Kissed By Magic
A/N Wow. Yet another story to be added to the collection of unfinished HP fics I'm still trying to write. I planned and started writing this fic before Deathly Hallows but decided to wait to post until after the release and which incidentally led to numerous new ideas that I couldn't resist adding. It is compliant with all the information JK has given us / canon. All characters are owned by the fabulous JK taken directly from the HP books themselves or courtesy of hp-lexicon . org
If you're looking for a love/hate story where James is a completely arrogant prat, Lily is a quiet stuck-up bookworm, Sirius is a hyperactive womaniser, Peter is a half-wit not worth of inclusion Petunia yells 'freak' at every opportunity, Lily's best friends all 'pair up' with the Marauders and so on… this is not it. But don't let me discourage you any further and please read and review!
Summary: From spending far too often tripping over her own feet, laughing hysterically at her own jokes and blushing to the roots of her red hair, Lily's life could hardly be any crazier. That is until James is entrusted to be her partner in rule enforcement.
Ch 1: Nuttier than a Fruitcake
Breathe. Deep calming breaths and don't think too hard. Don't panic.
Screwing my eyes shut as tightly as I can, I prepare myself for my customary sprint through a very solid looking concrete barrier. I've done it so many times yet I don't think I will ever get used to it, nor stop being amazed when I reach the other side unscathed.
Faint butterflies of nerves flutter in the pit of my stomach as I push my heavy trunk in front of me, a little short of breath. After a sprint of barely a few metres I'm already buggered. That's what a summer of laziness does to you.
Revolving slowly on the spot, I attempt to gather my bearings. The deafening sounds of discontented owls hooting, parents saying their last goodbyes and children screaming fills my ears and for once I don't have that inexplicable urge to shove an acid pop into the mouth of the nearest screaming child that shall be held responsible for my permanent ear damage.
I watch curiously as a boy I don't recognise talks intently to his owl. I mean, whatever floats your boat and all, I'm completely for treating your pets with respect but I must draw the line at having deep and meaningful's with them in a crowded train platform. To be fair, he's actually quite cute and I'm putting my bets that's he's a seventh year but I can't for the life of me think of who he is.
Now this is just ridiculous. Not that I'm trying to eavesdrop or anything (there's something stuck in my shoe!) but he's clearly bordering on schizophrenic. Honestly, telling your owl that it's inappropriate to feed colour-change candy to other people's cats? No matter how extraordinary his owl may be, I doubt it is quite up to that level of intelligence and despite whatever expectations he may have, owls cannot talk back.
Quickly, I busy myself in making fruitless attempts to get an imaginary something out of my shoe as his gaze turns in my direction. Unwillingly, I feel my cheeks redden to a deep magenta as I notice the little girl peering at me also from behind the owl cage. Merlin, how stupid can I get? He wasn't talking to his bloody bird, he was talking to his sister!
He's staring at me now and I pointedly ignore the soft chuckle coming from his direction. Trying to retrieve what's left of my dignity, I hurriedly wheel my trolley down the platform. All of a sudden, a powerful wave of emotion hits me as I stare at the scarlet steam-engine in front of me.
I close my eyes tightly, pressing them so hard they almost ache. With one deep shuddering breath I slowly, so slowly as to not give myself a shock, I prise them open, a build up of tears slightly blurring my vision. Tears I positively refuse to let fall because I will not cry in public.
Endings are never easy, especially for me. As I stare at my familiar surroundings the overwhelming fear settles inside me like poison.
Every year for the past seven consecutive ones has started the same. The long summer that never seems to end and those stifling nights with windows thrown open in the hope of a cool breeze but only seem to encourage ravenous mosquitoes and countless sleepless nights.
Followed of course by that annual trip to Kings Cross Station, London where a scarlet steam train waits expectantly to carry an assortment of students to the magnificent Hogwarts castle and a year of magic filled unpredictability.
