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The Art of Surviving. by AC_rules

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 25
Word Count: 136,323
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: General, Romance, Angst
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, A. Longbottom, Lily, James
Pairings: James/Lily, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 02/20/2011
Last Chapter: 10/02/2013
Last Updated: 10/02/2013

Summary:
Beautiful banner by enchantress @ TDA   :)



Grief, war and love: surviving is an art.

SEQUEL TO THE ART OF BREATHING.


Dobby winner 2012: Best Romance and Best Angst! 


Chapter 18: Empowerment.
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 “Quidditch,” James said suddenly, glancing at his watch and sighing, “this bloody essay.”

“If you hadn’t got detention,” I said lightly, pulling his essay over onto my lap and glancing at it, “then you’d have finished hours ago.”

“Sirius’s fault,” James countered, digging through his trunk to pull out his Quidditch robes, “his boredom is going to kill him one day.”

“Or you,” I returned, correcting one of James’s spelling mistakes and placing his essay down, “if you’d ignored him, you could have finished this after Quidditch practice, instead of cleaning the Great Hall. Again.”

“Peter was dropping mash potato on the floor on purpose,” James complained, “although, it was pretty funny to see him fall over it.”

“Until you got another detention for laughing and throwing food at him whilst he was on the floor.”

“Details.” James shrugged, pulling his school robes off.

I’d seen James shirtless before – given we’d spent seven years at the same school I was entirely sure I’d seen all of them at least half naked before – but never in such close proximity. He was pale and a bit weedy, for a Quidditch player, but he was so very James.

“Oi, stop undressing in front of me.”

“Stop watching then.” James countered.

“You’re pretty.” I said, shooting him a grin.

“True, but you’re prettier.”

“Are you going to put your robes on then, you pretty idiot? Or just stand around half naked.”

“I’m weighing up the options,” James grinned, “Sirius is a shithead for dropping me in it. Now I don’t have any time to pretend to study with you.”

“So romantic.” I said, pushing the books of my lap and kneeling on the bed so I could reach out and kiss him. I’d defiantly never kissed him whilst he was shirtless before. Fine by me.

Three times after the incident right before I’d found out about the Remus thing, a similar sort oh-shit-this-snogging-is-getting-pretty-intense-now situation had arisen and each time something had come up before we’d talked about the whole thing (ironic, really, considering James was such a fan of this talking business) and then I hadn’t wanted to bring up later in case it resulted in an awkward conversation that I didn’t want to happen. It was fine, though, because the ratio of occasions when we were just kissing to the occasions when it felt like something might happen was still pretty small.

But James being shirtless probably didn’t help.

And I probably knew that.

And I didn’t have be a Ravenclaw to know that there was a high possibility that things would wind up like this: all tangled up and heated.

Someone knocked on the door of the dormitory. Sirius. He made a point of knocking whenever we were supposed to be upstairs studying, his own ‘subtle’ way of implying that we weren’t studying at all. For once this was actually a good thing, as his taunts if he’d walked straight in would be ridiculous and long lasting. And the whole thing would probably be retold in acute detail in hearing range of Severus Snape.

James hitched my left leg up and pressed a kiss against my collar bone. Shit.

Sirius knocked again.

“You should put your Quidditch robes on,” I said, pulling back away from him, “I don’t think Sirius is going to wait forever.”

“Two minutes.” James yelled towards the door, kissing me once more before snatching his Quidditch robes off from the top of the trunk and pulling them on. I frowned, gathering up my text books and trying to look as though I’d just been engrossed in some rather thrilling Transfiguration.

“Shame you’ve got detention later.” I said, running a hand through my hair distractedly.

Did I really just say that?

James looked very irritated when he finally let Sirius in.

“I need to get changed.” Sirius smirked.

“You’re going to be late for Quidditch practice, then,” James countered with a grin, “really mate.”

“I’ll be sure to offer my full apology and explanation when I arrive,” Sirius said, “enjoying your homework, Evans?”

“Sod off,” I muttered, shoving my text books back into my bag and trying not to flush, “I’m going to go talk to Alice, then.”

“Are you and Sirius arguing again?” James asked, grabbing his broom and following me out of the dorm.

