DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own Harry Potter, or any of the characters mentioned in this story, unless stated otherwise. Rated for possible sexual content, violence and language. Reader discretion is advised. Any similarities to real life are purely coincidence and I will not be held responsible! Thanks!
WARNING: WILL CONTAIN MATURE THEMES (sex, swearing, etc), IMPLIED/MILD SLASH (male on male), BAD HUMOUR, POTION-MAKING (don't ask why you have to be warned about that), and RIDONKULUSNESS!! Ye be warned
Author's Note: chapter three; already been written; not much else to say right now. LOL. LOVE to reviewers! Drop me another? : D 'Paralyzed by the same old antics…' Cheers!
PS. – I know, ridiculous, but for reasons known only to me (and even that's questionable) here we are. I wrote a bit of this while stoned. I think the Hogsmeade trip maybe was it. And some after…so apologies if that bothers you/you think that part sucks. That's it. Oh and do you ever wish you had three arms to eat cereal with while you type? NOW that's it.
"So you're saying-"
"For the last time, yes!" hissed James impatiently. As soon as he was seated in Transfiguration, both Remus and Sirius had pounced on him (Peter was in Muggle Studies and so unable to), demanding to know what was up. James, who had recounted what had happened after Lily had left the Great Hall, was sick of answering their questions as to whether the date was on or not. "We're going out tomorrow, geez. The way you two go on, you'd think you had nothing better to do than take an interest in my love life."
Remus glared at him over the frog he had partially transfigured into a bunny while the frog looked gloomily around the classroom, his white, fluffy ears twitching. "You know, I don't think I'm ever going to help you with anything again. You're a right arse when I try to do nothing but help you."
Sirius tapped his own frog and it croaked as it reformed itself into a rabbit. "Look, let's all just calm down, shall we?" The others looked at him as though he'd lost what little sanity he'd been clinging to. "What? Look, James got his date, why are you two being snippy? Now all we have to do is make sure he doesn't cock it up royally and then Prongs and Evans can go snogging off into the sunset."
Remus sighed, shaking his head, and returned to his rabbit-frog. He tapped it again and several whiskers sprouted from the frog's snout. "So when are you two going into Hogsmeade then?"
"Dunno," James replied, turning his own rabbit back into the rather fat bullfrog it had been minutes previously for the fun of it. "In the morning I 'spose. We didn't really talk about it."
"Well make sure you do, because you have to be at the Three Broomsticks. Peter's going to be waiting for you." James merely nodded, as Professor McGonagall came by at that moment to see them working their spells.
It was cloudy and rain threatened to fall the next day, but James didn't care. He woke early to decide what to wear, and after dressing carefully, followed Peter down to breakfast and ignored the faint giggling and muffled sounds from Remus and Sirius' bed. His heart was pounding a violent tattoo against his ribs when he sat down, catching Lily's eye and grinning shiftily. They had decided to head out just after breakfast, both very keen (though they didn't tell the other) to spend as much time as possible together.
They met up in the Entrance Hall, and waited as Filch signed people out, glaring malevolently at James when they left (as the Animagus and his friends had made Filch's job a living hell since he'd started in their second year). "Looks like it might rain," said James conversationally as they strolled up the path from the school to the village. Then he realized he was talking about the weather and kicked himself mentally.
"Yeah," Lily mused, hardly aware of what she had just agreed to; but even if she had voted for the demolition of the library to build a second Quidditch pitch, she wouldn't have cared either way. Her fingers had accidentally brushed James' as they walked and the resulting jolt of something electric had rendered her incoherent. She was having enough trouble simply breathing and walking normally, let alone thinking and speaking.
"So where d'you want to head first?" James asked after they had reached the village in silence, both consumed with their thoughts. He, of course, had the plan of which places they were to visit, but thought it polite to at least ask Lily's preference.
"Oh, umm…let's go to Honeydukes, I've been meaning to get some brain food. Sugar," she added, smiling at James' confusion. "You know, when I'm up late studying and doing Head Girl stuff…it often helps to be wired on far too much sugar."
