Author Note: Hey there! With Valentines' Day coming up, I feel the urge to write something fluffy for you guys. The title was inspired by the movie Ten Things I Hate About You (rest in peace, Heath Ledger) but the plot has pretty much nothing to do with its namesake. This is just a one-shot… no, it will not be continued, but if you want to further nourish your Lily/James sweet tooth, you can check out my other stories. Hope you like it!
Things I Hate About James Potter
"I can't believe you did that, Potter!" Lily exclaimed, crossing her arms indignantly. "You have no right to interfere in my life like that!"
James rolled his eyes as he followed her into their Head Boy and Head Girl Common Room. "Well, excuse me for trying to be a good friend," he retorted. "I was just trying to keep you from making a huge mistake."
Lily groaned impatiently as she collapsed onto the nearest couch. "Not even you believe that," she argued. "You were doing it for your own selfish reasons, and you know it."
"I don't care what you think," James took a seat beside her. "I did it for you."
Lily sighed in exasperation. "Just leave… please. Before I decide to strangle you."
"Go ahead and strangle me. I'm still not leaving," James told her, remaining stubbornly in his seat. "Not with you upset with me over nothing!"
"It wasn't nothing, you idiot!" Lily scooted over on the couch to maintain more of a distance between herself and James. "I had been looking forward to it all week!"
James' eyes widened, and he looked at her with all the innocence of a young puppy. "You look forward to your dates with Amos Diggory, but not to your lovely evenings with me?"
Lily glared at him. "Unlike you, Amos is capable of behaving like a normal human being. I happen to enjoy myself with him."
"I still say that he's no good for you," James countered. "He's just…"
"Not you?" Lily shook her head. "Thus the basis of his appeal."
James wrinkled his nose in disgust. "He's as dry as an old piece of toast. You deserve better than him!"
"Well, that's not your decision, now is it?" Lily was fuming. "That's the problem with you! You think you have some kind of control in my life. You think everything I do relates back to you!"
"Doesn't it?" James joked, though his small grin faded as soon as he saw that Lily wasn't smiling. "Look, Lily. I did what I did because I care about you."
"You have a funny way of showing it." Lily furrowed her brow. "I'm almost certain that Amos was finally going to ask me to be his girlfriend today. And then you had to go and do… that!" She shuddered. "You made such a scene back there, James. I doubt if he'll ever want to speak to me again."
"Hey," James warned, "don't act like you didn't play a part in it."
"Me?" Lily crossed her arms. "You were the one who interrupted our date! You were the one who kept bothering us and insisting that I was madly in love with you. You were the one who kissed me."
"And you, my dear Lily, were the one who kissed me back," James argued.
Lily's cheeks flushed bright pink. "I did not," she said quietly.
James laughed. "Well, it certainly took you a while to break away."
Lily couldn't believe she was hearing this. She did not kiss James back! The kiss had appalled her, not enthralled her. How dare he make such claims?
"I didn't know what was happening," she finally replied, her voice weakening. "You caught me off guard."
James smiled. "Amos will be grateful for my interjection in your date this afternoon," he told her. "It was better for him to find out this way than for you to lead him on for a few months."
Lily groaned. "I hate you!" she cried out, smacking the Head Boy across the chest. "You're such an arrogant toerag sometimes."
James smirked. "You know that's not true. You love me."
She took a deep breath to calm herself down. "No," Lily told him coolly. "I hate you. I hate everything about you."
"You do not!" James exclaimed. "You could not possibly hate everything about me."
"Oh, it's definitely possible." Lily glared at him.
James shook his head. "I don't believe you," he said. "In fact, I don't think you could name one thing you hate about me!"
"One thing?" Lily repeated. "Here's one – I hate the way you constantly meddle in my life."
"No fair… that was just today!" James retorted. "All right. I bet you couldn't name ten things you hate about me."
Lily yawned. "At least give me a challenge," she responded.
"Ten things," James challenged. "Name ten things, and I'll leave you alone for the rest of the night."
"That is, by far, the most appealing thing you've said all night," Lily conceded. "Fine. I hate the way you constantly meddle in my life…"
"You already said that."
"I know. It's my first reason."
"Two – I hate the way you follow me around even when I'm angry with you," Lily said.
"I don't do that!" James disputed.
"You're doing it now!" Lily rolled her eyes. "Three – I hate the way you rumple your hair in that stupid way when you want to look impressive."
