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And I Just Can't Look

By Lenore

Romance

And I Just Can't Look

When he had first seen her, he had been struck by her beauty.

It was so sudden, there she was, being introduced by Dumbledore himself as a "Welcome new addition" to the order.

He had thought it strange of course, who was this girl that dropped out of nowhere with the pools of melted chocolate for eyes? He knew Dumbledore hardly let anyone join the order without being checked out by other Order members or talked about beforehand. Yet she was standing there, unknown to all of them up until that point.

His obsession with her had gone too far too quickly, he did realize that. He had asked for potions against amortentia and other love potions, and more than once suggested she had done something illicit towards him. When he finally confronted her, she had laughed, and told him that "he wasn't her type" with a knowing glint in her eyes.

She drove him crazy, he spent his nights dreaming about her, waking up sweaty and hard, next to his loving fiancé.

Of course he had finally managed to get Lily Evans to say yes to him. First to dating the "annoying prat", that she still liked to call him, and then to marrying him. In a matter of months she was going to walk down the aisle, and become Lily Potter.

And if it hadn't been for her, he would have been so blissful, so happy, knowing that all his wishes had come through.

But there she was, Hermione Granger. She was beautiful, amazing, talented, smart and witty. She was a lot like Lily, or how he had imagined Lily before, and yet she was so much more. He had started noticing the way she crinkled her nose when she was affronted, or the way her eyes would sparkle when somebody mentioned anything she didn't know. He also noticed the way she bit her lip while reading, or how she would touch her hair when she was shy, and then looked disgusted at her own hand. Like her hair was the most annoying thing in the world. But he was enthralled by hear hair, and looked at it with amazement.

Then the day came for his Bachelor party. He went out with Sirius, Peter, Remus and some other order members to a bar. When they were sufficiently wasted they were supposed to hit a strip club, or he and Sirius were going to. Sirius wanted to "Ditch the weight" as he said, where he had picked up the muggle saying, James had no idea.

But while trying to get away from the rest of the guys at his party, he bumped into none other than Hermione. He was so surprised to see her, although not as much as she was at seeing him. She stuttered his name, and he couldn't help but smile like a goof at her. She blushed, and he backed her up against the wall, and proceeded to snog the hell out of her.

She put up a tiny fight at first, then she gave in with a soft sigh that made him double his efforts. She melted into him, and he thought she tasted like chocolate. She was warm, sweet and welcoming, not someone he had to fight with for a shred of attention.

When he pulled away and looked at her with a smirk, she smiled back. Until she seemed to remember who he was, then she made a strangled noise, and backed off him.

"You're getting married!"

"That was before you" he leaned into her again, while she tried to push him away.

"No, I don't matter in this! You and Lily are perfect together!"

"Of course you matter." He frowned "Why would you think you don't matter?"

She sighed "Not like that James, I mean-" she tried to think of the right way of explaining this to him. The way he swayed in front of her suggested that he was far from sober, even though his speech was unaffected.

"I mean that you belong with Lily, we were never even supposed to meet. Not really." She peered up at him through her lashes, trying to find out what his reaction was. His thoughts were swirling, his drunk mind trying to figure out what she wasn't saying. Because her tone meant that there was much more to the story than she would tell him.

He smiled, she had not told him that she didn't like him "You like me." He purred, and she spluttered and turned beet red. He found it endearing, and he was struck by the urge to kiss her again. But when he leaned in, she ducked to the side, making him stumble in to the wall. His head hit the wall hard, and he fell with a loud *thump* to the floor.

"Oh I'm sorry James." She kneeled down next to him to get a better look. When her fingers brushed his hair away from his face, and she looked at him with those eyes, he swore to himself that somehow he would get her to keep taking care of him, for the rest of his life.

The look of determination struck Hermione, and she forget where her hand was. Which meant that it was now delicately against his cheek, and he leaned in, savoring the feeling.

"Hermione." It was barely a whisper, more like a prayer, and he could swear that she would answer it.

"James" she took her arm away, and cradled it against her chest, he missed missed the warmth of it. A single tear escaped her eye, running down her cheek. Why was she suddenly crying?

"I need to tell you something."

She grabbed his hand, and led him to the corner of the pub, ordering enough coffee for him to make him jump out of his skin. After what must have been his 5th cup, he refused to drink more. She relented, finally telling him what this was all about.

She fidgeted, sighed and ran her hand through her hair to ruffle it, while she told her story.

