This is my first Harry Potter fanfic ever, and I'm ridiculously excited. =P So tell me if I screwed up, or if it's somewhat okay! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: DOn't owN HP, doN'T oWn Hershey's. =P
"Hey Prongs, feeling up for a prank?" Sirius asked, bounding into the dormitory and leaping onto James' bed. James yelled in protest, falling off the other side and scattering parchment everywhere. Peter watched with wide eyes as James fell on his back and lay there, staring at the ceiling.
Remus simply unwrapped another chocolate and plopped it in his mouth, not looking up from his book. He was too used to James and Sirius by now to be alarmed by their antics. In Peter's eyes, however, the two never seemed to lose their hero polish.
Slowly, James stood up, adjusting his glasses and sweeping up all the parchments from where they had flown. Sirius grinned at him, sprawled across the bed and deliberately crinkling two of James' parchments as he did so. "Really, Padfoot?" James asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
Sirius rolled off the bed, landing on his feet and continuing to bounce around the room. "Prongs, I found out this amazing spell this morning," Sirius announced, completely disregarding James' annoyance. "It makes the person you cast it on have to obey your every order, or else they're violently sick all over the place!" he said gleefully, looking all too excited at the prospect.
"Lovely," Remus murmured his eyes never leaving his page as he tossed the foil from his last candy into the wastebasket. He plucked another from the bag beside him and began to unwrap it.
James, however, looked interested. "Really, Padfoot? Where'd you learn this?" James asked, narrowing his eyes mockingly at his friend. "You didn't actually… go into the library?" He gasped, pretending to fall backward on his bed in shock.
"No, I did not!" Sirius retorted, actually shuddering at the idea. "That's an evil place to waste time in. I overheard it from some sixth year Ravenclaw girl who wants this chap to ask her out- vengeful sort of girl," Sirius reflected. "But I like the idea, and I heard her telling her friend the words."
"Well?" James prompted. "What are they?"
"Pareo Mandatum," Sirius recited. "Nifty, eh? I was thinking to use it on Snivellus Snape."
A troubled look flashed across James' face, and his grin lessened. "Does it have to be Snape?" he asked, somewhat awkwardly. James avoided Sirius' eyes, instead gazing avidly at the parchments in front of him.
Sirius looked shocked. "Who else but Snape, Prongs?" he wanted to know. "Why are you so hesitant about pranking old Snivelly all of a sudden? You've never been like this before, mate." Sirius scrutinized his friend's face. James carefully kept his expression blank, hoping that Sirius wouldn't guess the truth.
"Well, we've already targeted him so many times, right? It's getting a bit old, since we always thrash him," James lied, picking up his quill and starting to scratch away on his parchment once more. "Maybe we should find someone else to use this one on."
Sirius stared at him in disbelief, wondering if the castle was going to start falling down around their heads. "The idea of an arch nemesis is that you keep targeting them over again, Prongs," Sirius reminded him slowly.
"Well…" James started to say. He couldn't think of anything though, and simply fell silent.
"It's because of Lily, isn't it Prongs?"
James' head whipped up, and he stared at Remus. "Moony!" he whined. "Padfoot wasn't going to figure it out!"
Remus shrugged, tossing yet another chocolate in his mouth. "He deserves to know," he reasoned. "And Prongs, it was kind of obvious."
James fell forward into his pillow, partly because he was a hopeless love case and partly to avoid Sirius' eyes.
"You're ruining yourself over that girl, Prongs," Sirius lectured, sounding disappointed. "Just get over it already! It's been seven bloody years!"
"I can't, okay?" James yelled back, his voice muffled by his pillow. The mixed anger and misery in his voice stopped Sirius' rant in its tracks. "Padfoot, I can't get over her. It's impossible."
The dormitory fell completely silent, everyone's eyes on James. Remus sat with his book in one hand and a chocolate poised halfway to his mouth in the other, looking sympathetically at his friend.
"I think I'm in love with her."
Sirius winced at the smallness of James' voice. He sounded utterly vulnerable, a total one-sixty from his normal persona. "Prongs, if you really feel that way then you should tell the girl," Remus said, his words the sole source of calmness in the room.
James laughed harshly, sitting up and raising an eyebrow at Remus. "Yeah, it's not like I've tried to for seven years and had her reject me with a new insult each time," he replied sarcastically.
"You didn't try to tell her you loved her, you asked her out," Peter pointed out, drawing their eyes to him. James had almost forgotten he was still in the room to begin with.
"Wormtail's got a point there," Sirius observed.
James threw up his hands in frustration. "If she tries to hex me when I ask her out, how do you think she would react if I told her I loved her?" he demanded.
"Well, I don't know, since you've never done it before," Remus replied reasonably. He popped another chocolate in his mouth.
"What are those things you've been munching on all day, Moony?" Sirius asked finally, staring as Remus reached into his bag for another one.
