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Chapter 1: 10 Flaws I Love About You
A/N: Own nothing. Wish I did. That's pretty much the case.
10 Flaws I love About You
“Enough, James,” I said holding up my hand.
He frowned. “But why?”
I sighed, taking the hand to my forehead. This would take all of my self-control. I had begun to practice that one. Ever since James and I agreed on the peace treaty two months ago it had only gotten better as we had a line now. Or a Time, we called it.
“Because,” I said slowly, “I have already used all of my James-time today. That means that you have used all of your Lily-time. Ergo, we can’t see each other or talk to each other more today. Okay?”
“No!” I held up my hand yet again. “James, I swear if you say the word ‘love’ in the same sentence as the word ‘you’ while facing me, I will hit you and I will hit you where it hurts the most. Understand?”
James nodded mutely. “But what if I smiled really sweetly and told you why?”
I groaned. “Oh, my temper can’t handle this today! Another day maybe.”
“You won’t give up before I say ‘yes’ won’t you?”
“Probably not,” he said, grinning.
An idea suddenly came to my mind. If he said he loved anything about me, let him prove it. I raised an eyebrow and his grin faded.
“I dare you!”
He frowned, crossing his arms. “Okay, what do you dare me to and what’s the prize and what if I lose?”
I smiled. “Tell me ten things you love about me. If you lose, you’ll leave me alone forever!” I waved with my hands to emphasise. “If you win, I’ll go to Hogsmeade with you, the one in eleven days.”
He nodded. “I can do that. How much thinking time?”
“You need thinking time?” I asked, perplexed. “I thought you didn’t need that kind of thing.”
“Normally I don’t,” he said with a shrug. “But I want to say the perfect things. Let’s say one a day?”
I sighed. “All right then,” I grunted. “And no lying, you have to be honest.”
“Great,” he grinned and strolled away before I could say anything.
“Chris, I think I’ve just made a huge mistake!”
Christine looked up, facing me. “Okay.”
“Not interested in hearing what kind of mistake?”
“Noooo, not particularly,” she muttered looking down at her book. “But according to the tone you used I guess it has something to do with James. And seeing that I’ve stopped really caring about that a long time ago and decided to be neutral I’m not really interested in hearing.”
“Tough but true.”
I slumped down on my bed and crossed my arms. What a friend she was being.
I closed my eyes and turned with a sigh. “Yes?”
James stopped in front of me, smirking. “First day, remember?”
“All too well,” I mumbled
“Care listening?” he asked, a new sharp edge in his voice.
“Not really, but there’s no way stopping you, is there?”
He smirked. “No. So the first one…” He glanced quickly at me. “I love the way you fall off the bench each morning when you lean backwards while we eat breakfast.”
It took me a few seconds to really understand what he had just said. When I had finally turned it a few hundred times in my head, I frowned.
“That’s very… original. What happened to the good old ‘I love the way you smile’ or ‘I love the way you laugh’?”
He smiled. “What’s the fun with that?” he asked. “Everyone can say that, everyone can be romantic and say a lot of crap, but not everyone can do it with their hearts. I can’t and I want to be honest. These points will be personal and fit you.”
I didn’t know what to say so instead I just looked at him. After ten seconds the silence started to get awkward and James moved uncomfortably.
“You can say something now,” he said.
I raised a sceptical eyebrow. “So you love the way I fall off the bench?”
A faint blush crept up his cheeks and he smiled embarrassed. “I guess.”
I nodded. “Okay.”
“Is that all you’ve got to say?”
“What?” I asked. “Do you want me to say I love the way you stumble when looking after me in the corridor?”
He frowned. “That’s either really sweet or really stalker-ish noticed… Do you look after me too?”
I blushed. “I had just noticed. Don’t push your luck, James.”
“Not pushing it,” he smirked. “I just asked. Have a nice day!” He turned and strolled away before I could speak.
Christine was still not interested in hearing about my mistake and therefore no one knew about my deal with the devil. Maybe Sirius, Remus, and Peter, but if they did, they hadn’t said it to anyone.
After class I was on the way back to the tower with Christine when someone grabbed my arm and pulled me back.
“Hey!” I exclaimed, making Christine turn.
