Peter walked glumly into the Great hall, yawning as he reached for a piece of buttered toast. He hadn't gotten much sleep last night. Although it was Christmas, it sure didn't feel like anything special. The usual small stack of presents containing new socks, school supplies and edible treats from his mum, were still at the end of his bed unopened. He just didn't see the point in getting all excited in opening his only meager gifts right away. He glanced down the table looking for something still remotely warm to eat and saw Lily. She too must have enjoyed a long sleep while most of the castle's inhabitants were away.
Grabbing a few slices of bacon, he made his way over to her, a warm smile lighting on his face. Maybe she'd talk to him... He didn't have too many friends, and frankly, he has been feeling a bit out of place with his best buds. He didn't have their outgoing confidence, but Lily was always nice. He was certain she may spare a few minutes of idle chatter on a kid like him.
Lily looked up and smiled when she saw Peter walking towards her. "Hello, Peter. Happy Christmas!" Of the group, she had always liked Peter and Remus the best. Unlike their dark-haired companions, both were very down-to-earth and modest. Sometimes, she couldn't understand why they hung out with such arrogant show-offs, but it undoubtedly had its benefits. "Sit down," she said, gesturing to a seat next to her. "How are you?"
Peter shrugged as he sat down, the smile growing in intensity at her invitation. He plopped down happily beside and quickly grabbed for an apple. "Eh, it's Christmas. Quiet, cold, not to much bustling going on. How's your Christmas going?" Out of habit, Peter scoped out the Hall looking for his pals. He wasn't surprised to see that they weren't there, at least not that he could see, and brought attention back to Lily waiting for her reply.
"It's been going well, thanks. I got to have a lie in, which is always nice. How is yours so far?" She gave him an encouraging smile. Peter had always been a bit shy, but Lily thought it was sweet. He had always struck her as a kind and honest person, even if he did hand out with James Potter and Sirius Black.
Again he shrugged into his food. "Not much to do. Been a bit awkward this year. Doesn't feel quite like it used to, You know?" He wondered if he should elborate with the whole Sirius and Remus thing as well as James part in it and his own part not in it. He thought of perhaps asking her opinion about that cute Ravenclaw...see if she thought he may have a chance snagging her attention from that brawny guy she hangs around with. In the end he just says nothing, too shy to really expose himself that much and so soon into breakfast. Lily was always so nice and he always liked her. She made him feel confident and smart. Smart. He loved classes, that's a good subject. "How's charms going?"
She didn't know what he meant about it feeling different this year, but she didn't say as much. Perhaps things were merely different within his circle of friends. Lily couldn't say she paid enough attention to any of them that she would have noticed that things weren't as usual. "Charms is wonderful, thank you. I think I've really gotten the hang of what Professor Flitwick was teaching us about just before break. It's nice to be able to practise the spells over the holidays, don't you think?"
"Most definately!" Peter exclaimed enthusiastically, perking up at the thought that someone else also liked to practice charms. It was also nice to hear someone saying as much without the roll of the eyes and a drawn out exasperated sigh.
"Um...If you ever, like...wanted to practice...I uh, really love charms. Well, charms and potions. They're my favorites. The guys don't really care about classes like I do...I mean they're brilliant and never need help learning. They're marvelous wizards and I often have to study a lot harder to keep up with them. But I secretly love just practicing charms for fun...um...yeah..." He suddnely felt a heat slowly begin to creep up his neck at the thought of how he had just burst out like that. But when someone gets him on a topic he enjoys, he can get rather excited and talkative. He stared down at his food and tossed a few grapes into his mouth.
"I wouldn't call them brilliant," she remarked. They seemed to do well enough in classes, but she wouldn't be surprised if James and Sirius cheated off of Remus. He was smart, though. "Just because it takes you a little longer to learn things doesn't mean you're any less smart than the rest of your friends. Different people just learn differently. Some people learn new things really quickly, others take a while. Some people have to study to do well, some don't. But it doesn't make anyone smarter or better." Lily was a fairly quick learner herself, but she knew it was simply a matter of how she absorbed information. She studied a fair amount, but not excessively or anything. "And I would be more than happy to work on charms or potions with you. Or any class, really. I quite like all of the magical world; it's such a change from growing up as a Muggle."
