Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its affiliates. All of it belongs to J.K. Rowling.

A/N: It's been a while.

A Lunatic in the Lift

By: jules713

One James Potter and one lift equals many aggravated people wishing they had used the stairs.

When James Potter stepped into the lift at the Ministry of Magic, he saw that it was clearly empty. Chuckling to himself, he sat in the corner and magicked a chalk box around it.

A woman in her late forties entered the lift after him, looking mildly apprehensive at James on the floor. He stood up quickly and brushed himself off.

"Can I push the button?" he asked the woman, as though it were his life dream to push the round numbers. She nodded slowly. " What number?" Before she could respond, he shouted out. " Is it four, eight, seven, three, nine, twelve?" She glared at him.

"Actually it was five, but thanks for pushing all the other buttons for me!" she snarled viciously, grabbing her briefcase and standing in the corner across from him. There was silence until the lift reached the second floor.

"Ding," James said as the door popped open. Three men stepped in. James gestured to his box. "This is my personal space." He then held out his hand to one of the men. "You can call me Admiral!" The man looked uncertain, but shook his hand anyway.

James opened a piece of gum, the wrapper from it crinkling as he did so, the silent elevator interrupted by it. He stuffed it in his mouth and blew a huge bubble. It popped and hung at the bottom of James' jaw. He pulled it out in long strands, sticking it to the nearest man. The man pulled it off quickly, his eyes widening. James took no notice and stuffed more gum into his mouth. He went up to the only person in the elevator he hadn't talked to and opened up his mouth, pointing to it. The man nodded, his eyebrows knitting together. He slowly started backing away from James, as did the other three people in the lift. James closed his mouth.

"Wanna see wuh in muh mouf?" The man looked disgusted.

"I already did," he answered, turning away from the other passengers. James turned him around by his shoulders.

"Somebody is suffering on the inside. Do you want to talk about it?" The man became disgruntled, his face growing beat red. He raised a hand to James, who looked shocked.

James recoiled fiercely, and screamed, "BAD TOUCH."

The man looked around to the other passengers who calmly gestured for him to put his hand down.

James, now rocking in the fetal position and sucking his thumb, was whispering over and over to himself.

One of the men in the lift elbowed another. "What's that kid saying?" The man shrugged and mock-whispered to the last man.

"That kid's nuts. Wanna get off here and use the stairs?" The whole group agreed and got off on the fourth floor. James stood up after the doors clinked shut, wiping himself off.

"Excellent. A new beginning."

Two young ladies entered, one in robes, the other in Muggle clothes, along with four or five men. James leaned against the button panel. The lady in robes asked him to kindly remove himself so they could push the buttons.

"Oh. It's my job. I'm supposed to push the buttons since I'm the one who vomited on them and refused to clean it up." He grinned widenly. "But, go right ahead and push your buttons if you'd like to."

Everyone quickly shouted out their floor numbers. James looked at the glowing panel.

"Um. This is a nine? Or is this? Wait, that's an eleven 'cause it has the three lines." He looked around at the other passengers. "Ah, oh well." He said and lit the whole panel. The elevator ascended up.

James stared at his thumb until the sixth floor, when a man reached down for his briefcase. "DON'T TOUCH THAT!" The man, surprised by James' outburst, dropped the briefcase. It opened and spilled its contents all over the floor of the lift. The man looked from the papers on the ground to James, who smiled sheepishly.

"There was dust on it," James shrugged. He returned to staring at his thumb, his eyes widening with each passing minute. The man who had dropped his papers grumbled as he picked them up, muttering about how Hogwarts had really gone downhill since he had gone there. He got out at that floor, moaning and groaning as a younger colleague followed him out.

The young lady in robes was whispering to the one in Muggle clothes quite fiercely, gesturing wildly around. They both looked over at James.

He smiled serenely and held up his thumb. "I think it's getting bigger." He said, quite seriously. He gave the pair another wide smile before turning his attention back to his chalk box. The pair got off at the next floor also. The man next to him had his foot right on the line of his magic chalk box. Just one more little step and- AH. There it was.

James let out a wild mock gasp and shuddered. Everyone (well, the three people in there) in the lift looked at him curiously. "You're in my space!" He put both of his hands to his throat and started to mock choke. "I can't, can't breathe! You're sucking up all the air! You've invaded my white bubble! I will never be pure again. I am-" The man quickly removed his foot from the chalk line and took a small step backwards.

