A/N: This is a short one shot I've been meaning to finish for months. But in memory of Lily and James, I decided to finish it today.
It's how I pictured their first date would go. It's a bit of a fluff piece but I hope you like it!
Disclaimer: These characters belong to JK Rowling and to her only.
She focused on the sound the snow made when it crunched under her boots as they made their way through the picturesque, snow-covered Hogsmeade side by side. She wondered whether she should be holding his hand… Perhaps not. It was merely their first date and as surprising as she found it, she didn't want to do anything to ruin it.
The thought of filling the silence that enveloped them crossed her mind on several occasions before she realized that the silence was not an uncomfortable one. It wasn't even awkward as she feared it might be. Instead, it felt very natural, his very presence by her side soothing her nerves. Lily smiled at the irony of James Potter putting her at ease when only months ago he was the very reason she even needed to be put at ease in the first place.
This time around he unnerved her for very different reasons. James was not the same arrogant, immature tormentor he was in previous years. He came back for their seventh year Head Boy and contrary to Lily's initial belief, he took his responsibility seriously. For one, he no longer hexed innocent bystanders just for a cheap laugh. If anything, he had the habit of stopping in the middle of a crowded hall to help frightened, lost first-years find their way to class. It had only been a matter of time before his improved behavior was not the only thing she noticed. She began to appreciate how clever he truly was, or how he was an excellent Quidditch player after all, or how scarlet was a good color on him…and how it brought the gold and green in his eyes…
Lily stole a glance sideways at him, marveling at how the blanket of snow that surrounded them caused his features to stand out. His messy black hair looked darker, a shocking contrast against the white of the snow. His skin looked fairer and his eyes far brighter than ever before. Her eyes fell on his sharp jaw, one of her favorite features of his, and she restrained herself from reaching over and running her fingers along the well-defined line.
"So where would you like to go?" he asked cheerfully, breaking her out of her mental drift. Luckily he did not notice the sudden rush of color that flooded her face.
Any place but Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop, she thought automatically. But not wanting to come off snobbish on their first date, she replied, "Anywhere you have in mind is fine."
A smile played at the corner of his mouth as he considered this. "How about Madam Puddifoot's?" The disappointment and horror must have flashed across her face like a neon sign because he laughed.
"Git," she said but she was not angry.
"You hate that place, don't you?" He grinned.
"With enough passion to fuel a car to the moon and back," she admitted. "Please don't make me go there."
"But it's every bird and bloke's favorite place in all Hogsmeade," he replied in mock disappointment. As if on cue, a giddy Ravenclaw couple made their way to said teashop, not waiting to be inside to rapture each other in kisses.
"Believe me, it's not the tacky decorations and bad tea they enjoy," she assured him.
James laughed once more, his laughter so contagious that Lily could not help but laugh as well. It wasn't that funny, really, and she knew it. It was just one of those moments when after a few seconds, the amusement was no longer fueled by what was said but rather by each other's mirth. When they finally calmed down, both breathless, another small silence overtook them. Lily took the opportunity to study his face once more, convinced that it was moments like these that she would commit to memory forever, no matter the outcome of her relationship with James.
He was looking at her intently, perhaps thinking along the same lines as her, his eyes brilliant from behind his glasses. Before she could stop herself her gaze fell from his eyes to his lips and their appeal was all it took for Lily to take a small step toward him. She was standing so close to him that she was assaulted with his pleasant scent. For a long time now she had been pestered with questions about what it would be like to kiss James…
She was about to finally find out.
They were so close…
A group of noisy third years was all it took for Lily to snap out of her trance. Immediately, she stepped away from him, placing her arms, which had been so close to lacing themselves around his neck, behind her back.
"W-why don't we do what you and your mates normally do when you come to Hogsmeade?" she suggested in her attempt to dispel the tension. She looked away to hide the scarlet blotch her face had become, missing James' look of disappointment as she did so.
They began by visiting Zonko's Joke Shop which Lily had only been in a handful of times, never making it past the front of the store. Soon the awkwardness of before had been forgotten as James led her through section after section of the store. By the time they made their way out of the shop, Lily's stomach ached from laughing so much and her head spun with the plethora of whizzing objects and other trinkets James had introduced her to. Next they stopped at Honeydukes where Lily set out to restock her depleting supply of Jelly Slugs and Chocolate Frogs while James spoke to an old storekeeper. When they left, he carried a large brown paper bag in one arm, only replying it was a surprise when Lily inquired about it. They stopped for lunch and butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks where Lily continued to ask about the contents of the mysterious bag. Finally, James agreed to show her when they were done with lunch.
The streets of Hogsmeade were much more congested than they had been in the morning by the time they left the inn. Opting to avoid the crowds, Lily and James walked aimlessly away from the shops and into the residential area of the village.
"Alright," Lily said minutes after, when they reached what seemed to be a park. "Show me."
James raised an eyebrow. "How easy do you think I am? It's only our first date, Evans."
"Don't flatter yourself. In there," she corrected, pointing at the bag.
