They were still seventeen, both of them. It was their last year at Hogwarts, and a war raged around them. She feared for her family, feared for the people Lord Voldemort stood against. It was a different year, a darker year. Because they knew the world they were about to walk into, and for all their exams and careers advice, none of them felt at all prepared to step out into it.
She had spent a summer at war with herself, too, trying to reason out the suggestion that she fancied James Potter. She realised that she was right eventually, when they met again on the Hogwarts Express and seeing his face was the happiest she had felt in months…she didn’t fancy James Potter, she was in love with him.
But she was just a silly little girl and this was a silly little feeling, and it would go away eventually.
Only, it didn’t.
It was September, and she was walking with James around the Quidditch pitch. His eyes were scanning the air, darting between the goalposts. She could almost hear him making plans and plays, plotting how he could win the cup one last time before he left.
He was tall now, and very handsome, in that unassuming way that she liked. Still slim, but his build had settled into a rather nice athletic state, and those shoulders…
She didn’t know why she did it. She didn’t even know what he was talking about, what they were talking about, only that the sound of his voice and the way the wind pulled at his hair was doing funny things to her, and she just had to do something about it.
She kissed him. Pounced on him, really. He was shocked, startled, and she regretted it almost instantly, but what could she do? There had been a look, moments before - she was sure he had wanted to kiss her too!
And he had. Because suddenly he was kissing her back and screw Fizzing Whizzbees, she was definitely levitating right now.
It was her first kiss with a boy she was sure she was in love with, so she had expected to take stock of everything, to memorize every touch and taste and categorise it in that growing part of her mind and her heart that was dedicated solely to him. But she couldn’t think, at all, she could only feel. She could feel his hands, one at the small of her back, holding her gently to him, the other lost in her hair. She could feel his lips, gentle yet strong. And she could feel a small supernova in the pit of her stomach, feel the hunger in his kiss, the longing in his touch. When they parted, she felt lobotomised, and it would have been okay because she was pretty sure she had just experienced the best life had to offer right there.
'Evans,' James breathed, their foreheads touching.
'Go out with me,' she panted. Did they even sound like words to him? Even her thoughts were dazed.
'Isn't that supposed to be my line?'
And she realised that maybe he hadn’t been joking that afternoon by the lake in fifth year after all.
'I don't care who's line it is,' she said. 'As long as you promise you'll keep kissing me like that.'
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