Disclaimer: Well, I most certainly didn't come up with these cute little sayings all on my own. I had the help of Google, as well as a few very nice people who were so sweet as to say these lovely things. Anywho, if there is a quote without a name attached to it, there will be a number somewhere after it to give credit to that person who said it. I do not own Harry Potter—and nor do I own those absolutely ADORABLE shoes that I found yesterday that were so absolutely to die for except that they didn't have in my size and apparently they're not going to ship any more to Famous Footwear (I know, I'm surprised, too) and the only one they have in my size is on Coral Way, and that's not exactly near my house…. GRRR!!!!

A Winter Kiss

By Natali K. A.

Other men said they have seen angels,
But I have seen thee
And thou art enough.

-G. Moore

James Potter was walking down the third floor corridor, late—again—for McGonagall's class. How he managed to have done this for the third time in a single week was beyond him—he wasn't usually the tardy sort. However, here he was, late, and fearing the wrath of the evil cat lady.

He really didn't know what happened. The last thing he remembered was leaving early from lunch to be on time, and then suddenly the late bell was ringing and the corridors had cleared! It was like some sort of time warp…

Of course, there was the matter of Lily Evans walking past him in a delectable new miniskirt—that was most certainly enjoyable. And he had, naturally, taken a few seconds to stop and admire the view.

Needless to say, Lily Evans was very distracting. A very welcome, very cute, very feisty distraction.

He had just approached the beautifully carved oak door of the Transfiguration classroom when it opened suddenly, and a vision of absolute perfection stepped out, miniskirt accompanying her.

"Hello, Evans," James said, smiling his best dazzling smile at her. "Come out to give me your own personal welcome? Maybe a hug to boot?"

She raised a single eyebrow, staring him down, not even a hint of laughter on her countenance. "Sorry, Potter. McGonagall says you're not to come to class today, that this is the third time this week. When you think you're ready to be on time to class, you may return." She smiled wickedly, showing off pearly white teeth. "You also have an extra assignment, and you're to see her after class. Run along now and go look at yourself in a mirror or something."

James narrowed his eyes at her. "You enjoyed that only too much, didn't you?"

"Terribly," she admitted. Her heart was still beating fast from the smile he'd shot her, and she wasn't sure she could stand up on her own. Thank God for doors to lean on.

James leaned forward and put an arm on either side of her as to cage her in. "D'you want to skip class with me, Evans?"

She smiled so sweetly at first that he thought she might actually agree (he'd have to wonder then at the state of her health, if she was being nice to him). Then suddenly he felt the sharp tip of her wand sticking into his abdomen.

"Just give me a reason, Potter, and I'll make sure you miss more than just this class," she whispered lethally.

He gave her a short nod and backed away, his handsome face suddenly hard and cold. "Very well. I'm sorry then." He turned and headed for the grounds, where he could cool off some.

Lily was a little surprised. She didn't show it—she was a master of veiling her emotions by now—but she definitely felt it. He'd apologized. Of all the things to apologize for, this was what Potter chose to be his first apology? She didn't think about it too much—after all, it wasn't exactly heartfelt, it was just more of something to say in response to her threat.

What really threw her off was the fact that for the first time, he didn't have something to say in return. Not a defense, not a caustic remark, nothing. But she shrugged it off and returned to the classroom, half-wishing that she could follow him instead. She took her seat, announcing to McGonagall and the entire class that the deed had been taken care of, and that James understood the message. She shared a giggle with the rest of her classmates, though her heart wasn't really all that in it.

"You also told him to see me after class?" Professor McGonagall asked, although she already knew the answer to that.

"Yes, ma'am. Whether he'll be here or not is entirely up to him now," she replied.

Sirius Black, who sat behind her, interjected, "He'll be here, professor. Believe me."

Out of pure spite, Lily whipped around and glared at the offending being. "Black, perhaps you have certain romantic notions about James Potter, but others in this school clearly do not. He is irresponsible, egotistical, bratty, snobby, chauvinistic, and entirely disgusting. Did I mention that he's also lazy, spoiled, and piggish?"

"Everyone's a little of those things, Lily. I'd rather not begin to point out your own faults. I'm a gentleman."

"Ha! A gentleman! Gentleman my arse! My third aunt's ugly pet monkey has better manners than you do."

He raised a black eyebrow. They had the attention of the entire class. "Sometimes, Evans, being a gentleman involves more than manners—it's knowing when and how to use them. Unlike you, I did not feel the need to bring down one of my House mates."

