Alright. This is crack. Do not think it is anything other than that. I blame Some_Scribbles completely for it even getting this far. Completely. And I blame my twin for the idea ever hitting my head. She sent me a picture from deviant art (you can see the link on my profile) that inspired this story. I haven't read Deathly Hollows so the odds that some of what I have written does not match are likely. Researched as best I was able but glossed a few things over, obviously.
Best consider this some strange mix of AU and Cannon.
Again, this was written for fun and it mostly (completely) crack.
After the story, there are some notes that I have made to explain some of the choices I made while writing this particular one-shot.
A big thank you to Vashka_Kat who made sure I didn't screw up something simple. She is completely and utterly the best, ever.
Disclaimer: Do not own any characters in Harry Potter.
Warnings: Beside the crack? Some swearing, some violence, some lime.
"So what's the score?" Sirius Black demanded as he flopped down, hand already moving to fill plate full of eggs while he stuffed a piece of bacon into his mouth.
"Terrible," Remus Lupin murmured. "We're losing again."
Sirius held up his fork and pointed it like a wand. "There ain't no 'we' here, Moony."
Remus rolled his eyes and shoveled more egg into his mouth, his shoulder lifting in a clear 'what can you do' motion. Sirius eyed Peter Pettigrew for a moment before turning back to his friend. James Potter was half-slouched against the table rolling something round between his fingers. Stuffing another piece of bacon into his mouth, Sirius studied the narrowed eyed expression and tried to swallow before he started laughing.
"Has she…" He made motion with fork that sent scrambled eggs rolling across the table.
"Evans hasn't bothered to even look up this morning. Apparently whatever she is eating for breakfast is fascinating," Remus said as he lifted his cup.
Sirius grimaced. "Cold man."
"I'm sitting right here." James informed them without changing his posture.
Remus snorted. "You're sitting there, Prongs, but you aren't sitting here."
James turned, brow arching over narrowed eyes. He had shoved the brims of his glasses down again. "What?"
"Food." Sirius said, firmly. "Eat. Tell him to eat, Wormtail. He might listen to you."
Peter swallowed. "Does he actually listen to people when Evans is around?"
Remus looked thoughtful, "Fifty-fifty chance."
James made a noise in his throat and reached for a sausage without moving his head. Taking a bite, he chewed deliberately. "Happy?"
"Clearly we need to change tactics." Peter muttered. "Padfoot?"
"Don't ask me. I don't want to know what's going around in the head of a witch who manages to ignore that stare." Sirius grinned widely. "If it was me, I'd be all flustered."
"You've never been flustered in your life," Remus pointed out just as the chimes signaling fifteen minutes to class started. "But it's probably just practice. She's become immune."
"Exactly," Peter grumbled as he grabbed a piece of toast, "why we need to change tactics."
"Final score?" Sirius asked as he scooped up his work bag.
"Whose point scale are we using this morning?" Peter questioned.
"You were here first."
"Then it's probably best if we don't talk about it." Sirius said cheerfully. Slinging his arm around James shoulders, he dragged him out of the great hall.
"You'll see her in transfiguration."
James shrugged him off. "Oh, shut up."
"He's gone." Alice Prewett murmured, eyes dancing as Lily Evans finally looked up from her plate. Lily grimaced, setting her fork down.
"Finally. One more mouthful of eggs and I might have exploded."
Alice snorted, gathering her things. "Try sausage next time then."
Lily pulled a face. "I think I'll stick to the eggs."
Alice shrugged, reaching up to shove the short strands of her dark hair out of her eyes. "Whatever. It's your stomach and we have potions next. How lovely is that?"
Lily groaned and picked up her pace. "I think he does these things on purpose."
"I know he does these things on purpose," Alice corrected with a laugh. "The question becomes what is the purpose behind these little staring matches."
"Probably just trying to over inflate his ego."
"Lily! The man doesn't need you for that!" Alice was really laughing now. "He has so many other adoring fans. I think it's time we look at this from a different angle."
"That perhaps he does in fact like you."
Lily stopped dead, forcing a first year to dodge around her as she stared at her friend. "What?"
