Part 4

James’ bedroom wasn’t as Lily had expected it to be either. It was clean, not messy, and mostly decorated in dark green, red, and gold, not black and red and purple, or whatever odd combination of colors she’d been imagining. The bed was a low futon covered in a red-and-gold quilt with a lion on it. James caught her looking at it and scoffed. “Family cr—family tradition. Lions, you know.”

“Family crest? Were you going to say crest?”

“Okay. It’s not a crest. It’s a bit like. I don’t know. A society my family is in. A group.”

“Your family is in The Society of Quilted Lions?”

“Yes.” He grinned that snarky, confident grin of his, and Lily felt an odd warmth in the pit of her stomach.

“So are they going to be offended if I sit on it?”

“Hm, maybe. There’s a tax first. So as not to offend the mighty quilted lions.”

“A tax?” Lily asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Yep!” James said blithely. “Kisses.” He pursed his lips exaggeratedly and then grinned.

What an idiot, Lily thought, grinning in spite of herself. She grabbed his hand and kissed it, noting how he shivered when her lips touched his skin.

“I’ll accept it. You may pass.” He gestured grandly towards the futon.

“I’ll accept it,” Lily mocked as she flopped onto the quilt. “My kisses not good enough for you?”

“Not that kiss, no. Unfortunately you’re going to need to keep paying taxes if you want to stay.”

“Alright then,” Lily agreed. “Let’s do this.” She grabbed James’ hand and pulled him onto the bed. He landed halfway on top of her, the back of his shoulder resting over hers, but quickly turned around to face her. His hair was so perfectly tousled she had to reach out to touch it.

He jerked back, looking concerned.

Oh, now I’ve messed it up. Fantastic. “Did I do something wrong?”

“No. Not at all. I just. I don’t want to mess anything up.”

Lily laughed. “I don’t think you need to worry about that.”

James grinned again. “It’s just kissing, after all.”

She nodded. “Just kissing.” She placed her hands on either side of his head and drew him towards her, letting her fingers tangle in his dark hair as their lips met. Inadvertently, she gasped, and he put his arms around her as if in response.

James’ body gave off an almost feverish heat, and his lips were surprisingly soft. He was a good kisser, although not the best she’d ever kissed, but the way he held her made up for that. She found her legs tangling with his, and didn’t do anything to stop it.

They lay like that for a while, kissing gently with Lily’s fingers in his hair and James’ hands running up and down her back, until Lily made a small sound in her throat and pushed up against him, coming closer until their chests touched and their legs intertwined.

She rested her head on his shoulder for a moment, breathing in the smell of sweat and grass and some sort of cologne; boy-smell, she thought. His face was buried in her hair, and she stifled a giggle at the thought that they were both just lying there smelling each other.

Impulsively, she kissed the side of James’ neck, and he made a sound in his throat almost identical to the one she’d made. His hands moved to her waist and then into the back pocket of her jeans, and she bit his lip as he squeezed.

He made a short, shocked sound, and she laughed against his mouth. She could feel him smile and then shake his head as he went back to kissing her. This feels so damn natural. Like I’ve been doing it forever, like I could do it forever.

Just then, her thoughts were interrupted by a loud knock on the door. Lily and James sprang apart and sat up, James hurriedly running a hand through his hair—to somehow return it to the right kind of messy rather than the just-been-snogging-me kind, Lily thought wryly.

“Come in,” James sighed.

At the door was Sirius, who grinned naughtily in a way that was upsettingly similar to how James grinned naughtily. “Children, it’s time for dinner, and Remus is cooking.”

“Oh, thank God!” James exclaimed. “That Remus is cooking, I mean,” he stammered, looking guiltily at Lily. “Not that it’s time for dinner.”

Sirius looked directly at Lily and winked in an extraordinarily un-subtle way before turning and thundering back down the stairs.

She looked up at James, laughing a little. “I guess it’s time for dinner?”

“I’m going to kill him,” he moaned. “I guess it is.”

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