The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: A Real Relationship  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

“Hello, James

Disclaimer: Since I was born before JK Rowling died, I am presumably not her reincarnation. However, I could be the preincarnation of one of her descendants, and therefore, in that sense, I do own Harry Potter. But in another, more legal sense, no, no I don’t.


“Hello, James.”


“Oh, hi… Jessica? Jessica.”


“That’s right. You know, there’s a Hogsmeade weekend coming up. If you don’t already have plans, do you want to go together?”


“No, thank you. I’m going out with Lily Evans now.”


Still?



“He’s just been sitting there,” said Peter, waving his hand in front of James’ face. “Staring at nothing with that haunted look in his eyes.” He placed his head next to James’ to see if there was anything interesting from that angle that he’d missed before. He’d obviously been in that position for some time without moving: his hair had settled into the natural mess genetics had cursed him with, as opposed to the mess his fingers liked to create.


“Wonder what’s wrong with him,” said Sirius. He prodded his friend in the cheek. “Let’s draw on him!” he suddenly exclaimed. “Who has a quill?”


“We aren’t going to draw on him, you mental case,” said Remus.


“Come on, it’ll be fun!” insisted Sirius. “We’ll put little symbols and decals on his forehead. Like a lightning bolt or something, right by his hairline. I tell you, everyone will want the Hairy Potter look.”


“You’re a loony,” said Peter.


“Sirius, no. Don’t make me hit you will a rolled up newspaper.” He returned his attention to James. “Prongs? Are you all right? If you can—damn it, Sirius, put the quill down—if you can hear me, Prongs, blink twice.” James continued staring. “Oh, come on!


“Snape is a better Chaser than you!” said Peter, in hopes of shocking James out of his stupor.


“Puddlemere United is a sub par Quidditch team!” added Remus.


“Allow me,” said Sirius, leaning close to James. “Naked Snape,” he said.


“Gah!” said James. “That was uncalled for!” He shuddered, and then sneered. Then the sneering made him think of Snape, which made him shudder again.


“I win at life,” said Sirius smugly.


“Well done,” said Peter sarcastically. “What’s wrong with you, James?”


The haunted look returned to his eyes. “Lily. I’m dating her. She and I, we go out on dates together. And we kiss. And things.” The way he said this indicated that there was a terrible price to be paid for all this merry-making.


Sirius sighed sympathetically. “I knew it was going to happen. The pressure of being Head Boy coupled with the lack of release from habitually driving Evans around the bend has killed what few brain cells Prongs had left.” He sniffed and wiped a tear from his eye.


“Padfoot, shut up,” said Remus effortlessly, as if he said it so often that the default position of his lips and tongue had moved in order to accommodate it. “What’s wrong with dating Lily?” Remus asked James. “You’ve been together for a while now, and it never bothered you before.”


“I wasn’t dating her before, I was just going out with her!” said James. His eyes were less haunted and more panicked now. The others, being experts on those who are out of their minds (specifically Sirius) began to recognize the symptoms in James.


“So now you have a girlfriend and you’re petrified of her?” said Peter. “Can’t blame you. Lily gets scary when she gets mad.”


“You don’t understand! You all understand! I mean, don’t understand.” He grabbed the nearest person, who happened to be Sirius, and shook him by the collar. “I’m someone’s boyfriend, okay? I haven’t been anyone’s boyfriend since we were six and your cousin made us play house.” Remus and Peter quietly filed that under Things to Mock James and Sirius About Later as James continued. “But now Lily and I, we’re an item, we’re together, I’m off the market, and I… I…”


“You need a mint,” said Sirius. James released him, and Sirius straightened his collar. “What even brought this up, anyway?”


“Jessica Lapin asked me to Hogsmeade. You know, that sixth-year Ravenclaw with the huge… lips? And I said no, because I’m going to go with Lily. But I haven’t even asked Lily, and I won’t have to, because we’ll just go together, because we are together!”


