Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling is a genius—she owns it all.

Posted: 25th November 2007

Author's Note: First fic. Review gently. Thank you to all those who've reviewed so far, I appreciate it immensely.


Tutoring

She sits nervously, her bottle-green eyes shining in anticipation as she catches the flash of yellow parchment out of the corner of her brilliant orbs. She watches apprehensively, her breathing erratic as skinny fingers close around the thin piece of wood, giving it a slight flick. She waits on bated breath, surveying the scrolls of parchment zoom towards their rightful owner. She sees one flying right at her. Her eyes widen in anxiety.

This is it. The result of sleepless nights writing and rewriting every sodding word on the sodding parchment. This is it. It's as if her whole life is depending on this one moment, every thudding heartbeat, every frantic breath. This is it.

The parchment soars nearer, nearer… Her fingers shaking, she reaches out to catch it. This is it…

Grasping the yellow parchment, she withdraws an unsteady hand, swallowing at the swelling inside her throat. She lets out an inaudible whimper before glancing at the bottom of the page.

O — exceptional work

She stares at the parchment through large eyes, hardly daring to believe her luck. A euphoric grin creeps across her bow-shaped lips and she draws a shuddering breath, gazing down at the parchment before her ecstatically. It's crumpled now, but she doesn't care. She couldn't care less.

She's done it. All those days of hard, incessant work have paid off. She's done it.

"Oi, Evans." A deep, suave voice interrupts her elated train of thought. She snaps her head towards the direction of the voice, and a young man with dishevelled hair raises his eyebrows. His clear, hazel eyes sparkle mischievously behind square frames, and the ends of his full lips quirk upwards in a lazy smirk. "Can I have my essay back now?" Confusion spreads through her as he holds out a large, callused hand. She parts her lips to speak, glaring at him distastefully.

"Potter, what are you on?" Her rude words don't seem to affect him.

"My essay." He says it as if it's the most obvious thing in the world. "I want it back."

"Potter, this is my essay." Rolling her eyes, she turns back. He calls her once more. "What?" She says impatiently, glowering at him. "Can you stop harassing me?"

"I just want my essay back." He looks at her expectantly. She scoffs.

"Potter, this is not your essay."

"I'll have you know it is."

"Prove it." She challenges him.

"Look at the name. Unless your name is James Potter, that essay is most irrefutably mine."

"What—" She glances down. Scrawled across the top of the parchment, in rushed, nevertheless neat handwriting, were the words, James Potter. She stares at it in shock. This could not be happening. "Th—there…mistake—it's—" She stutters unintelligibly. He reaches out and pats her hand, nodding in mock sympathy. A jolt of current courses through her veins and she hastily removes her hand from underneath his.

"There, there, Evans. I feel your pain." His words are toneless. Her emerald eyes flash dangerously as they collide with his hazel. "Can I have my essay back now?"

"But—" He snatches it out of her hand before she has time to protest. His eyes quickly scan the page and a beam breaks across his handsome features.

"An 'O'. Wicked." He grins up at her. "What'd you get, then?" Turning around, she ignores him and searches the room frenziedly for any late scrolls floating around.

None. None whatsoever. Her breath hitches in her throat in alarm as the professor's sharp voice rings throughout the classroom.

"Miss Evans, I need to speak with you after class."

Fear gushes through her body. When a teacher said that it was never good.

She nods and forces a small smile. What else can she do?

"Bad luck, Flower." A voice to her right comments; she turns around angrily.

"Piss off."

"Lovely." Still, he revolves in his seat and joins in cheerfully with the conversation his friends are having.

When the bell rings, she jumps up, gathering her belongings hurriedly. Attempting to soothe the irritable knot of nerves in her stomach, she makes her way to the front of the classroom, dread threatening to dominate.

"Miss Evans…" The teacher begins with a sigh before handing her back her essay.

She glances down at it fearfully.

