i cant focus because i cant keep you out of my head.
5 times james potter got distracted because of you.
warnings: overly dramatic james || 3.3k words || james potter x you || fluff fluff fluff, getting together, friends to lovers
a/n: this is the first work i’ve posted on this fandom, i have alot planned!! so please dont be shy and drop some messages! i also feel like i have to clarify, any dialogues that’s italicized means james isn’t listening
i. missing his games
“and another bludger hits potter on the shoulder! it is not his night folks! will this be an opportunity for hufflepuffs to get ahead?” the speaker hisses, loudly echoing throughout the field. along with the empathetic oohs of the crowd.
james groans rubbing his shoulder quickly, for what seemed like the nth time tonight, before going into the scoring formation as practiced.
usually, he wouldn’t even hear the commentator during the game, he would be too into the game to notice any other noise other than his own breathing . but tonight’s game is different.
tonight, you weren’t there watching him.
he knows this for a fact, as he had been continuously looking in the stands. his focus foregoing the incoming buldgers, instead hoping to catch a glimpse of your messy hair and the abundant layer of clothes, you always wear to combat the cold in the stands. his eyes would quickly scan through the students, in hopes to spot you cheering and grinning as you have always had.
he had circled the area you usual vacant four times now, and still no sign of you anywhere.
he could hear geoffrey shouting at him to focus, zooming past him with the quaffle at hand. he could practically hear the hissing complaints and grumbles of minnie in the stands but when he fails to see you, he’s not inclined to care at all.
“james! what in the bloody hell are you doing?!” he could hear marlene shriek in frustration as he skidded to a stop, and pondered your whereabouts.
where were you?
you had always watched his games. always. even when you two were fighting or not talking to each other, you would always be there cheering him on.
he was sure you weren’t in detention, professors were usually more lenient during quidditch season. not to mention you don’t really get into much mischief as he, himself does.
“mckinnon scores even with a distracted captain!”
merlin, were you sick? is that why you were a no-show? he had heard you sniffling the other day, but you said you were fine. james knew that you rarely ever get sick, but when you do—it was the worst it could ever be.
knowing you, you had probably reassured your friends that you were fine and to leave you be. you never did know how to take care of yourself. so, james being the self-appointed best friend takes this responsibility of nursing you back to health very seriously.
he was about to go fly over your dormitory window and help you but then a heavy speeding bludger came speeding into his way. he had barely dodged the thing and suddenly all the noises of the game came rushing back into his ears.
right, he thinks. he should probably finish this first and then go see you straight after.
ii. passing notes with a person that isn’t him
james was having a particularly pissy day.
when he had the epiphany on why you had missed his game. james had rushed points after points, in hopes to end the game as quickly as possible. the game ending with gryffindor as the winner, by 120 points.
never mind celebrating, he hadn’t even thought of the fact he had broken an all-time scoring record in a single game and came rushing to your dorms. thoughts of you lying sick in bed, swimming in his mind.
but you ween’t lying sick in bed.
in fact, you weren’t in the dorms at all. or the common room. or the library. or the hospital wing. or even in the entire bloody castle (he checked). not only were you not in breakfast, the morning after the game you didn’t watch. now, he has the pleasure of seeing you blush and fuss, passing notes with a bloke from ravenclaw during potions.
“now this is detrimental to the potion, some have lost fingers when they neglected this step so pay attention—“
when did you even meet this guy? you were always hanging out with james. so it’s rare for him to see you with somebody he hasn’t met before.
especially, someone this ugly.
