Hello one and all! I know I haven't updated any of my other stories in a rediculously long time, but worry not and new chapter of Children of Potter is on the way. I just have to proof read it! Have patients with me please and review!
James Potter Problem
Lily Marie Evans glared at the back of his messy haired head and willed him to look at her, but of course he didn't. He was too engrossed in his homework, of all things. His homework! Since when did James Harold Potter do his homework where anyone could see him? Not the James Harold Potter that Lily knew. No, that James Harold Potter seemingly spent all his free time asking her out, playing pranks, asking her out, screwing around and asking her out. But… and Lily was truly miffed to admit this, it appeared that she just didn't know James Harold Potter anymore. If she had ever really known him in the first place.
It had all started last year, when out of nowhere twenty four hours passed without an invitation to Hogsmeade from James. Lily couldn't believe it at first. She'd just assumed that he was trying some new tactic to get her to date him. But several days passed without him asking her out, then weeks before something unheard of occurred. James, sitting quietly in his desk… taking notes. Even Professor McGonagall looked a little freaked, waiting for the disruption that never came.
It continued on that way until the end of the year. Almost all of James' objectionable behavior had, slowly but surely, stopped except for the pranking. He just couldn't seem to help himself when it came to Severus. And in all honesty, Lily wasn't sure how she felt about that. She'd bore witness to a few of their… "arguments." These days James rarely started anything with Severus. No, it was the other way around. Severus started it and James, the better wizard, finished it… and then got hauled off to detention. Lily would have to be blind not to notice that James didn't hurt Severus or embarrass him even, just defended himself then made sure that Severus couldn't continue harassing him. Because that's what it had become. Severus purposefully bugging James until James was forced to retaliate. It had all made Lily vastly uncomfortable. She wasn't used to thinking of James as the bigger man.
Summer turned out to be a welcomed reprieve from thinking about James, what with Petunia getting married and Lily very obviously not being asked to be a bride's maid. That was fine with Lily, though. At least she didn't have to spend the rest of her life married to Vernon. Honestly, Lily had never thought of her sister as any great beauty, but she could do better than him. Hell she deserved better than him, not even Lily's worst enemy deserved to spend the rest of their life stuck with Vernon Dursley. Well, maybe You Know Who and Vernon would get along? Who knows?
But as soon as she got on Hogwarts Express her… problem came right back to the fore. She walked into the Prefects' compartment eager to meet her other half and who was it? James Bloody Harold Bloody Potter. Head Boy. James Potter was Head Boy to her Head Girl. What was Dumbledore smoking? Making James Potter Head Boy, it must have been potent. After that near heart attack her JPP (James Potter Problem) just compounded. He kept not asking her out and he tempered that with being nice to her. Nice. He was nice. It got to the point where Lily couldn't help but be nice back. And now sitting in the library staring (glaring really) at the back of his head, Lily could honestly say that James Harold Potter was her friend. She liked him.
Him. Him. James Potter. Lily Evans liked James Potter.
And the irritating part was that she didn't just like him as a friend. She liked him as a… more than friend. And with the first Hogsmeade trip of the year fast approaching Lily was actually hoping that James would ask her to go with him. It was all because of something he'd done three weeks ago. He hadn't known she'd been watching, but she had been.
A few third year Slytherins had been picking on a first year Hufflepuff. Lily had been about to step in herself, when James did it for her. He'd put himself between the Slytherins and the Hufflepuff, docked points and threatened detentions if it ever happened again and sent the Slytherins on their way. Lily fully expected him to leave after that. His friends were waiting for him, he was supposed to just leave. But he didn't. He turned to the Hufflepuff, made sure the kid was okay, even asked if he wanted to talk about it. James then offered to teach the kid a few defense spells. It was so sweet, so genuine, Lily felt her heart melt.
