Author's note: I'm meant to be working on other chapters of other things, I know, but this came to me in a dream last night and flowed out miraculously easily. Read and review? I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, because I amused myself with this one and it has cheered me up no end on an otherwise crappy day.
The Potions Missile Crisis
You know, if there's one thing that I absolutely despise about Potions class, it's the amount of time in which I have nothing to do.
Granted, I think I may be entirely alone in my estimation, if my surrounding classmates are any indication. Potions class has been in full swing for half an hour and Beatrice and I are the only two people in the room who have successfully completed stage one of Project Veritaserum; preparation, and have moved on to the second stage; sitting and watching it boil whilst existing in a state of absolute boredom and trying not to pass out from the heat. Beatrice may be stage two's biggest fan, but personally I prefer the former. I detest having nothing to do when I could be working, and stage one can, at times, keep me out of a lot of trouble.
The tedium is my own fault, really, although I can't really bring myself to feel entirely sorry about it. I have a knack for Potions, as some might say, it makes sense to me. The entire process of potion making is an exact science, and I think it's that precision and simplicity that appeals to me the most. One reads the instructions, one follows the instructions and one is left with a potion at the end; it's that easy. My friends tell me I'm crazy while they sweat over their cauldrons, struggle to cut their roots into even pieces and forget which direction in which they should be stirring and how many times, but I don't think I am. It's just an inherent talent that I possess, and it's needless to say that over the past six and a half years I have developed certain skills in the field of potion making and as a result I possess the ability to take any recipe which is given to me and deliver an end product in an alarmingly fast amount of time. This is why Beatrice and I are currently sitting at our desk with nothing to do while everyone else is still hard at work, some happily, some in varying states of sheer desperation.
I'm leaning on the hard wooden table with my elbow, chin in hand, watching with vague interest as the concoction I have created bubbles merrily away and condensation forms around the rim of the cauldron. The temperature in the classroom is already appallingly high and watching my potion simmer is only making me hotter, so I tilt my head to the side and observe my best friend instead. She's hiding a bar of chocolate on her lap, sporadically breaking off chunks and stuffing them into her mouth whenever the professor isn't looking, not because she'll get in trouble if he catches her, but because Slughorn will ask her for a piece if he does.
She also turns her head and smiles at me; Beatrice has an impish little devil of a smile, and holds out her open bar of chocolate for me to take a piece if I so choose. I shake my head no. It's too warm for in here chocolate, or at least, it's too warm for me. It's all very well for Beatrice to eat it in the middle of a heat wave because she was built for warmth and sunshine, with her tall, skinny frame and permanently tanned skin, skin which is ironically only a shade or two lighter than her hair and eyes.
I often tell Beatrice that she resembles a walking eggshell without the roundness; Beatrice often tells me that I resemble a walking Italian flag. Her hair is feathery and fine and remains in a constant state of poker-straight perfection, whereas mine is thick and red and doesn't know how to behave itself, falling out of ponytails at every opportunity and sticking to my skin as soon as the temperature rises above freezing point. Her skin is bronzed and cool and thrives in the sunlight; my milky white visage could burn beneath light bulbs, sprouting a million more freckles somewhere along the way.
I fan my face with my hand, giving her a look which clearly indicates just how uncomfortable I am in this heat. She responds by laughing, in her usual empathetic fashion, and goes back to reading the magazine she has spread out on the table in front of her and polishing off the last of the chocolate. Beatrice always comes to this class armed with a book or a magazine of some sort with which to pass the time and I never do because I always manage to convince myself that I'll have too much work to do. As a result, she gets to enjoy herself and I get to find ways to amuse myself, which I am no good at doing. Any attempts I make to occupy my mind in Potions class will inevitably end in the same thing.
