A/N: silly I know, but I thought of it and decided 'why not'. Please R/R. For the prompt-Hug on 100 Fics challenge.
Wanted: Good Huggers
James Potter was an expert.
No, not on that, get your head out of the gutter. Perverted children….
No, James was the go-to guy, but not for anything like that. Well, maybe but we're not here to discuss that.
He was the expert on hugs.
He had known the different types of hugs for different situations. When someone was grieving he gave them a gentle "it's okay, I'm here for you," hug. When someone did something amazing, James gave them a congratulatory hug. And, when someone just needed a friend, he gave them a friendly hug.
Today, James needed a hug. And he wasn't quite sure what for, he just knew he needed one. Badly.
"What's the matter?" Sirius plopped down in the armchair across from James. He could tell when something was wrong. James liked this about Sirius, but most of the time he attributed it to the fact that he was partly a dog and could sense emotions quite well.
"I feel un-hugged." James moped, and put his chin in his hands. Elbows resting on his knees, he refused to meet Sirius' gaze. Sirius, he knew, would make fun of him for that completely honest, yet ridiculously gay sounding statement.
"Dude, you are such a poof."
Yep, there it goes.
"No, I am—"
"Oh shut up with your stupid pun," James said scowling at his friend. If there was one person who James could count on for making fun of him and creating ill-used puns, it was Sirius. He could not, however, count on Sirius for a situation like this. "I'm not kidding," James cleverly replaced his words. "I feel un-hugged. And when I feel un-hugged, I feel unloved. And no one wants to be unloved."
Shit. He just walked right into a bundle of Sirius-insults for those confessions. Stupid mouth.
Yep, there it goes.
James looked mournfully up at his friend as Sirius continued to collapse in laughter.
Okay, it wasn't that funny.
"Sirius, shut up!" James snapped. Sirius wiped a tear from his eye (actually, James wasn't sure that Sirius was actually crying from hysteria or if he was just trying to be a pain in the ass. He thought it was the latter). Sirius surveyed his friend in need.
"Would you like a hug?"
"No, I simply enjoy being called a poof and laughed at scornfully in the common room."
"Sarcasm gets you nowhere," Sirius said holding up a patronizing finger.
"Fine, just gimme a hug."
"I'm calling no-homo on this one," Sirius said warningly. James rolled his eyes. Sirius wasn't secure enough yet in his manhood to give a person a decent hug and not call a 'no-homo'. Or, at least, that's what James thought.
"Sirius I'm not doing this for an excuse to touch you, I just need a hug!"
Sirius, strangley, looked offended by this. "Are you saying that you don't want to touch me?"
Now he was outraged. "Excuse me! I'll have you know that many people would DIE to get their hands on me. DIE!"
"Are you also implying that if you were gay you wouldn't go for me!?"
"That was a random accusation…"
"No it wasn't," Sirius protested. "We were talking about you and the possibility of you being a homosexual before, James, keep up!"
Well, now that you brought it up…
"Actually no, if I was gay I wouldn't go for you."
"I'd probably go for someone more like Remus."
"REMUS!? OVER ME!?"
"Well, yes. Remus is—"
"Not as talented as me! Not as good looking as me! Not as charming as me! NOT AS PRACTICED AS ME!"
James raised an eyebrow. "Practiced in what, exactly?"
"Well you'd want someone with a bit of experience seeing as we're 17 now and your hormones are off the charts, am I right?" Sirius rambled. James considered this and then a slightly bemused look crossed his face.
"Well, what are you saying? That you're practiced in—er—homosexual things."
Sirius looked perplexed. "Wait. Shit. No. I mean…"
James began laughing.
"That's not what I meant!"
"Oh go to hell. You're so not getting a hug now."
James' laughter subsided abruptly.
"Because you'd choose Remus."
But Sirius held up a hand, clearly indicating that he didn't want to listen anymore, got up, and walked out of the common room in a dignified manner.
Well, as dignified as one can muster when nearby a pair of third years were discussing the famous Marauders' sexual orientation.
James ran a frustrated hand through his hair. And then…
'People would DIE to get their hands on me. Die!'.
That was it!
For once in his life, Sirius had an idea that wasn't completely shot to hell.
She saw the flyer and shook her head at it. "Wanted: Good Huggers. Please contact James Potter—sex god extraordinaire--and help a man in need."
She rolled her eyes. Normally it was James who gave the hugs. James was the loveable huggable kid.
Or at least, he was to everyone else. To her, he had been a pain in the arse for six years and a friend for their seventh.
And in that time she had grown to enjoy his company.
So, with a bemused smile, she untacked the poster and held it in her hand. Typical Potter, she thought. It was sort of—endearing, strangely. She shook her head again and put the flyer in her bag, laughing slightly.
The line went down the corridor. James was pleased with the turn up.
"Step right up. Step right up." James felt like a carnie speaking to his audience. "Now's your chance to hug the fantastic, wonderful James Potter," he flashed a winning smile. "for no fee at all!"
Those who had turned up were mostly of the female persuasion, but you got some guys thrown into the mix (probably because those third years who happened to overhear the argument between him and Sirius earlier had extraordinarily large mouths).