“Aren’t we always?” I asked, pulling my bag onto my shoulder and offering James a smile. “Just knock him out with a bludger for me, will you?”

“What are we going to do about your birthday?” James asked. “It’s this weekend.”

“I was going to ask Dumbledore if I can go visit home,” I admitted. James’s face fell slightly. “What?”

“I figured we could have a bit of a party. Eighteen is the big one in muggle terms, right? So I thought we should celebrate it properly. And then I could cook you dinner to appease my mother. But, if you want to go home then -”

“-that sounds lovely, James. I’ll go for a bit, you can start the party without me and I’ll just join you for the end.”

“And dinner?”

“Its Valentines days next month,” I grinned, “you don’t want to use all your cards up in one go.”

“Do you want me to come with you?”

“No,” I said, “no, I need to talk to Petunia – given she still hasn’t answered. Anyway, we spend far too much time together.”

“Do we?” James asked, frowning at me with his eyes glittering.

“Yes,” I countered, “your friends are going to get needy and start thinking you’ve forgotten about them. Sirius is already a needy twit, and when Peter and Remus start making puppy eyes at you too we know we’ll have a problem. You need to do some of that strange Marauder stuff.”

“Didn’t know you cared, Evans.” Sirius said, skipping down the final steps to the Gryffindor Common room in his scarlet robes. “You decided to wait for me?”

“Thought it might keep your mouth shut.” James said, elbowing him. Sirius raised his eyebrows.

“See you tomorrow.” James said, grabbing my hand and kissing my cheek.

“Just don’t get another detention, yeah?”

*

James didn’t know.

More importantly, neither did Remus.

Sirius, well, Sirius was not happy. Nor did I expect him to be really, because the more I thought about the things the more things started to make a lot of sense – Charlotte had always used to say that the whole ‘Marauders’ thing was definitely a sign that they were a part of some strange cult, and that they’d be some dark secret at the centre of it. Not that it stopped her fancying one of them on regular intervals, in fact, it probably helped. I missed Charlotte.

Avoiding Sirius was easy enough. Before, he’d just continued with his teasing whenever James was being particularly mushy (and I was reciprocating in an almost identical manner), but now the very sight of James and me together seemed to send him into another of his bloody sulks and then he didn’t talk much or found reason to stalk away, much to James’s confusion (although, that was probably Sirius’s plan – bloody Black tendencies). It was worse when James wasn’t there, when the continual dirty looks were worse than the ones from the Slytherins.

So I hadn’t expected him to seek me out.

“Evans,” Sirius muttered, grabbing my wrist and pulling me down one of the corridors that was hardly ever used and therefore completely empty, “you’ve had enough time to think.”

That’s how I’d brought myself time.

“Have I?”

“And if you can’t handle it then I want you to break up with James right now, because I’m not letting you break his heart because, Evans, he actually thought you were better than this.” Sirius’s face twisted into an uncomfortable sneer, looking more like his brother than himself and in doing so far less attractive.

“What?” I demanded. “You think I should send him some stupid line and act like I don’t know forever.”

“If that’s what it takes.”

“Sirius,” I said, “I’m a mudblood. I wasn’t brought up with all these prejudices.”

“Well.” Sirius demanded.

“All I know about Werewolves is what we learnt in class, when Higgins spent three hours telling everyone that Werewolves weren’t really people. I don’t understand. Will you just explain.” I implored, folding my arms back over my chest and considering citing the line I’d use to buy myself a little extra time; I don’t understand and then, we should wait until either Remus or James tells me in person, it’ll do more harm than good otherwise.

“I don’t see what there is to explain.” Sirius spat back, folding his arms over his chest and glaring at me.

“Higgins said that they were monsters.”

“And?”

“And I don’t think Remus Lupin in a bloody monster, okay Sirius? That’s all I was ever taught about werewolves, so I don’t know what to think. If you’d just explain instead of telling me to dump your best friend then -”

“Later,” Sirius muttered, looking upwards and freezing for a second as his gaze jerked upwards, “and keep your voice down, this is a little bit of secret.”

“Don’t be so sodding patronising, Sirius. I understand the magnitude of things if nothing else.”