"These?" Remus held up the candy. He shrugged. "It's a type of muggle sweet a girl in my arithmancy class showed me," he explained. "They're called Hershey's kisses, and they're deliciously addictive."
"Moony, you're already addicted to chocolate in general," James pointed out, momentarily sidetracked by this.
Remus smiled at his friends, reaching into the bag again. "Try them and I swear you'll be hooked," he warned them. Remus stood up and distributed a handful to each boy, watching in amusement as they started to unwrap the candies.
Predictably, Sirius was the first to eat it. "Wow, these are good," he remarked through the chocolate in his mouth. "Muggle candy is improving. Although I am too hungry right now, and these are too small to fill my stomach."
Peter nodded in agreement. He had already stuffed three into his mouth, and was blissfully enjoying the chocolatey taste. "It's time for lunch now anyway," Peter realized. "Shall we head down?"
"Merlin, yes!" Sirius exclaimed. "Let's go already- what are we waiting for?"
James slipped his handful of candy into his bag. You never knew when they would need to borrow a kiss or two, he thought wryly.
"There's Evans, Prongs."
"I see her, Wormtail, there's no need to announce it to the world."
James watched as Lily crossed the great hall with her friends, rosy-cheeked from the cold air and laughing at a joke one of the girls had told. His heart panged slightly, and James quickly looked back down at his empty plate.
Lily had come in late, almost at the end of lunch. Most of the students had already left and a lot of the food was cleared, but James had dawdled in eating his food in order to catch a glimpse of Lily. It was slightly pathetic, but James was long past caring.
"You are so whipped, mate," Sirius informed him, looking slightly amused. "You should see the expression on your face!"
James glared at him. "Leave me alone, Padfoot," he mumbled, intently studying the crumbs still left on his plate. "I think I should just give up on Lily."
The other three marauders stopped dead, staring at James with incredulous expressions. "Sorry, there must be something wrong with my ears," Remus remarked calmly. "I could have sworn I heard Prongs say he was giving up on Lily Evans, the girl he's pursued for seven years straight without faltering."
"Stop it," James snapped. "It's hard, okay? You know how I feel about her. But she's never said yes before, and I doubt she ever will." James looked up wistfully at Lily for a moment. "You know, I'd probably be saving myself a lot of wasted trouble if I just stopped now."
Sirius stood up abruptly, drawing some confused looks from other students. He didn't pay any attention to them, his eyes locked on James. "Are you telling me you're just going to desert everything you've worked for with her?" Sirius demanded. "She doesn't even hate you, she hasn't sworn at you in three weeks! That's improvement!"
James shook his head sadly. "She's never going to say yes to me, Padfoot," he replied.
Sirius looked torn- he was having an intense internal struggle here. One part of him was secretly glad James was giving up on Lily, so he could have more heart in their pranks and guy time. But on the other hand, Sirius knew that James would never be able to fully let go of Lily. He couldn't just let his best friend wallow like this.
It was time for Sirius to step in.
"Moony, Wormtail, come with me," Sirius announced. Obediently, said marauders stood up, following Sirius out of the great hall.
James sprang up from the bench, chasing after his friends as they strode quickly away. "Padfoot? Moony? Wormtail? Where are you going?" James called after them, hurrying to catch up.
The trio didn't slow down until they were out of the great hall. Then, Sirius spun around and pointed his wand at James. James' eyes widened, and his hand shot for his wand, but Sirius had already shouted, "Immobulus!"
Instantly, James was frozen mid-step.
Sirius grinned at his friend. "Sorry, mate, but I'm saving you from yourself here," he informed James. "Now, Pareo mandatum!"
James' eyes glazed for a moment, then shook his head and broke out of the Immobulus spell. "Bloody hell Padfoot, what was that for?" James demanded angrily.
"For this," Sirius replied calmly, pocketing his wand. "James Potter, I order you to go give Lily Evans a kiss."
James blanched, all color draining from his face. "Sirius," he croaked, suddenly panicking. "What did you just do?"
"I already told you. I'm saving you from your own idiocy," Sirius retorted. "Give up on Lily indeed. Rubbish." He turned and headed back up towards Gryffindor tower. "Come on boys, let's go back to the common room. Good luck, Prongsie!" And with that, the other three marauders sprinted away, leaving James standing there with horror sinking into his stomach.
Lily was going to hate him even more if he went up in front of her friends and kissed her. But at the same time, James could already feel the sickness stirring in the pit of his stomach. He had to follow the order, or he would be vomiting all over the place.
That was a lovely thought.
"Think, James, think," James muttered to himself, trying to get his brain to work better. He had to come up with a way to thwart Sirius' orders, or his somewhat-half-decent relationship with Lily would be instantly destroyed.
