A/N: So this has been sitting on my computer for some time, and I finally decided to finish it, instead of studying for my extremely important finals. Leave me your thoughts, would you?

Disclaimer: Harry Potter, names, characters and indicia are solely JK Rowling's. I do not take credit for any thing you recognize in this story and blablabla and all that jazz.

-Harmless Observing-


It was his hair she noticed at first: jet black, unruly and never laying flat. They stuck out in a crowd, just like her crimson one did. He simply fascinated her and she often watched him from afar, noticing his little quirks at breakfast, his magnificent hand work in Transfiguration, the way he lounged back in his chair when he was sitting in the Common Room at night with his friends.

She thought it was all harmless observing until one night in Fifth Year he finally noticed her staring at him. He had smirked cockily at her and winked.

Blushing to the roots of her hair, she had simply turned her back to him and went back to her homework.

It wasn't harmless observing from then on. The stupid boy had thought she was in love with him or something (which was the normal thing to think when one catches another avidly staring at them) and so took every opportunity offered to him to win her attention and ask her out obnoxiously and publicly.

She always turned him down, because she didn't like him –or so she told herself— and he was simply a pretty thing to look at.

She had always wished winning his attention someway, but when she finally did, she regretted it instantly. He was infuriating and frustrated her to no end. They fought constantly about the meaningless of things, and she never missed a chance to recount his unsurpassed faults.

After their Fifth Year, they had silently agreed to avoid and ignore each other, albeit it had become quite difficult for Lily because he seemed to pop up everywhere she went. He had grown up, especially in the physical sense, and she sometimes secretly watched him from her corner in the Commons.

When he once helped her out in Transfiguration in their Sixth year and they were for once on good terms, she suddenly understood what it was like to be doomed to a lifetime of James Potter's Potter-isms.

It was the little things she took notice of in the beginning; how her stomach seemed to clench when she saw him talking to other girls, how she blushed slightly whenever he paid her a compliment, how she giggled constantly at anything he said.

Then it was the bigger things; how she found herself staring at him all the time, how he was the last thing she thought about before she fell asleep, and of course, how she kept having the most erotic dreams about him, dreams that made her wake up in the middle of the night, panting and sweating, her whole body pulsating with pleasure.

And when she walked inside that Head Carriage at the beginning of her Seventh Year to see him sitting near the window, his black hair tamed for once, his wire-rimmed glasses framing his hazel eyes, her heart jumping in her throat and the Hallelujah Chorus in her head were all she needed for confirmation that she had indeed strong feelings for James Potter.

The problem was she didn't know what to do about it.

Of course, she was glad they were friends for once instead of arch enemies, and of course she was glad that she finally had a chance to talk to him, to walk with him, to have lunch with him. What she wasn't glad for was that he didn't seem interested in her at all anymore.

He didn't wink at her whenever she passed by him in the corridors. Instead, he offered her a polite smile or a casual wave. And sometimes, he even stopped and exchanged a small, apathetic conversation.

He didn't save her a seat in Potions anymore. He simply went to sit with his friends at the back and she went her way to sit with her own friends.

He didn't annoy her endlessly when she sat in the Library in the evenings. In fact, he barely went there anymore, unless he was in dire need of a book.

She was disappointed, to say the least, because she couldn't take advantage of those factors to let him know she felt the same. That is if he still felt those things for her.

It was a warm Saturday night and she was sitting alone in the Library, finishing up a rather nasty essay for Potions when she saw him enter through the oak doors.

She was surprised at first, because it was Saturday and he was in the Library, when he could have been out with his friends, wandering around in Hogsmeade and getting drunk, or perhaps, she thought bitterly, on a date with one of his numerous fangirls. But no, he was in the Library, and currently coming her way.

Eyes widening in panic, she immediately looked down at her paper and vainly tried to focus on her work.

"Hey," She heard him say, yet, stupidly, tried to ignore him, hoping he'd go away.

She was sweating profusely already, her tongue was parched and there was a lump in her throat that refused to be swallowed. James Potter had a terrible effect on her.

She heard him cough uncomfortably and could guess that he was running his hand in his hair, a constant nervous habit of his.

"Um, Lily," He tried again. She ignored him still. "Hello, Lily!" He tried, louder, waving a hand in front of her face.

Sighing in defeat, she finally looked up and stared at him square in the eye. "I'm sorry, were you saying something?"

He made a grimace, debating between laughing and frowning and her stomach did an unpleasant summersault at the sight of his bright eyes. He coughed instead and finally decided to take a seat opposite her.

"Listen, I'm sorry to disturb you," He started and she couldn't help but notice how James Potter was so polite at times. He was so charming and chivalrous and well-mannered and she often felt like hitting him over the head and ordering him to act like a normal Eighteen year old, meaning obnoxiously and rudely. "But McGonagall wants us to go over these forms," He continued and she couldn't help but scowl.

Of course, Head Business. He wouldn't talk to her any other way.

Noticing her frown, he embarrassedly scratched the back of his neck and adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose. "Er, but we can always go over them later, if you're busy, now," He added quietly, meaning to leave.

"No, wait," She stopped him quickly, her rational side kicking in and he stopped halfway out of his chair.

He was offering to spend his entire Saturday night with her to go over some paperwork that could have been postponed to any other night, and she'd be a fool not to take advantage of it.

"We can do them tonight. Just let me get rid of these books," She continued, and he nodded, easing back into his chair.