“I’ve got something to say,” James muttered in my ear.
I rolled my eyes and turned. “Yes?”
He smiled. “I love when you accidentally tumble over when standing up too quickly.”
I frowned. “What?”
He just looked at me, rising both of his eyebrows.
“Oh, yeah, the points.” I hit my forehead, and then I thought of his words. “Um. Do I do that?” I asked, “Fall over when standing up too fast?”
“Often,” he said with a smile. It didn’t seem to amuse him in such a way it’d amuse a lot of others who saw me fall.
“Lily, what’s going on?” Christine asked, stopping at my side.
“James just wanted to tell me something,” I said quickly. “Were we going?”
I turned before any of them answered. Christine quickly caught up with me. “What is going on, Lily?”
“You said you didn’t want to know,” I said, smirking. “So I’m not telling you.”
“Your mistake…?” she asked slowly.
“Exactly,” I grumbled.
“Daring James. If he won I’d go on a date with him.”
“What did you dare him to?”
“Tell me ten things about me which he loves,” I closed my eyes, still walking. “How could I have been so stupid?”
“I surely don’t know,” she said. “But I’m still neutral.”
“I know,” I sighed. “Tell me again, why you are?”
“Because,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “When you used to hate him, normal friends would be good friends and do too, but what if you suddenly change your mind about him? Then friends would do too, but they’ve already shown they do not like him… They show they don’t have an opinion themselves. In this way I’m loyal to myself, and don’t just follow my friend. See?”
I frowned. Oh, thinking hard this early in the morning would give me a brain damage.
“Chris, I don’t think I’m going.”
Christine turned and looked at me with a frown. “You’re not going to class?”
I shook my head. “No.”
I smiled. “Because then he’ll lose.”
“James,” I said with a roll of my eyes. “If we don’t meet, he won’t tell me his next point and he’ll have lost.”
“That’s stupid, did you know that?” She walked towards me and grabbed my hands. “You do realize that James’s a Marauder and even if you don’t show your face today, he’ll find a way to tell you nonetheless, right?”
I frowned. “Dear Merlin, you’re right. I have to leave the castle.”
“Oh, no!” she hissed. “Lily, stop being a chicken and get your butt down to the Charms classroom!”
I fought against her, but she wasn’t going to let me go. At last I gave up and let her drag me down the staircase, through the common room and ended up in the classroom.
James sat just in front of us, but that didn’t prevent him from looking at me. I tried to ignore him, but it wasn’t easy. He cornered me after class.
I groaned and motioned for Christine to move on. I turned to him, “Yes?”
He smirked. “Okay. I love the way you click your tongue when being unsatisfied with something.”
I tilted my head. I actually did do that. A bad habit of mine, it was really.
“That’s a weird thing to like.”
“But it’s true.”
“All right then,” I muttered.
“Is that all you’ve got to say to it?”
I frowned. “You said so two days ago.”
“That’s because you don’t have a comeback for the things I say.”
“What do you want me to say, James?” I made a little outcome with my arms. “We have a problem here. That’s you and me not feeling the same way about each other. I can’t say I love things about you, because – I know this will be tough to hear, but it’s true – I don’t love you.”
“Yeah, you think so,” he said confidently.
I put a hand to my forehead. “What does it take to push you off the broom, to break you down?”
He shrugged. “The unexpected maybe. I don’t know really.”
I nodded. “Okay then. Am I free to go now?”
“Not if I was to decide, but I’m not, so just go.”
I smiled at him before I turned and walked away.
James was smiling. He was smiling waaaaay to brightly. He probably had all his ten points now, and only waited to torture me. I was sure.
“Look at him,” I muttered to Christine. “He thinks he’s soooo good. Soooo Smart! Soooo winning this.”
“He is,” she said with a snort.
“What do you know?”
“A hell of a lot more than you do.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Have you talked to James?”
She smiled. “No, but I talked to Remus… Those guys are crazy. I had no idea they were so girlish.”
I pursed my lips, trying to suppress a smile. I turned to look at him again. He was no longer looking at me, thank Merlin. I sighed, looking back at Christine.
“Well,” I muttered. “We might as well get this over with.”
“What are you doing?”