This year is no different really, except for one notable exception. One massively significant exception that makes everything different. This is the last time I will follow that familiar tradition. The last time I will make my way to platform 9 and ¾ in anticipation. The last time that I will get that wave of relief at the prospect of returning home.
The next time I will stand here, I will no longer be a student of Hogwarts and that scares me. The complete fuzziness of my indefinable future and my vague career aspirations.
Of course I'm excited to go back, that goes without saying really. I can't wait to be back even with the added pressure of NEWTs and my Head Girl duties - Yes, you heard that right. Me, Head Girl, who would have thought? - But I never have been good at goodbyes. At endings. At change.
Slowly I make my way to the front of the train, half wishing I didn't have to but kind of proud too. I desperately want to see my friends again after the occasional owl as my only communication with them for the last three months. Torture I tell you, pure torture. The only thing that propels me through the long corridor to the Head's cabin is the thought of the sooner it's over, the sooner I can see them. That and the thought of the cabin itself. The rumours are true; the seats at the front of the train really are much nicer. So how come I've always sat at the back on the bogie covered, food stained, chewy infested seats?
For the first time since my birthday I really am glad to be of age in the wizarding world. I can almost hear my arms sighing with relief at the knowledge that I no longer have to push, pull, heave, shove and drag my inordinately heavy trunk around. Hey, it's not my fault I'm not a light packer.
One hand on the door, I hesitate slightly outside the Head's compartment wondering if I really want to be early to meet the Head Boy. I know it would be pointless to retreat to the other end of the train to see my friends only to have to walk back as soon as I get there, but that doesn't stop the thought from running through my mind anyway.
I slide open the door and release a soft sigh of relief. The Head Boy's chair is still empty and only two fifth year prefects are sitting pompously in the compartment. Almost instantly, however, the mounting tension rises again as I wait expectantly, half hoping he shows up soon so I can just know who he is and stop worrying but at the same time wishing for him to never turn up.
The minutes trickle by and the compartment slowly fills with prefects. Despite trying to make a conscious effort to stop, my foot jiggles in apprehension. Hoping the time will pass more quickly if I'm doing something I busy myself in reading the neatly placed notes, sorting through what is relevant to the prefects and what is just for me and of course the as yet unknown Head Boy – my partner in crime, or shall I say rule-enforcement, for the next year.
"Sorry I'm a bit late." A voice floats from the door, attracting my attention in an instant. I can't quite bring myself to look up and with growing trepidation I slowly tilt my head upwards. Surprised, I find myself face to face with the charming grin of none other than James Potter, resident troublemaker. I try to hide my small grimace of distaste as best I can and cover with a polite smile.
"So, you're, er, Head Boy then?" I ask, hoping my disappointment isn't evident in my voice.
"It would seem so." James replies casually. "Dumbledore must be bonkers in my opinion but who knows, maybe I have one of those 'hidden qualities' my mother seems to go on about after all." He gives me a cheeky smile and settles himself comfortably in the chair beside me.
The meeting proceeds in a fairly uneventful manner, just as expected really. James manages to put together quite a show - even nearly succeeding in convincing the most part that he not only knows the rules but actually follows them too. I'm sure he made some of them up on the spot but somehow his characteristic confidence seems to cover his mistakes. I don't think there is a shred of self doubt anywhere in that boy. And despite my quiet, or not so quiet depending on who you talk to, disapproval of most of the ways he conducts himself, I can't help but sort of admire him like that.
After handing out the passwords for the dorms, the meeting is over and the Prefects all scurry off as quickly as they can back to their friends. I don't blame them in the least. Hastily packing up my own belongings I'm about to hurry off too when James calls me back.
"I didn't know my company was that unbearable." He says jokingly with a grin.
I curse myself silently as I feel myself unwillingly blush. Those damned blushes just ruin everything and I can't seem to prevent them! They just appear, out of nowhere even when I'm not embarrassed. And worst of all there is just no way of hiding my flaming face which only makes those accursed cheeks of mine flush darker. It isn't fair I tell you.