She'd started unintentionally flirting with him after that and he, being the overly obvious creature that he is, flirted very intentionally right back. Lily really thought that the next logical course of action was for him to ask her out on a date. But he hadn't. And Hogsmeade was in two days. Two bloody days. If he didn't ask her soon she'd be going alone and that wasn't something she was interested in.
She'd been going to Hogsmeade alone since the end of her fifth year thanks to Severus. She wanted to go with a boy. A boy who was her friend. Hell, she wanted to go with a boyfriend! She'd had boyfriends in the past, but they never seemed to last long enough to attend Hogsmeade with her. Most broke up with her looking terrified and leaving her no uncertainty as to who was really responsible for the end of her relationship.
Lily glared harder at the back of James' head. If looks could kill James Bloody Potter would have to have one of his dim witted friends carry him back to Gryffindor Tower in basket. And then hopefully help him put himself back together because Lily really didn't relish the idea of going to Hogsmeade with a basket.
Lily stood up, she'd had enough of this. She couldn't get any of her work done sitting the same room as James Bloody Potter. She violently shoved her books into her bag and spared one more glance for the wizard that seemed to have made it his life's mission to drive her completely insane, but he was gone. He'd pulled one of his vanishing acts and had somehow managed to disappeared from her line of sight entirely in the matter seconds it had taken her to put her things in her bag.
Lily harrumphed, turned to go and ran into a solid wall of chest. She froze. Her nose was about five centimeters away from a silken red and gold striped tie and a quick glance down told her that the shirt covering the muscle bound chest that had run into was un-tucked. Lily closed her eyes as she felt her cheeks fill with blood and willed the floor to open up and swallow her whole. It figured. It just bloody figured that she'd walk right into James Bloody Potter's chest. His strong, broad, sexy as hell chest… the bastard… the sexy bastard.
"All right, Evans?" he asked. Lily nodded into his chest. He hadn't moved, not that she expected him to, he was always standing too close to her. It used to bug her, but now it seemed like he couldn't stand close enough. "Right." He stepped back. He bloody stepped back. He bloody well moved away from her.
James leaned his hip against the table Lily had just vacated. Lily sighed, what she wouldn't give to be that bloody table… Then she shook herself. Lily was envying a table? All because James Bloody Potter was leaning against it! It was unheard of. It would not be tolerated. Lily had had enough. Beyond enough. Was he here to ask her out? Because if he wasn't there would be hell to pay.
"What is it, Potter?" Lily asked, and then mentally kicked herself. She should have asked him something like: "Is there anything I can do for you, James?" in throaty voice. That's what all the other girls do when they flirt with him.
James, completely unfazed, grinned at Lily. "I was just putting a book away when I saw the violent treatment of your supplies. You sure you're all right, Evans?"
Lily's train of thought was shot to hell when James grinned at her like that. It made her go all mushy inside and made concentration a very hard thing to do. This being the case Lily only heard "…book…violent…supplies… all right, Evans?" But being Head Girl meant that Lily was quite the quick witch and she easily deduced what in the hell James was talking about.
"I'm just distracted here. I thought I'd finish my work in my dorm," she said, looking at her shoes. Perhaps if she didn't look at James he couldn't distract her.
"Let me get this straight," James began, Lily looked up in spite of herself. "You're too distracted in the library, by… I couldn't imagine what-" Of course not, you sexy bastard! I'm distracted by YOU! Lily thought. "- so you've decided to study in your dorm, where judging by the time all your dorm mates will have likely already retired. I'd imagine that they'd be mighty pissed if you wanted to turn the lights on to finish your work."
"So, what you'd suggest I do?" Lily snapped. His sexy chest and sexy grin and sexy… sexiness were all making her rather short.
But of course James couldn't seem to care less that she was being cross with him. No, the masochistic sexy bastard liked it. "Well you could stay here," he said.
"Not on your life, Potter," she muttered.
"The distraction is that bad?" he asked.
"You have no idea."
James thought a moment and Lily went all soft inside. He was trying to help her out. That was so sweet. Maybe she should ask him out. He was just so nice and so generous and so-
"You could study in my dorm with me, if you like," he offered.
