Title: Hard To Get
Genre: Romance/Humor
Relationship: James/Hermione
Music: Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg
Rating: T
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Summary: Lily who? The new girl was… Heart stopping, stutter worthy, and completely ignoring him. (James/Hermione - OneShot)

Hard To Get

by: atruwriter


He'd never felt like this before. It was a well known fact that James Potter was madly and deeply in love with Lily Evans. But that all changed when a certain brunette showed up unexpectedly in the Great Hall. Popping out of nowhere, she simply dusted herself off and walked her way over to Dumbeldore, muttering under her breath about how someone named "Ronald" was a "royal git" who "really needs to learn to listen" when she spoke. His jaw fell when he first laid eyes on her, letting his dinner spill forth in a lumpy pile of discolored mush. Lily's disgusted shriek barely registered as he watched her. Prim nose up in the air, shoulders lifted, determination in her every step. She completely ignored the curious faces around her and simply made her way to Headmaster Dumbledore. A conversation of three seconds was passed between them before the man had lifted from his highback chair and ushered her out of the hall.

He was sure she wasn't to return and that he'd only see the vision of an angel one time. However, upon the next morning, she walked into his Potions class with the same determined stance and confident stride. Her eyes barely passed over him, ignoring him completely as she took her seat. She also looked straight past Sirius, which was simply not done. Every girl in the school liked both or one of them! She was a studier, he noticed, had her books out and a quill ready. She answered every question passed to her and seemed to know the answers nobody else did. She avoided him stealthily. When he stepped in her way to greet her, she sidestepped him and continued on her way, leaving him standing like an idiot in the middle of the hall. Bloody hell! Lily at least stopped and looked irritated by him. But this girl, this… Hermione, she didn't seem to care one bit. It only intrigued him more.

His attraction to Lily waned. She wasn't interested, he knew. He'd seen the way she looked at Remus and sadly, he'd finally accepted it. It wasn't to be. Lily was better for Remus anyway. She was trustworthy and knew his secret without ever considering ratting on him. So he'd given Remus the green light to ask her out. He'd seen the looks his wolfish friend returned to the ever affable Lily. And before the week was out, Lily and Remus were a couple. A couple that couldn't keep their hands off each other or their mouths shut. He couldn't count how many times Sirius told them to stop with the educational talk. He was sick and tired of them debating and learning together.

Peter didn't like Hermione and the feeling appeared mutual. While she didn't come right out and say he wasn't her favorite person, or even duel with him in the halls, it was clear in her face. Her nose wrinkled and her mouth pinched. He found it fascinating how her face relayed her feelings even when she didn't want them proclaimed to the world. She was beautiful, even when she was mad or irritated or frustrated. With long, thick brown waves of hair, chocolate colored eyes, plump pink lips, and the sweetest smile he'd ever seen. She rarely smiled or laughed, he noticed. She kept to herself mostly; only talked to Remus on occasion, over studies. She avoided the rest of them like the plague. Even Lily. She wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of them. Especially him.

Remus thought she was insightful and interesting, though even he wasn't able to get very close to her. He did think she was brilliant and found James' infatuation rather amusing. He didn't offer advice, or even comment on the situation. He was far too involved in his new relationship with Lily to care too much. He always had time for them and the Marauders were never ignored for girls, much. Sirius had a thing for every girl with legs, Remus had Lily, he had Hermione, and Peter, well, he enjoyed hearing Sirius' escapades.

Sirius thought she was a bossy bit of goods that he should just give up on already. She was obviously "high maintenance" in his opinion and probably couldn't stand any joking or marauderish activities, so he might as well just walk away already. But he ignored his best mates advice and continued to work at getting her attention. Sirius kept his interests away from her, knowing that anybody a fellow Marauder liked was off limits. She wasn't really his type to begin with and she didn't appear to care for him either way. Like every other Marauder, she ignored Sirius religiously.

He wasn't sure what she'd heard of or why she avoided them, but she was really good at it. Sometimes, she disappeared into passageways they didn't even know about and she seemed to be able to see them even without looking. She could walk around them even while her eyes were on her book and she didn't seem to have any knowledge of the outside world. Still, she maneuvered around him as if she knew he was there. It drove him crazy and yet intrigued him. Four months straight and she seemed to figure out his pattern to classes and avoid it. So he changed it to follow hers, and she changed hers back. It was a constant back and forth game and neither were giving in. He figured the work meant a greater reward. She had to be something special!