“who’s the arse talking to y/n.” james whispered harshly to sirius.
sirius, who for once, was listening in class had to stop and look at james with a confused look, from the sudden conversation.
james gave no clarification, his eyes still glaring heavily at the offending sight.
ah, sirius thought. an almost laugh leaving his mouth. “that’s charlie wilson, i reckon.” sirius whispered back. fighting the strong urge to grin as he added, “birds quite fancy him, i heard. something about how dreamy the lad is or something.” twirling his quill. already satisfied with the impending chaos he had stirred.
meanwhile james could hardly sit still, seconds away from erupting. he scoffs when he sees you blush.
pale hair, pale eyes and an even paler skin. he looked like a white bedsheet, is what he is! nothing dreamy about a bedsheet! james certainly hadn’t thought his bedsheets dreamy. surely you hadn’t either!
“failure to follow these steps strictly can be harmful.” slughorn droned on.
but it was nothing but a buzzing noise to james, as he feels the sudden urge to grab the silly paper full of your beautiful handwriting and his chicken scrawls and rip it to shreds.
iii. going to hogsmeade without him
james was forced into the trip to hogsmeade by remus. claiming some rubbish about how james has become a shell of a man, or how he dampens the mood. and some borderline blasphemous statement about how snivellus seems to be better company than him lately.
so to prove all the nay-sayers wrong, here he was trudging along the stoned pathway. looking gloomy as ever, as his friends drag him from store to store.
nothing seemed to be cheering him up, remus had thought. but james have always had the flare for the dramatics, so remus wasn’t too worried. instead continued on like his friend isn’t unraveling like the threads in an old sweatshirt.
“why am i even here?” james had groaned, eliciting an amused smirk from sirius and a wry smile from remus.
he was on the verge of insanity, really he was. when he sees it in his peripheral. the unquestionably familiar layers of clothing and your giddy smile as you went into a bookstore with the same gremlin from class.
stopping abruptly, garnering the attention of his friends and walked briskly to the store. offering no sort of explanation, but his mates followed anyway. having seen you enter too. busybodies as they are, they’re curious how this will play out.
“it’s the same lad,” hummed sirius, peeking through the door.
remus raised a brow, interest piqued. “same lad? what’d you mean?”
“wilson was having a quick bants with our dear y/n the other day.”
sirius wolfishly grinned, “you reckon y/n fancies him?”
james scoffed, sounding very closely to a growl. “as if.”
“now, james, no need to be narky.” remus teased.
all three hiding two shelves away from you. james couldn’t hear you but he could see you through the crack of the books, if he crouched down. saw your mouth moving and smiling. a view, he realized he hadn’t seen in a while.
“now that i think about, y/n hasn’t been around lately, has she?” remus had voiced, his tone feigning an air of innocence and ignorance.
sirius, then followed suit, rubbing his chin looking forlorn. “now that you mention it moony, that sounds about right.”
“prongs,” they called out, hoping to see james puff out, red in the face and stomp away like a petulant child. but instead their teasing was met with silence.
he couldn’t believe this! you haven’t spoken a word to him all week and here you were cozying up to a practical stranger! yous had the audacity to even laugh at whatever pathetic excuse of a joke he just said to you. albeit, he hadn’t heard the joke but he sure it was trash either way.
“think we lost him padfoot.” remus snickered at the glowering and helpless look james had etched on his face.
the two of you walking to the counter, holding piles of parchments and paints and laughing and blushing and standing way too close to each other.
really, have you no shame?
iv. biting your lips
james had a mission. to finally talk to you after two weeks of radio silence. to corner you, no matter what, and demand explanation for your recent rendezvous and the lack of his presence with said rendezvous.
but you were making it hard for him to find you, let alone talk to you. he can’t seem to find you in the map anywhere either. lately not finding you and not talking has becoming an unwelcome norm for him.
classes you two shared was almost non-existent since all of the classes you attended were all advanced classes.
he had hoped that during potions would be the time to talk to you but before he could even say hello to you, chalk had taken your attention and quickly pulled him down to sit with you during class.
you always seemed to be whispering about something whenever he sees you two. heads close to one another and soft laughter always leaving your lips. it’s like you didn’t even notice you haven’t talked to him for weeks now.
