A/N: This was a present for my friend Annie and part of a 100 situations challenge. The prompt was "Splatter" and it was kind of difficult so don't kill me if this turns out to be terrible. XD.
The Only Thing I Can Do is FingerpaintLily sat on her stool in the Head's Dorms and shifted uncomfortably. She had been sitting there for a little over four hours, facing the window that overlooked the Great Lake and the Grounds. Normally, one would not complain of this view as it was one of the best in the castle, however the wooden seat wasn't comfortable--the cushion that she normally used upon said stool was being particularly rebellious and lumpy today and she tossed it aside figuring that the seat would do better without it. Now he had no idea where she placed the thing and sort of wished that she had just dealt with the lumpiness of the cushion, because the hard wood stool was awkward to sit upon and her rear end was beginning to hurt. A lot.
She sighed and tucked a stray strand of red hair behind her ear. She was suffering from lack of inspiration, and to be honest, it was not putting her in a better mood. Needless to say, she was a bit agitated.
She shifted again, searching fruitlessly to find a comfortable spot on the tiny stool. No luck. Damn. She had selected a brush and picked out a color. Making tiny circles in the paint with her brush, Lily resolved that he would not throw this painting away, no matter how rubbish she thought it was. She would persue it until it was fully finished. She would not waste canvas! She would be environmentally conscious and...hug trees and such.
Well not go so far as to hug them, just not waste their carcasses. She would curse them because they make uncomfortable stools, but she would not waste them!
Her brush hovered over the canvas paper with a sky blue on the tip, poised in painting position.
A drop of paint landed on the canvas paper. A miniscule drop had made it's way off the brush tip and found its way to the paper. It was then that Lily decided she didn't like the color blue. Blue was bad. Blue should die. She shook her head, wrinkled her nose, and generally did all other signs of disliking something, including the ever-effective "pfft, rubbish" mumble and ripped off about a yard of canvas paper from her easle and started anew.
Oh who was she kidding, she wasn't environmentally conscious at all. She liked trees for making wands and comfortable chairs. That was all they were good for. As well as paper.
"I need a muse," she muttered. She looked at the door expectantly as though hoping that an actual figure clad in a toga with a sticker on the sheet that read "Hello my name is: Lily's Muse" would appear. She could only be so lucky.
She looked up at the sky sourly. "Thanks a lot."
She had long since figured that her muse had abandoned her. Stupid Greek Mythology.Who needs inspiration anyway?
"You called?" She nearly dropped her paintbrush in the water and turned around to her door to see James Potter grinning at her. She rolled her eyes toward the cieling.
"What would you like, Potter?" It was true that over the past few months of their seventh year, she had agreed to forge a friendship with James, but old habits die hard and hers was of calling him by his surname.
"You called for a "muse." Most people find me amusing, so I figure I should step in." He flashed her another smile and she had to restrain herself from rolling her eyes yet again. Biting her lip, she considered him. She had nothing better to do for about another two hours and she had been staring at the same lanscape without so much as a sketch comming out, so why not?
"Sit." She pointed to a couch inside the luxurious room with the end of her brush. James smiled and bounded over to the couch.
"James, I can't paint you if you don't sit still." He had been trying out different poses every five seconds since she began painting his portrait an hour ago. So far he'd gone through fivehundred and fourty two poses. She'd counted.
And he wondered why she criticized his attention span.
"I'm sorry, but bloody hell, I'm a good looking bloke, I wanna make sure you're getting my best side!"
"James, put your leg down, you look like a gay man triyng to seduce his boyfriend by...well doing what you're doing."
James' leg quickly fell back onto the couch; Lily smirked. "So this painting is for Sirius, then?"
"Oh bugger you. We're not gay together."
"Whatever you say." She half smiled and dipped her brush into another color, making delicate strokes along the canvas.
"So...how long've you been doing this?" James didn't like sitting in silence. It was odd for him to sit there without someone like Sirius talking into his ear constantly. So this was what quiet was like.
"Hmm?" She looked up and answered absentmindedly, "About an hour now, why?"
"No, I meant painting in general, not just me."