James smiled back at her and let her lead the way to the sweet shoppe. They were almost at the door when their fingers brushed again and Lily turned red, hoping he didn't notice. But as it happened, James did notice and, swallowing thickly (his throat was sudden bone dry), he tentatively reached for her hand. He let out the breath he hadn't realized he was holding, as she didn't immediately pull her own hand away, and instead she entwined their fingers and gave him a dazzling smile that made his insides squirm delightedly.
He opened the door for her and she pulled him into the store, heading straight for the display of Sugar Quills. "Ooh, look they have raspberry flavoured ones!" she squealed delightedly, and plucked a fat one from the middle of the jar. "Oh Merlin," Lily suddenly muttered, dropping the Sugar Quill and tugging James slightly unceremoniously toward a corner of the shop, staring transfixed at the large pile of peanut butter fudge heaped underneath a sign marked (every girl's favourite word) SALE.
The redhead gave a soft moan of pure longing and reached out to caress the fudge reverently. James, who felt the hairs rise on the back of his neck and his spine tingle at the sound she made, smiled amusedly. "I'm guessing you like peanut butter fudge?" he teased.
"I love it…and it's on sale! Do I have enough to get some?" she murmured, rooting in her pockets, but before she could do more than count two Sickles, James had waved the proprietor over, and asked how much the fudge was.
"How much for the lot of it?" he asked indicating the fudge. The kind-faced man looked somewhat shocked.
"A-all of it?"
"Yes," said James, pulling out several fat Galleons.
"Ten Galleons and it's yours," said the proprietor, looking distinctly grateful that James was willing to take all the excess fudge off his hands. The shining money changed hands and the now grinning shopkeeper conjured a large paper bag, even going so far as to help James put the candy in the bag, all under the wide, slightly confused eyes of Lily Evans.
As soon as the man was gone, Lily seemed to find her voice. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
James goggled at her. "What? N-nothing…"
"Then why did you just buy all the effing fudge? You knew I was going to buy some! Merlin, why I ever even decided to go on this stupid date with you I'll n- Why are you laughing!?"
James tried to control his mirth, but it was difficult in the extreme. The look of outraged indignation was so incredibly endearing and adorable to him that he hadn't been able to help his laughter. "I…bought it…for you," he panted, biting his inner lip hard to keep himself from laughing. He couldn't control the smile, though, when her outrage turned to shock and then to blushing embarrassment.
"Oh…you…I'm sorry. But really, you don't have to do that, I would have bought my-"
"You said you love it. I love you, thus love what you love, thus eight kilos of fudge." Lily laughed to cover the warmth that seemed to seep through her body at him saying he loved her. She tried not to think what he was going to say the time he had professed he loved only one thing more than dear precious flying before Mary pulled her away.
"Well let me at least buy you something, …" she mumbled to cover her delight.
"Well as a matter of fact, I had my eye on that raspberry Sugar Quill now you mention it. It is a favourite. And then I'll taste like raspberries and you'll taste like peanut butter and together we'll taste amazing!"
Six months ago that comment would have earned him a good hexing or at least shouting, but now all Lily did was giggle, take his hand again, and pull him back over to the Sugar Quills. She bought two and they left the sweet shoppe with grins (and Lily with pink cheeks). "Well now it's your choice. Where to?" she asked, linking their fingers as they strolled leisurely down the High Street.
"Let's pop in the Three Broomsticks. Have an early lunch maybe?" he talked easily, which was surprising, as his heart was beating loudly in his chest from her proximity. He hoped his hand wasn't sweaty like he expected it might be…
Lily grinned, feeling her own heart thudding against her breast. "Sounds great! Mary said she and the girls might be there around then so we can say hi." Lily kept smiling as they continued at their sedate pace towards the pub, hoping to Merlin and anything else holy that her palms weren't as sweaty as she suspected they were.
The Animagus could only gulp, hoping he would get a table near Peter. Though, he mused, he hadn't cocked up yet… There had been that little ripple over the fudge but he had smoothed it out all right… But then again, he hadn't been surrounded by her giggling girlfriends, one of whom he felt he might've made out drunkenly with (and then felt up in the broom cupboard later on) once.