"Evans, Black, enough," McGonagall finally cut in. "We have work to do. You two can finish your little spat later."

Wanting to slip in just one more remark, Lily added, "Your mate is absolutely the biggest, piggish git I have ever the misfortune to meet in my entire life. A more horrible person I cannot imagine."

"I'm sorry, Miss Evans, but of the several things James Potter is, he is most certainly not a horrible person," McGonagall interjected, next to her seat now. "Take this from a teacher whose side has long been plagued by that particular thorn."

Outside, James was stomping around in male irritation, whacking a bludger around in a devastatingly manly fashion.

Couldn't she just have kept her lovely mouth shut for two more seconds? He'd been about to compliment her in a very un-crude way—because even he could admit that his suggestion hadn't been horribly gentlemanly. But just two more seconds and he could have gained a couple points with her.

Not for the first time, it bothered him. A lot. No matter what he did, he could not get Lily Evans out of his mind.

"Bloody hell, she's gorgeous," he muttered, reaching back to swing, smiling at the satisfying thwuck that the bat and bludger made when they collided.

Quidditch. It made him feel good.

An hour later, he was still there, sweaty and very hot. That's where Lily found him, and she was struck anew by her immense attraction to him. She mentally shook herself, preparing to talk to him.

Although she'd never admit it to him (or anyone, for that matter), she knew that James Potter was charming, handsome, and staggeringly irresistible. Heck, she remembered that every time that he smiled her way. But if no one pretended he was the ugliest thing since ogres, then he'd truly be out of control—more than he already was.

Secretly though, Lily knew that there was much more to it than that. Obviously she was attracted to him—her own mother had remarked on his rugged good looks. Her mother had even stared a little longer than socially appropriate! She was afraid to fall for him, because then she'd be like every other girl—just another trophy on his shelf.

"Potter," she called out, "I've another message for you."

"What? Did you forget to hex me into oblivion? Or maybe you just want to tell me to fuck off," he said bitterly.

Her eyes widened, and she almost threw back a retort, but she bit her tongue. "Alright. I deserved that. You didn't do anything, and I was just jumping the gun. Forgive me if I'm used to having my guard up around you. I thought I'd beat you to it."

He kept his eyes on the bludger, not even bothering to glance her way. That stung. That told her that she wasn't even worth looking at.

"Whatever. What's your message? The sooner you deliver it, the sooner you can leave. After all, that's what we both want."

She blinked. "McGonagall has some meeting, and she said to see her sometime before dinner. Black had to do something, and I thought I'd save you the trouble of… Yeah. Um, that's all."

With his back still to her, he took yet another swing at the bludger. He ignored her completely.

She cocked her head to the side, amazed that he had the gall to ignore her. She'd done so much worse to him! Had he finally snapped?

"I'll leave you to your beating then," she said softly, not even sure if he'd heard her. It didn't matter. She'd taken about fifteen steps when his voice stopped her.

"I don't know if you've noticed or not, Evans, but I haven't even talked to you since we've gotten back from summer holiday." He was looking at her now, watching the bludger's progress through the air simultaneously. "I haven't had a chance to be rude to you, nor have I specifically wanted to. Therefore, I have not sought to."

"Five years of ridicule and mockery is hard to erase, Potter," she said with an edge to her voice. "But no, I have not noticed."

"Notice then. Call it the arrogance of a young boy, or the spoiled result from overindulgent parents, whatever. I haven't done a single thing to you since well before O.W.L. exams last year."

Merlin, he sure knew how to make a person feel guilty! And she hadn't even done anything that he hadn't done first! She opened her mouth to say just that when he cut her off.

"And if you hadn't opened your bloody mouth so quickly, you would have learned that I was about to compliment you. Fuck you, Evans."

"Now hang on a second. Your idea of a compliment is very different from mine. For instance, 'your tits look nice in that top' is not my idea of a compliment."

"I'd never say that to a woman. Contrary to what you might think, I'm not disrespectful in that manner."

"Oh, you'd never say that, but you'd tell them to fuck themselves? Or didn't you just say that?" she pointed out, feeling herself getting a little heated.

That silenced him for a moment. "Alright. I was pissed off. You pissed me off. You always piss me off."

"Maybe that's why we don't get along, you twit!" she snapped.

"No, we don't get along because every single time that I try to be nice, you blow up in my face. You turn into the bleedin' Ice Queen from the South!"

