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After the Mistletoe... by nightingale14
Chapter 1 : Quinn: The Mistletoe Kiss
 
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I hated James Potter from the moment I lay eyes on him.

           He looked so cocky and confident; striding around the school like he was the best thing that had ever happened to it. Always making sure his hair was unruffled so that it looked like he’d just walked of the Quidditch pitch; throwing a snitch around in the air and catching it again.
          

Everyone loved him. He was the son of the great Harry Potter of course. He never even studied. He just got good grades without even trying, while people like me worked hard.
          

Some girls fell for his jet-black hair. Some fell for his warm, chocolate-brown eyes. Some fell for his Quidditch moves. Some liked him because he was so popular (i.e. Georgia Hamilton, the most popular girl of our grade). Some just loved his chiseled jaw, heart-breaking smile, and sweet, thick, confident voice.
          

 And even though he was a sixth year and I was fifth year, I saw plenty of him because my best friend, Rose Weasely, was his cousin, and was really close with him. Merlin knows why.           

And he was always teasing me. Stupid boy stuff  like ‘You’re uglier than a troll!’, which wasn’t true. I don’t really mean to brag, but I have (and hate) good looks. It gets me all sorts of attention from boys. I have thick, easy to straighten or curl- blond hair, blazing green-blue eyes like a piece of sea glass that was catching the light, a perfect ski-slope nose, a heart-shaped face, and, to my embarrassment, perfect little B-cups.

           Which was why I wasn’t taking part in any of the ‘before-the-term-ends-for-Christmas-break’ festivities. Some idiot had found some mistletoe, and all the other Gryffindor’s were gathered around it, standing in a circle around an empty Butterbeer bottle. They were playing Spin-the-Bottle, except whoever it landed had to kiss under the mistletoe.
          

How stupid.
          

Actually, it wasn’t, and I was itching to join the game, but that was just when James Potter walked out. No way was I joining then! I knew the chance of my having to kiss James was really low, thanks to the abundance of fifth, sixth, and seventh years gathered around the bottle, but I didn’t want to take the chance.
          

And it would have stayed that way if it weren’t for Lily.
          

Lily was James’ little sister, and she was one of my friends. A total optimist, she was sweet, kind, funny, and spunky. She was a girlie-girl and a tomboy all in one. But she felt me and James were made for each other.
          

Um, new flash Lil: I hate the guy.
          

I was just sitting there by the fireplace, trying to finish my Potions essay ( I really hated Professor Clearwater! She was the only teacher who had given us homework for over break! As if I wasn’t studying enough for the OWLS) when Lily started screaming for me to join in.
          

Soon enough, everyone was yelling at me to join. Even though I said no, Artie and Archie Smith, the twin jocks of our grade, came over and threatened to carry me there.
          

“Oh, come on Taylor,” Archie said.
          

“Yeah, it’s all cool.” Artie added.
          

In the middle of all the ruckus, Rose caught my eye. She looked apologetic, but I could tell she wanted me to come over. Rose has this weird idea that I don’t have enough fun.
          

She even did her wide-brown-eyes thing.
          

I melted. I couldn’t say no to Rose.
          

So I got up amid cheers, and made my way over to the delirious kissing bandits. Veronica Hawthorne gave me a smile and handed me the bottle.
          

“Your turn Quinn.”
         

 My palms were sweating as I lay the bottle on the floor and twisted it around.
          

Please not James, please not James I prayed to whatever god was listening.
          

The bottle twisted and turned and with a final slow turn, it stopped.
          

I looked up to see who it was pointed to, hoping for anyone-even sweaty Matt-other than James.
          

Guess what? It was James.
          

There was some hooting and whoops and cat-calls. Everyone knew our history; we hated each other. For some reason, James had turned pink and cleared his throat uncomfortably. I felt myself blush, and my breath was coming in short, ragged gasps.
          

“Come on, you can’t back out!” Lily yelled, her red hair shining, her blue eyes dancing. I seriously wanted to strangle her then.
          

