Beautiful Boy

Every so often a beautiful boy waltzes into Lily's life, and sweeps her off her feet. He becomes the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armor, her reason for living. And every so often that boy waltzes right back out again and she is left hoping he wasn't the last one.

He doesn't waltz- he saunters, making himself part of her life without her even noticing. He doesn't ask, he does. And he stays, a long long time, not so much that knight in shining armor as an erratic, head-over-heels jumble of awkwardness and love.

Their first kiss is not sweet, or gentle, or romantic - it's sloppy, it's rough, and it's stolen, the kind that makes her shove him away. She doesn't slap him - can't do that - but she's shocked stiff.

He gives her a smile and seems as though he is apologetic. Haven't you ever been curious? he asks, not saying anything after she punches him in the stomach.

For a long time, as she climbs up from beneath the Quidditch stands, he remains doubled over, trying to catch his breath, letting the dull chatter of oblivious students above fill his ears.

And had he been beautiful, he might've cried, but he's not. So he doesn't.

He doesn't sweep her off her feet, and he's not the man of her dreams either. She doesn't like his looks - dark, untamed locks; a pointed nose; a thin build; sharp eyes. Everything is angled and hard and vivid, and not at all what she likes. His attitude isn't preferable either - he's loud, he's egotistical, he's flirtatious. He demands unconditional trust from friends but doesn't give it himself. He's rude, he's tactless, and he's foolish.

And yet she can see his human side. When they go on their first, unfortunate date, he holds open a door for her. In her surprise she stops. He touches the small of her back lightly, says, it's okay. Well of course it is, she says somewhat embarrassedly, and moves on.

He all but interrogates her once they're alone. What's your -? Who's your -? Do you like -? What do you think about -? And her favorite, if -?

She smiles and says if might not happen, he says it already has.

Lily really hates those kinds of things. Statements like that, that she can't figure out. And yet her heart is beating a billion miles a minute and she's gripping her knees quite tightly and she's laughing far too much.

Somehow the man of her dreams is a belligerent boy with a shock of black hair and vibrant hazel eyes, who is rude to everyone he sees including her.

Her reason to live is stolen kisses and awkward first dates and deep talks about God and life; he has become her own personal confessional and there is absolutely nothing and everything she wants to say.

Like there's more than that, or remember that one time you asked me well I lied, or I tried to say something in September, or this song reminds me of you, or most importantly I'm sorry, and I love you.

Because he has taught her they are all too often the most important words of all. He sees it in her eyes if she is telling the truth when she says I'm sorry, and she sees in his eyes the reverence and thoughtfulness when he talks about love.

And they have become stolen kisses and awkward first dates and deep talks. They hole up in a classroom after lunch and just sit, just sit and look at each other, and nevermind the rest of the world. There surely is a rest of the world which neither of them minds, but for a few minutes they put it away like a novel toy, and just sit.

I'm glad we're friends, he says. She offers him a quirky smile and says nevermind that, if there was one question you would want someone to ask you what would it be?

How are you, he says.

She is saddened by this until he touches her face lightly and tells her no, just to ask it and genuinely want the answer. Lily asks, how are you?

He looks away. It's too late now he says.

But she truly wants an answer, and she tells him so, bringing his eyes back to meet her.

I'm fine, he says.

And then he steals a kiss and it's like that day under the stands again, the same kind of why are we here feeling, but this time she doesn't push him away. Everything has come together and time doesn't stand still. His heart is beating and her lungs are breathing and they are kissing.

I love you, he says.

Lily is used to having beautiful boys waltz right into her life and say that, but now that he has - not so perfectly in step, not selected but just happening - she has never heard those words and found them that stirring before.

And she realizes she never needed a beautiful boy at all. Just like he hadn't waltzed in, he wouldn't waltz out, and he was the last one.

Author's Note: I'm trying a new writing style with this. Tell me if you like it or if it annoys you. x] Also, the James of this story was heavily, heavily based on the love of my life, who is a belligerent, tactless jerk. He's also a wonderful human being. Please review.