Not the absent, aimless kind of staring which is normally borne of ennui, mind you. My eyes have a very specific target for staring and Potions class is where they get the most exercise, because the target in question will always sit at the table directly in front of mine. He is doing so now, and just like that, my eyes have sought him out. They do this every Potions class and I waste at least ten minutes of this period simply staring at my intended with my mouth half open. It's bad for me, and not a day goes by when I don't mentally berate myself for it, but it hasn't gotten boring yet, and I can't see it happening any time soon.
He has discarded his outer robes, possibly because he is also feeling the heat of the classroom, and has rolled up the sleeves of his crisp, white shirt, revealing a pair of lightly tanned forearms that are not too muscular but just defined enough to make me seriously consider the prospect of accidentally-on-purpose falling over when I'm near him just so I can have the pleasure of being caught by them, especially on the days when he elects to wear one of his t-shirts. He's tall and thin, in fact, he's a little on the skinny side, but his shoulders are broad and I can just see the outline of his shoulder blades beneath his shirt. I can't see, but know from watching him enter the room earlier, that he has left his top two buttons undone and has removed his tie from around his neck. His hair is thick, shiny, unmanageably wild and blacker than soot. Every now and then he will run one of his hands through it, or reach out do something with his potion and unwittingly flex the muscles in his arms, or turn his head to the side and whisper something to his best friend, giving me an ample view of his profile, his eyes, his glasses, and that wicked, mischievous grin he has that never fails to make my stomach clench up in an instant.
James. Potter. Is. Yummy.
Now, whatever history it is that James Potter and I have between us, and believe me, there is a long and painful history there, it has absolutely no place in our Potions class. I am more than happy to leave that history, and my own confused and even more painful feelings for the boy, at the door before Potions. Potions class is the one hour of the day that I have allocated to lusting after James Potter and lusting only, nothing more and nothing less. I didn't plan it to be that way, it's just something that happened, and it's entirely his fault for choosing to saunter into the dungeons every day with his shirt unbuttoned and his sleeves rolled up and park his skinny bottom at the table in front of mine. I've long since learned not to question what happens during Potions, and I also don't allow for emotions or complexities, but happily permit the Lily in my imagination to give the James in my imagination a good seeing to and leave it at that. There have been slip ups, I'll admit. I have caught myself drifting off into daydreams about wedding days and cuddles and unexpected declarations of love during a Head's meeting on occasion, but mostly I am able to hold my own against my traitorous heart and I quite enjoy it, even if I do spend the rest of the day feeling wholly ashamed of myself for doing so.
He swears under his breath for some reason, although a tad too loud, and it snaps me out of the reverie that I was in danger of becoming consumed by. He's looking into the cauldron, as is Sirius Black, and they're muttering to one another with expressions of what seems to be slight anxiety on their faces. I can't help but smirk to myself a little. James dislikes Potions almost as much as I enjoy it, although that isn't to say that he's not bloody good at it because he is, in fact, he's one of those horrid people who is vastly talented at anything and everything he attempts. He could probably challenge me for top of the class if he wanted, but he chooses not to. He has a big problem with this class, his problem being that he disagrees with the credo of the subject on a very fundamental level; direction.
James Potter cannot be given a specific set of rules and instructions without trying to break or embellish them at least a little. He is the one who will, when given a list of ingredients to make a potion, inevitably decide that what it needs is some extra, outlandish ingredient that nobody has ever dared add to it before, just to see what will happen. He has caused more than a few explosions and accidents in class over the past few years, yet his thirst for experimentation has not yet been quenched and his equally outrageous best friend is just as vehement in his quest to make discoveries. In subjects such as Charms and Transfiguration, where there is not much leeway for trial and error, James excels beyond belief, but there is just too much temptation in Potions class to colour over the lines and it predictably leads to trouble.
I like this about James Potter, I really like it. I like it in spite of all my best efforts to disapprove of his behaviour as I plough obstinately ahead with my specifics and watch him with mournful eyes from behind my cauldron, because it says so many things about his essence. James Potter is a daredevil, James Potter is exciting, James Potter can being energy and vigour to anything and everything he involves himself in, James Potter is…
James Potter is in my head again.
