For Madame Hooch's Quidditch Tryouts on the Hogwarts Online forums. :D

Challenge theme for round two is someone having a surprise for someone else.

With the prompts:

"Turn around,"

"stop fighting and listen to me for a second,"

"surprise,"

"oh wow,"

and "Thank you"


Okay. So I wrote it quickly. Whatever, enjoy.

Word Count: 893 Pairing: L/J. Obviously.


There is something eternally divisive about a surprise. That is to say, some people love them, while others hate them with a passion.

Lily Evans, fiery and brilliant, fell into the latter category.

James Potter, marauder extraordinaire, fell into the former.

One of James Potter's favourite days of the year, contrary to popular Hogwarts belief, was Valentine's Day, for the simple reason that he got to surprise Lily Evans with some extravagant display of his love for her, which was eternal and boundless.

Lily Evans hated the day, for a very similar reason.

One such Valentine's Day, however, in the February of their sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, would forever change her mind about him.

However, I am getting ahead of myself.

The story starts on that drizzly Tuesday in February. Lily was not in the best of moods to begin with, given her current predicament. She was always horribly grouchy during her time of the month, and this one was no exception. That, coupled with Potter's sterling record of ostentatious and overwhelming displays, had her genuinely dreading the day ahead.

She woke up to an empty dorm, checked her watch and shrieked, tumbling out of bed and into some semblance of a uniform. Snatching her wand from her mahogany bedside table, she muttered an incantation to tame her wild hair, grabbed her bag of heavy N.E.W.T level books, and ran downstairs, past several bemused-looking Gryffindors who were returning from breakfast. She sprinted along the corridor and down three flights of stairs, reaching the entrance hall in – she checked her watch, and grinned – four minutes and thirty-eight seconds. A personal best.

She huffed as she sat down next to her dorm-mate and best friend, Alice Fincher, who for some reason was staring at her as though she had just announced that she planned to transfigure half of herself into a horse and run away to live wild with the tribe of centaurs in the Forbidden Forest.

"What?"

"Is that a new look, Lily?"

Lily was tired and confused, which was frankly not her best state of mind, and all she could manage was a bewildered "...huh?"

Alice opened her mouth as if to reply, but her eye was caught by something – or, more likely someone – behind her.

Lily knew who it was the second he opened his mouth.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Evans!"

Ignoring him with all of her might, she picked up a slice of toast, and started buttering it with rather too much enthusiasm.

"Come on Lily, you could at least turn around."

Past experience, Lily though dully, had prepared her for this. If she did not turn around soon, he'd go into full all-out-annoy-Lily mode, which was not something she wanted to see at this time in the morning.

"Fine, Potter. What?"

"Oh, wow..."

"What?"

"Nice. I like the new hair. It matches your eyes. Is it some kind of protest against Valentine's Day, or were you planning on joining Slytherin?"

"I don't have time for this, James. I'm already running late."

"Hey, I was just saying. I like it though."

Lily rolled her eyes, but felt her hand unwittingly move to touch her hair. It felt fine...

"Really, Potter, what are you talking about?"

The young Quidditch Captain's forehead creased. "You don't know?"

The former redhead's face was simply bewildered. Casting about, James leaned over her and picked up a spoon, holding it so that she could see her reflection.

"Surprise?"

Some screams are dainty and pretty. Some are loud, and some are (occasionally) manly. Some screams are just downright scary, though. Lily Evans' scream was bloodcurdling, echoing through the great hall, causing every witch and wizard in the vicinity to jump, and turn around to watch what was going on.

"JAMES POTTER! HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO ME, YOU MEAN ARROGANT, USELESS... USELESS TOAD!"

His eyes had widened behind his glasses, but there was no stopping the red-faced, green-haired girl before him.

"THIS IS NOT FUNNY. YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR THIS TIME. IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY, NOT MAKE-A-FOOL-OUT-OF-LILY-DAY!"

"But, Lily—"

"DON'T YOU DARE 'But, Lily' ME!"

"WOULD YOU TWO STOP FIGHTING AND LISTEN TO ME FOR A SECOND?"

Alice's normally quiet voice stunned them both into silence. James looked indignant, and Lily enraged, but neither was willing to cross the little witch.

"Finally. Now Lily, dear, please think about this logically. When I left the dorm this morning your hair was red, and James was already down here. There's no way he could have done this, okay? So for Merlin's sake, please stop shouting. You're causing a scene."

Lily snorted at her blatant hypocrisy, but remained silent, and even looked a little chagrined. She must have simply used the wrong spell in her rush this morning. Not that she would ever admit that...

"And you're a witch, aren't you? Just charm it back."

"Oh yeah.."

James Potter's wand was already out. Inadvertently, Lily flinched as he made the appropriate motion, but when she peeked at her reflection, her hair was restored to its natural red colour.

"Um, thank you."

He grinned, leaning down over her so that she was forced to sit, with his hands on either side of her torso, resting on the table.

"You're welcome. For the record, though, I liked the green too."

And she had nothing to say to that.