He found her in the library; just like he did every other day. Books piled high, bag lying by her feet, hair thrown up in a messy knot on her head. She was chewing on her quill again. She must go through them like crazy. Then again, he'd noticed her favorite candy was Sugarquills, which he sent to her constantly, out of some "pathetic attempt" (as Sirius called it) to woo her. He didn't want to just take her out for a Hogsmeade weekend. He didn't want a snog in the broom closet or a month relationship that consisted of holding hands and dramatic breakups and make ups. He wanted her to pay attention to him, to give him some kind of sign that she at least noticed him. Because it was all he ever did; notice her. The way she always held her bookbag on her right side and so her shoulder bugged her rotten. The way she furrowed her brow as she read or chewed her lip while concentrating in class. How she hummed under her breath as she walked to class.

And there were so many things he didn't know that he wanted to know. Like how she could navigate the school almost as well as him and the rest of the Marauders. How she always seemed to have leftover chocolate right after the full moon that she simply "didn't want," and thought Remus might. How she had grown so close to Hagrid the groundskeeper, despite the fact that she'd only been around the last four months. Where she came from. Why she was there. Why she hated Peter so much. And why she seemed to have the oddest expression on her face over Lily and Remus; as if it confused her to no end.

The few times he'd tried conversation in the beginning made him look ridiculous and even he was surprised at how much he still tried. She was studiously ignoring him, just as she always did. No matter what antics he pulled. He'd pranked, purposely tripped, and exclaimed undying love, all right in front of her, for some kind of reaction. But she simply walked right on by as if she hadn't seen him at all. He'd tried everything he could think of. Sending her sweets, writing her (bad) poetry, telling her she was beautiful, asking her to Hogsmeade every time there was a trip planned, putting her favorite dessert off to the side for her, saving her a seat in class, standing up for her when the Slytherin students hassled her. Everything! But did she notice? Not one bit. Not a smile, not a thank you, not even a handshake! But did that stop him? Not even close.

She sat amongst her books, seemingly unaware of his presence despite the fact that he'd done this same routine every day since the week following her arrival. "Hey 'Mione," he greeted, smiling as her mouth pulled down in a scowl. She hated when he used his self proclaimed nickname for her. And yet she refused to tell him so, going on in her ignorance of him.

"More homework?" he asked, looking around at her mountains of books. "Sure you haven't finished the rest of the year out yet?"

He noticed the side of her lips twitch and her eyes roll. He felt a small triumph at that.

Her quill continued its scratching over the parchment, but he noticed her right shoulder roll in irritation. She really should learn to switch her bag to the other side. "Want a backrub?" he blurted out, even shocking himself at his forwardness. Not a month ago, he'd stuttered his hello. He didn't know how she did it, but she always left him tongue tied. And she didn't even speak!

She seemed just as astonished as her brows rose and her face lifted, eyes finally connecting with his.

He felt that familiar feeling as if his tongue had just blown up in his mouth, making him unable to speak. He wanted to say something witty; something to make her laugh or at least keep her attention on him. How was it he could completely enrapture the rest of the school on a whim, but he couldn't make her so much as smile in his presence?

"Quidditch game this Friday, you coming?" he asked, his voice going low and his hands fidgeting in his lap.

This was worse than how it was with Lily. At least then he was quick enough to make her so angry she'd lash out at him. The whole school knew his feelings for Lily and was just waiting for her to give in. Not that it stopped any other girls from looking him up for a little fun here or there. Still, Hermione wasn't like the rest of the school. She almost felt out of place around them. As if she weren't meant to be there and yet to him, he couldn't imagine her not being there anymore. It was as if her presence had caused a domino effect of situations that were meant to happen but didn't have the push to get them going. His giving up on Lily. Remus and Lily finally getting together. His infatuation for someone other than Lily. The only girl who didn't appear to notice his existence. And oddly, even managed to spark a suspicious streak in Sirius, which only seemed directed at Peter. And she never spoke to Sirius. Not once. Not even a 'hello'. But she'd rubbed her hatred for their good friend the rat off on the usually playful and laid back dog of their group.