Oh dear. Now we've moved onto feelings. Go away, stupid heart; you've got absolutely no right to be here. I'll deal with you later at the Head's meeting when James and I will be going over patrol lists and I'll be bemoaning the fact that my knees have gone weak because he smiled at me, and I just have to be woefully disobedient when I order myself not to adore every fibre of his being. That's the time for feelings, not now. Not in here.
The staring is clearly not going to work today, and I blame the heat. The heat will make me crazy and fill my head with rainbows and buttercups and images of picnics beside lakes and cuddles beside fireplaces and babies with black hair, so I look around the table for something else to occupy my time. Cooling down my poor, overheated body sounds like a fine idea right now, and as I watch Beatrice flip over another page of her magazine, I am struck by a sudden inspiration to do just that.
I open my notebook at the back and tear out two of the pages, a mistake, because I only meant to remove one of them. Oh well, I suppose I can use the other one for doodling, so it's not a huge loss. I set about folding one of the sheets into a fan, and when it is completed I charm it to levitate and flap simultaneously. Now, that's so much better. The people at the table next to ours catch sight of it and set about doing the same thing. Everybody else behind them follows suit. Professor Slughorn compliments me on my ingenuity and I thank him. James Potter turns around in his seat and gives me one of his stomach clenching smiles. I smile back and roll my eyes comically. He laughs and turns his attentions back to his potion.
Beatrice is giggling at our interaction, of course she is. She knows all about Lily and her Infatuation with James Potter, just as I in turn know all about Beatrice and her Infatuation with Remus Lupin. The only difference between us is that while she is happy to let the world and its dog know of her Infatuation with Remus Lupin, including a very shy and bemused Remus Lupin himself, my Infatuation has been and will remain a closely guarded secret. She is of the opinion that I should tell him, after all, he used to ask me out all the time, I disagree with her. She wants to tell him, I made her swear not to say a word to anyone. I'm sure she's looking for a loophole, but she won't find one.
I stick my tongue out at her; she grins and returns to her magazine once more. I can't look at James now without eliciting more of her giggles. I look down at the second sheet of paper lying on the desk in front of me and pick up my quill, deciding that doodling is the only option left for me now. Trouble is, I can't even draw a stick figure to save my life, and decorating my paper with nothing but clouds and lopsided hearts can get boring after a fashion. I pause, dip my quill in my ink and write one word on the paper in my neat, loopy cursive: James.
It looks good, his name on paper. It sounds good, too, at least, it does in my imagination when I am muttering his name into his ear, my voice all low and husky and hopefully seductive. James is a very sexy name, when I say it like that. Not that I'd ever say it out loud, or if I have I've only said it when I was entirely by myself. Mostly, what he hears from me is 'Potter'. Potter this and Potter that. Potters filled with derision and Potters clouded by laughter and Potters with a little edge of teasing sarcasm. He gets a 'James' when I'm in an especially good mood with him, but even then it's a light, friendly, happy sort of James, because I'm good at hiding my feelings from him, I've had loads of practice. He was Potter to me without fail when he was dating Christina Clagg last month and he's been James ever since he broke up with her two weeks ago.
I didn't like Christina Clagg for him at all, she was completely wrong, utterly wrong, all tall and blonde and self assured and brown eyed, and clever, far too clever for her own good, with her quips and her jokes and her logic. Where does she get off being logical? I get feelings akin to nausea whenever I think about Christina Clagg, even now after she and James are no more, because they had no passion, he told me after a head's meeting one day last week. They were more like mates than anything else. Stuff Christina Clagg, anyway, she clearly wasn't right for him (she isn't me) in the first place if she couldn't muster up some passion for him. Who couldn't feel passionately for James Potter? She's probably a robot of some sort. Obviously.
