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best of 2013. 13 ships - jeff winger & annie edison (community) 

a proposal of sorts

In which Lily is distracted by James, and finally decides to do something about it. For jily week 2, day 7 (theme free). [ffnet]

The Gryffindor common room was buzzing. It was a Friday night, and all seven year groups were packed into the room, either celebrating the oncoming weekend or lamenting over the number of essays that they had to write. Two boys seated on either sides of one table, however, were doing neither. They were arm wrestling; and had been at a standstill for a good ten minutes now.

This was something that a certain redheaded girl did not fail to appreciate from her carefully picked seat on the opposite side of the room.

“Lily. Lily. Lily.”

The feathered end of a quill was being shoved into the crook of the girl’s neck, and she squirmed and moved her head to glare at her friend.

“Shush, Marlene, I’m trying to study,” she said, turning back to her admittedly dull textbook.

Marlene snorted. “Trying to study James Potter’s arms, more like.”

James Potter was one of the two boys currently locked in the aforementioned arm wrestle, with the sleeves of his white school shirt rolled up to his elbows and drops of sweat rolling down his tanned arms into the cuffs. Lily sighed at the view and tilted her head, a small smile on her face.

“Hmm.” She muttered, admiring the way that the muscle in James’ jaw would clench and twitch every so often when his opponent taunted him. After a few seconds, Marlene’s words registered. “I was not!”

“Oh, come off it, Lily,” Marlene laughed softly, “You told me you fancied him; there’s no point denying it.”

“His forearms are well defined, you know…” Lily mumbled.

“Yeah, and what about his hair?” Marlene rolled her blue eyes at her friend, who appeared to be slightly irritated by her probing.

“What about it?” Lily demanded, turning her gaze again to rest on Marlene, who was sporting an unimpressed but smug smirk.

“Was it not described yesterday as sex hair?” She teased.

“Erm…” Lily flushed the colour of the burgundy carpet and mumbled, “It does look like sex hair, you have to admit.”

“And what about last Monday, when James rested his arm around your shoulders during Charms and you looked like you were going to die of happiness?” Marlene asked, with a raised eyebrow.

“How do you have such a good memory for this?” Lily asked, and then, “Besides, you exaggerate. I was not going to die, maybe just, um –“

“Asphyxiate?” Marlene suggested jovially, and she received a flat look from her friend that clearly read: drop it.

Marlene had no such thought. Instead, she began to interview her companion about some other event in which Lily had been caught staring at James, or more specifically his jaw line. But Lily was no longer paying attention: her scrutiny had quickly flipped back to the boys when she’d seen a movement out of the corner of her eye which suggested that Sirius Black was winning the arm wrestle.

Lily groaned. “If Sirius wins, I won’t hear the end of it for a whole week. James can never stand it when he loses to him in anything.”

“So do something about it.” Marlene said, in a tone that suggested that she thought she was stating the obvious. “Go and distract Sirius.”

“Like that would work,” Lily laughed, “Sirius is more likely to be distracted by a leggy blonde, ie. You, than me, someone who he knows to fancy his best mate.”

“So give James some incentive,” said Marlene, wiggling her eyebrows at Lily.

Lily rolled her eyes. As much as she would love to do whatever exactly Marlene was insinuating (if she was honest, as long as it involved a shirtless James Potter and a being-kissed Lily Evans, she was fine with it), there was no way that James actually fancied her, considering the fact that he thought of her most probably as a sister or platonic friend and had only asked her out once, in fifth year.

“Come on, Lily,” Marlene goaded, and as Lily watched James’ top teeth scrape down on his bottom lip, she was sorely tempted, “Look, Sirius probably will win; he hasn’t just had a tiring Quidditch practice. If you don’t want to be complained at for the rest of the week, you’d better go and do something about it.”

And in one swift movement, the redhead rose from her comfortable armchair and placed her book on the table.

“Lily?” Marlene asked a second later, blinking in surprise, “Are you actually –?”

Lily was already on the move, taking only a few strides around the group of second years in the middle of the common room until she reached the two boys, who had gathered a small crowd. Lily’s Head Girl instincts nudged her into thinking that she should probably stop all the gambling that was happening behind her, but she pushed the thought aside. This was more important.

She placed herself importantly at the same table as the two boys, and regretted not coming over earlier: she had a lovely view of the flush that was steadily creeping higher up James’ jaw and face and Lily had to wonder idly where exactly the colour had originated from…

“Evans.” A curt voice snapped her out of her imagination and Lily jumped slightly. Sirius Black was looking inquisitively at her out of the corner of his eye, whilst James was clearly losing the arm wrestle.