"That doesn't impress you?" James asked, sounding somewhat offended. "But I thought…"
"Four," Lily interrupted. "I hate the way you sing in the shower when I'm trying to do my homework. You know I can't concentrate with all that noise!"
James sighed. "I thought it entertained you, love."
"Oh, good… that leads me to my next reason. Five – I hate the way you call me 'love' and 'darling' and other stupid pet names when you know I don't like it."
James shrugged. "I thought that by calling you those things, I was balancing everything out. You know – you call me 'arrogant toerag' and 'idiot' and 'insufferable git,' and I call you 'love' and 'darling' and 'Lily flower.' It adds a nice equilibrium to our relationship."
"We don't have a relationship, you insufferable git."
"My point exactly!"
"What number were we on? Six?" Lily sighed. "All right… I hate the fact that you sleep through every alarm you've ever owned, to the point where I have to wake you up every morning."
"You know I love the sound of your voice," James told her, wiggling his eyebrows. "It's the perfect way to start out my morning."
In spite of everything, it took all of Lily's restraint not to smile at this. She hoped James wouldn't notice… after all, she was furious with him right now. "Well, James, you know what would be the perfect way for me to start out my morning?"
"I could think of a few things," James replied suggestively, winking at her.
Lily shook her head in disgust. "Not that, ew!" she exclaimed, not wanting to picture what James was so obviously picturing. "I was going to say… knowing that you weren't in the room next to me, plotting all the ways to make my life miserable."
"Oh, play fair, Lily." James grinned. "Besides, you're stalling. You can't think of any more reasons, so you're using this as a diversionary tactic."
"Am not!" Lily argued, though she knew deep down that he was right. There were things that she detested about James, but not all of them were coming to mind right away. She thought quickly. "Number seven – I hate the way you think you can read me like a book."
And I hate the fact that half the time, he's right, Lily admitted to herself bitterly.
"One of the joys of knowing you since we were eleven," James spoke up. "Bet you're having trouble thinking of your last three reasons…"
Lily gritted her teeth. She thought of their experiences earlier that day, as well as past events in their lives over the years. "I hate the way you always think you have to come to my rescue," she said. "I'm not some damsel in distress. I can fight my own battles and live my own life!"
James looked at her with a mock-pout on his face. "You don't appreciate the chivalry?"
"Not when it's coming from you, no." Lily bit her lip. "I'd hardly call your actions chivalrous. All you're really out for is a shag, and you'll pursue it through any means necessary."
"Don't you know me at all?" James asked, his voice more serious now. "Just because I joke about it doesn't mean…"
"Doesn't mean what, James? Doesn't mean that your intentions are far from honorable?"
"It just… never mind." James looked at her more meaningfully. "You're almost up to ten. Please continue."
"Thank you." Lily paused for a moment. She was having more and more difficulty thinking of reasons, even though she was constantly finding herself bothered by the boy who sat beside her. "Nine – I hate the way you can never take no for an answer. You'd think after asking me out a million times…"
"Five-hundred seventy-two," James interrupted her.
"Your calculations are off," he said. "It's been five-hundred seventy-two times, more or less. But it's also been a month and four days since I last asked you out."
Lily couldn't believe he had been keeping track this whole time. But it only reinforced her reasoning. "Well, I just don't understand why you'd keep coming back to a girl who so obviously doesn't feel the same," she said, her voice softer this time.
"I don't know how obvious it is, Lily," James responded. "After all, you did let me kiss you earlier."
Lily groaned. "You know that only made me hate you more."
"No it didn't. It gave us all the more reason to argue, and you love it when we argue. It fires you up!"
"Shut up, Potter."
"I'm serious!" James exclaimed. "You live for this banter."
"I do not." Lily shook her head indignantly.
"Then why are you participating in it?" James asked curiously. "Because this whole time that you've been arguing with me just now, you could have been spouting off your tenth reason for hating me. And you know that I promised to leave if you could list ten things you hate about me."
"Fine," Lily spat. She thought for a moment. "Number ten. I hate… I hate the way you… I mean, the fact that you…" She swallowed, having trouble deciding what to say next. "I hate that… you… erm."
"Eloquently said," James teased, snaking an arm around Lily's shoulders. "You love me and you know it."
"You're such a dolt!" Lily exclaimed, standing up at once. "Just stay out of my life." With that, she ran up the stairs and bolted herself into her room.
