Snow fell gently from they grey sky onto her nose. James watched as it fell softly, like millions of tiny down feathers and landed in her shiny red hair. Her nose and cheeks were red with cold and her mouth was wide open in a laugh.
Lily Potter. It rung pleasantly upon his tongue as he spoke to his best-mate: Sirius. "Getting a bit ahead of yourself mate, aren't you?"
"Yeah, no offense Prongs, but just this morning you were complaining about how much you couldn't stand how stuck up she is," Remus, another one of his close friends mused, taking in a deep breath through his nose, to avoid trickling mucus that was no doubt threatening.
It was no secret that James had fancied Lily in an other-worldly way since third year when she began filling out, but his chases were to no avail, and eventually he seemed to have cooled his jets, chasing other Marauder-worthy Hogwartians. Since this phase, James had been particularly nasty to one Lily Evans, to make the point he wanted nothing to do with her.
This however, only pleased her, as she had no desire to ever be around James. To her, the Potter boy was a precocious wanker who needed a good kick in the mouth rather than a kiss on it. It had been this way for years, and frankly, his fellow Marauders were growing a bit tired of the day-in day-out head games James played with himself that focused around Lily.
"Oh, was I?" James muttered, as they walked into Honeydukes behind Lily and her best friend, Mia.
"He's mental," Sirius concluded, grabbing a licorice wand and snapping the end of it between his glistening white teeth.
"You should at least pretend you aren't stalking her, eh Jamsey ol' boy?" Peter piped up, but James paid him no mind. It was as if he had been gripped by a smoky pink hand, fragrant and all knowing. He was suffering the type of tunnel vision he got when he was chasing the snitch. Only one thing mattered, and that thing was Lily Evans.
Sirius, Remus, and Peter all muttered incessantly about James' strange behaviour, and while they did so, James wandered through the endless aisles of candy. Chocolate frogs, chocolate cauldrons, sugar quills, Bernie Botts' Every Flavor Beans all called his name.
Grabbing a chocolate frog carton, he tore it open, snagging the head off of the squirming confectionery amphibian inside. Students sniggered as they walked past him, staring down at him as he stared around the shop, watching the red-haired phoenix girl wander about.
"-and they made him head boy? What a laugh!" A very familliar tone rung in his ears. He knew before even looking that standing above him with his gang of incredulous misfits, was greasy Snivellous Snape. James normally would have caught Snape off guard with a body-bind jinx or something of the like, but simply put, James Potter was just too enamoured to care.
As Snape went on about loudly insulting Gryffindors, James especially, from only a few feet away, James entered a moment of lucidity. Was this James Potter in love? If it was, he wasn't sure he enjoyed the idea of following some know-it-all sod of a girl like an obedient toad. But this is Lily, he thought. My flower.
"My flower. My flower." James was muttering slowly, standing up and walking around the shoppe as if he had a purpose there. He could see his friends gathered outside in the snow, huddled behind the Honeydukes' sign. They were pelting snowballs at unsuspecting third-years as they walked by. James beamed brightly and pressed his weight onto one foot preparing to apparate into the street and join in the chaos when a soft voice tickled his eardrumbs and stopped him dead in his tracks.
"Colour me surprised. James Potter, apart from his gang of miscreants while they're causing nuiscance in the streets? Tisk, tisk." His face turned bright red as he turned to face the girl he had followed into the shop in the first place.
'Yeah, wel erm-" he paused, shrugging, then looking back out of the window.
"And with no quick witted response? Are you feeling okay James?" her smile widened as she placed her hand jokingly on his forehead.
"Stop it Evans." he swatted her hand away playfully.
A look of great offence crossed her face, as she glanced back between her hand, James' hand, and James' face. Just as he was about to break into an apology, a smile cracked across her face, and a giggle rose in her throat. "That's more like it," she laughed. They strolled out into the street together, talking and laughing, all the while James was still clutching to his chocolate frog box.
"Feeling kind today, are we Lily? Usually you're a bit of an ice queen to me," said James, as they walked out into the freezing cold.
Lily shivered before gaining composure to say "W-w-well I g-guess this is my n-n-n-natural environment." They made their way to the Three Broomsticks, a pub across the street from Honeydukes. They passed the remaining Marauders, still in the street, lobbing snowballs at anyone who dared walk near them.
