Author's Note: This is a bonus chapter to Magical Musicals (which I'd love for you to go check out) that was made a separate fanfiction because of length and the fact that that fic is primarily Disney and Marauder-based instead of LJ.
You read the lyrics to this song and tell me there's a better song for Lily/James anywhere.
Song: "Baby It's Cold Outside"
22 December 1977
The day before Christmas break started for Hogwarts students and teachers, a day of classes but still decorated with Christmas cheer. The twelve Christmas trees were lining the Great Hall and the drafty torchlit corridors were adorned with tinsel of gold and silver and bunches of mistletoe and holly were hanging over every doorway. Bells were ringing, students singing, all was merry and bright, and instead of packing their goods to bring home for Christmas, most students were running outside to take advantage of the thick layer of snow that had covered the grounds this afternoon.
Bundled up in cloaks, boots, gloves, and wooly sweaters, students were sledding and skating and building snowmen amongst snow angels and snowball fights. There was much laughter in the air; even the most stuck-up students couldn't help acting like a little kid again, just this once.
By the late afternoon when it was very nearly night and the half moon was lingering in the sky above, most students had run inside to get warm and enjoy a great feast, the last they would see until after the new year. Several, however, stayed outside as long as their bodies - and teachers - would allow. This, of course, included the Marauders.
Sirius Black, after an hour of building snowmen the old fashioned way, had come up with a 'brilliant' plan: creating a massive, realistically-sized army made completely out of snowmen in makeshift military uniforms that would guard the castle while such a drastic amount of people weren't there to protect it, in the case of a mass attack by Voldemort's new Death Eaters. Currently, he and Peter were marching around, naming each and every one of them and marking down what division they belonged to while James and Remus were busy actually making them, trying to keep up with Sirius.
James was busy smoothing out the stomach of what would probably become something silly like General Tayce T. Snowman (following Sirius's fashion of naming the snowmen ridiculous names) when Remus nudged him with his elbow and pointed several yards away. James immediately noticed the silhouette of someone facing away from them, staring over the mountains and craning her neck to look at the bright moon and the fresh appearances of a lot of stars. He realized very quickly that it was Lily, who had gone for a walk across the grounds and he hadn't seen since.
"I, er -" he stammered, looking away quickly and focusing too intently on his snowman. "Didn't realize she was still out here."
Remus rolled his eyes. "Go talk to her."
James ran a gloved hand through his hair. "She sort of looks like she wants to be alone."
Remus chuckled, and knelt down to begin brushing off Tayce T. Snowman. "And that sort of argument is exactly why you're not going out with her yet."
"I'm over that, Moony. I'd much rather help make snowmen armies."
"Yeah, maybe, as much as Sirius is a chihuahua and werewolves are gentle."
James smirked slightly, nodded, and walked over to Lily. Over his shoulder, he heard Sirius say faintly, "Hey, where are you going? We need twenty more troops!"
He walked with difficulty over to where Lily stood with her hair was blowing slightly in a bitter wind.
She glanced over her shoulder and smiled warmly at him. "Hi, James."
He stood behind her, looking at the moon for a second before trying to make conversation. "I didn't realize you were still outside. Most people went in a while ago."
She was still smiling when she said, "I just really love this scenery. It's the most beautiful sight I'll see for two weeks, and I just wanted to take as much of it in as possible."
"Oh, are you going home?" he asked stupidly, internally cursing himself for not being able to say something more dashing and creative.
"Yes. I love Christmas at Hogwarts, but I love Christmas with my family more. You aren't going home?"
He shook his head. "Me and the boys wanted to spend this one together before we go off into the world, you know? Not that I don't love my family too, but..."
"But you value friendship more than anything," Lily said, nodding. "I've noticed it this year in the way you interact with your friends. It's really...sweet." She smiled at him for a second before she realized what she said and looked away quickly. James couldn't tell if the redness he saw in her face was a blush, or just from the cold.
They stood awkwardly, watching the bright moon hang in the sky, illuminating the grounds. Behind him, James vaguely heard Sirius barking (almost literally) orders at his friends regarding the snowman army, instructions and criticisms for how the soldiers could be more perfect. He was half-surprised they hadn't been yelled at yet, but hopefully the main doors to the castle were still unlocked.
