Braces were evil, Lily decided. Utterly and completely evil. She had asked, nay, begged, her parents to leave her teeth alone. She'd fix them, using magic. But when she had gone to Pomfrey, asking for a teeth-fixing spell, the nurse had simply laughed, saying that a spell didn't exist to fix teeth. Yet. Her parents had taken her to the orthodontist at the end of Sixth Year, saying that she'd thank them once she had straight teeth.
So far, Lily wasn't planning on doing any thanking.
Braces were evil. The little metal parts dug into her lips painfully, sometimes causing them to be bleed. She suddenly found it hard to do the simplest things, such as eating or talking. And they just looked bad. Lily's teeth had never before looked too terribly crooked; her two front teeth jutted out farther than they should have, but the braces made them look monstrous. They amplified any crookedness that had already existed, and Lily refused to open her mouth, smile, or even talk in class. People would be repulsed, she thought, by the mass of metal in her mouth. It was disgusting. Nobody at Hogwarts had ever had braces before, as far as Lily knew. Wizards simply didn't need them. They had naturally straight teeth, or at least the pure-bloods did. Lily knew she could straighten her teeth herself, if she could somehow invent a spell for them, but she hadn't yet found out how to get the darned things off. None of her vanishing spells had worked, and she had basically given up hope. So she was stuck with these, with these awful metal things, for another sixth months.
Braces were evil.
And they made her nightly patrols as Head Girl so much harder! When she was walking around a silent, dark Hogwarts, she had nothing to take her mind off the pain. Nothing. All she thought about was the numbing uncomfortability in her mouth. She kept poking at her teeth, hoping to relieve the pain just a bit. Finally, she gave up and collapsed against the wall, holding her jaw in her hands.
And that's how James Potter found her. He paused in front of her, cocking his head to the side.
Lily looked up at him boredly.
"Shouldn't you be patrolling?" He asked, sounding remarkably like McGonagall.
"Shouldn't you?" She retorted.
James grinned, showing off a mouthful of nice, white, straight teeth. He sat down next to her, leaning casually against the wall.
"So what's wrong?"
"I don't want to talk about it, o.k.?" Lily said exasperatedly, once again hiding her face in her hands.
"Alright." James tilted his head back and closed his eyes.
After a few minutes of silence, Lily looked up.
"What the bloody hell are you doing?"
"Not talking," he replied simply.
"Well I realize that...but I've never seen you so quite for more than a few seconds."
"I need to sleep, don't I?"
Lily swatted him. "You know what I mean!"
"Well maybe I don't like talking all the time. It's quite tiring, you know."
"So why do you do it?"
"I do have a reputation to keep, you know. If I actually stayed quiet in class people would think I was ill."
"You care that much about your reputation?"
"You care about yours."
Lily hmph'd and crossed her arms.
"You don't want people to see your braces, do you? It's make you a little less perfect, knowing you didn't have perfect teeth."
Lily bit her lip.
"I'm right, aren't I?" James asked her, eyes still shut.
"They don't look bad, you know. You don't even notice them."
"Only 'cause you try to hide them so much. You cover your mouth when you laugh, you don't talk as much, you try not to smile. It's quite strange, really."
Lily groaned. "Am I really that obvious?"
"I just hate them."
"It's not that big a deal, they're just braces."
"Yes, but I'm the only one who has them!"
James opened his eyes and looked straight at her. "That's not true."
"Remus wore braces for two years, and Peter just got his off. All three Prewetts had them, and McKinnon is still wearing them. Not everybody has perfect teeth, you know."
James grinned. "Yeah, well I'm just completely perfect in every way."
"That's what makes me mad, you know."
"The complete confidence you have in yourself. I've never been that secure."
"Everybody has insecurities, Lily. D'ya think I like wearing glasses?"
"Wow, James Potter is actually insecure about something?"
"Shoot, and I kept that a secret for so long!"
Lily giggled, not bothering to cover her braces.
"See," James smiled at her, "You still look gorgeous."
Lily blushed and looked down, fiddling with her nails. When she looked back up at James, he was staring at her with a rather odd expression on his face.
"What?" She asked, concerned.
"Can I kiss you?"
Lily swallowed. She stuttered a bit before finally muttering:
"But...braces! They'll hurt."
"Hurt you or me?"
James smiled softly. "I think I'll take my chances."
And he leaned down, meeting her lips with complete softness, and Lily's mouth felt fine, for the first time in months.
When they pulled away, James tilted her chin up.
"Why, Lily you liar, that didn't hurt at all!"
Lily smiled and kissed him again.
And sixth months later, when Lily got her braces off, the first thing she did (after thanking her parents, of course!) was kiss James Potter, harder and more passionate than he had ever been kissed in his life.
A/N: Well, I congratulate you for making it through this completely random one-shot. [That, obviously, was set before any teeth-fixing charms had been invented... Three guesses what I got on my teeth today...