“oh there you are james! i wanted to discuss some strategy for the finals against slytherins.” john bell going into spiel of his tactics for the game.
did he do something that put you off? i mean, yeah, you two were only friends but he was hoping that he was starting to be more than that to you. at least, the same way that you became more for him too.
or was it just him?
“i heard evermonde complaining during breakfast that regulus black had to sit out of the game because he’s sick. so they replaced their seeker with a total novice!” bell excitedly recounted the information, unaware that their captain couldn’t be bother to listen at all.
if you didn’t want anything to do with him anymore, then you should’ve said so in the first place. instead of making him look like a fool!
and like some sort of miracle there you were at the end of the hall, alone.
breathing in deep and gathering all the courage of gryffindors and marched over to you with purpose and bouts of confidence blazing in his eyes.
“james, mate!” bell called over to james, his voice like water off of a dolphin’s back.
he was a bout to tell you off, maybe along the lines of how could you? or why did you miss my games? you always watch my games. or am i even your friend anymore? do like hanging with that cauliflower more than me? does he even play quidditch? can he even turn into a stag? is he even that funny. i bet i’m funnier.
“y/n!” he beckoned, jogging over to you in a hurry. you turned, books held tightly to your chest.
once he was in front of you, breathing in deep. staring into your eyes and seeing your soft pillowy cheeks and soft smiles.
“how are you?” you breathed, shifting from one foot to the other.
he inhaled, how are you? after weeks of nothing—! he was about to tell you off real good but he forgot a crucial thing.
the slight tension and silence makes you nervous, so rather blabbing about nonsense to fill the silence, you opt to bite your lips and cheeks instead.
suddenly all thoughts seem to fly away from james. your nervous habit becoming more important to him rather than letting you how he feels. it seemed more interesting to him than anything he had ever since before.
which was crazy, because this wasn’t the first time you did this! or is it because you haven’t been around lately that made his immunity to your distracting quirk lessened?
eventually the silence became way too unbearable, not to mention the staring from james getting too intense. you just had to get out of this really weird and quiet interaction.
“well, james, i have to go now.” you gave a polite and shaky smile, “see you ‘round.”
v. when you watch his games.
today was the last game of the season. everyone on the team was buzzing with nerves and excitement. john bell had made it his mission to let everyone know of what he learned about slytherin yesterday.
“ambrose greengrass is going to play seeker for the time being.”
sirius snorted out a laugh, “greengrass can barely get on his broom!”
“well talkalot was desperate for replacement so soon before the game.”
dawson rolled her eyes and smirked, “well, whoever they send out we’re still going to beat the crap of them!”
the team cheered in agreement.
sirius noticed the lack of quips from james, like he usually does before each games. he sighed, already knowing the root of it. if his mate’s wanly expression had anything to say about it.
going up to his broom at hand and grabbing james’ shoulder, shaking him rather roughly. as if to physically wake him up out of stupor.
“mate, this is your first finals as captain, what the hell are you doing moping like some grandma?”
james looked up and saw the entire team looking at him. breathing in deep. “you’re right, pads.” grabbing his broom and bellowing in his loudest voice, “let’s win this!”
as much as it pains james, he had to forgot about you for a moment and focus on the game. his teammates are counting on him. chanting in his mind that it wouldn’t matter if you were out there or not.
although a very tiny voice, had called out this lie.
it had already been 30 minutes in the game when you had finally arrived. a fragile thing held gently in your hands.