She stood pacing across her dormitory, back and forth, still fuming. This cannot be good for my blood pressure, she thought to herself bitterly. How could she let James bother her so much?
I need to learn to ignore him, a part of her thought to herself rationally. He only does it for the attention.
She sighed. She thought back to earlier that afternoon, when she and Amos had been on their third date at Madame Puddifoot's in Hogsmeade. She had been anticipating the date all week. Her friends had helped her choose the perfect outfit and rehearse all the right things to say.
I don't know how I'm ever going to make it up to Amos, she thought. He was a sweet boy, really, and incredibly handsome. Her friends were jealous that she was getting the opportunity to date him; then again, they were jealous of the fact that James was practically begging her to go out with him at least once.
Lily frowned. I can't believe James said Amos was dryer than toast. Sure, he didn't always have the most exciting things to say, but since when did anyone?
She couldn't believe that James would interrupt her date the way he had. Or the fact that, after he had spouted off all the reasons why she belonged with him instead of Amos, he kissed her. Kissed her! It was the most appalling thing since… ugh!
And yet, as much as she hated to admit it, she had somewhat reciprocated the kiss. At the very least, she took about a moment to end it. She couldn't help it! James was a good kisser.
So maybe I don't hate everything about him, she thought to herself, feeling incredibly superficial. She knew that this wasn't enough. But perhaps it was part of the reason why she was so upset with him.
Why couldn't I think of a tenth thing I hate about him? Lily wondered. The very concept confused her. Surely it wasn't for the reason that James had suggested – that she was madly in love with him.
That's absurd! She almost laughed at the thought. If I loved him, I would have said yes to him long ago.
But then she thought more about the reasons she had chosen to list for why she hated him. And the more she thought about them, the sillier she felt.
No other boy has ever called me darling, she reasoned, and from anyone else, I'm sure I would find it endearing. Perhaps the reason it had bothered her so much coming from James was the fact that he had been doing it for all those years.
And maybe he does meddle in my life because he cares about me, she thought. Maybe he 'protects' me because he wants to, not because he feels that I need him to. What if his intentions have been honorable?
Her expression softened, as she began to realize that all of the things she hated about James were also things she never would want to change about him. She had grown accustomed to waking him up every morning - a part of her enjoyed the feeling of taking care of someone, even if that someone could be completely obnoxious most of the time – and had even begun to work better despite the sound of James' slightly off-key singing in the shower.
And perhaps the fact that he hadn't taken no for an answer – the fact that he had asked her out five-hundred seventy-two times and kept track of it – was starting to grow on her. It was a concept that she'd seen many times in her favorite romance novels, one that she had considered adorable in those stories but never in her own life.
She sighed, knowing she had reached a conclusion. Ripping a piece of parchment out of her desk, she rummaged around for a quill and began to write.
James laid on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. He had been thinking about the events of this afternoon with mixed emotions. On the one hand, he was thrilled to have finally kissed the girl of his dreams. He was also happy to have thwarted Lily's date, because it ensured that she wouldn't be otherwise occupied with a new boyfriend.
Besides, he heard Amos speak of Lily before, and he knew that the Hufflepuff would never appreciate the Head Girl the way he did. He knew that Amos would be a temporary fixture in Lily's life… not like him.
But now she hates me more than ever, James thought to himself bitterly. Maybe she would have been perfectly happy with Amos. Maybe kissing her was a bad idea.
He sighed. Tomorrow would be a better day. Tomorrow he would make it up to her. He would apologize profusely, then promise to stay out of her life. He would wake up on his own – no matter how difficult that was – and resist every urge to sing in the shower. He would address her by her last name and nothing else. He would speak to Amos privately and urge him to give Lily another chance. She deserved that much.
Suddenly, James heard the sound of parchment brushing against his door. He turned and watched as a sheet was slipped underneath the door and into the room.
I wonder what this is? James stood up and headed to the door, bending down to pick up the parchment.
Rummaging around for his glasses, James noticed that the note was written in Lily's handwriting. He sat down and read it silently.
Reason Number 10: I hate the fact that by listing all the things I hate about you, I've come to realize that I'm also in love with you.
James smiled to himself. Perhaps today wasn't such a bad day after all.
Author Note: So… what did you think? I hope it was all right! Leave a review to let me know. Thanks for reading!