A/N: It's a one-shot and fits cannon pretty well, I think. Marauder era. The result of reading an amortentia story, being unsatisfied, and hurrying to write my own probably unsatisfying take on it in two hours. Hope you like it.
Disclaimer: Eh, only the plot bunny is mine. And even that's not so original.
Results of Amortentia
"And now we come to a potion, which can cause utter havoc without a single input from the Dark Arts. Does anyone remember what it is from a lesson last year?"
A hand shot up right away and Professor Slughorn chuckled. "Well, of course I shouldn't be surprised, Mister Snape. Your potion was one of the best of the year."
Snape smiled coldly, forcing himself to, for the sake of keeping up appearances. "Thank you, Professor Slughorn, this potion is amortentia; also known the most powerful love potion in the world. Its scent is different to each person and—" he stopped abruptly and it was clear to everyone that what he smelled would never be revealed to the public.
To quickly smooth away the halt in conversation Professor Slughorn remarked, "I am surprised I didn't see Miss Evans's hand as her brewery of the potion was quite remarkably precise.
Snape scowled in annoyance. He had been the one to copy his version of the potion in Lily's notebook in fifth year on one of their larks into potion making. Just another oddity that only the two of them seemed to share. The only reason hers had turned out better than his is because she had discovered that the Essence of Kiwi Seed counteracted the dizziness that amortentia could cause and she had discovered it in sixth year…after they had stopped talking completely.
At Professor Slughorn's words of praise Lily came out of her reverie with a start and smiled, only half aware of her surroundings. The professor chuckled, "Kneazle got your tongue, Miss Evans? Or should I say has love got it instead? That is all right. The smell of Amortentia is known to draw one into states of daydream and desire if close enough, strong enough, and said person's feelings are deep enough. And as you are sitting not five inches from it, Miss Evans, I should say that you are feeling its effects in depth. Care to share?"
As Lily blushed and began to shake her head, Professor Slughorn gave another chuckle and dismissed the class. Lily packed her things up quickly and was about to escape from the room when a hand fell on her shoulder. The suddenness adding to her already wrought nerves caused her to whip her head around so quickly that her long red hair practically slapped the owner of the hand on the shoulder.
"Christ, Evans, have some compassion for my already quidditch-aching shoulders, will you?" Ah. James Potter. Lily's blush, fading from before, became deep once again. With an uncharacteristic mutter of apology she turned to leave again when he spoke, "Er—all right, Evans? You seem a bit flushed." At this Lily's redness spread to her neck and she wanted nothing more than to leave the scene. Before she could though, James spoke quickly as if he knew she was about to do just that, "Yeah, anyway, just making sure you know we've got patrol duty at nine o'clock tonight. Had to change the schedule yesterday because Zabini's got a detention tonight and Levini refuses to patrol with anyone else. Frankly I didn't care enough to deal with it because, let's face it, who else can stand Levini except Zabini? So I just switched our shift with theirs if that's good for you."
As Lily didn't answer and just kept looking at him blankly, he frowned confusedly and said, "On second thought maybe I'd better—"
"Er right. Patrolling at nine o'clock, you and me. See you then!" Lily said brightly and then dashed out of sight as far as her legs could carry her.
When reaching the Fat Lady's portrait she choked out "Founders Four!" and then squeezed through the opening doorway and hurried up the stairs to the seventh year girls dormitory. Not until she'd hurtled herself onto the bed that waited for her whenever she did not sleep in the Heads' dormitory, did she allow herself to take in a real gulp of air. She closed her hangings and then lay in the semi-darkness wearily, going over the events of the past hour.
It was one of the many days when Slughorn just kept random potions out and then picked them out one by one and discussed them with the class. Lily had gone to sit by the potion that had smelled the best. It had practically drawn her to it. It had smelled like—and she blushed again although no one was there to see it. She drew a deep breath and knew that even if she could not admit it to anyone else, she had to admit those smells to herself at least. It had smelled like freshly laundered robes, her mother's pantry at the end of Baking Day, and…and something she desperately wished was anything else. A mix of rained-on grass, chocoballs, and, she murmured, "Aftershave," with a groan. And then she groaned even louder, "That bloody aftershave!" She knew it was aftershave. After all, she'd helped Alice pick it out as a present for Frank and had heard afterward from Alice that he had tried a bit and liked it so much that he'd bought himself some and used it even though Frank had stopped and gone onto a fragrance Alice and he both liked better.