She picked up an armful of manuals and went back to the back shelves to return them to their original place. Yet, when she came back to their table, she was surprised to see him having changed his place and was now sitting where she previously was.

He looked up at her questioningly when he saw her halt in her tracks and asked, "Is everything okay?"

Scratching her left eye nervously, she nodded and slowly approached the other side of the table, opposite him.

"What are you doing?" He asked when she meant to sit down.

She raised her eyebrows confusedly. "Sitting down," She replied matter-of-factly.

"I know, but why there? Come sit next to me so you could see these papers," He stated, absentmindedly pointing at the chair next to him.

Gulping anxiously, she nodded and got up, clumsily taking the chair next to him.

"So, here's your share of the work and this is mine. Start off by the detention records. They're the easiest," He started, handing her a load of papers.

The next few minutes of silence were broken by the constant shuffling of papers, and when they finally settled down, her attention kept straying towards the boy next to her. His shoulder intimately pressed against her own whenever he leaned forward to look at some of her papers and her stomach seemed to be constantly filled with unpleasant butterflies.

She caught a whiff of his intoxicating cologne and her mind seemed to be in a complete daze.

Why in the bloody hell did he have this effect on her while he seemed completely immune to her?

His hand was placed on the desk next to her own and she unconsciously stared at it. He had nice hands, she decided. Big hands, perfect to fit into hers. He had certain calluses on his knuckles and fingers from the Quidditch, she guessed, but this didn't bother her. It was the price he had to pay for his extraordinary skills.

She almost jumped a foot in the air when his hand suddenly brushed hers, and he muttered a distracted 'sorry' at her, retreating the hand and draping it on the back of her chair.

Rubbing tiredly at her face, she leaned forward, wishing she could lean back instead and be enveloped by his arms.

Then she felt it. It was slow and soothing and she just wanted to moan out loud before grabbing him by the collar and snogging him senseless. It was his fingers on her back, slowly rubbing comforting circles up and down. Her entire body was frozen and tense as he continued his massage, making the muscles of her lower abdomen clench.

He didn't seem to be conscious of what he was doing, so she didn't say anything at first. But then his fingers were drifting south and a chocked groan escaped her mouth, and she immediately felt the absence of his fingers on her back.

"I- I'm so sorry, Lily. I – I didn't, I wasn't paying attention. I'm sorry," He stuttered and she furiously shook her head, silencing him.

"It- it's um," She swallowed thickly and ran a hand through her hair. "It's okay, really."

She was positive her face was currently crimson, and she absolutely hated being a redhead at that moment. She was mortified and humiliated. She couldn't believe she had moaned! He would never let her live this down.

But surprisingly, James didn't utter an other word. In fact, as she tentatively glanced at his face, he was as embarrassed as she was. His high cheekbones were tainted a beautiful red, and he kept running his hand through his hair.

She turned back towards her papers, too overwhelmed to think properly.

What did all of this mean?

Coughing awkwardly, she looked down at her watch. "Well, it's getting late. We should probably leave before Pince shuts us in," She muttered, gathering her papers and stray books.

He uttered a sound of agreement and got up as well, picking up her satchel.

She froze when she saw him holding her bag and made to ask for it back, but he turned his back and started walking towards the exit.

Completely bewildered, she scooped up her stuff and dashed after him.

"Um, could you give me back my bag, please?" She asked as they fell into pace.

"It's okay, I got it," He replied, without a glance her way.

Frowning at this odd change of demeanor on his part, she fell quiet and followed him back to the Common Room.

"You know," He started quietly, suddenly, and her gaze immediately snapped to him. "The – er – next Hogsmeade trip is next week," He continued and she gave him a bewildered glance. "And, well, I was just wondering, if you're not busy, that is, if you want to meet up somewhere, for some coffee, or, er, something," He mumbled, staring at everywhere but her form.

Her eyes were wide and her heartbeat erratic.

Was he saying what she thought he was saying?

"Are – are you asking me out?" She asked densely and he bit his lip, scratching his cheek anxiously.

"Well, that was my intention, yes. But if you don't feel like it, please feel free to refuse –"


"—my proposition– Pardon?" He spluttered, stopping in his track.

She stopped as well and rolled her eyes, wondering how he could be polite even when he was so thunderstruck. "Yes," She repeated.

He gawked.

She laughed. "We better get back the Commons before curfew."

Just as she turned her back on him, he grabbed her arm and turned her back. "I'm sorry, I'm not sure I heard properly. Did you just say 'yes'?" He inquired, not quite containing his grin.

She nodded and smiled. "Yes, James. I just agreed to go out with you."

He frowned. "But why?" He asked, his hand unconsciously grabbing her own and intertwining his fingers with hers.

His eyes were so dark and intense and she couldn't tear her eyes off his face. She shrugged and shuffled her feet. "Turns out I like you a little bit," She grinned.

He smirked mischievously. "Just a little, eh? Well, I dunno. That moan back there sure told me otherwise."

She slapped him across the chest and scowled. "Shut up. It was soothing," She stated and he smiled handsomely, tugging her closer to his warm form.

His head tentatively approached hers, and he quite gently pressed his lips to hers. It was brief and awkward but it left her head spinning and her breath caught in her throat.

"We should really get back," She finally suggested, barely above a whisper.

He nodded, taking her hand back in his. "So tell me, how exactly did you start falling for me?" He asked roguishly and she rolled her eyes.

"Hm, well you see, it all started with some harmless observing…"



A/N: Aww, yes, how nauseatingly adorable. I don't even know why I write these things.