When they got in, the place was crowded and noisy as usual on a Hogsmeade weekend, with various students drinking and chattering in clumps. James spotted Peter at a back table, but he had (possibly unwisely) chosen one in the corner, and was cut off by a group of smoking warlocks who laughed and jeered and added to most of the din. He barely suppressed a groan as Mary waved them over eagerly, spotting the dark-haired blue-eyed friend he'd (most likely) snogged, amongst the others.
Mary, who looked pointedly at Lily as she saw her friend's companion, smiled brightly. "I didn't know you were coming James, or we would've saved you a seat."
"No problem," said the blue eyed girl who James recalled being named Chloe De-Something-or-other. She was clearly enjoying James' discomfort as she waved her wand and a chair materialized for him. "It's easily remedied. Have a seat."
Lily, who looked positively radiant, sat and James had no choice but to sit beside her. "So we were just talking about the Defence lesson yesterday," Mary said at once, "and I don't know about the rest of you, but I think it's asking a little much for us to be able to make Patronuses. Even if it is our NEWT year…"
"Hmm," said Lily, non-committal. "But I suppose it's for the best what with all the things that've been happening…"
"Oh you're not telling me you believe Dumbledore's conspiracy theories, are you Lily?" asked a blonde girl from Ravenclaw. "I thought you were smarter than that."
Lily cast Mary (who immediately looked chastised) a furtive disgruntled look before turning back to the blonde. "As a matter of fact, I do. And we'll see who's smarter when Dumbledore is right."
"I agree," said James suddenly. "What does Dumbledore have to gain for saying what he does? If these things really are down to You Know Who and his Death Eaters or whatever, he's going to be the one they'll target, won't he? It only makes sense that he's telling the truth because why would he lie about something he would get killed for?" Many of the girls looked impressed by this argument and their demeanor changed slightly toward James. The blonde, however, turned a blotchy sort of red and stood up, dragging another Ravenclaw friend James recognized as taking Potions with Lily and Mary with her, muttering about drinks. Lily looked smug and turned a thankful smile on him.
"I honestly think I might hate her," said Lily conversationally. Several girls tittered and James smiled. Mary merely rolled her eyes however, and announced she was going to get a round.
"Anyone want something? Cough up, because I'm not paying either." Most passed Mary money with requests for Butterbeer, including Lily, and James handed over some coins for a Firewhiskey. Mary raised a brow but didn't say anything as she headed to the gleaming bar.
The crowds ebbed and flowed around them and most of Lily's friends drifted away after a while, but James and Lily and Mary remained. The messy haired youth had persuaded the redhead to have something stronger than Butterbeer as he nursed his own drink and before they realized it, it was getting on into the afternoon.
"Wish I could find a date," said Mary disconsolately.
"I have a mate whose single," said James, perking up at this. Maybe he could work this date to more advantage than his own.
"Yeah?' said Mary, looking up.
"Sure. Peter's not had a girl in…ever." Mary made a face and James couldn't help but smile.
"I was hoping you'd tell me it was Sirius."
"Sorry, but he's taken. And not to mention gayer than a maypole."
"James!" said Lily, looking scandalized.
"What? He knows it too; said so himself in fact, several times. I love him but he's as poufy as they come." Lily laughed and Mary sighed dejectedly.
"Hey," said James as Lily finished her drink, "um, d'you want to go get a coffee?" Mary smirked and stood up before her friend could reply, murmuring about homework and somewhat needing something from someplace nearby or something, before exiting swiftly. Lily tried not to sound too eager as she accepted, and they exited the pub with candy in tow, hands linking again as they wandered up to Madam Puddifoot's.
It was as horrible as James remembered it, and was glad to see that Lily looked somewhat nauseated by the excess frills and lace and girlishness of the place too. "I know, it's as camp as a row of tents, but we must take what we can get," he murmured as they wended their way to a table. The owner (who one could only assume was Puddifoot herself) somehow managed to squeeze over to them despite her plump curvaceous-ness (though admittedly she almost knocked a timid-looking fourth year's face into his girlfriend's with her ample bosom).
James glanced surreptitiously around but there was no sign of either Remus or Sirius in the crammed little café. They ordered their coffees (James waving away Lily's attempt to go Dutch), and the woman summoned two mugs and a large pot of java, pouring it out for them and smiling before bustling away.