"Argh!Really! Of all the stupid, idiotic—" she stopped and tried to calm herself. It would not do for anyone else to come in and find her in such a state. The usually calm, stately Lily Evans…well except for where Potter was concerned. She stifled another scream of irritation with her pillow and flopped down. All right. All right. She could handle this. It was just a crush. (Except was it? Or was it a lot more from seven years in the making?) She would just stay away from him until it had died (semi-died?) down.
"Oh, wait, damn! Patrolling tonight with Potter. Merlin, can this day just finish already before more disaster hits?" She sighed, wearily, and realized how exhausted all this nonsense had made her. Lily checked the time and figured she had a few hours for which she could spare for much welcome nap. So she turned her head and promptly fell asleep.
When Alice came back from studying late in the library she pulled open Lily's bed hangings she found a still sleeping Lily and nudged her awake. "Wake up, sleepy head. Otherwise you'll wake up at three in the morning and lose your sanity and wake the rest of us up!" Lily mumbled incoherently. Alice leaned down to catch what she said, "What was that?"
"Wake me up when it's a quarter to nine." She turned over. Alice raised her eyebrows,
"Hate to break it to you, Evans, but it's just turned nine o'clock now." Lily waved her away. And then when the bells started ringing in the hour Lily sat up, horrified.
"Dear Lord! I'm late, I'm late! I sound like the bloody rabbit from Wonderland but even so, I'm late! Argh!" And as she quickly swept fingers through her tangled hair she ran out of the room, leaving Alicia bewildered. What, exactly, was Wonderland?
Lily was so engrossed in trying to tame one very persistent curl that she all but ran right past James, who, standing with his arms crossed in a most James Dean-esque fashion, was forced to grab her hand to catch her attention, "Oy, Evans! Where do you think you're going? Uncharacteristically late by ten minutes and looking like you're being chased by Gringotts goblins. What's happened to you today?" Concern was such an endearing expression on his already too adorable face that Lily was desperate to return it to something that irritated her enough for her to keep her senses.
"As refreshing as it is to hear you speak words beyond your usual two-syllable capacity, Potter, it still won't shock me enough into thinking that I owe you an explanation about anything in my life." She knew it was an unfair blow. Ja—Potter was intelligent. He wouldn't have been head boy otherwise. And he was trying to be a friend instead of the prat he normally tended to be. Although, come to think of it, he hadn't shown his prattish tendencies so much this year. Perhaps later when life was not so ridiculous, she would re-think her Hate Potter campaign.
The insult worked. James Potter was offended. But instead of turning into the arrogant toe-rag she was hoping for he became cool and silent after saying, "Sorry I didn't know that the day stole your manners from you as when it gave you a knack for doing nothing but turning red. Oh, were those the right amount of syllables for you, Evans?"
Lily sighed and try to push away wishes for a fifth year James Potter that she was not going to get and tried not to let the very obvious silence irritate her too much. Wrong thing to do. One accidental sniff and her thoughts had soared on to much more dangerous ideas. The rained-on grass smell was very apparent tonight. Had he held quidditch practice just before their patrol? She knew this would have been a ridiculous question, seeing that they never talked about quidditch, or really of anything they didn't have to talk about unless it was during an argument. Of course he had held it. But then wouldn't he have taken a thorough shower afterward? She knew from Rakesh Patil, who was also on the team, that he usually did. She blushed because the thought of him taking a shower had brought on other thoughts that had nothing to do with quidditch. Lily couldn't take it anymore. Abruptly she asked, "Did you have quidditch practice before this?"
He looked bemused. What had that to do with anything? Fifth year Potter would have sneered and said, "What's it to you?" but seventh year Potter decided talking to Lily Evans about quidditch was probably an opportunity that would not come again and so answered, "Nah, why?"
Lily shrugged and looked away but was now truly at a loss as to why he smelled the way he did. Unless, was it not him? Was there amortentia lurking around somewhere trying to lull her into making a fool of herself? She shook off the thought: she was doing such a good job of looking ridiculous that she really didn't need help from a potion. She looked up again after a silence that had clearly meant the conversation was over and said, "It's just that I can smell the rained-on grass."
He stared as if she'd started speaking Mandarin. "Sorry? I don't quite—"
"I can smell rain and grass on you. I—" she sighed, hoping that this was a nightmare she would soon wake from and that the real patrolling duty had not yet begun. She took a deep breath and tried one more time, "When you—when anyone from the Gryffindor team comes in from a practice they usually smell like rain and grass. I'm not exactly sure why it smells like that all the time but I was wondering if you had held practice because it's what you smell like and—" she sighed, "Never mind."
