Disclaimer: Harry Potter equals not mine plus J.K. Rowling's. I'm not even good at maths, yet I was able to figure that one out. I don't own Jesse McCartney's song, either, and I'm ok with that, but, like, could I James? What d'you mean I can't? Spoilsport...
Author's Note: Two-shot. Based on Jesse McCartney's Just So You Know, from the album 'Right Where You Want Me'. Just about one of the only songs of his that I do like, funnily enough.
Review, please, and let me know how I did. Oh, and since this is a two-shot, you can add this onto your story alerts :)
Just So You Know
Just So You Know
Just so you know,
This feeling's taking control of me
And I can't help it
I won't sit around, I can't let him win now
Thought you should know,
I've tried my best to let go of you,
But I don't want to,
I just gotta say it all
Before I go,
Just so you know...
Just So You Know by Jesse McCartney
Her sweet voice reverberated throughout the Gryffindor Common Room, her melodic laughter ringing in his ears hypnotically.
A slight smile graced James's full lips as he watched her from his seat in the armchair, watched the way her emerald eyes narrowed with mirth, the way her ruby curls framed her face as she bent forwards in a failing attempt to avoid the arm that was snaking around her waist. Her plump, rosy lips curved upwards attractively, her smooth, porcelain skin positively glowing, a hint of rose tinted on her cheeks. Her black school skirt rode up a few inches, exposing even more of her luscious long legs as she giggled, squirming, her pretty features lit up in a radiant smile.
His breath caught in his throat, his hazel eyes mesmerised by the redheaded beauty a few paces away from him.
There was no other way to describe her. She was beautiful.
His eyes darkened as he acrimoniously watched the other young man pull her back to his chest and lift her off her feet. She squealed, wriggling in the boy's arms as he spun her around, chuckling happily. The boy gently placed her on her feet, smiling as she turned in his arms to face him. She was saying something, something he couldn't decipher from his distance. The boy hugged her, in response, laughing.
James felt his heart twist painfully at the warm embrace. That was supposed to be him holding her that way, his arms around her, his body pressed against hers. His hands, of their own accord, curled aggressively into fists, his jaw clenching angrily. That was supposed to be him. He turned away, loathingly staring out of the window and into the pitch-black night sky.
That was supposed to be him…
He watched her frown, biting her lip as she fought to stay focused in the rowdy Common Room. Her pearly white teeth tugged at her bottom lip, leaving a red patch before she licked it, the pink tip of her tongue darting out briefly. She looked so adorable, her ponytail grazing the side of her face as she bent her head in concentration. James wanted to kiss her right there and then…
A loud laugh drew him to his senses, and his eyes snapped away from his beloved redhead. Sitting a few paces away from her was her boyfriend, chortling noisily with his friends without a care in the world. James felt anger bubble madly within him.
How dare he? His girlfriend was sitting at the desk, trying to do her Transfiguration homework, and he was mucking around with his mates! Lily glanced up, scowling slightly at her boyfriend's direction, but did not say anything. He remained ignorant of his girlfriend's actions, and James felt like punching the lights out of the idiot.
He glared at the boy hatefully. Lily deserved so much better than that git.
And yet it had been a week. A week and she hadn't even mentioned anything having a boyfriend to him. He'd seen them together, though. The boy – Simon, he was called – was always touching her somehow, as if claiming her his property. A protective arm around the shoulder, a tight grip on her hand, it always varied, and James found this exceedingly irritating.
He knew Simon did it to goad him, because he would always check to see whether he was looking before casually throwing an arm around her shoulder, and it worked every time. They both knew it. Simon just wanted to watch James suffer silently. And he was succeeding.
They both knew it.
Sighing angrily, James got up, deciding to help Lily with her Transfiguration. He walked up until he was right behind her, and he opened his mouth to say something.
All of a sudden, Simon appeared at her side, smirking evilly at him before whispering something to her and snaking an arm around her shoulder. She shifted uncomfortably and shook the arm off, brushing him off curtly.
It was all James could do not to hug Lily out of happiness. Not once looking at Simon, he greeted Lily and took the seat next to her. She smiled up at him, a warm smile, a different smile to the one she usually gave Simon, he noticed. He didn't even think of throwing a furious Simon a gloating look as he began helping her.