"Thanks. That means a lot to me. Not many like to help me out. I think they think I'm odd." He ignored how his thoughts began to turn towards his secret crush. The one who only giggles if he dares wave at her. He had forgotten that Lily grew up as a muggle... It astounded him that she proved all that he had heard about muggles to be false. AT first he had thought it was just her...but now he wondered if any muggle born witch or wizard could be just as brillant...and pretty. It was easy to see why anyone might have a crush on her. Though he thought James would have gotten a chance because of his good looks, but she seemed never to give him the time of day. He took a deep breath trying to gather a bit of nerve to ask the question that popped into his head that may help him with his own dilema. "Lily, I don't mean to be too forward, but how come you never take James up on his offer when he asks you out?"
She frowned at the question. Had James sent him to talk to her and ask about him? She studied Peter's features for a moment for a sign that he had been asked to come talk to her, but she couldn't see anything. It wasn't as though she hadn't told James himself exactly why she wouldn't go out with him, though. "Because he's an arrogant show-off, and I can't stand people like that," she replied simply.
Peter blinked a few times at her reply. James? A show off? He had never thought of him like that. Sure he play with his snitch and ruffled his hair alot. But he was just so...so ...COOL. It was odd to think that he would be thought of as so uncool by this beautiful, smart and funny girl. He began to fidgit with his fingers, paying an awful lot of attention to one nail in particular although they were very clean, and wondered what girls thought of him. They thought to differantly than guys it. They are so weird!
"DO you think I'm an arrogant show off, Lily?" He asks quietly still studing his nails, bracing himself. "Please, be honest. How do you see me...as a girl that is?"
She had to laugh at that. If ever there were a person who was the opposite of everything James was, it was Peter. "Of course you're not, Peter. You are the farthest thing from arrogant I've ever seen. If you were like James, the idea that you were arrogant or that there was anything less than perfect about you would never occur to you." She smiled at him, suddenly very aware of the fact that she was insulting one of his best friends. "You're very sweet and shy, and you seem like a very good person. That is how I see you."
He had been holding his breath, anxious for her answer. When he finally heard it, he slowly let the breath out before a shy smile spread across his face. Although he tried to fight it, a bit of a blush crept into his face. "Thanks Lily, your a good friend. Say, what are your plans for the day?" He didn't want to admit he was bored out of his mind. He thought that he could tag along and catch up with his friends, but he couldn't find them in the common room, the Great Hall or any of their choice hiding spots. He also didn't want to let her see that he was lonely and take pity on him. He didn't want that. He'd rather be alone than be pitied.
She pulled a face at the question. "All of my friends went home for the holidays, so I have nothing to do. James asked me if I wanted to spend the day with you guys, and I agreed, so...I guess that's what I'm doing for the day." She decided not to mention that she would rather spend the day with Peter alone than have James actually show up. Peter seemed to be quite fond of James, and she didn't think he would like her insulting one of his best friends. After all, she wouldn't like it if he were insulting her friends. Her friends weren't arrogant prats, but that was beside the point.
"That's excellant! I haven't seen those guys at all this break. I guess I should have known that if I hung around you long enough James would be by." He winked at her to show that he was just kidding before continuing, "I know you think James is totally arrogant and all, but trust me, once you get to know the real James (as in not the one he uses to show off) he's a pretty great guy. If it makes you feel better, I'll be there and at any time you feel uncomfortable you can leave." He shrugged carelessly and did a once over of the Great Hall. His eyes instantly fell on the girl at the Ravenclaw table and his eyes were suddenly a bright shade of red. He turned away quickly trying to fix his gaze somewhere else wondering if she had noticed him. He stole a glance back in time to see her brawny boyfriend stroll up to the table.