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Chapter 13 - Awkwardness…

A/N: so this chapter just goes straight into a song, so let me set the scene for you… think ‘Summer Nights’ from grease; James is on his way to Quidditch practice, Lily is on her way to the library… they cross paths, notice each other and start singing. The song by the way is adapted from ‘Pretend To Be Nice’ from the movie, Josie and the Pussycats.

***

Lily: Well he looks at me with those innocent eyes,
And says it looks like your wearing some kind of disguise,
Because your hairs messed up and your shoes are untied,

And I hope you got the idea at last
Coz every word I say falls flat to the floor,
You tried to tell me again but I’ve heard it before,
And I don't think I can take it no more,
Cause he’s driving me right out of my mind.

Why do you do what you do to me baby,
You're shaking my confidence you're driving me crazy,
I know if you could you do anything for me,
but please just forget me coz you’ll only upset me.

Can't you just pretend not to care,
Can you at least pretend not to care,
If you could just pretend not to care,
Everything in my life would be alright,

Oooh wee....
Oooh wee....

James: And I try so hard just to figure her out,
But she won't tell me what she's thinking about,
And then she falls asleep on the common room couch,
With her book still open and her hair all fanned out
And then she disappears for hours at a time,
And then she just shows up just like everything's fine,
And I don't get what goes on in her mind,
But I'm tired of hearing the same stupid line,

Why do you do what you do to me baby,
You're shaking my confidence driving me crazy,
You know if I could I'd do anything for you,
Please don’t ignore me cause you know I adore you,

But can't you just pretend to be nice,
Can you at least pretend to be nice,
If you could just pretend to be nice,
Everything in my life would be alright,

Oooh wee....
Oooh wee....

Both: Why do you do what you do to me baby,
You're shaking my confidence driving me crazy,
You know what I say I don’t mean it, not really
Don’t want to fight you, but you make me so angry

But can't you just pretend to be nice,
Can you at least pretend to be nice,
If you could just pretend to be nice,
Everything in my life would be alright.

James continued down the hall and out the entrance to the Quidditch pitch, where his team was waiting for him. Remus and Holly were on the sidelines watching.

James started the team off with passing drills; he sat on his broom watching over them.

“Is James even watching them, they have been passing for almost twenty minutes now?” Holly asked Remus, who was busy watching Ruby flying so skilfully.

“Huh?”

“James, he’s off with the fairies,” Holly said pointing towards James. Remus looked towards his friend who was in fact just hovering above his team, not actually looking at them.

“Hmm, well hopefully he will snap out of it soon.” Holly nodded. Holly and Remus kept watching as Ruby flew over to James, who snapped back to reality. “There you go, back to normal.” Holly just shook her head at him, laughing under her breath.

“Hey guys,” Ruby greeted them, “Practice is over, thank god. James is acting really weird,” she added in a hushed tone, “So you wanna go Remus, I don’t wanna be around James while he is like this.” Remus nodded him and Ruby left the pitch hand in hand.

“Nice of them to leave with out you,” James said to Holly as he sat down next to her.

“I was gonna wait for you anyway,” she replied before letting out a huge sigh and stretching her feet out infront of her.

“So, you told him yet?”

“Have you?” She shot back.

James crinkled his nose and scratched his head. “Ah no…”

“What about her? Have you talked to Lily yet?” Holly asked.

“Are you kidding? She still wont have a serious conversation with me... I did see her though…it was weird. But there was a definite connection.”

“So what sort of connection are we talking?”

“I don’t know…She stared. I stared. I-almost-crashed-into-a-suit-of-amour connection.”

“Ah I see…”

“It was weird. It was like time stretched just so I could watch her a minute longer.” He sighed dreamily. Next to him Holly was close to rolling on the floor in laughter.

“I'm sorry James…but that is just so so so sad…”

"Kinda pathetic huh?"

Holly nodded. "But sweet pathetic. You are a big softie aren't you?" She cooed.

Rolling his eyes James stood up, offering his hand out to Holly. “Come on lets get out of here before I really embarrass myself…”

***

“I can't believe you; Lily Evans got kicked out of the library! Ha, I’ll never forget this moment.”

“Correction Black, you got me kicked out of the library. I was just so surprised to see you there; I never thought I would see the day that happened!” Lily countered.

Together they entered the common room. “So do you have any plans for the afternoon now?” Sirius asked as they approached the couches.

Lily made a face. “Well since my plans in the library fell through no…”

Sirius smiled, patting the seat next to him. “Come. Come chat with me then. Tell me what goes on in the head of Lily Evans.”

“Why would you want to know?”

Sirius shrugged. “I think it would be fascinating to get inside you head… Maybe Holly’s told you something that I can use… Or maybe I just need some company.”