"No, it's not that." I say in a defensive rush. I don't want him to think I want to ditch him already even though I do. That isn't exactly the best way to build friendship. "It's just that I haven't seen my best friend Matilda Dukelow all holidays and I really wanted to…" I trail off embarrassedly, realising with another blush that teasing glint in his eyes. He is just messing with me.
"Really? I can't seem to get rid of mine and I've been stuck with them all summer." He grins again and I can't quite tell if he is joking now or not. I think he is. "I was kind of hoping to hide out here for a while but I could certainly do with some company." His eyes stare directly into my own in a slightly unnerving way. He's asking me to stay.
I don't quite know what crosses my mind but for some reason that not even I can explain, I find myself putting my things back down and falling into the comfortable seat beside James.
"Excellent." James claps his hands together in a businesslike way but the effect is completely lost on him. "We can't very well have two complete strangers working together now can we?" He asks rhetorically with another of those grins. At least I'm pretty sure it was rhetorical since I don't answer.
Up until now I suppose I've always stayed fairly indifferent to James. Friends would probably be pushing it a bit far but apart from the odd times I've, er, lost my temper at him, we aren't enemies either. Years of an indescribable friendship with Severus has of course made me slightly more adverse to him than perhaps I would have been otherwise. Hey, can you blame me? When one of your best friends spends every opportunity slurring against him it's hard for some of it not to rub off. But I never hated him, or even disliked him. He was little more than that neutral, sometimes slightly annoying blob in my existence.
There was that unfortunate phase in fifth year when he got really cocky and kept asking me out. I think more than anything, he just despised my friendship with Severus. Maybe that's why he always picked on him so much, but Sev was just as bad in return. The amount of times either one of them ended up in the hospital wing with flowering pot plants sprouting out the top of their heads is ridiculous. Anyway, Potter seemed to see it as a personal insult to the house that a Gryffindor could befriend a Slytherin; that I could possibly prefer Sev's company to his.
Anyhow, his short lived obsession soon died and since then he's become just one of those people I will smile at if we pass in the corridors to be polite but won't look twice at if I don't have to and he returns the favour.
But now, it seems I have no choice but to get to know him; something I, if not Sev even more so, has hoped with every fibre of his being would never happen.
Subconsciously, my eyes trail over the boy lounging next to me as I try to figure him out. He's a trouble maker for sure, pushing every rule and toeing every boundary just because he can or maybe simply to see what reaction he will get. Definitely not the sort of character to suit Head Boy but I suppose I'll have to live with him.
I really can't for the life of me see what the rest of the school apparently does but I also can't deny that he has charm. Just the way his cool confidence had maintained the attention of the unsettled prefects in a way I never could was proof enough. But he's just so… carefree, like nothing in the world bothers him. It's almost infuriating in a way that he seems so incapable of being serious about anything.
Even his stance gives him away. Lounging carelessly in his chair with his inordinately scruffy hair sticking in every direction gives him a dishevelled, rugged appearance. His boyish charm and humour radiates from his ever present grin that not even I can deny is unattractive. But more captivating than anything are those warm, hazel eyes that seem to reflect every colour of the countryside shooting past outside. Warm hazel eyes that… are staring straight back into my own.
"Think you've got me figured out then?" That teasing voice halts my scrutiny of him as my pale cheeks darken. No surprise there.
Never lowering my gaze in a feeble attempt to convince him that I'm not embarrassed at being caught staring, I nod briefly.
"Mostly." Of course I do.
James' grin widens and I can't quite fathom whether I hate or admire that confident smirk that so often graces his features. I think they are about even.
I wrinkle my nose. I hate liquorice.
He shrugs carelessly and pulls out a long thin string of the black candy for himself.
"So how were your holidays?" He asks as he chews on the lolly.
It's automatic, careless, the kind of answer people give when they simply can't be bothered thinking up a decent response or if they don't want to talk about it. The kind of answer you give when you run into an old acquaintance who asks how you are. They don't really want to know if your house has been infested with termites, you've contracted glandular fever and your sister is secretly a man, or whatever the situation is. They are just asking to be polite. So it's reasonable to give a polite, not too informative answer. I sound like a robot.
