Title: Gentle Thaw Fandom: Harry Potter Books Author: devilinthedetails Timeframe: Before the books. Set during the seventh year that Lily and James are at Hogwarts. Characters: James Potter; Lily Evans (later Potter) Genre: Mild Romance Summary: On a snowy morning, Lily and James melt their way to Herbology class. Gentle Thaw “It’s going to be a nightmare to get to Herbology class.” James stood at the top of the stairs leading down to the Hogwarts grounds that were blanketed in a thick, white snow that might have been peaceful to admire through a window from the warmth of the castle but appeared daunting when viewed in the context of a damp distance he had to trudge through to reach the refuge of the greenhouses. If he was with his friends–Moony, Wormtail, and Padfoot–he would’ve flippantly suggested that they cut the Herbology class and play Gobstones in some secret passageway only they knew how to find, but he wasn’t with his friends. He was with–his heart jumped in his chest at the very idea–Lily Evans, and he was trying to live up to the Head Boy badge that had inexplicably been placed on his chest instead of Moony’s not so much out of a sense of duty to his school but out of a desire to impress Lily, his crush who happened to be the Head Girl to his Head Boy. “Come on.” Lily slipped her arm around his elbow, a movement that seemed causal to her but like a miracle to him. “It won’t due for the Head Boy and Girl to be late, will it? Think of the example we’d set.” “We’re going to be late no matter what.” James shook his head as they started down the stairs to the snow-covered ground, flakes falling on their noses and eyelashes as they emerged from under a protective overhang. “If we set out now, we should arrive in time for next Tuesday’s lesson if we don’t get lost in the snow and eaten by a yeti.” “There’s no yeti that lurks on the Hogwarts grounds.” Lily laughed. Slipping her wand out of the folds of her robe, she gave it an airy flick. “Besides all we need to get to class on time is a gentle thaw.” Her Charm melted a path through the snow before them, and James smiled at how the gentle thaw reminded him of their relationship. How she had warmed up to him until now she was finally willing to date him and kiss him. “A gentle thaw like what happened to us,” he said and rejoiced in the fact that he didn’t have to explain himself to Lily beyond that simple statement. “A gentle thaw like what happened to us,” she agreed, stopping in a melted path surrounded by snow to gaze at him with evergreen eyes bracketed by black lashes dotted with flakes. Longing to touch her, he reached out to brush the flakes from her eyelashes. “You’ve snow on your eyelashes.” “So do you.” Her gloved fingers wiped the flakes from his eyelashes, and he wanted to preserve this moment–the way she touched him and looked at him with such warm affection on a cold morning–in his memory forever so that it would never fade but remain strong inside him until the day he died. “I love you,” he whispered for the first time, bringing his nose down to tickle hers in a kiss that wouldn’t lock their lips together until spring, making them the subject of mockery for every snot-nosed first-year in the school. “I love you too.” Her nose, pink from the winter wind, danced across his for a moment before she turned away to clear the rest of their path to Herbology.