I didn't want to draw hearts on the paper, so I substitute it with an ampersand beneath his name, and now I've gone and written my own name beneath it. James & Lily, it looks good, better than his name by himself. I try again, Lily & James, it looks even better.
I'm getting into this, I'm enjoying it, so I try a few more. Lily Potter. Lily and James Potter. James and Lily Potter. Lily Potter, wife of James and mother to their twelve children because they spend every spare second of their time making hot, passionate love all over their house and you know you're jealous, especially you, Christina Clagg, so go and shove that up your tall blonde arse.
Right, now I've gone too far and it's time to stop before my absent scribbling becomes a fully fledged love letter complete with illustrations. Beatrice catches sight of what I have written and snorts back a laugh, but I ignore her, leaning my chin in my hand again and allowing my eyes to close. She is always teasing me about James Potter anyway, this is not going to make much difference, and I would be better served to focus my energies on relaxing as my makeshift fan creates a refreshing breeze against my face and I sink into a lovely mental stupor. Someone at the back of the room is asking Slughorn a question of some sort, he is responding, Beatrice seems to have been overcome by a fit of coughing for some reason, but I ignore it all, think of nothing but the sound of my own breathing, and eventually the noise around me fades into nothingness.
I spend a few minutes in this state, I can't accurately guess how long, before the blissful silence is broken by a giggle. A sudden, shocking, burst of a giggle, as if the person who let it out was desperately trying to keep it inside. It's coming from Beatrice, of course. I crack one of my eyes open to see exactly what she finds so comical. She is staring down at the desk, her eyes squeezed shut, her hands balled into fists in front of her and her shoulders shaking with mirth. Perplexed, I straighten up and look around the room. Nothing untoward seems to be happening, nothing comical, at least. I'm confused, and frankly a little worried because she appears to be quite demented, and even Beatrice, crazy as she is, is not type to go into convulsions of laughter for absolutely no reason.
She opens her eyes and looks at me, and for some reason the sight of me only makes her laugh harder. I shake my head in bewilderment and open my mouth to ask her what on earth is wrong, but she answers me with her eyes, which flick down towards the sheet of paper which is still resting in front of me. Or at least, what's left of it, because when my eyes follow in the same directions as hers I can see, quite clearly, that what once was an entirely whole sheet of paper is now only half a sheet of paper, and the space upon which I had been writing mere minutes ago has vanished. More accurately, it has been ripped off by my best friend while my eyes were closed and she was pretending to cough in order to hide the sound of tearing paper.
My insides have gone cold, they actually have, in spite of the sweltering, blistering heat in the classroom, Beatrice has just dumped me in a bucketful of ice and I've literally frozen in my seat, eyes wide and staring as she opens her palm to reveal what she has stolen from me, scrunched into a ball and unaware of all the trouble it is causing.
"Beatrice," I lower my voice to the deadliest whisper I can manage. "Beatrice, no."
She smiles in response. Evilly. She's been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and my begging isn't going to deter her. Even as I watch, she raises her hand into the air, and even as I lunge at her in a desperate bid to take back what's rightfully mine, she swings her arm forward, releases it, flings it, right in the direction of one James Potter at the table in front.
My best friend, she's a right bitch.
She also has terrible aim. Appalling aim, in fact, so terrible that she often gets teased for her complete inability to throw anything in the right direction. Now, Beatrice Booth is a very talented girl. She can ballet dance like a professional. She can draw beautiful portraits of people, all of her friends have been presented with a likeness of themselves that she created, myself included. Her sister is profoundly deaf and as a result, Beatrice has become fluent in sign language. She can hold her breath for three minutes. She can bake. She can even do back flips and cartwheels and all manner of impressive gymnastics, but her aim? Her aim is terrible, it's atrocious, it's woeful. She couldn't hit a target with her own hand if she was standing two feet in front of it.
