A/N: Happy Valentines Day! I FINALLY got started on my 100 situations ficcage. Hope you like!
Also, another note-one of my reviewers suggested to me that I include that the fic was inspired or modeled after "win a date with tad Hamilton" although I am saying this completely honestly that I have never seen that movie before so that was sort of funny to me. But I'm including it anyway simply because I don't want to be sued. (also could someone please tell me what's similar because now I am really curious but I don't feel like ordering the movie on IO but um...yeah).
Smile for me, James Potter
James Potter likes smiling. He has different smiles for different occasions. There's one for when he tries to charm teachers into believing his excuses; another is for when he's with his Marauders; then there's one when he's drunk—that's a whole separate category for that; and yet another for when he's guilty and he knows it; and then there's one for when he cant quite figure out what's going on but he realizes that he's supposed to smile; and then there's one for when he laughs at his own jokes.
Yes, James has a lot of smiles.
And Lily isn't even sure that she's counted all of them correctly. So far, she's counted six.
It's hard to keep track because sometimes there's a combination of smiles and she has to figure out the many layers that factored into the situation to make him smile like that.
But she could only see the other smiles whenever she was underneath the Invisibility Cloak watching him. That sounds really stupid and sort of stalker-ish, but she wasn't stalking. She was observing. She felt a bit left out because whenever she was around he would give her the same sleepy-looking lopsided grin.
Not that she didn't like that grin, no. It was just that…well she liked the other grins, too. And would it kill him to give her a different smile once in a while?
So here she was in the Common Room, watching James with his Marauders. Not because she doesn't trust him. But because she wanted to see him smile in just that way.
"So what did you do?"
"I told McGonagall Sirius peed on my report—or rather that my new pet Snuffles peed on my report."
"And what did she say?"
"She reprimanded me for having a dog inside the castle and told me to make up a new excuse as that one was 'tiring out rather quickly'."
"Then I showed her the peed-on report to show that I wasn't lying."
And they laughed. All of them. And she watched James, who laughed with them, his Marauder-smile lighting up his face.
She smiled to herself from underneath the cloak.
"I'm off to detention mates," Sirius bid the group goodbye.
"Yeah, I've got to go to the library to finish that report we had for Potions," Remus got up too, waving to the group. Sirius gave him an exasperated look.
"My God Moony, you mean you can't just do it from memorizing the whole bloody library?"
Remus shoves Sirius "You are a wanker."
"Yes, I've been told. C'mon Peter, we're going to Hogsmeade."
"You want to come, James?"
James looked up at them. "Can't mate, I've got some Head duties to take care of."
"Alright, meet us there later if Lily'll let you off the leash."
"Shut up, Snuffles."
"See you later, mate." Peter, Sirius and Remus waved goodbye to James who sat himself down in the armchair by the fire, not really intending on doing any Head Duties at all.
That was when Lily made the mistake of sighing audibly out of disappointment that James' smile faded and she no longer got to see it.
James turned his head around sharply, his ears perked in her direction and the beginnings of a smile tugging at his lips. The smile that she always saw.
"Are you hiding from me?"
Lily rolled her eyes and took off the cloak in surrender. James' smile was at full now and she felt the strange feeling of dejection swooping over her and dominate her pool of emotions.
"If I was I wasn't doing a very good job of it, was I?" she asked him. He laughed.
"No, you can never hide from me, Lily Evans." He stood up and walked across the room, enveloping her in a hug.
"James, can I ask you a question?" She looked up at him, her eyes locked on his.
James bit his lip resisting the tantalizing 'you just did' response and smiled wider at her. "Sure, love, what's up?"
"Why do you always smile like that?"
James stepped away from her, confused. "What do you mean?"
"I mean," Lily tried to find the right words. "Why do you always have that smile on whenever you look at me?"
"Well it's just that you have six different smiles. There's one for when you make an effort to make teachers believe your excuses; another is for when you're with Sirius, Remus, and Peter; then, there's one when you're drunk—I see that one occasionally; and yet another for when you're guilty and you know it; and then there's one for when you can't quite figure out what's going on but you know that you're supposed to smile; and then there's one for when you laugh at your own jokes. Out of those six I only get to see the first one and the third one and the fourth one voluntarily. Only three! If that was a test I would have failed. Failed. I don't fail James. Why are you making me fail?"
James looked a bit shocked by this. So shocked that he was stunned into silence.
Lily was a bit impatient at this point and she didn't like silence.
"James," she said a bit softer. "I just…I want to be able to see those smiles to. I don't like you smiling at me differently. I know how you smile ordinarily. I just want for you to look at me that way. Just ordinarily. Smile for me, James Potter"
"Lily," James took her hands in his. "I just…I want to know…why does it bother you so much that I smile at you differently?"
Lily shrugged. "Just because…because I want to see you smile at me the way you smile at your friends or the way you smile when you're just being innocent. I don't want you to have to stand on accord just because you're with me. I just—I don't feel that you're comfortable with me when you smile like that."
James, to her astonishment, laughed at this. "Lily, I smile at you like that because I'm comfortable with you."
"Yes! I want to smile at you like that. When I see you, I just—it's automatic. Lily, I can't smile at you like I smile at my friends. You're more than a friend. That smile doesn't deserve you!
"I can't smile at you like I smile when I can't figure out what's going on. Because I know what's going on when I'm with you. I love you, Lily. I love you and when I'm with you I know that. I'm not confused about it, I know it. And even if I don't know anything else--even if I'm ignorant about everything else, I know that I love you. And that's enough for me. So that's why you don't see the fifth one.
"And you don't see the sixth smile because I don't need to laugh at my own jokes when I'm around you. I have you to laugh with me and laugh for me. I love your laugh so much that I don't even need to add my own laugh to it. I feel like if I laugh with you I'll tarnish your laugh. It just…won't be as beautiful." He finished still holding her hands. She searched his eyes with her own.
"And you're wrong," he told her.
"I have seven smiles. I have one when I'm trying to get out of trouble with teachers; then there's one for when I'm with the guys; another is for the drunken moments…I know they happen a lot; then there's that 'oh-shit' one where I'm caught; and then there's that one when I'm confused—that's another one that turns up a lot; and then there's that one when I'm laughing at my own jokes trying to make them sound less-awkward. But you forgot one, Lily."
"The one that I have when I'm around you. That one that I have when I realize just how proud I am to have finally gotten the girl of my dreams, just how lucky I am to have you, just how assured that I am when I feel like…like everything is alright, and just how worried that I'm going to screw it up. The one where I look at you and think that you're the one proof that I have that God exists because nothing man-made could be possibly as beautiful as you. The one that I have when I realize just how amazing you are. I will always have that smile, Lily. I will never look at you differently. Never."
And as Lily kissed him, right then, she knew that she wanted to be looked at that way. She was glad that she had a signature James-Potter smile all to herself—her own separate category. She was glad that it wasn't any ordinary smile. She was glad that whenever she said "Smile for me, James Potter," that was the smile he gave her—the smile that he always gave her and the smile that she knew that he would continue to give her. She wouldn't want it any other way.