Alice switch her book bag to her other shoulder, dark eyes dancing. "Why not? If what's-his-name from Ravenclaw had spent a fraction of the time staring at you, you'd have already gone to Hogsmeade with him."
Lily spluttered. "But… that's… Potter!"
"I am aware of his last name."
"You cannot be serious." She compressed her lips, green eyes narrowed. "You know how I feel about him."
"I know a lot of things, but I've never really been sure about that…"
"Shall we look at the facts? Fourth year, he asked you out on a weekly basis. Fifth year, he shifted to a monthly basis and outright flattery. We're going into our Sixth year, and he seems to be stalking you with his eyes."
"Stalking should be taken as the keyword in that sentence."
"Oh, stuff it, Lily." The second chime started and both girls turned to hurry the rest of the way to the dungeon. "We do know at least one thing."
"What?" Lily's glance was weary.
"It doesn't appear that he is going to give up."
James curled his fingers around the sugar quill in his pocket. Half-slouched behind a small enclave, he was hardly noticed by the crush of students moving between classes back to the Great Hall for lunch. A small smile touched the edges of his mouth as a familiar head of red hair moved in his direction. Adjusting his posture, he calculated the flow of bodies and slid in.
She wasn't even aware of his presence until he slipped her book bag off her shoulder and onto his own, keeping himself half a step behind her startled form so that no one crashed into her.
"Potter," green eyes narrowed at the edges and her lips compressed. "What do you want?"
Look innocent… look innocent…
Green eyes narrowed further so he tried for unassuming. When it was clear that she wasn't going for that, he gave up all pretenses and smiled at her, hooking his fingers above her elbow and pulling lightly.
"You're not hungry?" He slid his gaze over to her. "I suppose you did eat a hefty, healthy breakfast this morning."
"Oh?" Her voice was dripping in sweetness and it made him want… well, there were lots of people in the hall. "You were there?"
His smile deepened at the corners. "Now that's not nice, Lily, pretending that you didn't notice me trying to get your attention all morning."
"Please try to reign in your ego, Potter. I have to breathe at some point between now and the Great Hall."
James laughed and smiled down at her releasing her arm to tug on her hair. "Is that so?"
Lily scowled up at him, swatting at his hand as they entered the Great Hall. "You better not be using me as a shield for some prank, Potter."
James pressed his hand over his heart. "I'm hurt, Evans. Can't a bloke just want to spend time with you?"
"No. Give me back my books and go away."
"Are you sure? I'd be happy to sit with you today."
"Potter! There isn't any reason that I am going to want to ruin a perfectly good lunch by sitting with you. Ever."
James kept his smile and pulled her book bag away from his shoulder to hand it back. He supposed he had pushed enough today but…
Leaning down he made a point to catch her eyes. She was just short enough that he had to tip his head to be at her level. Keeping his voice low so not to be completely overheard by the curious ears attempting to listen in from all directions. "If you say so, Evans. If you say so."
It took a little work, but he managed not to saunter back to where Remus and Sirius were waiting for him. Remus was shaking his head, at least pretending that he wasn't amused. Sirius was chewing noisily, showing off a half-chewed sandwich.
James shrugged as he slid into his seat, reaching for the pumpkin juice. "You're the one who suggested that I change tactics."
Remus rolled his eyes. "I think that was Wormtail… so you do actually hear us when we talk. I was starting to wonder."
Sirius swallowed. "I'm thinking you're still behind on points today."
James shrugged, unconcerned. "You didn't see her expression."
"The one where she is clearly debating how many ways to curse you?" Peter asked as he slid onto the bench, face flushed from his sprint.
James grinned, eyes cutting back over to where Lily was eating with her friends. "The one that said she noticed me."
"Ha!" Sirius said with an eye roll. "You said that in Third year. And Fourth year. And even in Fifth year!"
James shrugged, taking a bite a large bite out of his sandwich. Remus stared at him before shrugging and turning the conversation to the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend.
Lily stared hard at Alice. The smaller girl was slumped over her plate in an attempt to stifle her giggles.
"I don't find it amusing."