"So," said Lily, trying to distract herself from the pink, lacey tablecloth and the couple exchanging kisses at the next table, "d'you think Gryffindor will win the Cup?"
James, who could only assume she meant the House Cup, pulled a face. "Not with Filch breathing down our necks and those slimy Slytherin prefects taking points every ten minutes." Lily looked confused. "Wait…what?"
"I meant the Quidditch Cup!"
"Oh." He laughed to disguise his embarrassment, and grinned. "Absolutely. All we've got to do is hope Slytherin lose to Hufflepuff, which won't be hard if they keep playing Regulus as Seeker, and then thrash the bejesus out of Ravenclaw. No problem. I, er… I didn't know you followed Quidditch," he added tentatively.
"Ah, but that's where you're wrong, Potter. I've never missed a game." James looked impressed and Lily smiled.
"Wow… I've never missed a game either, unless you count the time Avery got me with the Bludger to the head, but…you? Never would've guessed."
"Well admittedly I probably should've used the time to study or something, but ever since I was in first year and discovered brooms and I can never see eye to eye on that whole flying business, I've watched. I'm so jealous because it looks so easy and fun…for those who aren't terrified the whole time anyway."
"You mean you didn't come to watch me because you've secretly been in love with me for ages?' James asked, mock pouting before grinning across the table at her.
Lily blushed hard, though James pretended not to notice, and looked up at the Animagus from under her lashes. "You were part of it I guess," she said softly. James fought the uprising joy inside of him that threatened to make him do something stupid like grin goofily or try to kiss her. But the longer he looked at her, the more the idea started to take root in his mind. Kissing Lily…he'd almost done it on Remus' birthday, and it had taken all his willpower just to brush the obscene softness of her cheek, but he had thought it rude to take advantage of her when she was drunk. But Lily wasn't drunk right now. Sure, she'd had one drink, but that was far from a third of a bottle of Firewhiskey, and she was just sitting there, gazing up at him through those thickly curling eyelashes, her mouth parted slightly, and looking tempting as all sin. James found himself unconsciously leaning forward, not daring to hope he wasn't imagining her mouth lifting toward his, caught up in the intensity of her gaze.
The perfect, shining moment of anticipation was broken as the bell over the door tinkled, and all James got was a tempting waft of Lily's perfume as she turned her head to look at the newcomers. A smug-looking, rumple-haired Sirius crossed the threshold with a sheepish Remus attached to him by the hand following. There were several mutters; many people still didn't like the fact that Remus and Sirius were so open and blatantly public with their sexuality, despite the fact the two had been dating most of the school year. It was only muttering though, and easily ignorable, and who cared if a haughty Slytherin couple actually got up and left at their arrival, leaving the table next to James and Lily's and the window free.
"Prongs!" Sirius cried in not-really-surprised-surprise, disrupting the couples nearest him who unglued themselves from each other to glare. "Or no, wait…who are you? The Lily Evans I know would never be on a date with you."
"Shut up Sirius," said Remus, grinning, and sitting in the recently vacated seat, pulling his boyfriend down with him. "One, you don't know Lily at all, and two, people are staring."
"They're staring," Sirius purred heatedly against his lover's ear, "because they probably just heard you screaming as I ravaged your good sense in the alleyway."
James, who hadn't heard his best mate's last comment (thank Merlin), was barely restraining himself from throwing the sugar bowl at the grinning dark-haired youth, as Lily smiled amusedly at the antics (as she had heard the comment Black had made and was delighted at Remus' flaming cheeks).
"Ooh candy!" Sirius cried suddenly seizing James' Honeydukes' bag and rifling through it eagerly.
"So what are you two doing here?" asked Remus, waving away Madam Puddifoot's offers of refreshment.
"Just having a coffee," said Lily trying not to look as though she really wanted to shout 'ALMOST KISSING JAMES POTTER!!!'
"Lily's been telling me about her secret burning passion for Quidditch," said James teasingly gently lifting her fingers from the tabletop and caressing them absently, hoping his friends would take the hint and leave them alone again, as Sirius' abnormally messy head popped back out of his bag.