“john bell knocked out euane evermonde with a bludger!” you can hear the announcer scream, a disbelieving laughter echoing. “30 minutes into the game, it’s a blood bath out here folks!”
the crowds surrounding you in the stand were going wild with screams. the players zooming back and forth as they exchanged the quaffle. you looked up and saw james in the air, the wind tousling his already messy hair into knots. he was shouting orders to his team. eyes busy chasing players, all the while dodging bludgers too.
when he flew close enough to your area in the stands, you can see him subtly check out the crowd. your face warming against the cold at the thought of what you are about to do. his eyes quickly meeting yours and then physically stopping his slow glide in the air. as if he couldn’t believe you were there.
biting your cheek and slowly raising the large parchment, the written words charmed to glow and change every few seconds the words: i like you james potter! and go and win this!!! showing up interchangeably.
you watch him look at you dumbfounded until a dazzling grin erupted on his face once he read the words.
you see him spread his arms, and point at himself abashed, as if saying, me? you like me?
and you nodding exaggeratedly.
feeling the flurry of butterflies in your stomach watching him whoop and laugh twisting and looping on his broom. as if re-energized. you laugh too, his mirth too infectious. the others in the stand with you looks at the parchment in wonder and cheer along with you.
you can hear geoffrey shout profanities at james seeing him steady in the air not moving away form your sight, “not this again potter!”
it had taken you two weeks to finish this little project, the idea coming from a muggleborn friend that said they used to do posters when they watch games like these. that’s when you decided to do the same for james.
at first it was only supposed to be a simple parchment with words to cheer james on, for his first game as captain, against the hufflepuffs. but you decided to make it even more special and unforgettable.
granted, you weren’t all that creative in terms of crafts, so you enlisted a ravenclaw to help you put it all together. as much as you didn’t want to, you had to forgo watching the game so you can have some moment alone to get the poster started.
you were confident enough to know that the gryffindors will win and go straight to the finals. with hundreds of students coming to watch the game, you knew james wouldn’t notice your absence.
so the entire week you had committed your time into creating your first poster. trying desperately to hide your activities from james to surprise him. and when you had ran out of materials, you had gone to hogsmeade with charlie to guide you on what you should buy.
you knew james had caught on your weird behaviours. you were sure simple words from him and little pleas would get you to spill the beans but thankfully he had been distracted enough by something else that opened a way for you to leave.
now, here you were clutching the paper like a lifeline, the words you had written with so much care glowing through the fog. you had even drawn james on his broomstick along with his wild hair and glasses askew on his face. although charlie had helped draw it much nicer and life-like. each line moving and dancing across the paper to capture his attention.
with a new sense of motivation, james started to play the game the best he had ever played. zooming right above your area in the stand with a quaffle in his hand and a wink your way, he easily maneuvers over the other players and score.
with the slytherin keeper gone he had easily gathered up score after score.
and each time he did, he would stop a couple of feet in front of you and do a victory dance of some sort, eliciting a giggle and wide giddy smiles from you.
the crowd going crazier and crazier as james seemed like an unstoppable force in the field. eventually the brutal game ended with gryffindor as the winner by 530 points. breaking an all-time record.
gryffindors with some ravenclaws and hufflepuffs scatter to the field to celebrate the win. grabbing unto james, patting him on the shoulder, messing up his hair even more and cheering his name.
even with everyone around him, he managed to lock eyes with you again. quickly pushing other off him and running to you, a smile etched on his face.
you barely had anytime to prepare yourself as a sweaty, large, giddy man hurdled towards you. but james ever so gentle with you, grabbed your waist and lifted you up from the ground, twirling you around, looking at you with absolute glee. you can hear wolf whistles from the others but james barely acknowledges them.
he sets you down, hands still firmly on your side. the parchment now folded haphazardly, clutching it to your chest. wrinkling his nose in a low chuckle before looking down at the paper. “is this why you’ve yet to speak a word with me?”
you breathed, suddenly embarrassed. “i’ve been perfecting this for two weeks.” looking down on the paper leaning into him just a tad bit more, “i ran into some trouble with making the text stay on the parchment rather than fly away.” you muttered, cheeks aflame.
looking up at him through your lashes, having half a nerve to look bashful. “did you like it?”
“like it?” he scoffed, “i bloody loved it,” he grinned, forehead now leaning into yours.
you grin up at him, unaware of the still swirling questions he had for you. but for now holding each other like this, is enough answer for him.