When: In the afternoon
Summary: James and Lily chat about the apartment. James asks her what she's hiding from him and things get a bit tense.
Lily stretched her arms above her head and smiled widely as the afternoon sun shined on her face. With contented sigh, she walked the rest of the way out the Hogwarts entrance with a bit of a skip in her step. "N.E.W.T.s are over!" she said to herself. "We're done, at last!"
James had been out for an afternoon jog, when he took a short detour that would land him near the entrance. Picking up his pace a little, he rounds a patch of trees and spots Lily. With a grin, he slows to a walk and makes his way over to her.
"Hello," Lily greeted James upon spotting him. "What are you doing out here?" she asked, not having known he was much one for jogging.
James - looking delicious and sweaty, of course - stopped and started to regain his breath. "Out for a jog. Post-N.E.W.T jitters."
She raised an eyebrow. "Post-N.E.W.T.? Why would you have jitters after the exams?" she asked. "I'm personally delighted to be free of the studying and testing."
"Excited jitters, I meant." He laughed. "We're out of here in a about a fortnight."
Lily sighed. "I know. While the feeling is bittersweet, it doesn't mean I don't want to be out," she said. "I think I'm ready to start the rest of my life now... By the way, have you found a good apartment yet? Or were you planning on making the rest of us look?"
"Apartment?" James' eyebrows shot up for a second. "Oh, that apartment. Right. Uh, the short answer is...no. But hey, don't worry."
Lily frowned. "James, you're going to have to get on that," she said sternly. "We don't have much time before we're out on our own."
"Hey, you didn't let me explain the long answer yet! I have found an apartment, yes, but I wouldn't describe it as good, as such. More...'renovator's dream'? It needs a bit of work." James looked quite excited.
Lily looked skeptical. "Renovator's dream? This sounds curious... and very you," she said. "How much exactly of a renovator's dream is it?"
"Well the holes in the walls are fixable..." James was trying to remember. "I haven't seen it first hand but the guy owled me a bunch of photos. The main thing is, it's situated a ten minute walk from the Ministry, in a wizarding part of town. For London, it's a good price. Cheap, and when split a few different ways, we'll be rich."
"Can I possibly see the photos sometime? You know, we're all going to have to get together and go see the place sometime," she said. "I don't mind so much doing repairs, as long as it's not a complete mess."
"I wouldn't say a complete mess. It'll be great, really. Leave it to me. And the best bit of all, we can move in in 3 weeks. The landlord's really keen to get it moving again, the last tenants were dodgy with the rent." James wrapped his arm around Lily's waist.
"I still want to see it first," she said, hesitantly. "And Sirius and Marlene deserve to have a say on it too."
whomp my willow: "Okay, okay. We'll go into London after school finishes." James grinned. He was excited. Fixing it up would be a riot.
"So, other than that, what have you been up to?" she asked, moving so she could sit down on the steps. "Nothing productive, I presume."
James followed her lead. "Nothing productive? After I've landed us a goo-...well, an apartment?"
"I said other than that," Lily said, rolling her eyes. "I meant, I presume you've been just laying around and enjoying the lack of schoolwork."
"You underestimate me!" Was all James would say; he wasn't about to admit he'd been planning pranks for the end of school.
"Well, then what have you been doing with yourself, hm?" she asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest. "If you've not been laying about, that is."
"Nothing too interesting or important." James said with a shrug.
"I think you're hiding something from me," Lily said bluntly.
"I'm not!" James protested.
Lily gave him an unbelieving look. "Sure you aren't," she said.
"You wouldn't be interested in it." James grumbled.
"Oh I wouldn't, would I?" she asked. "Why don't you tell me and we'll find out?"
"I know for a fact that you wouldn't be interested and I'm not going to tell you! I can have some secrets, can't I?" James pouted at her.
"Alright," Lily said, simply, with a sigh. "If you want to be like that, you don't have to tell me. But I'll just use it against you later."
"That's fine with me." James breathed a sigh of relief.
Lily smirked. "You're going to be sorry," she said in a sing-song voice.
James kissed her cheek softly. "No, I'm not." he purred in her ear.
"Oh, I'll make you sorry," she said confidently. "You just don't know it yet."
"That would be a very mean thing to do..." James drawled softly, nibbling at her ear lobe.
"Well, you're being mean in not telling me, aren't you?" she asked, trying to ignore his advances as well as possible.
"I'd say it's for the best, actually." James kissed her neck slowly.
"For the best of you or me?" she asked. Her defense was breaking, but she didn't show that to him.
"The best for you, naturally." James was enjoying himself, sinking his teeth ever so lightly into the skin near her shoulder, then continuing to run his kisses along her neck.
Lily shuddered slightly at the feeling of his bites. He was making this so difficult. "For some reason I doubt that," she said, although only half-seriously.
"You don't believe me?" A kiss on the underside of her chin, and then delicately down her throat.
"No," she said, although the first kiss on her throat was planted right when she said it and a slight giggle escaped her. 'Shit,' she mentally cursed.
His fingers wrapped themselves in her hair, and played with the strands between his warm hands. He kissed the tip of her nose. "You're very quiet this afternoon, Ms Evans."
Lily shrugged. "I just don't have much to speak of," she muttered, afraid her voice would show emotion if she used it at normal volume.
This time James placed his lips onto hers, knowing that victory was now his. He smiled against her mouth.