He was holding a bar of the fudge. "Why is there nothing but fudge in this bag? And not even of the super delicious double chocolate variety?" He smirked suddenly. "Thinking of becoming a fudge packer?" James snatched it back.
"Because that's not for you, you dolt! It's Lily's."
"So Evans - apologies, Lily - is thinking of becoming a fudge packer then?" he giggled. Lily's eyes rolled in time with Remus'.
"Don't be vulgar Sirius," the lycan sighed as Lily said, "Only if you mean packing that fudge into my gob." They all laughed, and a casual atmosphere settled itself around them. Lily excused herself to use the loo a few moments later, and Sirius and Remus turned anxiously to their Quidditch- and redhead-obsessed friend.
"How's it going?" Remus asked. "Please tell me you haven't done anything monumentally stupid…"
James looked as though the mere thought of him doing something monumentally stupid or even anything short of amazing was purest insult. "It's actually been quite lovely. There was a bit of an weird moment when Chloe What's Her Face, y'know, the perky (he held his hands in front of his chest to indicate bosoms) friend of Lily's-"
"The one you had in the broom cupboard last year?" Sirius asked. James nodded, wanting to deck the smirk off his friend's face.
"Well she was with a whole bunch of other birds when we got to the Three Broomsticks, and I couldn't get a table near Peter, but it turned out all right. I ended up insulting someone Lily's dislikes apparently." Remus looked relieved and Sirius mildly shell-shocked that Lily Evans was capable of disliking anyone but himself and James. "So where the deuce were you two when we got here, anyway?" James asked, lifting his mug of java to his lips.
Remus blushed as Sirius said nonchalantly, "Oh, we had to get some air." James merely looked his confusion. Sirius rolled his eyes, sighing melodramatically. "Fine, if you must know all the gory details, I had to take Mooney out back and shag him senseless because he was getting me all hot and bothered in here. Happy?"
The bespectacled Animagus gagged on his coffee, barely refraining from spewing it obscenely into Sirius' face. "Too much…information," he coughed, hastily wiping the coffee from his chin.
"You're the one that asked."
Lily reappeared then, not noticing that her date had just breathed in a fair-sized quantity of hot caffeinated beverage, and sat primly down again across from James. "So now that I've got you all here, or most of you anyway, I wanted to ask something," she said, sipping her coffee. "I've been meaning to ask you, Remus, for ages, but I always seemed to get sidetracked. What's with the ridiculous nicknames you call each other? What's the reference?"
The change was instantaneous; it was as though a Dementor had walked (or rather, glided) through the door to the little café. Where before the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, it became suddenly tense and chilly, and for the first time all day, Lily felt out of place, intrusive upon the tight-knit group of Marauders. The smirks slid off of James and Sirius' faces and Remus looked uncharacteristically somber, a ghost of the look he'd worn most of their first year. Hs boyfriend took his hand under the table, and squeezed it gently.
"Or…" said Lily timidly, "well, never mind, you don't have to tell me, I'm sure it's nothing… I was just curious…" She hastily gulped her coffee to cover the sticky moment. For some reason, both James and Sirius were looking to Remus, as though it was down to him to decide whether Lily should get her answer or not.
"No, it's fine," said Remus finally, talking in a slightly stiff voice. "But I'd rather not tell you in here. In fact, it's getting late, I think we should head up to school; I'll tell you on the way Lily."
Lily hesitated; clearly the subject was a touchy one, and though she doubted she was the first one to ask, she clearly sensed she was one of the few people who would get a straight (metaphorically anyway) answer. Only now that she was at this crossroads, did she really want the truth? Of course, she told herself brusquely. It was Remus, how bad could it possibly be?
The lycan waited until they were well out of the village, about half way back to the school, before he made any attempt to explain things; he only hoped he wouldn't wreck James' chances of being with the flamboyant redhead. Not only would all of his careful planning to get the two together be wasted, but also she would know the deepest, darkest truth about him that only a handful of people in his life knew. And, armed with this knowledge, she could effectively turn him into more of a social outcast than he currently considered himself; not that he expected Lily to be so harsh. Then again, he'd been fooled once, and he'd be damned if he'd be made a fool of again.
