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The Flower and the Stag

Part 8

Lily was sitting in the common room, glaring at her homework. It wouldn't make sense. As Sirius had earlier pointed out, glaring at the parchment wasn't going to help, but Lily was actually have a quite a good time staring at it. It was fun. Lily sighed. This wasn't good.

'Lily?' Holly peered around the corner of the chair she was at.

Lily tore her eyes away from the parchment. 'Mmm?'

'I just wanted to ask you something.'

'What?'

'Do you like the colour- hang on a minute-' she ducked back behind the armchair, then reappeared a few seconds later.

'D'you like the colour green?'

'Yeah.'

'Blue?'

'Yeah, and I also like yellow. Why?'

Holly ignored her question. 'How 'bout purple?'

She shrugged. 'It's okay.'

Holly disappeared again, then popped back up.

'So, just okay? If someone gave you, say, a purple rose- ow! Er- I mean…Hang on a second.'

Lily raised her eyebrows and looked over the back of the chair. James was whispering something to Holly, who was whispering back, shaking her head.

Lily coughed, and James looked up.

'Oh! Lily!…Hi.' He nodded. 'Yeah. Weather's nice, eh?'

'It's raining,' Lily pointed out, grinning slightly.

'It is?'

She nodded her head, pointing to a window where the rain was pelting against it at full force. 'It's been raining all day,' she added.

'It has?…I didn't notice.'

'Obviously.'

Holly started laughing. 'Can I just leave you two alone?'

They nodded, and Holly walked away, muttering something about needing a videotape.

'Want to go for a walk?' James asked, looking at her through his glasses seriously. Lily stared at him.

'You are joking?'

'No.'

'Oh…In that?'

'Yeah.' He grinned mischievously. 'We'll take an umbrella.'

Before Lily could argue, plead, or even freeze him so he couldn't walk, he was dragging her out the common room and along the halls.

'James! Can't we just- just- do something else? I can't think of anything at the moment, but-'

'Shhh!'

'What?'

He kissed her, then started pulling her along again. It took her a moment to recover.

'If you think that is going to make me change my mind-'

He opened the door, and they were immediately sprayed with rain. 'James?'

'What?'

'Do we have an umbrella?'

'Lily, Lily, Lily.'

'Will you stop saying my name?' She asked irritably.

'Sure. You keep forgetting that we can use magic.' He pulled a quill out of his pocket, whispered something, tapped it with his wand, and it burst into an umbrella.

'How do I forget that?' She mumbled. 'I'm surrounded by magic. I live with magic. But I forget it exists.'

'It's just one of your charms,' James answered, not listening to himself.

She snorted. 'Did James Potter, high king of Quidditch, just compliment me?'

'Why I should, I don't know. After all, I was almost killed by a certain girl who's name starts with L when she knocked me over and then stuck her tongue down my throat.'

'I did not!'

'In my mouth.' He corrected himself, and Lily went red.

'I thought you were dead,' she muttered, gripping the umbrella.

'You care?'

'Actually, I usually stick my tongue into people's mouths when I don't care about them. It's something that I do.'

'This is stupid.' James said, looking at the rain.

'What do you suggest we do?'

He demonstrated.

A few moments later, Lily nodded. 'That's okay. We can do that.'

Lily noticed that she was getting wet. 'James, next time you kiss me, don't let go of the umbrella.'

James looked sheepish. 'Do you have a quill on you?'

Lily checked her now soaked through robes. 'Nope…Don't you?'

'Nope.'

'Maybe we should go inside…I'm wet.'

'Me too. Off we go!' He started skipping back to the castle.

Lily ran to catch up with him. 'What are you on?'

He laughed. 'You.'

It was time for the Halloween feast, and James was sitting in detention with Lily. Professor Flitwick, while quite good at charms, had no clue whatsoever as to what he should make students do in detention, as that was usually professor's McGonagall and Snape's expertise. He let them punish the poor unfortunate pupils. He looked at the two of them, who were whispering something to each other.

'Miss Cooper?' He squeaked.

She looked up, grinning. 'Yes, Professor?'

James muttered something and she started to giggle.

'Could you please move to the other side of the room?'

'Why?'

He looked at her blankly, wishing he was as scary as Minerva. 'You are not supposed to talk.'

'Oh. Can I stay here if I promise not to talk to James?'

He sighed, then nodded. Then he fell off his chair, and by the time he sat back up, Lily was laughing so hard there was no need to tell her to move. She'd rolled onto the floor.

'Cooper, Potter, you may leave.'

They didn't hear him, and rolled about on the floor, giggling breathlessly.

James looked up a few moments later. 'Hey, Lily?'

She hiccupped. 'What?'

'Flitwick's gone.'

'He has? Really? Cool. Let's go.'

She jumped up and saw the clock. 'Yikes! The feast!' James got to his feet. 'Come on, slowpoke!'

They ran down to the feast, and entered just as Dumbledore was about to talk. Lily looked down and realised she was still holding James's hand. For some reason, she didn't want to let go. They sat down next to Sirius, who was smirking. Half the hall was still watching them, and those who hadn't witnessed Lily knock over James, now knew they were together.

