"So," James chirped. "Favorite...vegetable."
"We did that one last week. Pickles, remember?"
James looked at the red head at his side. "Oh, yeah! That was a surprise. And I still say pickles aren't vegetables."
"They were once," Lily retorted.
"Yes, but before they were soaked in vinegar and spices, they were cucumbers. Very different from pickles, little lady."
Lily rolled her eyes. "Big difference. It doesn't change the fact that I love pickles."
It was something of a tradition now, this game they played. It had started their first patrol together as Head Boy and Girl, when James had interrogated her ruthlessly to get to know her better. She didn't like to admit it, but he had actually made her laugh so hard she'd wet herself a little that first night.
He had grown on her. Ever since that first nightly patrol, they had asked each other questions about anything – their views on life, favorite items, you name it.
"My turn," Lily said, before he could think up another way to embarrass her. "Ummmmm..." she tapped her lip, thinking, and drew out the mm of "um." "Favorite flower," she said, grinning viciously, sure he would be ashamed to answer such a girly question.
"Oh, that's easy," James replied simply. "Lilies."
Lily's breath was knocked out of her and the blood rushed to he cheeks. She stumbled a bit, and he caught her. "Oh," she said softly.
James cleared his throat. "What's yours?"
"What?" Lily looked at him, but had to look away quickly; she couldn't stand looking in those hazel eyes that had captured her heart.
"What's your favorite flower?" James asked, looking slightly concerned for the girl next him.
"Oh. Um. Forsythia," she replied, blushing more furiously.
James grinned. "Really? Not lilies?"
"No," Lily cursed her cheeks silently, "people would always get me things, clothing and jewelry, with lilies on them, and I just grew sick of them. They used to be my favorites, but by the time I was twelve," she sighed, "they were ugly."
The all-too-handsome boy beside her chuckled. "I guess it didn't help that I gave you that lily necklace in first year."
Damn his adorable messy hair! She thought, distracted for a moment. "No, it didn't." Why did everything she said sound so lame? She felt like a dead whale!
"What?" James burst out laughing.
"Oh, shit. Did I say that out loud?" Lily smacked her hand to her mouth, mortified of what had just left it.
"You feel like a dead whale?" He roared with laughter again. She glared at him. "What the hell does that mean?" He threw his head back once more, and she noticed a few more freckles she had never known were there before she caught herself.
Snap out of it, Lily, she scolded herself. Scowling, she crossed her arms and huffed in frustration.
They kept walking, pausing to check a few broom cupboards, Lily gripping her wand tightly in her hand, vowing to hex the next person she saw.
She marched towards a tapestry, certain she'd heard giggling coming from behind it, and wrenched it open, almost ripping it off the wall.
"Lily?" James' voice was suddenly kind and gentle, but his hand on her arm startled her, and she whipped around. The first spell that came to her furious mind was out her lips before she could stop herself.
"Aquamenti!" A jet of water rocketed out of her wand tip and hit him right in the face, drenching his hair and robes, and left him spluttering, unable to see through the water collected on his glasses.
"Oh, James! Oh, my God, I'm so sorry!" Lily was probably redder than her hair by now, and wished she had conjured a shovel so she could dig a giant hole and crawl in it. "Uhh, shit, what was that drying spell Flitwick taught us? Something like-"
There was a whoosh of hot air and Lily looked over to find a completely dry James Potter cleaning his glasses and grinning.
"Sorry," she said meekly. Would her face ever stop burning?
"It's fine," he chuckled, then turned more serious. "I'm sorry that I laughed at you earlier. I didn't realized you were mad."
"No, I'm sorry," she repeated. Great, she thought, Apology War time. "There were...other things...contributing to my anger."
"Care to share?" he asked lightly.
"No." She knew she was being short, but there was no way she was telling him that he and his entirely too-good looks were the source of her frustration.
"Okay," he replied, still cheery. That was one thing you could always count on with James; he was a constant optimist. "My turn. Hmmm...Oh, I know." James's voice had suddenly taken on a mischievous tone, and he grinned evilly. "Who do you fancy?"
Lily's step faltered. "N-no one," she said, a little too quickly.
"Ah, ah, ah! Now, now, Lily," he mock scolded, "remember the rules. No lying!"
Lily glowered. "Fine," she grumbled, "I fancy someone. But I'm not going to tell you who."
"Aww, man, why not, Lily?"
"Because," she stated, her face flaming to her roots.
"Can I guess?"
"Is it...Smith, that Ravenclaw sixth year who's been following you around like a puppy?"
"No. And I said you couldn't guess!" Lily protested.
"He left school last year."
"I know, but you could still fancy him." James' smile seemed to get bigger with each guess. "Okay, I'll do the twenty questions approach. Is he in our year?"
Lily sighed. "Yes," she finally admitted.
"Okay...is it Snape?"
"Snape? Uhg, no!" She actually laughed a little.
"Really?" He sounded astonished.
"Yeah, really. I mean, we were best friends for a while, and I think he might have thought of me that way-" James snorted. "Oh, shut up James – but, no. Never. Just friends."
"Okay...So, not a Slytherin."
"Whew. You had me scared there for a bit." He pretended to wipe sweat off his brow and put his hand to his heart. "Okay, so that's out...Hufflepuff?"
Lily made a face. "Er, no."
"Hey, what's wrong with Hufflepuff!"
James laughed at her. "I'm kidding. I'm kind of glad it's not a Hufflepuff, to be honest."
"Hey, what's wrong with Hufflepuff?" She mimicked him, and he laughed. She loved making him laugh.
"Hmmm...Ravenclaw? I know you're smart, so that would make sense."
"Uh, no, it's not a Ravenclaw."
"Really? Wow. That only leaves Gryffindor." He grinned. "It's Remus, isn't it."
"Sirius?" he asked, sounding slightly puzzled.
"It can't be Peter. He couldn't attract girls if his life depended on it."
Lily giggled. "No, I don't fancy him, but I think a couple third years do." She giggled again.
James' brows were together, forming too-cute lines between them. He seemed not to have heard the second part of her answer. "Then who is it?"
He looked at her, eyebrows furled, and she thought she would die of his attractiveness right then and there. "James," she said softly, as realization slowly dawned in his eyes, "it's you."
Suddenly, his lips were on hers, and everything she had been dreaming about for weeks was finally happening. She wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss, and his hands were on her waist, burning through her robes, and it was bliss, utter bliss.
He pulled back first, and she caught sight of his glasses askew from their snogging session, a huge, triumphant grin on his face, and she just couldn't help it: she burst into a fit of giggles.
He joined her, and she realized, not for the first time, that their laughs complemented each other perfectly. And she felt a swelling in her belly at the thought that he was hers.
"Come on, let's go to the kitchens. I'm in the mood for some pickles." She took his hand, and, laughing, pulled him along.
Fun fact: my dad is actually making pickles right now. Heh, heh.