SETTING: An abandoned classroom on the third floor
SUMMARY: James gives Lily her first Transfiguration lesson. Hurrah! And they get along. Or rather, Lily puts up with him.
The fact that she was going to meet James and improve her transfigurations had dashed almost all previous unpleasant thoughts from her mind. Satisfied that her expression held no hostility (Potter hadn't been as nearly as annoying recently), she continued on into the third floor corridor, ever watchful and mindful of the shadows that lurked in the corners. She'd become rather paranoid as of late, especially with so many people sneaking off. It was with some relief that she reached the door with the tarnished silver plaque on it, where they'd agreed to meet. She glanced down at the knob, noted that it had been touched recently (the dust was gone), and opened the door, stepping inside.
James turned around (he had been busy de-ruffling his hair) and smiled at Lily. He ran through lines to greet her with. "Hi Lily!" He said enthusiastically, transfiguring a lamp into a cushiony chair. "Glad you came." Wow, that sounded even more stupid than he thought.
Lily raised an eyebrow slightly. He'd called her "Lily" instead of "Evans." "Hi....James." She didn't think she'd ever called him by his first name before, and it felt slightly odd rolling off her tongue. His enthusiasm was a tad infectious, because she broke into a small smile. "Um." She glanced sideways at the chair. "What did you want to teach me first? Or would you rather see a pathetic attempt to know what I'm doing wrong?"
She called him James! She called him James! "Well, what do you know up to? I think that'll help." He pondered for a moment. "Erm, yes that's what we're going to have to do. What's the last thing you can do successfully. Successfully being without blowing up anything." He smiled again.
Lily blushed slightly and spun her wand between her small, slender fingers. "Um. Well, I can transfigure an egg into a bird and back again...on the third try. Not that that's...very good. Sorry," she added, wincing slightly.
He smiled slightly. "Well, um. It's a start." He tried not to concentrate on how pretty she was when she blushed. "Transfiguration is mostly correct pronounciation and wand swishing." He pulled out an egg that he'd nicked from McGonnagall's class.
"Well, that's easy for you to say," she retorted. "For some reason, you don't seem to have trouble in anything." She bit her lip upon seeing the egg. "You want me to try it?" The bottom dropped out of her stomach.
Up went James' ego. He did turn a fair shade of pink though. "I do at somethings." Like getting you, he thought. "Yes I do want you to try it. Don't worry, I'm not going to laugh at you or anything.
"You may not laugh at ME, but you WILL laugh," she promised him grimly. She took the egg from him and placed it on a nearby desk. "Modus appellandi." She attempted the wand movement Severus had shown her, but her concentration was more on the egg itself than the task at hand. What resulted was a rather grumpy-looking, eggshell-encrusted chicken that stank like rotten eggs. "You see?" She wailed. Pitiful.
He didn't laugh, he smiled sympathetically. "It wasn't that bad." He lied. "But you're saying it wrong. Its appellandEE not DIE. It sounds like you're trying to kill it." And he took the hand that her wand was in and did the correct wand movement. Her skin was really soft he noted. "It's like that." He reversed the spell on the crusty chicken. "Try it again."
"Kill...?" Lily flushed pink at this. "OH! No wonder it always rots." She felt horribly embarrassed. Where was a random, gaping hole in the ground when you needed one? "I...erm. Well, that explains it, doesn't it?" She couldn't meet his gaze. For some reason, she hadn't minded his touching her hand. "Wait a moment...I think I can get it this time." She bit her lip slightly, then raised her wand again, this time using the correct spell pronunciation. "Modus appellandi!" This time, the chicken wasn't eggshell-encrusted, though the feet looked a tad bit cracked.
He cheered. "You got it! That's 99% perfect actually. You're better than you thought you were. Let's try a silencing charm now. Is that okay with you?" He grinned, and ran a hand through his hair. Not exactly fluffing it, but just doing it out of habit.
"Okay, here." A Silencing Charm was simple enough, she thought. "Start talking. Say whatever you want." The embarrassed flush had vanished by now, and a confident smile was in place. She was excellent in Charms.
He poked the chicken, causing it to squawk very loudly. "Go ahead Lily, impress me. It's probably what you want to do." He grinned mischieviously at her, and awaited the charm.
"You wish." She smirked and flicked her wand lightly at him. "Silencio!"
He opened his mouth to speak but nothing happened. He flashed her the thumbs-up sign. He had an idea, and it was going to work. He waited for her to do the countercurse.
Lily coughed to stifle a snicker. "What was that, Potter?"
He smirked. "NOT FUNNY." He mouthed, a little annoyed that she'd called him 'Potter'. "CAN YOU STOP IT NOW? PLEASE?"
"That's right, spoil the fun." She grinned and flicked her wand in the opposite direction to perform the countercurse. "Better?"