"When I was a child," he said slowly, "I had an…accident. A very terrible accident that left me…mutilated." Sirius made a little sniff of disagreement at this remark, but let it lie for the time being. Lily's eyes went wide.
"Oh my god! Were you okay? I mean, obviously you're alive but…but…" Then something seemed to clunk into place in Lily's brain, a half-remembered conversation with an almost completely forgotten friend drifted to the fore of her memory, and in a heartbeat she understood. "It's true," she whispered, stopping dead in her tracks.
For the briefest of moments, something akin to revulsion flickered across her face and then a surge of shame at thinking she couldn't, wouldn't, be able to still be friends with Remus despite his…affliction, washed over her. Then her good heart took control of her shrewdly calculating head, and Lily pulled Remus into a hug. "Oh Remus!" she breathed.
The lycan, who was stunned (as it wasn't everyday people hugged him after finding out about his monthlies), patted her uncertainly on the back, not least because he'd never really properly hugged a girl who wasn't his mother before. "Lily? I think James and Padfoot might be getting jealous," he murmured after a few more moments, and Lily laughed, pulling away. "So you…you don't…I don't know…want to hate me?"
Only Sirius realized these were the same words his boyfriend had spoken half a decade before when they'd found out about their dorm mate's 'illness'. She gave him a very stern, very Lily-esque look. "Remus Lupin, d'you honestly think I'm enough of a coward to just outright hate you for something you neither decided upon, because really, who would choose to be a…a…" She looked at him hesitantly.
"You can say it."
"A werewolf. Really? Would anyone in his or her right mind choose that? Of course not! And besides, we need to stick together with this new little uprising gaining force around us. Death Eaters. It won't be your door they'll be banging down, or you they'll be attempting to eradicate from this world, will it? Nope, it'll be me and the rest of the Mudbloods."
"You're not a-!" James began hotly, but Lily talked firmly over him.
"Yes, I am. Mudblood and unashamed! If they want to kill me or whatever, they can come and try to do it!" There was such vehemence in her eyes and tone of voice, that none of the boys even thought to contradict her, although James certainly decided she would be murdered only over his dead body.
The foursome continued up the winding path toward the school, and Lily was brought back to the reason for their slightly early departure. "So that answers part of my question, but you have yet to tell me the rest. I mean, I understand Mooney, but Padfoot? Or Prongs? Or Wormtail? What the hell is that about?"
"I'll tell you," said James, reaching for her hand again and smiling as she blushed in the half-light, "if you promise to do me a favour sometime, whatever I want, whenever I decide to ask for it."
Lily looked reluctant. "You're a Marauder, and I must be mad to say this, but the curiosity is going to kill me if I don't find out, so…fine." James, with help from his best mate, told the long, twisty tale of how he and Sirius and Peter, after finding out what Remus was, tried to find some way that would let them make full moons less horrid for their friend, eventually stumbling upon becoming Animagi.
"Please tell me you didn't…" Lily murmured, looking from a definitely guilty James to a grinning Sirius. "Are you serious?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact I am," said Black, his grin turning lopsided with the use of his favourite pun.
"Oh ha, ha. Oh my god…I can't believe this… So let me get this straight; you found out your friend was a werewolf and then you illegally became Animagi to run around with him on the full moon, putting yourselves and countless others in danger? Is that what I'm to understand here?"
"Don't bother, Lily, I've had this argument with them at least two hundred times," said Remus flatly.
Lily looked in grudging awe at James. She'd always thought he was just a show-off and that he couldn't really do any magic worth doing, but now that she realized he had helped his friends become Animagi…well damn. He might just be smarter than she gave him credit for. "Let's see then. Do your little transforming thingy." She blinked, and when her eyes opened next, there was a breathtakingly magnificent stag standing where James had been mere milliseconds ago and a great shaggy black dog barked at her, tongue lolling out, wearing the same smirk Sirius' human form had been sporting. In the next heartbeat they had turned back. "I cannot believe this is happening," she muttered, spurring herself to continue walking despite the numb feeling of shock that had frozen her. "And," she added more audibly, "you still haven't explained 'Wormtail'."