Alice nodded without looking up, one arm wrapping around her middle. She was making little hiccuping noises and Lily crossed her arms, scowling. "Alice!"
She finally managed to wipe her eyes, body vibrating with the effort to control herself. "I'm sorry!"
"No you're not."
Alice's mouth trembled but she gulped down air and held. "I'm not laughing at you per se, Lily. I'm… it's just, he's so dramatic!"
Lily stared at her, lips thinning.
"Dramatic? That's all you can say? He is dramatic?"
Alice waved her hands. "No, well, yes but no! I just… he likes you!"
Lily stared at her, expression flummoxed and Alice started laughing all over again.
"I cannot believe this," Lily growled, stabbing a green bean with her fork. "Potter ambushes me in the hallway and all my best friend can do is laugh."
A body filled the space next to Lily and she turned to find Amelia Bones, flushed from the dash to the hall. "What'd I miss?"
Alice pointed a finger at Lily. "P-P-Potter."
Lily stabbed another green bean.
"Potter?" Amelia repeated. "What has he done this time?"
Alice sucked in a lungful of air. "Likes Lily."
Amelia rolled her eyes and selected a turkey sandwich. "Oh, I thought this was supposed to be a new topic of conversation."
Lily stared at her. "Not you too!"
Amelia shrugged. "I studied for OWLS with Remus, remember? Potter's been mad over you for years. I'm just amazed it took you this long to figure it out. What did he do?"
Lily sat in her chair, mouth open before she sat up straight and hissed. "What?"
Amelia leaned back, blinking. "Oh please, don't get all offended on me. It's not like you like him back or anything."
"That's what I thought." She said cheerfully. Leaning forward, she waved at the other end of the table. "It's not like anything is going to change. The boy can go on worshiping the ground you walk on, you go on hating his guts and neither of you sneak off to snog with each other in a broom closet."
Lily frowned at her. "If I didn't know better I'd say you wanted me to sneak off and snog him in a broom closet."
"I'd suggest making him earn it a little more first. It's not like he's actually come out and said that he thinks your fabulous – or you know, attempted to ask you out. Or catch your attention. Closet stalker, that one." Amelia said around a mouthful of sandwich.
Alice smile was huge. "Yeah, Lily."
Lily set her fork down and reached for her book bag, expression tense. "I think you two matchmakers are forgetting something."
"Yes." Settling it back over her shoulder, she stood. "Potter represents everything I despise. He doesn't take anything seriously unless it can be used in a prank, he completely disrespects any authority figure and he spent the last five years making me miserable."
Amelia sighed. "People change, Lily."
"You think I don't know that?" Lily said quietly, eyes flickering to the Slytherin table. Then she shrugged and turned to leave. "I won't date man I can't respect."
Alice waited until Lily was out of hearing range before leaning forward and peering at the group further down the row. Potter was staring at the doors, a look on his face that was usually saved for his more devious pranks.
"Whatcha thinking, Amelia?"
"About him. And Lily."
"I'm thinking there isn't any him and Lily… but that there might be."
Alice turned back to her. "Oh? What changed your mind?"
Amelia tapped her fingers on the table. "Just a hunch."
Amelia just grinned and Alice rolled her eyes.
"So we stay out of it?"
"Probably better that way. More fun to watch him stumble over his own two feet, don't you think? Besides… she's right. You can't date a man you can't respect. Boy has got to earn it if he wants a chance."
Alice's expression turned grim, gaze moving to the Daily Prophet slung over her bag. "Especially now."
"So what's the plan?"
Sirius chewed on his sugar quill, expression thoughtful. "Hmmm… Hogsmeade weekend… the possibilities…"
Remus shot him a look and then looked back at the Transfiguration book sprawled in his lap. "Yes. I know. Which avenue of possibilities are we exploring today, Padfoot?"
Peter sighed and looked up from a Charms essay. "Do you think we are going to have time for our usual number of pranks this year?"
James rolled up into a sitting position, looking horrified. "We always have time for pranks."
"Except for when we don't."
"But this isn't that time!" James declared before smiling. "It's not even Halloween yet."
"No buts, Wormtail." James flopped back down. "Sirius?"