She frowned at him, lifting a brow. She shook her head, more in a response of disbelief than at a reply to him. He wanted to hit himself. He knew she didn't care for Quidditch. He didn't understand the logic behind it, but he knew it wasn't a game she favored. She'd often do her homework instead of joining the crowds in their shouting. He could do the most exciting flips and twirls, dives and catches, and she didn't even care to watch. It frustrated and excited him all at once. The frustration was beginning to win out, however.

Four months he'd been trying to get her attention; a smile, a wave, a little recognition! But was she giving in? Not an inch! He loved the chase, but he was beginning to think she was never going to stop running! She was brilliant, beautiful, cunning and powerful. He'd seen her duel, was struck breathless by her ease and power against everybody who stepped before her. Where does a seventh year learn to duel like that? He'd also seen her escape near death when she (was) out during a full moon for a reason she refused to explain. He'd seen her though…

The moon was high, the night dark and eerie. Sirius and Peter were watching over Remus as he went to inspect the noise he'd heard. Muttering. A voice he knew all too well but figured he was imagining. Too often he'd gone off in his mind, envisioning her nearby. The daydreams he'd come up with would even have Sirius blushing. But that was besides the point. Nobody came out during the full moon, especially this late at night. He had to be imagining it. But as he trotted out in full stag form, he spotted the bent over figure by the cluster of trees. She was picking wolfsbane with carefully gloved hands and stuffing it into a bag. Her eyes darted around and the wind had thrown her hood off and made her cloak dance around her. The moonlight shone over her curls beautifully and he found himself nearly sighing at the vision she made.

She had to be freezing. It was late January and she was barely dressed for a jaunt in the Forbidden Forest. Still, she ignored the sting of the wind and the snow at her feet and plucked the flower from the ground quickly and precisely. He let himself watch her a little longer, the way she stood, so unlike how she was in the school. There was no need to make herself look completely confident in her setting. She didn't have to appear aloof or strong. She was scared and cold and she accepted those without hesitation. But she didn't let it stop her. Her eyes were wide and watchful, as if she knew there was a werewolf nearby and had to be careful.

When her bag was full, she turned around as if to run, but her cloak snagged on a gnarled branch and she tripped slightly. He hurried forward, forgetting how he looked and tried to reach out to help, but found a hoof instead of a hand. She looked up at him, her eyes wide and her mouth slack-jawed for only a moment. He used his teeth to pull her cloak from the sharp clutch of the bush and then turned back to her. She didn't look as indifferent as she had every other day she saw him, but then she didn't know it was him.

Her eyes were softer, her mouth pulled in a small smile. Her cheeks were flushed from the cold and her hair whipped around in the wind, but she stared at him awhile longer. Her hand reached out and she touched his face gently. He felt his knees shake and nearly fell to the ground. She was touching him! And she was smiling! He felt his stomach flop, his heart flip, his mind leave him entirely.

"You're…" She shook her head. His chest clenched. How could she possible know it was him? "Stunning," she finished, rubbing her thumb against his ear. Oh, he thought. He wasn't sure if he was disappointed or happy. She thought he was stunning! A rather pansy word for a man, but still!

He nuzzled his head into her hand, loving the attention. He couldn't get her to speak to him in person, but in animagus form, she was all over him. Which was when it all went downhill.

Remus broke forth from the bushes and charged toward them, body agile and tense as it ferociously went after Hermione. James threw himself forward, covering her from harm, but Remus merely knocked him out of the way and howled at Hermione, who had begun backing up in terror. Eyes wide, she stared up at him. She was handling it better than most he'd expect to. No screaming or hysterical crying, simply staring right at him. Finally, she seemed to toss something harshly away from her. It caught Remus' eyes and landed somewhere in the field.

Moony's attention was drawn and he bounded off to search for it. Taking her chance, Hermione turned around and ran for all her might. Like the school, she seemed to know the woods pretty well. She jumped over logs, navigated her way back toward the school, and ran faster than Peter could keep up. Still, Moony followed her, making her distracted and her feet falter. She fell a few times, and the branches caught her hair, leaves and twigs twisting in the curls. She slammed into a tree while trying to avoid being hit by the brunt of Moony's weight and kept him off of her.

With James and Sirius working to keep him back, Hermione was basically able to outrun him. She purposely went in directions she knew would be hard for him to follow and where animals were more likely to catch his attention. More than once, Moony turned to chase a rabbit instead of her. James kept up as best he could; nudging her when she fell and covering her when Moony attacked, but there was only so much he could do. He felt a deep slash on his side and he was pretty sure his ankle was twisted. When he fell, she helped him up. As if he wasn't an injured animal, but a fallen friend. He got pretty beat up trying to keep her from becoming Moony's dessert, but he wasn't going to leave her to him. Friend or not, when Remus was in werewolf form, he could be downright terrifying.

