For the next three weeks, Lily was more content than she'd ever been in her life; she was more happy for those three weeks than she had been when she first arrived at Hogwarts, when she completed the first year with over two-hundred percent in all her classes, and even happier than when she and James had first kissed.
They spent all day together, and much of the night together. In the mornings James woke up before her and ate breakfast, and once she got up an hour or so later they would bundle up and take a walk around the grounds outside. The hours before lunch were spent playing in the snow outside, or James teaching Lily to fence in the Common Room inside, if there weren't too many other students around. James' parents had made him take fencing lessons the year before when rumors of Dark Powers had begun to circulate, and he was rather good at it now.
Darkness was rarely on either of their minds, however, as by the end of the lessons they frequently ended up on the floor laughing as one pinned the other to the ground, practice swords thrown aside. They ate late lunches after the rest of the students and teachers had already finished eating, then spent afternoons taking another walk, trespassing through secret passageways in the castle, or staying warm in the Common Room in front of the fire, talking or reading (James's head in Lily's lap as she read aloud, and sometimes vice versa). They were able to get to dinner at the designated hour, and while they ate the Headmastr enjoyed intellectual conversation about politics and other world issues with the Head Boy and Girl, two of the brightest students. Professor McGonagall was astonishingly nicer to James then usual, and frequently looked at him and his girlfriend with deep sadness and sympthy, which bewildered James and Lily.
Evenings, perhaps, were the best and at the same time the worst part of the day. They separated for a while to bathe and get ready for bed, and then Lily would go to James's dormitory to say good night. "Good night" took at least a quarter of an hour, if not longer, and many times fewer words were involved in saying "good night" than kisses. For this reason evening was the best time of the day.
However, it was inevitable that eventually Lily and James would have to say "good night" for real, and it grew to be more difficult for them every time. The first few days Lily was in his dormitory for fiteen minutes, but by the end of the first week she was in it for thirty. By the middle of the second week she was in it for forty-five, and the night before the rest of the students returned from vacation James and Lily fell asleep together on accident.
A couple of days were colder than normal. One brisk, wet morning, James and Lily stayed outside for three hours straight; it was extremely cold, but they were talking together and there seemed to be so much to say. When at last they decided to come insisde, they entered the Gryffindor Common Room -- empty at the moment -- freezing cold and soaking wet to the bone. A warm fire was blazing in the grate and they stood in front of it for a moment, warming their hands enough so that they were able to actually feel things, so they could get out of their wet clothes. Their cloaks and robes they draped over the back of the couch, then each went to their own dormitories to change out of their wet jeans and sweaters. James came back down to Common Room and stretched himself out on the couch to wait for Lily and thought about how it always took women to do things such as bathe and dress longer than it did men. Wondering this led to wondering about Lily undressing upstairs, and wondering that led him to create a pleasant fantasy in his mind of taking Lily's clothes off himself on the couch as the fire heated them and spread a warm orange glow throughout the room.
"Hey!" Lily said from behind the couch, peeking over at him. James sat up immediately and straightened himself.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to disrupt you," Lily said as she sat down next to him with a book in her hands. James made his eyes wide as dinner plates and innocent.
"Disrupt me? Whatever from?"
"I don'tknow," Lily said, shrugging. "You tell me. You had a little smile on your face when I came down."
"I was . . . er . . . thiking."
"What of?" Lily asked conversationally.
"Things . . . Smile-y. Things Happy smile-y things, rainbows and bunnies."
She gave him a bewildered look. "Okay."
"So . . . what's that?" He pointed to the book she was holding.
"Book I'm reaing. I just started it, and it sounds likes somethng you would really enjoy."
"Does it?" James said curiously. "Quidditch, magic, battles, food?"
"Well, not Quidditch . . . but battles, yes, magic, oh yes, food, yes . . . and friendship, evil, good, and love, and non-stop action!" [This is me inadvertently advertising ^^ I do love this book!] James took the book and looked at it. It had a green cover, with gold letters inscribed on the front proclaiming "The Lord of the Rings".
"It's . . . big."
"Well, if you want to read it, you don't have to read it -- I mean, I'll read it aloud to you."
"Would you, really?"
"Of course." She crossed her legs and took the book from him. "Here, put your head in my lap."
Well. He could put his head in her lap and lie there in silent contentment for hours; but to have a story to go with it! James thanked God he had three weeks of this.
Oh -- no he didn't. On week had already passed. there were only two weeks left.
James pushed that thought out of his mind.
[Author's Note: Look, I got two chapters up within 12 hours of each other! Aren't you proud? The next chapter is called "Wanting More" . . . still vacation . . . that might give you some idea of what's going to happen there . . . Hold on to these early chapters . . . happy days are ending soon . . .
Reviewie? Pleasie? Love, Emlyn]
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