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A/N: Okay, just so you know, the next chapter is probably going to be the last one of Bitter About You. I’ve never finished a story before…so I want to make it really good. It’ll probably take a while, like two weeks or so. Maybe less, I’m not sure. Anyway…lots of fluff in this chapter! I hope you all like it. :-)

Warning: scenes of a mild sexual nature


James’s head was still spinning when the weekend was over and he was finally able to see her again in class. She kept her head down and didn’t look at him, although he had a feeling that she knew that he was staring. He supposed that he didn’t mind that much, except—well, yes, he did.

Almost, he thought dizzily. He had almost kissed her. He could hardly believe that he was that close to doing it—and he blew it. Well, after all that thinking and pondering, that was the only explanation. Why else would she be ignoring him completely instead of glaring at him with disgust, and why else would she have ran up the stairs as if he was something horrible that she wanted to get away from as soon as possible?

Sirius looked over at him and raised an eyebrow, and James quickly shook his head and looked down at his paper. Charms…he was good at it, except he had failed everything purposefully so that he’d be able to spent time with Lily. How stupid was he? She just ended up hating him even more. Sirius was right…he was a stupid, lovesick arse….

“Where the hell were you?” Sirius asked once they walked out of the classroom. “You looked dazed…more so than usual.”

“I bet it has to do with Lily,” Peter said smugly. Lily didn’t turn around but walked more quickly so that she’d put some distance between herself and James. James sighed, ruffling his hair. He didn’t say anything.

Remus surveyed him for a moment. “What did you do?”

James looked at him, and then looked down, shaking his head in a crestfallen sort of way. He felt his stomach drop as Lily glanced in his direction. Stupid, stupid, stupid….

That day after dinner was supposed to be his first tutoring session in the common room. Lily wasn’t there.

***

“Lily…you seem bothered.” Lannie said as they sat down in the library, reviewing their notes for an exam they would be having in Potions. Lily furrowed her eyebrows as she read her text, not really comprehending what everything meant. In Potions—or Potter—or anything really.

“It’s that…something happened last weekend that I didn’t tell you about.” Lily said hesitantly. She didn’t want Lannie to be mad at her, since now they were friends and all they probably should tell each other things. Lannie, however, merely closed her book and looked curious, raising her eyebrows to urge Lily to continue.

“Pardon?” Lannie asked when Lily mumbled her answer.

Lily blushed and cleared her throat. “Er…Potter—I mean…James—tried to kiss me.”

“And did he succeed?” Lannie asked, raising an eyebrow. Lily blushed even more.

“N-no.” Lily stammered. “Honestly, Lannie—did you really think I’d let him?” She drew herself up to her full sitting height, looking defiant. Lannie merely exhaled slowly.

“Honestly? Hm. I don’t really know.”

Lily gave Lannie a hard look, but wasn’t sure if she was being sarcastic or not. Lily sighed and let her forehead drop onto her open book, feeling her heartbeat quicken suddenly for no reason. Or maybe there was a reason but Lily wasn’t exactly sure why.

“Are you confused?” Lily heard Lannie ask casually, as if it were a simple question about the weather she was implying.

“Yes.” Lily said desperately, turning to look at her again. “I just don’t know…why.”

For a moment it looked like Lannie was about to smile, but she didn’t. She swept her bangs to the side and said nonchalantly, “I think you have some things to sort out, Lily.”

Basically, she was saying, You are messed up and you need to figure out why.

“Lannie,” Lily whispered, not because they were in the library because nobody ever whispered just because they were in the library, but because they didn’t want anybody to hear what they were about to say. “I think…I mean—” She trailed off, looking confused.

“What?” Lannie asked, not lowering her voice but sounding rather impatient.

“I think I almost let him.” Lily said, shuddering as if horrified with what she had just said. “I almost let him kiss me.”

This seemed to get Lannie’s attention. She sat up straighter then leaned forward, not able to hide her grin. “Really?” she asked eagerly.

Yes!” Lily moaned. “I’m so disgusted with myself.”

“Why? He’s a really nice guy, Lily.”

“He is not.” Lily said hotly. “He’s conceited, big-headed, a huge snob…”

“You do notice that those all mean the same thing,” Lannie said with a hint of humor in her voice. “C’mon Lily…why don’t you give him a chance?”

“Because!” Lily snapped. “Lannie—you wouldn’t understand.”

“Obviously.” Lannie snorted. “Fine…whatever. Do what you want Lily—but I’m telling you that you are very mistaken to think that James is something as terrible as you think he is.”

Lily scoffed, digging her nose into her book again. Lannie observed her for a moment, and then sighed, shaking her head and giving into studying also.