"I love the night sky," Lily said breathlessly. "I could watch it for hours, even in these temperatures. The lunar phases, and how sometimes it's reddish when it's on the horizon...and I think Astronomy piqued my interest in stars."
James chuckled a little. "You know, the only constellation I can spot without really looking is Canis Major. You can guess why." Canis Major's brightest star was Sirius.
Lily laughed. It sounded beautiful to him, like some strangely appealing musical track that he wanted to put on repeat for the rest of his life. Yes, that would be quite all right. He wasn't really listening to anything else, just her little laugh that he hoped to Merlin no one would ever hear besides him, because he didn't want to share it with anyone else, ever.
A second later, though, her tiny laugh turned into a cough, and she shivered violently. All this time, James had hardly noticed the cold - he was so used to it, going out with Moony and Padfoot and Wormtail at all times of the year, hot and cold. But now, he became fully aware that his appendages were freezing to the bone and both his and Lily's breath was showing. How many hours had they been out here?
"Are you all right?" he said hurriedly, turning his back on the moon to face her completely. He realized how she really looked: her entire face was pink and a little pale, and she wasn't even wearing a cloak.
"Yes, yes, I'm fine," she said, waving him off. "Don't worry, I don't mind the cold."
"Not minding the cold is one thing, but freezing to death is another. Come on, Lily, let's go inside –"
"James, really, it's okay, I can last a little longer -"
"But you're hardly wearing any winter clothes! Really you should see yourself, you look horrible." He realized what he said. "Er, I mean -"
She had a mock-offended look on her face before she gave in and started giggling teasingly.
"Here, at least take my cloak -" he said, moving to open the silver fastenings before she interrupted him.
"That's okay," she stressed, "I really don't need -"
"No, I insist -"
Lily sighed, half-exasperated and half-humoring. "It's okay. But if it means that much to you, let's go inside, okay?"
He nodded, compromising, and offered out his hand. When she raised an eyebrow, he smirked again. "Don't want to lose each other in the snowman forest, do we?"
She giggled, and they started off through a foot and a half of snow toward the castle doors. On the way past the miniature army of snowmen, Sirius's voice stopped them.
"Hey, wa - wait!" he shouted in their direction. "What about the men?"
"Give 'em a peptalk while I'm gone, will you?" James called over his shoulder. Sirius exclaimed in protest, to which James in return responded, "They'll be there tomorrow!" and he and Lily walked back up the steps and pushed the luckily unlocked castle doors open.
They were met with a burst of heat and light, as well as the loud chatter of many voices coming out of the Great Hall.
"I guess it's dinner, I - oh!" Lily said, remembering something. "The feast!" Considering how many students went home for the holidays, there was always a huge feast for all the school the day before the Hogwarts Express brought them back to London.
"Oh yeah," James said stupidly, staring in the direction of the Great Hall. However, neither of them moved from their spot, until Lily spoke again.
"I...don't really want to go," she said quietly. James was vaguely aware that their arms were still linked. She was still freezing.
Without anything good to say, he said, "Let's go to the kitchens."
She raised another eyebrow at him cutely. "What, for a romantic Christmas candlelit dinner?" His eyes widened a little before she said, "I'm kidding!"
He rolled his eyes, smiling. "Because you're freezing, and there's a big fire there with all the food you could ever imagine. Don't tell me you haven't been there before."
Instead of scolding him like he thought she would, Lily laughed again. "Of course I have. All right, let's go, then." He was surprised to see her accept so quickly, but he hid it as well as he could and gestured towards the hallway leading to the Hufflepuff common room and the nearby kitchens.
They walked down a torchlit hallway until they met with the giant painting of fruit. James reached up a hand to tickle the pear and led Lily inside.
As usual, House-elves sprinted up to them asking for requests and orders. Glancing at each other, they each asked for a large mug of hot chocolate to warm them up before they went to sit by the huge roaring fireplace.
Lily sat in the chair next to his, crossing her legs and breathing out, relishing in the warmth of the fire. James could see the flame in her eyes, dancing and crackling around the green like the wind was blowing it, anywhere and everywhere, but it just wouldn't let go of the logs it was licking at the base.
