Chapter 1 : Watching James Potter
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“Detention,” I murmured, feeling the word roll on my tongue. “Hello, I have a detention.”
Nope. Still didn’t sound natural. In fact, after saying it over and over for the past four hours the words have simply lost their meaning.
De-ten-tion. It was just a word, really. A stupid hideous word plaguing me thanks to that inconsiderate, arrogant little swine known as James Potter.
Who’s impending doom is being closely monitored by moi.
Unfortunately, McGonagall seemed to have run out of seemingly reasonable punishments and had decided to leave us in the care of Professor Slughorn. The dungeons were cold and dark with passing Slytherin’s throwing me dirty looks left, right and center.
Ugh. Trust James Potter to land me with my very first detention in the history of my attendance at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
However, I have come to the conclusion that Potter is going to have to die. A slow and painful death.
Perhaps he could be eaten alive by Cornish pixies...do they eat people? I hope so.
This recent - or not so recent, now that I think about it - reasoning is due to the fact that everyone knows I am lepidopterophobic.
Unless they’ve been living under a rock for the past six years - and James Potter has most certainly not been living under a rock. In fact, James Potter has been living in a tree, along with Sirius Black, and they have been throwing rocks at everyone who has passed by that tree since the moment they met each other.
However, I seem to be stuck under that tree...that or they have found a catapult.
Although, they could have found a real one...I wouldn’t put it past them, really.
Anyway. Like I was saying, everyone knows I am lepidopterophobic. Especially Potter, considering he has already played this stupid trick on he half a dozen times.
Oh yes. This wasn’t the first time Potter has bombarded me with - a shiver passed through me as I thought the dreaded word - butterflies.
Take for example, the time he sent me a jar of things that exploded open as soon as I felt brave enough to touch it. Or the time, I found my ink charmed to turn into tiny live ones as soon as the ink touched the paper.
I felt a shiver run through me at the dreadful memories, tears welling up in my eyes. I furiously wiped them with the back of my hand, pulling my rodes tighter around me as I plunged further into the depths of the dungeons.
But I had never got a detention for those. McGonagall, how could you betray me so?!
Well. I guess the sentiment Potter was trying to get across was kind of sweet...no matter how stupid. If he had of chosen something other than those vile insects to become obsessed with - flowers would have been nice - I probably would have agreed to date him by now.
I mean, he was getting better at controlling his arrogant attitude... I hadn’t seen him hex a first year all term. In fact, I saw him rescue a little Hufflepuff the other day - in the library, or all places for him to be - from the clutches Avery and Snape; and it wasn’t like he knew I was watching because I was hiding behind one of the library stacks.
And he was handsome enough. That thick, messy black hair that shines luxuriously in the candlelight at dinner. Those impressive, muscular arms, I have the pleasure of staring at every Quidditch game and when I happened to watch past the Quidditch pitch during Gryffindor practice. That gorgeous smile that lit up his face whenever I walked into -
Wait...what? I did not stalk James Potter! He stalks me!
I have the right to admire a man from a purely aesthetic view point. James Potter is a fine specimen -
Wait, no, that’s not what I meant -
Luckily I was saved from my own thoughts as I walked straight into the door leading to Slughorn’s office. Pain shot through my face and I stumbled back, turning an unattractive shade of magenta.
“Watch where you’re going, Evans,” a gratingly familiar voice called.
“Need some help there?”
I hate my life.
Potter moved me aside gently and made quick work of the door. “Easier said than done, eh?” He grinned, holding the door open for me, as I shot him a scathing look before ducking under his arm and into Professor Slughorn’s office, steeling myself for the punishment.
Slughorn loved me. Surely it wouldn’t be too bad.
I take it back.
I’m going to have to kill myself.
My eyes were wide as I stared at Slughorn with an expression of pure horror. “All of them, Professor?” I asked my voice faint.
Slughorn sighed and popped a piece of crystallised pineapple into his mouth. “I’m afraid so, Miss Evans,” he said, his tone genuinely regretful. He stood by the door of the Potions classroom watching us warily. “I’ll be returning in two hours to see your progress and we’ll continue from there...Oh, and before I forget, wands please.” We glumly handed them over before Slughorn gave us one more beaming smile before departing.
My eyes slid over to the corner of the room. There were at least fifty cauldrons stacked in the corner of the room. They were caked with all sorts of manky, disgusting things - dead things, live things, smelly things. Not to mention the grime. It was filthy and a practically a health hazard.
And guess who’s lucky job it was to clean them?
“Well, come on Potter,” I said with a sigh, picking up the first caldron my hands could reach, “better get started.” I hooked a foot around a nearby stool and dragged it over before sitting on it, my bucket and sponge beside me. James silently mirrored my actions, unusually quiet.
