The snow was falling softly outside, the storm finally seeming to have calmed down.
Not that I minded. I loved snow storms. In fact, I adored them. There was nothing better than being stuck inside Hogwarts on a cold day. I would simply snuggle up with a blanket and a book by the window and occasionally look up to see flakes swirl uncontrollably about.
I read the last line of my current book and closed it gently. I set it down next to me and smiled at it fondly. There was nothing better than a good book.
While wrapping the blanket more securely around my body, I reached up and tucked a piece of auburn hair behind my right ear. I had been thinking greatly today, and my hair had suffered for it. Once in deep thought, I was known to yank, twirl, and occasionally run my hair through my fingers. Maybe a deep part of my subconscious thought this would free up the space around my brain, enabling me to think more clearly.
What exactly had I been thinking about so intently you might ask? Well… everything. My future, my grades, boys, my friends, my family… or lack there of, books, homework. Today had been a thinking day. While most of my classmates were off on a Hogsmeade weekend, I had decided to stay behind and think.
And I had come to no important conclusions. Of course, I finished all of my homework and an amazing book… and I discussed my essay grade in Herbology with Professor Herbs (E to an O). But that was all. No solution about my future, friends and family, or boys.
The subject about boys had actually become more complicated for me. You would think that as one became older and more mature that these problems would seem trivial. But they do not. They become more complicated because the people you thought you had all figured out change.
Best example of this: James Harold Potter. When James was thirteen, he was incredibly annoying and not to mention, cocky. His determination to make me his prize was a constant nag that never relented. As he got older and taller, his ego grew right with him. It did not help that he became better looking, because the girls acted like moths and flocked to the flame.
After constantly being turned down, you think the idiot would give up. But no… this seemed to only egg him on. His persistence grew also. I could not stand him. His constant pranking, treating girls like a piece of gum (once it looses its flavor, just pop in a new piece), and disregard to my feeling made me despise him. I had vowed to never, ever think of James Potter in any other way than simply Potter.
But everything changed when I arrived back to school this fall, for my seventh year. James had been made Head Boy, meaning we would be patrolling the halls nightly together. I braced myself for my first night of patrolling, coaching myself to keep my temper no matter what.
But he was different that night. He did not ask me out at all. He was more mature and was nice enough to let me get in a word, more then he used to let me do. He listened, gave advice, and the next thing I knew, I was laughing at one of his jokes. Potter was suddenly no longer Potter… he was James.
I guess from an outside look that you could say James and I were friends… I am not sure that I would have gone that far but I did know that we were more than acquaintances.
I forced myself out of my trance and yanked my hand from my hair. Funny, I did not even remember putting it there. I huffed loudly and then covered my mouth, thinking I had disturbed someone. But I dropped my hand and laughed quietly to myself. It was two o’ clock in the morning… no one was even in the common room.
I gazed serenely out the window and watched the snow fall gracefully. Almost like it was cradling a small child, rocking it back and forth. My eyes wandered towards the grounds where my eyes opened wider. At first glance, I made out the shape of two people, boys, heading back towards the castle. One was throwing his arms wildly in the air and stumbling about, the other walking slowly and occasionally grabbing onto his friend.
I watched them slowly head back inside, boy one still acting like he was out of his mind. The other boy seemed to be getting rather annoyed and finally grabbed onto his friend, hoisting his arm around his neck.
Head Girl mode kicked in when I realized what was going on. Not only were they out past curfew, but they were heading back from Hogsmeade. And one of the boys was drunk. I began to hoist myself up, thinking that if I left now I would be able to catch them coming inside. After a second or two though, I leaned back. They were coming inside and the other boy seemed to have the situation under control.
After another few minutes of just sitting by the window, I felt my head begin to bob from lack of sleep. My eyes were growing heavy.
But just when I felt myself sinking into a peaceful sleep, the portrait hole burst open.
“JINGLE BELLS, VOLDY SMELLS, SNIVELLY LAID AN EGG!”
“Padfoot, shut it for Merlin’s sake.” The singing stopped abruptly and I had a feeling that a hand had quickly covered “Padfoot’s” mouth.
I stood up quickly, forgetting the blanket that was wrapped around my waist very tightly. I fell onto the floor with a small “thump” and the footsteps that had been drawing nearer stopped.
I drew myself up, untangling the blanket from around my waist. “It’s alright. It’s Lily.”
“Lily?” I knew that voice. I knew that voice very well.
“Yeah James. Bring him in. No one else is in here.”
