickly looked at the sleeping faces of Samantha, Sindhu, and Pauline, before creeping out of her bed, and out the dormitory. She thought she might sit by the common room fire, on a big comfy chair to sort out her thoughts. So, watching the dancing flames, Lily let herself think of James. What was that today? Did she really...

"Oh, hello there."

Lily jumped about a mile in the air. Speak of the devil. "Er. Good evening."

James smiled sleepily. "I was just going to the kitchens for a bit of hot cocoa. Want to come?" Lily stared at James for a bit, processing what he had said. And then surprisingly, she said yes. Even more surprisingly, she followed through and went with him. However, as she crept through the Hogwarts halls, Lily felt the sinking sensation of guilt.

"What if we get caught? They'll take away my head girl badge!" She whispered frantically.

"Lighten up. We won't get caught, I've done this plenty of times," James reassured her.

"I'm sure," she looked at him irritably, but was relieved when James had tickled the pear and they were in the kitchen.

"Greetings, Master Jamesy!" cried a squeaky voice. Lily looked down to see the familiar face of Twinkle. "And his Flower! Greetings Master Jamesy's flower!"

"Er--actually the name's Lily. I'm not his--flower," Lily tried to say as gently as she could, (she knew how sensitive house elves were from an experience back in her third year involving two roasted chickens, a crying pear, and a rather sharp bobby pin.) Twinkle just smiled questioningly at Lily, who appealed to James for help.

"Twinkle," said James, ignoring Lily's stares. "Could you give us some hot cocoa please? And perhaps a biscuit or two. You like vanilla wafers, right, Lily?"

"Er, yeah I do," replied Lily. "How'd you know that?"

"Well, you forget I all but stalked you in fifth year," James said lightly, reaching to take a tray from Twinkle. "Thanks, mate."

"Master Jamesy is welcome!" exclaimed Twinkle excitedly as he scuttled off. "And Master Jamesy's flower too!" James laughed, shaking his head, and sat down at a nearby table. Lily followed suit.

"You really stalked me?" asked Lily curiously, taking a cup of cocoa and sipping.

James gave her a sheepish look, "Well, yes, I rather fancied you. Wasn't it obvious?" He looked at her expectantly, as if he actually thought Lily was going to respond. As if she could respond to such an awkward question!

After a few seconds of blushing, Lily answered. "Oh I suppose it was," She said, dismayed to find her voice came out a tad shriller than usual.

James looked at her. "Er--you know, I'm sorry about back then, Lily," he said. "But girls do strange things to boys. I didn't mean to always make you mad." Lily wondered at the boy sitting in front of her. Since when did James Potter apologize? He really had changed a lot, hadn't he? Why were they even talking about fifth year? And anyway why was she so inarticulate now, when all her life she had always been a very logical, straightforward person?

"Well," said Lily, clearing her throat awkwardly and examining the table. "Oh, we're done." In her nervousness, she must have chomped through all the biscuits--how ungraceful of her. "We had better clean up."

"Leave it for the elves," said James, standing up.

"No," said Lily in a very final tone. "They've been more than kind to us so we should do our part." As if to emphasize her point, Lily shoved the mugs into James' hands while she herself carried the plates.

He raised an eyebrow but followed her to the sink anyway, taking dishwasher soap and a sponge, clumsily spilling some soap on the floor.

After a while Lily asked, "So… do you really like Samantha?" The question sounded completely out of the blue as it sliced through the thick silence that had fallen. James stopped scrubbing and looked slyly at Lily.

"What would you say if I did," he asked, grinning mischievously.

"I'd say I didn't care," sniffed Lily daintily as she rinsed her dish.

"Oh, good, I was just making sure."

"Considerate of you."

"Oh I know."

Lily cast a sidelong glance towards James. "So do you?"

"What?"

"Like her?"

"Who?" James asked with cheerful innocence.

"Oh, would you stop?"

"I've no idea what you're talking about."

Lily felt her patience go thin and she narrowed her eyes at him. "Look, do you like Samantha or not?"