“That I can understand. But I am not baring my soul.”

“Just a little bit?”

“Only if you bare yours.”

“Depends what part.”

‘Ok…tell me then who exactly is Wren Fischer?”

Sirius shrugged. “A bit of friendly company.”

“So you two are totally platonic?” Lily asked incredulously.

Sirius nodded. “Believe it or not. If you haven’t noticed I haven’t had many friends lately.”

“Yeah…what about you and Hol? Aren’t you two friends now?”

“Yeah of course.” Sirius said lightly while really his stomach sank at the though of a life long friendship with Holly.

“Good good…” Lily trailed off clearly in thought. “Sirius? Do you regret anything that happened with Holly? Like has it changed your friendship?”

Sirius ran his hand through his hair. “I don’t know…I don’t know if you could say we were ever really close as friends… but no I live with no regrets…well maybe one.” He joked feebly. Lily nodded thoughtfully knowing exactly what he was talking about. “So Lily,” Sirius he continued eager to change the subject, “What about you? Regrets?”

“Umm, no not really…” She trailed off again. Sirius waited for a moment before waving his hand infront of her face.

“Lily? Lily…”

“I just remembered something.” She told him.

“Yeah...” Sirius prompted.

Lily turned to face him. “Well…James he…well he has or had a photo of me...”

“I’m listening,” Sirius said, raising his eyebrow. Lily noticed this, and her face turned to one of disgust and embarrassment. Turning a lovely shade of red she picked up a pillow and began to hit him.

“Not. That. Kind. Of. Photo. You. Dirty perve!” Lily said, punctuating each word with a hit to his head.

“Ow, ow! Stop hitting me!” Sirius said through a bout of laughter as he cowered on the floor. “Ok seriously.” He said, making himself more comfortable once she had stopped. “What's with this photo?”

Lily tried not to laugh at the sight of him sprawled on the floor his hair looking comically static.

“It’s a really awful photo of me and I just want it back. And maybe you can help me. You probably know where it is or something.”

Sirius shrugged from his place on the floor. Slowly he sat up. “I don’t. But I have no problems with fossicking through his things until we locate it.” He told her getting to his feet. At the stairs he turned. “Are you coming?”

Lily shook her head in disbelief but followed him anyway. She stopped in the doorway to survey the mess. Sirius was already busy ‘fossicking’ through what she guessed was James’ trunk.

“So this is your room, it smells like… cheese.” Lily said sniffing the air, then she took a proper look around, “How do you find anything in here?”

“Easy, it’s all on the floor.” Lily rolled her eyes, then she spotted what she wanted. “Oh god, how have you not noticed it? It’s right there!” Lily told Sirius, walking over to where it was tacked on the wall, careful not to tread on anything. Making a face at the photo she plucked it carefully from the wall taking note of the other few photos that were with it.

Sirius took the photo from her hands as she stared at the wall. “Hmm, nice photo.” He said studying the photo.

“He said it was cute,” She said snatching the photo back from him.

Sirius snorted indignantly. “I'm sorry but that photo is just plain scary.”

“Shut up!”

***

“Well that was an interesting practice,” Ruby said to Remus as they sat down on the common room couch. Remus just nodded, pulling Ruby closer to him. “Remus? Do you think James and Sirius will make up?” Remus shrugged in response. “Because I’ve never seen them fight like this before, I mean I’ve seen them IN a fight but never a not talking fight.”

“I’m sure they will get over it, I mean they are basically like brothers to each other. James being the brother Sirius always wanted and Sirius being the brother James never had.”

“I never thought of it like that before.”

“Not many people actually realise how close those two are.”

Just then the portrait hole opened, James, followed by Holly walked in. Also just at that moment Sirius and Lily walked down the steps from the boys dormitory and into the common room. The four seventh years stopped dead in their tracks when they saw who was opposite them.

An eerie silence fell over the common room, the kind where you could practically hear each individual intake of air from every person present.

“Oh, how awkward,” was all Ruby could manage to say.

“Oh, but we can leave!” Remus said as realisation dawned on him; Remus and Ruby jumped up and left the room. They both wanted to escape that situation as quickly as possible. As did the few other Gryffindor’s in the common room, who all made pathetic excuses to have to leave.

***

“What the hell was she doing with him?” James asked suddenly, making Remus spill his ink in surprise.

Remus frowned as he mopped his now ruined essay but didn’t say anything.

“And in our dorm!” James continued. Remus rolled his eyes. “Moony! Are you listening to me?”

“How could I not?” Remus muttered. James didn’t notice.

“I mean it’s bad enough that I can't be with her but to see him with her after all that he has – Remus where are you going?”