That's when he had the most brilliant idea he had ever had the good fortune to come up with. James made a mental note to thank Moony profusely when this whole thing was over with, took a deep breath, and strode back into the great hall. His stomach lurched painfully again, and James winced, feeling a drop of sweat creep down his temple. He already felt horrible, and it had only been five minutes into the spell. He didn't want to think about what might happen if he prolonged the order any longer. With this incentive in mind, James prayed for a bit of luck and steered himself in Lily's direction, pulling something out of his bag as he did so.
"Hi Evans, hi girls," James said as casually as he could as he walked up. James hoped they would think him leaning on their table a smooth action on his part, and not the attempt to steady himself that it really was.
"Hi James," the girls all greeted him, their smiles wide and bright as they leaned towards him and twirled their hair.
All of the girls except for Lily, that was. She simply raised an eyebrow at him. "You look like you're about to be sick, Potter," she observed bluntly.
And that he did. James' normally sun-bronzed skin was unnaturally pale, excepting his rosy cheeks, and his bright hazel eyes seemed slightly dizzy and feverish behind his glasses. Lily noted with some interest that Potter's hair was also lying much flatter than usual, as if it felt too weak to spike up in its normal windblown fashion.
And then there was the fact that he was practically holding himself up by leaning on their table. Lily briefly mused that he might tip it over and fall down- that could prove interesting.
"Evans, I need to give you something," James rushed out quickly. He gritted his teeth together in an attempt to still his nausea. It appeared that Sirius had been spending some considerable effort on improving his spellwork. James felt like he was about to keel over.
That would be embarrassing- right in front of Evans, too.
Lily gave James a wary look. "What is it now, Potter?" she asked carefully. Lily prepared herself mentally for Potter's newest surprise. She dearly hoped that it wasn't something actually sweet and thoughtful that would make her dratted emotions rise up in rebellion. Lily couldn't ever bear to be one upped, and finally giving in to Potter after four years of decisive 'no's would be the worst comeuppance of all.
James swallowed back the bile rising in his throat, praying he wasn't about to spew all over the girl he loved. "Here," he told her shortly, instantly snapping his mouth shut again to prevent himself from vomiting. James held out the small object, his eyes fixed on Lily's face to watch her reaction.
"What is that?" Lily asked, staring at the tiny, tinfoil wrapped sweet in James' open palm. Her friends fell silent, all looking at James in mild confusion. He knew that the other girls had a right to be confused- all of them were pureblood or wizard-raised. But Lily was muggleborn, and should have been able to recognize the sweet. Moony had said they were very common in the muggle world, after all.
James raised an eyebrow at her, bravely shoving aside his nausea to try and recover a shred of his Potter wit. "It's a chocolate," he replied. "I thought that was mildly obvious, Evans."
"But…" Lily struggled to collect her thoughts for a moment, wondering how in the world James had gotten his hands on one of the chocolate drops. It was so ordinary, so mundane, and simply out of place in the middle of this great magical school, in the hand of this wizard boy. "It's a muggle candy," Lily finally finished. "How do you even know about these?"
James shrugged. "Moony likes them. He was gorging on them in our dormitory this morning-" James cut off mid-sentence, interrupted by the sickening sensation in his middle. Sirius was going to die, as quickly and painfully as possible. James would see to that. "But that's not the point, Evans," James continued hurriedly, trying not to wince at the pain twisting his innards. "Just take the candy."
"Evans. Please," James ground out, gritting his teeth with the effort not to vomit all over Lily and her friends.
Lily stared at him in amazement. Here he was, the great James Potter, king of the fourth years and star chaser of the Gryffindor quidditch team, reduced to begging her to accept a tiny candy. What was going to happen next- Snape handing out free butterbeer in class? Hagrid insulting Dumbledore? The castle imploding?
That was it. The spell was too strong- James felt like he was going to die if he fought it any longer. He reached over and pressed the candy into Lily's palm, not even pausing to enjoy the touch of his hand briefly in hers. "Got to go, bye Evans," he managed to mutter. He clapped a hand over his mouth and sprinted out of the great hall with all of the speed he could muster up at the present.
James needed to find a toilet- fast.
Lily stared after him, wondering what fresh hell Potter was up to now.
"What is that, Lily?" one of the girls asked tentatively, nudging her shoulder and pointing at her closed hand.
Lily's gaze fell to her hand. She slowly opened her fingers, which James had hurriedly closed around the candy, and stared curiously down at his odd present. Did James even recognize the significance of the sweet? Or was he just trying to disarm her by bringing her gifts?
"Lily?" another girl prompted gently.
Lily closed her fingers back around the candy, still feeling James' strong hand enclosing her own ink spattered fingers. "It's a kiss," she said aloud. Lily's voice sounded small and vaguely surprised, as if she wasn't aware she was even speaking. "Potter gave me a kiss."
"Sirius Black, you are going to hell, and I will be the one sending you there!"
Sirius was lounging on his bed, unperturbed by James' angry outburst or the vicious slam of the door as he entered the dormitory. "I see you're feeling better, mate," he commented. "So you kissed Evans?"