'P'

That was it. No praises, no reprimands, no comment. Had it really been that bad?

"Miss Evans." The professor starts once more, face resolute. "Have you ever considered getting tutored?"

"Pardon?"

--

"Why, hello, Evans." He drawls pleasantly. "Why ever am I being graced by your presence?"

"Shut it, Potter." She growls menacingly.

"Now, now, that's no way to ask a favour, is it?" He reprimands her idly, smirking.

"What?" Her tone is perilously soft, yet he does not take heed.

"I know why you're here, Evans." The boy raises his eyebrows and grins infuriatingly, that charming grin of his.

"You do?" A tiny part of her sceptical form is relieved. Relieved that she does not have to go through the torture of actually asking him. He nods aggravatingly.

"You need a tutor." She gapes at him. How was it possible that he knew and she'd only discovered eight minutes ago? "And I so happen to be the man for the job." He smirks proudly. She can think of a million retorts to the statement, but instead bites her tongue and smiles at him dazzlingly. After all, she is, as he so very adequately put it, asking him a favour.

"Brilliant. Seven o' clock tonight. Heads' Dorms." He looks taken aback at her friendly demeanour but recovers quickly.

"Aye. It's a date." He winks at her before she, dreading tonight, speeds down the corridor.

--

"Let's get started then, shall we?" He smiles confidently. She scowls at his authorising manner before extracting her wand from within her robes. "So what exactly did McGonagall say you needed help with?" He asks curiously.

"Everything." She answers monosyllabically.

"Care to elaborate?" He raises an eyebrow. She sighs irritably and draws a deep breath.

"My transfiguration."

"What, your class work, too?" He sounds surprised. "Really?"

"You think I'd willingly spend extra time with you?" She replies scathingly.

"Fair enough. If that's what you want to believe." He grins enchantingly.

"Just get on with it already."

"Right. Of course." He picks up his wand. "Ready?" She nods. "Good." He waves his wand, concentrating solely on the eagle-feathered quill in front of him which changes into a crystal stag. "Think you can manage that?" She nods once more. "Go on, try it." She flourishes her wand, focusing on her quill. Nothing happens. He bites his lip, nodding slowly. "Ok. That's to be expected. Try again." She does so.

"Oh God…"

"Mm… Maybe if you try doing it like this…"

Forty-five minutes later, she's still attempting to cast the spell. He's looking at her wearily, determination evident in his eyes.

"Let's just try tomorrow." She suggests. She's tired and frustrated with herself, and she's sure he feels the same. He looks on the verge of disagreeing, but nods a brief 'ok'.

"Tomorrow." Their eyes clash for a brief second and a mutual, silent agreement passes between them.

--

"Try waving your wand like this." He demonstrates. She watches. Three days he's been tutoring her, yet she still can't grasp the concept.

"Ok." She endeavours reiterating his actions—to no avail.

"No, no, like this." He instructs her, once more repeating his movements. She attempts it once more. "It's easy, Evans. Just relax. You're trying too hard." He points out. Wondering how he can remain so collected throughout what's turning out to be another aggravating tutoring session, she cocks a delicate eyebrow.

"Well, if I don't try, how else am I supposed to make it work?" Her eyes are mocking him for his statement.

"Transfiguration…" He struggles to search for the correct words. "It's not like Defence; it requires a lot more skill. You need to…relax. See?" He motions with his wand.

She follows the swift movement of his hand, determined to do it exactly right this time.

--

"No, no, no!" He slams his fist on the table, infuriated. She stares at him disgustedly.

She's begun to grow sick of this whole thing.

She doesn't get why he's getting so irritated by this. It's not as if she's not trying, because she is. She's mastered most of the spells she'd had trouble with previously, and yet he's still acting as if she's not made any progress over the past two weeks, just because she's finding it particularly hard to perform this one spell.

"You're supposed to be helping me, Potter, not cause damage to school property." Her lethargic words cause him to glower at her.