“No, Evans,” Sirius said, backing out of the corridor and shaking his head at me – the worst thing about all of this was the disappointment, but I honestly didn’t believed I’d earned it, “I very much doubt you do.”

Werewolves were the stuff of fairytales, not something really real. Even when we’d covered them in class they’d seemed like one of those magical things that I’d never experience, never come into contact with, as if they barely existed at all. And he’d said that they tore children apart and purposefully bit others, and then there was Remus who’d always seemed so wholly good, and well... nothing fit together.

All I wanted was an explanation.

I let out an irritated sigh before rejoining the corridor, stopping in my tracks as I saw that Sirius and James were talking where the two corridors met. There was something wrong in James’s face – his lips weren’t in their usual curve, his eyebrows not at their usual angle perhaps, but I was nearly convinced that Sirius had told him that I knew.

“No,” Sirius retorted in his usual irritated fashion, “I haven’t managed it yet. Not through lack of trying, mind.”

“Lily managed it,” James said, nodding towards me, “the patronus charm.”

“Yeah,” I breathed, trying to shake of the feeling that something wasn’t quite right with James – I sent him a questioning look, but he didn’t meet my eye, “I didn’t catch what form it was, though. Did you see?”

“No,” James said, as the three of us began to settle into our usual walking pace, “just a flash of silver and then it sort of dissolved before I got a proper look. Have you not managed it again?”

There was some weight in the question. I supposed it was quite a question: have you been happy enough to do it again, Lily? Or is there something wrong.

“I haven’t really tried, everything’s been so busy.” I replied, slipping my fingers through James. He squeezed my hand in return, so maybe it was just my imagination after all.

*

James decided to commemorate my eighteenth birthday by cancelling Quidditch practice to sneak out of Hogwarts to buy muggle alcohol – apparently, being the big muggle age the entire celebration was to be kept as strictly muggle as possible, right down to the muggle birthday card and the present all wrapped up in muggle wrapping paper.

Sirius decided to commemorate my eighteenth birthday by accosting me again and demanding to know whether or not I was going to break up with James.

“For f...”I muttered, catching my breath and closing my eyes for a second, “what do you want me to say Sirius?”

“That it doesn’t matter.” Sirius returned an angry glint in his eye.

“Of course it matters!” I exploded. “This is a big deal, Sirius! It makes a lot of bloody sense, of course, but it still takes a bit to take in, okay? And given all I fucking know about Werewolves was from someone who was quite obviously very prejudiced and everything about Remus contradicts what he was saying, then what am I supposed to think?!”

“That it doesn’t change your opinion of Remus.” Sirius prompted. I hadn’t seen him look so wholly animated since Mary died – even when he was crying or yelling, he didn’t seem quite so alive or quite so fierce as he did then. Every so often I was struck by how much they all meant to each other – Sirius, Remus, James and Peter – and it felt strange to be in the middle of that, to be separating James from them slightly.

“I don’t understand. What is it supposed to have changed my opinion of? It’s changed my opinion on that bloody rabbit story.”

“Evans,” Sirius spat, “I’m only going to ask you this once and I’ll make you break up with James if you... if you’re so bloody prejudice that you can’t even... You think Remus is some kind of monster? That he doesn’t’ deserve to be here? That you should be scared of him?”

“That’s what you think I think?” I demanded. “You don’t know me at all, Black. Of course I bloody don’t! I mean, Jesus, Remus has always been lovely and caring and kind thus far, but I suppose now that I know he’s going to rip me apart in my sleep. Yes, Sirius, that’s why I don’t want him to know that I know – what if he gets angry and bloody bites me. For God’s sake! I don’t want him to know because obviously it’s something he didn’t want to tell me, okay? And I wanted you to explain because I’m an ignorant little mudblood who doesn’t know anything about it and I’d like to be able to understand what he’s going through. But, no, you immediately think that I’m the sort of person to... what? Disown him? Great. Thanks a lot, Sirius. I’m late for my portkey, so just fuck off will you?”

“Evans...”

“Just forget it.” I muttered, stalking off in the direction of Dumbledore’s office.

“Happy Birthday, Evans!” Sirius called after me.

I was going to kill him.