-damn tempting! That sudsy bastard! He'd just offered her… a golden nugget. No a giant diamond… No, no wait! He'd just offered her the first edition, signed copy of her favorite book (which just happened to be a collection of Shakespearean sonnets, so that fact that he got a signed copy was a big freakin' deal!).
How could she say no to this? Yes, he was the reason she was so distracted… but if they studied together in his dorm she'd get unlimited access to staring at him, plus since they were supposed to be interacting her looking at him would be considered normal and not totally insane. Maybe she'd be able to coax him into asking her out… yes, yes, this just got better and better. Staring at him and possibility of getting asked out. It was perfect!
"Sure. You're friends won't mind?" she asked. James looked completely shocked for a second, staring at her wide eyed, like he hadn't expected her to agree. His usual impish grin returned in a heartbeat and Lily had to wonder if she'd just imagined the surprise.
"They'll be down in the Common Room until after midnight if Sirius has his way, and he usually does, so… we shouldn't be disturbed." James shrugged.
"Brilliant, let's go," she said.
"Just let me grab my stuff." James hurried over to his table and stuffed his supplies haphazardly into his bag, before slinging it over his shoulder. They walked in a companionable silence up to Gryffindor Tower, the halls were practically deserted due to the lateness of the hour. No one wanted to remain in the halls for fear of running into a Prefect or worse Filch.
James stayed just out of reach, though Lily had purposefully left the hand closest to him free and dangling by her side. He'd taken less obvious opportunities to hold her hand, but now the new and improved James Bloody Potter respected boundaries. It was annoying to say the least. Once they entered the Common Room and made their way over to the stairs leading up to the boys' dorms, James finally touched her… er- sort of. He let his hand hover over her lower back as she made her way up the stairs. It was oddly charming, Lily glanced up at him and smiled. James visibly gulped.
He opened the door to his dorm room for her, took her bag and dropped it on the bed closest to the loo. The dorm was bloody mess. There was parchment scattered all over the place. Broken quills, empty ink bottles, clothes, trainer and what Lily suspected were empty bottles of alcohol littered the floor. The beds were a right sight as well. All but the bed James a placed their bags on were unmade with the curtain hanging open and in one case, hanging off the rod. The whole dorm smelled oddly of smoke. It wasn't unpleasant, but it did seem out of place.
"Sorry about the mess, but Sirius has a tendency to explode when left to his own devises…" James said, scratching the back of his head. He looked so embarrassed Lily almost giggled.
She did smile and say, "That's all right. You are boys. A messy room is almost to be expected. Though I have to wonder about some of these bottles…"
James had the decency to look ashamed, which told Lily that those were in fact bottles that formerly held alcohol. She laughed at the expression on James' face. He was of age, as were his dorm mates, so long as they weren't giving it to the younger students, Lily didn't really see it as a problem. He also best not have been getting drunk… though that would explain some of Sirius' more eccentric behavior. If he was drunk and laughing like a loon at his shoelaces… it just made more sense.
"I can explain," James said.
Lily perched on the edge of his bed and looked up at him. His mouth had fallen open and he seemed to have lost the ability to speak. Like the sight of her sitting on his bed was so unexpected that he literally could not function. Lily thought it was sweet.
"You were going to explain, Potter?" Lily reminded him.
"Mahhh?" he said, Lily blinked. "Oh, right!" He shook himself and then blushed pink.
"Yes, the bottles. You see… I umm… confiscated them. From younger students, of course… and I…" James stopped talking as Lily found it impossible to hold back her laughter. He was usually such a good liar, but that was just pathetic. "Yeah, haha…"
"So…" Lily gasped. "You confiscated the alcohol from younger students and what?" she giggled. "Dumped it down the sink and just left the bottles all over the floor?"
James grinned. "As a matter of fact yes. But instead of dumping it down the sink I dumped it down in the toilet."
"Really?" Lily asked, trying for a straight face.