"You started everything, Potter! How many times did you pull a prank on me in First Year without any retaliation from me? I didn't start this fire!"

He walked straight up to her and got in her face. "I was eleven years old, for pity's sake, Evans. All guys are complete arses then."

"Whatever," she rolled her eyes and turned on her heel to return to the castle. "That didn't stop you for the next four years!" she called over her shoulder.

"You loved it."

She whipped around quickly, stopping his heart for one glorious second as her loose flaming red hair fanned out about her. She was a vision of utter loveliness.

"Excuse me?'

"You loved every moment of it."

"Oh really? Yes, you're right. I adore waking up to find my hair all chopped off, walking to the Hospital Wing with peals of laughter behind me."

"You loved the reputation that came along with it. Lily Evans, the only one who could possibly best James Potter outside of the Marauders."

Her face changed completely. It took him by surprise.

"Potter, I got picked on a lot for it. The girls didn't understand it—you're so beautiful and all, how couldn't I just fall at your feet?—and the guys think you're the best thing since sliced bread. I did not enjoy the reputation that came along with it."

"Please. You're Lily Evans, Pranksteress Extraordinaire and most beautiful girl in the school. I'm sure it was real hard."

"What were you going to say?" she asked curiously.


"What was your compliment?"

He took a step back. "Oh. That. I thought we were arguing here."

"I don't want to argue anymore. I'm tired of arguing—for the moment. What were you going to say? You've never complimented me before. Well, that's not true. You complimented my enlarged nose that one time you—"

"Yes. Well… It was just that you look lovely in your new skirt, and your jumper brings out your eyes."

She giggled. "Are you blushing? James Potter, blushing?"

"I'm not blushing."

"Sure." She paused. "Thank you. How'd you know it was a new skirt, though?"

He looked at her blankly. "Believe me. I know."

"Hmm. Well, anyway, I've got to get going. As it is, I'm going to be late—aren't you?"

"Free period."

"Ah. Well, yes. I'll see you around, Potter." For the third time, she turned to go, and again for the third time, his voice called her back.

"I don't want you to hate me, Evans. I don't know if it's too late, but… that's not what I want."

She nodded, feeling shy around James Potter for the first time in years. "I've got to go," she said apologetically, finally rushing off to her class.

True love cannot be found where it truly does not exist,
Nor can it be hidden where it truly does.


By December, both Lily and James had gotten quite accustomed to being civil, if not overly friendly. They hadn't actually talked to each other since that conversation on the Quidditch pitch, except for when Lily asked James to please pass her the eye of blue frog, if he had the chance, to which he remarked yes, he was quite able and willing.

This peaceful if not amorous coexistence stunned not only themselves, but their friends and the rest of the school. And while it was certainly not comfortable exactly, it did make for a less tense time in the common room. (Although the absence of their previously heated arguments dismayed some of the more bored inhabitants of Gryffindor house.)

However, this situation would soon be changed by one of the simplest events that Hogwarts students performed throughout the day—dinner. Due to a nap, Lily arrived to dinner sans friends, who had dined without her. By then, the entire hall had nearly emptied. The Hufflepuff table had just nine students, Slytherin seven, and Ravenclaw was unable to boast of any.

Her own House table had just six occupants—four of which were the Marauders. Dinner suddenly seemed a lonely prospect, and she decided upon just grabbing a couple rolls and heading up to the tower to continue her nap.

About ten paces away from the Marauders, she grabbed her rolls and a leg of chicken and turned to return to her room. A voice behind her stopped her.

"Hey, Evans. If you want, you can have dinner with us," James offered. How did he stand up so quickly? Wasn't he just seated? She didn't think he'd even noticed her enter the room.

"Oh. Uh, hmm, no, I was just going to take this up to my room and… Thanks anyway though." She attempted a half smile.

He nodded, returning an equally pathetic half smile. "Good night, then." Sticking his hands into his pockets, he headed back for his mates.

Lily stood there, rooted to the spot. Would it really hurt all that much, to eat with the Marauders? After all, the elves had cooked up her favorite dish, and she couldn't enjoy it otherwise. They were pleasant enough. She wouldn't even have to talk, just sit there so she didn't look like a total loser. Never mind that it would immediately jump out to any passerby that Lily Evans did not usually sit with the Marauders—for any reason. She would just eat quickly and leave. Simple as that.

All this thinking was done in a split second, and then Lily called out, "Are you sure you guys wouldn't mind? I don't want to impose. Really."