“Taking the dragon by its horns. Wish me luck.”
She said nothing, which was normal behavior. I strolled down the table, stopped behind James and poked his shoulder. He turned slowly, raising his eyebrows at the sight of me.
“What?” he asked.
“Don’t you have something to say?”
The corners of his mouth turned downwards and he looked at me frowning, as if trying to remember something. “No,” he said at last.
“What?” I asked.
“Now’s not the time, Evans,” he grinned.
With another weird glance I left and walked straight out of the Great Hall. I slowed down when out and then started the walk back to the Gryffindor Tower, still thinking of why he’d let me wait.
It took me longer time than usual to make it back to the tower, but when I arrived a surprise was waiting for me.
“James,” I said, eyeing him in the corridor, leaning against the wall. “How… How did you get up here so fast?”
He smirked, pushing away from the wall. “There’re a lot of things you don’t know about me, Evans.”
“Okay then,” I said. “Do you mind moving, I was actually about to pass here.”
He smiled and stepped aside. I nodded and walked past.
“I love that you always try to be ahead of things, but mostly failing when trying to.”
I stopped right next to him. I slowly looked at him. “So you were just waiting for now to say that?”
He shrugged. “Well, I think it was rather perfect timing…”
I thought about it and then nodded. “Yeah, true.”
“I was trying to make a point.”
“Point taken,” I muttered, smiling. I was about to leave. “I’ll try not to do that.”
“No don’t,” he said and placed a hand on my shoulder. “It’s one of those things that define you.”
I sighed. “I know.”
“Don’t change for me.”
I nearly giggled, but realized in the last second it wasn’t something I did. Lily Evans did not giggle. I settled with giving him a smile and then walked past him. Of course I wouldn’t change for him, not even if it made him like me less.
“Look,” I muttered. “Snow.”
Christine looked up and out of the window groaning, “No way.”
“Yes way,” I said with a smile. “About time too.”
“December would be great without snow just once,” she said. “You do realize I won’t join you if you want to go outside, right?”
“Yeah,” I sighed.
She smiled. “So what has James told you today?”
I scratched my cheek. “Nothing. But he’s been gone all day too. I haven’t seen him. Maybe he’s forgotten it!”
She laughed, “I highly doubt that.”
“Yeah me too.”
“Don’t sound so sad.”
“What do you think he’ll do if I escape up to the dorm and stay there until tomorrow so he can’t tell me?”
“We have talked about this, Lily. He’ll try to get up there,” she said.
“So you think he could?”
I was about to answer when someone spoke behind me, “Yes, he could.”
I closed my eyes. “Hi James.”
“Hello Evans,” he said and sat down next to me on the couch. “Had a nice day?”
“Until now, yes.”
“Don’t be mean.” He moved so he could have a better look at me. “I love the way you’ve arranged your hair today.”
I looked at him. “Was that a point?”
“Nope,” he said and shook his head. “But it’s true.”
“What are you? A girl?”
He smirked. “Do you wanna see?”
“EW!” I exclaimed. “James, get off this couch!”
He grinned and jumped up. “I love the way you often get too worked up over small things. See you.”
I grinded my teeth hardly. “He’s too damn good at this.”
“I know,” Christine smirked.
“Lily, I think you’re overreacting.”
I looked up. “Why?”
Christine rolled her eyes. “You’re practically sweating… Looking around nervously… Hiding whenever a black haired person enters.”
I glared at her. “Shut up will you?”
“No.” She shook her head. “You’re totally overreacting.”
“Am so not,” I denied.
“So said James.”
“What?! You talked to James?”
She smirked. “Maybe…”
I crossed my arms. “You’re stupid.”
“Am so not!” I said yet again.
“Oh, hi James!”
“Shoot,” I hissed and ducked.
Next she chuckled. “I was only kidding. Overreacting fool. Please try to act normal.”
But I was reacting normal, wasn’t I? I slowly came up to the surface of the table again, glaring at Christine.
“You’re an idiot, but you’re an idiot who’s right.”
“So are you acting mature now?” she asked. I nodded. “Good, because he’s coming here.”
I closed my eyes. Act mature, Lily, act mature.
When he and Remus sat down I tried to just ignore him, but found that would be immature too. I smiled pleasantly.
