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Chapter 6 : Glued
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"So, have any idea what you're going to get her?" Remus practically yelled at me from across the table. The great hall was bustling as students arrived by droves for dinner, making it nearly impossible to hear anything anyone said at a normal level of volume.
"What?" I returned, confused, retrieving a pork chop from a nearby platter. To my left, Peter slathered more butter than I could have imagined humanly possible onto a thick piece of rye bread. I glanced away, trying not to gag.
"For Valentine's day?" Remus looked at me like I was insane. "Aren't you going to get her something?"
I stared back at him blankly. His words weren't seeming to process in my mind.
"James, what is wrong with you?" my browned-brown haired friend asked, stunned. "You're looking at me like I just asked you to detonate a bomb."
"It's just," I said slowly. "I can't believe..." I stared at my fork as if it were a foreign object. I looked up at Remus. "I can't believe I forgot about that."
"What, that it's Valentine's day on Thursday?" Sirius inquired from next to Remus, his mouth stuffed with corn. He raised his eyebrows. "That's a first."
I shook my head back and forth. I still couldn't believe it. "Thursday?" I said, entirely disbelieving. "This Thursday?"
"No, the first Thursday in March," Sirius rolled his eyes. "Are you mad? Jesus, lost your date book, have you, Potter?"
That only gave me three days. How could something so important as St. Valentine's infamous holiday have slipped my mind? I was reeling, absolutely astounded that the fact had alluded me.
But before I had the chance to dwell on the insanity of it anymore, Lily was sitting down next to me, joined by Charlotte. I stared at her, panic racing across my mind. Oh god, I've only got three days! Three days! How stupid am I?
I was momentarily distracted as I noticed how Sirius regarded Charlotte with a careful look and a nod of the head.
I overlooked my dread for a second longer, just to gage the blonde's reaction. Her face was a cool mask of indifference. "Hello, Sirius."
"Flynn," Sirius replied in her direction.
I raised my eyebrows at Lily. She shrugged. I turned back to my food and immediately revisited the astounding fact that I'd completely forgotten Valentine's day.
"Ready for Thursday?" Lily asked me casually, reaching for a plate.
Her question made me choke. I literally gagged on the pork chop I'd been eating as it slid down the wrong tube. I gasped for air and coughed ferociously, reaching for water. Lily looked at me with a sudden fear in her eyes, her hand on my arm, shoving the glass into my hand. I finally cleared the clogged airway, gulping down the water. I wheezed a few painful breaths and shook my head. "Wh-what are you talking about?" I managed to get out.
Lily had a gravely concerned look on her face. "Merlin, James, I was only wondering if you were excited for our huge Defense Against the Dark Arts exam!"
"Oh," I laughed nervously. "Right." I glanced quickly around the table. Remus, Peter and Charlotte all regarded me with similar, open-mouthed expressions. Sirius, on the other hand, was doubled over in laughter. "Um, yeah, I guess I'm just so nervous for it that I choked."
Suspicious of my obviously not-well-thought-out excuse, Lily furrowed her eyebrows at me. I looked back at her sheepishly and shrugged.
"You're daft," she concluded, reaching for a pitcher of pumpkin juice.
"More than you could ever know," I muttered into my own glass.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Sirius had fallen on to the floor laughing. Idiot.
I'm in divination, and it's boring. So I'm pretending to write notes while actually doing something much more gratifying: confessing my deepest and darkest secrets to an intimate object.
How thrilling my life has become.
Anyways. Keeping up with my trend of honesty, I've got another secret to divulge. Lily kind-of sort-of needs to stop turning me on.
Yeah. Laugh all you want. But recently, I've been experiencing...some tension around her.
Not nervous tension, mind you, or negative tension. No, this tension is....er, of the sexual variety.
It's a bit embarrassing, frankly. I should be able to control my own reactions better. But I'm 17, so I think the real blame can be placed on my hormones.
The most recent example I can think of was yesterday, as we sat next to each other finishing homework. Her hand was resting atop mine on the table, her foot occasionally bumping up against mine. Completely innocent, right? I thought so, too, until she looked over at me quite suddenly. I returned her look quizzically, seeing something entirely strange behind her eyes.
"What is it?" I asked.
She bit her lip. I noticed her fingers had tightened on mine. "I don't really want to do homework right now."
She didn't give me even a chance to respond before she set down her quill and took my face in her hands.
There was some sort of foreign longing behind the impulsive kiss. I'd never ever felt such a fever behind her lips, such an intensity behind her touch. For all the times I'd sensed an almost tangible electricity sizzling between us, this felt like the static had been breached; as if we were inside of it now.
The kiss had been so terrifically un-Lily, so amazingly unforeseen that I barely had time to react before she pulled away. But when she looked at me, eyes-wide, as if she expected me to say something in reaction to what had just happened, I was mentally unprepared. She'd literally knocked the syllables out of my mouth.
"Um," I said stupidly.
Lily bit her lip again, sheepishly this time. "That was kind of bizarre."