He knew he had to say something, but his heart was beating too hard and his hair was wet from the snow. Nervously, he tried to clean his glasses on his shirt and when he put them back on he recognized her dreamy expression, one she often had during class when the teacher was talking about something uninteresting. And he wondered what she was thinking...
Even more nervously, he ran his hand through his hair and cleared his throat, which brought her attention around to him. Her nose was still pink from the cold.
"So," she said kindly, "What do you usually do for Christmas? With your family?"
He didn't say anything, because she was looking at him with that patient expression and small, warm smile with tiny dimples on her rosy cheeks. He cleared his throat again. Idiot, he thought.
"I, uh...well," he said, wracking his brains for an answer. Why was it so hard to think when he was around her?
A house-elf trotted up holding a perfectly balanced platter, on which were two large mugs of steaming hot chocolate. Lily took one, and he followed suit, leaving the house-elf to bow low enough for its nose to touch the floor before it left.
James cleared his throat again. "Well, usually my mum makes a huge turkey even though there are really only four of us, and she has all the classic side dishes and then a huge chocolate pie for dessert..." He looked into the fire. "We open our presents around the fire and tell stories and basically just talk for hours." He heard her rustle and glanced over at her. She was taking a sip from her mug very thoughtfully.
She said, "Four of you? Do you have a sibling?"
He looked at her blankly before it clicked. "Oh! No," he laughed, "No, Sirius has been at my house for about two years now. He left his house two Christmases ago now, when he was sixteen. Hasn't seen anyone in his family besides his brother since then."
He looked at her, and realized she had an almost sad expression on. "I had no idea," she said. "I knew he didn't like his family - I knew that they were all Slytherins and that he felt detached from them - but I didn't know -" she broke off, lost for words.
James shook his head. "It's all right. It was hard on him at first, but he's better now." He took a sip of his hot chocolate, before he said urgently, "Don't tell him I told you this - I shouldn't have. I'm...sorry..." She put her hand on his arm, very comfortingly...her skin was still freezing...
"I won't," she said softly, looking straight into his eyes. "I promise."
They looked into each others eyes for some uncountable amount of time. He could see the fire in her eyes again, glimmering beneath her red eyelashes, a little crinkled as she smiled softly. Her skin was so pale under the pink of her cheeks...her lips were a deep pink, too...
He looked away and faked a cough, running his hand through his hair again.
"Well?" he heard her say, and chanced a glance back at her. She had a sort of teasing, playful smile on now. Her hair was long and wavy and framed her face to make her lips look even redder.
"Don't you want to know what I do for Christmas? You said you like to exchange stories, don't you?"
He grinned and leaned back. "Definitely. So, Lily, what do you do for Christmas?"
She moved a little closer to him in her chair, eagerness flowing out of her to exchange these stories. "Well, my dad buys the biggest turkey he can find, brings it home, and on Christmas Day the first thing my mum does is put it in the oven. She has all these sorts of spices and sauces that make it the more delicious than anything I've ever tasted at this school - which is saying something," she added with a laugh. "Then me and my sister Petunia wake up, run downstairs like little kids and wait for my mom to say we can open our presents. When she says we can, Tuney always carefully peels the paper off because she's more prim and proper than the flower she's named after, but me - I just like to rip it off as fast as I can..."
She was chattering so excitedly that he could hardly understand a word - but it didn't matter. Her musical voice was exaggerating some words and flying by others, laughing every few sentences, and at one point she almost spilled her hot chocolate on the arm of her chair. There was something inside him that was just warming at the sound of her voice, and he couldn't get enough of it.
"...And then we spend the day watching all these movies that we love - but I guess that's probably the only thing you can't relate to," she laughed again.
Half an hour later, their chocolate drinks were sitting half full and ice cold on a round table in front of them, talking about everything that came to mind and more. About Christmas, New Years, birthdays, and then somehow talking about Herbology and then the meaning of life.
"I don't think there's really a set answer to what anything is," Lily said distantly. "Love, family, succeeding and being happy...all that cliché but very true stuff, you know? Changing the world, if you would. But yeah, above all, love. I can't imagine anything more important than love."
James had been staring on and off into the fire for so long that even when he looked away he could see it dancing in his eyes - but there was just something so beautiful about it. He registered that Lily had stopped talking and knew what he would say immediately. "I agree," he said seriously. "And friends. Without friends, no one would get anywhere."