Sirius managed to catch Moony's attention and Hermione was free to escape. James followed her the rest of the way to make sure she made it. Hermione stopped at the edge of Hogwarts and turned back. James halted a few feet from her, staring at her, panting. Shoulders slumped, hair full of twigs and knees scraped, she let out a shuddering breath.

"Thank you," she told him, staring him right in the eye, before she turned back and ran toward the school.

He watched her go, feeling a flutter in his heart. 'Your welcome,' he thought. He wished she knew who she was thanking; who risked his life to save her. There was no way she could ignore him then.

There were times he'd wonder if she really did know it was him. She wasn't completely ignorant to him after the incident. She looked him in the eye instead of fully ignoring his existence when he tried to get her attention. She didn't pretend not to hear him when he spoke, though she didn't respond. And sometimes, there was something in her eyes. That same look he saw in her eyes in the woods. Familiarity. Not to mention the fact that her eyes were always drawn to the side he was sliced open on. Or the ankle he'd sprained. "Quidditch injury," he explained to anyone who asked. But she didn't seem to believe him. She even snorted at the excuse once, though she studiously ignored his gaze when he turned to her questioningly.

"So, Hogsmeade weekend coming up," he tried again, leaning forward and resting on his elbows. He smirked at her; the smile that got all the girls giggling. She didn't giggle. Instead, she lifted a brow and let out a sigh.

What did he have to do? Just one word! One bloody word from her was all he wanted. "Going with anyone?" he asked, swallowing tightly.

She seemed to be suppressing a smile. He wondered what that meant.

"Because if not, I know the perfect suitor," he told her, winking.

She snorted, shaking her head. Her mouth twitched again and he felt bolstered.

"He'll buy you a butterbeer, give you your entire hearts content, carry you when your feet get sore," he exclaimed, eyes wide with emphasis.

She laughed.

He nearly leapt off the chair with triumph. Instead, he grinned, eyes glittering with happiness.

Her chin lifted and her eyes caught his. Seeing his expression, hers seemed to drain away and she clamped her mouth shut on her laughter. What was it about him that turned her off so much?

He searched his mind for a subject to keep her from getting up and leaving like she often did when he got close to a breakthrough. "Uh, so, Lily and Remus have been going strong almost four moths. He's planning a big anniversary surprise for her!"

She paused in her writing and lifted her eyes to stare at him quizzically, as if she was still unsure about that relationship. He didn't understand her disbelief. She barely knew either of them, how could she possibly know whether or not they were good with each other?

"You're okay with that?" she asked and he nearly fell off his chair.

She was talking! To him! Actually speaking, directly to him, not someone behind him (he checked to make sure).

"Okay with what?" he asked, hoping he didn't sound too enthusiastic.

"Remus and Lily," she explained.

She had a beautiful voice. He only ever heard it when she was asked a question in class. It was low and rather husky. Feminine and sensual in a way that most of the girls in the school tried to mimic but couldn't. It was all natural; something all her. And he shifted in his seat as one of his many daydreams flooded his mind. That voice… It did things to him.

"Uh, of course. Why wouldn't I be?" he wondered, as if the whole Lily debacle hadn't happened. She wasn't even around to see it, so she couldn't truly hold it against him.

"Aren't you madly and desperately in love with her?" she asked rather straight forward, her brow quirked and her nose wrinkled.

He chuckled. "Have you been sleeping away the last four months?" he asked bluntly, rather shocked at himself for speaking to her so… well, easily.

She furrowed her brow. "Of course not."

"Then, you must've noticed the unending dedication I've found in the library since your arrival. I never bring work, I don't look for books. I sit here and bother you until you get fed up and leave. If I'm madly and desperately in love with anybody, it's not Lily Evans."

She scoffed, rising from her seat and closing her books. "Really, James, you hardly know me," she told him, shaking her head.

"So let me," he asked, sitting forward hopefully. "Let me in. Let me decide. A butterbeer, a conversation, a piggy back ride, what's the harm?"

"Piggy back ride," she repeated, her mouth pursed to hide the quirk of her lips.

