James Potter + tattoos
inspired by this
“Em, Em,” Lily pulls on her friends arm. “Look. He has a tattoo.”
Emma looks around, and follows Lily’s point to find a Gryffindor lion on the inside of James’s forearm. It’s roaring impressively, occasionally walking around the circumference of his arm.
Lily is staring at it, head tilted, biting her lip.
Emma takes one glance at Lily and starts laughing. “Oh, you are so screwed.”
Lily snaps out of it, looks at Emma and blushes furiously. Unfortunately, there is too much truth in that statement. She looks back at James. Way too much truth.
* * *
“Hey,” James greets her in the Prefects cabin as he tries to pin his Head Boy badge on his chest. “How was your summer?”
The lion on his arm is laying down, it looks like it’s taking a nap.
“Good,” Lily says. “Thanks for giving me that radio, it was really nice to listen to some wizard stations, now I feel like I know what’s going on in the world.”
James flashes a grin at her. “No problem. Hey, the Three Jinxes are playing in Hogsmeade the first weekend, want to go? There’s a bunch of us planning on it.”
“Yeah,” Lily grins. “That’d be great, I love their music.” She glances at his forearm again. “I like your tattoo,” she prays she manages to sound casual about it.
“Thanks,” James grins largely. “Got it as soon as we got on break. There’s this great little shop in the village over from mine, has a great artist. I love going to him for my more complicated tats, he’s the only one who can get the colors just the way I like them.”
“You have more tattoos?” Lily asks faintly. She feels like she needs to sit down. The places he could have tattoos…..
“Yeah, a couple.” James nods. “I normally keep them hidden, they seem a bit private, but I figured this one could be shown.”
A couple of prefects slid the door open and entered.
“Well, if they’re private, I won’t ask about them then,” she said with a smile.
James sits down on the short bench, patting the space next to him for her. “I wouldn’t mind telling you,” he says easily. “We’re friends.”
“Would you mind showing me?” Lily asks.
James arches an eyebrow suggestively.
“I like tattoos,” Lily admits. “And this is the first time I’ve seen a magical one,” she waves to his arm.
“Right, muggle ones don’t move. That’s kind of boring if you ask me,” James says with a grin.
“Right.” She looks up from their conversation. It looks like everyone is gathered. “We should start,” she says.
James nods. “Okay, let’s start.”
He stands up and tells them all how everything is going to work.
While he is speaking Lily starts to notice subtle colors at the edges of his shirt. She has absolutely no idea how she hasn’t noticed these before. There’s a dark edge of a circle peeking out from his collar. He’s wearing shorts, but there’s nothing on his calves or his ankles. But when he bends over to fish the train patrol schedule out of his bag she can see the edges of some sort of dark ink on his left arm, and as she watches it disappears, replaced with something smaller. At the second she gets to look at it, she thinks it’s the bottom half of Remus Lupin’s name.
She blushes at the thought of James putting his friends names on his body. She wonders why she’s blushing and then she realizes it’s because she’s wondering if her name will ever find a place on his skin.
Oh, she is so screwed.
* * *
“I’m really really sorry I’m late. Quidditch tryouts took a bit longer than I thought, there were a ton of people trying out for Keeper, it was ridiculous.” James sits down at the table across from her and runs his hand through his hair in agitation. “Really sorry,” he repeats.
“It’s fine,” Lily says, smiling. “I already did most of the patrol, so I can just finish it, and you can do the next one.”
“Okay, sounds good.” He grins. “Do we have any patrols together?”
Lily nods. “This Wednesday, you and me.”
“Oh, and you’re still going to the concert next Saturday right?” James asks.
“Yeah, I’ll be there.”
“Okay, cause I’m going to get another tattoo right before that, if you want to see how they’re done.” He offers with a small nervous smile on his face.
“Yeah, that would be great,” Lily answers. “Is there an age limit on tattoos in the Wizarding World?”
James shrugs. “Not really. I got my first at age fourteen.”
Lily raises her eyebrows. “That’s really young.”
He just shrugs again.
“What are you getting on Saturday?” Lily asks.
“A snitch, I’m not sure where though.” James starts rifling through papers and picks up Lily’s discarded quill.
He starts sketching on the parchment. “What do you think?” he asks. “Where should I get it?”
Lily shrugs. “I couldn’t help you without knowing where your tattoos already are.”
James looks up at her, he looks suddenly nervous. “Uh, right.”
“You did say you’d show them to me,” Lily says, reminding him of his promise more than a month ago.
“I said I’d tell you about them,” he corrects her. He ruffles his hair again. He adds a couple of lines to the snitch that he’s drawing.
“Come on,” Lily says. “A ton of people have seen them right? Your roommates, the Quidditch team, why not me?”
James bites his bottom lip, and the lion on his forearm rolls over and continues to sleep. “Um, yeah, I guess.”