She smiled, sadly again. "Friends are important, I agree, but...it's not impossible to be someone successful and not have friends. And you can lose friends..." She swallowed and looked away.
"That shouldn't happen," he said, still watching the fire. "All my life, I've never found anything more important, and I just...don't think that that should happen," he said lamely.
She nodded. "You're right. It shouldn't. But it does."
An awkward silence fell between them for the first time that night. He had a vague idea he knew what was bothering her, but didn't have anything he could say to make it feel better. So he said, with his voice cracking a little, "I'm sorry."
She shook her head. "It's okay."
Behind them they could hear a few house elves working on cleaning up and tottering back and forth. One of the elves walked up to where James and Lily sat and asked them if they needed anything. They both shook their heads dully.
"You know," Lily said, looking at her lap. "This might sound a little... well..." She looked up, saw that he was looking at her, and snapped her gaze back down to her lap. "I just...I really admire your devotion to your friends. I don't think that I'm as close to anyone as you are with them. I have my friends, yeah, and I love them, but I don't know if they would do anything for me like yours would for you. I'm not even friends with my best friend anymore." She looked very tired.
She tried again, "You are that close with them, right? I -"
He cut her off so she wouldn't have to keep stuttering. "I would trust them with my life."
She looked up at him to stare into his eyes again. She looked so tragically sad; he had never before really considered how she might have felt about her friends. She had always just been Lily Evans to him, that pretty, funny, charming, adorable girl that he wanted so bad but had too much work to do as Head Girl and as a great student to even consider wanting to spend time at him. But now, now he was realizing that she wasn't just a perfect idol student with a sense of humor and pretty hair, she was an actual human with just as many feelings as he had, and now he realized that she was looking into his eyes the way he looked into hers.
Slowly, realizing how close they already were, he put his arms around her and she put his arms around his neck and despite the thick armrests of their chairs between them he could feel how cold her skin still was despite well over half an hour before a roaring fire in the depths of Hogwarts. She exhaled a long breath and rested her head on his shoulder.
"I love the holidays," was all she said, once again peaceful and cute and adorable.
He couldn't stop himself. "You could always stay at Hogwarts for Christmas," he said over her shoulder. "I'm sure McGonagall would let you. It's our last year and - and I -"
She heaved another sad sigh. "I miss my parents too much. I have to go home."
"Stay a few more days at Hogwarts and then leave by floo powder on Christmas."
She shook her head. "I can't. I miss my bed, I miss my home...I even sort of miss my sister."
Again, he couldn't stop himself. "But if you're there you'll miss me, too."
She giggled a little. "I suppose that's true," she said, not bothering to hide her feelings. "But I'll have another six months at Hogwarts. This is only two weeks with my parents."
"But you'll have to take the thestral carriages down, and you're already sick from the cold."
She tried to hide her sniffle. "I am not. I told you earlier, I don't mind the cold."
He pulled away a little to look at her. "But Hogwarts is warm, and you're still freezing from earlier. It's too soon to go back outside into the cold."
She laughed her musical laugh. "Who are you, my mother?" she joked, before adding, "Although no, you're not, because if you were I wouldn't see you until tomorrow."
"Your parents would understand if you wanted to say. Don't you want to study for N.E.W.T.s?"
She smiled, and pulled away from their half-hug. "I'll study at home if I have to. That's what trunks are for. Although I'm probably not going to - just as you aren't either," she teased.
"Lily," he said very seriously, looking into her eyes, "Stay with me at Hogwarts."
She stood up, shaking her head and grinning a little. He was charming her, he could tell, he just had to keep at it. Stepping a few steps back, she raised her finger as though she were going to yell at him, but instead she said:
"I really can't stay -"
He stood up, too. "But baby, it's cold outside."
She shook her head. "I've got to go away!"
"But baby, it's cold outside!"
"This evening has been -"
"Been hoping that you'd drop in -"
"So very nice..."
"I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice."
He took her hands in his, but she continued to shake her head with a teasing grin on her face.
"My mother will start to worry," she said.
"Beautiful, what's your hurry?"
"My father will be pacing the floor..."
"Listen to the fireplace roar..."
"So really I'd better scurry..."
"Beautiful, what's your hurry..."