"In case you get tired," he explained with a grin.

She rolled her eyes. "You don't love me. You love the idea of getting someone who doesn't worship you. I'm not one of the many girls that will plan their class route around you just to catch a glimpse." She stuffed her books into her bag, expression fed up. "You love the chase, James. Not the girl."

"I could love the girl," he countered, rising from his seat. "If the girl would let me."

"You don't know the girl," she replied, leaning forward on the table, hands pressed down and face set.

"Then the girl should let me get to know her! How am I supposed to know if she won't let me?" He felt his ire rise. She wouldn't even give him a chance! How was he supposed to prove to her they could be good together if she didn't let him try?

"Maybe the girl is trying to send you a message!" she replied, her voice rising.

"Well maybe the girl hasn't gotten the message I'm trying to send! Not. Giving. Up." He pointed at himself. "I'll be here tomorrow and the day after and I'll still get you a box of Sugarquills every time I go to Hogsmeade and I'll continue to ask you to give me just once chance. And I'll dream of you, day and night, and there's nothing you can do to stop that except let me love you!" He found himself breathing heavy, as if exerted from pouring out the words he'd wanted to say a million times; had practiced at least a dozen different ways.

She shook her head, eyes turning away. "I'm not the girl for you, James," she said quietly.

"How do you know?" he wondered, his brow furrowing and his shoulders slumping. "How do you know you're not the perfect girl for me?"

She looked over at him, her expression sad. "You'll find her. And you'll forget all about me."

"Never," he denied, swallowing tightly. "I've never been more intrigued by a person in my life. You're extraordinary."

She shook her head, eyes wide. "I'm not. I'm—"

"You're stunning and brilliant and a million other adjectives that wouldn't begin to explain you the way I see you." He ran a hand through his hair. "I know that you don't feel the same way. But maybe you could. I mean, maybe… Maybe…"

"James," she interrupted, shaking her head. "Sometimes, the chase is better than the catch." She reached out, placing her hand over his. It was so warm and soft and it sent a zing up his arm and down to his toes, making him shiver pleasurably. She felt it too. He could see it in her. The way her breath stuttered and her body jolted ever so slightly. "Uh, y-you'll," she cleared her throat. "You'll get a date and by the end of it you'll realize you wanted some dream version of me." She rubbed her thumb over his hand and felt his heart skip a beat. "I'm boring and bookish and I talk too much."

"So I could liven you up. I'll be the exciting half," he offered, eyes lighting up.

She shook her head. "No, I… I'm head strong and I can be completely obnoxious. You'll grow annoyed with my answer to everything! And- And I snore!" she told him desperately. Her brows lifted and she nodded, as if to make it so.

He couldn't help it. He laughed. "So does Sirius and I haven't stopped being his best mate yet." He shrugged. "I don't expect you to be perfect. I just… I want you to give me a try. Give us a try. I could… We could be really… great together."

She sighed, seemingly unaware that she was still stroking his hand with her thumb. "Really, this isn't going to turn out well."

He grinned, feeling a win on the horizon. "So it's just one afternoon. A butterbeer, a walk around Hogsmeade, a kiss if all goes well," he said cheerfully.

She glared at him, though there was amusement dancing in her eyes.

"Just something to look forward to," he mumbled, grinning.

"For me or you?" she teased, lifting a brow.

"Both." He winked. Any other girl would've melted on spot, she scoffed.

"You're… Arrogant."


"And mischievous."


"And- And not at all interested in creature rights or spending an afternoon just reading," she muttered, eyes turned off and head tipped to one side.

"What creatures?" he wondered, before shaking his head. He had a feeling that subject would get them completely off topic. "And you can read the afternoon away, I'll just watch you." He grinned. He already did that daily; he wasn't going to complain later.

She pursed her lips. "Where do you dig up these lines of yours?" she queried, eyes thinned.

He smirked. "It's a talent of mine. I look at a beauty like you and the words spill forth, only able to express a small fraction of what I'm really thinking."

She shook her head, her face flushing slightly. "Oh honestly!"

"Honest, really," he told her, chuckling. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

She rolled her eyes. "Stop. Please. Before you embarrass us both!"

He grinned, before lifting a hand to his heart and a dramatic step back. "Though art more lovely and more temperate—"

"Stop!" she said, laughter breaking through.