***

“Whoa. Wait…you did what?

Sirius was staring at him with his mouth open, Peter gasped and nearly fell off his chair, and even Remus was looking a bit out of his usual calm self. James groaned, digging his face into his hands as he heard Sirius distinguishingly murmur, “That’s it, he’s lost it.”

“No wonder she looks like she wants to kill someone.” Peter said. James looked up and saw that he was right; Lily was in a corner hissing something at Lannie while she gestured angrily with her hands. James dug his fingernails in his scalp as he ruffled his hair rather forcefully.

“Careful, you’ll tear your hair out.” Remus said, who was finally starting to look all right again and was restoring sanity to the group. “Now…James. What did you do?”

“I don’t know.” James moaned. “But she ran away so I must’ve done something terrible.”

“Did you stick your tongue out?” Sirius said, grimacing. Then, with a knowledgeable air that they all knew had come from lots of experience, he said, “Sticking your tongue out before you kiss a girl will never end in a good way.”

“So true,” Peter said, shuddering as if he was recalling a bad experience.

“I wonder why she ran for it, though?” Sirius asked, raising an eyebrow. “I mean…James isn’t that bad looking, is he?”

“Padfoot,” James said heavily. “Shut up.”

“Or maybe…she didn’t want to kiss you, no matter what.” The other three boys looked at Remus with raised eyebrows.

“Who wouldn’t want to kiss James?” Sirius asked incredulously.

“Yeah, who wouldn’t?” James said defensively.

“Only if he really, really screwed up.” Peter added.

“Exactly. Thank you, Pete.”

Remus rolled his eyes. “Well, if you didn’t stick your tongue out as Sirius kindly reminded us not to do, then you didn’t do anything wrong, did you? So Lily probably just didn’t want to kiss you.”

Did you stick your tongue out?”

No, Wormtail.” James said exasperatedly. Suddenly he looked horrified. “Or wait…what if I did?

“That would certainly scare her away.” Sirius said, nodding understandably.

“But I don’t think I did…I wouldn’t do it, would I?”

“How would I know? I’ve never kissed you.”

“Thank Merlin for that.” Remus said, whistling softly. Both boys slapping him on the head quickly followed it. “Ow.”

“All right, so it’s settled.” Sirius said. “Lily ran off because Prongs stuck his tongue out.”

“Yeah, just don’t do it next time.” Peter said, chuckling.

“Right. Okay.” James said, picking up his quill to continue his essay now that he as somewhat reassured. “Wait. I hope there is a next time. And when that time comes, I will not stick my tongue out.”

“You’re all hopeless.” Remus sighed.

***

Lannie—are you seeing that?

- Lily

Seeing what, exactly?

- Lannie

Come on. The staring, the laughing, the…you really don’t see anything?

James has always stared at you, and has always laughed Lily. I think…now don’t take this the wrong way or anything, I could, possibly, be wrong…but I think you’re overreacting.

Ha-ha. But he looks so happy. I thought he’d be more upset because of…well…you know.

Maybe he doesn’t see it as a defeat, but another step forward.

Forward to what?

To achieving his goal, which is you, I suppose.

I’m his
goal? That’s disturbing.

Ha-ha, I know, right? And you have to tutor him…that is so brilliant.

Actually, I don’t. Well, I’m supposed to, but I haven’t.

Is the Head Girl disobeying a Professor? I hope you get a detention…then you’d be deemed to be like the rest of the population.

Well, James wasn’t really doing bad in Charms! He was
faking it, can you believe it?

Actually, I can. It’s stupid, slightly sweet, and reckless…like James Potter himself.

Yes, he is stupid, and reckless…but he’s not sweet. Not even slightly.

Yeah, yeah, okay.
I think he is.

Well…you’re…you. I’m me. And I don’t think he’s sweet.

I understand. But don’t you see it?

…?

This is the classic love/hate relationship! You hate him, but you
will love him because it’s your fate. Romantic, isn’t it? It almost makes me want to hate Remus so that we’d be meant to be…

I don’t hate James.

Well, you pretend you do. But if you say so…then it’s the classic love/dislike relationship.

That has no logic. If that were really the case it would also be my fate to marry Severus Snape. And we would have a jolly good time with me having his equally nasty kids and being his ‘mudblood’ wife.

But Snape doesn’t love you like James does!

Oh, please. James does not love me. He just thinks he does because it entertains him to chase me around.

I’m so tired of arguing with you about this. I can’t even bring myself to retort on a piece of parchment. Oh, and if you and Snape ever
do get married, I hope your kids get his filthy hair.

That’s not very nice, Lannie.


