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**2 o'clock**
**Seven Hours To Go**

It seems as though, as the clock ticked away merrily in the corner of our common room, that the line I had drawn across the floor hours and hours ago, had grown thicker. I was embarrassed. So embarrassed that I didn't talk to James for a whole hour, and surprisingly, he too had kept his loud mouth, shut. Until, that was, he whispered an apology across the room.

'Sorry, Lily,' came his whispered voice on his side of the room.

I un-burrowed my face out of a fluffy pillow I had stuck it into and frowned. He seemed quite upset as he sat twiddling his thumbs absentmindedly, looking at the floor. 'Why are you sorry?' I asked him, an eyebrow raised in confusion.

He muttered some well chosen, incoherent words to himself before mumbling just loud enough for me to hear, 'Really sorry. I annoy you,' came the mumbled words. I nearly fell off the couch because I was leaning in so far to hear them. And from shock. James Godric Potter, the rich, snobbish, popular, annoying, all around perfect guy in Hogwarts, was telling me, Lily Rose Evans, that he was sorry. But for what?...I have absolutely no idea.

'I still don't understand why you're sorry for being annoying...' I said, completely dumbfounded.

'Because I keep annoying you!' said James, his voice rising to an audible tone. I sighed. Well thanks captain're the most biggest annoying prat I've ever met and that just got through your thick skull after seven years. His voice sunk once more, 'And I'll never get you to say yes.' He sounded regretful that he had asked me out all those times...upset and angry at himself.

'James,' I rolled my eyes and he looked up at the sound of his name. What were those in his eyes behind his glasses? Wait...were those tears? Little sparkling specks of regret and sadness? 'Are you crying?' I laughed.

He scowled and wiped his eyes with the palm of his hand. 'No!' he declared loudly. 'I am not!'

I laughed. 'Yes you are!' I laughed even harder. The tips of his ears burnt red and so did his pale cheeks. Now I'm arguing with him about crying...Merlin he's stubborn!

'No I'm not Evans! I....I...I had something in my eye!' he said again, placing his glasses back on his face with a broad scowl. He looked utterly embarrassed and I looked very amused. I was very amused.

'Right,' I replied sarcastically. He's horrible at lying...absolutely horrible. I have to make a mental note to play poker with him someday. I'd so win.

'I'm NOT CRYING!' he declared, his voice rising, embarrassed and fists clenched into balls at his side as he stood up.

I shook my head. 'You're so stubborn, Potter,' I replied flippantly and laughed, picking my book off of my floor and beginning to reread it again for about the eighth time.

**3 o'clock**
**6 Hours To Go**

My...he sure has changed in the matter of 18 Hours....most of which were hell on wheels and in a box, I thought, my eyes grazing over his face as he frowned in concentration again. He sat staring at the chess board again, against some particularly hard magical opponents. I watched as he considered his moves, watching the board with a keen hazel eye. His brow was furrowed in concentration and I could nearly imagine how those rusty wheels in his head were turning frantically. If only he could apply his chess skills to schoolwork...I shouldn't be talking, I'm rubbish at chess...I thought once more.

Apparently, he felt my gaze and looked up. A lopsided grin broke out on his once stone face. Instantly I knew for a moment why the girls always fawned over him...Wait a minute! My thoughts are being contaminated! My head screamed. I just almost literally admitted that I fancy him!! But my subconscious whispered: Your thoughts are swaying Lily...admit it! But I shoved that annoying thought back. I'll pull you out when I need you... 'You want to see if you can beat me?' he drawled out dramatically with a broader grin.

My cheeks flushed with embarrassment. That thought escaped and zoomed persistently around my head again like a hyperactive owl. 'No...really,' I shook my head, my cheeks now almost the red colour of my hair. Oh Merlin...I'm stuck in a pile of mud about knee deep. 'I'm utter rubbish at chess...' I mumbled.

His thin face showed an expression of glee and surprise. 'Oh really!' He exclaimed. 'The all around perfectionist and wise-gal can't play chess?' asked James. His eyes twinkled with mischief.

I nodded. 'Not to save my life,' I admitted with a deeper blush. I absentmindedly brushed back a piece of loose hair.

He let out a small laugh. I knew that James could tell that he was flattering me. But not that much! I swear! Just...a bit. A centimeter maybe? 'C'mon, Lily,' he said. I bet he took a second thought about calling me Lils. 'I'll teach you the ropes,' he said.

I looked pointedly down at the line drawn out across the room. I still refused to remove it. Who knew what insufferable plans he had up his sleeve yet? I knew as much as he did that we're both stubborn idiots. Well, the idiot part only pertains to him. Not me.

He followed my gaze to the line and his grin reappeared. He smartly picked up the chess board and sat it down on the floor, right across the line. One half on my side, the other on his...well maybe the prat does have some brains up there in that empty hollow of an inflated head. 'There,' he declared. 'You're black...I'll make the first move...and this is normal muggle chess...'

I raised my eyebrows. Potter, playing muggle chess?

'Yeah, I playing normal chess...' he said as if he had read my mind. 'I only had one side enchanted when I played by myself...' he grinned again. 'So I make the first move...and then I'll help you make yours...' He looked expectantly, waiting for my answer.

I was an independent girl. I wasn't going to let him help me that easily. 'No thank you,' I replied smugly, despite my knowledge of that I didn't do good at chess. 'I'll manage it by myself.'

And within a matter of five minutes, he had me check and mated.

**Five and a Half Hours To Go**

'No...Lily I've told you this eight times already, the pawn only moves up to two spaces! It can't move three,' James declared a half a hour later then we had began. I believe we were on our eleventh game. I was getting a 'bit' better in my standards...better than I had been before but not nearly as good enough to beat him. He sighed in exhaustion.

I'm sorry! my thoughts spat. If I can't remember which pieces move how and where! I had my hand on the pawn. He snapped his own hand out, grasped my wrist and pushed my hand and the pawn back one.

Woa...invasion of personal space here again! But this time, it's not half bad...His hand lingered, as did my thoughts once more, and when he saw his hand still laying on top of mine I shot him a shifty grin. He reluctantly returned it with a not-so-confident grin of his own. He seemed embarrassed and I had to let out a small laugh. Though, it came out like a giggle. Oh Merlin. Didn't mean to do that. Murder me now! My cheeks went pink and he let out a nervous chuckle.

'O-Okay...o-on with the game then...' he swallowed with another nervous laugh and picked up his hand. Not so smooth now, are you Potter, now that the girl you annoy the most and like the most is paying attention to you? Never had I seen James Potter more embarrassed and less smooth in my Hogwarts career. And that included a lot of practical jokes played on him.

A little while later. I just had to laugh. His hands were shaky, his hair more mussed up than normal, and his eyes wide with intensity at his current situation. He looked up at me at my abrupt laugh. 'What?' he asked, his voice straining to remain unstuttering.

'You're embarrassed aren't you?' I laughed. I'm sorry. I just couldn't help it. He looked so flustered that I wanted to do something to remember this moment by. And his cheeks only reddened more when I asked. But that...was in anger.

'I am not!' he declared defiantly.

'You are too,' I said before smiling, leaving my post at the chess board and saying before I returned to a book, 'So stubborn.'

Author's Notes: I know ya'll love me =) but you're getting a bit brutal in showing it -winks- Just kidding! No trying to find my house now, I have a white flag hanging over it! Truce! -wink wink-
Love ya all...too many reviewers to remember! But I love ya anyways! Keep it up! And I will too!

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