However, the only thing on earth that's worse than Beatrice's aim is my luck, and that is exactly why that scrunched up ball of paper soars across the gap in between our table and his table and lands exactly where it was intended to land, right on the desk, right under his nose.
I freeze for the second time, clasping my hands over my mouth, and stare at his back in utter mortification and horror as he picks up the ball of paper and, oh Merlin, begins to open it. Of course James Potter couldn't just be a dear and assume that this was an innocent ball of paper sent only to hit him on the head or something of that nature, of course he must assume there is a message on it for him. Of course he would have to open and read it, that's what he's doing now; I can even see the vague outline of my words on the paper as he holds it closer to his face. I seem to have become a statue, I can't move. I can't breathe. Neither can Beatrice and I suspect it's for the very same reason, except lacking the terror and misery which are currently throwing a party in my stomach.
He shrugs his shoulders, puts the paper down on the desk and carries on with what he was doing. Carries on. Just carries on without a care, as if having psychotic, love-filled missiles of pure, hormone driven adolescent infatuation fired at him is an everyday occurrence, which, given the fact that he is James Potter, it probably is. He carries on. Beatrice has basically just announced my secret desire to spend the rest of my days trapped helplessly beneath James Potter's sweaty, naked body and it is of absolutely no consequence to him, he just carries on. He doesn't even turn around to look at me, he carries on. Carries on.
I look at Beatrice. She looks at me. She is stunned, I am even more so. She opens and closes her mouth, like a fish, perhaps debating with herself over whether or not she should say something, but I give her one of my looks, one of my looks that indicates to her that if she so much as breathes near me, I will rip her apart limb from limb, even if there is a difference of eight inches between us in height and she has the definite advantage. She shakes her head, shrugs, and goes back to pretending to read her magazine whilst watching me worriedly out of the corner of her eye. She thinks I can't see, and I don't care either way, because my soul has just curled up and died and my body will be following it as the result of a heart attack any second now.
I look at my watch. There are ten minutes left to class, after which I will have to hastily gather up my things and make an escape before James Potter even has the chance to make eye contact, let alone launch into a tirade of teasing and laughter. I slump against the desk, bury my head in my hands, and count the seconds while I try not to hyperventilate, or cry, or think about the fact that he knows, he knows, and he just doesn't care.
Minutes pass, at least five of them. I hear a babble of talk beginning to break out across the room as people start putting their potions on the boil and clearing up their ingredients, and Slughorn's booming, genial voice as he walks amongst the room and comments on other people's mixtures, having spent a full five minutes gushing about mine a lot earlier in the day. Beatrice whispers my name once or twice, and I hear a loud, scraping sound, as if someone is dragging something heavy across the floor, but I don't look up. I can't. I am going to stay here, curled up against this desk, melting in the heat and writhing in humiliation for the rest of my life, and there's not a thing that anyone can do to stop me.
Except, you know, for that.
I look up, slowly, hiding my face beneath my fringe, to see that James Potter has not just turned around in his seat, but has dragged the bench itself nearer to my desk and is now leaning across the table with his arms folded, his face mere inches away from mine. Sirius Black is sitting on the bench beside him with his hands in his pockets, smirk firmly in place. Beatrice is tittering away beside me. I blink, recoil slightly, and open my mouth in order to give him a witty, snappish reply as I am normally so good at doing.
"Heh?" I mumble. Oh, nice one, Evans, you're so fabulously brilliant sometimes. Would Christina Clagg have said 'heh'? No, she fucking wouldn't have. Christina Clagg would have launched into a speech so spectacular that she would end up elected Minister of Magic immediately afterwards. 'Heh' won't get me anywhere besides an appointment with a speech therapist.
"Sorry it took me so long to talk to you. I wanted to get my potion finished first so I could give this," he slaps the crumpled piece of paper down on the desk. "My full attention. But I digress." He's got that grin, in all of its stomach-clenching glory, spread across his annoyingly handsome face. His shirt collar does have two buttons open, his tie is hanging around his shoulders and his skin is ever so slightly damp from the potion and the heat and… guh. Just, guh. "Twelve children? Really?"