Good. I didn’t need to hear his nonsense.
Minutes passed as I scrubbed and almost unconsciously, as they were want to do these days, my eyes trailed over to were where Potter was furiously cleaning. The lush black hair I admired so much was glinting in the faint golden glow of the candlelight. My hands slowed on the cauldron as I slipped into a very familiar daydream where James’ arms were around me, pulling me in tightly as his lips captured my own -
And then I got it - the reason I watched him, as much as I loathed to admit it.
I liked James Potter.
Merlin, save me.
And then the soaking sponge landed on my lap when I dropped it out of shock.
Face turning an unattractive shade of maroon, I walked quietly over to the sink and grabbed a towel to beginning to dab out the wet spots my eyes trailing over the sink. Really, one would think I could manage a simple task without - wait, what was that? Forgetting the skirt, I curiously picked up a a jar with brightly coloured contents that rattled as I shook it - buttons.
Buttons? Why did a potions classroom need buttons?
Giving my skirt up as a lost cause - it was only water...manky potion water filled with all sorts - okay, stop - I walked back to my seat, I pondering, turning the jar over in my slippery hands, one hand opening the lid to get a closer look. Surely they were magical buttons, that’s ridiculous! I think, maybe they would be used for a Tightening Potion, perhaps, or a -
And then I tripped over my own feet and the jar flew out of my hands and hitting the floor.
The jar didn’t smash, but cracked significantly and buttons spilled across the floor, creating brightly coloured swipes across the floor as they rolled around. I let out a frustrated growl and stomped my foot angrily before accepting my life as being utter crap and kneeling to the ground to begin picking up the buttons.
“Merlin, Lily, what are you doing over there?” James - it was only fair we were on first name basis, having admitted, though only to myself, to fancying the pants off him - turned around from where he was washing his cauldron only to let out a very girly squeal and drop everything, his face turning a pasty shade of white.
I glanced up curiously - it just wouldn’t do if he died in my presence. I would be fairly unable to defend myself as it was something I dreamt of doing myself...often.
“James, are you okay?” Heaving myself off of the ground, I poured the handful of buttons I was holding into the jar while making my way over to James. However, he was having none of that and quickly backed up, his eyes frozen on my hands and fear painted across his face. I looked down at my hands - which held only the jar of buttons - and back to James again.
And then it clicked.
“Y-You have a phobia of buttons?” I asked incredulously, barely containing the giddy laughter which threatened to bubble up out of me.
James’ face reddened, adding some colour to his ghostly appearance, but his eyes remained fixed on my hands and the fear, on his face. “Koumpounophobia,” he said, his voice a couple of notes higher than usual.
I should be finding this hilarious. In fact, I should be laughing right now.
But I wasn’t. Why?
Then, unbidden, a surge of pity washed over me as I remember my phobia.
Oh my God. Pity?
I should throw the bloody buttons at his face!
Instead, I put the buttons down carefully on the table, watching him warily. James flinched at the noise of the buttons clinking in the jar, but didn’t move otherwise. His eyes were anchored on the jar as I moved forward slowly until I was standing close. I placed my hands on both sides of his face and pulled gently so he was facing me; his eyes, however,
“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” I said softly, looking at him straight in the eye, so close my breath would be tickling his face. We stood there for a moment until his gaze slid back to mine, the panic subsiding. His hands moved to my waist and we stood there, the moment lasting forever as we stared at each other, more vulnerable than we’d ever thought we’d be with each other.
A strange fluttering sensation was in my stomach as I gazed into his hazel eyes, which were getting closer and closer as he leant in. My arms slid around his neck as his lips touched mine and the fluttering turned into a great typhoon as the adrenaline kicked in. Pleasure thrummed through me as I broke this kiss softly, as large smile on my lips.
And then I spotted the jar. The jar of dead butterflies on the cabinet behind James. Fear replaced the high and I stumbled back in shock, my stomach lurching.
And that’s when I vomited all over James’ shoes.
Then a couple of things happened at once; in my shock I stumbled back into the table and knocked over the jar I had so carefully placed on top. The buttons spilled across the floor as the glass smashed and James promptly fainted, it all being too much.
By the end of the night we would be two drooling piles of mush, rocking in the corner.
Actually, I would be surprised if we survived the night.
A/N: koumpounophobia + lepidopterophobia = ♥ :D
Koumpounophobia: fear of buttons - victims usually suffer from an intense fear of buttons, however can touch them (but often have to wipe their hands) and are often okay with buttons on clothing (better though if they are covered by a tie or jumper and loose thread drives them to distraction). Go to usualphobias.com (12+) for more personal accounts.
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