"We've already hit the Slytherin dorm once this year." His tone was thoughtful. "And of course, there is the added difficulty of the Head Boy being from our illustrious house and so disapproving…"
Remus looked up from his book. "So you don't have anything?"
"Not a bloody, rotten thing. It's amazing what advanced runes do to my brain. I go in with an idea I come out with a headache."
"We all come out with a headache," James reminded him. "It's the purpose of the class."
Peter grinned. "Here I thought the purpose was to see a certain redhead."
"I wasn't aware you had a thing for redheads…" James remarked, eyes narrowing.
"Something we should know, Wormtail?" Sirius asked.
"Evans looked distracted today, wouldn't you say?" Remus tossed in; trying to avoid the brawl he could feel building.
"She did, didn't she? Which means my master plan is working."
"Or she is plotting five was to dismember you."
James scoffed and waved his hand. "It's just a matter of time."
Sirius grunted. "Yeah, what exactly are you going to do once you catch her? You've been trying for three bloody long years and gotten nothing. If you do actually managed… then what?"
James was silent and then he grinned. "Keep her."
"Can we please talk about something besides Evans?" Peter demanded, looking annoyed. "We have a Hogsmeade weekend coming up."
"We go to Hogsmeade all the time." Sirius reminded him, looking bored. "Which reminds me; we're out of butterbeer and fire whiskey."
"Tragic." James commented.
"Terribly," Remus agreed, rolling his eyes. "So besides refilling our stash…"
"We can pick up the normal." James said finally. "That way we have the basics on hand. We can always do an emergency run later. What we really should be thinking about is how we can incorporate our own spells into whatever the Head Boy and Girl do at the Halloween feast. They're going to be expecting something big this year and I do hate to disappoint."
Sirius pulled the sugar quill out of his mouth. "That's true. It's our sixth year after all. We need to make it big."
Peter frowned. "Last year was pretty impressive."
"To do any of this we're going to need the Head's plans for the feast." Remus reminded them. "Which after last year's fiasco, are going to be difficult to get."
Peter scowled. "That wasn't my fault."
"If you say so Wormtail… This would be so much easier if you were already shagging Perfect Prefect Evans, Prongs."
James launched a pillow at Sirius' head. "When have we ever done things the easy way?"
"I don't mind," Peter protested. "No need to make this unnecessarily complicated."
"So…" Remus said finally. "Any ideas?"
"How'd the meeting go?"
Lily sighed, fingers hovering over the books she was stuffing into her book bag. She desperately needed to work in a Charms essay and the library was the only place quite enough at this time of night. She had taken off her heavy, outer robes leaving behind the standard school uniform and loosened tie.
"Alright. Everyone's nervous."
Alice let out a long breath. "So they are starting to take him seriously?"
Lily pursed her lips. "There are going to be some suggestions made about muggle-borns staying here over the holidays."
Alice's eyes went wide. "That's quite the escalation."
Lily nodded and fidgeted. "Yeah. Look, I've got a paper to write for Runes. Can we talk about this later?"
"Sure… hey, Lily. I've been wondering…" She hesitated and then jumped in. "Do you hate him?"
Lily made a noise. "Why are you bringing this up?"
Alice rolled onto her back and studied her. "Because you need to know."
Lily lifted a brow, turning to plant her fist on her hip. "I need to know."
"Why do I need to know?"
"Because one day, you're going to have to either break his heart or give him hope. Stringing him along like this isn't fair." Her smile turned mischievous. "Give the rest of the girls a chance with him."
"I'm not stringing him along!" Lily protested, eyes flashing. "I have always told him exactly how I feel about him and when has he ever had trouble finding girls?"
"So how do you feel about him?"
Lily opened her mouth and then closed it. Yesterday she would have said that she despised him and she still did. Just thinking about him made her want to pull out her hair. But this afternoon, that expression behind his eyes…
"Right now, a whole lot of irritation."
Alice snorted. "That's not an answer. You always feel irritation towards something, but that's just a surface emotion."
"I am not having a heart to heart with you about Potter."