"Well, maybe just a half a drink more!" she sang, picking a jug of hot chocolate from an offering house-elf to replace her cold drink.
"Put some music on while I pour..."
They looked straight into the others eyes. James realized how close they were standing.
"The students might think..." she hesitated.
"Baby, it's bad out there!" he stressed.
"Say - what's in this drink?"
"No cabs to be had out there..."
"I wish I knew how -"
"Your eyes are like starlight now..."
"To break this spell..."
"I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell."
"I ought to say no, no, no, sir!" she said indignantly.
"Mind if I move in closer?"
"At least I'm gonna say that I tried!"
"What's the sense in hurting my pride?"
"I really can't stay!"
"Baby don't hold out..."
"Ah, but -"
"It's cold outside!" they sang together.
Lily, looking at him suspiciously, gasped, realizing where they were, and turned straight around, heading out the door of the kitchens. House-elves tried to ask them for any last minute requests, but James waved them away as he followed her out. She was walking quickly away, still holding her new mug of hot chocolate.
It wasn't until they were on at least the second floor that Lily turned sharply around, her hair flying as she did so, and pointed her free finger out at him to reprimand him again for trying to convince her to do something she couldn't do.
"I simply must go!"
"But baby, it's cold outside!"
"The answer is no!"
"Ooh, baby, it's cold outside!"
"This welcome has been -" she began with a sloppy grin.
"I'm lucky that you dropped in..."
"So nice and warm," she finished, before realizing what was going on again, and she started walking.
"Look out the window at that storm!" he said, gesturing out a passing window where snow was falling, much heavier than it had been earlier.
"My sister will be suspicious!" she began almost running up the staircase.
"Gosh, your lips look delicious..."
"My father will be there at the door!"
"Waves upon a tropical shore..."
"My maiden aunt's mind is vicious!"
"Ooh, your lips are delicious..."
"Well - maybe just a half a drink more!"
"Never such a blizzard before."
Lily raised her mug to her lips but before she could drink, James plucked it out of her hands and placed it on a windowsill right next to him. He closed the distance between them with one small step - and she didn't appear physically able to move away.
"I've - got to go home," she said weakly.
"Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there!" Her skin was still ice cold.
"Say - lend me your comb!" she said, feeling her hair and all the tangles she had gotten outside.
"It's up to your knees out there!"
"You've really been grand -"
"I thrill when you touch my hand..."
He took her hands in his again.
"But don't you see..."
"How can you do this thing to me?" he said in a hurt voice.
"There's bound to be talk tomorrow!"
"Making my life long sorrow..." he said overdamatically.
"At least there will be plenty implied!"
"If you caught pneumonia and died!"
"I really can't stay -"
"Get over that old out -"
"Ahh, but it's-"
She stood her eyes looking deeply into his as they stood in this empty corridor with the snow whirling past them through the window; she looked like she was frozen on the spot and she felt like it too, so he slowly crept his arms around her again, hugging her as tightly and close as he possibly could while she seemed to be trying to speak.
Her voice was cracking and she was trying to say something and her arms were around him too and before she could say anything he spontaneously stopped hugging her and kissed her full on the lips.
He had no idea how long they stood there, arms around each other and kissing next to a window and a mug of hot chocolate, but it probably looked a little odd. But that didn't matter, nothing mattered, because it was almost Christmas and he was kissing Lily Evans and there was an army of snowmen outside to stop any evil attacking Hogwarts for the entire two week break.
When they pulled away, Lily said quietly, breathlessly, "I'm going home. I must."
He nodded, suddenly okay with it. Because no matter what, she would come back in two weeks and the would spend the rest of their lives together whether anyone else liked it or not.
"You're still cold," he murmured.
She looked out the window at the snow, and then back at him and smiled. "Merry Christmas, she whispered, and kissed him again.
It wasn't much, but it was enough.
But still...there's nothing wrong with wanting more, right?
Author's Note: So...I'm insanely proud of this and it's probably not nearly as good as I feel like it is right now but irregardless, I love you if you read the entire thing and if you appreciate this ship as much as I do and how this song is absolutely PERFECT for them no matter what anyone says. So thank you so much if you read it and all else I can say is check out Magical Musicals if you're interested and of course A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! :D