“Sirius, James.” Lily nodded to the two of them.

“What are you doing here, Lily?” Sirius asked, “We’re a bit busy to get involved with any shenanigans at the mo’, sorry.”

“Haven’t got any ‘shenanigans’, Sirius,” Lily replied, the corners of her lips twitching upwards, “I’ve come to offer James a proposal.”

She blushed immediately at her word choice – why did she have to say that?

“Proposal, eh?” A cocky grin was unfurling on James’ mouth, “Always knew you wanted to marry me, Lily.”

Lily rolled her eyes and tried not to laugh. “James, I only meant that if you win this arm wrestle, I’ll buy you as much chocolate as you want from Honeydukes next Hogsmeade weekend.”

James seemed to be considering this as he pushed relentlessly against Sirius, but it was the other boy who replied. “Evans, you’d be better off telling Remus that – you know James is loaded.”

If possible, James seemed to turn even redder and his glasses slipped down his nose in a way that made him look ridiculous and endearing at the same time. “You might have to improve your proposal,” he said to Lily, winking.

Lily positively melted. Hopeless, she told herself, You’re absolutely fucking hopeless. She sat up a little straighter and tried to keep her voice under control, “Okay, I’ll do all our rounds myself and you can have the whole week off.”

“Nope,” James said, popping the ‘p’ and pushing his elbow so hard into the table so that Lily was sure that it would leave a dent in the wood, “I like rounds. I get to bug you and catch snogging couples, and be out after curfew without getting told off.”

“Fine.” Lily said, thinking, “I’ll…sneak out with you and pull a prank on Filch?”

“Good one,” said Sirius, “But you can do better than that. Come on, Evans.” He raised her eyebrows at her and she narrowed her eyes competitively.

Lily looked back at James. At his blush and his sex hair and his gorgeous arms and jawline, and then thought: fuck it.

“Okay, James,” she said loudly, without even really considering her words, “If you win, I’ll snog you right here, in front of everyone.”

There was a pause in which James gaped at Lily, Sirius barked out a laugh, Marlene (who was somehow standing right behind Lily) squealed. Then came an enormous battle cry from James, - “For snogging!” – a loud yelp from Sirius and the resounding thump of James and Sirius’ hands landing on the table.

The common room, whose inhabitants were at that point all watching eagerly, gave a cheer as James and Sirius shook hands and Sirius mockingly tipped an invisible hat to the champion, who clapped him on the back happily.

Lily was grinning at the scene, having temporarily forgotten what she had promised James, until he stood up and ran a sweaty hand through his hair, so that it was ruffled just so. She gulped as James stepped forward.

“Evans,” he began, “I believe you have a proposal to fulfil?” A smirk was slowly rolling its way onto his face.

Lily tilted her head upwards and came closer to him, standing on her tiptoes until she was level with him. She was hyperaware of it all: the sheen of sweat over his skin and the way he almost towered over her, the redness of his cheeks and lips and his hazel eyes on her.

“Oh, shut up, Potter,” she breathed, and she raised her hands to pull on the sides of his tie which was draped around his neck.

The kiss was hot and fast and passionate and for just a second – or was it a year? – it seemed as though everything else in the room was fading into mere blurs and echoes of wolf whistling and applause. She was sure that her heart was beating one thousand miles per hour and as she drowned in the scent that was so uniquely him, Lily moved instinctively closer to James. He wrapped his arms around her waist and bent his head, deepening the kiss.

The couple was interrupted by a loud, “Oi! Do you want to terrorise the first years?” from Sirius, and an incredulous “Like you care, Black,” from Marlene. Lily took James’ hand after a moment of hesitation and he grinned down at her. She blushed under his smug look and supposed that she probably looked very well snogged with her dishevelled hair and red lips.

“Well, Lily,” he said, as Marlene and Sirius started to argue with each other, “I do believe we have some rounds to get to?”

“Yes,” she said, still holding his hand. “I suppose we do have to find all those snogging couples in broom cupboards and empty classrooms…” Lily raised her eyebrows suggestively.

He caught on immediately. “And what do you think,” he said, as they turned together and walked towards the entrance of the common room, “About partaking in some of that snogging, Miss Evans?”

She responded with a sly smirk of her own. “I think, Mr Potter, that I find your proposal most satisfactory.”

She tugged him out of the portrait hole and grinned all the way down the corridor, with James swinging their still interlocked hands between them. No, she didn’t think she’d mind a bit of snogging at all – James Potter’s mouth, Lily had decided, should be classified as an illegal substance.


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