Got stuck on the roof putting up Christmas lights AU from this list. I really should write some Jily drabbles with actual Jily happening in them sometime. Naming sense still needs an improvement.
James Potter sat on a roof on a frosty Saturday morning, measuring the gutter with his thumb and pinkie. Wiping his hand on his grimy tracksuit bottoms, he pulled out another meter of Christmas lights. He ripped yet another piece of tape with his teeth as he draped the cord over the wall. Securing them tightly, he exhaled.
Kneeling back, James admired his handiwork. He’d been out here a good hour at least, and he’d gotten around a good third of the roof already. He’d be finished with the framework by the time Sirius gets home from work, when he can kill the git for taking both the spare keys from under the doormat and the Drunk Garden Gnome.
James cracked his neck, once on each side, and rolled his shoulders back. He turned to grab his next handful of lights when…
His arm collided with the ladder propped up against the wall, and it fell to the ground before he could catch it. He looked around himself, down at it, and swore. It was a quiet, icy December morning, and no one was out for him to call to for help.
James sighed. Laying himself flat against the tiles, he looked over the gutter, where a window ledge stuck out unpromisingly. Maybe, just maybe, if he could get himself down to there…
Lily Evans hugged her wooly jumper closer as she trudged out the front door, shivering. If she could just find where the damned newspaper guy had flung the paper today, she could get back inside to her waiting mug…
Hearing a gasp, Lily looked up and screamed.
A boy, roughly her age, swung dangerously upside-down from her grandmother’s roof, eyes wide in panic. Grasping the gutter with both hands, he stabilized himself. He looked down at her.
“Um,” he said.
“Um,” she agreed.
He pulled himself back onto the roof, exhaling a puff of white mist. He rubbed his palms on his ratty joggers and bit his lip.
“Hi. I’m James. I live next door.”
“Lily. Prudence’s granddaughter.” She frowned, eyeing the neatly-kept house over the fence.
“You’re Grandma Prue’s-”
“Right.” James smiled. “Sorry. We kind of adopted her.”
Oh. Nan had been telling Lily over the phone the past few weeks about how some nice boys had moved in nearby, and that she really ought to meet them. They came over often to mow her lawn or to clean her windows, apparently, and apart from their angry taste in music, they seemed to be stellar neighbors in Nan’s view. And they’re so handsome, Nan had gushed, earning a roll of eyes from Lily. You’re lucky I met them after I married your Pop.
The last nice boy Nan had had Lily meet had been some kid from church, three years her junior and reeking of pineapples.
Lily squinted back up at the guy, the one that wasn’t the serious one or something. His jet black hair was tousled maniacally, and the cold winter air had tinted his nose an alarming shade of red. Nan wasn’t wrong. He was pretty hot, if a little unconventionally. She’d bet he was tall, too, though with him trespassing onto her grandmother’s roof, it was kind of hard to tell. His deep hazel eyes stared into hers, unblinking, observing.
After a moment, Lily raised an eyebrow.
“Um,” she said, “so what’s got you hanging upside down from someone else’s house on a freezing Saturday morning?”
James blinked. “I went and got myself locked out of my house, so I thought I’d get started on Gr- er, Prudence’s Christmas lights.”
“I can share, you know,” Lily smirked.
“I’m willing to share Nan.”
James’s gaze shifted from her face, and she watched as his eyes widened. Lily looked down too, at the red jumper Nan knitted her this year.
She looked up to find that James was sporting an identical one, except in blue.
“She said her granddaughter was in need of a sweetheart,” he said faintly.
Of course. She should expect nothing less from Nan Evans. “At least you smell alright,” Lily muttered with a roll of her eyes.
“Yeah,” James agreed, then frowned. “What?”
“Nothing.” Lily shook her head.
Lily turned away and, spotting the newspaper in the flowerbed at her feet, she bent to pick it up. Dusting it off, she lifted her face again.
“Well. It was nice to meet you.” She gave him a polite smile and turned to walk back inside.
Lily turned back.
“I almost forgot, I kind of can’t get down,” James explained apologetically, pointing to the ground, where Pop’s old ladder lay.
“You really know your way around, don’t you?”
“She is the best cook I know, so, you know. I come to earn some cookies from time to time.”
Lily lifted the ladder with both hands and leaned it against the wall. James grinned in thanks and swung his legs over the edge of the roof. He quickly climbed down as Lily held it steady. A light brush of his fingertips on the back of her hand as he reached the bottom made her stomach flutter, but she stubbornly pretended not to notice.
James landed lightly on the ground. “Thanks,” he whispered solemnly, shivering slightly. He pulled his hands into his oversized sleeves.
“No problem.” Letting go of the ladder, Lily looked him over. “You look kind of cold. Care for a hot chocolate?”
James’s face broke out in a wide grin. “That would be great.”
Prudence Evans sat by the open window, cocooned in quilted blankets. Her breaths came out white as she stifled a victorious giggle.