***

Lily was supposed to be tutoring him that night, but James had a pretty good inkling that he would have to study alone. Instead he followed her out of the Great Hall from a distance after dinner to see where she was going. She was going to the library (is that where she spends all her time?) and was with Lannie, who was laughing about something. To make sure that he didn’t look suspicious just in case Lily spotted him following her, he had brought Remus along.

“Why did I agree to this?” he asked as him and James entered the library. Madam Pince was nearby and was throwing them suspicious looks; apparently them being in the library at night instead of doing something more fun and rule-breaking was very out-of-the-ordinary. “And now the librarian looks like she wants to kill us.”

“She looks that way at everyone.” James said breezily, grabbing Remus’s arm and throwing them both behind a bookshelf where James could easily stare at Lily unnoticed. “All right, so this is what I want you to do—”

“Do I want to know?”

“Shut up. Now, go over there to Lannie.”

Remus raised his eyebrow. “Why?”

“Because she loves you and you will easily distract her. She won’t even notice that it’s slightly suspicious for me to go around you guys and corner Lily.”

“She doesn’t love me.” Remus said, shaking his head embarrassingly. “And if that is love I’m very afraid of knowing what it is you feel for Lily.”

“It is also love. Just more feverish.”

Remus coughed something that sounded oddly like “Obsessed.” James glared then continued, “Okay. So you…go talk to Lannie. You will do it, won’t you?”

“Yes, although it is against my better judgment—”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” James said, waving his hand to shush him. “Okay, let’s go.”

Remus went on ahead and waved to Lannie, who immediately blushed and waved back. He sat down with a surprisingly convincing, “Hey, I didn’t even see you there!” (The bugger was a good liar after all), and James edged around them towards the shelf that Lily had disappeared to. She was at the end, standing on her tiptoes so she could reach a book on one of the higher shelves. James, seeing this as a good time to show himself, stood over her and easily grabbed the desired book, handing it to an alarmed Lily and grinning for a charming effect. Lily merely frowned and didn’t say anything, squirming away from him and moving back to her table. James stood in front of her, barring her way.

“Get out of my way, James.” Lily said, glaring at him.

“Can’t I just talk to you?” James asked hopefully. “I don’t want you to hate me.”

Lily opened her mouth, and then closed it, contemplating something. “I don’t hate you.” She said finally. Somehow every conversation they had revolved about her hating him.

James raised his eyebrows. “That’s news to me.”

“Very funny.” Lily said, rolling her eyes. “Now can you please let me through?”

“No.” James said. He exhaled slowly. “Listen…I know that I was being stupid about the whole ‘failing Charms to get your attention’ thing. I’m sorry.”

Lily looked suspicious. “Are you really?”

“Yes.” James said earnestly.

“Good. I don’t want you ruining your chance for a career because of some stupid crush.”

“But you’re not a stupid crush,” James said seriously. “You know that.”

Lily sighed. “Okay, James, whatever. Can I go now?”

James stared at her. His heartbeat was accelerating in an alarming rate, just like that day in the common room. He suddenly wanted to kiss her again, but he had to check if his tongue was poking out first. Seeing that it wasn’t, James stepped closer, and Lily, widening her eyes, stepped back into the bookshelf. He bent his head again, not daring to close his eyes just in case she moved again…

Which of course, she did. He ended up brushing his lips against her cheek again, and felt suddenly bewildered.

“James…stop doing that.” Lily said, but she said it softly and in a weak way. Was she breathing quickly or was that just part of his fruitful imagination? In the back of his mind he heard a distant chuckle come from Lannie while Remus said something. James swallowed as she looked up at him. They were still very close. “I don’t want to.”

“Why not?” James said, his voice hoarse.

Lily blushed. “I don’t know! I just don’t.”

James raised his eyebrow. “Have you ever kissed before?”

She suddenly looked furious. “That has nothing to do with it.”

“So it’s me, then.”

“Well…yes, it is.”

He stared at her, and she looked down, embarrassed. He could see her cheeks flushing and she stood there, holding her hands together and waiting for him to leave. James would’ve preferred if she just pushed him like normally.

Suddenly the feeling was overwhelming. His adrenaline was pumping and he didn’t care anymore—and he no longer thought that he should just stand there and let her torture him the way she did. James tilted her chin up, looked in her eyes with a determined air, then touched her lips with his, holding her neck and giving her all that he had and all he could give her in one kiss.

She didn’t pull back. In fact, she didn’t even really move. Then, as if all the godly beings in the world had heard his praise and were finally listening to what he wanted and what he needed, James suddenly felt Lily’s soft hands on his shoulders as she kissed him back, moving her lips slowly and lovingly.

This cannot be happening…is this actually happening? But somehow…it was.
 
 
 
 
 

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