James nodded. “Wearing a white shirt today, Evans.”
What a strange kind of information. “Um, yes.”
“You know you’ll spill, right?”
I exchanged glances with Christine. “Er, what?” I asked, with a frown.
He smirked. “You always spill when wearing white. Haven’t you noticed?”
“It’s one of those things I love about you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked with a frown.
He rolled his eyes. “So I have to make it official?”
Now I was really confused. “What?”
He sighed. “Okay. I love that you can’t wear white clothes at dinner without spilling on it. All right?”
I clasped my hand against my forehead. “Oh, that. Sorry James. You got me confused there.”
He smiled. “Thought so too.”
I sighed. “Well, thanks then… I guess.”
I let my hand dump onto the table where it accidentally hit the spoon which was in the ketchup. James laughed and pointed at the red stain on my shirt.
I narrowed my eyes at the window in the castle of which I knew Christine was hiding behind. I mimed the word ‘chicken’ before turning. Just then a snowball hit the side of my head.
I spun around to find Kate and Mary, but they were far away, and it couldn’t have been them. My eyes stopped at James. I knew that straight away it was him. He waved and slowly walked to my side.
“Idiot,” I muttered.
He smiled. “I was trying to get your attention.”
“Mission succeeded,” I said. “You’ve got it.”
“So what’s new?” he asked, pulling off his gloves.
I raised an eyebrow, looking at him. “Nothing. What’s with the attitude?”
He shrugged. “Figured that now that we have a date we’d have to be able to keep a conversation going.”
“You’re pretty sure of yourself, huh?”
“You have to be,” he said smoothly.
Even though I still found it kind of annoying that he was so bloody confident it was one of the things I actually liked about him. Guys with no confidence and thinking low of themselves were really not cute. Most girls thought so, but I’d always wanted to have guys to be equal to me, and they weren’t if they had no self-esteem or tried to play so.
I sighed, looking at him. “So what’s my thing today?”
“You want to know now?”
I shrugged. “Might was well be now as never, right?”
“Yeah.” He messed up his hair a bit. “Well… Um, I love when you laugh at yourself because you’ve accidentally made a fool of yourself.”
I couldn’t help smiling. “Oh, yeah,” I muttered. “I do do that. It’s because then it’s not so embarrassing.”
“It looks cute.” He looked away while saying it. “So where’s Christine?”
I smiled. I liked how he changed the topic instead of shoving his points in my face.
“Inside,” I said at last. “She said she wasn’t finished with an assignment… I know she finished it last weekend.”
He grinned. “Some just want to do anything to be free from snow.”
“Not me, I love snow.”
“So do I.”
I sighed. “I’m going inside. Have fun.”
He waved at me as I walked towards the castle.
“Snow is overrated really. Who wants to throw around with frozen water to just have it slide down your back, turning into cold water? ...”
Christine was jabbering with enormous speed about the drawbacks of snow. I wasn’t really listening though; I had my eyes on James and Remus who sat at the other end of the library, wondering when he’d come over. It was seven thirty and he’d pulled it all day, not even speaking to me. Maybe he’d forgotten it…
I shook out of the train of thought. “Yes?” I asked Christine.
She looked stunned. “Wow, you actually came back first time I tried to make you. Wow. Progress.”
I glared at her. “I was thinking.”
“Wow, glad to hear you’re trying something new,” she mumbled. “About what this time?”
I scratched my neck. “I think James has forgotten.”
She frowned. “You do know that that’s not possible, right?”
I shrugged, looking towards the table only to stop breathing almost. James was gone. Instead Sirius was sitting in his chair, talking to Remus.
“He’s gone,” I said in a monotone voice.
“What?” Christine turned.
“He sat there before,” I said. “Now he’s gone.”
“Not gone.” James sat down in the only free chair at Christine and mine table. “Just left for a few seconds.”
“Hi James,” I said, trying to play it cool.
“Evans, Jackson.” James had a thing for last names, I think.
Christine nodded at him before turning to her work. James leaned back in his chair and flung his feet to the table. I studied him.
“Well?” I asked.
“Well what?” he asked back without looking at me.
He chuckled. “I thought you’d learned about patience and not trying to get ahead of things.”
