Chapter 2 : Misunderstandings of Perspective
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It took all the dignity Lily could muster not to spit out her tea and scream.
She was in James Potter's house! The same James Potter who made her Hogwarts days close to unbearable. She couldn't believe it!
Lily was shocked, but she was glad his parents didn't notice; they were so nice! Which was what made this all the harder to believe.
She stared at James, too stunned to do anything else.
"Ev...-...Lily," he said, now more awake and running a hand though his messy hair.
"Po...-...James," she said faintly.
"Oh, good, you're awake, son," Jeff said. "I guess now you can show the young lady where she can spend the night."
"Well go on, you both must be extremely tired," Ally commented. "And James, dear, put your shirt on."
James looked at what he was carrying and realized for the first time that it was, in fact, his shirt. He threw it on and turned beet red at the thought that Lily Evans, the Lily Evans, was not only in his house, but had seen him without a shirt on. And while that wasn't uncommon in his dreams and fantasies, he never pictured it happening like this, in front of his parents.
"Go on, dear," Ally said to Lily, giving her a slight push towards James.
"Um, ok, up here," James said to her.
Lily followed slowly, noting how weird it was that his eyes stayed focused on her face, even when he addressed his parents.
The minute they were out of ear shot of the kitchen, Lily grabbed the neck of James's shirt and swung him around to face her.
"Ok Potter, what's going on?!" she demanded.
"Lily, I don't know what you're talking about!" James insisted.
"It's 'Evans' to you, Potter, and don't try playing that innocent card with me! Why the bloody hell am I at your house, your house, in the middle of the night?! And how can Ally and Jeff be your parents?! They're much too nice to even be related to you! Or did the kind and courteous genes just skip over you?!"
"Look, Evans," he said, wrenching her hand off his shirt, but not letting go, "I don't know why you're here, why don't you tell me what you were doing around my house in the middle of the night? And they are my parents. Maybe you would've noticed I'm more like them than you think if you took the time to get to know me instead of jumping down my throat every chance you get. I know you hate me, ok?" He finished in almost a dead whisper.
Lily was shocked, and not because of what James had said, but because of how he had said it. There was no anger in his voice, only hurt and remorse. She didn't know how to respond to that, why she was in his house was far too personal, and she knew he was right about her not getting to know him. While he could be the world's biggest prick, James had to have some good qualities, he never bragged about living in a mansion for one thing.
Wait a minute! Lily's brain screeched. I'm standing in Potter's corridor listing his good qualities while he's... whoa whoa , back up, while he's holding my hand?! What's wrong with me?! But don't act too rash, Evans, he hasn't been a git yet.
"Um, Potter, you can let go of my hand now," she said gently.
"Oh, right." He seemed to have forgotten he was holding it, and let go very slowly, as if wishing he could do anything but. "So, um, now, you-ah... I'll show you to the guest room." He turned and walked away, and Lily followed, starting to feel confused and angry at herself for letting Potter, Potter of all people, hold her hand for so long without saying anything.
James stopped in front of a door, opened it, and told Lily to find some pajamas in there.
"You have girl pajamas, James?" Lily asked in an almost teasing voice.
James smiled at hearing her call him by his first name but decided it would be best not to comment on it. "Well, there Jas's, she and Sirius leave a lot of their stuff here, they're here for most of the break anyways."
"Oh, well, where are they?" Lily inquired, taking in the messy room behind the elegant doors.
"Er, try one of the drawers, I'm not exactly sure."
It took Lily over twenty minutes to find something to change into that night and the next morning.
James showed her to her room and was about to leave when he saw she didn't enter.
"If you want to take a shower, there's towels in there and a bathroom on the right."
"Oh, ok. Thank you, James."
James smiled and decided to throw caution to the wind. Lily's reaction would be unpredictable to him if he said what he wanted to. "You know, that's the second time now you've voluntarily called me 'James' tonight."
"Yeah, well, maybe you were right about the whole not getting to know you thing, you can't be as bad as I thought; you're parents are too nice, but don't let it get to your head, your ego's inflated enough as it is," she said jokingly.
"I'll try and work on that. Good night, Evans," James said before turning away.
"Oh, and James," Lily called.
He spun around so fast that Lily was surprised he didn't spiral through the floor or rocket through the ceiling.
"I don't hate you, and you can call me 'Lily'."
James nodded and smiled again. Lily Evans didn't hate him! He couldn't help feeling happier than he had in a long time. "Good night again, Lily."
"Good night, James."
Lily crawled into bed strangely enough with the thought of James's smile stuck in her brain. It was weird, Lily thought, that James could be such a toerag at school, but when he's in his own house, he didn't act nearly as conceited; and there was something about his smile that Lily couldn't place, it was just like all his others, yet something was incredibly different.
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by Belle Loup