Because even if it was all a game to Simon, it wasn't to James.
It never had been.
That night, they met up for patrols, exchanging warm grins and light-hearted talk. She thanked him for helping with her Transfiguration. He told her not to mention it, and to come to him if she had any more problems. She smiled.
They were walking in a comfortable silence now, the sounds of their steps clattering down the stone walls of the narrow, dimly lit corridor.
He glanced at her occasionally out of the corner of his eye to see her reaction as their fingers bumped together. His heart beat erratically, and he was pleased and faintly surprised to see a blush spreading across her cheeks, head bowed slightly. Keeping his gaze straight ahead, he resisted the impulse to grab her fingers as they came into contact with his again.
This was aggravating him. Soon, a friendship with her wouldn't be enough; he would want more. He could already feel the signs of frustration; yearning to pull her onto his lap and kiss her when she leaned across him to get a piece of parchment as they studied together in the Heads' Dormitories, desire to hold her hand as her fingers brushed his unintentionally.
He wanted to be able to tell her he loved her without hesitation and have her say it back. He wanted to be able to hold her in his arms without having a reason to do so. He wanted to be able to kiss her whenever he pleased. He wanted her, plain and simple.
Except it wasn't. It never was. She had a boyfriend. Why on earth would she be interested in the likes of him?
And he knew that, very soon, he would crack and end up ruining their friendship by telling her how he felt and desperately asking her one last time, with the consent that if she didn't return his feelings he would leave her alone for good. If she didn't, his heart would be more shattered than it already was, if it was humanly possible. And if she did… He didn't dare imagine the sensations of euphoria, love and gratitude that would be submerging him.
But he was that close to breaking.
He risked a glimpse of her. Her fringe had fallen into her forest-green eyes, dark crimson strands falling across them gracefully. She made no attempt to push them away, and James was so tempted to brush them out of her eyes, cup her face tenderly and –
Stop it, he scolded himself, you can't think things like this, you just can't; she's never going to be yours, just accept that.
Except he couldn't.
The silence was unnerving. He couldn't take the quiet anymore. He had to say something.
"So," he began conversationally, frantically wracking his brains for any subject to chat about. "You and Simon, eh?"
A tense pause.
He could have whacked himself in the head. Of all the things he could have said, he had to say that, him being the gormless idiot that he was.
Lily smiled slightly, a half-hearted smile.
"Yeah," she said softly, nodding. Neither of them made eye contact.
"When?" He attempted to make it sound casual, but it came out anything but. She shrugged, again unenthusiastically, as if not wanting to linger on the topic.
"A week ago," she responded mechanically, and then sighed, almost unhappily.
"Oh…" He fell silent once more, pondering this through.
She sounded as if she didn't want to talk about Simon, her beloved boyfriend (James spat out the words inside his head). But, why? It seemed like the perfect relationship and she seemed extremely happy, so why did she not want to discuss her boyfriend? For James knew, from previous occasions, that she loved to talk about her dates.
"You don't fancy him, do you?" He didn't mean for the words to sound so abrupt.
He'd suspected it for quite a while now, though. The smiles she gave Simon never reached her vivid eyes, James had noticed. She avoided contact as much as she could. The little contact she did share with Simon was unenthusiastic, though if the boy realised, James did not know.
To hear the words escape her lips, that, no, she didn't fancy Simon, would be music to James's ears. He knew he shouldn't, but he couldn't help but hope…
She tensed beside him, startled at his query, apprehensive.
"Of course I do," she replied forcefully. "I go out with him, don't I?" But James wasn't willing to give up just yet.
"Just because you go out with someone doesn't necessarily mean you've got to fancy them," James rightfully pointed out. Lily took a deep breath. He sighed, and decided to attempt a different approach. "Look, we're friends, aren't we, Lily?" he replied earnestly, laying a hand on her arm as they halted.
"Well, yeah…" She trailed off, appearing awkward and embarrassed.
"And friends tell each other stuff, right?" he pressed her, slightly surprised that she was letting him do so. Lily sighed, seeming exasperated.