"Um," I repeated. It took me a good sixty seconds to regain rational thought. "I'm just- whoa," I laughed a little. "I mean, that was just-wow."
She smiled at me shyly. My heart melted at the sight of it.
Leave it to Evans to be completely impulsive one moment and perfectly innocent the next, I thought. Vixen.
"Well, do you, um," she cleared her throat a little and shrugged, barely meeting my eyes. "Want to, I don't know, quit studying and just, er, finish that over there on the couch?"
If seven years ago some dimwit had told me such an offer would have come out of Lily Evans' mouth and would be directed at me, I would have punched them for being so stupid.
I was very single-minded for a moment. All I could think was OH SWEET MERLIN SHE WANTS TO MAKE OUT WITH ME. ON THE MERLIN FORSAKEN COUCH.
Such thoughts must have been causing me to do the blank-stare thing again, because Lily appeared fidgety and uneasy all of a sudden. "I mean, we don't have to, it's fine, and really probably for the better, I mean, I've got a lot of things to do and-"
I simply lacked the willpower to let her finish. I pulled her back to me and connected our mouths once again. She was silenced immediately. Her hands came to rest against my chest. She must have felt the irregular thump, sensed the jumpy pulse flying through my neck. She had to know how crazy she drove me.
After a long second, I pulled back and whispered to her. "Kissing you versus homework?" I laughed incredulously. "Lils, I thought you knew me better than that."
I tugged her back to me, and she wove her arms around my neck. I kept my lips on hers as I stood up, my chair screeching backwards across the floor. My hands on her back, I lifted her up and felt her legs wind around my waist. The sudden closeness of our bodies sent an electrical shock up my spine. I stepped towards the couch and swiveled around, lowering myself carefully into the cushy landing without ever loosening my grip on her.
Lily's hair had vacated its previously neat and sensible ponytail somewhere between the table and the couch, and it fell like a curtain around our heads. Her hands gripped my shirt, which made the thumping beneath the fabric escalate exponentially. A button at the top of my shirt sprung open as her hands traveled upwards towards my neck. Her fingers were warm against my throat, her breath equally as hot when she broke away from me fleetingly to breathe. My hands gripped her tightly, and our eyes met for a half a second before she leaned back into me. I arched upwards towards her, making any space between us nonexistent.
I had the occasion to wonder how in the world Lily had become so stunningly familiar with kissing. The way her mouth moved against mine made my insides feel as good as melted. Even my toes curled in satisfaction. I suppose I could have only rationally assumed that it was me who had been her tutor, seeing as she hadn't had all that much practice in the past. But all I had in that moment was exquisite wonder at the power she had over me.
I suppose such blindness was best explained by the fact that I wasn't exactly cognizant of what was happening at that point. Her lips on mine and her body, well, on mine, was going straight to my head. Naturally.
And even more naturally, the biological aspects of my being were thinking "looks like all systems are go for procreation!" You can imagine my horror at that particular miscalculation...and, er, reaction.
Upon that realization I pulled away from Lily immediately. She looked at me confusedly. "What's wrong?"
"Um," I managed to get out nervously, not sure how to address the issue nonchalantly. I pictured the honest confession in my head: "Well, gee, Lily, nothing major, but I'm sort of kind of aroused. It's just that you're just the most gorgeous girl ever and my body seems to agree that you and I would make beautiful children. But it's really not that huge of a deal or anything."
In reality, I said, "I just...don't want to start something I don't think we're ready to finish."
Lily opened her mouth once in misunderstanding, but then I saw her eyes widen in recognition. Her hands skimmed from my neck out to my shoulders. I relaxed my grasp on her back."Oh," she murmured, quietly. "I'm sorry."
"You're sorry?" I laughed again, gently. "You have nothing to apologize for." I sobered. "I just think we ought to take these things slow."
"You're right," she agreed, smiling shakily. She slid off my lap and sat beside me. I could tell she was a little uncomfortable with the situation, and I was worried for a second that I'd scared her. But then she wove her hands around my arm. "I guess we got a little carried away there."
"Yeah," I half-smiled at her hands on my arm. Inside my mind, I was trying desperately to rid the delicious imprint of her mouth from mine, the ghostly impression of her fingers across my pulled-open collar. I gulped. There was no way in hell I was going to get any more studying done. "You got that right."
This morning I awoke to a knock at the door. My eyes half-opened and I was confused for a moment, taking in the light streaming through my window and the chill in the air. I shivered as I realized that my bed covers had vacated my body entirely sometime during the night.
I rubbed my eyes and sat up. There was another knock at the door.
"James isn't in," I responded to the knock, my voice groggy. I glanced at the clock. 7:45. I was running late. "He's off being an anamagi or something else clever." I grabbed my glasses from my beside table and put them on. The sunlight from the window danced before my eyes as consciousness tottered into my mind.
I assumed Lily rolled her eyes at that comment. "I'm coming in, are you decent?"
Looking down at my shirtless chest, I quickly bent over to retrieve a (hopefully) clean t-shirt from the floor beside my bed and put it on. I stretched my sore muscles out above my head. "I'd like to think so."