"Er…what?" is about all I can think of saying. His smile is disconcerting, and it's too hot in this room. I think I'm about to have some sort of out of body experience.
"Don't get me wrong, Evans," he continues, looking at me with barely disguised amusement. "I'll try my best, but I'm not a machine."
"You can do it, mate," says Sirius, patting him on the back in a reassuring fashion. "Keep your hands to yourself and conserve; your little swimmers will be all stocked up and ready for action in no time."
"Yeah," Beatrice seconds, nodding in agreement. "You're a trendsetter by nature, Potter. Give the term 'full of it' a whole new meaning."
"I, er, I don't want," I clear my throat and sit up a little straighter, throwing a glance at Slughorn, who seems to be perfectly aware of the fact that James and Sirius have decided to join our table and does not appear to be at all perturbed by it. "I was shooting for dramatic effect."
Everyone surrounding me laughs at this, and my face is ten times hotter than it was before. James runs a hand through his hair and has the gall to look relieved.
"Well good, because you had me a little scared there, to be honest," he says, the tiniest hint of a smirk gracing his lips. "I grew up in a huge house and I'd kind of like to live in a small one. Twelve kids and a small house wouldn't mix well. How about three?"
"Three?" I repeat blankly.
"Yeah, three kids," he says, as if this is a discussion about the weather we're having. "That way I'll have a godfather ready made for each of them."
"I call dibs on the first one," Sirius interjects.
"Ooh! Lily, can you maybe make Emily godmother to the first, then?" says Beatrice excitedly, tugging at my sleeve. "I mean, I know I'm your very best friend, but I sort of want to be co-godparent with Remus. No offence or anything," she adds, shooting Sirius an apologetic smile.
"You're making fun of me, aren't you?" I accuse, ignoring Beatrice, glaring with all the iciness that I can possibly muster up when I am inches away from the love of my life, who is grinning at me in a way which is not all entirely appropriate for a public classroom.
"Course not!" he looks affronted by this. "I'm all for this idea, especially, ah, what part was it? Oh yeah," he looks down at the paper. "The part where we 'spend every spare second of our time making hot, passionate love all over the house', I'm especially fond of that."
"I didn't mean it," I protest huffily.
"I really didn't," I insist.
"I see," he says, leaning away from me. No. No, no, no, I don't like that. I don't want him to lean away from me. I like it when he is right in my face, close enough for me to count the dusty freckles on his nose and feel his breath on my cheek. He shakes his head in feigned disappointment. "So you threw this at me with a view to getting my poor little hopes up, did you?"
"No!" I hiss, mimicking the head shaking. "I didn't throw it, she did! Why would I embarrass myself by-"
But I stop, mid sentence, he's grinning like all of his birthdays have come at once, and I realize that I've just shot myself in the foot. Abandoning all pretenses, I smack myself in the head with my textbook.
"So you meant it."
He hugs his arms to his chest and surveys me with amused, if not a little triumphant, interest. I scoff and toss my hair and cluck my tongue like a petulant child, trying to think of a witty retort (Christina Clagg would have, the bitch). The only words that enter my head do not even exist in the English language. Or any language not spoken by children under the age of eight months old.
"Maybe a little."
He stares at me, just stares, with what even I can tell is unrestrained delight in his eyes, and I stare stonily back, or as stonily as I possibly can. It doesn't take long for my resolve to crack, perhaps five seconds or thereabouts, and I am trying, and failing, to bite back a smile. He beams at me. I blush, and giggle, shake my hair in front of my face and look away. Slughorn announces the end of class, tells everyone to leave their potions on the boil so he can mark them. I hardly even notice, because James has risen from his seat and calmly started to pack my things away with great presence of mind.