With the crowd cheering, my heart beating, and my palms sweating, James and I walked awkwardly over to the mistletoe. Okay, we didn’t walk over. There was a lot of pushing and shoving from the other Gryffindor’s to get us over there.
         

 When we were both finally underneath the mistletoe, in the correct kissing position, the crowd backed up a few feet and surrounded us in a circle. Snickers rippled through the surrounding crowd of Gryffindor’s and I started down at my shoes. It would be so much more awkward if we looked each other in the eye. Way more awkward.
          

“Quinn! Oi, Quinn Taylor!”  James hissed underneath his breath. I looked up straight into his eyes. Big mistake. I melted on the spot, and with some difficulty, focused on his nose.
          

“What?”  I asked.
          

“Two seconds: we go in, we come out. Nothing more.” James said. Then he grinned. “I don’t like you that way. In fact, I don’t like you at all.”
          

Something about that made me angry. Of course, I was used to his teasing, but something about it made me so angry, that I swore to give him the best kiss of his life.
          

“Aw, look, their whispering sweet nothings to each other!” Someone cooed. There was ripple of laughter.
          

James gave me a meaningful look. I took a deep breath.
          

I’m going in, I thought.
          

We leaned in, eyes closing like they were being controlled by a dimmer switch, heads tilting slightly to the right. And then, our lips made contact.
          

It was like fireworks exploding in my head. I had kissed plenty of boys before, but this was nothing like the other kisses. From the first touch, it was all electricity; fire running through me, warming me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I felt like there some kind of magnet pulling me in, and I knew I had no control whatsoever now.
          

As we came up for air, I heard James let out a gasp of surprise. So he was feeling the same way too!
          

I felt a warm hand on the small of my back, gently pulling me closer. My hands involuntarily wrapped themselves around his neck, pulling myself closer to him.
            

His tongue poked through my mouth, and pretty soon, it was getting involved. His hands circled my hips. I pulled myself even closer to him. My mind was numb. I knew nothing but the fact that I had to get closer to him; he was all I needed and nothing else mattered and-
          

Another hand tapped me on the back, and a nervous giggle interrupted our trance.
         

  “Um, we didn’t mean for you guys to get that far,”
          

It was like ripping of a band-aid-no, a million band-aids all at once. The fire, the electricity, the warmth; everything stopped just as suddenly as it happened. James and I were both taking deep breaths we caught each other’s eye and instantly I removed my hands from my hips and he pulled his hands from my hips and to himself again.
          

It was too awkward to catch each other’s eyes again, so we both focused on the interruption: Lily. She was standing there, a smile playing at her lips, hands on her hips, with and ‘I-told-you-so’ look on her face.
          

“Um, if you guys want to continue, you’re more than welcome to do so, but we kind of need the mistletoe.”  She said, the smile breaking through now.
          

“We’re done,” Said James, clearing his throat. His voice started out as a bit weak and hazy, but as he cleared his throat, it sounded commanding. Whatever had happened in there was gone. He was the same old James now.
          

Then James narrowed his eyes at his sister. “And I don’t want you kissing anyone,”
          

Oh, this was so typical. But rather genius. James and Albus, Lily’s other older brother, were both super-protective over Lily. If a guy so much as started to make a move on Lily, they appeared out of nowhere, telling him to get lost. Which was crushing for Lily, as she was one of the most popular and well-liked girls of her year. But the genius part was that it was a great way to change the topic, as Lily would always pout and argue back that she was old enough if her brothers ever got in her way. And a James-Lily or Albus-Lily or a James-Albus-Lily fight was legendary.
          

“I’m going up to bed,” I said to Rose, slipping silently out of the circle. She nodded, her eyes wide.
          

“Do you want me to come with you?” She whispered.
          

I shook my head. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts.
          

She nodded understandingly and shot me a sympathetic look as I climbed up the stairs leading to the dormitory.
          

The last thing I saw before I slammed the door shut; was James staring after me; his face clouded with confusion and hurt.


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