"No, I did not," James snapped, glaring at his friend. "I found a way around your bloody spell. I'm not stupid, Padfoot, you should know that by now."
Now Sirius was interested. "You found a loophole in the spell?" he asked eagerly. "But I said you had to give Evans a kiss! How much clearer can you get?"
"Clearer," James replied grimly. "But if you try that again I will personally string you up on the goalposts by your intestines and shoot quaffles at your stupid head. And you know how good I am at precision shooting. It wouldn't be too hard anyway, what with your gigantic head as a target, Padfoot."
"Have you been learning your threats from Evans, Prongs?" Sirius teased. "That was almost as good as the ones she comes up with for you!"
James sank down on his bed, hands over his eyes. Thankfully, as soon as he ran out of the great hall, the spell-induced sickness had halted. Now he just felt weary, tired of Sirius' cheery banter when all he wanted to do was curl up and sleep. Fighting Sirius' spell had been draining, and James was seriously fed up with his best friend right now. "Padfoot, just please stop messing with me about Lily," James pleaded. His voice was so quiet and defeated that even Sirius grew grave at the sound. "It's hopeless. She'll never even tolerate me for Merlin's sake. I was right at lunch, you know. I should just give up," James murmured. He flopped down on his back and stared listlessly at the crimson canopy above him. Silence reigned between the two as Sirius frantically scrambled for a way to give his friend some hope.
"Prongs… don't give up," Sirius finally said, trying to sound firm. "Just hang on a little longer, all right mate? Evans will realize what she's been missing out on, and then she won't be able to keep away from you," he promised.
James laughed shortly, no real mirth present in the sound. "After seven years of decisive hatred towards me, you think she'll suddenly change her mind?" he asked simply.
Sirius winced at the emptiness in James' voice. He wasn't bitter, wasn't angry… just empty. "Yes," Sirius replied, wishing that his assurances didn't sound so weak.
James smiled vaguely, pulling his pillow over his head and pressing his face into it. "I'm glad at least one of us is confident about that," he mumbled, his words muffled by the pillow. "G'night, Padfoot."
"G'night Prongs," Sirius replied softly. He sat quietly on his bed and watched as James fell asleep. "You'll get your girl, I promise," Sirius continued, whispering into the heavy silence. "You'll get Evans, Prongs."
"Love you, Lily," James murmured.
Sirius sprang up off the bed. That was it. He had to do something. Sirius only paused to grab his wand off the dresser before hurrying out of the dormitory.
Behind him, James slept on in peace, completely unaware of the drastic events that would follow his friend's actions.
Sirius hurried through the halls, fingering the smooth wood of his wand as he nodded to a few boys he knew and smiled at a couple girls. Frankly, he had no idea how James had twisted his spell around so he could get away with not kissing Evans and still regaining his health. Sirius was determined to find that out eventually, but it wasn't his greatest concern at the present.
He had to find Lily.
The first place that Sirius checked was a place he himself rarely entered, but knew was practically Lily's second dormitory. The librarian's eyes practically fell out of her head as Sirius Black strolled in. He was perfectly casual and nonchalant, as if he was a frequent visitor of her beloved books. Sirius flashed the old lady a smile, then continued on to scope out the room for any sign of Lily.
After a few minutes of searching shelves and scanning the study tables (he interrupted at least three couples who seemed loads more intent on each other than on the books) Sirius concluded Lily was not in the room.
"I actually set foot in the library," he muttered to himself as he quickly exited the place. "The last time I went in there was on a forced tour in first year. I even made Prongs go in there for the books when we became bloody animagi. And now my streak is broken, thanks to Lily Evans."
Sirius continued to mumble under his breath as he stepped out of the castle and started crossing the grounds. He was searching for a particular tree by the lake, one that Prongs always made them sit by so he had a view of the object of his affections. Because of Prongs' obsession, Sirius knew exactly where Lily was usually bound to be on a normal afternoon- either in the library, common room, or under this tree. Since the other two options had been eliminated, Sirius was betting his galleons on this spot.
Much to his relief, only moments later Sirius spotted Lily's book bag propped against the trunk of the tree. He hurried up, his fast walk turning into a jog as he made his way towards Lily.
Lily herself was not paying any attention to her surroundings. She was too busy studying the chocolate kiss in her hand. It seemed to mock her, with it's shiny silver foil and mysterious purpose. Why had James shown up looking so deathly ill- what confused Lily was that he had been in perfect health less than ten minutes before- and literally begged her to take the candy? And then he ran away as if fleeing for his life?
She didn't know why. And it bothered her.
It bothered her a lot.
Why did Potter insist on confusing her like this? He made her mind race in circles with his very presence- he always had, however much Lily denied it. To be perfectly honest, Potter's every prank and trick and clever remark amused her to some extent. They irritated her, exasperated her, made her scream at him in annoyance! But however much she tried not to, they also always provoked a smile, whether it was hidden under a hand at the moment of the crime, or even weeks later alone in her dormitory.
