A pair of thin, pale legs were running through lengthy corridors to try and reach the Charms classroom. A seventeen-year-old girl with sleep deprived eyes and long red tresses was moving through the halls as if it were her mission to make it to class on time. Little did she know that a boy with jet black hair and circular glasses was trying to do the same thing.
“Oof.” said Lily as she rounded the corridor and collided into a warm solid body. Her bag fell from her shoulder and thudded onto the ground as her Charms textbook slipped out of her fingers. She would’ve fallen back if an arm hadn’t sprung out to catch her. The person she ran into, immediately let her go once she steadied herself and bent down to pick up his things. “I’m really sorry,” she rushed out “I didn’t see you-”
Her sentence was cut short at the sight of a familiar bespectacled individual with warm hazel brown eyes and overly messy hair. “Potter,” she said in surprise “What-I-you-can’t you watch where you’re going?” She inwardly cursed at her awkward stuttering.
To his credit, James Potter looked as if he’d been effectively stunned. She could tell that he had no intentions of running into her at all. Nonetheless, the look of shock on his face disappeared into one of quirky flirtatiousness. “Evans,” he said and his mouth twitched into a sly smile “My dear, lovely, Lily Evans. If you wanted to go out on a date, you should’ve just asked. There was no reason to throw yourself at me.”
Her face flushed red “What? Throw myself at you?”
His smile widened into a grin “Exactly. I know you’re playing hard to get-”
Her face burned “Playing hard to get!”
“-But this is completely unnecessary. A simple ‘Potter I’ve secretly harbored a burning desire to date you since I first met you on the train.’ would’ve sufficed.”
He felt the sting of her vicious glare “Let’s get one thing straight, I don’t fancy you. I never have and I never will. Second, I’m just trying to get to Charms class on time so if you’d kindly move your bulbous, pigheaded-”
She stopped at the sound of rushing footsteps. Hundreds of feet seemed to be moving from the other end of the corridor.
“Alright second years,” the voice of Professor Sprout shouted “Follow me to the pumpkin patches.” Her eyes diverted from James to the end of the hall, where nearly fifty to sixty second years were following a plump, Herbology teacher wearing leaf green robes and an elf hat to match.
“Bloody hell,” James said from beside her “They’ll fill up the entire hall.”
She had to agree. The dimly lit corridor was narrow as it is. A terrible fate of being run over by a large crowd of students awaited them if they didn’t move quickly. Both of them stared at each other for a brief second before hurriedly gathering their things. Lily was shoving papers and quills back into her bag in what she considered the speed of light.
Ink bottles? She thought, while picking up three sealed ink bottles that rolled right next to her Potions book. I didn’t even buy ink bottles!
The second years were drawing nearer. She could hear the loud chatter as easily as she could see the designs on the cap of the fresh bottles of ink. Before she could even blink, they were snatched out of her hand.
“Those are mine.” James grunted and roughly threw them back into his bag.
The second years were almost upon them. “Hurry up!” Professor Sprout shouted, and the pace of the student’s footsteps grew.
Lily’s eyebrows crinkled with worry. She wasn’t done! There were at least ten more things she had to put back in her bag and only five seconds to do it. Her hands quickened their pace and threw the strewn textbooks back as fast as she could. Suddenly another pair of hands reached down to help her. She looked up in surprise to see that James was stacking up her books in his hands while gathering many of the loose sheets of parchment.
Her shock was short lived before she eagerly joined him. They got finished just as the second years and their professor came to the end of the corridor.
“Come on!” Professor Sprout urged and the students obediently followed. In a quick second, James pushed her back and cornered her into the wall while the sea of twelve year olds passed them by. She found herself too stunned to move. The shock, along with James’s freakishly athletic Quidditch arms, was enough to control all of her limbs.
The Herbology class rushed on, paying little to no attention towards the two people pressed up against the corner. Thank heavens for that she thought while not being able to prevent herself from noticing that Potter smelled like fresh spearmint and honey. Something that she seemed to like much more than she cared to admit.
Focus Lily she berated and averted her gaze, forget he’s even here. Immediately after thinking that, she mentally scoffed. Forget he was here? Was that even humanly possible?
How could she forget that he so conveniently decided to shave today? Or that he happened to smell like what dreams were made out of? Or that if he simply turned his face to meet her eyes, he’d be within a kissable distance.
The last thought struck a nerve. No, she couldn’t think of Potter like that. He was what he’d always be. An ignorant, annoying-
Her thoughts were cut off as James sighed in relief. “Looks like they’re……gone.”
He, unlike her, had just noticed the gentle hum of electricity that seemed to be growing between them. Involuntarily, she drifted her to his face and became entrapped within the dark hazel pools of his brown irises.
Lily studied the lights that danced off his eyes and realized that something had changed in them. Gone was his signature charismatic, amusing, and carefree charm. Instead, she found something in his expression that she’d never seen before. Determination and, dare she say it, lust.
Without warning, James started to inch closer. His eyes began to droop, causing her to involuntarily mimic him. No! she screamed in her thoughts Wait! Stop! But her body didn’t want to listen to her. It buzzed with an untamable excitement as he leaned in. She awoke under his touch as his arm wrapped around her waist. Her heart raced as the planes of his stomach touched the smooth platform of hers.