Once upon a time, there was a boy called Harry, and he was going to save the world. When he was just a boy, his mommy and daddy loved him deeply. But there was a big bad man out in the world, who's soul had been ripped to pieces. This man, wanted little baby Harry to die, so he snuck into his house, and killed his parents. Then the man stepped next to the crib, to utter those terrible words "Avada Kedavra", but it did not kill Baby Harry. The big bad man did die that night, because of the terrible things he had done, and the boy was left with a scar. He was taken away from all of his loved ones, and put with his relatives. These people hated Harry, and his parents, because they did not have Magic themselves. All through his life they envied him, told him he was a freak and his parents were horrible people. When he was 11, he got a visit by a giant man who told him that everyone knew his name, and loved him. At first it was hard for him to believe, he was just Harry, but when he went with the man, he discovered the legacy his parents left him. And then he went to Hogwarts, where he met his best friends; Ron and Hermione, they were called the Golden Trio. All was not right in the world however; the big bad man that had wanted him dead was still out there. He had lost his body, but not his soul, and he was trying to find a way back. So for the next few years, Harry was tormented by him, unable to escape fate. Because the little boy wonder was supposed to kill the evil man, and save the wizarding world. In the process he lost more loved ones, enough to make anyone break down and cry. However, Harry was special; he knew that if he could just kill him, he might be able to make a future worth living. And so he fought the man again, surviving the killing curse once more, and in the end, he killed Lord Voldemort. The Boy-Who-Lived twice, Harry James Potter had saved the entire wizarding world again.

James hands were shaking by the end of her story, and his eyes felt misty. It was the coffee, he told himself, while he looked at Hermione with new eyes.

"It won't be the same again, I won't let it." Now her eyes were determined, more than his had been before. "I was sent back by accident, but that doesn't mean I will just sit back and watch Voldemort tear everything apart again."

She hugged her arms to her chest and talked in a tiny voice "But if I can't defeat him, I need Harry." He did not doubt her story when he saw hope and love shinning from her eyes.

"Well you can give birth to Harry, couldn't you?" He asked her hopefully, but her pitiful laugh made him sad.

"It doesn't work like that James, it was meant to be you and Lily, it always was. It's destined to be this way."

"I won't marry Lily."

"And I won't come near you anymore."

"Why?"

"Because if you feel this way about me, and I keep you away from Lily, it means I am essentially killing my best friend."

"It doesn't work like that."

"I know, but it will feel like it." she sighed again, he now had learned to hate that noise coming from her mouth. "Goodbye James."

She picked up her coat and left before he could get a word to dissuade her off her notions, that she could carry the boy with the big destiny. She hailed a cab, and he watched her leave, standing outside the pub in the cold, wanting to drown his sorrows. Just then, Sirius came out and dragged him to a strip club.

That night he fell asleep dreaming about what she had told him. About that little boy with the awful destiny, and how much happier he would have been if the boy had her eyes, not the green killing curse color of Lily, but the melted chocolate of Hermione.

It was several weeks before he saw her again, she had stopped going to the Order meetings. With her they were making more progress in this fight than they could have ever hoped. The tides were turning, and everyone was looking at the world with brighter eyes. Except for him, he saw her disappearance as the end of the world. And he felt so guilty for it, looking at his loving devoted fiancé. But he couldn't help how he felt, and he knew now that he needed her in his life.

Then she showed up again, tired of giving everyone else the job of reporting what she had found out. At first he didn't notice the way Sirius had started to look at her. Now he noticed, because the attention he was so desperate for, was granted to Sirius.

She laughed and flirted with him, being so careless and almost happy. It felt like his heart was being torn out of his chest. James started to hate his best friend, and he wanted nothing to do with him.

His hate drive Sirius to seek comfort in the arms of Hermione, making James angrier than ever. Eventually, the Maurader bond won out, and they were back to being best friends.

Sometimes James would catch her looking at him, her eyes were filled with sorrow. When their eyes connected, her sadness turned to determination, and she looked away again. All he wanted was to run across the room to her, gather her up in his arms, and kiss her. Their sorrows would melt away, and they would be happy, complete even. She was his missing piece, the one he had decided his first year was Lily Evans.

The worst part was that he knew she felt it too. That pull towards each other that he had only heard about, it was constant between them. When they were gathered in a large group, they would gravitate towards each other. Sometimes they would be standing with their backs to each other, unaware, for large periods of time.

Both Sirius and Lily had noticed something was amiss with their significant others. But they never attributed it to Hermione and James feeling the way they did. Sirius thought that Hermione didn't like James, and he wanted his girlfriend to get along with his best friend. Lily thought that James was maybe having cold feet, or that he had found out some disturbing news about Hermione. He was also trying to deal with the death of his parents, so all Lily did, was try and be there for him.

Sirius had also noticed the way Hermione treated Peter, and would sometimes joke that the only one she liked of the Mauraders was him. And that was of course, because he was the attractive one. Hermione would then point out how well she got along with Remus, and Sirius would say that it was just their weird book thing. In his opinion, the only two people in the world that liked books, and weren't lame, were Hermione and Remus, and therefore it was no question that they would get along.