"Could you just lay off?" she responded brusquely. He stiffened slightly, a wounded expression crossing his face. She sighed, glancing at him. "Look, I'm sorry. It's just, no offence, but this doesn't concern you." He paused slightly.
"But you don't fancy him, do you?" he questioned, knowing he was pushing her to the limit.
"James, let's just not talk about this." She brushed the question off.
"You don't, do you?" he persisted. She let out an aggravated breath.
"James, just…stop, all right?" She continued walking as casually as she had been moments earlier.
"Lily." He didn't move. His tone was pleading, his eyes beseeching her silently. He heard her breathe in deeply before she, too, stopped once more. She turned to face him edgily. "D'you fancy him?" he asked tentatively, needing to know. She hesitated.
"Yes," she nodded waveringly. He took a few steps towards her slender figure, taking her small, soft hands into his larger, callused ones.
"Do you, really?" He looked into her eyes despairingly, searching deep into her emerald depths. She stared up at him before turning away, blinking back tears. "Do you, Lil?" he repeated gently.
She swallowed slowly, still refusing to meet his gaze.
"I…" Her voice faded once more. She shook her head slightly. James waited on bated breath, not daring to hope. After what seemed like ages, she finally looked up. "Look, James, I know where this is coming from." He stared at her, shocked, as the enormity of her words sunk in.
How was it possible that she knew?
"I've seen the looks you give Simon. The looks you give me," she continued, gazing up at him tearfully. "Did you think I didn't?" She let out a small, mirthless laugh as he gawked at her, dumb-struck. "I've known you for seven years, James. We may have fought for most of it, but I know you."
He snapped out of his trance.
"And I know you." He squeezed her hands, gazing down at her tenderly. "And I know you don't fancy this bloke, I know you don't. Carry on denying it however much you want," he said, shaking his head as she opened her mouth to object, "but you don't fancy him." She looked away. "Look me in the eye, Lily," he said resolutely, "look me in the eye and tell me you fancy him." She turned her emerald eyes upwards and opened her mouth, but no sound came out. She closed it, shook her head slightly, and parted her lips once more. "See, you don't fancy him." His words were not triumphant, merely stating a fact. He caressed the back of her hands using his thumbs.
"I do!" Lily burst out, glaring up at him. He shook his head horizontally.
"If you did," he whispered. "You would've withdrawn your hands by now." Her eyes dropped to their intertwined fingers, but his eyes caressed her face. His grip tightened. "If you did, you would've threatened to hex me into the next century." He inclined his head slowly, until his lips were a fraction from hers. "If you did, you would stop me…" His lips brushed her ever so slightly as they spoke, their breath mingling. He stared into her forest-green eyes, his breath hitching at the whirl of emotion reflected in them; love, lust, longing…
And then suddenly, without so much as a warning, she pressed her lips to his fiercely. He quickly overcame his astonishment and kissed her back, her fingers slipping from his grasp as they entangled themselves in his tousled hair. He snaked her arms around his waist and pulled their bodies flush against one another, kissing her hard, the pent-up feelings of the past six years unravelling into this mind-blowing kiss.
All he could think of was how their bodies fit together so perfectly, how good it felt to have her fingers in his hair, the feel of Lily Evans' lips upon his. He couldn't care less that she had a boyfriend, that she was taken, nothing seemed to matter now except him, her, and the fervent, heated caress of each other's lips.
After several long minutes, it was he who regretfully broke away first, the lack of oxygen getting to him. He stared down at her, wide-eyed, breathing hard and irregular, endeavouring to figure out everything that had just happened. She, too, was panting, and he could see the realisation of what had just occurred flitting through her eyes. Nevertheless, she did not pull away from the embrace.
"If you did," he breathed, feeling the adrenalin rush through him uncontrollably, "you wouldn't have done that…" Shock flitted through her eyes briefly before she yanked herself away from him, appearing horrified at her actions. A moment later, she was sprinting down the corridor at top-speed.
But he made no move to follow her.
He stood there, face void of any emotion as he stared at Lily's diminishing figure, swallowing hard at the painful lump at his throat, the feel of her still etched clearly into his mind.