And then the feathery touch of his lips gently pressed against her mouth and she felt more bliss than she could’ve ever imagined. Her arms acted of their own accord, wrapping around his neck and pushing her body closer to his. He responded almost immediately and tightened his grip around her hips. The kiss was simple yet it stirred butterflies and bursts of electricity in her stomach that she didn’t even know could be elicited by one simple touch.
Lily gasped and James took it as an advantage to deepen the kiss. His fingers trailed up her body and into her messy bun. The loosely tied bun released and her red hair tumbled down her back. His fingers trailed through it as the palm of his hand gently brushed against the blush of her cheeks. She didn’t even notice that they’d been pushed further into the wall, until her back painfully brushed against a large bump.
Suddenly reality came back to her and her eyes flew open. She immediately pushed him away and took deep breaths to steady herself.
James stumbled backwards and caught himself just as he was about to fall. His eyes rested on Lily who looked like the world had been pulled from under her feet. There was bewilderment and vulnerability in the way that she stood.
“Evans I-” he tried to say but she held one palm up.
“Don’t.” her voice was low and soft “Just don’t.”
Before he could say anything, she grabbed her stuff and ran to the Charms classroom, stumbling the entire way.
Lily couldn’t concentrate on anything but James. James’s lips, his touch, his smile, his voice, and his stupid messy hair.
Her face reddened as she hid behind her Charms book. How dare he kiss her! How dare he kiss her!
And how could she kiss him back? She couldn’t even stand to be in the same room as him for more than two minutes. Up until now, she considered James to be the bane of her existence.
And yet, she’d kissed with as much force and passion as he’d kissed her. It couldn’t be right. It couldn’t be normal. She must’ve been-
“Miss Evans,” Professor Flitwick’s squeaky voice called out “Are you able to produce a full corporeal patronus?”
Her head snapped up “N-no sir.”
“Then start practicing.” he said while waving his hand at the rest of the room. To her embarrassment, she found that every single person in the class had been reciting the spell, except her.
“Sorry Professor,” she murmured and drew out her wand.
After several minutes of concentrating and producing nothing but dense vapor, Lily felt like she was ready to simultaneously hurl her wand and textbook at the wall.
She couldn’t fathom the idea of only being able to produce a tiny cloud of silver. Yes, she understood that it was impressive for her age and yes she was perfectly aware of the fact that this satisfied the requirements of a NEWT student. But she’d be damned if she let this go without further practice.
It was all Potter’s fault anyways. If it hadn’t been for him and his stupid bloody kiss, she wouldn’t have been so distracted.
With one last glare at the wall she said “Expecto Patronum.”
Happy memories started to flood her mind. Easter holidays with her family, her first sorting ceremony, her fifteenth birthday when her mother gave her a first edition copy of Pride and Prejudice, and many more.
None of them came to her aid. The only thing that brightened was the vapor from her wand as it went from a grey to a shiny silver. She groaned and kicked the leg of her chair.
Suddenly there was an outburst of cheer from the other side of the room. Lily spun around to see James sporting an ear splitting grin while showing off a brilliantly radiant silver stag.
Rage festered and boiled within her as the stag danced around the legs of several female students before gently resting at James’s side.
Her eyes narrowed and her wand tightened in her grip. With more determination than ever, Lily aimed and cried “Expecto Patronum!”
Immediately, in the midst of her rage, she thought of James and felt a lurch in her gut. The kiss that they shared in the corridor brought back feelings of butterflies and giddiness.
There was a whoosh from her wand and a bright, luminescent vapor cloud filled the space beside her. Slowly, the cloud of light swirled and formed into the head, legs, and tail of a beautiful female doe.
A smile erupted on Lily’s face as the doe elegantly pranced to the center of the room and drew the attention of the entire class. Smug superiority glazed over her eyes as she caught sight of James’s stunned expression. His stag looked weak and feeble in comparison to her doe. In fact, his stag……his stag jumped up from beside his leg and ran towards her patronus.
Her smile disappeared as her doe did the same thing. The two patronuses met in the middle and intertwined together as the female doe pressed its head into the stag’s neck. The stag greatly accepted her comfort and gently shut his eyes.
Suddenly the doe vanished and the stag’s eyes reopened in alarm. He searched all around the room, leaping over books and chairs, until he finally came to James who relinquished the spell with the tip of his wand.
Lily knew why her patronus had disappeared. She understood why the stag felt desperation in losing the doe. And she was horrified by the answer.
This was in her Charms textbook. She could remember reading it in the library.
The patronus charm is a spell that comes with many complications. The power of the spell demands a great deal of concentration and happiness from the creator. Only a small percentage of witches and wizards manage to properly form a silvery vapor let alone a corporeal patronus. However, when the charm is done correctly, an animal forms as a representation of the witch or wizard’s soul.
An even greater rarity occurs when two individuals create the same type of patronus. When both patronuses are of the same species, it serves as a representation of two soulmates.
Which meant James….James was her….
“Soulmate,” Lily murmured. Without another thought, she ran and fled the room.