Believe it or not I'm actually spending time on fanfiction when I claimed I wouldn't be back til the middle of May! But since this is a one-shot, I figured I could spend the time. This is actually a scene from the Marauders fic I wrote (and later deleted) a while ago, but I decided to make use of it when I randomly found it again today.
Now on with the show! Hopefully you'll all see that the reference to falling in the title is quite literal! ;) Also if you happen to be waiting for an update of my other stories, I'll be back in May like I promised. Thanks for your undying patience!
Falling for You
The one thing I hate most is missing out on sleep. Which is why whoever is shaking me so rudely at the moment is about to face dire consequences.
I brush the intruder aside, mumbling incoherently, when there is a sudden "OI!" shouted into my ear.
"Bloody hell!" I scream, jumping up. I glare into the eyes of James Potter, who is clearly amused.
"What time is it, why did you wake me, and HOW THE BLOODY HELL DID YOU GET INTO MY ROOM?"
"To answer all three questions: It's five thirty a.m., because you owe me something, and you're not in your room." His eyes twinkle while my sleep-heavy eyes glance around the common room as I realize I'd fallen asleep in an armchair while studying.
My eyes narrow. "All right, fine. What do you want from me?"
"I recall a certain someone owes me a favor."
"For rescuing you when Peeves locked you in an empty classroom, remember?"
"You haven't let me forget it since it happened." I roll my eyes.
"Five months and fourteen days, it's been."
"Give up, will you?" I stand quickly, trying not to wince from pain at the crick in my neck. "It's never going to happen!" I whirl on my heel towards the stairs. "And besides," I add as an afterthought, "I didn't mean it when I said I owed you."
"A promise is a promise, Evans." A solemn look passes over Potter's face.
I pause, then sigh in acquiescence. "All right. What kind of torture will I be forced to go through?"
"Potter, this is insane," I'm protesting two minutes later. "You're insane. I knew it since the moment I set eyes on you."
"Which means you were paying attention to me!" Potter says with a grin.
I slap his arm. "Obnoxious git. Now tell me why we are going to the bloody Quidditch field at five thirty in the morning."
"I'm going to sweep you off your feet, Lily Marie Evans."
What? He has really lost his mind.
Potter pulls out his wand and shouts, "Accio Cleansweep!" His broom comes hurtling through the sky and he catches it deftly.
My eyes grow wide. "I see you weren't kidding when you said you'd sweep me off my feet," I mutter.
"It's the perfect pickup line," Potter says with a grin. "Especially since it's literal."
"This is preposterous." I stamp my foot on the grass. "This is not a proper form of repayment."
"Depends on one's definition of 'proper'."
"You know-it-all wanker. Besides, wouldn't you rather have... say, help with classwork or something?"
"I'm doing fine with all my classwork, thanks."
"It was just a suggestion," I mutter darkly.
Potter grins again, running his hand through his hair. "Evans, you're not scared, are you?"
I raise my chin challengingly. "Have you ever seen me scared?"
He thinks for a second. "Hmm… yes, actually. Remember when Sirius wore that mask on Halloween, and—"
"All right, I get your point! You're always doing that, Potter, trying to prove that you're better than every—"
I gasp as the wind flies against me. While I was speaking, Potter had jumped on his broom, grabbed my waist, and shot off into the sky in less than a second. I close my eyes, afraid to look, and I shudder in fright. (I've never really bonded with flying; there has never been that... kinship, you know?)
"Potter, how could you do this to me?" I cry.
"Isn't this great?" he replies happily. "I've flown so many times and I still get so excited…"
"That's great," I mutter. "Now get me off this flimsy flying stick."
Potter doesn't answer, but merely steers the broom in another direction. I dare to take a peek but I immediately regret it.
"Why are we so high up? We're going to the lake? Bloody hell, Potter, stop!"
He stops. Out of all the things I've expected, I hadn't dreamed that he would listen to me.
"Open your eyes, Lily," he says softly. "I'll keep the broom steady. Trust me."
The last thing I ever thought I'd do was trust James Potter. But for some reason, I feel I can this time…and I soon find I do not regret it.
We are suspended high above the lake, the shimmering water reflecting the beginnings of a stunning sunrise. The moon and stars are slowly fading into the pale sky. The dawn is peaceful, made even more wondrous by the quiet melodies of songbirds and a delicious breeze that blows through my hair.
"Oh…" I whisper breathlessly. "It's beautiful."
"You're beautiful" he says quietly.
I am shocked. When he told me that in the past, it had always been with a cocky grin. But this time… I turn back to look at him, but before I can utter a word, he directs the broom closer to the water. It moves slowly, just at the right speed for me.
Potter slows down above the water's surface.
"Careful," he says. "You don't want to get your robes wet." He gathers the bottom of my robes, which, I notice for the first time, are dangerously close to falling in the water.