*

“Lily!” Mum called, placing her glass down on the side and pulling me into a hug. “Happy Birthday!” With the knowledge that my Mum was okay, I’d been unconsciously pining to see her and everything felt that little bit better with her arms wrapped around me. She had that usual motherly smell and the familiarity about her that made me want to never let go, in case I lost her somehow, in case she slipped away in the night. “You should have said you were coming!”

“Sorry,” I beamed into her arms, “I wanted to surprise you.”

“Goodness, but... I sent your birthday present with Prongs this morning.”

“I’ll get it later, don’t worry. I just wanted to come and see you.” I assured her, sitting down at the kitchen table and watching as my mother busied herself making me a cup of tea and pulling out some homemade cake.

I’d sent her a letter last night, but I knew that if I told her my intention to visit then Petunia would make sure that she was busy. The fact that she’d ignored my heartfelt letter was a very clear brush off. She didn’t want to talk to me.

“How’s your birthday been?”

I could tell that it had been crap. That Sirius had made me angrier than I’d felt for ages that the reality of Petunia not wanting anything to do with me hurt. James was being lovely as ever, of course it was, but he was tired and I was tired and all I really wanted was to curl up in my bed upstairs and sleep.

“Good,” I said, “James has decided to celebrate muggle the way.”

“That’s lovely of him,” Mum said, pushing the mug towards him and giving me a small smile, “how is James?”

“His Mum’s really sick,” I answered, “he’s been visiting them a lot in hospital. Me too. He’s good though. James is strong.”

“Yeah?” Mum asked, sitting down opposite me and picking up her glass of wine again. “He seemed lovely.”

“He is,” I returned, taking a sip of my tea, “he really is lovely, Mum. He’s much too nice to me.”

“That’s good,” Mum said, “I think you should always feel like that.”

“Is that how it was with Dad?”

“All relationships start like that. Have you argued yet?”

“No,” I answered, taking another sip of tea, “we’re too damn exhausted to argue.”

“School tough?”

I nodded. She reached out and brushed her fingers on my hands. I close my eyes for a split second.

“Mum?” Petunia’s voice asked from the doorway. She stepped into the kitchen and he froze, her gaze fixed on my face.

“Lily’s home!” Mum said, standing up and beaming. “Lily’s come back home for her birthday!”

*

The second mum left the room Petunia’s eyes narrowed and her thin fingers curled around the edge of her cup (coffee, not tea, it was like she relearnt all her habits to be as dissimilar to me as possible). I swallowed. It was now or never.

“You didn’t answer my letter.”

“I don’t want to talk to you.” Petunia spat back, her voice hushed as to not get the attention of her Mum. Neither of us particularly enjoyed upsetting her and as much as we liked to score points of each other, verbally abusing each other within her earshot was not something we were prepared to do anymore.

“If she’s drinking then it’s my right to know about it.”

“No, Lily, no it’s not! You disappear off to some stupid school for the half of the year transfiguring rats, or whatever it it’s you do that freak school and you come home and expect the world to have stopped and waited for you. It’s nothing to do with you anymore.”

“Petunia,” I retorted, leaning forwards and glaring at her, “she’s my Mum.”

“I don’t care,” Petunia spat in return, “you’re never here.”

“I’m here right now.”

“And?” Petunia retorted. “So you want to play happy families because it’s your birthday, fine. But the second you’re out of the damn school do you think you’re going to come back here?”

“Yes.”

“And if you do then you’ll probably get us all killed by those bloody maniacs you’ve told me about. Go marry that bloody James Potter and leave us alone.” Petunia bent her neck down that we were both on the same level, glaring at each other over the kitchen table.

“I want to be involved.”

“You just mess everything up,” Petunia returned, “always making it more difficult for Mum by disappearing for months at a time -”

“That’s not my fault!”

“Well it’s not mine either!” Petunia’s voice increased in volume. “But that doesn’t stop it from being me who has to listen to Mum rambling on about bloody charms, or whatever is you’ve mentioned in your last letter for hours on end because she’s so worried about you. Falling apart every time you leave again, because she can’t stand the thought of loosing you. You didn’t even notice she wasn’t okay!”

Yes I did.” I said, feeling moisture and anger build up in my eyes. I had been worried. I could stand to look at the way she was aging, the way she seemed to have gotten smaller since my father had died and maybe I hadn’t known why, but I’d known something was wrong.

