Author's Notes: Written for no heroes allowed's Secret Santa Competition on the HPFC forum, and thank you to Macbeth Mouse for help coming up with the idea.
Merry (slightly belated) Christmas/Happy other winter holiday to MOLLY THE MONSTER! I hope I did all right, and that you enjoy this.
"I'm not going," James said flatly.
"Come on!" groaned Sirius. "It's our last year! You're not going to miss a Christmas party for the last Christmas the four of us have together," he put great emphasis on the words, "just because you're too busy moping… are you?"
James did not answer, only lay back on his bed and stared stubbornly at the ceiling.
"What if I told you Lily Evans was going to be there?" Sirius suggested.
"And I should care about that because?" James gave his friend a sour look.
He snorted softly. "Oh yeah, of course you wouldn't care that Evans is going to be at the party. Just because you've been trying to get her attention since first year is no reason to care that she's at a party. Come on…" Sirius crossed his arms, lolling against the door. "She's even broken up with Snivillus, you know. You could go after her now. Besides, Prongs," he added, "it's about time you got laid."
"Charming," Remus said dryly. "You have such a delicate way of saying these things."
"Well, it's true!"
"Shut up, Padfoot," Remus and James said at the same time.
Sirius put his hands up in mock defeat. "All right, all right, I'll shut up…" he said. "Honestly, though, mate, go down and talk to her. Really, just going down to the common room for a few minutes won't hurt, will it? She might even talk back if you make a special effort to act mature."
"You're not helping, Sirius," Remus told him.
James sighed. "If I go down to the party and talk to Evans will you three be happy?"
"Yes," Sirius said immediately, and Remus nodded.
"Fine, then," snapped James. He stood and glanced in the mirror, running his hand through his hair almost automatically. "How do I look?"
"Like a complete prat, messing up your hair that way," Sirius said immediately. "Stop worrying and just come downstairs and enjoy yourself."
James nodded, then pushed past his friends and made his way down to the common room.
He was immediately greeted by the cheerful noise and clamour that accompanied any party, especially those thrown in Gryffindor tower. For a second, a smile crawled onto his face, but then it slipped off again when he saw Lily sitting alone in the corner, curled in one of the overstuffed armchairs with her nose in a book.
James turned around and glared at his friends. "I don't–"
"Shut up, Prongs," Sirius said cheerfully. "Go talk to her."
He let out an impatient huff, then went over to where she was sitting. "Hello, Evans."
Lily looked up from her book and she frowned. "Oh. It's you. What do you want?"
He shrugged, trying to keep a smooth smile on his face. "You looked lonely… I thought you might like some company."
"Well, I wasn't, particularly, but…" She shut her book and laid it aside, looking at James expectantly.
He felt his mouth go dry. This was a lot more civil conversation than he was used to having with Lily Evans at one time. "So, um… cold out, isn't it?" As soon as the words left his mouth, he wanted to grab them and pull them back. What in the name of Merlin was possessing him to talk about the weather?
"Not really," said Lily. "I went out for a walk today and it wasn't that bad."
"Oh." James felt his face go red. "Um. Right. You're right. Well…" He glanced around desperately for something that he could talk about without making an idiot of himself and his eyes landed on a platter of Christmas cookies and a jug of apple cider. "Fancy something to eat?"
Lily glanced over, then smiled a little. "Yes, actually, some cookies would be nice."
James sighed with relief, and stood up, pushing several first-years out of the way to get at the platter of cookies, then returning to their armchairs and handing it to Lily. She smiled.
Lily plucked a cookie from the platter and chewed on it, also glancing around a little awkwardly, as though she too was looking for something to talk about. She looked up, then frowned a little. "James?"
"That mistletoe wasn't there before, was it?"
James glanced up. Indeed, over their heads, there was a small clump of spiky leaves and red berries. He turned around sharply, and saw Sirius, Remus, and Peter watching him from the other side of the room. Sirius gave him a rakish grin and a thumbs up.
James turned back to Lily.
"Um… I don't know," he said, sounding as innocent as he could. "But, you know, it's really bad luck to sit under mistletoe and not–"
Lily rolled her eyes and grinned, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Yeah, I get it, Potter." Then, moving surprisingly quickly, she leaned forward and kissed him.
James' eyes almost popped out of his head. He made a soft "Mmph!" noise and went stiff automatically, but Lily didn't pull away. She put her arms gently around his neck and deepened the kiss, pressing her body against his.
At last, she pulled away, an impish smile playing around her lips. James stared at her with equal parts gratitude and confusion.
"What?" she asked.
"Well…" For once in his life, James found himself lost for words. It was most disconcerting, seeing as how he had always prided himself on eloquence and wit. "You've… never kissed me before."
"I know that, Potter."
"And… er… I always rather thought you didn't like me…"
Lily shook her head. "I didn't like the arrogant toerag who hung boys upside down by their ankles just because they weren't good at Quidditch. So… as long as you think you can be a decent human being, I think that we can… you know…" She shrugged again.
James was grinning like an idiot. He knew it – he knew how ridiculous he must look, sitting there across from Lily Evans with a smile splitting his face practically in half. And he didn't care.
"Yeah," he said, "I can be a decent human being… on one condition."
"That you kiss me some more."
Lily gave him a look, then rolled her eyes.
"Oh, all right," she said, and kissed him again.