In my case I just don't want to talk about it. I'm sure James really does want to know about my summer. He strikes me as the type of person who would love a bit of drama but I'm going to give it to him.
"What about you?" I deflect the question back to him hoping he'll take the bait, sense my telepathic plea that I don't want to talk about it. His eyes are questioning, curious but he doesn't ask me another question about my summer.
For a long while I listen to James' absurd tales of what he and 'the guys' had gotten up to during three long months without parents and rules. I think I'll leave your lurid imagination to come up with that one. Surprisingly I find myself enjoying his company and actually laughing at the inane jokes he cracks.
If someone asked later what we had talked about for nearly two hours I couldn't honestly tell you. I learnt that he's an only child of elderly parents who's spoilt rotten, his favourite colour is blue, he hates peas, he's never been outside Britain and he loves hot chocolate. None of it seems relevant or even to have any importance or relation to anything. He made me laugh more than I'd laughed all summer and despite the faint guilt eating away at my stomach, I don't regret staying and talking to him.
Something about the twinkle in his hazel eyes and his easy laughter makes me feel relaxed. His carefree attitude is catching, like yawning, and I don't mind in the least. And almost reluctantly I traipse back down to the other end of the train in search of Matilda.
As I walk down the train I catch sight of James walking into a compartment of rowdy boys also known by just about everybody as the Marauders. I try to quicken my pace as to not look like I'm eavesdropping but can't help catching a few words as I pass.
"Oi Prongsie, where've you been all trip?" Comes the loud, obnoxious voice of James' second hand man Sirius Black.
"Is that what I think it is?" A shocked silence follows and I would love to peer around just to see their shocked, wide-eyed-faces at the Head Boy badge pinned to the robes of Hogwarts' biggest trouble maker.
"Well done mate." That of course is Remus Lupin who, unlike Black, is full of praise.
"Oh no Prongs. You're part of the dark side now. Once you've crossed you can never come back. You're one of them now. A fun-sucking, rule abiding, punishment handeroutering, soulless library dweller!" It sounds as if he's talking about some bloodthirsty monster and I stifle the burst of giggles I can feel coming on. I would willingly place bets that Sirius is holding his fingers up like a cross to ward him off.
Keeping a straight face I scoot past the door, accidentally catching James' eye as I pass. He winks and I hurry on before he catches sight of another of my damned stupid blushes.
And somehow as I'm continuing on my way I find myself smiling. Why, I have no idea but somehow the idea of working with James doesn't seem so bad. He may not be the hardest working student in the school but at least he's fun.
I shake my head and return to my mission. To find my best friend, preferably before Christmas.
Matilda isn't hard to locate. Find the fullest, loudest compartment and she's always somewhere in the middle of it.
"Oh my God, Lily!" She squeals when she catches site of me, almost strangling me as she hugs me tightly. By the time I hug her back I feel about half as wide.
With a wave back to the others in the cabin, Matilda and I leave, a grin almost splitting my face in half. I really missed her. I mean, who else would keep me up to date with the latest celebrity gossip, rave about who'd just overtaken who in the quidditch league and throw pillows at my head to wake me up in the morning because I slept through my alarm. Certainly not Petunia.
We didn't really need to catch up on holidays since my only sanity over the summer were the constant owls I pelted her with as she lived the wild party life I wish I had.
"I still can't believe you got Head Girl." She marvels with a smile. That's one of the things I love about Matilda. She can get even more excited about my successes than I do.
I scrunch my face thoughtfully. It was certainly a surprise. I mean, sure I was a prefect for the last two years but I never would have picked myself as Head Girl material. Matilda, however seems to think otherwise despite her own initial surprise.
"Well, you do get near perfect grades." She points out.
I nod. I won't lie, I work hard and I do get good marks but so do plenty of other people and I hardly stand out.
"And the teachers all love you."