“Look James.” Remus said slowly as he packed up his things. “I really have to finish this essay. Sorry mate…I’ll talk to you later.”

“Yeah whatever.” James muttered, resting his head on the table.

Feeling guilty Remus put his things back down. “Look, I’m sure nothing is going on. You have nothing to worry about. Trust me…but I just need to get this done...”

James nodded miserably, Remus, with one last sigh of impatience left the library, making his way up to the common room.

He had been listening to James for the last couple of hours, ever since he had seen Sirius coming out of the boys’ dorm with Lily. He could understand why he was slightly distressed but wasn’t there someone else to bitch to? Already today he had listened to Sirius’ worries and problems…and his patience was wearing extremely thin.

“Hey Remus! Wait up!”

Remus almost groaned. But turned anyway. He smiled gratefully when he saw who it was. “Hey Ruby baby.” He said with a grin, sweeping her into a hug and making Ruby squeal.

“What was that for?”

“Just for being you and exactly what I needed.”

“Aw, bad day I take it? Was it James and Sirius?”

“Lily and Holly?” He asked. She nodded. “Gotta love problematic friends…” He mused as they made their way to the common room and they fell into a comfortable silence.

“So Quidditch on Saturday…final. Nervous?” Remus commented after a while. Ruby made a face.

“James is so anal about winning. Like really, who schedules practice before ten on a Saturday?”

“He is definitely one of a kind.” He replied absently as they entered the common room to find Sirius, Holly and Lily chatting amicably. Slowly they made their way over.

“Hey guys, what’s cooking?” Ruby asked cheerfully, taking a seat on the arm of Remus’ chair.

Holly smiled. “Just talking about the big game.”

Ruby made a face again. “Seems like the topic on everyone’s mind.”

“Yeah, “Sirius added. “We figured out that the team has never lost a game since James has been captain…” He said proudly. “Its against all odds that Gryffindor lose this one.”

“That’s good to hear.” Ruby replied. At the moment she was struggling to remember why she ever took on position of seeker. What if she didn’t play well on Saturday?

Remus gave her a reassuring squeeze. “You’ll be fine.”

“I'm more worried about what James will do if we lose…” Ruby joked.

Sirius cleared his throat. “Speaking of... Here he is. I’m out of here.” He said standing up.

“Sirius!” Lily and Holly called in unison but he was already halfway up the stairs. With a wave over his shoulder he disappeared completely. Lily and Holly exchanged a look of exasperation. Stupid boys.

“Where’s he going?” James asked without, taking his seat. Lily made a noise of disgust that he couldn’t have missed.

“Lily…” Holly cautioned, tired of her picking fights and for once wanting to enjoy her friends company.
James ignored Holly. Warily he looked up at Lily. “What is it now?”

Lily didn’t answer. Instead looked away from him stubbornly. With a chuckle he opened the book he had in his hands. “You have problems Evans.” He told her as he began to read.

“Me?” Lily squawked, looking wildly around at her friends for help. Finding none she looked back at him, ready to defend herself. “I have problems? I’m not the one who is so stubborn that he wont talk to his best friend – “

“Nothing to do with you…” James sang, still not looking up, which only infuriated her more.

“Fine then.” She said leaning over the coffee table towards him. “Made any good bets lately?“ she said with a false sickly sweet smile.

James quickly returned her smile. “I think its time we moved on from that. Live in the now, honey.”

“Don’t call me honey.” Lily growled leaning back in her seat and crossing her legs.

James snapped his book closed. “What would you prefer? Pumpkin? Snookums?” Suddenly his eyes widened and he grinned as he leaned toward her. “Or how about – “ he began but was cut off by Lily lunging across the coffee table to clamp a hand across his mouth. She glared at him and he glared back. Flashes of what she had told him once, in a time that seemed so long ago came to mind and she knew exactly what he was thinking.

“Don’t you dare.” She hissed, as she removed her hand she found her face inches from his. Drawing back slowly to make sure he didn’t say anything. Instead he held up his arms to surrender. Lily sat back while the other three took in the intriguing conversation. She looked at them all in turn before looking back at him. “Anything that was once said is now null and void. Got it?”

James smirked happily, the faint scent of her hair fogging his thoughts. “Everything?” He confirmed.

“Everything.” Lily stated firmly.

“Fine.” James said simply.

“Ooh no, not fine. Do tell us.” Holly said eagerly.

James shook his head. “My lips are sealed. Isn’t that right Lils?” He cooed mockingly.

“Oh, I get it. She has something over you…” Ruby breathed in realization.

“That would be correct and don’t call me Lils either. Only my friends call me that.”

