Author's Notes: This little bit of fun was written in honor of ChristyCorr's birthday. Enjoy. =D
The Proper Lyric
"I'm not wrong."
"Yes, you are."
"No, actually, I'm not."
"Can we think about this logically for a moment, please?"
James stopped walking, his feet halting just before one of the giant reefs that seemed to be sprouting up all over the corridors these days—which, along with the ever-present snow on the ground and the endless holiday cheer spreading throughout the castle, was just another reminder that in one week's time, Christmas hols would be here—as he crossed his arms over his chest, momentarily ignoring the holiday decorations in lieu of staring at his girlfriend, who had stopped along beside him. She gave him a hard look as he brought them to a standstill.
"Logically?" Lily repeated, raising her eyebrows. "You mean logically as in, I'm logically right, and you're logically wrong?"
James rolled his eyes. "No," he said. "I mean logically as in I have been singing 'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff' since I was in leading strings. And you..."
"Oh, that's nice," Lily scoffed, crossing her arms over her chest, as well. "Playing the Muggleborn card. Classy. Really classy. Are you serious?"
James only grinned. "Well, it's true."
Lily turned and stomped off down the corridor, letting out an annoyed sound and leaving James laughing behind her. He didn't know how this argument had begun—stupid, really, when you stopped to think about it—but James had never been one to pass on an opportunity to push Lily Evans's buttons. There was nothing quite like his girlfriend when she was properly riled up.
He was very proud of his position as exemplary rile-er.
It had its perks.
"Oh, come on," he called, catching up with Lily in a few, quick strides. She shot him a glare as he caught her arm. "All I'm saying is that—as someone who has been familiar with the tune longer—I most likely have the advantage in knowing the proper lyrics."
"Or," Lily shot back stubbornly, "it means that you've known it so long, you've forgotten what the lyrics actually are and just run your mouth with whatever sounds right to you."
James clicked his tongue. "Yeah, I don't think so."
"You're...oh, for Merlin's sake, James, your lyrics don't even make sense!" Lily threw her hands up in frustration. "'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff, spreading holiday cheer. Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff, the happy holidays this year?' Honestly?"
"Yes, honestly!" James insisted, nodding his head. "And it does so make sense! Granted, it's been a while, but you don't forget holiday carols—well, except perhaps that 'Twelve Days' nonsense, but really, I don't think anyone was ever meant to sing that song in its entirety, anyway—"
"You're wrong," Lily said again, shaking her head. Then she tilted it a bit. "Well, not about the 'Twelve Days of Christmas'—that really is ridiculous—but about 'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff'. The line is clearly, 'the happy holidays, my dear'."
"'My dear'?" James scoffed, mocking her insisting as he had been for the last half-hour. "What pansy is going to go around singing 'my dear'?"
"The type of pansy who sings 'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff'," Lily replied.
James sighed loudly as the pair finally reached the Great Hall, entering the busy room together, still bickering as they made their way towards the Gryffindor table.
"Marlene!" Lily cried, abruptly calling out to her friend as she and James finally reached the Gryffindor table. The girl in question glanced up, taking a bite of her sandwich. "In 'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff', what're the proper lyrics? 'The happy holidays this year" or "The happy holidays, my dear'?"
Marlene made a face. "Well, I thought—"
"Wait!" James suddenly cried, cutting off Marlene's response. "Why are we asking Marlene? She's your mate. Of course she's going to agree with you!"
Lily rolled her eyes. "I didn't tell her which one I thought it was," she said.
James made a scoffing sound. "Oh, please. Your voice was practically dripping contempt as you said 'this year'."
"You're being stupid," Lily shot back. "You just know you're wrong."
"I'm not wrong!"
"Then let Marlene answer!"
But James didn't get to finish his complaint, efficiently ignored as something suddenly caught Lily's eye and she turned away from him. A few seconds later, she turned back around to face him again. A wicked sort of smile played at her lips.