He half-turned back to her, casting her the most charming smile she had ever received in her life. She almost lost her balance.

"Not at all." He pointed to the seat next to his. "You can sit there, if you'd like."

As Peter Pettigrew was on his other side, she decided she'd much rather sit next to James.

She walked up to the Marauders, who had been talking to each other during all this and only now looked up at her. Ah. This was uncomfortable. "You're sure? You don't mind? I mean, I could just go up and—"

"Have a seat, Evans," Sirius purred, smiling wickedly at her. "Thank you for deigning to gorge in our presence."

Unsure of whether that was a gibe or not, Lily let it go and took her seat, taking a sip of her pumpkin juice. She hadn't realized she was so thirsty.

As she'd expected, there was an awkward silence for a few minutes. She shouldn't have sat down—she had no business doing so! But no, Lily couldn't resist the experience. She was mentally kicking herself when she realized Remus Lupin was looking at her inquiringly. "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?" she blushed.

"How are you faring on that project for Arithmancy? I can't believe she assigned it—how bonkers is she? Christmas hols are next week!" he repeated kindly.

She groaned. "I've barely started. I'm not going to be able to leave my room all weekend in a feeble attempt to finish it. I'm absolutely dreading it."

"That reminds me of last year, five weeks before O.W.L. exams, when suddenly Sirius realized exams were in five weeks and he hadn't studied," James chuckled. "I've never seen you study so hard, mate."

Lily gasped. "You waited till five weeks before?"

"I'm a daredevil like that," he grinned, sobering quickly. "No, I hadn't realized it. I kept putting it off, telling myself that I didn't need to study as much as everyone else. You've never felt so horrible a feeling as when I realized that I hadn't studied and they were five weeks away." He shuddered. "Stupidity. Pure stupidity."

"You said it, not me," she laughed, putting some mashed potatoes into her mouth. "I admire your bollocks, Black. Hard to believe you passed."

"Passed?" Remus said with a disgusting snort. "He got better marks than all of us."

"That's dishonorable, Black," Lily said in a mock scolding manner. "How could you?"

He shrugged. "It happens."

"He nearly pissed his pants, he deserves his grades, if just for the suffering he endured," James laughed. "Spent the next five weeks studying."

"I should say so!" Lily said. "You astound me, Black."

"In a good way, I hope," he said.


That's what started it. A simple question about a project would start the friendship of the greatest group of friends in Hogwarts history.

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature
To stop speech when words become superfluous.

-Ingrid Bergman

By the beginning of their Seventh Year, the Marauders and Lily were decent friends—if perhaps not the best of friends. They had even gotten together a few times during the summer of their own free will. The extent of their friendship, however, was still a mystery to most.

Therefore, when Lily and James were announced Head Boy and Girl (not respectively), there wasn't a whole lot of moaning and groaning—or at least not from them. Certain bitchy female parties that shall remain nameless thought it was entirely unfair that Lily got to spend all that time with James Potter. Hunky man-candy that he was.

Somewhere in mid-November, James and Lily were patrolling the castle grounds together, on "Head business," although both knew they weren't doing any work of any sort, unless you would count walking as Head duty.

"By the way, Margaret looks like she's about to kill me," Lily snickered. "You should have seen the look she gave me over lunch the other day! Then yesterday, she had the audacity to tell me that I better back off from 'her man.' I told her in no uncertain terms that you were as much her man as I was. After a flare of the nostrils, she left me."

James chuckled, shoving his hands in his pockets. "I can't fathom why she's still after me. We haven't gone out since Fifth Year, and we barely talk. I've stopped acknowledging her presence because every time I do—Never mind."

"No, no, no, you don't start a juicy tidbit like that and then decide that you're not going to share!" Lily said, giving him a playful shove. "Come on now, Mr. Potter, what happened that you stopped being civil with her? She probably blew her ranking breath on you, if you want my guess."

"No. She showed up in my bed a couple times."

Lily halted. "For what?"

James hung his head for a moment, and when he looked up at her, he had a naughty smile on his face. "If you don't know, then I'll have to show you." He wrapped an arm around her. "What do you say, Evans?"

She glared at him. "I'm not amused."

He chuckled, and she could feel it reverberating through his chest. It was the hottest thing in the world, Lily decided at that moment. And while admittedly she had a grand desire to acquiesce to his request, she wanted to know what Margaret—a Ravenclaw in their year—had intended to do in his bed. Well… She had a good idea, but she wanted to know his response to it.

