This is the first WIP I've ever posted, and the first story I've written in four years. I'm a bit rusty, this is un-beta'd and a complete departure from what I'm used to writing so I would love any feedback you have for me. That said, I'm pretty excited about this idea and I only hope I can do it justice! Inspiration for this came from Little_Doxy's prompt challenge on the forums, even though I was too slow and the challenge closed before I had the chance to join. Summary lyrics are from Paparazzi by Lady Gaga.
Without further ado, the story!
Winter has always been my season. Everything of any significance that has ever happened to me – good or bad – has happened in the winter. I was born in the winter, and I was also orphaned in the winter. I first met, and subsequently fell in love with, James Potter in the winter.
It was during our fifth year, and the accompanying mad scramble to remember everything we had learned in school up to that point. The two of us just happened to choose the same out of the way corner in the library to carry out our studies. I had known of him before that, of course – he was the James Potter, most famous boy at Hogwarts. But up until that point I had simply been one of hundreds of nameless girls that happened to share the halls that he resided in. Being in a different house on top of that, I doubt James had even known I existed.
We had just returned to the castle after the Christmas holidays, and I’m sure that James – like many other short-sighted fifth years – had just started to realize the extent of what we were expected to know for our OWLs. And so a cold, snowy day in January saw James make his way between the carved oak of the library doors – an entirely infrequent event.
I wasn’t even aware of his presence at my table until he cleared his throat, uncomfortable and unused to being so completely and obliviously ignored. He stood before me, shifting nervously from foot to foot and tugging at the flap of his book bag until finally blurting an exasperated, “Can I sit here?” I’m still pretty sure he had been waiting for a formal invitation.
I must have nodded, because a relieved look crossed his face as he settled into one of the chairs across from me and began to pull out his notes. I, on the other hand, was still trying to process the fact that he wanted to share a table with me, someone he had never met, when I knew for a fact that Rupert Evans and Kevin Frobisher – James’ two best friends – were seated together in the transfiguration section, eating chocolate frogs and throwing balled up bits of parchment at the other students when they weren’t looking. Settled in, James looked up at me again to find me still staring at him silently. He turned beet red at the scrutiny – an inherited Weasley trait, despite the raven hair – and mumbled in explanation to the question my gaze implied, “I need to study without – distractions.”
That’s what I was to James at the time, the opposite of a distraction. Given time that was destined to change.
Admittedly, things progressed slowly between us. It was a week before we exchanged proper introductions, completely unnecessary on his part. It was a month before I actually felt comfortable asking about his day, and Easter holidays before we moved our friendship out of the book-filled world that had contained it up until that point.
James asked me out to Hogsmeade the first month of sixth year. He was surprisingly romantic, and even knowing him as I did the softer, gentler side of James Potter - notorious jokester - left me speechless. He planned secluded picnic dates on the castle grounds, had love notes delivered by owl to my dorm window at night as I prepared for bed. It wasn’t long before I had fallen hopelessly and endlessly in love. And so had he.
As Christmas holidays drew nearer we found ourselves spending all our time together, as though starved at the mere thought of having to spend time apart and intent upon gouging ourselves with each other while we had the chance. From the time I got up, until the time I went to bed James’ arm seemed glued around me. Classes and sleep where the only time we spent apart. It was just a few days before the end of term when James paused as we were making out way through the Entrance Hall on our way to lunch and pulled me close, pointing up. Above our head hung a clump of mistletoe wrapped in red satin ribbon. Looking back, I saw James was smiling down at me. He leaned into me and kissed me softly, passionately before whispering into my ear three words – I love you.
Christmas holidays were in full swing, as was a winter snowstorm, before James and I finally had the opportunity to take things further; to act on the love we both felt for each other. James had floo-ed over for the day, and Aunt Abigail had left to visit some acquaintances from her job at the Prophet earlier in the morning after a half-hearted attempt to invite me along, and an even less convincing admonishment for James and I to ‘be good’. We snuggled together on Abigail’s battered leather sofa as the wind howled outside the window behind us and the fire sizzled in the hearth in front of us. Sandwiched between these two conflicting elements, snuggling turned inevitably to snogging, and - for the first time - snogging in turn led to my bedroom.
That day something I had only dared to dream of since that first meeting in the library was cast in stone. For a year I had hoped, dreamed and fantasized about being with James. Not just being with him in the physical sense as we had been that day - although I had certainly thought about that too - but being with James in every sense. I dreamed of spending the rest of my life with James - marrying him, having children with him and then growing old with him. That day, James showed me he wanted to have all of those same things with me. Ever since, our love and devotion has done nothing but continue to grow.
James and I are meant to be together, I know that. We came together in the winter, and we bound ourselves to each other the next winter. If I wasn’t so sure of that, of our devotion to each other, I think I would probably be nervous right now. But as it is I have absolutely no doubt that everything will work out fine when I finally see James again on the Hogwarts Express and tell him that this winter, I’ll be having our baby.