Alice hmmed and waved a hand. "Still… you at least think he's cute right? All that quiddich muscle and those hands…"
"Why don't you date him?"
"Nah. I have plans. His name is Frank. He might not take it well."
Lily tossed her bag over her shoulder relieved at the chance to change the subject. Discussing James Potter while being off balance thanks to this afternoon was making her uneasy; she just needed a chance to find solid footing again. "The cute seventh year?"
"Yeah…" her tone was dreamy. "We're going to get a butterbeer together."
"Still want to hit up Honeydukes with me?"
"Good. I'll be back later; I've got to get a couple feet of this essay finished."
"Don't worry. I won't stay up."
Lily shook her head.
The trip to the library was uneventful, even if she did have to give up her favorite table because Severus was already there. The gaping hole that used to be friendship hurt, but it had started to numb over the summer and now it just ached. After the last incident with Black and Potter… some things took work on both sides. She had stopped attempting to bridge the growing gap between them. Some things you just couldn't over look and his unwillingness to maintain friendship regardless of her blood hurt. So she found herself at a table near one of the back walls, pouring over Charms notes in the hopes of getting through the homework in one night instead of two. With the trip to Hogsmeade, she wanted to be able to enjoy the day instead of worrying about how she was going to finish essays.
"That's a look."
Lily jerked, her quill scraping across her scroll. Head shooting up, she found herself staring at a relaxed, amused James Potter. His hair was falling into his eyes and he had untucked his shirt and loosened his tie; the overly mused appearance was nothing new but something about the angle of his eyes made her heart pound. Frowning severely at him, she reached for her wand.
"Do you want something Potter or are you here just to annoy me?"
He pushed away from the bookshelf and turned a chair backwards, crossing his arms over the top and settling his chin against it. "Haven't we known each other long enough for you to call me James?"
Lily blew her bangs out of her eyes and muttered a quick spell to correct the error on the scroll. "No."
"Pity," he sighed.
Lily narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously, but he didn't seem bothered with it. Picking her quill back up, she lowered her eyes to her paper.
"Do I need to repeat myself?"
"It's a library, Lily. Do I really need a reason to sit here?"
"Since it's a library, Potter, I don't need to explain the rules, do I?"
Lily was relieved when he said nothing and forced herself to worry about magical laws as she finished the point she had started before she had been interrupted. It didn't take long before she was lost in the homework and a foot later she set her quill down with a sigh, reaching up to rub the back of her neck.
Lily froze, looking up. "You're still here?"
The left side of his mouth curled upwards. "I believe I am."
"You seem to ask me that question a lot." James teased. "Almost as if you believe I have ulterior motives?"
A smile twitched at the corner of her lips. "You do have ulterior motives Potter. It's just a matter of figuring them out."
"I'm not as difficult to figure out as you seem to think, Evans."
She blinked at him, startled by his tone. "I'm sorry?"
He pushed himself up and stretched, arms curling over his head until his vertebrae popped. "You think too much. Just because I don't have any intention of giving up on you does not make me an idiot, regardless of what you think of me."
Lily frowned. "I don't necessarily respect you or your use of magic, Potter, but I've never said you lacked intelligence." 'Just the ability to use that intelligence for more than stupid pranks.'
James lowered his head and his eyes gleamed at her from behind his frames. "Really? Because that isn't the impression that I have; this isn't just some habit."
It was clear that she wasn't going to get any more work done here so she began gathering her things. This was not a conversation she wanted to have. "Really, now…"
Long fingers rough with the calluses earned as a Chaser covered hers as she reached for her last book. She turned, startled to find him staring down at her with the same determined expression from the hallway that afternoon.
"Do I make you nervous?"
Of all the… she lifted her chin and glared at him. "No."
Then his free hand was curled around her jaw and his other was sliding up her arm and over her shoulder as his mouth pressed against hers. Lily's hip bumped against the table as she moved back in surprise, but he followed, pressing against her lightly as he kept her in place. Her heart hammered in her ears, but he made no move to deepen the kiss or let go.