I watch this with barely concealed surprise. Since when has he really cared about someone other than himself? Since when does he care about my not getting my robes wet? Since when has he been genuinely… nice? But I soon lose my train of thought as we glide just inches about the lake's surface. I want to reach a hand down, but I hesitate.
"Go ahead," Potter encourages me, "I'll hold you."
He keeps his arm around me securely and I reach down, skimming my hand through the cool water. I turn to look at him, and see he is smiling at me. I smile back.
"We should go back now," he says.
"Yeah," I say reluctantly. "The sun's almost up." We fly over the lake and reach the towers of Hogwarts. Potter slows down again and stops the broom.
I turn around to look at him. "Hmm?"
"I just want you to know that…" He pauses.
I lean closer to him, mesmerized by his deep hazel eyes. He has never been more handsome to me.
"Know what?" I whisper. He leans his head closer to mine. When our lips are a fraction of an inch apart, I close my eyes. A shocking thrill shoots through me. James Potter is about to kiss me… and I want him to!
"That you're in for the ride of your life!" he shouts. I open my eyes in shock as Potter grips the broom in one hand and holds on to my waist with the other.
We shoot between two turrets, then weave around towers at an alarmingly fast speed. I shriek as we head straight toward a dead end. An inch away from the stone wall, Potter veers to the right and circles higher, going faster and faster, twisting in and out of tunnels and swinging around turrets.
"Are you trying to get us killed?" I scream. "This is suicide!" Just as quickly as he started, Potter stops. My heart pounds and I breathe in quick gasps.
"Potter," I say angrily, breathless with fear. "That was horrible! That was just about the worst thing you could ever do to me!"
"Not the worst," he replies, looking down at the ground, far, far away.
"Bloody hell," I whisper, my breath coming faster.
"Tsk tsk, Miss Evans. Watch your language. It's not the first time you've used those words."
"Potter, you wouldn't! You couldn't!"
"You sure about that?"
There is a slight pause, and then I am screaming my head off as we dive straight down. The ground is coming to meet us at a thousand kilometers an hour...we are going to crash… I'm going to die…
I love you Mum, I love you Dad, I whisper fervently, and perhaps even you, Petunia, even though I can't stand you…
There is a sharp twist. The broom slips out from beneath us and Potter is …where is Potter?
I scream as my body plummets toward the fast-approaching ground. I close my eyes tightly and wait with a sinking heart for my short sixteen years to come to an end with a sickening crash...
I'm dead. I died. James Potter killed me. He killed me! Wait... but if he killed me, why do I hear his voice?...
I open my eyes, half expecting to see Saint Peter leaning over me at the heavenly gate. Instead, I see Potter's hazel eyes looking down into my green ones, and they are sparkling with amusement.
"I think you woke half of Hogwarts with your scream." His hair is windswept, his glasses are a little crooked, and his cocky grin stretches from ear to ear.
I lean against him, breathing deeply and waiting a moment to take it all in. We were diving down…we slipped off the broom…Potter was able to get to the ground safely…it must've been on the Quidditch field...and I was falling, falling…and I landed …in Potter's arms!
I struggle, pushing him away, and he lets me down. I want to wipe that cocky grin off his face with the roughest sheet of sandpaper I can find. But since the roughest sheet of sandpaper you can find is never to be found when you really need it, I step closer to him and slap him instead.
"If I knew all the dirty, rotten, foul hexes that you and Sirius know, I'd use all of them on you right now without a second thought!" I scream furiously.
I spin on my heel and storm away, fuming as his laughter reaches my ears. I know I look like a mess and that my hair is flying all over the place, and if I am caught going into the building looking like this at such an early hour of the morning, McGonagall would eat me alive. But I don't care. I am too angry to be careful and peer around the corners of the corridors for overly strict, senile professors.
Miraculously, I get back to my dorm without running into disaster. I fall onto my bed and clutch my pillow to my chest. I am absolutely furious at myself. For a moment, I'd fallen for his charm, just like all the silly girls who have been caught in his spell.
But a voice in the back of my head protests:
Lily, that moment at the lake…when he said you were beautiful…when he gathered up your robes so they wouldn't get wet…when he held you so you could lean over and touch the water…didn't you like it? And even when he did that horrible dive with his broom…didn't you feel just a little excited? Didn't you feel a thrill? And when he caught you in his arms and looked into your eyes and you leaned your head against his chest for a moment... weren't you the tiniest bit happy?
I let a dreamy sigh escape from my lips.
"NO!" I scream only a second later. "I WON'T let him do this to me! Never will it happen again! Wherever you are, do you hear me, you wanker? I won't let you get to me, James, I will never fall for you!"
I start taking deep breaths, but a sudden realization makes me stop suddenly, a realization that makes me bite down hard on my tongue by mistake because of the shock I am feeling. I slap my hand to my forehead and sink into my pillows dramatically, meanwhile feeling ridiculous because I'm sticking my throbbing tongue out in pain.
I can't believe I've done it. I can't believe it. After all these years of not doing it...
I've finally called him James.