This fact, of course, she hid from Potter and his band of Marauders with a fierce intensity. Lily could never let Potter know that she thought him clever, and funny, and handsome, and brave. She could never let him know she secretly thought so highly of him, when she outwardly showed nothing but disdain towards his every action.
Lily could never let that idiotic, arrogant, confusingly perfect boy know she kinda might maybe sorta…
Lily nearly jumped out of her skin. "James?" she gasped, the name flying automatically out of her mouth as she whirled around.
But it was Sirius who stood there, a triumphant look on his face as he smirked at Lily. "Oh, so you're on a first name basis now?" he asked wickedly, a mischievous light sparking in his eyes. "I'm sure Prongsie would love to hear you gasp out his name like that, Lilykins."
She wanted to curl up and die right there.
"Sirius, please," she mumbled, turning away to hide her blushing cheeks.
"I know you like him, Evans," Sirius said, his voice suddenly devoid of all teasing. Lily kept silent, mortified that of all people, Sirius Black had been the one to discover her secret. "You fancy Prongs," Sirius continued, his suspicions confirmed by her embarrassed silence, "and yet, you continue to shoot him down, every bloody time he asks you out. Why?"
Lily fidgeted with her fingers, gently smoothing the little paper tail of the kiss James had given her. "I can't," she whispered, not even bothering to deny it anymore. "He's James, and I'm Lily. Pureblood and muggleborn. Rebellious trickster and model student. We're fire and ice, and I can't breach that gap." Lily sniffed slightly, only a little surprised by the tears springing to her eyes. She rapidly blinked them away, taking a step forward and pretending to look out on the lake instead.
Sirius paused, momentarily thrown by the depth of Lily's worry. He had expected some rant about how she didn't fancy Prongs and he was a total twit, followed by an abrupt confession that she actually did love him and was itching to snog his brains out. He definitely hadn't expected this intense outburst.
Then again, he should have expected it. Lily wasn't shallow in the vaguest sense of the word- and suddenly, after seven years of not completely understanding, Sirius finally realized why Prongs was so crazy about her.
"Well, Prongs wouldn't make you do it by yourself," he said softly, staring at Lily's back as she gazed out over the lake. "He would help you bridge that gap you're so worried about, Evans. You know he would."
"After I've crushed his hopes under my heels so many times?" Lily asked, a twisted half smile sliding on her face as she turned to face Sirius. "After I've laughed in his face, insulted him to no end, screamed at him to get out of my life?" Lily barely noticed the single tear slipping down her nose, she was so caught up in memories. She had been horrible to James, and he probably hated her. She couldn't even blame anyone for it, either- this had been completely her own doing.
Sirius watched her carefully, silently praying she wasn't going to start bawling. Waterworks weren't typically Evans' style, but then again, neither was professing hidden love for James Potter. "Lily," he said quietly, "why don't you just go tell him everything you've told me? Prongs would underst-"
"No!" Lily's eyes were slightly wild as she violently shook her head. "I can't let him know, I just have to deal with my stupidity," she mumbled.
"Lily, you're being illogical now," Sirius reprimanded her sternly. Well, this was quite a switch of positions. Usually it was Lily chastising Sirius for his lack of reason.
Sirius felt somewhat powerful.
"I'm being illogical?" Lily practically shrieked. "The bloody world is being illogical!"
"And now you're getting hysterical," Sirius observed calmly. "I think you should calm down."
Surprisingly, Lily listened. All of the fire went out of her, and she visibly deflated. "Whatever, Sirius," she muttered, bending down to pick up her book bag. "I'm out of here."
"So you're not going to tell Prongs you love him?" Sirius asked wearily. Why were these two so damn difficult?
"No," Lily replied firmly. "And if you say anything to him, I'm passionately denying it."
"Hmm." Sirius went quiet, slowly pulling his wand from his pocket. "You're sure?" he asked, buying time as he mentally picked through his arsenal of spells for the right ones to use to keep Lily still.
"Nothing could change my- hey, what are you doing?" Lily had looked up, only to find Sirius' wand pointed straight at her.
"Sorry Lily. I'm just performing my duty as Prongs' best mate," Sirius informed her. "Petrificus totalus!"
Lily went rigid, falling back against the tree. Her eyes bore into Sirius' with an intense fury. Oh, she was going to murder him!
Sirius smiled at her, ignoring the death threats she was sending him via her fierce glaring. "You'll thank me for this later, Lily," he promised her. "Attentivo!" Lily's eyes glazed slightly, and she focused solely on Sirius.
Sirius cleared his throat, averting his eyes from Lily's blank gaze. "Well, this is awkward," he murmured, checking to make sure no one was watching. "Anyway… ahem, uh, Pareo Mandatum," he continued, flicking his wand again. Lily twitched slightly, her eyes blinking slowly in response to the magic. Quickly, Sirius performed the counter curse to the body bind and attention spells, freeing Lily to cross her arms and glare at him.