He pushes away from the table. He starts to unbutton his shirt and Lily resists making a comment about how she thought when she saw him shirtless she would be the unbuttoning his shirt. Not appropriate, she reminds herself. And then she realizes that he must have changed into this button down shirt in between try-outs and coming here.
She suppresses a smile at the thought that he wanted to look nice for their meeting.
He shrugs off the shirt, and she stands up to move around him.
“Which was your first?” she asks.
He reaches over his shoulder and taps the circle at the top of his spine. “I got it summer before fourth year.”
She looks at it. There’s a black outline of a circle. A small curve on the right side is clear, the rest is black. “Does it move?” she asks.
“Yeah, it’s the cycle of the moon.”
“Waxing right now,” she says, and she can’t help but reach out and slide her finger along the curve.
He shivers visibly and she laughs. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” he says quietly.
Her gaze is caught by his left upper arm.. There is the tattoo that she saw the bottom edge of on the train. It’s large, takes up his entire shoulder.
It looks like a splatter of ink blots, and as she watches names appear in them.
The names are presented in scrawling script. She stares at it for a while, watching the names appear again and again.
“Did you design any of these yourself?” she asks.
James nods. He taps the one on his shoulder to indicate that one and then swivels to face her. “This one too,” he taps a stag that is on his ribs. It shakes his head and prances across his chest.
Lily kneels down on the ground to get a closer look at it. “It’s beautiful,” she says. It’s exquisitely detailed, the shading on it’s flank is exquisite. She watches as it leans it’s head down and presents his antlers to her.
“Why did you get a stag?” she asks, looking up at him.
“It’s my patronus,” he says. He shifts in his seat.
“Is this okay? I didn’t mean to pressure you,” she says, but even while she speaks she shifts her attention to the next tattoo.
“It’s fine,” James says. “No one but Sirius, Pete, and Remus have taken much interest in them. It’s weird.”
He had a set of Quidditch hoops on his right hip. They had a haze of blue sky behind them, and a castle in the background. Trees in the background sway with the wind.
“Hogwarts,” Lily says.
She smiles, and then shifts her gaze to the last one. It’s right over his heart, a crest, with a flying Phoenix in it, with a ribbon over the top.
“Family crest?” she asks.
“You should add the snitch to hoops,” she says.
“But I want a whole new tattoo, not an addition to an old one,” he mutters.
Lily stands up from where she’s kneeling and goes back to her chair. James pulls his shirt on and buttons it.
“No others?” she asks, smirking.
He blushes. “No. I haven’t found a tattoo that would look good on my legs. I thought about getting antlers on my shoulder blades but I didn’t like it enough to commit to it. I did the stag instead.”
Again, Lily holds back an inappropriate comment about the possible places he could get tattoos.
“Thanks for showing me,” she says instead.
“Yeah, no problem.” He shrugs.
She stands up, pulling the patrol schedule towards her. “I have a study date with Emma,” she says. “But I’ll meet you in the common room on Saturday morning?”
He nods. “Yeah, sounds good.”
“Great, it’s a date.”
The grin that breaks out on his face fills her with warmth.
* * *
James yawns as the walk down the path.
“Am I boring you?” Lily teases.
“No, just a really late night last night,” James says, and he rubs his eyes. “Actually I didn’t sleep at all.”
“What were you doing that was so important?” Lily asks.
He hesitates for a moment, and then says, “Designing.” He pulls a piece of parchment out of his robes. “If it’s going to be on my skin, it’s got to look good.”
She takes it from him and unfolds it. There are two separate drawings on it.
The snitch at the top left of the page unfurls it’s wings and darts around the parchment. It hits an invisible barrier and breaks open, all of the inner workings and small gears falling into a pile. As Lily watches they come together again, slowly building up into a snitch, which then unfurls it wings and the process starts over.
“I was trying to finish the snitch one, but I still haven’t,” James says. “And I think I’d rather go to my guy at home for that one anyway, because the coloring is going to be tricky. The wand is what I’m getting today.”
His wand is drawn in intricate detail on the right side of the paper. A soft yellow glow emits from the tip.
They walk into the village and James immediately sets off down a side street.
“Come on,” he says.
They walk into a shop that has two tattoo chairs in the back. The walls are covered in artwork, and there’s a glass case that has earrings and other jewelry in it.
“James,” the man on duty greets him. “Got another one to do, eh?”
“Yeah,” James hands him the parchment. “The wand there.”
“Alright, take a seat.” The man waves to one of the chairs. “Who’s this?”
“Lily,” she says, and nods to him.
“Gerard,” he answers. “You his girlfriend?”
She resists the urge to say Not yet, and instead just answers, “No.”
Gerard grins and sits down next to James. “Alright you know the drill, fifteen galleons an hour. Where do you want it?”
James takes his shirt off, and Lily’s eyes sweep over his existing tattoos. The stag on his chest is laying down, sleeping and the lion is pacing up and down his arm.
The door jingles and a woman comes in.
“James, you’re back,” she says.