The footsteps started again, but one pairing was dragging immensely. James Potter and his best mate, Sirius Black rounded the corner. Both were pink in the face with red noses and bloodshot eyes. Black was wearing medium washed jeans and trainers, and a black sweater, clinging to his arms. James was wearing dark jeans and trainers, but his red sweater clung to him because it was soaking wet.
James drug Sirius slowly to the couch and helped him lay down, gently removing the arm that was around his shoulder.
“Jingle bells… Voldy smelvvs, Sniviley…” At this point, Sirius stopped singing and began to laugh hysterically at his song. Or maybe he was laughing at his slurred words. I came closer to the couch and my nose was soon overwhelmed with the smell of firewhiskey and smoke.
I looked at James who was staring down at Sirius, trying not to laugh. He looked into my judgmental eyes and then quickly looked around the room, innocently acting like nothing was wrong with Sirius.
I sighed after a few seconds, realizing he was avoiding my gaze, and walked over to Sirius. He stared back up at me with his big, dumb eyes and smiled in a very seductive manner.
“Evans. Love the nightie.”
I looked down suddenly, worried about what I was wearing. My eyes relaxed though when I realized that I was wearing a baggy, green Cambridge University sweater (that was once my dads), black sweat pants and slippers.
“Sirius, there is nothing seductive about my clothing.”
“Yes, but the concerned look you got means that you have some. And I know that James and I wouldn’t mind seeing them. Savvy?”
The mention of James brought my blushing cheeks up to his face. He was glaring at Sirius now, trying to mentally hex him. I started to laugh until I noticed the James was dripping wet.
“James… why are you wet?”
He gave me an odd look, like I had just said something incredibly stupid. “Well Lily… I was out in the snow… and snow is frozen water so that would explain it.” His lips seemed to be turning a bluish tint and I could see goosebumps all along his neck.
“I know that you dolt. But Sirius isn’t wet at all. How is that?”
“Well, he was smart enough to put a repellent on his clothes from the snow. And I was stupid enough to get too close to him when he was drunk. He pushed me down into the snow.”
I felt the crimson rise in my cheeks and I looked down at Sirius once again. He had fallen asleep.
“Great… oh, don’t bother. I’ll come down early in the morning and move him. He weighs a ton when he is dead weight, and I don‘t even think the both of us could move him at the moment.” He ushers my hands away from Sirius, which had been trying to find a place to rest to help move him. They fell at my sides and I sat there awkwardly for a minute, not really sure what to do. I became aware of how close James and I were, him standing over me and all. This made my hand jump towards the back of my pants, making sure my underwear wasn’t showing. It was not and I bit my lip to keep myself from sighing with relief. Just I was about to stand, I heard teeth chattering.
I turned around and saw that James was shivering, the goosebumps that were on his neck now more visible, his lips blue.
“Merlin James.” I stood up, reaching out to rub his arms, but I stopped myself. “Use your wand and dry yourself off.”
“Don’t ha…have it.”
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake.” I reached to grab mine from the pocket in my pants when I realized that I didn’t have any. Then I remembered I had left my wand in the dormitory. I sighed. “Looks like we will have to dry you the muggle way. Take your shirt off.”
“What?!” He looked alarmed, not exactly the James Potter type of remark that I had been expecting.
“Just take it off.”
Slowly, James wrapped his arms around him and tugged off his sweater and then undershirt. His stomach looked exactly as I imagined it would… not that I had imagined it or anything… a six pack that was very defined. But there were scars lightly scattered across his stomach, looking like claw marks. I drew my eyes away from them. I knew what, I mean WHO, had caused those scars but James did not know that I was aware of Remus’s condition.
I took of my own baggy sweatshirt leaving me standing in a sports bra and cami, and threw it at James.
“It will be snug, but it should fit. It was my dads.” I ran over to the corner and grabbed my blanket and ran back over to James. “Here.”
I placed it over him and then steered him closer to the fire, sitting him down in front of it. His teeth continued to chatter, and his lips were almost purple now, contrasting with his creamy pale skin.
No… I did not just call his skin creamy.
I began taking off his shoes, expecting him to protest, but he did not. He simply stared at me intently. I peeled off his soaking wet socks, displaying his feet and ankles. I rolled up the pant legs of his jeans so his legs could be more exposed to the fire. His calves were very nice. I pulled myself up, closer to his face. Then, without warning, I unlatched the blanket from his left hand and wrapped it around me, pressing myself to him.
My arms slowly wrapped themselves around his waist, and I tried not to think about the fact that my chest was pressed against his. My cheeks blushed.
“Li.. Lily. What are y… you doing?”