"Oh, simple," said Remus. "He's a rat. A rat Animagus, I mean." Lily nodded, unsure if her voice could be trusted to reply properly. The group walked on in silence for several more moments.
"You won't let cat out of the bag, will you Evans?" asked Sirius suddenly. "Because then I'd be forced to Obliviate you and I fear Prongs might cry."
"Would anyone believe me?"
"We are Marauders."
"Right…fine, I suppose I won't tell. But if next week one of you tells me Remus turned you, I'm not going to have an ounce of sympathy."
The boys smiled triumphantly.
Once back at the castle, Remus and Sirius mysteriously melted out of sight, and it was alone (and still holding hands) that James and Lily made their way up to the common room. "I had a really good time with you Lily," said James as they stood next to the portrait hole under the Fat Lady's baleful watch, neither really wanting to drop the other's hand or enter the reality they had temporarily vacated.
"Me too. I mean…I had a good time…with you. Today. Too." Lily kicked herself mentally for sounding like an idiot. She couldn't meet James' eyes, and so was unable to see the adoring look he cast her. "So," she mumbled, mostly to break the silence, which, in the few moments after she had finished her rambling, seemed to become rife with sexual tension. "Sh-shall we head in?" Oh Merlin, now she was stuttering. If she didn't shut her gob soon, she was going to start sounding like every other girl in this wretched castle who was smitten with James Potter. Not that she was smitten with him. Noo…
"Yeah, just…um…can I ask you something?" James asked, and Lily looked up; he seemed as nervous as she felt and it was immensely endearing. In the next heartbeat, she realized they had moved almost imperceptibly closer, and the space between them was negligible.
"Sure," she breathed. James moved yet closer, and the outermost fringe of their robes brushed. Her heart was beating suddenly loud and fast, and she felt dizzy and breathless as she looked up at him.
"Can… Would you mind if…?" He seemed unable to say the words, but he was still moving inexorably closer to her, and she could feel the heat radiating off of him, making goose bumps erupt over her neck. "I just wondered if…if…" He couldn't get the words out; she was too close, far too close, for coherent thought and speech making.
Then, in a shining moment of realization, she divined his question without him even having to ask. "Yes," she whispered, and his mouth descended finally upon hers. Time stopped, the world stood still, and everything seemed completely superfluous in the shadow of the fact that she was kissing James. James Potter. Her. Kissing him. On the mouth.
James, on his part, felt like he might be dead. Or possibly on the way there. Because only in Heaven (where he surely would go) could he be kissing Lily Evans and have her kiss him back, those magnificent arms wrapping around his neck, pulling him down closer to her. And if he wasn't dead, he had no doubt that this was some new form of horrendous torture, and the real Lily Evans (or the one who had shouted herself hoarse at him on more than several occasions at least) was going to come and Avada Kedavra him where he stood.
Lily groaned as James' slightly hesitant tongue fluttered out, tracing the tempting curve of her lower lip, and she opened her mouth for him, allowing him to ravage the sweetness within as she clung to him for dear life.
And to cap of the glorious moment with a decidedly unromantic twist, Fate intervened, and none other than Sirius Black burst out of the portrait hole. "James, where the hell are you, you big smelly g-? Oh…never mind then."
Then, to make matters even more horrifyingly embarrassing, Remus Lupin joined them. "Did you find him?" he asked his boyfriend. Sirius merely pointed.
James and Lily had broken apart at the mouth but were still wrapped up in one another, Lily looking as though sinking into the floor and becoming invisible was the most appealing remedy to her situation, and James with a murderous glint in his eye as he glared at his friends.
The redhead, whose face was trying to compete with the fiery strands of her hair, cleared her throat and pulled away from James. "See you, then," she murmured, and with one backward glance, climbed through the portrait hole out of sight.
James rounded on Remus and Sirius. "What the hell is wrong with you two?"
"You weren't back yet, so we thought we'd have to organize a search party!" Sirius retorted. James glared. "What? How were we supposed to know you were snogging the sense out of Evans and not being drowned by her in the lake or something?"
"…I hate you."