A/N: Hey y'all, it's me again. With another L/J one-shot. Enjoy! (and the award for most pointless A/N goes to...)
"All right, time for a break," I announced, putting down my quill and rubbing a hand across my forehead. We'd been studying for three hours straight, and I was fairly sure my brain was literally aching.
"Thank Merlin; I thought you'd never quit," James sighed, tossing aside his Charms book and leaning across the table to kiss my forehead. "I don't think I've spent that much time on homework since . . . well, come to think of it, I've never spent that much time on homework."
"I doubt you've ever spent that much time on anything," I returned, straightening my notes and beginning to pack up my books.
"Now, that's not fair, Evans," James protested, "What do you call the countless hours I spent getting you to realize I'm an exceptionally attractive and charming human being that you just couldn't resist?"
"Up until a few months ago I called it insufferably annoying."
"Yes, I think you made yourself perfectly clear on that point. Several times, in fact," James said with mock resentment.
"Though I suppose you deserve some credit for persistence. Even if it was, for the most part, ill-conceived and unwanted."
"Well, it was certainly worth the effort-I mean could a bloke ask for a more affectionate girlfriend?" James said dryly, but there was a hint of his teasing smirk in the twitch of his lips.
"I'm just stating the facts," I replied breezily. "I have to admit I did expect you to gloat a bit more about finally wearing me down-"
"Wearing you down?" James repeated. "Good lord, Evans, are you sure you even want to be in this relationship?"
"I'm sorry," I said, laughing. "It must be the exam stress getting to me." I slung my bag over my shoulder and walked around to James's side of the table. "Sorry," I said again, dropping a quick kiss on his cheek. As I began to straighten up, James wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me down onto his lap, kissing me full on the mouth.
"Mmph!" I protested in surprise, my bag sliding to the ground with a thump. I pushed back against James's chest, shooting him an admonishing look. "We're in the library, James!"
"Hmm, yes, I'm aware of the fact." He leaned in to kiss me again, and I put two restraining fingers against his lips. James sighed, his breath tickling my fingertips. "All right, all right," he muttered, releasing his hands from around my waist.
I stood up and James copied my actions, grabbing his bag as well as mine from the floor. "I suffer quietly though hours of studying without complaint, and I don't even get a good snog for my efforts?" he lamented as we started for the library doors.
"I never said i wouldn't snog you; I just don't fancy doing it in the middle of the library."
"Ah, well, that changes things, then. So, my room or yours?" James grinned down at me.
"Seeing as your room involves far less complication and broomstick manueverations, I'd vote there."
"Excellent. You know, this Head Boy business does have its perks."
"I highly doubt sleeping with the Head Girl is exactly what Dumbledore had planned when he gave you the position."
"I should hope not," James said with a wink.
I slipped my hand into his as we started to climb the stairs to the third floor. "Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but do you ever wish it had been someone else?" I asked after a moment.
"What? Sleeping with you? No, I rather like having the monopoly on that, actually."
I puched him lightly on the arm with my free hand. "No, that's not what I meant. Head Boy-do you think-I mean, I'm not saying you're not good at it, because you're are-suprisingly, in fact-but I-"
"No, I don't regret it," James said, thankfully interrupting my rambling. "Well, I guess I can't exactly regret it, because it' s not like I really had a say in the matter, but . . . it's not the worst thing that could have happened."
I laughed. "Really, James, you shouldn't sound so enthusiastic."
"Okay, right, that came out wrong. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think Dumbledore had completely lost it at first, but . . . it makes a strange sort of sense, I suppose."
"Well, Dumbledore is a strange sort of man, so it fits."
We entered Gryffindor tower and started up the stairs to the Head Boy dormitory. James dumped our bags unceremoniously on the floor as he shut the door behind us. I collapsed gratefully on his bed, slumping back against the headboard with a long sigh. "Merlin, I'm exhausted."
James lay down as well, propping himself up on an elbow to frown over at me. "I'm getting the impression you may have lied about the snogging after all."
I winced guiltily. "Sorry?"
With a groan, James dropped his arm and rolled over, burying his head in my stomach. "You're killing me, Evans," he grumbled, voice muffled by my shirt.
"I just don't think it's fair if I'm not giving it my full attention," I explained, running my fingers absently through James's hair.
"Fine, sure," he muttered in resigned agreement. After a moment, he sighed again, but this time it was one of contentment. "That feels nice, though," he commented as I continued to lightly massage his head.
Then he was quiet again, and my mind started to wander where it always seemed to go lately when I had too much time to think. In a few weeks, we'd be done. Done with N.E.W.T.s, done with Hogwarts, onto the real world. A world which, quite frankly, I wasn't sure I wanted to enter. Most of us had prematurely lost our teenage sense of invincibility in the face of the terrible murders of the previous summer. But it wasn't the rude reminder of my mortality that scared me. I was afraid of how badly I wanted to fight back.
"Lily?" James's voice cut into my thoughts, and I was surprised to find that he was sitting up, his hair even messier thanks to my fingers' recent forray through it. "What's up?"
"Can you just . . . distract me for a minute?" I requested, hoping I didn't sound too pleading.
A grin spread across James's face, and I prepared myself for a sly comment, when suddenly his expression changed, becoming abruptly serious. He was looking at me intently, as though trying to work something out.
"James?" I asked, a little apprehensive. "Are you all r-"
"I want to marry you," James interrupted, completely matter-of-fact.
I sat up so quickly I almost fell off the bed. James reached out a hand to steady me, his eyes never leaving mine. "Wh-what?" I stammered, heart pounding.
"I want to marry you, Lily, "James repeated steadily. "It's just . . . well, I've never been unsure about anything, which, you know, probably doesn't come as a surprise, but now . . . everything's so messed up, and I don't know what's going to happen when we leave here . . . You're the only thing I'm sure of anymore. You and me-I want that. Always."
I just stared at him.
After a minute, James asked, "Er, so, thoughts? Just, you know, anything . . . would be great."
"I-" I started, but my voice came out as a sqeak, and I cleared my throat before trying again. "Consider me suffiently distracted," I managed.
James laughed, but there was a nervous pitch to it. "Right. I probably-What are the chances you can just forget I said all that? Merlin, I don't even know why-"
"You'll have to stop calling me 'Evans'," I blurted out.
James blinked at me. Frowned, opened his mouth to speak, closed it, and blinked some more. Finally, "Wait, are-are you saying yes?"
"Well, are you proposing?" I countered, starting to smile.
"Yes-I mean, no, that was quite a shit proposal."
"It wasn't terrible," I offered. "You did make a rather nice speech."
"I meant it, you know," James said.
"I'll probably still call you 'Evans' sometimes."
"I can live with that."
"Well, I guess that settles it, then."
"I guess it does."