"You don't get it, do you?"

"Well, it's not my fault McGonagall decided my work in and out of class was suffering and that I needed a tutor!"

"Just—" She observes him take a deep breath to calm himself. "Just watch me, ok?" She shrugs and he repeats the movements of his wand, transfiguring the quill into a crystal stag and back. "Got it?" She nods. "Good. Now you try." She reiterates his wand movements, but her quill remains just so. She flourishes her wand once more.

"Can't do it." She states simply.

"Argh!" He grabs the nearest book and proceeds to thump himself on the head repeatedly.

That's it. She's had it with him.

"Why can't you act like a normal tutor?" She demands angrily. "Show me what I'm doing wrong instead of yelling every time I screw up? You're such a bloody prat; I don't even know why I came to you for help!"

"You think this is easy, Evans?" He fires at her. "You think its easy trying to tutor some stuck-up prude like you?"

"I am not a stuck-up prude!" She exclaims indignantly. "And if it's so much of a bother, then why are you doing it? Go on, just piss off!" She glares at him, her eyes blazing and intense. He, too, is panting, and a strand of his hair falls into his left eye.

"In case you've forgotten, you came to me!" He yells, his eyes glinting in aggravation. "And I'm not one to turn away when someone needs help!"

They're both panting heavily, their chests heaving up and down. In the heat of their argument, they find themselves literally nose-to-nose, their toes touching, their noses brushing, their breath washing over each other's lips.

His eyes are beautiful, she concludes. She watches them flutter close, his eyelashes barely brushing his high cheekbones before they open again, once more revealing the unending hazel depths. His nose is long and straight, fitting his face just perfectly, and his lips are full and look temptingly soft. He has a prominent jaw line, a strong, masculine one that tenses visibly when he's nervous or angry. Her eyes rise to his hair, which is as tousled as ever. She contemplates why she's not noticed it before, but his hair looks unruly, wild and utterly sexy. It describes him perfectly, untameable and lively, charming and good-looking.

Their eyes meet once more.

She's overcome by the unexplainable desire to reach up and brush a hand through his hair, caress his jaw, nuzzle his nose, kiss his lips. It overwhelms her, and she doesn't think she can take it anymore. The tension between them crackles intensely, demanding to be broken.

His breath is so warm on her lips, and his eyes flicker towards her mouth as he subconsciously licks his own lips, his tongue running smoothly over the soft, pink skin.

Before she can comprehend exactly what's going on, his lips have seized hers heatedly. Not even bothering to question the urges rushing through her, she responds immediately, sliding her lips over his hotly and almost gasps when his tongue brushes her lower lip. She opens her mouth at once and his tongue sweeps in, ordering dominance; her own tongue curls against his ferociously. It's hot, wet, demanding and she just can't seem to get enough of it. She daringly reaches up, running her hands wildly through his messy hair, gripping at tufts of it tightly as he kisses her harder and harder, faster and faster.

No, no, no! Her mind screams, but its voice seems to be growing fainter, so faint that she can't even hear it anymore. Good, she thinks as his tongue and lips do wicked, pleasurable things to her mouth. She's been stopping herself for too long.

She feels her back bump into a wall as he presses into her and she pulls herself flush against him. His lips rip away from hers and she almost groans in protest before they attack the skin on her neck viciously, leaving marks that she's sure will be very visible afterwards. His tongue drags across her smooth skin, leaving a fiery trail in its wake. She lets out a moan, a soft, breathy sound as he hits a particularly sensitive spot. Encouraged by this, he nips at the soft flesh, sucking and biting and she emits yet another groan.

She can't take it anymore. She tugs his head upwards, her eyes darkened with desire, a stunning forest-green. The emotions in his eyes reflect her own, swirling hazily with lust, confusion and whirl of other sentiments she couldn't decipher if she wanted to. She stares at him, breathing hard before her lips collide with his once more. He pushes her higher against the wall, her back sliding painfully up the cold stone, but she doesn't care. She's too overwhelmed by longing to even notice.