"What the hell is your problem?" Lily demanded, obviously severely annoyed by Sirius' actions. "You don't just go around putting full body binds on people, Sirius. I'm a prefect! I could-"
Sirius ignored her. "Tell me if you hear me," he interrupted.
"I hear you," Lily said automatically. She blinked. "I'm not deaf, you idiot. Of course I can hear you. And don't interrupt me when I'm talking to-"
Sirius grinned. "Throw that pebble into the lake," he instructed her casually, watching in interest as she glared at him.
"Have you gone insane? What is wrong with you today, Sirius? I'm not going to jump at your every whim," Lily retorted crossly.
Sirius waited a moment for the effects of the spell to settle in.
Seconds later, Lily had doubled over, one hand clutching her stomach and the other clapped over her mouth. "Sirius!" she moaned, looking faintly green. "What. Did. You. Do?"
Sirius simply kept grinning. "Do what I told you and you'll be fine again," he suggested, far too happily for Lily's taste.
She resisted for a moment, trying to fight the urge to vomit up her lunch. Then, she couldn't take it anymore, and grabbed the damn pebble. Lurching ungracefully upwards once more, Lily tossed the tiny rock into the lake.
Instantly, the pain in her stomach evaporated, and she felt safe to take her hand off her mouth. As soon as she felt normal again, she was grabbing the collar of Sirius' shirt and glaring up into his amused face. "What did you do?" she growled.
Sirius slipped easily out of Lily's grasp, still grinning. "I'm helping you out," he replied. "I cast this nifty little spell where you have to follow my orders, or you get hit with the urge to upchuck your intestines. I'll reverse it when I'm done, I promise." Sirius' excited voice grated on Lily's ears as she gradually began to guess his motives behind the spell. "So I bet you can guess what my next order will be, Lilykins." Sirius' eyes danced with glee.
Lily shrank back in horror. "Don't, please Sirius, I don't want James to know I-" she began.
"I love how you suddenly start calling him James," Sirius informed her cheerfully, interrupting her protests. "It's refreshing, after so many years of surnames and insults. Now off you go, Miss Evans! I order you to go give Prongsies a kiss! He's in our dormitory!"
And with that, Sirius sprinted away, looking immensely satisfied with himself.
Lily's stomach sank into her toes at the very thought of carrying out Sirius' order. However, the sick feeling rising in her stomach told her she didn't have a choice in the matter. Lily started towards the castle, wondering if it would be worth it to simply hide out in the bathrooms and vomit her guts up forever. Maybe it would be less mortifying than actually kissing James.
And there she went again, just like Sirius had remarked. Suddenly, Potter had become James in her mind. The switch was smooth and effortless- Lily marveled briefly at how nice it felt to think of him as James instead of Potter. It brought a nice tingly feeling to her stomach.
Oh wait- it wasn't James that was making her stomach react. That was just Sirius' spell at work. And it wasn't just a nice tingly feeling anymore, either. Lily felt like she was going to throw up again.
She quickened her pace, wondering if she could make it to Gryffindor tower without collapsing first.
James was having a nice dream. Lily loved him- she really did. He smiled as they soared together through the sky, clinging to his broomstick and diving through the clouds. It was amazing, to be with her like this, even if James was vaguely aware it was all just a dream. He never wanted to wake up.
Halfway to her destination, Lily was stopped in her tracks by a certain Remus Lupin. "Lily, you don't look too well," he told her worriedly. "Are you feeling okay?"
"I'm fine Remus, thanks for asking," Lily managed to say. She tried to smile weakly at him, but only succeeded in almost vomiting for the third time.
Remus peered at her. "Are you sure?" he asked dubiously, observing the green tinge to her skin.
"I'm fine. I just have to get to the common room, and I'll be fine," Lily assured him.
"Okay, whatever you say," Remus replied slowly. "Oh, and Lily?"
She turned around- Lily had already started for the tower again. "Yes Remus?" she prompted, striving to contain the sickness bubbling in her middle.
Remus hesitated, looking around the empty hallway before speaking. "Don't pay attention to any stupid stunts Prongs might pull today," he advised. "I heard Padfoot plotting about how to get him back in his usual swing… Prongs has been a little off lately, you know," Remus rambled, obviously disapproving of Sirius' 'plotting'.
"I'll keep that in mind," Lily replied faintly. "Thank you, Remus."
"Bye, Lily." With one last concerned look at his friend, Remus turned and continued towards the library.
Lily hurried forward to Gryffindor tower, her mind whirling with this new information. Could it be that Sirius was behind James' mysterious illness at lunch? He had looked like he felt as bad as Lily was feeling right n-
Lily stopped in her tracks. Oh, Merlin. It all made sense.
"The kiss," Lily breathed out loud. She pulled the small chocolate out of her bag where she had stowed it away. "James had to give me a kiss, just like I have to…" Lily trailed off, thinking quickly as her stomach started to roil again. "Merlin's beard, he's even smarter than I gave him credit for," she muttered under her breath.