“Hey Alicia,” he greets her easily. “I want it right here,” he tells Gerard, and he slides his finger up the side of his torso. “Tip right here and bottom here.”
“Alright,” Gerard says and he goes to the back to start to get everything set up.
Lily goes over to the glass case and starts looking through them.
“Just looking or do you need help finding something specific?” Alicia asks her.
Lily pauses, reaching up to touch her ear. “How much do piercings cost?” She asks.
“Two Galleons,” Alicia answers promptly. “Ear piercing?”
“Yeah, I’ve always kind of wanted one right here,” Lily touches the top of her right ear.
“Well, I can do that for you,” Alicia says. “We have studs over here that you can look at.” She pulls out a flat tray of a variety of studs.
“Thank you,” Lily says.
Gerard comes back from the back room.
“What do you think James?” Lily asks, looking back at him.
James smiles sheepishly. “I think it would look good.”
Lily bites her bottom lip and turns back to the tray.
She finds one she likes, a simple silver stud and decides that she can swing the money.
“Alright,” she says to Alicia, “let’s do it.”
Lily sits in the other chair and looks over at James with a nervous grin.
“Want to hold my hand?” James asks teasingly. He holds his hand out and she takes it.
“I got my ears pierced when I was five, I don’t remember if it hurts or not.”
“It’s fine,” Alicia says. She’s readying the gun she’s going to use.
James squeezes her hand reassuringly. “I’m getting needles stuck in my skin repeatedly, you can get a piercing, it’s not that bad,” he says.
She smiles at him.
Alicia makes a mark on Lily’s ear. “Right there?” she asks. She hands a mirror to Lily, and she inspects it.
“Just a smidge lower.”
Alicia nods and makes a new mark.
Lily nods happily and puts the mirror down. She closes her eyes. It will be easier if she doesn’t seen the black gun coming towards her.
There’s a small sting and then it’s done.
Alicia pulls out her wand and mutters an incantation. “There you go, healed and everything.”
“Thank you,” Lily says. She lifts the mirror up to inspect it. She likes it a lot. She turns towards James. “What do you think?”
He nods, staring at it. “It looks really good.”
She grins and starts to tug her hand away.
“Woah, woah, woah,” he says. “If I held your hand to get you through a piercing then you can hold my hand to get me through my tat.”
Lily rolls her eyes. But she keeps her hand in his.
* * *
“I think I’m going to fall asleep on you,” James says.
“I’m going to curl up on the side of the road and sleep there for fourteen hours.”
“This is why you shouldn’t stay up all night,” Lily says.
James rubs his eyes. “And then go to a concert where I just dance and scream the entire time,” he adds. “My head hurts so bad.”
“Okay, well we’re almost there.” They pass through the gates.
“Yeah, but then we have to go up all those stairs. Do you think you could levitate me?”
“No, it will be so much fun to see you suffer.” Lily grins in the darkness.
“You’re mean.” He yawns.
For a second she seriously thinks about kissing him to wake him up. She seriously thinks about it.
Then she tells herself to get a grip.
They enter the castle and James looks up at the stairs with a weary expression. “Sure levitating is off the table?” he asks.
“Yep,” Lily answers easily and hops up onto the first step. She turns around to offer her hand to James. “Come on.”
He takes her hand and doesn’t let go as they ascend the staircase. His hand his warm and nice around hers.
“James,” he looks around at her tone. “I know this isn’t quite normal…” she trails off, wondering if this was what she really wanted to do. “But I’m not the kind of girl who can’t just not clarify situations.”
She gestures at their hands.
James looks confused. His eyes are drooping from exhaustion but he’s smiling hesitantly.
“I’m sure that this is already self explanatory since we’re holding hands and everything, but um … I like you.”
James grins. “Good, because we just had a day long date, so it’d be kinda awkward if you didn’t.”
Lily rolls her eyes and looks down at the stairs.
“And,” James adds, “I like you too, obviously.”
“Good, because after I said I liked you it would’ve been really awkward if you didn’t.” Lily grins at him.
They pause outside the portrait of the Fat Lady.
Lily finds herself blushing for no apparent reason.
“So, hypothetically, if I were to kiss you….” James trails off.
“Hypothetically I would be okay with that,” Lily says.
“Yeah?” he looks surprised. “We’d better wait until you’re more enthusiastic about it. ‘Just okay’ doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement.”
Lily steps forward. “James,” she breathes.
“Lily,” he’s grinning like an idiot.
She leans up on her tiptoes and slides her hand behind her head. His hands slide around her back, pressing her body against his. They pause there, noses brushing, tasting the anticipation.
His lips brush against hers softly, and then they press against her mouth more firmly.
“Are you two going to snog all night, or are you going to give me the password?” the Fat Lady’s voice cuts in.
Lily blushes and drops her forehead against James’s shoulder before stepping back. He’s blushing too, and his hand ruffles his hair automatically.
“Gillyweed,” he says to the portrait and it swings open. They enter the common room holding hands.