There was a long pause before she re-initiated the conversation. "Really though, Potter. I figured that as long as we're both Heads we may as well be civil," she held out her hand as a peace offering. Looking at it, at her soft milky skin stretched over her bones and muscle, he had an urge not to shake her hand, but to kiss it. And so he did. Lily let out a little squeak of surprise, and when he looked back up- her face was nearly as red as her hair.
Their eyes locked, and James stomach became suddenly hot and began to churn uneasily. His thoughts immediately turned to his overly-dirty glasses and his unkempt nest of hair atop his head. Had he heald on to her hand for just a moment too long? Lily pulled her hand away promptly, as if she had just touched something unpleasant and unmentionable in Herbology.
Butterbeers slammed onto the table, courtesy of a young, rude waitress, who James often flirted with while he was in the pub. She barked out the combined cost of both beverages. Lily began to raise her voice in protest when James shot her down, throwing down enough for both drinks, and then some.
There was a silence between the pair, and they avoided each other's eyes for what seemed to James like centuries. When he snuck glances at her, he realized how the dim light of the pub made her look even prettier than she normally was.
There was a rumble of rambunctious male voices as James' three friends entered the pub, and without even a sideways glance at him and Lily, took seats at the far end of the room.
"You four have a falling out or something?" Lily asked, looking a bit concerned. She glanced back and forth between the boys as if looking for a sign.
"I think they just, they just want to leave us alone."
"Wonder why," she pondered aloud, taking another dainty sip from the very lip of her cup.
Conversation stretched from his friends, to school, to familly and back. The moment seemed to be passing him in slow motion and fast forwarding all at once. Every move she made seemed to stop time for another second or two while his heart skipped erratically. At the same time, each glance at his watch showed him that half an hour, and hour, even two- had passed while they sat at the table laughing and carrying on.
Before James knew it, he was snogging Lily Evans.
Lily Potter, he thought, smiling a bit through kissing. Just as the pair stood up to leave, a definite pricking feeling touched James' hand. As he raised it to eye level to examine just what had caused the painful sensation, he realized what he was still handing in his hand- the choclate frog card. Something was off about this card... James considered himself to be a collecter of these cards, but had never seen this young wizard before.
"Lily?" he asked quietly, still gazing at the card.
"Hmm?" she replied, casually spinning the round, checking for prying eyes as she placed her coat back on.
"Who is Harry Potter?" His voice raised in question, as he shoved the card toward her.
She raised her eyebrow at him quizzically. Lily was the best witch in their year. If she didn't know who Harry Potter was, then no one would. "Is he a relative of yours? He looks just like you James." James shook his head, dumbfounded. "What are his accomplishments?"
The answer made James question his sanity momentarily. Hopefully he was just seeing things.James glanced at the card again, but the image was gone, and in it's place was a winking Albus Dumbledore, even though the name still read 'Harry Potter'. Bewilderment hit him like the Hogwarts Express. He was sure he had seen the boy-wizard awkwardly waving from behind his film just seconds ago.
"No relative I've ever heard of." he lowered his voice as they began to walk out. Examining the card, flipping it back and forth as if something was going to change again, the pair both though on how something here was fishy.
Lily's face had imprinted on it an air of confusion that wasn't far off James'."Must have been a misprint or something," she said, puzzled, gazing down at the card, in which Dumbledore was now yawning.
Sirius watched as Lily slipped her hand into James', and the couple exited the pub. Remus' voice sounded from behind him, although he never broke his gaze. A smile cracked upon his face as he reached deep inside the pockets of his robes to pull out a small vile , with a few drops of a shimmery pink liquid left. The pull of gravity caused what was left of the juice-like concotion to wriggle around, snake-like, at the bottom of the container.
"Sirius you're a lucky git he didn't see you slipping that into his pumpkin juice this morning at breakfast, or we'd all be dead." His eyes joined Sirius' as they watched James and Lily walk from the pub hand in hand. All around them, snow was falling in mass amounts.
"Well, we know all they needed was a little shove in the right direction. It's obvious to everyone but them that she loves him, and he loves her." There was a pause as the trio watched James and Lily fade into the distance. "And a little love potion never hurt anyone."
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