"Oh." Lily still didn't take her eyes off the canvas in front of her. "Umm well, I've always liked art--my parents took me on holiday one time in France and we went to the Louvre and oh, James it was fascinating. But then when I found out about all of...this stuff, and when I came to Hogwarts, I really got into it when I discovered the portraits could move and stuff like that. I've been painting ever since, I suppose."
James looked at her intently, wondering absently how any one person could devote that much attention to a hobby. "You're extremely disciplned," he observed.
"No. Just...have a bit of time on my hands." Lily's hands were splattered with paint as well as random parts on her face (although how paint got there, he had no idea, but it probably occured somewhere in the transfer of brushes and colors). She doned a pair of old jeans (which were also spattered with paint here and there and a black and white t-shirt that advertised "The Beatles" with the faded printing of four men. Her hair was pulled back messily, although it still fell into her bright eyes, which were concentrated so hard on the easel in front of her.
James had never seen her look more beauiful. He thought that she should be the one who should be painted, not him. But then, he would have to create the picture, and while he did consider himself a god half of the time, unfortunately he had to come to terms with the fact that he was not one. And only a god could do justice to that picture.
You're on good terms with each other now, James. Tell her that! Tell her that she looks so breathtakingly gorgeous that you may just gouge out your eyes because you feel almost unworthy to look at her! TELL HER!"You look really nice, Lily," James said in a slightly strangled voice.
Yeah. That's the same thing. Idiot."Huh? Oh!" Color rose in Lily's face as she took a second to tug self-consciously on her t-shirt. "Th-thank you."
They fell silent once again. Ten minutes passed...twenty...thirty...a full hour, James was shifting on the couch, trying to look anywhere but at Lily because his mind would turn to mush again if they made eye contact.
"Um...I'm almost done, but I've got Arithmancy now so I'll have to finish it later. Is that okay?" Lily got up off the stool and James rose to his feet as well, ready to exit the dorm, or help her with her books, or...do anything, really.
"Sure. Is it alright if I look--?"
"No!" Lily cut off the question just as he was reaching for the canvas paper. He withdrew in alarm and his hand jumped nervously to his hair to ruffle it. "I mean..." Lily's face flushed once again, "I'm not finished yet, so I...well I have a weird thing about not letting people see my unfinished work. Is...I mean, can you wait?"
"I...yeah, sure! No problem." James casually smiled and Lily followed in suit. She bid him goodbye and left. Left him. Alone. In her room.
X-X-XIt took James all of five minutes to figure out just how to get the protective charms off of the picture. And he gazed at it in awe. Lily was amazing. This painting could have easily been hung in with the rest of them at the Louvre. Her technique was exquisite. She, in his opinion, captured all that there was to know about James Potter in one picture. He was posed in a casual way on the couch, his hand tangled in his disheveled hair. He had a charming smile on his face and a mischevious twinkle in his hazel eyes that were shielded by the perfectly rounded glasses that she had placed on the bridge of his nose. There was something about the way that she had painted him that made him look casual, fun loving, caring, and charming all at the same time. He was honored that she had chosen him to be the subject of her painting.
It took him a record of 3 second to screw up the picture just in such a way that he knew Lily would notice.
Upon the face, He had knocked with his elbow the red. The splatter of paint had found it's target and there now looked to be a boil sized mark on the otherwise flawless face of James Potter.
James, not knowing what else to do, panicked.
X-X-X"Muh-oony, I'm bored as hell. I need to do something. This is not the face of a happy Padfoot." Sirius had pointed to himself too quickly and poked himself in the eye.
"You're a bloody genius," Remus said, looking over the top of his book.
"I try," Sirius said sourly.
"MOONY!" A familiar voice said as the wonderful figure of frantic James Potter was barraling towards them
"Prongs! I'm bored as hell. I need to do something! This is--OW!" Sirius' mantra was cut short as James knocked him over onto the ground in his attempt to get to Remus. Remus, fearing that he would meet the same fate, shielded his face with the book. James stopped short of Remus, and held up a sheet of canvas, panting rather like Sirius in his animagus form.
"Lily--and painting--and I--and red--and zit! FIX IT!" James thrust it towards Remus who examined the apparently ruined piece of canvas.
"Lily did this?" James nodded energetically to Remus' question as he tried to catch his breath. "It's extraordinary! She's a regular Rembrandt."