Maybe a little mislead too. Don't get the wrong idea, I'm hardly a rebel but I'm not the goody-two-shoes the teachers all think. I just know how to smile prettily and talk my way innocently out of trouble. Hey, it's a handy gift.
"But a leadership position?" I ask sceptically. "You know I have the leadership skills of a house elf."
Not even Matilda can deny that one. The last time I accepted a leadership position, I was eight years old at Girl Scouts. Sparing some of the ghastly details, my group returned two days late to base camp with one girl insistent that she
"Now, the most important thing." I can see her grinning wickedly and I know where she's heading. "Who's the hottie?"
"I believe you mean Head Boy?" I reply with a smirk. Her eyebrow twitches and I know she's desperate to know and growing impatient quickly.
"Tell me!" She wheedles.
"James Potter." I clap my hands over my ears at the excited squeal she emits, clapping her hands together excitedly.
"Just think of all the naughty things you can get up to in the Head's quarters!" I roll my eyes.
"Come on Tilly." I scold. "It's James Potter. He's hardly my type."
Matilda thinks my expectations are too high. Only about two guys have ever gotten my seal of approval. Let's just say my love life isn't exactly blooming. The guys that I like never even give me a second glance. The guys that like me are - how do I put this nicely? - someone I would never go within fifty feet of let alone want to kiss. All the hot ones are complete jackarses and the nice ones look like they've been beaten repeatedly with the ugly stick. I'm not shallow, I'm really not but things just never go my way with guys.
"Well, if you won't then I will." She states with a sly smile. Again, I roll my eyes with a smile of my own.
Judging from the knowing smirk on her face, she thinks I'm going to look appalled and subconsciously admit my undying love for him. Fat chance.
The sky slowly darkens and inevitably the train slows and pulls to a halt. Excited tingles make their way down my spine and I know it sounds stupid but it happens every year. This is home.
"Well, at least you're easy to spot in a crowd." James appears at my elbow and I instinctively smile.
"I'll see you in the Great Hall." Matilda says as she passes through the door with a backwards look at me. "Have fun. Keep safe!" She winks suggestively and with a wave, jumps off onto the platform, grinning for all she's worth.
I roll my eyes, but still feel the growing heat on my cheeks. James' gaze is lingering on my face in mild confusion but not without a trace of amusement.
"What was that about?"
"Oh, that's just Matilda." I say conversationally. "She seems to think that being Head Boy and Girl together is an act of fate and that we should have a passionate, torrid love affair in the Head's tower."
Mortification seeps through my shock at the awful words that just escaped my mouth. Sometimes I wonder if I was born without the common sense gene. What in Merlin's name possessed me to think that that would somehow ease the tension? The idiocy of my brain astounds even me at times. Like now.
"A passionate, torrid love affair, eh?" His voice is deep and full of amusement, the occasional chuckle breaking through the barrier of my humiliation.
Well, Matilda did say that. Not in so many words, but the implications were definitely there.
"So, ah, what's the difference between erotic and kinky?"
I should be banned from social interaction. Locked in a cell of solitude where my curse of wreaking complete and utter humiliation upon myself shall be kept at bay. A red stain hot enough to fry an egg on my face, sizzles across my cheeks. Way to go Lily. You've successfully proved that you are a social leper with diarrhoea of the mouth.
An awful tinkling laughter, so fake it could be used for celebrity face reconstructions spills out of me. "Joke." I mutter lamely. "It was supposed to be a joke."
My eyes are fixed to the ground, hoping that it will find some magical way to absorb some of my embarrassment.
"Oh, okay." He sounds completely dazed, unfortunately not by my charming wit more than my complete lack of sanity. "Well, what is it?"
Maybe I'm not the stupid one here.
The difference? What difference? Oh, right. The joke. The one that has just stripped me of any shred of pride and dignity I still possessed.
"Erotic uses a feather. Kinky uses the whole bloody chicken."