James was astonished. She was smelling him? He threw the thought back from whence it came. She probably hated the smell and was simply refraining from yelling at him outright. But to answer her question, "I was actually on the field earlier. It's the best place to plan out strategies. And I actually think it was drizzling. See, Ravenclaw's got this new chaser on their team," he said, starting to enjoy what he was saying, "and I think that the only way we can really knock them out is by trying this new move that—" he stopped, realizing who he was talking to, "but…I guess you wouldn't be interested in all that."
"No, I suppose not," she sighed. James stole a quick look at her. Had disappointment crept into her voice or was that just hope on his part? He inwardly rolled his eyes. He was a lost cause when it came to Evans, always trying to glimpse a side to her that wasn't there. The "James Potter is more than tolerable" side.
Lily was slowly losing all sanity. Why? Chocoballs. He smelled, yet again, like chocoballs. Everyone had their favorite sweet. Alice's were pumpkin pasties. Lupin (the only sensible friend of Potter's) pocketed dark chocolate like he was addicted. Lily, herself, adored sugar quills. In fact, she sucked on them so much that Alice often said she smelled like them, along with her honey berry scented body wash.
But of all the sweets a man could love he had picked chocoballs. Why? They were full of strawberry mousse and clotted cream, a light brown on the outside, and completely pink on the inside. She knew that James, himself was slightly embarrassed of this obsession, as she had overheard him threatening Sirius one day with a full body bind curse if he let it out to anyone how much he loved chocoballs. And now she could smell it so clearly that she was sure he had some in his pocket. She had to comment on this, and see if she could disconcert Ja—Potter in any way.
"So, have you got some chocoballs on you then?" He started and then looked a bit stricken and it was all Lily could do not to laugh, "It's just, they've got this distinct strawberry smell to them and they're usually right next to the sugar quills at Honeyduke's so I—"
"Oh yeah, sugar quills are your favorite," he was trying to gloss over the touch subject of chocoballs.
"Er yeah, wait how'd you kn—" James shrugged and hoped they were rid of the subject, but a few seconds later Lily started up again, "Anyway, you do smell a bit like strawberry mousse."
James turned flush. "Well you know, the cake we had for dinner did seem a bit…strawberry-ish," he said lamely. The cake had been Black Forrest, topped with cherries.
"Right," said Lily, her lips twitching, "but Black said that—"
"That git! He went around telling the whole school about my unnatural obsession for chocoballs, did he? Well we'll see how he feels about a certain Zelda Rheigle knowing about his—" at this he stopped because Lily had burst out laughing. He was amazed. He had heard her laugh before, but not at something that he had said. Not without derision at least. He was confused and more than a little pleased. Lily was still laughing.
"Black didn't say anything! I heard your whole little blackmail spiel in the common room. Don't worry, Potter. Your secret's safe with me." She smiled at him, surprised at how natural it felt. He smiled back at her, tentatively, and suddenly Lily felt that the world was a lovely place.
As they walked onward, their silence took on a friendlier attitude. Lily wished she had the courage to say more but every time she tried, she caught a whiff of his aftershave and had to put all her effort into keeping from sighing in content. Three of her favorite smells combined into one person (who she had only just admitted truly intense feelings for) walking next to her was more than she could handle in one day. She took deep breaths to brand the smell into her mind forever because after this night she was switching patrolling partners. Walking with Ja—Po—no, James, without being able to push him to the wall and try to snog him senseless was wreaking havoc on her hormones. She had to do something about this and soon.
James frowned suspiciously. Contrary to earlier opinion, he now thought that Lily was definitely smelling him. Although, why he couldn't possibly say. To brand his scent in her mind so that she could somehow defame him to all of Gryffindor by condescendingly describing his love for chocoballs? Somehow, he couldn't imagine her doing that. When she wasn't with him she was caring, thoughtful, and altogether sweet. She even tolerated him well enough unless he pushed her too far. Today had been the only day she'd been rude without provocation but today seemed different and he didn't feel right to deride her for it. He sighed inwardly. He would never stop liking Evans. She would never start liking him. And life would forever continue in this vexatious cycle. He should have nipped those dreams of her in the bud when they had started long ago. They had been somewhat innocent then but now they had taken on…a wilder feel. No way would he be able to nip them. Then James became aware of a voice outside his musings and ripped himself from his thoughts.
"Ja—Potter," Had she been about to call him James? "what do you smell when you're near amortentia?" There, she'd just come right out and said it.
"Er," had she just almost called him James? "well, that's an awfully forthright question, isn't it?"
"Oh, yes, I suppose so." She sighed, unable to help it. This was so difficult, as made perfect sense. She'd never made it anything but difficult for James (yes, James. As if he could ever be anything else to her after today.) to claim his feelings for her in past years. Why should it be any different for her now? She sighed again.