"What do we get if we win?" One called out.
"Well a very satisfying hug and…er…" James searched his pockets and produced… "a sickle!"
"WOAH, ONE SICKLE!"
"Sarcasm gets you nowhere," James answered the voice curtly. How dare he make fun of his prize? It was a good bloody sickle. Little wanker. "You lose. You don't even get to hug me."
The owner of the voice, a small Hufflepuff, stepped out of line and went down the corridor.
"Alright, let the hugging begin! I will judge you on the firmness and/or gentleness of the hug and how satisfying the hug was and what type of hug it was. After all, your hug must fit the situation."
Those who were in line listened carefully.
"Let the hugging begin!" James welcomed whoever was first—some nameless Ravenclaw girl—with open arms.
It wasn't right.
The line continued on for just about ten more people when James heard his name being called.
"James! Oy! Potter!"
James looked up, still allowing people to continue hugging him, and saw Remus walking towards him and a very brisk pace.
"Remus?" James asked in the middle of hugging a fifth year with very curly black hair.
"Yeah, what the hell is going on?" Remus made his way up the line, but was pushed back by a Gryffindor boy.
"Hey man," the boy said. "Wait your turn."
"You don't understand, I'm his friend--"
"Yeah, we'd all like to be his friend," the boy gestured to the crowd and then elbowed Remus suggestively in an 'if ya know what I mean' manner. "But I've been waiting in line for almost an hour now so you'll have to do the same."
Remus squinted his eyes in confusion at the boy. "Are you serious?"
"As serious as a heart attack," the boy answered defiantly.
"Look, I don't have time for this, I really need to speak to my slightly deranged friend up there, so if you'll excuse me."
"Oy, I I said to wait—"
"And I said this is lunacy—" Remus made a swift attempt to push past the boy and shoved him out of line. The boy stumbled, but kept his balanced.
"Oh HELL no!"
And without further ado, the boy slapped Remus across the face.
James laughed jovially. "Dude, you just got totally bitch slapped."
Remus watched the boy walk down the corridor in a huff.
"Stupid poof bugger." He muttered before continuing. "Look, James, what the hell is wrong with you?!"
"I don't know what you mean, Moony," James beckoned the next hugging candidate forward.
"I found this," Remus produced a neon green flyer "on the Gryffindor bullitan board."
James glanced over. "Yep, that's mine. Posted 'em all over school."
"Yeah I noticed."
The flyer boldly read 'Wanted: Good Huggers. Please contact James Potter—sex god extraordinaire and help a man in need.'
"What about 'em?"
"Did it ever occur to you that the teachers can see this too? McGonagall's going to throw a shit fit." Remus brandished the flyer.
"Yeah, whatever. At least I'll get my hug." Suddenly James looked down as he heard a sniffing noise. A second year was clinging to him and inhaling. "Um, excuse me, might I ask what you're doing?"
The little girl looked up at him, slightly embarrassed. "I'm memorizing your scent."
"Your cologne. So when I tell my friends I hugged you they'll believe me."
"Oh," James was flattered by this, if a bit disturbed. "Okay then. But I'm afraid that it's only five seconds a person, sorry."
"Okay. Pine needles and peaches. Got it." The girl stepped aside and let the next person hug James.
Remus still eyed him carefully. "Moony," James explained wearily. "The thing is, I always give hugs out. Always. I am the one that people come to when they are in need of a hug. I give out the best hugs. But lately…lately I've just been feeling…unloved, ya know?"
Remus didn't know, but nodded anyway.
"So I figure that I'll fix that." James gestured to the line of people willing to hug him.
"That's rediculous. James, the only way you can feel—er—loved is if someone who loves you is the one that hugs you."
"Your point?" James looked blankly at him.
"Well if someone who loves you hugs you, that's the only way you'll be able to fill that void. That's when you know it's the right hug."
"Well they love me, don't they?" James looked to the crowd for confirmation. They cheered. He turned back to Remus and smirked.
"I give up. Oh, by the way, Padfoot's upstairs in a tiff. Kept calling me your boyfriend. Anything you know about?" Remus raised an eyebrow at James. James shook his head.
"No clue. He might be on drugs."
"Yes that's what I figured."
James' head darted up and he saw Lily Evans standing in front of him. "I—er—I saw this and thought, 'hell why not'. I always thought I was pretty okay at hugging."
"Er—" He rubbed the back of his neck as he felt his face begin to grow hot. "Yeah…yeah okay."
She smiled at him and stepped in his embrace.
The fact that McGongagall came about two minutes later (while they were still hugging) didn't mater. The fac that she accused James of hosting some weird type of orgy in the middle of the corridors didn't make a difference. The fact that she saw Lily and him, continuing their hug and not caring about her at all didn't matter. The fact that, when five minutes later everyone left, didn't stop them.
James Potter was an expert. He knew what type of hug to give and at what moment to give the hug. But he also knew how to judge hugs.
"We have a winner," he breathed as he felt her embrace him.
A/N: plz r/r :)