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Chapter Sixteen

"I can't believe they made me stay here on the holidays ... I can't believe them. I can't believe Petunia!"

Abbey lolled into a nearby chair, one slender leg thrown over the arm. She shrugged, "Petunia's a brat, Lils. Even I know that. She was bound to get her way by saying 'Oh but Lily gets all the attention!' I mean, really. You've had to have seen in coming sooner or later."

Lily huffed.

"Besides, you have me to be entertained by," Abbey grinned happily. "This'll be our first Christmas at school."

She stared back at her over - excited bestfriend, "Well you'll be hulled over your boyfriend, doing Merlin knows what, in Merlin knows where, while I'm here to sulk in the emptiness of the common room."

Lily scanned the area, as decorative as the room seemed, it was so dead; everyone had gone home already. 

"Actually, James is staying with Sirius. So you always have James, you know."

Lily's heart jumped at her newly gained knowledge. So James was going to be staying for the holidays aswell? Hmph ... life loved playing the game of irony with Lily.

After what seemed like Lily's biggest breakdown yet, they hadn't spoken, at all. Well, with the exception of the small greetings they'd share whenever they made eye contact. Hello's or Hi's were the only conversation she could stand to have with James. And she had felt like he wasn't pushing her to do anything anymore; like he was just ... there.

"So, what's been going on with you two, anyway?" Abbey said, breaking the short silence between the friends. "It isn't normal to have Lily Evans and James Potter be ... like whatever you two are right now. I have no idea what you two did to each other, but it's awkward."

"Oh." It was all Lily could mutter.

Awkward? Was it that noticeable? 

"James always goes shy and hides under his shell around you, Lils," Abbey stared, "And it's not like James Potter to be shy. I mean really, what have you done to the poor boy?"

Lily looked up, meeting Abbey's gaze, "I have no idea."

* * * *

James, meanwhile, had been wandering the castle corridors; his thoughts had been bothering him the past few weeks. He had never thought this much in his whole life. And what had he even been thinking about? He wasn't even sure. Only that everything had suddenly revolved aroudn Lily. Everything he did, everything he said; he had to make sure they somehow didn't harm her. It was like he was protecting Lily from ... well, himself.

He groaned under his breath, slowly pacing himself up the stairs.

Maybe if he had done things differently when they had first met. James turning Lily's hair green on their first day wasn't exactly a sign of affection. But it wasn't completely ignoring her either. He craved her attention, even at eleven years old. And he was sixteen now ... things didn't change.

James muttered the password to the portrait of the Fat Lady, ignoring her mumbling something about his manners as he entered the common room.

James slowed in midstep as he watched a sleeping Lily Evans breath underneath a book. Her face was covered, but he could recognize the blazing red hair anywhere. So she was staying for the holidays? It looked like it.

What was he going to do? Just leave the book on her face as she slept? The was probably the best thing to do, to not bother her, not to risk her waking up, but instead, James walked over to her, almost tip toeing. He took the book from her carefully, then froze as she shifted.

Her eyes opened slowly. She jumped, "James?!"

James' eyes widened, "Lily ... I - I'm sorry. I was just," he motioned towards the book, "It was on your face."

Lily blinked, "Oh, well ... okay."

"So ... you're staying for Christmas, then?"

She nodded, looking down, "Uh, yeah."

There was an awkward silence, but it was broken when they both spoke at once. 

"We need to talk."

James chuckled, then took a seat at a nearby armchair. "Do you want me out of your life?"

Lily's breath caught in her throat. The bluntness of his question had startled her. She swallowed, not wanting to answer his question. 

He continued, "Because if you don't, Lily, then I'll leave you alone. I just need to know what you want."

He watched her anxiously; it would be hard, for him, at least, to completely ignore all of what was Lily Evans. But what better than to keep her happy? He had caused her too much trouble already, and he didn't even know it. He was unfimiliar to the problems he had caused her. And all because of what? Because he wanted her. A selfish act, and he knew it now.

Lily blinked. What did she want? She looked up at him, his expectant gaze almost tearing her to peices. "No, James. I don't want this to be about me. All this time, you've asked me what I wanted. All this time, I've told you what to do," she could feel a lump beginning to form in her throat, "This time, it should be about you. Not me."

He had half expected her to get up an run. Or possibly, ask him to leave. But she hadn't. He got up, and sat at her side; watching as she sat straight, her back on the arm of the chair.

"No ..." James said in reply, "I was being the selfish one. I was trying to get you to like me, even if I knew it would never happen. Even if I knew you didn't like me ..."

James chuckled, running a hand through his hair, then looked back at her.

Then, she couldn't help it ... she kissed him, knowing exactly why she wanted too. She leaned forward on the leather couch, and grabbed his face between her hands, and it happened. She didn't know how long they were in the kiss, but after, she didn't leave. She just sat there, looking at him. His confused expression made her laugh.

James froze a moment in time ... he blinked once, then twice, then was broken out of his trance by the sounds of Lily's laughter. He stared at her blankly, then leaned forward, this time towards her, then repayed the same action. He was seeing if this was real, if somehow, this was a dream. But it wasn't .. and Lily didn't run in fright.
She sighed, as they broke apart, placing her forehead gently against his; her eyes closed, and her hand on his cheek. She smiled as she felt his hand stroke the back of her hair.

"Merlin knows how long I've been waiting for that," James said playfully, and she knew he was grinning.

She chuckled, then opened her eyes. "Will you do me a favor?"

James almost frowned; was she about to tell him to forget about what just happened? Or pretend like this never happened, and tell him to go away, and get out of her life forever? 

He nodded solemnly, "Anything."

"Make sure no girl ever kisses you like that again."


Author's Note; bonjour my faithful readers (whom I love to the ends of the earth)! Here is the sixteenth chapter of my lovely story. I won't make excuses to why I was so late with this chapter; you're all probably tired of it right now. So I'm just thanking you for still reading, and keeping up with my procrastinating arse. :) But I do hope you enjoy! Seventeenth chapter coming up ...

; I own nothing of J.K.'s. Get it? Got it? Gooooooood.

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