"Your ego really has shrunk, Potter," she said.
The grin dropped off of James face and was replaced with a deathly serious expression. "What d'you mean, Lily?" he asked. The way he said her name made her shiver.
"It's just… I never thought I'd see the day you called yourself and your friends the toilet instead of the Marauders." It was meant to be a joke, to tease him, but it didn't come out that way. They stared at each other for second, silent.
James finally snorted and shook his head, breaking the tension. He plopped down on the bed next to her. The squishy mattress dipped under their combined weight, forcing them closer together then they originally intended. Lily didn't mind, but James and his cute little bum had been keeping their distance, so Lily swore she wouldn't mind if he scooted away. She wouldn't… really.
"The boys would never forgive you if they heard you calling them the toilet instead of the Marauders," James said, leaning back against the headboard.
"Ah, ah, but James, it was you who called your lackeys the toilet, not I," Lily said.
A slow smile stretched across his face. "James, huh?"
Lily blushed. She hadn't even noticed calling him by his first name instead of his surname. She supposed that she had been calling him James in her head for so long it just slipped out.
"Shut it," she snapped, halfheartedly. "Aren't we supposed to be studying?"
James sighed and stretched and Lily attempted to stave off the need to jump him. He pulled his books out of his bag and Lily followed suit. He began to work, while Lily glanced up at him every few minutes (cough seconds cough). Her Transfiguration essay was no closer to being finished all because she couldn't think of anything but how cute James looked while concentrating.
James looked up after a few minutes and caught her starin- I mean looking at him. Lily blushed and returned her gaze to her book. James shifted closer to her position, perched on the edge of his bed. His left leg dangled over the edge, while his right stretched out behind her. It felt like his whole body was surrounding her. Lily's heart began to pound in her chest, her breath became shallow and quick, but her eyes never wavered from the page in front of her. She wouldn't look up at James. The way she felt would be all too obvious in her eyes and she didn't want James to know how she felt until he asked her out. It would just be embarrassing before that.
James slipped his Charms book over Lily's half finished essay. "What's this about then?" he asked pointing at a passage. His voice was low and he was close enough that Lily could actually feel his breath on her ear. She shivered. "You cold, Evans?" Somehow his voice was quieter, deeper, he felt closer.
Lily felt her hands begin to shake. She dared a glance up and immediately regretted it. James' lips were a mere centimeter away and his eyes… they were smoldering. Lily felt herself getting lost in those eyes, framed so perfectly by his glasses. Before Lily could catch herself the books on her lap fell onto the floor. Her right hand had unconsciously wrapped itself in James' tie and her left hand gripped his thigh.
Her eyes drifted close and her head tilted up slightly. She could feel James' breath against her lips…
"All right, Evans?" he whispered.
Lily blinked. She pulled hard on his tie, bring his lips against her own. "Shut it, Potter," she mumbled against his mouth before kissing him.
James wrapped his arm around her waist and tried to pull her onto his lap, but Lily wasn't having any of that. He'd forced her to wait far too long for this moment, so it would progress exactly as she wanted it to. With his tie still firmly wrapped around her hand, Lily laid back, pulling James on top of her. James kept his lips sealed over Lily's while they fumbled around, trying to get comfortable. For some reason Lily couldn't understand James was trying to hold himself up and off of her.
Lily finally had enough. She finally got to kiss James he was trying to hold back. No. No. It was not going to happen like that. Lily untangled her hand from his tie and brought both hands up to his cheeks and pushed with all her might. James pulled away, stared down at her for a moment and then scrambled across the bed.
"Where are you going, Potter?" Lily demanded.
"I'm sorry, Lily!" he shouted.
"You're sorry? Sorry for what?" she asked, completely flummoxed.
"For kissing you. Lily-"
"Oh shut up, James!" Lily yelled. "You do not get to take credit for this. I kissed you. Not the other way around! Do not forget that, you prat!"