"Why're you comparing her to toothpaste?" Sirius asked, confused. Remus sighed.
"Not the toothpaste company, Rembrandt, the artist Rembrandt. He was a great painter of the early 1600s."
"Oh," was all Sirius had to say to Remus' culture.
"James, what did you do?"
"I--with the red paint! She told me not to look at it but I did and HELPP!"
"Lily's gonna kill you," Sirius voiced from the arm chair he was sitting in. The three of the four Marauders were in the Gryffindor Common Room and James' frantic activity had scared off all others who had been there.
"I know," James moaned.
"James, I can't fix this. I'd probably make it worse--you know how terrible I am at painting." Remus handed the painting back to James, who cradled it as though it was a family pet that had been diagnosed with cancer.
"Yes, I wizard. However, these muggle paints," Remus pointed to the canvas. "Not so good combined with Magic. It makes the paint run. Perhaps Lily can do something to patch it up," he reasoned. "She's apparently like the Picasso of our day, so she'll figure something out."
"Okay now that's a type of nut, I know! Picassos! I eat those as a healthy snack sometimes." Sirius looked proud of himself. Remus looked skyward.
"That's a pistachio not a Picasso. Pablo Picasso was--nevermind."
"You name the nuts? I just eat them."
"Sirius, you've reached new levels of idiocy."
X-X-XArithmancy sucked. Lily was not in a good mood and, actually, she was looking forward to touching up her picture of James. She figured that the charm in his smile should probably reflect more mischief and have a slight smirk, and his hair needed to be messier. Other than that, it was a pretty good picture. Actually, it was one of the best portraits she'd done. Lily grinned. Maybe she did need him to be her muse.
She walked into the Head's dorms and put her books down on a table beside the portrait enterance when suddenly she was bombarded.
Sirius had rushed up to her, obviously waiting for her to return, and had clumsily trippe on a corner of the upturned rug. Thus, his snack of...pistachios? had gone all over the place--in her hair, mostly. The empty shells decorated her head like baubles on a Christmas tree, and Lily didnt feel like being the pistachio tree that day.
"DON'T GO UP TO YOUR DORM!" Sirius shouted. Remus, who had appeared beside him, smacked him over the head.
"Inconspicuously! We were supposed to do that INCONSPICUOUSLY!"
"What the hell does that mean?!"
"SUBTLY, YOU MORON!"
Lily stared between Remus and Sirius and shook her head. "I need to go and take a shower. Or at least get a hairbrush to pick these...things out of my hair."
"I told you, the pistachios could wait..." Remus glared at his pistachio chewing friend.
"I couldnt help it! You opened new doors to me. I wanted to try naming them. I've got Pablo, and Pico, and Margarita, and Pepito and..." Sirius conuted them off as he munched.
"You named your pistachio nuts?" Lily asked in confusion.
"Pablo Pistachio is very sensitive and would not like to be referred to something so trivial as just a simple 'nut'. He is a--" Sirius checked the bag "--prime imported pistachio, thanks very much."
"Yeah. I'll bet he's sensitive when you bite off his shell as well--oh don't cover it's ears!" Lily rolled her eyes at the ridiculous behavior of James' friends. She had become accustomed to them greeting her at the door since James couldnt keep his mouth shut for two seconds and needed to tell them the password to get inside their dorms. She started up the stairs until she was grabbed by Sirius.
"You can't go up there!"
"Yes I bloody well can, I've got stuff to do and I need to get these nutshells out of my hair and--what are you laughing about?"
"You said nutshell heeheehee--"
"Oh for God's sake." Lily yanked her arm out of the giggling Sirius' grasp. "Are you seven or seventeen?"
"Maturity wise? I'll be seven on Tuesday," SIrius responded with a smirk.
"Happy birthday," she said dryly and before she could say anything else, she took out her wand and stuck Sirius and Remus' bottoms to the couch. "Sorry Remus," she added and made her way upstairs without anyone else trying to grab at her arm.
Only to find--
"What did you do?"
James blanched at the obvious anger of Lily. He knew she'd be angry. "Bloody Padfoot can't do anything right."
"What did you do?" she asked more dangerously,
"I looked. I'm so sorry, I--are you okay?" James tilted his head to the side.