Clutching James' kiss in her hand, Lily picked up her pace and started running towards Gryffindor tower. She knew exactly what she had to do.
Dream James smiled at Lily as she waved at him. Lily walked closer, coming towards him with a smile of her own. "James!" she greeted him, throwing her arms around his shoulders.
James smiled and hugged her back, burying his nose in her soft hair. "Hi Lily," he said quietly. But as always, he knew it was just a dream. Lily hated him in real life. She'd never even call him James, let alone hug him. It would just never happen in reality, so he must be asleep.
Sometimes James wished he wasn't so perceptive in his dreams.
Lily burst into the common room, looking slightly insane as she hurtled through the portrait hole. She was clutching her stomach and mouth as if she were about to be sick, but at the same time a joyful light shone in her eyes.
It was rather strange, and altogether disconcerting.
Everyone turned to stare as she went past, half-staggering, half-running, across the common room. Their confusion, already great, rose even more as she ascended the boys' staircase instead of the girls'.
Had Lily Evans finally cracked?
Lily herself was completely oblivious to the stares she had drawn. The only thought in her head was to get to James. He had been under the same spell Sirius had cast on her, and the same order. Yet, instead of using this to his advantage and kissing her when he had an excuse, James had found a loophole. He hadn't even said a word to her about his predicament in the first place- hadn't tried to explain, to reason with her, to take advantage of it. No, he had tried to get out of it, because he thought she didn't want that.
Lily couldn't get it out of her head. It was so thoughtful of him to do that, and Lily wasn't used to James Potter being thoughtful. So on the occassion that he acted sweet, she was utterly hooked.
It was kind of pathetic on her part, but Lily didn't mind anymore. She was tired of fighting with herself.
Just outside the seventh year boys' dormitory, she paused. Despite the nauseous feeling wracking her torso and urging her to follow through with Sirius' order, Lily started to hesitate. What if James rejected her?
Well, she had rejected him hundreds of times, and he had survived. If he did the same to her, Lily figured that she only deserved it.
So with a summoning of courage and a calming breath, Lily opened the door and stepped inside the dormitory.
Her first impression was that the space was permeated through with the scent of teenage boy mixed with chocolate. It was an odd combination, but delightful nonetheless. Lily inhaled deeply, letting the smell flow through her for a moment. Then her stomach flopped angrily, and she remembered the spell.
Back to business.
Quietly, Lily tiptoed over to the only occupied bed in the room. A certain dark haired, hazel-eyed, surprisingly thoughtful boy lay amongst the blankets, his head buried under a pillow. Lily's heart swelled slightly at the sight of him, and she took a step towards him.
Then she recoiled, clapping both hands to her mouth. She looked frantically around, and spying a connecting door, sprinted unsteadily through it. Luckily, it was the bathroom she had hoped it was, and Lily ran before the shrine of the porcelain god of the bathroom. She didn't care that this bathroom belonged to teenage boys, and they had probably been extremely unhygienic over their seven years using it. She didn't care that they had probably peed on the seat too many times to count. Lily just leaned over and started retching.
Damn Sirius and his stupid spellwork! This was definitely not how she had planned to start off her talk with James.
James woke to the lovely sounds of someone parting with the contents of their stomach. Frowning slightly, he tossed the pillow off his head and pulled his glasses on. "Padfoot? Moony? Wormtail?" James called, stepping off his bed and padding towards the bathroom.
The only response was more vomiting.
"If that's you Padfoot, then I swear this is karma for making me sick before with your stupid Pareo Manwhozit," James continued. He pushed open the half-closed door and stepped into the bathroom.
It wasn't Padfoot, Moony, or Wormtail throwing up in the bathroom. It was Lily.
It took James a moment to process this. "Lily?" he managed to choke out finally. He was utterly confused by her presence in his bathroom. Lily's only response was to vomit again, and James winced in sympathy, his confusion forgotten. James rushed forward and knelt beside her, gathering the red cloud hair out of her face with one hand and placing the other gently on her back. "Breathe, Lily," he instructed, hesitantly moving his hand up and down her spine in an attempt to soothe her vomiting.
Lily shuddered, retching again. She reached out with one hand, grabbing onto James' wrist and prying his hand away from her hair. "Lily?" James asked in confusion. "What's wrong?"
Lily's other hand scrambled blindly towards her book bag for a second, reaching into a pocket and pulling something out. Then, she reached up and plopped the object into James' hand, curling his fingers around it as she did so. Instantly, the retching stopped, and Lily lifted her head from the toilet, looking exhausted. "Eww," she muttered, glaring at the toilet.
James was too busy staring at his hand to laugh. She had given him back the kiss. It sat in his hand, a tad melted, but still a genuine kiss.
