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James watched the brunette sitting by the lake with an increasing sense of exasperation. 

“Why won’t she talk to me?!” he turned to his best friend, Daniel Juniper, with a forlorn look on his face. Dan glanced up from ‘The Revised Edition of Hogwarts: A History’ and over to where Evelynn Swann was chatting animatedly to her friends. 

“She hasn’t forgiven you yet.” Dan said simply, folding the corner of his page down and shutting the book. He knew he’d never get to read it in peace until James had finished his weekly…no, daily…mope over Evelynn. 

James scowled, “It wasn’t that bad...besides I didn’t mean for it to happen to her.” 

He thought back to the incident that had taken him right back to square one with the divine Miss Swann. He’d grown up on legends of his grandfather- his namesake- and his friends, and on his Uncle George and his deceased twin Fred. They were pranksters. James, from a very early age, had determined to be just like them. 

Evelynn, however, didn’t seem to appreciate it. She had frowned upon his jokes and pranks since first year. At first, James had brushed her off- sure, she was pretty, but she was boring. Then she had become Chaser for the Gryffindor team in their third year and he had found himself becoming rapidly obsessed with her; her wit, her bookish tendencies, the way her olive eyes became greener when she was really happy or really sad, the way she bit her bottom lip when she was trying to hold her temper, the way she flew so gracefully and the way she ate sugar quills obsessively with nerves at exam time. 

But all his hard work and efforts to impress her had been ruined by a simple prank that had gone horribly wrong. 

James and Oliver chuckled as they waited in the common room for their next victim. Henrietta Thomas would never report them to McGonagul again after this…Oliver brandished his wand and tapped the Butterbeer with it, replicating it twice so there were now three bottles. James grinned delightedly as he poured the potion into the original bottle.. He couldn’t wait to see how this one turned out. 

Henrietta emerged from the portrait door in a foul mood. James leapt up from his seat and waved at her as she came in, “Henrietta! Over here!!” 

She looked over and sighed, if it had been anyone else other than James Potter she would have ignored them. Unfortunately for her, she harboured a rather strong crush on the boy… Despite the fact she had reported him to McGonagul for sneaking out at night only a few weeks ago (and earned him a week detention for it). She would never have done it normally, but it was a widely known fact that James fancied Evelynn Swann, who as a Prefect, told James off pretty often. Henrietta rather foolishly thought she might try it: maybe James liked bossy girls? 

So, she had wandered over to James and his friend Oliver Bones, and gave them both a small smile. James grinned back at her, and she blushed a bit, relieved that he didn’t seem to be mad at her. 

“You look tired, everything ok?” Oliver asked, and Henrietta nodded. 

“Just had a bad Potions class.” 

James nodded sympathetically, “Know what you mean, Zabini's a nightmare…here, have a Butterbeer, that’ll cheer you up.” 

Henrietta took it, even though she hated Butterbeer and smiled. “Thanks, I’ll see you guys later.” 

James and Oliver waved until she was out of sight before they burst out laughing. “Can’t wait till she drinks it.” 

They waited for five minutes before an ear-splitting shriek came from the girls dormitories. The two boys burst out laughing once more as thunderous footsteps came from the stairs. 

All the humour drained from James the minute he saw the female in question. It wasn’t Henrietta who had suffered from the hair growth potion, but Evelynn. She looked absolutely livid, and despite the fact she had a rapidly growing brown beard neither of the boys could laugh. 

“WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM POTTER?!” she bellowed the moment she saw James, her eyes darkening with sheer fury.

James shrank away as she strode towards him, “It wasn’t meant for you, it was for Henrietta.” 

“AND THAT MAKES IT BETTER THAT YOU TRIED TO PRANK SOMEONE ELSE?! YOU ARE AN INSUFFERABLE, IDIOTIC TOAD!” she was bright red, and even though she was a foot shorter than him, James felt like she was four feet bigger. 

“We’re sorry Evie, but…” Oliver’s voice was meek and he looked even paler than usual under his mess of blonde hair.

“SHUT UP!” she bellowed, before rounding on James again, pulling her wand out of her robe menacingly, “IF YOU EVER COME NEAR ME AGAIN I WILL PERSONALLY SEE TO IT THAT YOU NEVER GRADUATE HOGWARTS WITHOUT AT LEAST ONE LIMB MISSING!” 

With that final threat, she had stomped off to the Hospital Wing to get the beard removed. 

Though James had tried to apologise millions of times; he’d written to her, waited outside every class to speak to her, cornered her in the library and at quidditch practice; she would not budge. She completely ignored him, and if he got too close she used a swift Protego to keep him away. 

James watched as she stood up and pulled her robe on. She locked eyes with him briefly, and James beamed at her, waving manically. She looked at him steadily and he found himself crossing every finger and toe and even his eyes in the hope she'd return the smile. And she's not shouting at me or looking pissed off, Merlin, I think she's going to forgive me! He thought delightedly, not noticing Dan's snort of amusement as his smile got even wider.

Dan watched curiously as Evelynn eventually gave James a small smile, picked up a plastic cup of pumpkin juice and headed over to them. 

James sat up immediately, his hand automatically rushing up to ruffle his hair a bit, and he smiled brightly as Evelynn paused in front of them. 

“Hello James, hello Dan.” She said softly, her green eyes intent on James. 

Dan nodded his head in acknowledgment and re-opened his book to pretend to resume reading. James beamed, “Hi Evie.” 

“I’ve been thinking James…maybe I over-reacted a bit to your little joke the other day. I know why you did it, and as much as I don’t approve, I don't suppose it meant any real harm, and it was actually quite funny in retrospect.” 

James’ grin stretched so wide that Dan was sure his face would split. 

“Yeah, sorry about that…” James said, eager to keep on her good side, “You did manage to pull the beard off though.” 

Evelynn laughed lightly, “Thanks. Look, the girls and I are having a bit of a picnic,” she paused, “Do you want to join us?” 

James nodded and stood up immediately, having totally forgotten Dan was there too. Eveylnn looked at Dan questioningly, and he stood up too, inwardly chuckling to himself about the sheer delight on James’ face as he trotted after Evelynn, a noticeable bounce in his step. 

They joined the girls with their picnic, and James readily accepted a beaker of pumpkin juice, regaling the girls with a story of how he, Oliver and Dan had barely escaped Filch’s capture when setting off Dungbombs one time. 

Dan, still reading his book, thought that the girls laughed a little too gleefully, particularly since Evelynn usually vocally protested against their rule-breaking. He looked up curiously and burst out laughing himself. 

“James…” his voice trailed off as he doubled over with hysterics. James looked at him and then to the girls in confusion, but they were all laughing madly too. Evelynn was almost in tears, clutching her ribs and gasping in desperate breaths between her chuckles.

“What’s going on?” he reached up to run a hand through his hair and let out a horrified little squeak. His hair…he put both his hands to his head in desperation to find himself completely bald. He turned to Evelynn with wide eyes. 

“That look really doesn’t suit you Potter.” She bit out between laughter induced hiccups, and James watched her giggling away, her eyes twinkling at him teasingly, before he grinned back. Sure, he was completely hairless...but Evelynn Swann was talking to him again, smiling at him again. And she’d played a prank on him…I’m going to marry this girl, he thought to himself as he joined in the laughter.

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