"You looked at what, the painting or my portfolio?" Lily asked paling a little. "Cus I can explain--"
"...The painting..." She had sparked her curiosity. And Lily wanted to kick herself for that.
"Oh that's alright," she said, looking relieved. "Just...just sit down, I'll finish it."
"See that's the thing, I messed it up..." James meekly pulled out the picture from behind him and displayed the blotch of red that had gone from being beside his cheek to running down the nape of his neck. It looked like the boil had bled all over him. Lily made a face at the ruined painting. "I'm so sorry, Lily, I really am."
"Don't be." Lily's voice was soft and she looked down at the floor a bit disappointed that the painting was ruined. "I'm...gonna go and take a shower. SIrius poured pistachio shells in my hair for some reason, I wanna wash it out. I'll be back in about a half hour."
She grabbed a towel and robe by her bed as well as a fresh pair of clothes and took her leave in the bathroom.
X-X-XJames was determined. He needed to find that portfolio. What was so terrible that she didn't want him to see?
He had basically ransacked her room and the fact that she couldnt hear him do so was a bit appauling to him, but at the same time it was to his benefit so he wasn't complaining. Finally, he found a folder, plain and black, but labled in tiny Lily-scrawl "Portfolio" behind her bed.
He opened it, and his eyes widened.
And so did Lily's as she came out fo the bathroom, freshly showered and in a new change of clothes. She dropped the used towel that was in her hand and her hands flew up to cover her mouth. "I can explain."
James whipped around, but to her surprise, he was smiling.
"So...this is what you're doing when you tell me you're doing homework?" James said, holding up the portfolio. Inside, contained multiple pictures of James Potter in different scenarios--on the Quidditch team, lounging in the Head's common room, in class, with his friends, and some just of him winking or smiling at her.
"I'm...I...I'm sorry, I hope you don't think I'm stalking you or something, but I just...I can't draw anything else lately." Lily blushed so many shades of red it was a wonder she didnt explode from the embarassment.
James smiled kindly at her and held up a hand, telling her to wait. She did, standing there motionless and glued to the spot by embarassment.
He returned a moment later with a shoebox and sat down on her bed. In one motion, he dumped all the contents of the shoebox out on the floor.
Random sketches of Lily littered the floor--her initials carved in a snitch, her reading in the library, her in class answering questions, and one was a crude painting of her with a picture of James next to it, clearly happy.
"If you're stalking me, I suppose I'm doing the same." James said, looking down at the scrap sketches that he had done compared to Lily's portfolio of work. The painting of the two of them had fluttered to her feet and she bent down and picked it up slowly looking at it. She ran her fingers over the lines and sprials and swooping motions he had made and smiled, returning her eyes to meet his. He blushed.
"I'm not as good as you are. The only thing I can do is fingerpaint." He shrugged and looked at the ground humbly.
But looking down at that picture and at the boy standing before her, Lily grinned and, in one swift motion, she crossed the room and kissed him. It was a kiss so electrifying, that when she pulled away, she felt like she was breathing for the first time.
"It's the best painting I've ever seen."
X-X-XHarry flipped randomly through the photo album. It had been about a month since he had defeated Voldemort and he considered going back to visit Godric's Hollow. To visit his parents again.
The leather bound album that Hagrid had given him his first year was worn. Some of the pictures were smudged a bit from him running his fingers over the faces so much.
He passed the pictures of his parents' wedding, and of them with him as a baby as well as the ones with James and the Marauders until he came up on one that he hadn't really noticed before. It was a picture of his mother wrapped in his father's arms--his head leaning on her shoulder. It couldn't've been too long after they'd gotten married. The caption beside the picture read "First Flat together". James and Lily smiled at the camera and occasionally stole a kiss from one another. Harry smiled at their happiness. But then, he noticed something else.
The pair were looking back behind them quite often. At a framed painting--a painting that looked like a two year old could have done by finger paint. And at the one beside it--an impeccable portrait of a young James Potter sprawled out on an unfamilliar looking couch. Lounging in his embrace, her hair drifting onto his cheek and falling graceully onto the nape of his neck was the painted figure of seventeen year old Lily.
Harry squinted to read the title of the portrait. "Splatter of Red".