"Well if you're going to sigh about it," James grinned, suddenly realizing that this was the most ridiculous predicament. He was finally with Lily and there was no arguing. But there was no talking either. It was possibly the most awkward situation the two of them had been in together. And he finally saw that it was a little funny, "I'll tell you what I smell. But only if you tell me what you smell afterward."
She looked up at him and gave him a sideway smile that made his stomach to the tiniest of flip-flops, but didn't say anything. He didn't mind. This was the farthest he'd ever gotten with her.
"Okay, so I've been near amortentia only twice in my life but both times I've smelled the same things." They had stopped walking. "Chocoballs—" Lily burst out laughing and James grinned again, "Shut up or I'll do the same thing to you that I did to Sirius!"
"I know, I know, you'll put a full body-bind on me, won't you?" she said, still laughing.
"I would never do that to you." He wasn't grinning anymore. Lily stopped laughing but still had a smile on her face and told him to continue, so he did. "Chocoballs, wood chips, and…" he trailed off.
"And?" she stepped in closer to catch his next words. He was turning red and she was more interested than ever to see what James could be losing his cool over.
"Sugar quills and honey," he said, almost inaudibly. She had had to go so close to him that they were now inches away from touching.
"Oh, I love sugar—" she stopped. Did this mean what she thought it meant? Or did he just love sugar quills? But she never saw him eating any. He wouldn't give up his chocoballs for anything, this she knew. And he never had honey with any of his meals. She didn't either. She liked the smell of her soap but preferred sugar as her sweetener. She looked up at him and wasn't really shocked to see him staring down at her, an expression on his face that she'd never seen before. But it was masked just a second after she looked up.
He looked away with his mouth pressed tightly and his eyes flashing. Great, just more ammunition for her to laugh at him later. What sort of hold did this little witch have on him and why would it never leave?
Lily bit her lip. This was uncomfortable. But she had to know the full truth now. Did James still like her? She looked away and continued the dying conversation, desperate for it to never end. "I guess I have to tell you mine now. Amortentia makes me smell robes fresh out of the wash, the pantry when my mother's stocked it full of baked goods, and…" she took a deep breath. It was now or never, "grass that's been rained on, chocoballs," James had turned quickly to look at her, "and Dendelbeez Aftershave because…because they smell like you." She couldn't look at him but could feel his burning gaze on her. She continued quickly, "And I never know why you smell like that. Are you always out in the rain? Why do you love chocoballs? And what's so special about Dendelbeez?"
The pause that came after was going to suffocate her, Lily decided. She would die in this pause and never know anything about James. And it would suck.
And then..."I make my team practice in the rain because it builds up their quidditch skills when they fly in the worst weather possible. And whenever I have a problem, standing in the rain helps me sort it out. I love chocoballs because the strawberry mousse inside reminds me of the only dessert my mother could ever make before she passed away. I use Dendelbeez because I know you picked it out for Alice to give to Frank." He was looking at her intently, silently begging her to turn around. She was so still it was worrisome. He continued, "And I smell sugar quills and honey because it's what you smell like. And I love—" he stopped. There would be time for that later. He hoped. He put his hand on her shoulder and this time her hair did not slap him as it had before.
He turned her around slowly and put a hand in her hair. She smiled tentatively. But this was not a time for formalities. He swooped down and kissed her, his stomach flip-flopping the entire time.
She reacted instinctively and her lips moved excitedly over his. This was better than any kiss she'd ever had. She could feel sparks that had never been there before. He lifted up his lips and before she could moan at the loss of contact he set them on her neck and trailed kisses all along it. He found a sensitive spot and gently bit it and then suckled. She did moan then and could only run her fingers through his hair before all control of her body had gone and his lips went back onto hers. She could feel her tongue urging his lips to open and when they did she felt victorious.
It seemed to go on forever, this fiery rapture, until they both needed to stop for some badly needed air. Breathing deeply, with her arms still around his neck, she smiled up at him and he lifted her up a little. She looked at him and said reproachfully, "I thought you didn't like me."
He laughed, "You told me you didn't like me. Many times."
"Well…all right. There's nothing to really say to that, is there?"
"Nah, but there's a lot of time to make up for." He started walking, she was still lifted in his arms.
"And a lot of conversation to be had. Wait, where are we going?"
"Talking is for the morning. We've got a lot of other things to do now. And look! A nice empty classroom to do it in." He pulled her in. She was laughing now but as he looked at her with a wicked little grin and closed in on her, she stopped and decided that there were quite a lot of other things to do at the moment. And so they did.