"Not a Shakespeare fan?" he asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "Hmm…" He nodded. "Right, how about…" He inhaled deeply, his chin lifting proudly. "Life is a stream on which we strew, petal by petal the flower of our heart; the end lost in dream, they float past our view, we only watch their glad, early start." He smiled, watching her expression slacken to that of slight awe and surprise. "Freighted with hope, crimsoned with joy, we scatter the leaves of our opening rose; their widening scope, their distant employ, we never shall know. And the stream as it flows sweeps them away, each one is gone, ever beyond into infinite ways. We alone stay, while years hurry on, the flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays."

"James," she said softly, almost as if she were trying to chastise him for making her feel. Her eyes shined lightly, making them all the more brown.

"No Lowell, either?" he asked, lightly. "Picky, I see." He tapped his chin, before nodding. "I know."

He reached out for her, rather surprised when she didn't move even an inch. His finger traced her jaw from one end to the other - deliberately slow - drawing out the sensation for them both. He was touching her; her soft, milky skin. It was better than he could've ever imagined.

The library around them seeming to disappear entirely; it was just them, alone, and free and he could speak and she would listen. She was his to finally enrapture.

Taking a deep breath, he recited one of the many poems his mother had told to him as she sowed or crocheted. "Somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence: in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which I cannot touch because they are too near. Your slightest look easily will unclose me though I have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose. Or if your wish be to close me, I and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly, as when the heart of this flower imagines the snow carefully everywhere descending."

He trailed his fingertip down her throat and across her shoulder until it was falling down the gentle slope of her arm. His eyes stayed with her however. Locked; chocolate brown and hazel. "Nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility: whose texture compels me with the color of its countries, rendering death and forever with each breathing."

His hand finally found hers, fingers tracing over every small indent and entwining their fingers. "(I do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands…"

She shook her head, staring up at him through damp lashes. "You're not supposed to love me. You're… You're supposed to…" She sniffled, a tear dripping down her cheek. "I tried to stay away. I didn't want to disrupt it. I… I'm sorry. I-"

"Hermione," he interrupted, not entirely sure what it was she was upset over. All he knew was that she didn't think he was meant for her and he couldn't imagine why not.

The second she stepped in front of him, he'd felt something he'd never experienced before. Sirius snorted at the idea of love at first sight, but… He couldn't help but believe it was real. There was a spark that ignited in his heart as she appeared in the hall. Tall, radiant, dusty, but beautiful. So many questions surrounded her and yet the only one he wanted answered was, "Could she be mine?" He wanted her. Had from day one. Her soft, plump, pink lips; to kiss as often as possible. Her soft, small hands; to hold and caress and kiss as he pleased. Her thick, brown hair, to run his fingers through. Her curvy, confident body; to hold and have and love to every extent.

Sirius would call him a sap. Peter would say he was utterly mental. Remus would simply smile and shake his head. They thought him overdramatic when it came to love and all its wonders. But he… He thought it was the best feeling he'd ever known. Her smile alone left him flying. Her voice sent him into a reaction he best hide; his mind whirling with so many less than G rated thoughts. Her simple touch left him breathless and shaky. What could that be but love? New and real and waiting to be explored and experienced to all extents.

"If this is about Lily, then you have it all wrong. She belongs with Remus," he told her, shaking his head. "They connect in a way I can't. I know that. They know that. I wish I'd figured it out sooner but I didn't. And as for us… It's not wrong. It can't be. Nothing that feels this right could be wrong." He shook his head, smiling at her charmingly. "Give me a chance. Let me take you out. Let me make you fall in love." He tugged her hand, pulling her closer. "I guarantee you'll see how right it is," he said quietly.

She licked her lips and his eyes followed the movement of her tongue desirably. "I don't belong here, James."

He shook his head, eyes holding onto hers. There were caramel flecks there. "You don't belong anywhere else."

She sighed, her shoulders slumping as if in defeat. "You'll realize how wrong you are about us," she whispered, her eyes falling to stare at his lips.

He could see the want he knew was in his eyes mirrored in hers. Could she really? Had she always? He wondered if he should press his luck. She was so close he could feel her breath against his chin. He reached a hand out to cup her cheek, stroking it with his thumb. He suddenly felt like a little boy who'd never kissed before. Her skin was so soft and creamy. She moved just slightly into his palm and he felt it fit against her as if they were made for each other. A tendril of her hair slipped from her knot and brushed against the back of his hand. Her eyes fluttered for a moment before lifting to stare into his again.