The Hufflepuffs were not happy.

The feast was just as good as it had been every other year, and (in Lily's opinion) this year it was better. By the end of it, she owned a photograph of James with potato salad in his hair.

She had the chocolate mousse in hers.

A few weeks later in Charms, they were learning how to use a silencing charms, one of which Lily was already quite familiar with, and was thoroughly enjoying silencing Sirius, who hadn't been able to talk all lesson.

James, however, had other things on his mind. Even Sirius didn't know what it was. He did know that James had been working on something at around midnight - he'd heard him muttering to himself- but he didn't know what.

'What are you doing?' Lily asked, after allowing Sirius to talk.

James covered whatever it was he was doing with his elbow, and looked up at her innocently. 'Me? Nothing.'

She nodded, narrowing her eyes suspiciously. 'Come on, James. You can tell me.'

'I'll tell you later.'

'You will?'

'I was planning on telling you tonight.'

'You was? I mean, you were?'

He grinned, his brown eyes sparkling. 'It's nothing really.'

'Okay,' she skipped off and silenced a very grumpy Sirius. He mouthed furiously at her. She hastily took the charm off when he started throwing things.

That night, Lily was sitting up in a tree with her eyes blindfolded. 'I don't really feel very safe here. No offence.'

'None taken. Just don't look down.'

'Such helpful advice,' she muttered. 'What is there to see, anyway? Besides leaves, and your ugly mug, that is.'

'Just remember you're fifty feet off the ground,' he warned her.

'Oh yeah. I meant your gorgeous mug.'

'Why do I think I heard sarcasm?'

She shrugged, and lost her footing on the branch. James grabbed her waist, and pulled her back up, not letting go once she was. Lily ripped off the blindfold.

'I am not looking at darkness again- wow. This is nice.'

Under the tree, James had somehow gotten lots of little lights to twinkle, like on a muggle Christmas tree. 'How did you do this?'

'That is for me to know and you not to find out.'

'Okay. Are we just going to sit up here watching the lights for a little while?'

'No. I have a poem for you.'

She started to laugh. 'A poem?'

James looked injured. 'You don't want to hear my poem?'

'Of course I do.' She giggled. 'Did you write it?'

'Er- no. But I did help. Ahem.

You are the one that makes my day

And then makes it shine brighter

You make everything seem okay

You make my heart feel so much lighter'

He paused for a moment.

'Is that all?' Lily asked, grinning.

'Yeah. The author of this poem is a bit insane. You don't want to hear the rest.'

'I don't?'

'No.'

'Then I most definitely do. Let me see!'

James stuffed it in his mouth. 'Still want to see it?'

She wrinkled her nose. 'Not particularly.'

Sirius stuck his head up through the leaves, grinning. 'How'd it go, Prongs? Like the last line?'

'What was it?' Lily pressed.

'James didn't say it?' Sirius looked very disappointed.

'No. He ate it.'

'Stupid herbivore,' he muttered, then disappeared at again.

He popped back up a few seconds later. 'Oh, and Prongs? Lily?'

'Mmm?'

'Save the kissing until later. We don't want to have to rescue you.'

'Ha ha.'

'Ta ta,' Sirius grinned and waved goodbye.

The Christmas holidays were coming up. Everything was decorated as it always was around this time of year, and one extremely weird suit of armour had teamed up with a painting of a mermaid, and the two of them went on tour around the castle. They didn't have much of an audience, rather, it was the opposite. People heard Sir Hickleburry approaching and ran for the nearest place that wasn't within hearing distance.

Lily yawned on the last day of school, and looked sleepily at James. 'Are you going home for Christmas?'

He nodded. 'You?'

'Nah. I think I'll just sleep…You leave tomorrow, don't you?'

'Yup.'

'Oh.' She got up, kissed him goodnight, and then walked towards the door. She decided it wasn't worth it and fell asleep in a chair, looking exhausted. James grinned.

'Night Lily.' He covered her in a blanket, and went to bed.

Second year Rowena Archer and her friend Joey McIntyre stuck their heads out the window to say goodbye to their friends, when Rowena let out a loud disgusted noise.

'Eurgh!'

'What?' Joey looked around.

'What are they doing?' She was looking at James and Lily.

Sirius noticed them. 'That is known at kissing. Watch these two and you'll become an expert.'

They ignored him.

Rowena wrinkled her nose. 'I never knew it involved eating each other…yuck.'

'It doesn't.' Sirius reassured her. 'They just want to make sure they have enough of each others saliva to last them the holidays.'

Lily reached out and slapped him. James got on the train, after punching Sirius playfully on the arm.

Rowena sat back down in her seat.

'Let me remind you of something,' she said, looking at Joey, who was nibbling on a chocolate frog.

'What?'

'I never, ever plan on kissing you. Okay?'

'Okay.' He shrugged. 'You'd taste yucky anyway.'

'I would not!'

'Well, I guess I'll never know.'

He handed her a chocolate frog. 'Want it?'

She looked at it, and shook her head. 'I've lost my appetite.'