Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the amazingly talented J.K Rowling. I'm only borrowing the characters and world that she has so brilliantly created.

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"In Pursuit of a Nap" - a one-shot!

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I'm sorry, it's been forever. Senior year of college is a soul-sucking experience. Hopefully over the summer I can post some of the other small projects I've been working on. See my author profile for more details.

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Lily Evans was tired. Not just the kind of tired that is induced by a boring class, but the kind that goes beyond the physical fatigue of the body and seeps into your brain. The past two weeks had been absolutely mad. School assignments always seem to be due around the same time, and this week had been no exception.

But, thank goodness, it was now Friday afternoon. All of her assignments and projects were handed in and classes were over for the week. Best of all, there was a couch in the Head's Common Room that was calling her name. It was right in front of the fireplace, with deep, comfy cushions, and soft throw pillows…

Dragging herself up the staircase leading to the fourth floor, Lily sighed gratefully at the thought of an hour-long nap on the couch. Maybe she would even make it an hour and half nap. If she missed dinner, she could just sneak down to the kitchens.

When she told the portrait the password, a yawn overwhelmed the word, causing the portrait to deny her entrance. After a brief verbal struggle, Lily was finally admitted to the Head's Common Room. As the painting swung forward on its hinges to allow her entrance, she felt the warmth of the fire wash over her body. The fire was crackling merrily in the grate, and its warmth encompassed the entire living area. Lily smiled contentedly.

Dropping her rucksack next to the couch, she stretched her arms over her head, the tense muscles protesting. She carefully slipped off her shoes and placed them next to her bag. It was then that she noticed that she was not alone in the room.

There, on the very couch on which she had planned to take her long-desired nap, was the Head Boy. Lily sighed mournfully with disappointment and narrowed her eyes at the sleeping form of James Potter curled up on the very same couch about which she had been fantasizing not five seconds ago.

He had clearly been under a lot of stress lately, what with his duties as Head Boy and Quidditch captain, not to mention his schoolwork. He must have been as tired as she now felt to have taken a nap. James never napped. He was usually too worried about missing out on some mischievous adventure to take a nap. As she looked at him, she had to admit that he had looked very tired that morning. He had even had dark circles under his eyes.

Not that she had been observing him closely, mind you. It was just something that she had noticed by pure happenchance.

He looked very peaceful, curled up there on the couch, his head resting on a plush, velvety throw pillow. In his waking hours, James Potter was usually grinning or smirking mischievously, but in sleep, he looked almost…innocent.

His breathing was deep and even. His ebony hair was even untidier than normal, something Lily hadn't thought possible. If this was how his hair looked when it was genuinely messy, maybe he actually did comb it, she thought in wonder. She supposed that she could no longer accuse him of failing to comb his hair in the mornings now that she knew what his hair looked like after he had been sleeping on it.

Suddenly, Lily was struck by an idea. Before she had even fully thought the idea through, she slowly reached out her hand and brushed the fringe out of James' eyes. The dark, silky strands tickled slightly and his warm skin caused her fingers to tingle pleasantly.

His hair was much softer than she had thought it would be. Not that she had thought about such things, of course.

She stood over him for a moment more, taking in the sight in front of her. Carefully, she lifted a blanket off of the back of a squat armchair, and unfolding it, spread it out over his sleeping form.

Seeing as the couch was occupied, Lily had no other choice but to go and nap in her own bed. She regretted that there was no fireplace in her bedroom, but she was feeling a bit warm now anyway. Maybe it was better that she be away from the heat.

Closing the door to her bedroom, she padded softly to her four-poster bed. She supposed her bed was the better place to nap. After all, here she had her own warm blankets and sheets. Her own plush pillows and mattress were much more comfortable than the couch anyway. Climbing into her bed, she pulled the blankets over her and settled her head on the pillows.

Yes, this was much better than that old couch any day.

Despite the fatigue she had felt earlier, her mind was suddenly swimming with images of James. Her heart raced as she remembered the sight of his lanky form curled up on the couch, and the feel of his warm, soft skin against her fingertips. She scrunched up her eyes, desperately trying to clear her mind.

An hour later, she arose from her bed to go to dinner, not having slept at all. She quietly opened her bedroom door and tiptoed out to the couch where she had left her shoes. Grabbing the shoes, the silently slipped them on and made her way out of the room, casting one last long look at the Head Boy over her shoulder.

Meanwhile, James Potter was lying on the couch in front of the fire, his arms behind his head, his hazel eyes bright, with a large grin plastered to his face. He hadn't slept at all during the last hour either.

The End

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