Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the amazingly talented J.K Rowling. I'm only borrowing the characters and world that she has so brilliantly created.
Chapter Two: James is Still Happily in Denial
A/N: "All Sorts of Wrong" was supposed to be a oneshot, but reviewer extraordinaire rednose convinced me that I had to share when James finally realized that he fancied Eva. So this chapter is dedicated to rednose for her encouragement. There will be one more chapter after this. Enjoy!
The Great Hall was bustling with people eating breakfast when James felt someone settle themselves into the empty seat next to him at the Gryffindor table.
"Just so you know, I think it's adorable."
James lowered his forkful of eggs and turned to stare incredulously at his sister. "What in the name of Merlin's pants are you on about?"
"You fancying Eva Wood, of course" Lily answered simply as though that statement wasn't somehow the single most idiotic thing that had ever come out of her mouth.
He turned to his cousin Fred and scowled. "You git," he said forcefully. "I can't believe you're spreading that rubbish around the castle."
Fred grinned widely and shrugged. "Not the entire castle – I just told the family."
Christopher Longbottom nearly choked on his baked beans and toast. "That's essentially like telling the entire castle and you know it."
"But I don't fancy her!" James cried. "Al's the one who kissed her and yet somehow I'm the one who's being accused of fancying her?"
He did not understand this at all. Al had been the one to…well, it had been Al and not him. And for some odd reason, no one was accusing Al of fancying Eva.
"For a bloke that doesn't fancy Eva Wood, you were awfully touchy about Al kissing her," Christopher observed as he loaded some eggs onto his fork.
"Sorry?" James said, now extremely confused. "You weren't even there when it happened! You were in the library looking for that book we needed for our Defense essay."
All right - he admitted it. He had gone a bit over board in his adamancy that the idea of Al and Eva was wrong. But wrong it was, and he would stand by that.
"Al only kissed her because we dared him to and offered him a load chocolate in return," Fred pointed out.
Oh, yeah, James thought as he remembered that he owed his younger brother a significant amount of chocolate for completing the dare. Better add that to the list of things he needed to purchase the next time there was a Hogsmeade visit planned.
"Besides," Fred was saying, "your reaction said it all, mate."
James helped himself to a piece of toast and said stiffly, "My reaction was that it was incredibly weird and wrong to see my younger brother kiss the girl who's been my rival on the pitch for three and a half years."
Lily slowly rolled her brown eyes as she reached for a goblet of pumpkin juice. "James, you're my brother and I love you, but you're being intentionally thick."
His younger sister could be rather blunt sometimes. Like right now. Both Fred and Christopher started laughing.
"Sorry?" he all but spluttered. She stared back at him over the top of her goblet. "You're only thirteen – what do you know about it?"
"You're my brother," Lily repeated. "I notice things about you. And I've noticed that you notice a lot of things about Eva."
James wearily dropped his face into his hand. "Can you please just drop this? I don't fancy her, all right?"
No one agreed to let the matter drop, but no one said anything to him about Eva Wood for the remainder of breakfast. At first, James took this as a good sign. Perhaps things would go back to normal. Then he ran into Al on his way to Transfiguration.
"Al – hold up!" he said, grabbing his brother by the arm of robes and steering him through a crowd of students and off to the side of the corridor.
"What?" Al asked, looking genuinely confused. He adjusted the strap of his rucksack; it had nearly fallen off his shoulder when James had waylaid him.
"Er…have you seen your hair?" James replied, not even trying to hold back a laugh. Al looked beyond absolutely comical.
"So it sticks up in the back," Al defended himself, bright green eyes filled with confusion. "It always has done. Yours does too."
"It's white blonde."
Al pulled out of his grasp and quickly moved towards the nearest suit of armor. Using a particularly well-polished shield, he examined his now, very bright, very white blonde hair.
"But…what…" Al stammered as he gazed, bewildered, at the reflection staring back at him.
Down at the end of the corridor, James saw Tristan standing, watching the pair of them. A very satisfied smirk was playing around his mouth and he was twirling his wand between his fingers.
"Tristan," James supplied darkly. "It's punishment for…you know."
Bloody hell, now he couldn't even say it out loud. What was wrong with him?
Just then, Fred sauntered up sporting the same ridiculous hair color as Al. James wasn't sure who white blonde looked worse on: Al with his very pale skin or Fred with his light brown skin. Both were laughable and looked like exceedingly bad dye jobs.
"Did he have to choose white blonde?" Fred commented with an air of disgust. "We look like we belong in the bleeding Malfoy family." He wrinkled his nose at the very thought.
"Why am I being punished?" Al groaned. He was now trying to flatten hair. As James knew well from dealing with his own naturally untidy hair, it was a hopeless business. "You're the ones who dared me. And James wasn't even jinxed."
James tried to hold back a smirk. After having his breakfast ruined by Fred and Lily, it was nice to see at least one of them get their comeuppance.
"I wouldn't smirk too much, if I were you," Fred told him with a smirk of his own. He gestured to the suit of armor. "Take a look."
James whipped around and pushed Al out of the way. He nearly groaned aloud when he saw his own reflection. He looked back at his cousin and brother again. "Oh, Godric…"
The three of them tried every counter curse they could think of, but nothing worked. James found this particularly frustrating since he and Fred had used hair-coloring spells on some of the members of the Slytherin Quidditch team in the past. He knew there were counter curses, but none of the ones they knew successfully turned their hair back to its normal shades. In the end, there was nothing to do but go to lessons and attempt to solve the problem later.
"What happened to you two?" Christopher laughed as James and Fred dropped into their seats next to him in Transfiguration.
James was really starting to regret having ever joined in on that stupid dare.