"Yes. Much better. I was beginning to miss the sound of my own voice." He rolled his eyes. Since you can do the Silencing Charm, now it's time for the Vanishing spell. Which is the same wand movement, just a different incantation."
Lily tapped her wand in her palm. "What should I vanish?" She raised an eyebrow and grinned pointedly.
"The chicken." He pointed to the chicken. "Most definitely not me. The catastrophe it might cause." He smirked. "Go ahead."
"I'm disappointed." She sighed dramatically. "But I can't have you disappearing...at least, not right now." She waited until the bird had finished shuffling around and scratching the carpet before aiming her wand at it and narrowing her emerald green eyes. She focused all her concentration on the bird before her, and a moment later, the victim was barely visible. "Erm. Well, there's a beak hanging in midair..." She turned slightly pink. "Sorry."
He waved his wand and the beak vanished. "It's alright for your first attempt at the moment." He had caught himself staring at her (again) and tried to focus on the task at hand. "Um. When you say Evansco, say it like I say your last name!" He said excitedly. "That should help." He waved his wand again and the bird reappeared.
"All right, I'll try again." She sighed, deciding she was only concentrating because she wanted to get better, and NOT because she wanted to prove herself to him. "Evanesco!" This time, the bird ran out of the way, and the spell hit a nearby stack of books. "That wasn't my fault," she said quickly.
"It's alright." He said shaking his head. He waved his wand and transfixed the bird to one spot. "Try it again, just try and be more arrogant about it." He said grinning. "Act like me."
Lily looked puzzled, and snorted. "Arrogant? How would that help? You mean, more forceful?"
"Yeah I guess." He shrugged. "I'm not good at this wording thing." He ran another hand through his hair, fluffing it ever so slightly.
Lily turned away, rolling her eyes slightly. "Your hair is ruffled naturally; why do you try and make it stick up MORE?" She turned her wand back on the chicken. "Evanesco!" Her tone was more forceful this time; the kind she used when she snapped at someone to lower their wand. This time, the chicken vanished entirely, and Lily let out a small squeal, then quickly clamped her hand over her mouth. "You didn't hear that."
"Because it - I don't know." He replied sheepishly. He applauded her when the chicken vanished, and grinned. "You did it! I told you it wasn't that hard!" He was so happy for her that he ran over and hugged her. As soon as he realized what he had done, he backed away his face bright red. "Sorry Lily." He said nervously. "I said I wouldn't try anything and erm, sorry."
Lily froze as he hugged her, a rose-colored blush creeping into her fair cheeks. She quickly chided herself for the action, wondering why she'd done such a thing. It wasn't as if she liked him. Well, all right, he was VERY attractive. And at the moment, he was being honorable and true to his word - for the most part, that was. She stared at him as he pulled away, her mind racing. "I...n-no, it's okay." She smiled a bit nervously. "And it isn't as if you pounced on and snogged me, is it?"
He hated blushing. Honestly he did, it was probably one thing he disliked more than Snape. But she had blushed too, and that had to have meant something, right? He laughed nervously. "Right. I - erm." Think! Say something! AND STOP BLUSHING. He was speechless, blushing & speechless. A first for James Potter. "Still, I shouldn't have done it." NO! WHY DID YOU SAY THAT!? She'll probably agree with you.
Lily didn't quite know what to say to that. She laughed nervously as well, and mentally awarded herself a medal for not turning girly and silly over a hug from a boy she didn't even LIKE la la la no she did NOT this was POTTER after all. "Well, you did. And...I'm not diseased and you aren't sprouting horns, so it doesn't matter." More nervous laughter.
Right. His blush was fading, & his brain was getting unscrambled. "Exactly." He smiled that winning smile. "Besides, it wasn't even romantic or anything. It was more like ... a congratulations! Because the birds gone. Fantastic. I think your lesson is done for the day."
Lily brushed a strand of red hair out of her face. "Right. Well...thanks for the congratulations. And the lesson." She tried to ignore how nice his smile was, and found herself groping for something else to say before she left. "By the way, you should leave your hair the way it is. When you've really just gotten off your broom, it will show. But leave it alone otherwise. Vanity puts people off - look at Narcissa." She pocketed her wand and turned to leave.
He flattened his hair down quickly and tried to think of something nice to say. "Um, do you want me to walk you back to the Common room?" He asked nervously. He jammed his wand in his pocket and walked toward the door. "Since we both have to go to the same place, and all."
Lily paused and turned toward him, looking a bit amused. No one had asked to "walk her back" anywhere. Walk WITH her, yes. She found the notion rather funny. "You can't walk me to the common room, but you can walk WITH me." She smiled slightly. Was it just her imagination, or was she making James Potter nervous?
He could feel his ears turning red. "That was what I meant. But um, great." He turned off the light and did his best not to embarass himself further on the way back.