The Lyre

A One-shot (if not, I give readers full permission to stab me with a spork.)

I Own Nothing. There I said it, now I can send my lawyer back to his cave now.

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James could say a lot of things about Lute Piper Harper. That she was insane, she was musician, and she was an astonishingly pretty girl.

And she hated him. With the burning passion of ten thousand white hot suns, Lute had said once after he had asked her out for the seventeenth time. But these suns could not keep him away. She was the only girl who ever flat-out shot him down for a date. Most girls melted when he gave them the slightest attentions and turned on the charm.

He remembered the first time he had seen Lute. It was a warm summer day. His younger siblings were playing with one of the cousins, he couldn't remember which one now, there were so many of them it was hard to keep track sometimes. Then he saw her walk into the Burrow with Lucy talking and laughing about something. He was ten, and still convinced girls had cooties so they didn't speak. Besides, she was Lucy's friend. That alone was going to keep him far, far away.

Two years later Lute was sorted a year behind him, Freddie, and Lucy. James only saw Lute when she was sitting in the library playing cards with his despicable cousin Lucy and Lucy's other friends. He hardly noticed her then and she him. But thinking back, a lot of other girls did notice James Potter.

His third year Lute remained a shadow in the background of his life, he hardly spared her a word or a thought in the years he had known of her existence. But he never went alone to Hogsmeade and that was all that mattered to him. He always had a large circle of people going with him everywhere. Lucy called them his sheep and James the flock's shepherd. James scoffed at the notion; he was just a popular guy.

Then the end of fourth year arrived and he heard the soft sound of plucked strings on the grounds. It was the prettiest sound he had ever heard. He walked towards the source and found a girl sitting by the lake playing for an audience that consisted of solely of the giant squid. She had dark hair the color of ink that was cut in a fashionable bob. He didn't recognize her until she turned around to look at him her deep blue eyes wide with curiosity. For once in his life, James Potter had nothing to say. He was silent as he realized that he was never going to be the same again. Lute Harper made his stomach flip uncomfortably, and in the years that followed his heart threatened to beat out of his chest when he stole a passing glance in her direction.

It was a real shame Lute caught him she'd give him glares that would scare more sane young men.

But James Potter was not completely sane to begin with; made worse because love makes people crazy.

When fifth year came about, James began his crusade. He was going to get Lute Harper to go out with him; something in his gut told him this girl was special. And so the (one-sided) courtship began. He asked her to every Hogsmeade trip that year and many, many walks around the lake. Lute turned him down every time. She told James she thought he was egotistical, cruel, and just a jerk in general to everyone at all times. He wasn't a jerk to everyone all the time, that would be exhausting, he was only that way with Lucy. The swat. When she had finally gotten fed up with his antics, she told him she wouldn't date him if he was the last man on earth. Then she said he wouldn't qualify as a man anyway. Lucy went to their next class howling in laughter which James found troubling in the best of times, and horrifying the rest of the time.

That was the point where Fred thought there was something really wrong with him and physically dragged him to the Hospital Wing to get checked out. "That Harper girl is crazy, why do you keep trying to get her to go out with you? She hangs around with Lucy for crying out loud! And we both know how Lucy is."

"Yes, we all know Lucy's a swat, but there's something about Lute-"

"She hangs around with Lucy, her mother's a friend of Uncle Percy's, do you really want that for a mother-in-law?"

"Is that a rhetorical question? We've never met her mother; she might not be as bad."

"James, pull yourself together. You could have any girl in this school, why go after the one who hates you?"

James couldn't answer that. He wasn't sure himself. "I dunno. I really don't. And if I do, I can't explain it."

Lute Harper remained the object of James' affections despite the talking to from Fred. Common sense demanded he move on and forget about the girl and her lyre. But something stopped him each time. He didn't understand it.

She may have hated him with the "Burning passion of ten thousand white hot suns." But years later he would tell her he had loved her with that same passion from the first time he saw her. No matter how stupid it sounded.

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Author's Note: An examination of a relationship from the Next Gen project I'm planning. Yeah, it's a complete love/hate relationship. Maybe I'll do another one-shot on James and Lute sometime. Yes, Lute is a funny name, but her parents are music enthusiasts. Especially her father, so, really, it made sense to me.