"Bugger off, you two, and leave us alone," are his instructions to Beatrice and Sirius. Miraculously, they both obey him at once, shoving their supplies into their bags and muttering under their breath before leaving the table and following our other mutual friends out the door. I remain seated, gazing up at James through my fringe while he zips up my bag and pushes it across the desk at me.
"Evans," he says, he tone implying a greeting, as if he hasn't just been talking to me for the past five minutes and only just stumbled upon me now.
"James," I reply, and for once, it's the very same James that leaves my lips when I talk to him in my head, all low and husky and, dare I say it, seductive. His eyebrows disappear behind his messy, floppy fringe, but he looks rather pleased with himself.
"You're a bit of a psycho sometimes, Lily," he laughs, and reaches for my hand. "Has anyone ever told you that before?"
"It's not me, it's the heat. It makes me feel funny," I counter, taking his proffered hand and allowing him to pull me out of my seat. "Catch me if I faint, won't you?"
"Always," he flicks my nose gently with his finger. "I might not be able to keep my hands in appropriate places, knowing what I know about you, but I'll catch you. As a matter of fact, come here, you're not looking too steady on your feet right now."
He looks a little giddy as he tugs on my hand, and I nearly trip over my feet in my haste to allow myself to be tugged. I almost forget my schoolbag, but Slughorn kindly points it out to me as he watches the two of us from behind his desk with an indulgent smile on his face. It is, I suppose, very nice of him, but really, he has no right to ruin our Moment by being in the room. Oh, James Potter and I are actually having a Moment. Him. Me. A Moment. They're those things that couples have, Moments. I've never had one with someone before, and here I am, losing my Moment virginity to James Potter and his perfectly defined forearms and his lovely white shirt that's sticking to him a little in places. I think I just popped a vein.
I bet James and Christina Clagg never shared Moments. I tell him as much. He laughs.
"We didn't, no," he confirms, pulling me across the classroom and out the door, walking backwards the entire time so, I hope, he can look at my face. "But she didn't need help walking, either."
"Shut your face," I berate him, attempting to sound grumpy. Failing miserably. He swoops down on me and kisses my forehead, which ruins everything because now I'm smiling and he's smiling back and somehow amidst all the smiling, the realization has hit me that this is actually James Potter and something Big has just happened, and through the most childish medium possible, which is where the real irony of the situation lies. He is Head Boy and I am Head Girl, theoretically we're supposed to be the most mature students in the school, and here we are, admitting to crushes on silly stolen notes like children in a playground. It's funny and it's ridiculous and it's a little bit stupid, but then, it's James Potter. Nothing that happens to or around James Potter can ever happen normally, without fuss or drama. It happens with a bang, and you're just lucky if you're one of the people left covered in debris when it's all over.
"What do we do now, then?" I ask, once we've smiled enough and blushed enough and the awkward laughter has passed, and he has me wrapped up in his arms because I guess holding my hand just wasn't enough any more.
"I kidnap you," he says simply. "And I take you somewhere private so we can talk."
"Oh," I cock my head to the side, raise my eyebrow at him. "And I say something witty about how you don't actually want to talk at all, and you're just looking for an excuse to get me by myself."
"You do, and you're right," he agrees. "But then I surprise you because I actually do have a couple of things I want to talk about."
"And I'm secretly a bit miffed because I was rather looking forward to getting well and truly snogged senseless until I couldn't breathe," I continue, blushing to the roots of my hair but managing to stand my ground and look him square in the eye, at that.
"Don't worry," he says, grinning from ear to ear in a fashion which is sure to give me several bizarre stomach complications for the next three days or so. "I get impatient halfway through the discussion and kiss you anyway. It's a nice ending. You might just like it."
"You're full of it."
"I'd have to be if you're expecting twelve children."
You know, if there's one thing that I absolutely adore about Potions class, it's the amount of time in which I have nothing to do.
There's just so much scope for progress.