There was a moment of silence as the three waded through James’ circular logic into the Sea of Knowing What the Hell He Was Talking About. Then, finally, Peter suggested the obvious: “If it bothers you to be going out with her, why don’t you just end it?”


“Brilliant!” James stood up, still not entirely on a mental wavelength approachable by normal means, but rather closer to one, at least. “I’ll break up with her, and then we’ll both be free to date whichever large-lipped Ravenclaws happen to come our way!”


Being males, the four allowed the image of Lily Evans and Jessica Lapin to cross their minds, to cross back the other way, and to cross again, but going quite a bit more slowly this time. Then James shook his head and went off to find Lily.



It didn’t take long. He knew her well, and knew that she’d be double-checking her Charms homework in the library. Well, more than double, actually, but he didn’t know how to say “ten-tuple”.


He spotted her at one of the larger tables with three books open in front of her. He felt a momentary pang of guilt. She looked rather cute with an ink smudge on her nose and her quill brushing back and forth across her lips absently. It didn’t seem right to break up with her, but he was determined. Somewhat determined, anyway.


“Lily?” he whispered as he approached. She looked up and, upon seeing his face, smiled. If nothing else, he’d miss making her smile, as opposed to making her scowl. “Mind if I sit down?”


“Go ahead,” she whispered back.


He sat down and wondered vaguely how to go about doing this. He’d never had to break up with anyone before. His first relationship had been a mutual agreement of something to the effect of, “I’ll kiss you, you’ll kiss me, and we’ll keep it up until a better offer comes along,” and the following relationships had basically been remakes of that one. Until Lily came along, anyway.


“Do you really have to double-check your work so often?” said James. It had nothing to do with what he really wanted to say, but as he couldn’t phrase what he wanted to say, it worked out.


“No, probably not,” Lily admitted. “But I just know that if I don’t, there’ll be that one mistake that makes the difference between Summoning a broom and Summoning a cow.” She grinned. “What are you doing here then, if not checking your work?”


“I came to see you,” he said without thinking. Then he mentally cringed, as it really gave Lily the wrong impression.


“You’re so sweet,” she said. “If I’d have known you were this cute I might have considered dating you earlier.”


“Miss Evans, Mister Potter, if you’re going to be chattering, please do it in a place that isn’t my library!” said the librarian.


“Sorry!” they both said. They were promptly shushed.


He turned to Lily and began to say, “We need to talk,” and got as far as, “Wuh,” before he had to shut his mouth very tightly lest he burst out laughing. Lily was sticking her tongue out at the librarian’s back and making a series of gestures that, though James had never seen them before, he could infer were very rude.


Once he got his laughter under control, he took a deep breath. He had to say it. He could feel the words in his throat. Just say it, and it’d all be over but the crying. His lips began to form the words, “I want to break up,” and he spoke. “I love you,” he said.


“You what?” exclaimed Lily.


“I what?” exclaimed James.


“Potter! Evans! Out!”



Outside the library, Lily took James by the arm and led him to a nearby wall. “What did you… I mean, I know what you… but did you…?” she asked articulately.


“I… I didn’t mean to say that, but…” He looked at her red hair, her green eyes, her smudged nose… he thought of her sticking her tongue out and he thought of her laughter, and he said, “Oh, Hell, I really do love you, don’t I?”


Lily smiled. “Want to know something odd? Despite knowing full well what you’re like, and that you’re probably going to be doing something completely idiotic within the hour, I think I love you too.”


James sighed. “That’s a relief,” he said, and was surprised to find that he meant it. “Unrequited affection is a bugger, take it from me.”


There are, of course, rules in place about kissing in public places, and the banning thereof. Of course, it’s not public if there are no witnesses, so…


End.


For the epilogue, please read the ENTIRE Harry Potter series. Oy.


And, just to be sure nobody shows up yelling at me for plagiarism:

“You all understand! I mean don’t understand!” – HomestarRunner.Com

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