"What'd you do?" she asked him.

"When?" he asked, looking at her neck.

"When you found her in your bed."

His head snapped up to meet her eyes. "Oh. Well, the natural thing."

"So you slept with her?"

He straightened up, releasing his hold on her just a little. "No. I told her to get out of my room and to take her clothes with her."

"She was naked?!"


"Does she dye her hair? She swears that she doesn't, but I have this nagging feeling that she's not a natural blo—"

This time he disengaged himself from her entirely. "I didn't look."

She glanced at him skeptically. "You don't have to lie to me. You're a man. And for all the things that Margaret is, she's a tasty dish as far as sex appeal goes. You looked."

"Don't believe me then. But I didn't look," he shrugged, continuing their way around the school. "I'm not interested in her."

Lily shook her head. "I'll never understand men."

"You might not want to."

She nodded her agreement, looking at him out of the corner of her eye. He seemed a little standoffish now that she had claimed not to believe him. She still wasn't sure that James Potter could have had a naked and willing female in his bed and he hadn't even looked over her wares.

While that might sound like an awful thing to say, Lily didn't mean it maliciously, and certainly not because she despised James. Needless to say, they'd grown quite closer—especially this year—and now had their own private friendship outside of the one they had within the Marauders.

James let out a slow sigh, his warm breath showing in the cool November air. "We shouldn't do this."

"Do what?"

"Hang out like this all the bloody time. I can't resist you much longer."

She laughed ruefully. "I was unaware of your resisting."

"I'm serious. My feelings for you haven't changed, and while I can certainly accept—if not like—that they're unreciprocated, I can't be tortured like this. Or I'm going to do something that I'll regret later."

She stopped again, turning to him and placing a hand on his arm. "James—"

He drew his arm away. "Keep walking, Lily."

She furrowed her eyebrows, staring after him as he kept walking back toward the doors to the castle. Eventually, he realized she had no intention of following him, and he returned to her, so slowly that she wondered if it was unwillingly.

"What do you want from me?" she asked softly.

He sucked in his breath. "You shouldn't ask me that. The answer might not please you as you think it might."

"I'm not asking this so I can look forward to a pleasant conversation. I'm asking because… You're my friend, James. Whether I like or not."

"Do you?"


"Do you like it? Or not?"

She smiled. "It's alright. That's all you're getting out of me." She chuckled, looking away from him and over his shoulder to the lake. "Answer, please?" She was begging now.

"Lily," he groaned. "Stop tormenting me."

"I'm not tormenting you. You can have any girl in the school—they are all falling to their knees, waiting for the slightest encouragement from you so that they can fulfill your every whim. Why me? You have the rest of the world, why do you need to have me?"

"Yes, but I want you." He forced her to look at him. "Not the world. You. You are my world. Whether you like it or not. This time I won't ask which."

His eyes were boring into her, and they set her heart on fire. He was so beautiful, she could easily allow herself to fall under his spell and be swept off her feet into a land of fantasy and great sex. Why didn't she? What would be the harm?

"I… I don't know, James," she said finally, dropping her eyes. "I just don't know if I can give you that. I'm sorry. I'm not doing this on purpose."

He reached out to cup her cheek, and Lily was grateful for the warmth that his large palm provided. She felt her eyes close.

"I know you're not."

She missed the warmth after he released her. She felt the dull ache of depression seeping into her mind. Why couldn't it just be simpler than this?

She closed the space between them and buried her face in his chest, her arms encircling him. A content sigh escaped her lips as she savored the heat emanating from his body. Though he stood there passively, she could hear the savage beating of his heart.

"Would you kiss me?" she asked against him. "Or is that too much to ask?"

"Lily," he muttered, "I wouldn't know why you'd even want to. You've made yourself quite clear as to where you stand on this, and I'm not going to settle for stolen kisses behind the castle—as if we had something to hide."

"I'm not—I don't mean—I just wanted to see…"

He rest his head against her hair, finally bringing his arms around her small frame. "If you ask again, I won't have the strength to deny you, if it's truly what you wish."

The silence stretched between them, and James felt his heart plummet to his stomach. "I told you," he said softly.

She angled her head to look him in the eye. "Told me what?" she asked as her lips grazed his chin. "I didn't ask again for your sake—not for mine." She put her mouth by his ear. "Seduce my mind and you can have my body. Find my soul and I'm yours forever." (1) She paused. "One down, one to go."

