Of Walks and Fire Whiskey
Something about the cold made it so simple to clear one's head. That's what James Potter had always stood by. So after the fight with Sirius, he found himself walking from the castle into the rigid cold evening air, with no destination in mind.
He couldn't believe that Sirius could be that stupid. Pranks were one thing, but what he had done went too far. He'd risked someone's life and almost made one of his best friends a murderer. Alcohol would be perfect at this moment, he thought pensively.
Growing tired of walking, James decided on a spot near the lake. The water moved quickly as the wind picked up a bit, he shivered, somewhat regretting not grabbing a cloak before leaving the dormitory.
He lost himself watching the world around him. Whether it was moments or hours later, he wasn't sure, but he heard footsteps approaching his spot.
"I suggest getting the hell away from me before I do something I regret. Remus isn't here this time to stop me from hurting you," James said not bothering to look up at the figure.
"Suit yourself," a familiar voice replied. "But, the alcohol's coming with me too."
He looked up at the red head who was currently holding a bottle of fire whiskey. "You'll catch your death out here, Evans."
"At least I was sensible enough to put on a cloak." She took a seat beside him and held up the bottle, silently offering him some.
He took it gladly, taking a large drink of it, feeling instantly warmer as it went down his throat. He handed it back to Lily who did the same. They didn't say anything, letting the wind fill the silence.
"Sickle for your thoughts?" She spoke finally, looking at him.
"You ever thought you could trust someone but then they go and completely fuck up?"
"Sounds familiar," she replied with a hint of bitterness.
"Sorry." James said, realizing his mistake.
"It's not your fault," she shrugged, taking another swig of the liquid. "You could hear the yelling from the common room."
"What did you hear?" He couldn't remember what had been said, but he could have easily mentioned something about Remus' secret or his own….
"Just lots of muffled swearing," she replied. "He really messed up, didn't he?"
James nodded, grabbing the bottle, "I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive him." He took a swig and looked across the lake.
"You will. In time you'll be able to." He looked back to her and shrugged.
"There's no point in arguing about it." He took another drink. "What brought you out here anyways?"
"Fancied a walk I suppose."
"And you just so happened to be carrying alcohol with you?"
"I get thirsty," she responded with a slight smile. "If you must know, I wanted to make sure you were all right."
"Who are you and what have you done with Lily Evans?"
"I do care about you," she said softly. "We're friends of a sort, aren't we?"
"Yeah, I suppose we are," he smiled at her.
They sat there and talked for hours. Discussing things from homework to first crushes.
"I really did like you, when I asked you out that one time," a slightly drunk James said after telling her about his first date.
"You know what's funny about that? Under different circumstances, I probably would have said yes."
He felt a twinge of guilt at the memory. "I am sorry for what happened that day."
"I think I was expecting it to happen sooner or later. I just wasn't really expecting it to feel so awful," she reminisced.
"I always blamed myself for what happened between you two," he said honestly. It feel silent, the only sounds were the continual passing of the near empty alcohol bottle and the wind that had finally died down.
"So," James began, breaking the peaceful silence. "You really would have said yes, if it weren't for my terrible timing?"
She laughed softly, "Probably. I did have bit of a crush on you for a while. I thought you were a complete git, but I did like you."
"So, if I were to ask right now…?"
"It would still be bad timing." She stood up and turned to face him. "It's late and I have an essay to finish. You might want to consider getting back too, maybe coming up with times to ask girls out that aren't terrible. Good night, James."
"Right, night Lily," he called after her. He sighed, running a hand through his hair and picked up the empty bottled that resided beside him before walking back towards the direction of the castle.
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