"You're such a jerk," she whispered half-heartedly against his lips, before giving in and allowing the kiss. When they parted, she glared at him. "You always win. How is it that you -always- win?" she asked increduously.
"Because I never allow myself to lose." James said it as though it was blatantly obvious.
"Well, I try my best not to allow myself to lose and that doesn't help much, does it?" she stated more than asked.
James grinned, and played with the creases in her clothes. "Not my fault you're a sore loser, Lils."
"I'm not a sore loser," she said indignantly.
He kissed her again, then pulled away. "Oh, shut up Evans."
"What if I don't want to?" she asked with a mischievous grin. She leaned back and raised her eyebrows, as if challenging him.
James shrugged. "Then I'll tune out?" He laughed, wrapping his arms around her waist.
"So mean," she said with a pout, however she didn't seem to have any problems relaxing into his arms anyhow.
James pulled her in closer to him, and was silent for a moment. He reflected on his own thoughts for a minute, then said with a grin,"Who's going to do the cooking?"
"Excuse me?" she asked, looking up at him curiously. "What are you talking about?"
"When we move in." He referred to the apartment.
"Oh," she said, feeling stupid. "I don't know. Definately not you or Sirius, though. You'd have the place up in flames before we could pay the first month's rent, and if not that I'd be afraid to see what you put into the food."
James grinned. "So...you'll be doing it, then?" Knowing he'd make a dreadful cook, he was eager to unload the chore on someone else.
"Possibly," she said, not liking the grin on his face at that. "But I'm definately teaching you how to cook because I'm not going to do it by myself all the time."
James sighed. "Fiiiiiine."
Lily smirked. "You'll love it," she told him matter-of-factly. "You will learn to cook and you will not complain. Besides, I can't have a boyfriend that can't fend for himself, now can I?"
"I can fend myself in other ways!" James protested.
"You know what I mean," she said.
James laughed. "Yeah, yeah. I know." He kissed her cheek.
Lily sighed and stood up, pressing out her skirt with her hands. "So, what were you planning on doing with your freedom?"
"World dominance." James joked, withdrawing his hand.
"I meant -other- than that," she said.
"Lots of partying. Watch out London. If I haven't visited every club by the end of the year - and that includes Muggle clubs - then I'll be a failure." James slipped his arm around her shoulders.
Lily smirked. "Well, I'll just have to show you around Muggle London, won't I?" she asked. "I'd not fancy to know what -you'd- do in the middle of a bunch of Muggles."
"I'd be on my best behaviour, thankyou." James said indignantly, placing a quick kiss near her jaw.
"It's not your behaviour I'm worried about," she said. "Setting loose any fullblooded wizard loose unchaperoned in Muggle London is a bad idea."
James rolled his eyes at her. "Yes, Mum."
"You know you love it," she said, sticking her tongue out.
He grinned. After lapsing into a moment's thought, he asked curiously,"So what's that secret you won't tell me about?" James wasn't too concerned, but of course his curiousity got the best of him.
Lily must have stopped breathing for a second, caught off guard by the question. "What secret?" she asked when she had regained her composure, looking innocent and sincerely curious.
"Well I don't know, do I? You're not telling me. I don't know why. It's not like I can't be discreet when I need to be!" James pulled her closer to him.
"Why should I keep a secret from you, James?" she asked.
He shot her a puzzled look. "I don't know. Maybe it's a secret about someone else - then I'd understand."
"I'm not keeping any secret," she said, sternly. "I was just messing with you earlier."
James held his hands up, and laughed. "Okay, don't get too serious on me now. Just so long as you're not keeping anything from me. Afterall, honesty is the best policy, isn't it?" He dropped his arms back down around her.
She went a bit rigid at his words and bit her lip. 'I feel like such a bloody horrible person,' she thought miserably. 'How can I keep up lieing to him?' Not answering him, Lily slipped out of his arms and began walking ahead.
James stood for a moment, baffled, and then jogged after her. "Hey, what? Was it somthing I said?" His laughter was more nervous than anything else, and he tried to capture her hand with his.
"Nothing," she mumbled. "Don't worry about it." As he tried to catch her hand, she moved it out of the way. 'I can't stand this! It's been one bloody day and I'm already acting like something's up!'
James frowned, and said nothing, just walking alongside her. He wasn't stupid enough to push any further but he wasn't goign to deny he was hurt that she was hiding something.
The silence spread out for the time of about five minutes, until it finally got unbearable....but she didn't know what to say to him... He knew she was lieing to him, she knew it.
Chewing on his tongue, James waited for her to speak first. She was lying to him, and he didn't know why.
"Um...James..." Lily said slowly, trying to think of something to say to him, "I, ah... I... I should go. I'm supposed to be meeting Remus..." So that was a lie, too. She was meeting him after dinner, which was far from then, but she had to find a way out.
"Remus?" James asked quickly, in a sharp voice. Regretting his tone of voice the second he spoke, James shrugged. "Sure. Remus, of course. I have to go play Quidditch." He pushed his hands into his pockets; annoyed at himself for being so stupid and persistant and rude to her. He didn't want to be, but that's just how all his words seemed to turn out.
Lily was alarmed by the tone of his voice, but couldn't exactly say she blamed him. "See you later," she muttered to his retreating back before walking back off towards the castle herself, mentally kicking herself the whole time.