James threw his head back and grabbed his heart theatrically. “Ooh… burn!” he cried before straightening up again. “So are we back to this? What name am I allowed to call you by?” He asked as Ruby, Remus and Holly all sank back in disappointment. Obviously that was the end of that conversation. No juicy gossip shared about anyone.

“Nothing. I would prefer if you don’t talk to me at all.”

“Well that’s mature. What are you like five?”

Lily snorted indignantly. “As opposed to you? Because you are most definitely the epitome of maturity. Tell me, hexed anyone lately?”

“One more word and I will have.” James shot back.

“You wouldn’t dare.” Lily sneered.

James cocked his head to one side. “Wouldn’t I?” he said, as he stood up again. “By the way I know you have my photo… I will get it back. And that’s a promise.” He told an opened mouthed Lily as he strolled away casually, his infuriating trademark smirk the last thing she saw.

***

Lily was still seething when she prepared to meet him for patrolling duties that night. He always had to have the last word. Always managed to infuriate her. Always had to win everything. And that damn smirk!

Lily was still lost in frustrating thoughts until someone called her name. Startled she spun around, catching herself on the hem of her robes, landing in an ungainly heap on the floor. Groaning, she cursed her own clumsiness. Why couldn’t she be one of those people who always fell with grace and elegance? No. That couldn’t be her. Instead here she was sprawled in the most undignified way on the floor at James Potters feet while he laughed. Laughed? Laugh?! At her? How dare he! Angrily she looked up at him. He must have sensed her death stares for he stifled his laughter.

“Evening Evans.” He choked. “Nice to see you.”

Lily scowled from her place on the floor. “Nice to see you on time for once.”

James tapped his watch and held it to his ear, frowning in confusion. “Watch must be running fast.” He told her, amused by his own joke.

Lily rolled her eyes as she picked herself up and dusted her robes. “You could have at least offered to help me up.”

James made a face. “Chivalry’s dead, sugar.”

Lily walked away shaking her head. “What the hell is with the pet names lately Potter?”

James smirked. “Shows my undying affection for you.” He called to her retreating back.

Lily spun around in horror. “Tell me seriously, were you dropped on your head as a child?”

James smirked at her. “Witty Evans. Real Witty. Please do tell me when to laugh.” He told her, striding passed.

Lily scowled at his back before she caught up with him. “Sarcasm is like breathing for you isn’t it?”

To her surprise he laughed. “You are so bitter.”

“Me bitter? I am not bitter.”

“You are so bitter. Like a pickle.” He said, stopping abruptly.

Lily looked at him incredulously. “Bitter like a pickle? Where do you come up with these things?”

“Ah, the mysteries of the mind of a genius.”

“Genius? You? HA!”

James smirked yet again. “Its not all good looks you know.” He told her tapping the side of his head.

After a comment like that Lily could barely control herself. Walking along the empty halls she had to stop to catch her breath from laughing so much. Infront of her James still stood with his infuriating smirk. “You so want me.” He said as her laughter had almost died down.

Lily almost burst out laughing again. “Yuh, and blast-ended screwts are really cuddly lovable creatures.”

“That hurts Evans, that really hurts.”

“The truth does that Potter.”

“Ouch.” James replied, having nothing else to say. Secretly he was enjoying this. It was the only time he actually spent with Lily anymore. Looking across at her he noticed her glance at her watch and sigh. She meanwhile was hating every moment. That hurt.

“Know what I hate?” He said suddenly. She didn’t answer. “Uncomfortable Silences...Really steams my broccoli.”

“Do you just talk to make sound?”

James shrugged, tossing his wand into the air and catching it again. “Only when there are dreadfully awkward silences…” Lily didn’t say anything again. “I like that word.”

“What silence?” Lily asked. “Me too!!” She said pointedly.


“No… Awkward. Its sooo…. awkward. Say it a few times. Awkward. Awkward. Awkward.” He mused, changing the tone of the word each time. A-W-K-W-A-R-D. Awkward. Weird huh?” James continued, still tossing his wand around. If he didn’t know any better Lily was on the verge of laughter and this time it wasn’t at him... “Procrastinate. ‘Nother good one.” He mused as they entered the hallway that lead to the common room. “Sounds so dirty. Procrastination… Procrastinating …Procrastinated. “ He finished with a suggestive raise of his eyebrows. This time Lily actually cracked a smile.

“So, Lily, procrastinate with me?”

With a sad little shake of her head she turned away. “Goodnight James.” She called over her shoulder. James was practically floating by the time he entered his dorm.

A/N. well that is what? chapter 13. i say wowies. this chapter got a few laughs out of those who have already read it so i hope you do enjoy... and i do think the word procrastinate is funny. which by the way is exactly what i am doing now...
r&r! -MM

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