“Just get it over with, James,” I sighed.
“Hmm…” He looked into the ceiling. “I love that when you’re daydreaming you’re almost impossible to get back.”
I suddenly smiled. “You got that from our conversation?”
He grinned. “Not the slightest. I know you, Evans, and don’t deny it. I simply notice these things about you.”
I looked down. “I guess.”
I scratched a few doodles on my parchment and then looked up again. He was gone. Soundlessly and everything too. I frowned and saw him sit at their table, all four of them now. I shook my head. How he did it I had no idea, but he did have class.
I leaned grudgingly against the frame of the window. The snow was melting. Personally I had hoped for a storm so the Hogsmeade trip would be cancelled. As my possible date with James would. I wasn’t stupid, I knew he’d win. He always did.
A person slumped down next to me. I knew who it was without looking up. I could sense it.
“A shame with the snow, huh?”
I pressed my lips together.
“You were hoping they’d cancel the trip, right?”
I couldn’t help smiling. “Maybe…”
“You’re so predictable.” He looked away. “I guess that’s one more thing I like about you.”
“Is that the point?”
“Not exactly,” he mused. “But I love that your reactions to everything around you, they’re predictable.”
I sighed. “How do you do it, James?”
He raised an eyebrow, stealing a glance at me. “Do what?”
“This! You say it with perfect timing and it’s always taking me by surprise.”
He grinned. “It’s a talent.”
“Uhu…” I mumbled. “Can’t we just get it over?”
“Get what over?” He frowned.
“Just say the point for tomorrow…”
“That’s not as fun.”
“You’ll win anyways.”
He grinned and got up. “I always win.”
“I know,” I sighed.
“And now you’ll be thinking about it until I find you tomorrow.”
He smiled genuinely. “See you later.”
The day that had caused a few sleepless nights had approached. I knew James had won - how could he not? – and I’d long settled with knowing I’d have to spend the next day in James’ company at Hogsmeade. Now the question was how I could make it short.
“Hey Potter,” I answered him in a monotone voice. “So?”
“So what?” he asked back with a grin and swung his arm over my shoulder. I didn’t bother to push it off again.
“What’ve you got for me today?”
His grin grew at that, but he said nothing. We just walked in silence a few minutes.
“Hmm,” I muttered at last. “You don’t plan on saying something?”
He shrugged slightly. “When you ask like that…” He trailed off. “I love the way you always fall over your own feet when trying to stuff your books into your bag while talking to Christine.”
I smiled slightly. I wasn’t good at doing more than two things at once. Talking, walking, and stuffing books away were three things. It was too much. A fault of many I had. I hated them as they made me feel clumsy and like an idiot.
Then I stopped. He did too, looking at me. He slowly removed his arm, frowning.
“You’ve pointed out all the sides about me which I hate,” I mumbled, looking up at him. “All of my flaws.”
“Exactly,” he said and nodded shortly. “You like people for their good sides, but love them for their flaws.”
I turned the words a few times in my head. He made them sound so right.
I frowned. “Wow, James,” I said. “That’s actually deep.”
I crossed my arms. “Fine! You win!” I scowled. “Congratulations!”
He looked away with a shrug. “It doesn’t matter.”
“What?” I frowned.
He shrugged again. “You don’t have to force yourself on a date with me. I just wanted to make a point really.”
He was on the way to leave when I grabbed his arm. “You stay here James Potter! I dared you, right? I made a promise.”
“Don’t do anything you won’t, Lily.” He seemed so depressed.
“Oh, shut up,” I grumbled.
“No, really, Lily…” He shook his head, about to turn again.
I still had a hold of his arm so I pulled him back, but then let go of it to grab around his jaw instead. I’m sure I looked pretty frightening, but didn’t let it stop me. I forced his head down to mine and pressed my lips to him. He seemed utterly stunned and didn’t react. Not even when I pulled away again. He didn’t say anything, but just looked at me.
“So!” I said. “With that settled, I think we have a date tomorrow.”
He still didn’t say a thing.
“I expect you to be ready at eleven precisely, okay?”
He gathered himself enough to nod.
I grinned and turned, leaving a stunned James Potter behind me.