With that promise, she left him, feeling that if she stayed any longer, she would be unable to account for her actions.

Love is like swallowing hot cocoa
Before it has cooled off.
It takes you by surprise at first,
But keeps you warm for a long time.


"First witch to perform the Chaining Spell."

"Lucila the Fatter."

"The second?"

"Lucila the Thinner."


"The Fatter was cousin to the Thinner and was jealous of the Thinner, who had a handsome husband. In retaliation, the Fatter invented this spell to tie up the Thinner so that the Fatter—who had lost a lot of weight by then and resembled her—could steal her husband for a few minutes. But then, the Thinner got loose and found her with her husband in… well, a compromising position. She performed the second Chaining spell on her husband, then the third on the Fatter."

"Dwarf king during the Horse Wars of the 16th century?"

"Magniticance the Twelfth."


"The Thirteenth."


"Leopold the Lion Tamer."

"The first Minister of Magic?"

"James, please!" Lily begged, rubbing her temples. "I can't anymore. I can't shout out any more facts. My mind feels like the stuff in Pettigrew's cauldron that set Slughorn's toupee on fire back in Fifth Year."

Sirius, who was sitting on a couch across from them, snickered in remembrance. While he hadn't contributed any answers, this was his form of studying. And with months before N.E.W.T. exams, too. Lily was shocked. Maybe Remus had finally worn off on him….

"What are the ingredients and quantities of those ingredients for a Weeping Potion?" James continued, looking almost as harried as Lily felt. Ever since they'd returned from Christmas holidays he'd been in a rampage. Study, eat, study, eat, sleep, study, study, eat, study, eat, sleepy, study, eat, flirt with Lily a little, study, sleep, study… Et cetera. It went on and on like this, but Lily had had enough.

"No, James. We're done for today. In fact, we're taking this weekend off." She stood up, stretching. She felt as if she was forty years old. Every single bone in her body ached. Even her brow bone. Seriously. She had run into a door earlier.

"No! We have to study! Or else I'll fail!"

"What are you, the N.E.W.T. Nazi?" Lily asked, incredulous. He'd never been this crazy about schoolwork! Decidedly, she stood in front of him and grabbed his arm, pulling at him. "If you don't move, I swear I'll get Margaret to come in here and—"

"Moving, moving," he said hurriedly, standing up. Resigned, he hung his head and sighed. "Fine. What now?"

"We're going to go to the lake. And relax. Yes, it's cold. Yes, we'll get frostbite. But there isn't anyone studying out there for sure. Black, you coming?"

"Like a bull after a matador," he replied, throwing himself off the couch. "Moony, get off your butt and come on, too."

"I've got Potions homework," Remus whined, but stood up anyway. "Where's Peter?"

"Who cares?" James, Lily, and Sirius replied simultaneously.

Together, the foursome made their way across the lawn. The lake was still frozen over, but the Giant Squid had drilled a hole through and was tossing what seemed to be a dead fish into the air. It was sort of funny, actually.

It was cold, though. The Seventh Year Gryffindors were happy that they'd thought to bring their warmest coats. But even so, the wind nipped at Lily's face.

They'd have to go in soon—the cold was brutal—but it was also refreshing, a nice change from the almost too-warm common room.

Lily found a spot on the ground that was relatively free of snow under a tree and sat down there, hoping that her butt wouldn't get wet when it melted. James sat next to her, and the two soon found that they were a few feet away from Sirius and Remus so that they almost had privacy. Planned, probably. Those two never stopped trying to hook them up.

The talk soon turned toward the next Quidditch game—Hufflepuff versus Slytherin—and who would probably win (Slytherin) and the feelings about that (good, because now Sirius would enjoy beating the snot out of them in the game after that).

Eventually, James managed to catch Sirius's eye and nod his head discreetly toward the castle. His best mate got the hint.

Sirius nudged Remus and winked, standing up. "Right, well we're going back up to the castle. I'm feeling the rabid little claws of Hunger scratching at the lining of my stomach."

"Sirius, you're absolutely frivolous," Lily rolled her eyes, but she smiled nonetheless. "Only you."

"Thanks, m'dear."

And Lily, not being stupid, knew exactly what they were up to.

"But now you mention it, I am feeling rather peckish myself. I'll join you."

"No, you should stay. James'll probably start studying again if you don't."

She glared at him through narrowed eyes. "You know, Black, eventually this little game of Let's Hook Up Lily and James will get old, and I won't be amused any longer."

