As I am not J.K. Rowling, nothing that you recognize here is mine. No copyright infringement is intended, and I, of course, make no profit from this

The quote below is, of course, Shakespeare’s. This is the second time in two months that I’ve drawn on his work for a title—but there are far, far worse people that I could borrow from…

It is the lark that sings so out of tune\straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps… More light and light it grows.”

(Romeo and Juliet, Act 3 Scene 5).

The wind snapped, and Lily caught the sweet, fresh smell of water. A thick mist hovered over the lake in the white-grey glow of pre-sunrise. James glanced over his shoulder at her and smiled, offering her his hand and helping her settle on the wet grass.

“I can’t believe you’ve never seen a sunrise out here.” There was both softness and anticipation in his whisper, and she was a little surprised that it felt natural, under the circumstances. “It’s high time.” They watched the fog on the water for a while, listening to the wind disturb the trees.

Eventually, James glanced at her and she saw what little light there was reflected in his glasses. She felt her stomach squirm. “So, are you sorry you came?” he asked.

“I was sorry that you woke me up.” The smile forcing its way up her face destroyed her attempt at sounding stern. “But not so much anymore.”

“Already?” he smiled and shifted his weight to his right arm, making it easier to face her. “You haven’t even seen what we came for yet.”

They sat in silence and enjoyed the occasional gust of wind, watching the sky above the water slowly grow red-orange. Lily watched the water until the fog began to thin. Eventually she was admiring darkening orange and red and yellow light reflected off of the lake, feeling a strange anticipation growing in her stomach. Perhaps James’ enthusiasm was catching.

The world was getting brighter, and Lily was now forced to look straight at the water. James looked over and quietly admired her admiring the light. It flooded over both of them and gave her the illusion of a slight glow. He moved a little closer, and she turned to face him.

“You brought me all the way out here, and you’re looking at me?” She appeared to be stifling a chuckle as she turned her torso in his direction, supporting her weight on one hand.

“If I had planned to give the sun all of my attention, I wouldn’t have brought competition,” he answered, amazing himself by maintaining a calm expression. “When you’re around, I’d much rather look at you.”

She looked him in the eye for a moment, and then turned back toward the water. She hoped he hadn’t noticed the new tension in her muscles.

Even shortly after, Lily couldn’t clearly remember how it happened. Suddenly the sunrise was forgotten and James’ mouth was resting against hers, waiting for her permission. She relaxed her mouth and felt his fingers on the side of her face. He tilted her chin up gently and leaned in, and after that her own mind took over.

He’s going to know I’ve never done this before—this is so embarrassing—I’ll never see him again after this—how could he spring this on me?—I’ve probably completely messed it up already—maybe I can salvage the moment, if I make sure I don’t accidentally bite his lip or something…

Then he leaned in closer, and she noticed a little tension in his mouth. She touched the arm supporting him and felt him trembling. She smiled a little; his mouth twitched in response. Lily ran her finger tips along the side of his glasses. Reached up to touch his hair. And felt him suddenly pull away.

She chuckled along with him as she watched him straighten his glasses. With anyone else the moment might have been embarrassing. With James laughing, breathless, across from her, it was somehow perfect in a way that she had never thought to wish for.


She looked up to see him studying her. When she said nothing, he rushed to fill the silence, glancing down as he spoke. “I—I’m very sorry. That was inappropriate—totally out of order—”

“Oh, please, don’t apologize.” Lily acknowledged how eager she sounded and was relieved to find that she didn’t care in the least.

He looked back up at her and smiled. “In that case, I think I have a confession to make. I—I’m very sorry if…” He took a breath and smiled. Lily watched him relax as she returned the gesture. “Let me start over: Lily, I have a confession to make.” He glanced down, and she saw his cheeks begin to color. He forced his eyes back up before finishing. “That was my first kiss.”

Lily felt her heart turn over. She swallowed, took a breath, and bit her lip in time to avoid laughing as her own monologue from the moment before tickled the back of her mind. Eventually, she allowed herself a small smile.

“Really?” She asked. Her eyebrow rose and he chuckled, nodding. “Well, that does make me feel better.”

James’ eyes lit up as he grinned.

“Yours, too?”

She nodded. James shook his head, laughing quietly. Lily took a breath and enjoyed the contentment in his voice. James was still smiling when he looked back at her.


“I was hoping so.”

Lily watched him observe her for a moment, and then looked down at her lap. They sat in the growing light and looked out at the water as the wind blew a fresh chill into their faces. Lily could feel the warmth of his fingers resting inches from hers, a few tall blades of grass between them.

Another tired puff of air shot the smell of lake water back into her face. She turned her head and watched his face. It didn’t take him as long as she’d expected to look over at her.


A smile tugged at one side of his mouth.


She glanced down at the grass. She could almost see its true dark green as old shadows continued to fade. She looked back up and observed a new light in his eyes for a moment. She felt herself smile, slow and relaxed. Forming the words was a little easier than she had thought it would be.

“How would you like to try for our second?”