As usual, James was the first one to appear at practice that evening. Personally, James thought that morning practices were preferable to evening ones because other teams were less likely to be snooping around. But unfortunately, Sean was the captain and Sean didn't want to wake up early even if was for the sake of Quidditch. There wasn't much (if anything) that James and Sean saw eye to eye on. James had long ago decided that when we he was captain that he would run things very differently.
He sat on the ground and did some thigh stretches, feeling his muscles relax. He had been rather tense all day. Given the circumstances, it wasn't difficult to imagine the cause.
"What happened to you, Potter?"
James looked up to see Eva Wood standing in front of him laughing her head off at the sight of his still white blonde hair. She had tied her light brown hair up in a ponytail and was wearing her usual Puddlemere United jumper. Her loyalty to Puddlemere came only second to her loyalty to Gryffindor House.
James grimaced. "Your brother happened, that's what. Christopher and Fred are in the library looking up the counter curse right now."
"Which brother?" Eva asked, her voice filled with curiosity.
"Tristan. I don't think Gareth or Richard could pull off a spell like this yet."
Eva nodded and her blue eyes sparkled with unconcealed amusement. "Probably not," she agreed. "Unless Tristan's been teaching them and they're all after you lot. That would be a laugh."
"Yeah, whatever you say, Wood," James scoffed. "Couldn't you tell him to leave off?"
Eva snorted in a rather unattractive manner. "You think Tristan listens to me? You were there when the…when the mistletoe… thing happened." Her cheeks turned a bit pink at this. "He doesn't exactly always listen to reason."
"Can't you at least talk to him?" James hoped that it didn't sound as though he was pleading, even though he most certainly was. "I'm a bit tired of looking like Malfoy's cousin."
Eva laughed at this. "Oh, I don't know. I think you could have the personality for a Slytherin. Resourceful, ambitious, occasionally cunning."
James smirked at her. "I only use my cunning to out play you at Quidditch. And if I am ambitious it's to be Quidditch captain."
Eva rolled her eyes and began stretching out her arm muscles. "Potter, you've never outplayed me in your life. Dream on."
"I think we both know who's the better player around here, and it isn't you," he told her.
Though he would never admit it to her, Eva Wood was a talented Quidditch player. Out of everyone on the team (except him, that was), she was the most dedicated and hardworking. Her drive and ambition to improve constantly made him reassess his own skills and to raise the bar even higher on his own goals. After all, he had to stay ahead of her.
James opened his mouth to say something else that would make her eyes blaze, but at that moment, she stretched her arms a couple of extra inches above her head. Her jumper rode up a bit, exposing just a hint of smooth, pale skin and James completely forgot what he was going to say. His mind was an absolute blank.
His facial expression must have been appeared slightly abnormal because Eva was regarding him with a funny look. "Are you all right, Potter? You look a bit peaky."
"Replacing our Seeker…that would be a loss," came a deep, sarcastic voice from behind him.
James felt his jaw clench in anger and annoyance.
Sean O'Mara was an arrogant, ginger idiot and James had no idea how in the world he had been named Gryffindor captain. It was surely one of the great injustices of James's life. James would have much rather seen Tristan as captain. Despite the recent jinxing spree, he usually got on well with Tristan Wood. He had less than no idea what the previous captain, Lorna, had seen in O'Mara. Of course, in an ideal world, he, James would have named captain at the end of last term.
O'Mara threw his arm around Eva shoulder's, something she didn't seem to mind. O'Mara was Tristan's mate, so that meant Eva spent a decent amount of time with the gormless prat. Eva was such a Quidditch-know-it-all that it made sense that she would willingly associate herself with an obnoxious idiot like O'Mara. Still, it rankled James a bit.
"Remind me – how many matches have I helped win for Gryffindor?" James asked.
O'Mara shrugged at James's words. "A fair few. Doesn't mean we couldn't do without you."
"If the two of you are just going to stand and row, I'm going for a quick run around the pitch," Wood said, a hint of annoyance in her voice. She shrugged off O'Mara's arm and took up a moderate pace.
All at once, James noticed something that he had never noticed before. When Wood had moved away from him, O'Mara had looked slightly disappointed, and as she jogged away, his eyes had lingered on her for just a moment too long.
So…O'Mara fancied Wood. For some odd reason, this made James want to punch his captain in the face even more than usual.
"Good luck with that," James told O'Mara with a smirk. "I doubt there's a more oblivious girl in Hogwarts."
At his words, O'Mara turned to face him, an angry red color spreading across his face.
"Might say the same to you after seeing what a prat you made of yourself in the common room the other day."
"What's that supposed to mean?" James challenged, stepping closer to O'Mara. He was actually just taller than O'Mara, which made James feel rather confident.
"Your brother kissed Eva and you couldn't stand it. I would think even a blind person could figure that one out, Potter."
O'Mara thought that he fancied Eva Wood? Godric, what was wrong with everyone in the bleeding castle? Was everyone else in on some sort of conspiracy? It certainly felt like it.
"Piss off," James told O'Mara as he turned away.
"Out here on the pitch, I'm your captain, Potter. Laps! Ten of them!" O'Mara yelled at his retreating back.
James resisted the urge to shoot O'Mara a rude hand gesture and instead broke out into a run. He was used to being assigned laps for what his plank of a captain liked to call "insubordination."
Wood was jogging a bit ahead of him and he quickened his pace in the hopes of lapping her. James grinned widely at the thought of how her blue eyes would blaze as he ran past.
Thank you for all of the lovely reviews, favorites, and story alerts! I appreciate everyone who reads my story and everyone who has let me know how much they enjoy it! And thanks to my fantastic best friend for her editing skills.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Favorite quotes? I'd love to hear what you thought!
Next Chapter: Eva proves rather distracting, Eva's brothers corner James in the common room, and James makes a rather startling discovery (wonder what that could be…). :)