Finally, her mind gains control of her body and her eyes fly wide open as she tears her lips from his. Pushing him backwards with a force she didn't even know she had in her, she eyes his now more-scruffy-than-ever appearance in fear; what has she done?

She flees as common sense dominates once more.

That was wrong, she thinks, needing to reassure herself as her shoes clatter hastily across the stone floor. But how could something so wrong feel so right?

--

"Miss Evans." She looks up from her desk apprehension surging through her veins as she drags her mind from the events of yesterday into reality. "I need to speak with you after class." She nods and forces a small smile. What else could she do?

Once more not having gotten her essay back, she prepares herself for a lecture and a good talking-to as the bell rings, hoisting her bag onto her shoulder. She solemnly strides up to the front of the class.

"Professor?" Her voice is toneless, and she wonders if that's even her speaking.

"Ah, Miss Evans." The professor hands her a scroll of parchment and she takes it slowly. Her eyes roam the essay, in which she'd had to explain the spell she'd mastered later last night. Swallowing, her eyes drop to bottom of the essay.

E — good work

She stares at the parchment through large eyes, hardly daring to believe her luck. A euphoric grin creeps across her bow-shaped lips and she draws a shuddering breath, gazing down at the parchment before her ecstatically. It's crumpled now, but she doesn't care. She couldn't care less.

"…improved over the past few weeks…" The professor seems to be saying something, but she pays no heed. She's doing a small, mad jig inside her head, grinning like an idiot. "…won't need to be tutored any longer."

"What?" She glances up sharply as the shock of her teacher's words hit her smack in the face.

"You won't need to be tutored any longer, Miss Evans." Her professor informs her with a small, thin smile. She stares at the aged woman in shock.

"I—I won't?" She repeats in a meek, saddened tone, but the professor doesn't seem to notice.

"You won't." The professor assures her and dismisses her with a rare smile.

Confusion, pride and joy dance inside her, but the dominating emotion is, as much as she hates to admit it, disappointment.

Clutching her essay, she ambles out of the classroom and begins walking blindly down the now empty corridor.

"Lily!" A smooth, familiar voice jolts her out of her reverie and she turns so fast she gets a crick in her neck. Wincing and rubbing the back of her neck, she revolves on the spot and comes face to face with him. It's then she realises he's been eavesdropping. Surprisingly, she doesn't care.

"I, er, heard the good news." He looks uncomfortable, as if he doesn't know what to say. She nods numbly, a blush spreading across her cheeks. "Congratulations." He nods courteously and resumes walking down the hallway.

She's watching him, her senses screeching at her to stop him. If it weren't for him, she wouldn't be in this position; she wouldn't have gotten an 'E'.

"James!" She calls him and he turns around, surprised.

She rushes up towards him, dropping her bag and essay on the floor as she throws her arms around his neck, capturing his lips with hers in ardour. Almost immediately, he, too, drops his belongings and wraps his strong arms around her, caressing her lips as if he never wants to let go.

And she's sinking into the hot, heavy sensations she was experiencing last night, except this time she's enjoying it so, so much more. His hand tangles in her red tresses, his other arm squeezing her, but she doesn't care because she's right where she wants to be, her fingers in his hair, caressing his jaw. Their tongues play tag for a moment and it takes a while to regain her senses and remember exactly why she's called out to him. She breaks away from him, smiling softly at the dazed expression on his handsome face.

"Wha—?" He stares at her dumbly in shock and his grip tightens around her as if he thinks she's going to try and run away again.

"I'm sorry for being such a pain." She says regretfully, her eyes large and apologetic. "And thank you, James, really. I couldn't have done this without you." He grins slowly and presses his lips to hers.

And as lust and desire cloud her mind once more, she thinks she wouldn't mind getting tutored by him again—if this is the reward she'd get out of it, that is.