James felt like the world was shattering around him. All the things he had grown up believing, true love and destiny, it was all just a load of bull. Lily was the perfect woman, the person he had been dreaming about for his entire adolescent life.

Growing up was not supposed to be like this, you were supposed to end up happy, surrounded by your friends. Instead he was in the middle of a war, in love with his best friend's girl, and having to make a prophecy baby that very well might mean his death.

How was he supposed to cope with that, when all he could feel was sorrow? All he knew was her; she filled his thoughts, his dreams and his soul. Without her there was a void in him, which kept getting hollower as he watched her fall in love with Sirius.

He knew it didn't make a knut of sense, that some girl with frizzy hair and a mysterious past could turn his head upside down. After a year of knowing her, he was convinced that making sense had nothing to do with love.

And then his wedding day came. He was walking up and down the room before the ceremony, wishing there was an easy solution. If he married Lily it would have been a dream come true. The only problem was that it wasn't his dream any more; it had changed when Hermione arrived.

Unable to make up his mind, he went to talk to his best mate. Sirius was staying down the hall from him, in a room much like his own. Maybe he could offer him some clarity, even if James couldn't admit to Sirius who it was that James wanted.

But before he walked in, he saw that the door was ajar. And he heard her voice, that sweet melody he craved hearing. Knowing she would shut up and leave the moment she saw him, he decided to listen in instead.

Sirius lit a cigarette "You know those things will kill you right?" He just grinned at her from the end of the bed, and puffed some smoke. So she walked closer, took the cig from him, and drew it up to her own lips. Her sensual lips closing around it and taking a drag, might have been the hottest thing James had ever seen.

Sirius seemed to agree "No, you will be the death of me 'Mione." He was mesmerized by her lips.

James wished that he was the one in the room with her, the one that was granted that sensual look while she blew out the smoke. The look that promised pleasure beyond what you could imagine.

"And you mine, Sirius." She stepped closer to him, and dragged her fingers along his chest. Then her hand went down his arm, molding with his muscled biceps. He growled at her, as James was watching them and getting hard.

Sirius grabbed her by her ass, making her fall onto him, her chest level with his face. He leaned in and took a deep drag of her scent before kissing between her exposed cleavage. She giggled at him, letting her hands wander over his shoulder and into his hair, pushing him further into her. Her head fell back, relishing in the feeling, and she let out a moan.

At the door, James was fighting a battle with himself. He didn't know if he wanted to see her with Sirius, but then again, this might be the only time he would ever get to see her this way. And he wanted to know so bad, he wanted this memory to keep him up at night. He wanted to dream that it was him she was doing it to, not his best friend.

So he stayed, trying to ease his discomfort by shifting himself in his pants.

Sirius leaned back on the bed he was sitting on, bringing Hermione with him, on top of him. The beautiful red dress Hermione was wearing got in the way, so Sirius took action. With sensual movements he dragged the dress up around her hips, exposing her long creamy legs. Hermione was too busy kissing Sirius to notice the noise James made when he gulped at the sight.

Then he continued to drag the dress over her head, and she threw it towards James. He looked down at the offending garment in anger. He was somehow torn between wanting it to stay on so Sirius couldn't go any further, and loving how amazing she looked in just her underwear.

The bra and her tiny knickers were that same red color. The color of blood, of anger, and of James torn heart.

"I love you." Sirius rasped out, enchanted with how good she looked in Gryffindor red.

"You love me?" she asked surprised, and Sirius looked up at her face, and seemed bashful. His cheeks were red from blushing, and he tried to look away from her.

"I was waiting for the right time to tell you." She smiled at him and stroked his cheek while she made him turn his head back to look at her.

"I love you too Sirius Orion Black." His whole face lit up, and he sat up with her in his lap, and kissed her.

"How much do you love me?"

She giggled "More than anyone else in the world."

"Don't ever leave me." He looked so wounded, Sirius had that same look on his face when he was thrown out of his parents house. And for more than one reason, James heart felt like it had shattered.

"I won't." she kissed his nose, such a sweet innocent gesture. And it made James sick, he was not only watching something sexual now. "You're stuck with me until you die."

No he was seeing the moment when Hermione promised another man forever. The promise that should have been made to him, not Sirius Black, that womanizer didn't deserve her.

But with the way Sirius looked at her, and kissed her, and held her, James knew he was wrong. He was getting sick, his stomach clenched uncomfortably, and he knew he was going to throw up.

While Hermione and Sirius were throwing the rest of their clothing away and celebrating their forever, James was in the bathroom, throwing up, and dreading his.

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