They stopped walking.
"Right." He opened the paper bag and held it out for her to see.
Inside was a massive, blue lump, every surface sprinkled with what seemed like sugar. It was obviously a sweet James had bought at Honeydukes but none like Lily had ever seen before.
"What," Lily began, "in the name of Merlin's beard is that?"
"It's a foot long Jelly Slug," he answered, grinning.
"No one really knows about them," he explained. "You've got to request them to the old bloke who runs the shop. Every time you finish the whole thing, it regenerates itself, each time in a new flavor."
Lily looked incredulously down at the bag and then up at James, beaming.
"This one is for you," he said, handing her the bag. "I know they're your favorite."
Lily stared. "How did you know that?"
"You told me," he answered simply.
Lily vaguely recalled the conversation but she knew it was true. They had been patrolling the castle after hours and they were asking each other questions to keep entertained. That had been almost two months ago and even Lily herself had trouble recollecting that. She was impressed and flattered that he remembered.
Lily looked up at him once more, a crazy urge to touch him overwhelming her. Instead she stammered her thanks and tore two pieces for them to eat.
She sighed contently as they ate in silence.
A sudden gust of wind rustled her hair across her face, causing a few loose strands to brush against her neck. As if by instinct, Lily snapped her chin to her chest, only causing the hair to tickle the sensitive skin there. She erupted in a fit of laughter, dropping her candy to the floor as she giggled.
"Sorry," she breathed between laughs. "I'm not crazy, I swear. Just really ticklish."
James considered this. "Really?" he finally asked, a familiar smirk spreading across his handsome face.
"What are you doing?" she asked when he dropped the bags he'd been carrying onto the snow and began to slowly approach her. He looked like a lion, ready to pounce on his prey. Out of instinct she took a step back, instantly realizing what her revelation had inspired in him. "Don't you dare!" she threatened, the grin on her own face thwarting any real menace in her voice. "I will scre-"
But it was too late, James had closed the distance between them, his hands attacking her sides. The laughter that ripped through her must have carried all the way to the shops. She thrashed and struggled to set herself free but that only caused her to loose her balance. James held her up, one arm safely around her midriff, while he tickled her with the other hand. She was convinced they were causing a scene, her with her uncontrollable shrieks and giggles and James with his relentless attack. Anyone who would look out their window in the tiny houses that surrounded them would surely deem them insane.
Lily found she did not care.
"James, please!" she implored between fits of laughter. "Stop! My stomach!" But he did not concede.
Without a second thought, Lily twirled around in his grasp and took off his glasses in a swift movement.
James stopped tickling her at once. "Give those back!"
"Or else?" she taunted.
He reached out to take them from her but she passed the pair of spectacles onto her other hand. They continued this way until she placed them behind her back, well out of his reach. He stepped even closer to her, making the already infinitesimal distance between even smaller.
He had stopped his attempts to get his glasses back and when Lily looked up at him, smirking victoriously, she realized why. He was standing so close to her, their noses almost touched when she looked up. All traces of laughter were completely gone from his face, replaced instead by resolute seriousness. Lily had lost all control of her body for she felt herself moving closer to him, closing the insignificant and cruel space that separated his lips from hers once and for all. His breath, which was as ragged as her own, caressed her face where it touched it and she felt her lids drop slightly. Their bodies were touching now and a rush of heat invaded her face. Lily could feel the wild, irregular beating of his heart against her chest. Or was it her own?
The anticipation proved to be too much for both of them because they closed the final inch separating them at the same time. James moving down to her and she upward, like magnets forced apart for too long. When their lips finally touched, they moved in sync against one another, slowly at first but then with gradual passion. The last coherent thought she remembered having as he deepened the kiss was if she was imagining the burning sensation she felt when he placed one hand at her waist. Despite the cold and all the layers of clothing she was wearing, her skin prickled where his hand rested. Her hands, one of which still clutched his glasses, made their way to his neck, her free one clutching lightly at his hair. He gently nibbled at her lower lip and Lily was grateful there was no one around to hear the embarrassing and inappropriate sound that escaped her lips.
Finally, they reduced their kiss to small pecks until they pulled away entirely, both fighting for air, their noses still touching.
He gave her a lopsided smirk that did not help her already weak knees. "I've wanted to do that all day," he said, his voice was low and husky.
"Me, too," she admitted. Reluctantly, she dropped her arms from around his neck and very carefully, she placed his glasses back on. "Thank you for the lovely time," she said, giving him a chaste peck on the cheek.
James picked up their abandoned bags with one hand and held the other out to Lily, which she happily took. With one last kiss, they walked back to town, hand-in-hand, ending a blissful day out of many more to come.
A/N: I just realized this must be the first non-angsty fic I write...
Thank you in advance to those of you who a) have read this far, b) decide to submit a review and/or c) add this to your favorites!
Happy October 31st, the day in which little Harry Potter escaped the Dark Lord for the first time thanks to his parents' sacrifice.
Or as it is known to Muggles, Happy Halloween!
Best of wishes,