She wasn't pulling back. Wasn't ignoring him or running away. She was… Waiting? He hesitated for only a moment. If she was right, then this kiss would ruin his every dream of her. He'd know that he'd spent the last four months over a foolish dream. She looked so tempting though. He licked his lips. Wasn't it better to know? He was a Marauder. He wasn't afraid of anything. Even if it involved losing his dream girl entirely. His heart sped up and his stomach tightened.

He leaned forward, capturing her mouth, lightly at first. It was a gentle meeting of closed lips. It didn't feel like all those other girls and yet it did. He opened his mouth just slightly, cradling her bottom lip between his and letting his tongue drag across it. It seemed to wake them both up, because the kiss suddenly became more heated and passionate than uneasy and uncertain. Her mouth opened, slanting over his. Her eyes fell shut and her body fell forward slightly, arms lifting to wrap around his neck, fingers playing with the ends of his hair. He sucked in a deep breath through his nose, not wanting to separate from her.

He leaned closer, his body connecting with hers. She seemed to fit just right against him; angles meeting dips. Her front slid up his as she rose higher on her tip toes. Her mouth kept close to his, tongue and teeth coming into play. She nibbled at his lips, trailed her tongue over them and suckled his into her mouth. She was an incredible kisser. He felt his knees shaking and his hands quaking as he held her waist with one and wrapped the other around the back of her neck, drawing her up closer. All those dreams he'd had, they didn't compare.

She tasted like raspberries and he suddenly decided it was his favorite flavor ever. There was no way she could possibly tell him they didn't work together after this! He gripped her hip tightly; his body pressing her back as they slowly stepped toward the table. He let his other hand fall and lifted her up onto the desk, pushing books and parchment out of the way carelessly. Her legs parted and he stepped between them arms wrapping around her and hands pressing into her. She slid her hands down his back, kneading at him, her nails digging in whenever he nipped her tongue lightly.

She was moaning quietly and he found a problem that she was bound to notice, arising between them. The soft noises she was making, the way her hands stroked his back, how her teeth nibbled his lips, he was becoming far too into the kiss. He didn't know how long they'd been connected at the mouth, parting only a hairs breath for a quick inhale here or there. He didn't want to stop, didn't want it to end, for reality to set in. Maybe he was dreaming. It had happened more than once. He was probably sitting across from her, admiring her as usual, deep in thought with a goofy smile. She was bound to get up and leave and Sirius would come get him late into the night when he didn't come back to the dorms.

She made the most sensual noise and he realized there was no way he was dreaming it up. It was all too real; she tasted, sounded, felt too real. For a first kiss, it was far more enthusiastic than he expected. He figured she'd break away, tell him she was sorry, that it wouldn't work, but she also seemed too into it to consider stopping.

"James," he heard, but ignored it. It wasn't coming from her, her mouth was busy, so whoever it was could go to hell. He was busy and he wasn't planning on stopping anytime soon. Unless of course his problem became too much to ignore.

One of his hands fell to her leg, wrapping around her bare knee and sliding up just slightly, thumb caressing her thigh. She felt so warm and soft and her reaction to the smallest of his touches told him she wasn't as ignorant of his existence as he'd thought. He wanted to grin. To whoop and jump and shout to all of the school that he'd finally gotten the attention he always wanted. That four months had paid off and she was now all his to explore and caress and taste in all of her glory. And Gods, did he taste her.

"James!" he heard again.

He lifted a hand to wave away the pesky person calling him. Couldn't they see he was enjoying the best moment of his life?

He broke away from her mouth, panting, but trailed kisses down her face to her neck and buried his face against her shoulder, suckling the crook of her neck and nipping at her. Her arms wrapped up, hands pressing into his shoulders, holding him against her tightly. He wondered if she could feel that problem of his pressing against her thigh. When she lifted her leg to the side and brushed it against him, without flinching or stopping, he knew she did and it wasn't bothering her.

"JAMES!" he heard again.

Fed up, he pulled himself back from Hermione and turned toward the voice. "Bloody hell!" he shouted. "What the sod do you want?"

Sirius was standing to the side, looking amused. "Madame Pince has been shouting at you two for twenty minutes. She sent for the Headmaster. Apparently snogging each others brains out in clear view of first years and her books is a crisis." He rolled his eyes, half-smirking. "I see the cat's finally caught the mouse."