Well then. That kind of explained the throwing up…
"Padfoot got you too?" James asked, looking down at the kiss so he wouldn't have to look in Lily's eyes. "I'm so sorry Lily, I swear that I didn't ask him to do that." James looked at her pleadingly, as if begging her to believe him.
Instead of replying, Lily stood up shakily, walking over to the sink and sticking her mouth under the faucet. She forced herself not to think about the germs as she rinsed out her mouth, grimacing at the vile taste on her tongue. She hated being sick.
"I promise that I'll have a word with Padfoot about this- he shouldn't mess with you like that. It's not right," James rambled, his nerves tightening at Lily's silence. "I really can't say how sorry I am abou-"
"Shut up, James," Lily finally ordered. She swirled a little more water around her mouth before deciding that the taste of vomit had been conquered. After a moment, she straightened and wiped her mouth on a towel, trying not to think about where it might have been.
James stared at her, shocked into silence. "You called me James," he said quietly. He immediately felt stupid for pointing out the obvious, but stayed silent.
Lily gave him a small smile. "I suppose I should call you by your name, shouldn't I?" she replied. Lily smiled at the look of happiness dawning on James' face. It was like watching a child receive the present they've been aching for for ages. "I've had a few epiphanies recently," Lily admitted, plopping down on the floor next to James.
"And what are those?" James asked, trying to keep his voice calm and mildly interested. There was no point in getting his hopes up. Perhaps Lily only meant she had realized he was even more of a prat than she had originally thought he was.
"Well, for one, Sirius sucks. Majorly," she informed him frankly. James laughed, much to her relief. "I mean, seriously? He had to make us sick?"
James shrugged. "Well, I have to say that it was a rather effective incentive," he admitted.
Lily rolled her eyes. "Please. He didn't have to make me vomit," she retorted frankly. "Another epiphany of mine was that I'm not as smart as I thought I was," she continued, carefully watching James' face.
"You're practically the smartest witch in our year, Lily," James informed her in a slight 'duh' tone. "Are you trying to deny that?"
"That's book smarts though," Lily disagreed, brushing away the glow of pride she felt at the compliment. She swallowed, and looked away. Even through glasses, James' eyes could become too intense for her to look at sometimes. Especially times like now. "I mean the stuff concerning the heart."
"Oh." James was silent. Lily didn't dare to look at him, and stared at the tiles on the floor instead as she continued to speak.
"Yeah. And I've realized that hate and… and love, are easily mistaken," Lily continued, her voice dropping to a whisper. "And I've realized… that a boy I thought I hated… I'm really in love with him."
Silence. Lily fought the urge to squeeze her eyes shut and pray for the best. It was all she could do not to jump up and start screaming from the tension of the moment. She could only wait for James' reply, and hope that it was the one she wanted.
And finally, he spoke.
"Who, you mean Padfoot?" he asked, sounding genuinely confused.
Lily swore that she never knew what was going to come out of James' mouth. She snapped her head up to stare at him incredulously. "Bloody hell, do I have to spell it out for you Potter?" she demanded, her temper flaring. "I love you, you twit!"
And suddenly she was wrapped in his arms, pressed firmly against his body, and he was kissing her senseless. Lily melted into James' hold, instantly forgetting that she was annoyed at him. Instead, she grabbed his shoulders and pulled him closer still, pressing into his chest and lifting her chin to deepen the kiss.
After a minute, James pulled away, his hazel eyes mischievous as he grinned at the girl in his arms. "I thought you were calling me James now, Lily," he teased. Then his voice dropped to a whisper, and he pressed his lips to Lily's ear as he spoke. "And I knew you were talking about me and not Padfoot- I just wanted to hear you say it," he confided.
Lily twisted around in his arms, glaring at him again. "Twit," she snapped. "Good luck getting me to say that again anytime soon."
James grinned, so brightly and so happily that Lily couldn't help but smile back. "I heard it once, and that's more than I'd dared to hope for less than five minutes ago," he informed her. "I'm happy with what I have right now."
"Who said you have me?" Lily asked slyly. She was feeling slightly impish now, which was probably a clinically proven side effect of kissing James Potter.
James tightened his hold on Lily, leaning in closer again until their noses brushed. "You said it first, but I'll say it for you now," James breathed, leaving Lily frozen still for a moment. He looked her straight in the eye, a blinding smile on his face. "I love you,"
Lily shivered at the tingling shock that zapped through her body at his words. She was having some trouble breathing, but James was looking at her expectantly, like he was waiting for confirmation. Lily scrambled to marshal her thoughts. "Okay," she gasped finally. "I'll admit that you have me."
James smiled. "Good," he murmured. Then he tilted his head forward and kissed Lily again.
And that little foil-wrapped chocolate lay on the floor beside the couple, completely forgotten in the midst of this new, so much more satisfying type of kiss.
Edited as of 1/16/12
HAPPY NEW YEAR! =D Would you all care to tell me if I messed up horribly, or if it's semi-decent? THANKS IN ADVANCE! =)