"Oh... Maybe."

Lily felt something snap. "ARGH! Just answer the bloody question already!"

"I thought you said you didn't--GARRGHLE." Lily had lunged at James and was strangling him one-handedly while simultaneously trying to stuff a bottle of dishwasher soap down his mouth.

"Answer me, you egg head!"

"ARGHLE--GARRR--ARGH"

"Answer the question and I'll let you go!"

"Arrghhhleee" Lily blinked as James turned a strangely familiar shade of purple.

Lily widened her eyes. "Holy Rowena's Rubies! Are you actually choking!?"

Her frantic question was met with her incoherent gargling. Lily began to panic as James' eyes started to roll back.

"Oh no I've killed James Potter!"

"Surprise!" James' eyes rolled back to normal as he pulled the offending bottle out of his mouth. "That was priceless! You should have seen your face--Oh no I've killed James Potter!" He imitated in a high-pitched voice and doubled over laughing. "You're a riot, Evans! A riot!"

Lily gaped. Of all the insensitive...

"YOU JERK!" she screeched as she hit him. James looked mildly taken aback and rather confused as she kept hitting him. "That was horrible!"

"Lily, you're kind of starting to hurt me now." This served to incense Lily more and so she moved closer, transitioning from hitting to shoving.

"You--EEK!" Unfortunately, she had slipped on the soap James had spilled and was once again finding herself falling straight into James Potter.

"OOF!"

"Ouch."

"Why does this always happen?"

James couldn't resist. "Seems you're drawn to me, Lil." She glowered at him but seemed to have no effect. Nothing could dampen James' mood--he was just happy he could be near the object of his burning desire was without her crying or strangling him. It was progress! He was awakened from his thoughts when Lily sighed through her nose and sunk down onto his chest. James gulped a little. Though Lily didn't seem realize what a compromising position they were in, James sure did.

"You didn't answer my question, James," said Lily, pouting a little. James considered reminding her of a previous event where she had left some questions unanswered as well, but decided against it.

"No, I don't."

Lily grinned. "Don't what?"

"Don't like Samantha." James could tell Lily was trying not to look pleased but he could also see she was failing miserably. "I actually like Pauline. Could you put in a word?" Lily's semi-suppressed grin quickly turned to a scowl. "I'm just kidding!" Scowl gone. "I actually liked Sindhu."

"James!"

James laughed. "You know who I like!"

"Well, pretend I don't." James examined Lily's face, his smile fading.

"I've always liked you, Lily," he said. The atmosphere had suddenly gone from lighthearted to serious very quickly. Matters weren't helped any when Lily failed to respond. James cleared his throat and looked away. "That was bloody cheesy of me wasn't it? I'm sorry, I know you hate things like that--"

Lily, forgetting to think for the moment, pressed her lips to his, effectively cutting off his words. Then she pulled away just as quick, blushing profoundly.

"Well," a surprised, but pleased James blinked up at Lily who in turn blinked down at him.

"Well," agreed Lily, shyly, still blinking.

"Well," James said again grinning.

"Augh, this is ridiculous." Lily shoved herself off of James and proceeded to walk away.

James scrambled to his feet. "Wait, where're you going?"

"You can finish washing the dishes," Lily said waving a hand flippantly as she opened the door. "I think I'll go to bed now."

"Wait--Lily." But she had gone. James looked at the door confusedly. "Wha..."

"Oh, by the way!" Lily popped her head back in scaring the daylights out of James. "Be careful not to choke on the dishwasher soap this time! I'll need you alive if we're going to go to Hogsmeade together. G'night!" Gone again.

It took James about two minutes to process what she had just said. Careful--Alive-- Hogsmeade--Together??

"WAHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Then after another two minutes: "Wait, Lily, don't make me do your share of the dishes!!"

The End

Acknowledgements:

Ahtnamas for betaing

sourlemon76 for checking the name of Madam Puddifoots

JKR for writing such lovely characters

And you readers! Don't forget to review!