I presumed another eye-roll as Lily opened the door. She gently closed it behind her and stood there for a moment, looking radiant. I smiled at her and flopped down on my bed, patting the space besides me. "C'mere."
She obliged, lying down on her back beside me. "You're super later, buddy."
"Sorry, I was having a dream that I didn't want to end." I admitted, smiling at her widely.
She turned her head to look at me, green eyes glittering. "Oh, is that so?"
"Yeah, don't get too excited," I replied, propping my arms up behind my head. "It was about biscuits." I sighed dreamily to emphasize the obvious deceit.
Lily laughed out loud. The beautiful sound woke me up fully. "Biscuits?"
"Yeah," I replied. She turned on her side so she was facing me, a curl falling in her face. I reached out to place it back behind her ear. "It was a delicious dream."
Lily scooted closer to me on the bed, close enough for our noses to touch. "Mmm, I bet it was." She leaned forward and kissed me.
I forgot for a good long second that anything else existed besides her. When our lips parted she whispered, "You know, that was really no way to greet your girlfriend on Valentine's Day."
My eyes went wide. I felt like a quaffle had just nailed me in the chest. "Oh sweet Merlin." I whispered.
Lily burst out laughing again. The look on my face must have been a spectacle. I stared at her in amazement.
I'd like to take a moment to reflect: After all the pain – the suffering, the misery –I'd gone through upon realizing I'd completely forgotten that Valentine's Day was right around the corner only a few days prior to this incident, I truly thought I could recover. I had clearly thought wrong. I couldn't begin to fathom what an idiot I was.
Don't get me wrong. I was completely, fully, exponentially prepared for the day. Probably over-prepared. After years of offering love to Lily on Valentine's Day that had never been returned, I was more than ready to spend a real holiday of real feelings with her. But I'd gone and let her be the one to remind me. Me. Mr. "Valentine's Day is Kind of My Thing". Mr. "You're Never Going to Forget This Valentine's Day, Lily, Trust Me".
I'd failed, and there was just no way around it.
Perceptive as always, Lily seemed to sense my crushing despair at the fact. "James, what's wrong?" Her mouth quirked into a half-smile. "Angry that I got to you first this year?"
I shook my head at her devious quip, knowing she knew exactly how her actions had affected me. "You are so dead."
"Dead?" Lily sat up quickly and feigned fright, bringing her hand to her chest. "My oh my James Potter. That is still no way to treat me on the holiday of love." She pouted. "I wouldn't be a very good girlfriend if I was dead, would I?"
Shaking my head again, I covered my face with my hands. "This is embarrassing."
"It is." She agreed. "And I'm embarrassed for you, frankly." she added. "I won't lie, I was fully expecting to wake up to a rousing reprise of 'Lily Evans You Know You Love Me'."
My breath caught in my throat, and I peeked at her through my fingers. I found a devilish smile on her face. "Oh, God, tell me you don't actually remember that."
"Not entirely," she deliberated, looking up the ceiling as if to think. "But I think it went something like...um, let's see..." She cleared her throat and immediately began to sing the idiotic lyrics to my childhood attempt at a love song. "Lily Evans, you know, yes, yes, you know you loooooove me, don't deny it, you can't deny it any loooonger. You know you loooooove mee oh yess-"
I groaned over her melody, and she stopped singing, doubled over in laughter. "How could I ever forget such a gem of a song?"
I sat up again and shook my head at her a third time, more fiercely this time. "You are ridiculous for making me feel bad about this."
"Oh, don't be a sore sport," she said, standing up and scolding me."Just because you're mad that I'm clearly more apt at remembering specific dates in February than you are doesn't mean you're allowed to kill my buzz."
She started walking away, but I didn't let her get far. I smiled ruefully and leaped off my bed to catch her while she was ahead, picking her up at the knees. She shrieked as I did so, grappling for my neck to keep balance.
"Lily, Lily, Lily," I reprimanded. "I've waited a lot of years to spend this exact day with you and I don't intend to let your gallivanting ruin it for me." She bit her lip sheepishly, her hands warm at the back of my neck. "Are you going to let me have my day in the sun or are you going to keep bragging?"
"Well," she said slowly, ruffling a hand though my hair. "I suppose I could just let you enjoy it."
"Ah, that's my girl," I smiled, pulling her tighter into my embrace.
"Well, can we go to class now, Mr. Valentine's Day?" she asked. "I'd love to stay here and cuddle all day but I've got an Astronomy quiz to ace."
"Alright, but can I give you something first?"
I set her down on the floor and kissed her solidly. I mad sure to make it last longer than her previous 'I-know-what-today-is-but-you-don't-seem-to-remember' kiss. She brought her hand to my jaw and mumbled against my mouth, "Hey, I love you."
"For real?" I wondered as she pulled away.
"For real." She smiled quietly and kissed me one last time, gently, before turning and opening my door again. "I'll see you in Charms."
"Bye." I said. She left her smile with me as I stared after her.
I remembered abruptly that I definitely had been dreaming about her. Just like every other night since I was eleven.
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