James kept one hand on his throat and clutched the side of the man's robe. "TAINTED. I am tainted. Now, nobody will ever take me. You're ruined me. I'm nothing. I-" The three men got off at the next floor and didn't hear the rest of James' spiel.

James stood up and cleared his throat. "And a wonderful day to you also, sir." He picked up his wand and got rid of the chalk box. He turned around to face the corner of the lift as two women got on, chattering excitedly about the license they had just received to breed some exotic animal that James had never heard of. One of the women pressed the number on the panel of the floor they were headed to. James made an explosive-like sound.

Both women looked around for the source of the noise and finally noticed James standing in the corner silently. Giggles echoed in the lift as it ascended to the Artium. There was a heavy, awkward silence for a few moments.

"Uh-oh," James whispered, his back still turned to the women. "I really have to go. Really, really need to go. I have to-oops." The women gave each other sidelong glances before pushing the button for the next available floor. When they both hopped off, walking fast with their heads down, James turned and leaned back against the elevator. Three people; two men and a woman walked on quietly. The woman was wearing clothes that James knew associated with the Department of Mysteries. James carefully leaned against the button panel. He got a blank stare and two flashes of anger.

"Sir," the woman from the Department of Mysteries said. "Kindly remove yourself from there. You've pushed all the floor buttons."

"Merlin, I did!" James backed up fearfully, moving his head to the side as if smacked. He turned slowly and looked at the woman, sighing. "You're one of THEM, aren't?" He groaned and fell to the floor.

He heard the murmurs then. 'I don't have time for this' was one and another was 'is that want they're teaching them nowadays?' They grumbled and got off, two floors from where they needed to be.

A big crowd got on next and James smiled at all of them brightly. They smiled back, unsure, having heard of a lunatic in the lift. A slow stream of conversation started and swelled into many voices talking at once.

James looked at the man next to him and pulled out a Galleon. He caught the man's eye and gestured to the coin. The man looked quite puzzled.

"I bet you that I can fit this up my nose. Really, last time there was only a minimal amount of blood and the guy said he really didn't like the outfit anyway." The man looked a little taken aback and glanced around to see if anyone had heard this exchange. He looked at what floor they were on and forced a chuckle.

"Sorry, kid. That's my floor." He hurried out, followed by a petite blond woman. James sighed and looked a little downtrodden, staring down at his shoes. He sighed and moaned for a few minutes before conversation completely ceased. Everyone turned to look at him. One woman had enough guts to ask what's the matter.

"I-I," he stuttered, eyes filling up with mock tears. He saw her with a concerned look on her face and decided to milk it for all it's worth. "I'm n-not wearing n-new s-socks t-t-today." He stumbled. Every single person in the elevator looked down at his shoes. "SEE?" He said, quite loudly in many people's opinions. He spent the rest of the trip, staring in anguish at his feet.

Many people got over before their floors came up. Five people stepped on, glancing curiously to see who this git in the lift was. When they only saw James standing there, they shrugged at each other and walked in. Before the doors closed, James started singing.

"Puff the magic Hippogriff did live by the sea-" A woman stuck her briefcase in the lift door and they all but ran off. James looked at his watch and smirked.

"Once more," he said mischievously to himself. Three people approached him at the next floor, warily staring from the doors of the lift.

"You the lunatic?" An old woman asked. James looked confused. The three sighed in unison relief and leaned against the wall. There was a comfortable silence. Just as the old woman turned to talk to the woman next to him, James finally spoke.

"Ughh," he groaned, leaning over and clutching his stomach. The three looked at him in alarm. Their shocked looks told him that they knew he was the man they were supposed to avoid. "Bugger this motion sickness." He moaned in pain. The people around him exchanged panicked expressions before they all turned to the button panel and hurriedly pressed the button for the next floor.

As the doors clicked shut and the lift descended, James stood upright and dusted himself off. He then pushed the button for the next floor and went to stand in the back of the elevator.

"I heard there was a lunatic in the lift. I should've guessed who it was," Lily Evans said to her boyfriend as the doors opened to reveal her. He grinned cheekily. She held up a piece of paper. "Got my Apparation License." She stepped in and the doors closed behind her.

"Well, at least you kept yourself busy," she smiled up at James, leaning back against him. "And I guess you didn't cause too much trouble." Lily gave him a kiss.

She was so immersed in the kiss that she failed to see the doors open to the lift to reveal four people waiting to get on.

She also failed to see their shocked faces, shudders of fear, and how they turned very quickly to go use the stairs.

A/N: Ah, finite. Was it enjoyable?