Written for Bad Mum's Lush Challenge and my prompt was Frog Prince.

Disclaimer - I don't own Harry Potter

Frog Prince.

Lily watched as the Prefects dispersed in twos and threes, "Merry Christmases" ringing throughout the room, until only she and James were left. They worked together in companionable silence putting the classroom back in order; chairs and desks back in place, parchment scraps off the floor and in the bin, that sort of thing.

If somebody had told Lily a year ago that she would be doing anything companionably with James, let alone their head boy and girl duties, she would have laughed them all the way to St Mungo's to have their heads checked out. And yet since they had returned for their final year at Hogwarts a few months ago James had surprised her at every turn with his new found maturity and they had quickly become firm friends. Another change in these last few months was that James had not once asked her out and it puzzled Lily but she wasn't sure if she was happy about this or not.

They began to head back to the Common Room. As they reached the first staircase James opened his mouth as if to speak, changed his mind and snapped it shut with a sigh. Lily discretely watched his nervous behaviour for a few minutes, a small smile on her face, but after seeing him repeat the whole process another three times before her curiosity got the better of her.

She stopped him a few feet away from the portrait hole and said, "All right spit it out. James Potter never usually has trouble saying what he's thinking so it must be something big."

He shot her a sheepish smile. "Right, sorry. I was actually wondering if perhaps you wanted to go to Hogsmeade tomorrow, with me," he said hesitantly.

When Lily didn't say anything he quickly carried on.

"I know it's last minute so you've probably already made plans but we could always just meet up for a drink or something. But if you don't want to –"

"Yes." Lily interrupted him as butterflies erupted in her stomach.

James stared at her for a few moments, open-mouthed, and Lily couldn't help but giggle.

"I'd love to go to Hogsmeade with you. I'll wait for you in the Common Room about half ten," she said and then before James had a chance to respond she darted down the corridor and through the portrait hole.

After a slightly shaky start to the day where both Lily and James seemed nervous beyond belief things had quickly gone back to normal between the two of them. However unlike all the other times they had been together this year Lily was acutely aware of every brush of James's hand as he held doors open for her, helped her with her coat or as they sat close together in the very busy Three Broomsticks. In fact when James wiped a blob of Butterbeer foam off Lily's nose it sent shivers of delight down her spine and when he leaned towards her, his hand lingering on her cheek she was certain he was going to kiss her. She found herself leaning in closer, as if drawn to him by some irresistible magnetic force, when a loud burst of laughter erupted from an adjacent table causing them both to jump back from each other with a nervous giggle.

And now the two of them slowly ambled through the Hogwarts gates hand in hand, their breath steaming in the cold air as they traded stories of growing up in their muggle and wizard families respectively.

There were a group of students just disappearing through the great oak doors of the school and people dotted along the road from Hogsmeade but they were all far enough away that it seemed as if Lily and James had the whole still, snowy landscape to themselves.

"It's beautiful isn't it?" said Lily as they paused and looked back across the snowy grounds.


Lily blushed when she realised James was not looking out at the same view that she was looking at but staring straight at her as he said this.

"I've had a lovely time today. I'm glad I said yes, eventually."

"Me too," he replied, as they continued on up to the castle. "So do you think that yes could stretch to a second date?"

"Don't push your luck Potter," she said, her eyes alight with laughter. "Besides this one isn't over yet, there's still time for one of us to mess it up completely."

"What like if I were to kiss you?"

Lily burst out laughing. "If your dates usually get ruined by you kissing the girl I think there must be something terribly wrong with your technique."

"Oh really?"

They had stopped moving again and were now standing so close to each other that Lily could see the individual flecks of green and brown in his hazel eyes and, entranced, was unable to look away.

"Well maybe you should see what my technique's like for yourself and if it really is that terrible you can help me improve it," James suggested with a grin.

"I suppose we could do that," said Lily, trying to be nonchalant but unable to keep the smile off her face.

Tentatively James put a hand on Lily's hip and although she was wrapped up in a thick coat his touch sent her heart racing. She tilted her head up as he leant towards her and, with no one around to interrupt them this time, they kissed. It was a sweet, tender moment with James' other hand coming to rest on the small of her back while her arms went around his waist. As they pulled away snowflakes began to drift lazily down to earth.

Lily shot James a giddy smile as she revelled in the feeling of being in his arms before a mischievous glint appeared in her eyes.

"So what's the verdict? James asked. "Am I beyond all hope?"

"You know what? It wasn't that bad. Now I'm just waiting to see if you're my frog prince."

James' brow crinkled in confusion. "Your what?"

"It's a muggle fairytale. The princess, that would be me, kisses a frog and he turns into a handsome prince. But –" Lily paused and looked him over with an exaggerated sigh. "You're still the same."

And with that she darted out of his arms and along the path up to the castle, her laughter ringing out in the still air, but James was fast behind her. Wrapping his arms round her waist he pulled her flush against his chest. The dual sensations of his low chuckles reverberating through her body and his breath on the crook of her neck made her go weak at the knees and it was a good job James was holding her or she might have ended up in a pile on the floor.

"So you think I'm a frog eh? Well maybe I haven't transformed because actually you're the one that's not very good at kissing. Just to be certain I think we should give it another go," James said quietly in her ear.

Lily turned to face him. "I absolutely agree."

Christmas morning found the Gryffindor seventh year girls up early opening presents as excitedly as any first year and the dormitory was strewn with bits of wrapping paper. Lily picked up her last present and gave it a squeeze. It was soft but too bulky to be clothing. She ripped it open and burst out laughing. Sat in her lap was a larger than life fluffy frog teddy, a crown perched jauntily on his head and his bright red lips puckered up for a kiss. With a croak it jumped onto the bed next to her revealing a small card with a picture of a quaint winter scene. Turning it over she saw a familiar scrawl.

Merry Christmas.