“If we don’t get you warm, your body could go into shock and your heart could stop.”
“How do you kn…know this stuff.”
“Well, Healer is one of my career options. And muggle medicine has always fascinated me.”
I sat there for a minute, just holding my body against his, trying to let my body heat mix with the little he had left. His lips stopped chattering after thirty minutes, and I felt him relax slightly under my touch. That was the closest I had ever been to James Potter and something about that situation scared me… I wasn’t minding having my arms around him.
“Thank you.” He said tentatively. I smiled slightly, pulling my arms away from him, when my left hand grazed his. It was stone cold. I gasped and then grabbed his hands.
“James are you crazy? Your hands are like ice. Why didn’t you tell me?”
I grabbed both of his hands, unbalancing him for a second, but I hardly noticed. I took his right hand and placed it between both of mine, rubbing it feverently. His cheeks glowed with embarrassment.
“What Potter?” I smiled cheekily. That was the first time I had called James that in months. “You have done far more than this with a girl.”
“Yeah but not a girl who means so…” He stopped short and quickly cleared his throat. “Sorry about this. About Sirius and all. He isn’t a bad guy. He just likes to have fun. I do too sometimes but Moony needed some rest tonight before his Potions exam and Wormtail was sick. So I had to be the DW tonight.”
I stared at him quizzically. “The what?”
“DW… designated wizard.”
“Oh…” I dropped his right hand which had warmed and picked up his left, and continued to rub it.
I stared into his hazel eyes for a second, mesmerized by the gold tints flashing out from the iris. I tried to keep my breathing steady, not quite sure if I was still rubbing his hands. His eyes were beautiful. I had never really noticed before. Now I couldn’t stop staring at them. He was staring back at me. We sat there, just watching each other until I coughed slightly and looked away. He did the same.
I finished rubbing James’s hand and sat there in silence. I wasn’t sure how long I sat there but I finally looked over at him, to see that he was slumped against the couch, eyes closed, fast asleep.
I sighed heavily and ran my fingers through my hair. Things were more complicated then ever. Why hadn’t I just run upstairs and gotten my wand? He would have been fine in one minute. Why hadn’t I just gone and gotten Madame Pompfrey? She could have kept him overnight in the hospital wing. Why was I still sitting there, next to him? He was fine, he didn’t need me.
Then, a sinking feeling ran through my stomach as I finally came to terms with the battle that I had been fighting for years.
I needed him.
As the feeling sank in, sleep overcame my body, and I rolled away from James, telling myself that I would just sleep for a few moments.
I awoke with a start. It took me only a few seconds to realize where I was and why I was there. The fire in the common room had finally distinguished, the embers not even red from the heat. I lifted my head slightly, looking out the window. The sun was not out yet, so that was a good sign. I lifted my arm slightly and checked my watch. 3:48. The snoring coming from somewhere behind my head told me that Sirius was still asleep.
I attempted to sit up but there was a weight around my waist, restraining me slightly. I looked down and saw that not just the blanket was resting over my now. An arm was draped over me, clinging slightly to me. Then I realized that my back was no longer caressing just air, which I made sure of when I was falling asleep. I cocked my head, straining my neck, and my eyes came into contact with James Potter. He was fast asleep, my body had molded with his, and he had his arm wrapped around my stomach.
This changed everything. I knew that. When I realized how cold James was and chose to warm him the muggle way, that was when I had changed everything. We could not go back to just simply being friends.
I unlatched his arm from my waist and scooted away from him . I stared down at him, trying to keep my mind clear. The smile that had once been on his lips was gone, and he seemed to stiffen.
I should have stood up and walked away. I should have gone up to my dormitory and went to sleep. Try to forget that any of this had happened. But then a few of my mother’s words rang through my head.
“Lily dear, always remember this. ‘Nothing's going to change destiny. Whatever's meant to be will work out perfectly.”
I looked back down at James and inched my way over to him. I sighed, telling myself that this was right, even though I did not understand it. I laid back down a put myself back into the position that I had woken up in. I didn’t put his arm around my waist.
Seeming to feel my presence in his sleep, his arm drew itself around my waist pulling me closer. I placed my hand on top of his arm and he grabbed mine, holding it lovingly.
He mumbled into my ear and then sighed. I pulled myself even closer to him and sat silently, knowing I had answered the rest of my questions with just one simple decision.
*A/N* My first one-shot? What do you think? REVIEW and tell me!
By the way, check out my other story (not just a one-shot) called Breathe... it starts slow but trust me, it will turn out being happy like this one!
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