James' jaw bobbed up and down a few times as he gaped at her. Lily fully expected him to get his act together and finally ask her out, but he just continued to stare at her. They'd snogged, he was supposed to ask her out! But when has James Bloody Potter ever done what he was supposed to do? Never that's when!
Lily let out an outraged squeak slash scream and scrambled out of James' bed.
"Lily!" he called.
Lily ignored him and stomped down the stairs. She felt, rather than heard, James running after her. He caught up with her in the Common Room, grabbing her arm so she swung around to face her. The Common Room was mostly empty, their only audience being Remus, Peter and Sirius. All three of whom were watching the two of them curiously. Remus sitting in an overstuffed chair with a book open on his lap. Peter on his stomach in front of the fire and Sirius hanging over the back of the couch to get a better view of the inevitable fight to come.
"What do you want, Potter?" Lily yelled.
"What were you doing in the boys' dormitories?" Sirius asked.
"Shut up, Black," Lily snapped.
"You shut up, Evans!" Sirius shot back.
"You're not helping, Padfoot," James snarled at his best friend. Lily made an irate noise in the back of her throat and pulled her arm out of James' grasp. "Wha… buahh… fff…" James said, oh so clearly.
"Well, thank you very much, Potter," Lily said, her fists on her hips. "That's just the thing every girl wants to hear after she's embarrassed herself to the high heavens!"
"You embarrassed yourself?" Sirius asked perky as ever.
"Detention, Black!" Lily yelled, turning on Sirius.
"For the bloody empty bottles of alcohol in your dorm, that's what for!" Lily punctuated this by pointing very threateningly at a completely confused Sirius Black.
"What were you doing in our dorm?" Remus asked.
"Yeah!" Sirius yelled. "I bet that's not allowed! I bet if I told Minnie-"
Lily grabbed the front of Sirius' robes and held him forehead to forehead. "Her name is Professor McGonagall. And I am Head Girl I can go into any dorm I please if there is reasonable cause to think the occupants of that dorm are misbehaving. Professor McGonagall won't think twice about me investigating your dorm, Black."
Sirius considered this argument, realized the enrage witch holding him up by his robes was right and kissed her on the nose. Lily was wretched away from Sirius a split second later and Sirius had been ungraciously shoved off the couch by a very pissed off James Potter.
"What'd you do that for, Potter?" Lily demanded, rounding on him.
"He hasn't any right to kiss you!" James insisted.
"Oh and who does?" Lily crossed her arms and glared up at James who promptly began sputtering.
"Well that's certainly eloquent, Prongs," Remus muttered, turning a page.
"Hey, Lils you didn't answer Moony's question," Sirius said, taking up his former post completely unfazed that his best mate had just pushed him off the couch. "Why were you in our dorm?"
"You know what, Black?"
"What, Lily dearest?" Sirius asked, never the one to pass up the opportunity to talk and annoy the living daylights out of his best mate.
"I will tell you want I was doing in your dorm." James gulped and grimaced behind her. "I was in the library, minding my own business when this blitter" Lily stuck her thumb in James' general direction "walks in all arrogant and handsome and starts, you'll never guess it, doing his homework! I was so distracted by his bum among other things that I decided to leave and find somewhere to do my homework in peace. But no. No! Nothing can go my way! James Bloody Potter's right behind me when I get up. And then he made me envy a bloody table before asking me if I wanted to study in his dorm with him."
At this point all four Marauders were watching the petite redhead with expression ranging from disbelief (James) to amusement (Remus) to confusion (Peter) to wonder at the havoc having this information might cause for the Head Girl and his best mate the Head Boy (Sirius).
"So I go. Figuring that I'd get the chance to stare at him without seeming completely deranged and that maybe just maybe, he'd get his head out of his arse and finally bloody well ask me out! But did he? No! Because James Bloody Potter never does what he's supposed to! So I snog him-"
"Merlin's pants." Peter
"Way to go, Prongsie my lad!" Sirius
"- and he won't even lay on top of me and grope me like he did in that daydream I had during History of Magic two days ago!" The end of Lily's rant was met with silence. "Plus he still hasn't asked me out!"