“Save your excuses,” Petunia said primly, setting up straight and taking a delicate sip of her coffee, “but I’m not going to respond to your letters just because it eases your conscience.”

“I wanted to know if she was okay!”

“Well, so do I.” Petunia said.

Mum’s footsteps were coming back down the stairs again.

Please, Petunia.” She shook her head, pulling her arms around herself and closing me off. “For God’s sake, just because you’re jealous that -”

“Oh, fuck off.”

“Here we go!” Mum said brightly, pushing open the door and stepping back in the kitchen with the photo album she’d left to retrieve. We forced smiles back onto our faces and poured over my baby photos, but my heart was still beating loudly in my chest.

I couldn’t’ remember Petunia ever swearing at me before. Not really. She’d call me names, make me look like an idiot, even given me Chinese burns but... the words felt so loud and harsh and... I swallowed.

I needed to do something to prove her wrong. I needed something to go right today.

I left half an hour later and apparated into town. My head was still rushing with the sound of the swear word (it seemed almost ironic that I’d used the same line on Sirius only this morning, but it sounded a million times worse from my sister’s pristine lips). I needed to do something on impulse. I needed to celebrate my eighteenth birthday properly.

I caught sight of the sign out of the corner of my eye. And then I was wondering why I’d never thought of it before.

*

By the time I pushed open the door to the Gryffindor Common Room my eighteenth birthday party had subsided to the Marauders, sans James, sitting a little too close to the fire with multiple bottles of near-empty alcohol and looking to be in some transitory phase between being tipsy and acting like first class idiots.

“Lily!” Remus declared as I arrived, holding up a bottle of something suspicious and nodding at the empty spot on the floor. “Happy Birthday.”

I walked over and took the bottle, taking a swig and sitting down with my legs crossed.

“Hey, Lily,” Sirius muttered, nudging me with his shoulders to catch my attention, “sorry.”

“Whatever,” I muttered, taking another drink, “no, really Sirius it’s fine. Forget it. Let’s just move on. Where’s James?”

“Wasted,” Peter said appreciatively, “went upstairs a bit ago to sleep it off before you got back, I think.”

“You weren’t as long as we thought you’d be.” Remus said, with that normal knowing expression across his features. It was still hard for me to connect my perception of werewolves – usually from muggle novels – to Remus Lupin and I found myself staring at him for a few seconds too long.

“Oh, yeah,” I added hurriedly, looking down at the bottle in my hands and forcing a slightly smile, “I had a bit of an argument with Petunia and then... stormed off, a bit. I only lasted a couple of hours.”

“Stuck up bitch,” Sirius said, stretching out his feet and leaning back on his elbows, “why does everyone have such shit relatives?”

“Not everyone does.” I countered. I was thinking of James. Of his mother, still in hospital slowly recovering – and doing pretty well, actually – and his father sleeping on the most comfortable seat he could conjure up for three days straight so he didn’t have to leave her bedside.

“We do,” Sirius said, taking another swig out of his bottle, “got a lot in common, you and I.”

“Don’t get all sentimental on me, Sirius. Save it for my thirtieth.” I answered, draining the last of the bottle and placing in back on the floor, “birthdays are sort of shit, aren’t they? They’re supposed to be good, then people just act like their normal shitty selves -”

“Hey, Evans, it’s not often that I apologise. Accept it and move on, will you?”

“The world doesn’t revolve around you, Black,” I muttered with an eye roll, “I was more referring to my bloody sister. And my stupid mother. Eurgh, nothing’s ever simple.”

“Don’t get all angsty on us now,” Sirius said, now lying back completely on the carpet and not bothering to open another bottle, “save it for James.”

“Yeah, I think I will.” I said, taking another bottle and taking another drink, “did he at least hang out with you guys for a little bit?”

“Don’t sweat it, Lily,” Remus said, again with the usual way he just seemed to know things, “he’s been staying up late so we all still talk, anyway. James is far too loyal to push anyone out. He’ll just wear himself out by trying to find time for everyone.”

“Sounds about right,” I agreed, placing the bottle back down, “I’m going to go talk to him, then.”