"Too right, Lily. See you later!" Remus interjected jovially, beginning the trek back up to the school. "Don't stay out too long, or you'll freeze off your extremities!"

Lily sighed, watching them go. She turned to James. "Think they'll ever give up?"

"Sure. When either you or I die. It'd be kind of pointless then."

She shook her head, staring off at the bank across the lake. James, however, was staring right at her.

"Thanks for getting me out. I was starting to develop a headache."

"I think the book had a headache even. I don't know what's come over you, all this studying. As if you could possibly fail the exams."

"I can."

"But you won't," she huffed, turning back to him. "Be realistic, James. As if glorious Potter would actually fail the exams. You excel at everything you do. It would break some law of the universe if you did."

He chuckled. "I'm flattered, but I really think you're more confident about my abilities than I am. And I'm not just fishing for compliments."

"Whatever, mate. I'm just calling it how I see it. Your grades are second only to mine."

"You're conceited," James declared emphatically, shoving her slightly with his shoulder. "Believe it or not, I think Remus has got better scores than you do."

She actually laughed. "Remus is crap at Arithmancy. For Remus, anyway. And for some reason, he can't do this one spell in Transfiguration, which absolutely drives him wild—"

"Lily. I'd rather not talk about my friends at the moment. In fact, I'd rather if we didn't talk. At all."

She raised a perfect eyebrow at him. "There you go again," she said in an almost-whisper. "You told me before to stop tormenting you. But you torment yourself. It's not my fault. Not entirely, anyway."

The cheeky smile he'd flashed her before didn't change, and she felt irritation seep into her blood. She'd love nothing better than to smack it off of him. But then that might cause a bit of a rift. Last time she'd slapped him, he hadn't spoken to her for months.

"Stop that," she snapped. But he didn't stop smiling. If anything, it grew even broader.

"James, enough!" she demanded, looking the other way. "I swear, if I knew this was what studying would do to you, I'd have hidden all your books from you before we returned from the holidays!"

When she felt his hand cover hers, her head snapped back to look at him, and she started when she saw he was just inches from her. Oh, no. She understood quite clearly what he had in mind.

"Potter, I'm warning you…" she threatened weakly, but even she didn't take herself seriously. Truth be told, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted it badly. In fact, if he wanted to take it further than kissing, who was she to stop him?

A Quidditch-roughened hand came up to cradle her face, forcing her eyes up to look at him. Oh, yes, she knew exactly what his intent was. And she couldn't tell if she liked it or not.

Probably a little of both….

The moment his lips made contact with hers, she knew any chance of resistance on her part was over. She was gone. Too far gone. He was too, apparently, because he instantly tightened his hold on her and pushed her back onto the ground.

Lily could feel the ice against her head, but she didn't care. She wasn't even all that cold, considering the lovely hunk of man she now had sprawled across her. In fact, it was too warm for her liking.

The kiss wasn't anything grand—a little rough, but still rather exploratory. He wasn't consumed by passion, even though Lily wouldn't have minded to see the tiger unleashed. Just maybe not in the snow. That could give frostbite.

When he pulled away, Lily reached up and encircled his neck, holding him to her.

"James, don't stop," she whispered, bringing his face back down to hers.

Beautiful eyes smiled down at her.

"See, Lily, those are the only three words you're allowed to say." He leaned down again for another kiss.

Hours later, Lily could still feel the warm, tingly sensation on her lips.

I have found men who didn't know how to kiss.

I've always found time to teach them.

-Mae West

"You're getting good at this," Lily said, smiling down at James. They were alone in his dormitory, the hangings pulled shut. And more than a little fun was going on.

His hands massaged her buttocks through her pants, kneading them lovingly. "Thank you, Miss Evans. But I fear I have to point out that I have always been good at this sort of thing."

She clucked her tongue, wagging her finger at him. "No, Mr. Potter. I'm sure that even you at one time were a poor kisser." She drew a hand down his chest to snake its way beneath his shirt.

He chuckled, although there was a pained expression in his eyes. Wonder why. "Miss Evans, I assure you that's not true. I was born a Casanova. And a Casanova I shall die."

She shook her head. "When I first got my hands on you"—and here, she did literally get her hands on him. How and where exactly This Author shall leave up to you—"you were quite inexperienced in the art of kissing. But with enough time and practice, I believe you have surpassed even my expectations. I'm sure Sirius will be thrilled."