Peter broke the silence eventually. "I'm confused… Prongs made you envy a table?"
"Really, Pete?" Remus asked, closing his book. "From all of that all you got was that James made Lily envy a table?"
Sirius snapped his fingers and pointed at Lily. "He was snogging the table!" he surmised.
"Padfoot!" James exclaimed.
"Well, it would explain why she was envying a table!" Sirius said, hoping to defend himself. "Besides in our third year I caught you snogging your pillow."
"I was asleep and I wasn't snogging it! I was dreaming about eating a marshmallow!" James said.
"Of course you were, Prongs," Remus said, James nodded at his new best mate. "A marshmallow named Lily."
"I hate you both," James muttered while Sirius and Remus shared an evil chuckle.
Lily huffed. She'd lost their attention. More importantly she'd just admitted everything she'd sworn to secrecy. It just figured that this batch of loons wouldn't care. She hadn't expected Sirius to appreciate her utter humiliation. The boy was immune to the stuff. Though she couldn't really blame him, he'd gone streaking across campus his fourth year… there wasn't much that could embarrass you after getting caught butt ass naked by Filch in the middle of the Great Hall.
She'd expected better of Remus, though she wasn't quite sure why. He did hang out with two blokes Lily was constantly having to remind herself were completely bonkers.
"So, Evans!" Sirius yelled, breaking into her train of thought. "Prongsie here would like to take you to Hogsmeade this weekend, what do you say?"
"Padfoot!" James said, exasperated. "I can ask her myself!"
"Really, Prongs?" Sirius asked, his eye wide and innocent. "Because last time you open your mouth in her general direction you said, and I quote, 'Ahhh-Blah.'"
"You did, mate," Remus said.
"Shut up, Moony," James grumbled.
"So, come on, Lily. Go out with ickle Jamesiekin and put him and us out of our collective misery," Sirius said to Lily, but she was too busy glaring at James.
"You wanna go to Hogsmeade with me, Lily?" James asked his shoes.
"I think I've made the answer to that question abundantly clear, Potter," Lily said, none too kindly.
She received four very confused looks from four very confused wizards.
"Yes, you bloody imbecile, yes! I want to go to Hogsmeade with you! I bloody snogged you on your bloody bed-"
"Actually that was Remus' bed," James interjected.
"What?" the werewolf demanded.
"Sorry, mate," James apologized. "You're the only one who makes his bed in the morning, couldn't exactly have her sitting on mine could I?"
"Haha!" Sirius said, pointing at Remus. "Prongs and Lily slobbered all over your bed!"
"All right!" Lily yelled, bring the Marauders' side conversation to an end. "Here's what's going to happen, Potter." James stood up a little straighter. "Tomorrow, you are going to get up early so that when I come down for breakfast you are waiting for me. We will go down to the Great Hall together and you will hold my hand the whole way. You will walk me to all of my classes and you will kiss me at each and every door. And when the classes that I don't have with you are over, you will be waiting at the door to escort me to my next class. We will have lunch and dinner together. You and I will… study in your dorm. You will make your bed for the occasion! And then on Saturday we will go to Hogsmeade together. As a couple. Do you understand?"
"Y-yes," James stuttered.
"Good. Now give me a kiss goodnight, I'm going to bed," Lily said, tilting her head up expectantly. James planted a not so chaste kiss on her lips, before Lily disengaged and went up to her dorm.
"Good going, Prongs. You've been dating for a half a second and you're already wiped!" Sirius said, flinging himself back onto the couch.
"Did that actually just happen to me?" James asked the universe in general.
The universe didn't answer though. Remus did. "Of course, that happened, James," he sighed, opening his book again. "It's far too ridiculous to have happened to anyone else."
The universe in general was inclined to agree. And so was Sirius, which, in retrospect was probably more important.