To add insult to injury, the words are barely audible through my semi-contained laughter. How pathetic can I get? Now I'm laughing hysterically like a mad woman at my own jokes. All I need now is to start seeing green pigs floating across the sky and I'll be hauled off to the insane ward of St Mungos with the people in long white jackets and walls you can bounce off of.
James' deep chuckle seems to bring me back to the present with startling force. "That – was – funny." He gasps through little bursts of laughter that make his eyes crinkle merrily.
By now I've completely forgotten our purpose and the last of the students are now disappearing out of eyesight in those rocky, horseless carriages.
"Should we, er, get a carriage then?" I ask cautiously, for some reason feeling suddenly nervous around James who's still laughing heartily at my joke.
With his nod of consent, I scuttle into the carriage with surprising agility for me and settle myself by the window. As we begin the bumpy journey up to the castle, I hang my head out as the cool wind brushes my face pleasantly. Tangles of my long hair whip dangerously around my face in a crazy sort of ribbon dance.
"Are you always this neurotic?" James voice cuts through my thoughts and I look up in surprise.
I have a gift of expressing myself clearly and eloquently.
James repeats his question, that teasing glint never wavering from his expression as he waits expectantly for me to stop choking on my own saliva and answer. I don't even bother to say thank you as he slaps me on the back to cease my coughing fit in the extent of my surprise and annoyance.
"I am not neurotic!" I exclaim in some offence. Really. The cheek of him, calling me neurotic. Not that that wasn't just what I was calling myself before but that's beside the point.
He doesn't even have the good manners to look abashed. "Okay, maybe that was a bad choice of words but it's true. You just admitted barely ten minutes ago your kinky fantasies of having a torrid, passionate love affair with me in the Head's quarters. Not that I'm not flattered and all."
"I did not!" I say heatedly, my face flaming hotter than what I imagine the common room fire to be. "That was Matilda and it was just a joke!"
Now, not only have I proved that I really am neurotic, but that I can accurately resemble a beetroot too.
His grin is now so pronounced that I really would love to shove my wand up his nose if I wasn't so afraid of getting boogies on it which is quite disgusting.
"Okay okay. I apologise." He submits, though not looking in the least bit sorry. "But it is certainly true that you blush more than anybody else I know."
Oh Merlin, this boy will be the death of me!
"Please, stop flattering me so." I mutter dryly out the window, the sight of his smirk really beginning to strain my eyes.
"Oh no," His voice drifts back across to my unenthusiastically receiving ears, "don't get me wrong. You do look exceptionally cute when you blush. It just astounds me that your head hasn't caught fire yet."
I don't even bother to turn my head in his direction for my reply. "I don't know where you ever learnt the art of compliments Potter, but you definitely missed a few crucial lessons." I try in a lofty voice as the carriage pulls to a stop.
Preparing for my dramatic exit to accompany that pronouncement, I pull open the door a little too enthusiastically. My balance seems to hover uncertainly before my feet completely slide out from underneath me and I land with a hard thump on my backside. Or I would have if a strong pair of arms hadn't caught me just before I hit the floor.
A large pair of hazel eyes meet mine and I can't seem to break my gaze from his. It's like one of those perfect Hollywood moments where the damsel in distress is saved from the brink of death by the handsome hero, only the romance is slightly dampened by the fact that my skirt is now hitched around my upper thighs, my ankle is throbbing painfully, not to mention that James Potter is in place of the handsome hero.
"And did I ever tell you that you have the coordination skills of a drunken, one-legged mountain troll?"
Before I can even ponder the proximity of his face and the not-as-repulsive-as-it-should-be idea of kissing James Potter, his strong frame is disappearing through the oak front doors of the castle and I'm left standing, with my mouth hanging open like a flytrap, staring after him.
A nightmare, maybe, a stress, most definitely, but if there's one thing I can count on: at least this year will be anything but boring.
Whew, that is certainly the longest chapter I've ever written! I do apologise if the first chapter is pretty crappy but I promise it will improve dramatically so please bear with it and don't abandon me too soon. Leave a review, and brighten my day:D