So she found herself staying there, caught between James Potter's hands as he kissed her in the library at her least favorite table – until he pulled back with a ragged breath. She was startled to find herself breathing deeply, one hand tangled in his tie, the other curled tightly around a book. Her lips burned and when he pulled his hand away from her cheek (the other gliding down her neck) she found she had nothing to say.
"I'll see you later, then." Her stomach lurched at the way the corners of his mouth had deepened – was that mischief or relief or something else? – and he slid his hand through his messy hair and turned away.
Her fingers went slack and the book tumbled back onto the table.
Oh bloody hells.
James Potter had just kissed her…
And she let him.
"What do you think that stupid grin means?" Peter murmured, staring at the cards in his hand.
"Who cares?" Sirius hissed. "He's lost the last two rounds and I want his Arithmacy notes."
Remus looked up, frowning. "You're not even taking that class."
"I can sell 'em."
"You're not getting my notes, Padfoot." James warned as he took a card.
"You keep losing like that and I will." He countered, looking pleased. "You're handwriting is neat enough I can probably pawn them off as being from Ravenclaw."
Remus rolled his eyes. "Like anyone will believe you."
Sirius made a noise. "There is quite the black market for dropped Ravenclaw notes!"
Peter set a card down and leaned away from the pile. "Dropped?"
Sirius widened his eyes. "Are you suggesting I'm a thief?"
"Yes." James said cheerfully.
"If you keep sneaking cards into your sleeve," Remus said firmly, "You're going to be dealing with a more physical type of pain."
"The betrayal!" Sirius moaned.
James snorted and set his cards down. "I win."
Remus frowned at his cards. "That should have been impossible."
James smiled. "What can I say? This is my lucky day."
Peter squinted at him. "Is that lipstick?"
James lifted a brow. "What?"
"There… no, I guess not."
Sirius leaned forward. "No, but that expression… Prongs! Off making out with someone tonight were we? Giving up on the fair Evans at last?"
Remus remained frozen before reaching out. "Pay up."
Sirius looked appalled. "For what?"
"The bet. Pay up."
Peter frowned, "the only bet we have right now…"
"Oh bloody hells, you kissed Evans?" Sirius looked torn between delight and horror. "Couldn't you have waited until after Halloween?"
"Tomorrow's Hogsmeade!" Peter whined. "Now what am I supposed to spend."
"I'll buy you a chocolate frog." Remus promised, wiggling his fingers. "Now hand it over."
James shook his head, reshuffling the deck.
"No, I'm not lending you any money to pay off a bet you had against me." James said firmly.
"So?" Remus asked as he started arranging his cards.
"How the hell was it man!"
James looked up at the three curious faces. "You expect me to kiss and tell?"
"You'd better believe it." Sirius said firmly. "We've had to listen to you whine about Evans for years and now it's time for some payback. How was she?"
Peter slouched over his cards. "Well, it doesn't look like she cursed him."
"Or hit him." Remus agreed.
"Got a mean slap," Sirius agreed, rubbing his cheek in obvious remembrance.
"You were First years when that happened." Remus reminded him.
"Does this mean you're an item?"
Remus looked amused. "Then why the smile?"
"Because she didn't reject me," James said mildly. "Which means she hasn't made up her mind."
"And just snogging her out of the blue is supposed to make that better? Prongs, even I know better than that." Sirius said, shaking his head.
Peter nodded his head in agreement.
James shrugged and laid down the first card. "If I go down, I'm going to go down big."
Peter reached for a card and they all jumped when it exploded in his hand.
"Isn't that the way we all want to go." Remus mused around the laughter.
Notes: Alice Longbottom does not appear to have a maiden name. However, it is suggested that it (might) be Prewett. This has not been confirmed or denied in cannon (as far as I could find, anyway) and I chose to use it. I was not able to dig up if Alice Longbottom or Amelia Bones were classmates of Lily Evan's, but in this story I am writing it as so. (That does not mean that there isn't a roster somewhere telling everyone of where they were in relations to the Potters. I just haven't found it.)
We are never made aware of how many students are in each year or in each house, so I am guessing that the chances of there being individuals a year or so older than you, still in your house and you and you not know them very well. That is my guess for Frank and (soon-to-be) Alice Longbottom.