"Fine," she said, grabbing his hand. "We won't ask Marlene. Come along."
"What?" James asked dumbly, but he let Lily pull him along behind her, not really paying much attention to where she was dragging him off to, just enjoying the feeling of her hand in his.
It really didn't take much these days, did it?
He was so busy grinning foolishly to himself—really, who would have thought three months ago that Lily would even be touching him, much less happily clasping her hand in his?—that James didn't notice where exactly Lily was dragging him off to until he suddenly found himself standing in front of the half-empty staff table. Lily guided him along to the very end of the table where a few professors were just leaving.
"Lily, what are you—"
"Professor Dumbledore?" Lily called, waving a hand at the Headmaster. "Would you mind if James and I asked you a question, sir?"
The Headmaster turned at Lily's call, pausing as the few other professors he had been departing with continued on out of the Great Hall. Lily gave the older man her brightest smile. James couldn't quite believe what she was doing.
"Miss Evans, Mr. Potter." Professor Dumbledore regarded them curiously. "What is it I can do for you? Something as to your Head duties, I assume?"
"No, actually," Lily responded. "It's a different sort of question, sir."
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows.
James almost groaned.
"Professor," Lily started slowly. "Are you familiar with the song 'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff?"
Dumbledore's eyebrows rose even higher. But even through his obvious surprise, James watched as the older man's blue eyes twinkled.
"'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff'," he repeated. "I cannot say I've spent much time with it since childhood."
That comment seemed to brighten Lily up even more.
"Oh, good," she said. "Neither has James."
James shot her a glare.
"Be that as it may," he interrupted, looking at the Headmaster, as well, "what I was trying to explain to Lily is that the lyrics of the song are quite simple. The song clearly goes 'Hardy the Holiday Hippogriff, the happy holidays this year'. But she seems to think—"
"—that the proper lyrics are obviously "the happy holidays, my dear,'" Lily finished, a smug look coming across her face. She glanced at the Headmaster expectantly. "Would you care to clear the matter up for us, Professor?"
Dumbledore was silent for a few moments, though whether it was because he was thinking about it, or simply trying to figure out why two of his supposedly brightest students were bothering him with holiday carol lyrics, James couldn't be sure. But if Dumbledore minded, he didn't let it show. Soon he was sending both of them a small smile, playing along in their game.
"It is certainly an interesting predicament, is it not?" he finally said, the twinkle in his eyes growing even brighter. He glanced steadily at the pair of them. "Both lyrics seem quite plausible to me. However..."
James and Lily leaned forward in anticipation.
"Yes?" Lily prodded.
Professor Dumbledore smiled. "You are both incorrect," the old man said. "I do believe the proper lyric is 'the happy holidays are here'. Happy Christmas, Mr. Potter, Miss Evans."
And with one last nod, Dumbledore walked away.
The two stared after the Headmaster dumbly.
There was silence for a few moments.
"Oh, dear," Lily breathed, sounding perplexed. "He's right, isn't he?"
James scratched absently at the back of his head. "'The happy holidays are here'," he repeated. Then he sighed. "Oh, yeah. Definitely."
They were silent again.
"Well," Lily said, breaking through the quiet, her voice suddenly perky. She turned to James, a small smile playing at her lips. "You were still wrong."
James let out a loud laugh.
"So were you," he countered.
Lily shrugged her shoulders, letting James drag her against his side, lifting her head slightly in order to press an absent kiss against his jaw.
"We were wrong together," she decided.
James smiled down at her.
"I'm all right with that."
Lily hummed her agreement, lifting her hand to his face and turning it towards hers, kissing him again, this time on the mouth. She pulled away with a light, happy sound. Her face was a bit pink. James grinned at that.
Lily took his hand again as they started to make their way back towards the Gryffindor table. After a few seconds, she turned her head and looked back at him.
"You know," she said. "That man is just so smart."