Hermione wrinkled her nose, snorting. "Clever. Really," she said sarcastically.

"Careful, love. Wouldn't want to get your new beau jealous," Sirius replied, winking.

"No worries. Never much been a dog lover," she replied, pursing her lips.

Sirius' expression dropped some, before he picked up his charismatic personality once more. There was no way she knew of Sirius' animagus form. "Dog, really? How low an opinion you must have of me," he said faux-woefully. "Guess now that you've finally given into Prongs' pathetic wooing attempts, we'll be seeing more of each other." He crossed his arms over his chest. "Unless you still plan on ignoring us few good gentlemen."

"Gentlemen," she repeated, looking amused. "A bit of a stretch, don't you think?"

James wondered if she knew she was still holding onto the front of his shirt, her legs wrapped tight around him. He wasn't complaining, although he didn't quite appreciate the banter between the two of them. They spoke so easily, despite the fact that it was the first time they'd really taken notice of each other. Should he be worried?

Sirius faked being wounded. "I can see were going to get along fine, Herms."

Her expression changed dramatically. "Poor James. However will he cope without his best mate for the rest of his life?"

Sirius' expression turned confused. "Why would he--?"

"Call me Herms again and you won't live past the moment," she told him warningly.

He grinned, laughing. "I was wrong, James," he told her, walking forward to slap his shoulder. "You made the right choice in this one."

James simply shook his head. "We should probably get out of here before Pince pops a vein."

He stepped back before realizing he was kind of stuck in between her legs. "Uh, Mione?" he said, trying not to laugh.

She flushed in embarrassment. "Oh. Er. Right. Sorry," she told him, her legs falling down. She pushed her hair back behind her ear, clearing her throat. She hopped down from the desk and then turned toward it to put the rest of her books away.

"So," James said, rubbing the back of his head. "Hogsmeade weekend," he said hopefully. He glared at Sirius as he heard him laugh. When did he become so flustered around girls?

Hermione paused in packing her books away and looked up at him. "Can you say with all honesty that you and Lily are really and truly never going to work out?"

He thought about it a moment, not wanting to give her the impression that it was a snap decision. He'd liked Lily since fourth year and she'd been the center of his romantic world up until the moment Hermione Granger popped up out of nowhere. Was there a chance his feelings for Lily would resurface? He looked at Hermione, felt the thrum of his lips still buzzing, and knew, without a doubt, he'd already found that girl who was meant to last forever and eternity.

"Really and truly," he told her, nodding.

She stared at him suspiciously, eyes thinned and mouth pursed. "You're not in love with me," she told him, blunt and serious, as if she knew him better than he did.

He laughed. "I can guarantee I will be one day. For now, I'm in love with your lips. And your hands. And your smile."

She shook her head, sighing. Her mouth was pressed tight to avoid her smile. "Okay, Casanova. One date."

He grinned. Who said the date ever had to end? Reaching out, he took her hand, stroking the inside of her palm with his thumb.

"Over there, Headmaster. On the tables!" Madame Pince could be heard exclaiming, perturbed. "Can you believe the audacity? I won't allow it! I cannot believe they'd- they'd UGH! You must do something!"

"Yes, yes, of course, my dear," Dumbledore replied easily.

James and Sirius exchanged amused expressions.

"Interested in a quick escape, Mione?" he wondered, turning to her curiously. Would she? He knew she was a bit of a stickler for the rules. This would be an important moment, though. Did she have a mischievous streak in her? Could she fit in with the Marauders?

Hearing the footsteps, he began to shift on his feet worriedly.

Turning to him, Hermione lifted a brow. "Have you found the hidden passageway behind the last bookshelf on the right?" she queried smartly.

He grinned. She was definitely his soulmate.

She squeezed his hand, picking up her book bag and only pausing when he took it from her. From now on, he would carry it. She smiled at him appreciatively and then they were off. He could tell they were in for a great adventure together. A relationship that would last a lifetime if he had any say.

Hard to get? Very. Worth it? Definitely.


A/N Hope you enjoyed this. I'm still working on my other one-shots. My computer is still in for fixing, so bear with me. My beta, the ever incredible Danielle, wants me to continue this. What do you think? Maybe a two shot?

Thanks for reading. Please leave a review, it's very appreciated!
Much Love,