Oh, the magic! (of a first date)

Lily looked up at the sky above her. It was the gray-white of a late october day, and threatened with rain. They were already halfway through the semester, and the weather had gotten markedly colder the past two weeks. Lily couldn't belive she was already seven weeks into her sixth year at Hogwarts. And sixteen!

The gloomy weather didn't bother her at all. In fact, she was glad it wasn't a perfect summer's day with blue skies and songbirds. It would have been to much of a cliché, and Potter probably would have made an embarrassing song about it. Or a poem.

Lily shuddered, thinking of the last time she'd been subjected to Potter's lyrical endeavors. Being compared to chili or called a filly wasn't her idea of a nice evening in the common room.

Alice had laughed so hard she forgot about mooning over that Longbottom boy for a whole minute though, so it wasn't all bad.

It was actually because of Potter she was trudging through the grounds now, her waterproof winter boots making squelchy noises with every step she took.

Potter was an idiot, had always known that for fact. He was loud, interrupted people when they talked, had food wars in the Great Hall , and surrounded himself with friends who were just as obnoxious.

But in the Common Room the other day, when he'd casually suggested going to Hogsmeade for the weekend "to see what Honeydukes have come up with for Halloween this year", Lily's treacherous mouth had experienced a moment of hallucination.

She had said yes.

Her first instinct had been to clamp her hand over her mouth and take it back, but no. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of knowing he had unsettled her. She still wasn't sure where that "yes" had come from, either. It was Potter after all – a part of her still wondered if he or one of his friends had jinxed her vocal chords.

But no matter. A promise was a promise and she, Lily, wasn't about to back down. That was just not the kind of girl she was.

Even if for some strange reason all her friends had been too busy to join them.

Potters friends, naturally, had make outrageusly bad excuses for not coming while giving Potter conspiratory winks which they obviously thought she couldn't see. They probably thought this was a date.

Immature boys!

Lily huffed indignantly, and her breath frosted in front of her. She was just heading down to Hogsmeade to buy some pumpkin filled chocolates, maybe stop by The Three Broomsticks for a butterbeer, and then straight back to the castle. And if Potter happened to be at Honeydukes too, and perhaps felt thirsty and fancied a butterbear afterwards, or his hands were cold and he needed someone to warm them for him – who was she to stop him?

It was a free world, after all.

At that thought she spied the dark-clad figure leaning on the castle gates. She smiled to herself and and started towards him.

James stood by the Hog-topped gates which marked the entrance to the grounds, rubbing his hands together.

Where was she? He had been a little early, sure, but he had to. Couldn't risk her showing up before him, having to wait. What if she had come, seen that he wasn't there and then gone back to the castle?

Just as he was about to turn and go back for her, a figure appeared around the bend in the road toward the castle. It was wearing a blue coat, had vivid red hair, and marched along like it owned the place.

James let his own shoulders down. That had to be her. He took a long breath, and ran a hand through his hair.

This is it, old mate.

Lily Evans and James Potter, going on their first date!

James was ready to charm her silly. The only problem was, he'd been trying to do that for years without success. He'd written songs, poems, letters, limericks and haiku, he had smiled, winked, danced and capered - to no response! Well, except the occasional rolling of eyes or shouting match.

This time however, he was prepared. He'd done the only sensible thing when faced with a delicate situation involving feelings and intimacy.

James Potter had asked his friends.

Be yourself, Moony had said. James had really pondered that one. He, James, was a first rate Quidditch player, marauder and prankster extraordinaire, one of the youngest animagi ever to exist…But how was that supposed to help him with Lily?

He couldn't play Quidditch or fly his broomstick in Hogsmeade, so that was off the list. Changing into the stag was impossible too. Not only would it be extremely risky (an interesting thought, actually), but Lily also would have no way of knowing it was him. So what was left? His marauder skills. But Lily tended to get a little wired up when she got whiff of the marauders' plots, so he wasn't sure how that would be useful in making her want to snog him.

Um..buy her chocolates?, had been Wormtail's contribution. That one James was confident he could do. The Potters always attended the Blacks' Christmas Ball, and James had grown up listening in to Sirius' female cousins gossiping about boys. According to them, buying something expensive would garantuee Lily wanting to be his girlfriend.

However, James had tried buying Lily presents for years now, and it always ended with her refusing to take it/ giving it to someone else/ throwing it out the window. And there hadn't been any signs she wanted to be his girlfriend either.

Mate. She's a girl. Just...you know, give her a good snog or something, Sirius had grinned. Sirius was James' best mate, and would never do anything to corrupt James' hunt for Lily. But sometimes, you had to wonder.

Oh well, James thought, ruffling up his hair again.

Be yourself, buy her things, snog her. One of them was bound to work, wasn't it?

AN: Okay guys, what do think? I'm going to let James try out his friends' advice, and see where it takes him. Got any tips for James, or stuff you want to see? Let me know!

(btw, reviews make me happy inside..)