"Oh, ha ha," he managed to get out, his breathing loud. "Very bloody funny."

"I thought so," she giggled coquettishly, leaning forward to kiss his chin. "Honestly, a girl's bound to get jealous eventually. Tell him to back off, you're my bloke."

"Are you kidding? He'll pummel me."

She nipped his chin. "Pansy," she whispered against his ear, drawing his ear lobe into her mouth. "I can see clearly who wears the pants in this relationship."

"I'll show you about wearing pants," he said, flipping her onto her back so that now he hovered over her. In one fluid motion—a very practiced motion, Lily noted dryly—he had removed her pants. "Who's wearing the pants now?"

She pouted up at him. "That's not fair. I'm more naked than you are."

That little problem, however, was soon remedied.

Kissing his way along Lily's neck, James said, "So, what else am I rather good at?"

"Quidditch," she breathed.





His lips quirked. That was more like it.

"Anything else?" he asked lazily.

She hissed. "Yes. That."

He chuckled. Yes, he was. Very good at that.

"And this?" he asked.

Only a whimper fell from her lips. Forget it. Coherent conversation was impossible for her now.

Good. She could talk too much anyway.

No man is truly married

Until he understands

Every word his wife is not saying.


"Hey," Sirius said, popping through the door connecting to the kitchen. "James around?"

Lily looked at him over the top of her reading glasses, frowning. "In our room probably. Why? I thought I'd heard him mention you were going to a party tonight."

"We are."

" 'We'?" she asked, eyebrows raised. "He didn't tell me we were going to a party."

Just then, James stepped through the door, a slight look of anxiety on his face.

"See, love, it's sort of… a private party."

"What's so private about it that your own wife can't go?" she snapped, setting her quill down to glare at him properly.

"I just didn't think you'd enjoy yourself so much. You don't really like them much."

"Ah." The word was cold and hard. "I see. You're going over there."

James sighed. "Love, you know you have nothing to worry about."

"Of course not," she retorted, closing the book she'd been copying with a snap. "Of course not, don't be ridiculous. As if you would ever even think about doing that. No, what I don't like is how that woman throws herself at you as if she owns you."

Sirius raised his eyebrows at James, who bit the inside of his cheek.

"If you don't want me to go, I won't. You just have to say the word," he said finally, deflated.

"Whatever makes you happy, dear," Lily said stiffly, gathering up her stuff and moving to another room. "If you want to go, it's none of my business. You're a grown man who can make his own decisions."

As she shut the door behind her, Sirius breathed a sigh of relief. "For a second there, I wasn't sure she'd let you go."

James turned to him with a look of surprise. "You don't think I'm still going to go?"

"But she said you could! 'Whatever makes you happy, dear' were her exact words. Why wouldn't you go?" Sirius exclaimed exasperatedly. "They're going to have veelas, mate. Come on. How brilliant is that?"

But James only shook his head. "If I go, I'll be sleeping on the couch for the next month. And I'm not that brave, Sirius. Lily will unleash her wrath upon me. And then where will I be?"

"Surrounded by lovely veelas hand-feeding you grapes," his best friend muttered, shaking his head and disapparating.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is to love and be loved in return.

-"Unforgettable with Love" by Natalie Cole

A/N: Well, there it is. This was written at my Aya's house, and I fully enjoyed writing this. This was also a procrastination attempt because I don't want to do my Christmas break project. Icky. Wide Sargasso Sea sucks!!! UBER BORING!! Whatever. Moving on.

These are credits for one of the quotes:

(1) Anonymous (Pointless. I know. But I don't want anyone to think I came up with that line on my own.)

And yeah, in case you haven't noticed, it's not December anymore. In fact, it's mid-August. I've had this saved in my files, collecting cyber-dust for months. I don't know why, I really like it. You know. For a one-shot. And, since once more I refuse to read an assigned book (I never did read Wide Sargasso Sea. Yet oddly enough, I passed with a high A in that class. Go figure), I thought I'd spend my time finishing this up, for those other poor souls who return to school with me.

It's my senior year though. J Yay! Double yay. TRIPLE yay. No more waking up at the crack of dawn (because believe you me, I will take a morning class over my dead body. And even then I'll show up in my pajamas).

I do hope you enjoyed. And to all the seniors out there… Rock on. ;) Class of '08 has always been the best. The world just doesn't know it yet.

With love, chocolate, and Zac Efron (EEEEK!!! HSM2 this Friday!!!),

Natali K. A.