Author's Notes: Many thanks to my beta, sshg316, for looking this over for me on such short notice. You rock!!*******
The first perspective is dedicated to Subversa, for whom I wrote this as a Christmas present on LJ. The second is for Deemichelle, who asked to see this from Lily's point of view. Finally, the last perspective I wrote for HogwartsHoney, who wanted to see the Marauders' reaction. Merry Christmas to all of you and enjoy!
As always, I make no profit from writing, and give all credit for characters and settings, etc., to J.K. Rowling. I work only for reviews.
He had been watching her through the entire lesson, unable to keep his gaze away from the girl of his silent attention. They had noticed, which could only mean the day wouldn't end without hexes being fired, but it was worth it to catch her eyes briefly – to see her secret smile, meant just for him.
Care of Magical Creatures had just ended, and everyone was making their way back to the castle from the Forbidden Forest, pulling their cloaks a little tighter as the wintry breeze nipped at their heels. That's when they attacked. He had been expecting it, but wasn't quick enough to stop them, and was now stooped on the dirt path, picking up his belongings as they laughed and sauntered away.
Just as he gathered the last of his things and made to leave, a voice stopped him – the voice of her, the girl with the startlingly green eyes.
"Wait!" she called, running to catch up with him. "You forgot this," she said, handing the boy a bottle of ink that he hadn't picked up.
He took it without comment, hiding his face from the girl with his hair, and mumbled a quiet thanks before moving to leave and be on his way.
When he tried to take a step, however, nothing happened. The same seemed to be true of the girl, who was frowning as she deliberately tried to walk away. She tried several charms, all to no avail, and had just looked to the treetops with a sigh of frustration when she noticed it.
Sighing again, the girl caught the boy's sleeve to gain his attention and simply pointed up when he turned around quickly to see what she wanted.
"Mistletoe," she said calmly, her cheeks blushing prettily. "It seems we'll have to kiss if we want to make it back to class on time." The girl wasn't looking at him as she said this, seemingly preoccupied with the fastenings of her cloak.
His heart felt as if it might come right out of his chest when she suggested they kiss to get out of their current predicament, but for as long as he had watched her – wanted her – he had never actually thought he might have a chance. Not with them constantly around.
The boy licked his lips, which had suddenly gone as dry as his mouth. He looked at the girl with a shy gaze, hoping but not daring to believe this was real. Then, with a deep breath, he closed his eyes and met her lips in a chaste kiss, lingering for a moment where the world stopped spinning. He brought a hand up to touch her cheek reverently, whispering one word on a shaky exhale before he left.
She couldn't pay attention to the lesson about Thestrals they were learning today. There was a Slytherin boy who kept staring at her, and every so often she would catch his eye, smiling at his quiet regard for her.
Things had been like this for the last year – he watching her from a distance, she smiling at him shyly, too embarrassed to make her affection for him known. It didn't help that they were always surrounding her, trying to show off, which generally meant demoralizing the boy to whom she bestowed her secret smiles.
Today, unbeknownst to the girl, they had noticed the steady gaze of the dark-haired boy and were even now planning what they were going to do. The girl, green eyes sparkling in the winter sun, was asked to stay behind and speak with the teacher, and so she missed what the Gryffindor gang did to her Slytherin admirer.
All she saw as she walked down the path back to Hogwarts was the boy, bent low to the ground, picking up his belongings with tension etched in every muscle of his lithe frame. He had just stood to leave when she saw a spare bottle of ink, and, wanting to show him some small measure of goodwill, the girl picked it up to give back.
"Wait!" she called, coming to stand within arm's reach of him. "You forgot this," she told the boy, holding out the bottle of ink for him to take.
He regarded her cautiously for a moment, then snatched the bottle from her waiting hand and thanked her quietly. Letting his hair fall over his face, the boy hid his prominent features from her and said no more.
Embarrassed and not knowing what else to say, they both tried to go on their separate ways, but they were both stuck in place. The girl concentrated hard and took several steps, but going nowhere, gave up and tried to release herself using a few well-chosen charms. Nothing worked.
She was trapped, in the Forbidden Forest, with probably the only person at Hogwarts who didn't like her. Just as these thoughts passed through her mind, the girl sighed and looked to the treetops, spotting the cause of their current dilemma.
Grabbing the boy's sleeve to catch his attention, the girl pointed up and said simply, "Mistletoe. It seems we'll have to kiss if we want to make it back to class on time."
She couldn't look him in the eyes when she said it, so nervous was she of the boy's reaction. He only stood there, seemingly in complete amazement, before he wet his lips and carefully bent his head to meet her mouth in the sweetest, most tender kiss she had ever experienced. The rest of the world was forgotten for several long moments, and then the boy brought his hand to her face, softly whispering her name before he turned to leave, school robes billowing behind him. Several minutes later, when she had caught her breath, the girl followed.
He wouldn't stop staring at her, the green-eyed girl who could capture the heart of anyone, and something had to be done about it. The Slytherin had to recognize his place in the world, and even now they were planning his downfall.
As the teacher droned on about the special attributes of Thestrals, two of the four Marauders stood with their heads together, quietly whispering what punishment they would inflict on the greasy-haired boy this time.
With a few hushed words, it was decided that they would hex the boy's book bag as soon as he was near any of the mistletoe growing rampant through the Forbidden Forest; then, while he wasn't looking, they would spell the mistletoe to keep him in place until some unfortunate person was forced to either kiss him or go get a professor. Knowing nobody in their right mind would kiss him, the friends were assured of their success.
Impatient to put the plan into action, the two best friends moved to the back of the crowd so that they could have a head start on their Slytherin nemesis and catch him unaware. So intent were they on their game, neither of the boys noticed when the girl of their affections was asked to stay behind for a few minutes and speak to the teacher.
The two boys who were in on the plot hid behind a copse of trees a little way off the main path – the other two boys walked ahead a little ways, not wanting to be a part of what was about to happen, but still wanting to see everything nonetheless.
When the Slytherin boy came around the corner of the path at last, the two friends attacked swiftly, not leaving the boy even a moment to react. One of the friends hit his bag with a Slicing Hex while the other spelled the mistletoe. The boy was none the wiser for what had happened, he was so incensed about his belongings being destroyed.
"You two think you're funny, but just wait! I'll get you for this, Potter, Black!" the boy shouted.
The two friends laughed loudly at this and kicked one of the boy's bottles of ink out of his reach.
"Maybe next time, Snivellus," one of the friends sneered back before laughing again and walking away.
The two friends watched, hidden, from a distance as the boy crouched down to start retrieving his supplies, not bothering to grab the ink they had kicked. He apparently hadn't seen where it came to rest and was angry enough not to care, judging by how rigid his posture was. She came down the path a moment later and picked up the lost ink bottle to hand back to the boy, becoming an unwitting victim in the Marauders' game.
The boy and girl figured out they were stuck under the mistletoe soon thereafter, and the resulting kiss was a moment neither of the two friends watching the scene from afar ever expected to witness.
"Bloody hell, James, she kissed Snape!"