“Don’t take advantage,” Sirius piped up from the floor, “he’s young and impressionable and too damn drunk to know any better.”

I kicked him. Hard.

I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to not want to murder Sirius for a long period of time, but quite frankly it wasn’t worth the argument. He was a surly, judging bastard but, well, the rather abstract concept of his heart was in the right place.

Anyway, I didn’t have enough time or energy to be really mad at anyone at the moment. Petunia was using most of that up, right this second. I didn’t think I was even mad at Snape anymore.

 I pushed open the door to the boy’s dormitory pondering on the fact that it was so damn natural now. This time last year I don’t think I’d ever been in the boy’s dormitory – maybe once.

“James,” I muttered, “Peter said you were wasted.”

He was asleep. He looked all sweet and angelic and I stopped for a minute and watched him. All of this was certainly too much for us to handle: the war, Head duties, school, trying to make time for each other and our friends. It was strange. The unquestionable need to balance made me feel old.

I sat down on the edge of the bed and kissed James on the cheek, adding a poke for a good measure to wake him properly. He started slightly reaching out for my hand and pulling me towards him slightly.

“I did something that might make you mad,” I told him, “so, if you’re really drunk I might tell you now.”

“I’m not drunk,” James said, opening his eyes and pulling me onto the bed next to him, “I’m just exhausted. I wanted a nap. You’ve been wearing me out, Evans.”

I sighed, slipping my hand through his and looking up at the canopy of his bed: with NEWTs, learning spells on the side with the others and Head duties I certainly wasn’t having trouble sleeping, and I could only imagine what extra Quidditch Captain duties on top of that might be doing to James.

“I stopped to enjoy a couple of minutes of my party,” I added, “thanks, James.”

“So, what did you do to make me mad?” James grinned, turning over onto his side and leaning on my shoulder.

“Just...”

“Ah, Evans – don’t keep things from me.”

“I thought everyone was allowed a secret.” I countered, the shame of the fact that I knew his secret and he didn’t know I knew creeping up my flesh.

“You were going to tell me before.”

“You’d probably find out eventually,” I sighed, sitting up and biting my lip, “so, because it’s my eighteenth birthday... I got a tattoo.”

“A tattoo?” James asked, sitting up and blinking at me. A grin slipped onto his features.

“I wanted to make a statement,” I said, slipping my hands round his neck, “and well, like you said eighteenth birthdays are supposed to be the big ones for muggles so, well, I wanted to mark that and then Petunia pissed me off so I just...”

“Got a tattoo?”

“Yeah,” I breathed, my face flushing slightly, “and I love it.”

“Good,” James muttered, “because otherwise you’ve got a bit of a problem.”

“I still think you’re going to be mad,” I said, standing up and pulling off my tights. James gave me a look, “don’t get excited; I’m not undressing.”

“You look like you’re undressing.” James countered.

“You want to see it, right?” I asked, pulling my skirt down over my hips and beginning to feel self conscious. “Wait, I’m scared you won’t like it.”

“No complaints so far.” James grinned.

I dropped the skirt, feeling even more ridiculous.

“That was anticlimactic,” I said, “I forgot about the bandage.” I sat on the bed, unwrapping the bandage off my right thigh. James distracted me by leaning forwards and kissing the side of my lips, and I got caught up for a moment with one hand pulling him closer and the other still hovering over the bandages.

James paused and took away the rest of the bandage, and having his gaze son concentrated on my upper thigh was slightly strange, but then I looked too and the feeling of strength that I’d felt as I’d walked into the tattoo place stirring up in my stomach.

Mudblood.” James read, twisting his hand into the material of my shirt as he strained forward to take another look.

It was simple. Just the one word, plain black font: mudblood.

“Are you mad, then?” I asked. James had always hated my acceptance of the name, but I liked it being seared onto my skin: a brand that I could wear with pride.

“No,” James said, as I flipped my legs fully onto the bed, “I like it.” James said, glancing up at me for a second before reaching out, almost tentatively, to touch the swollen skin. Half of my body wanted to cringe away from the touch and the rest wanted to fall into it, but the slight sting made me clamp my jaw shut. “Sorry,” James added, “does it really hurt?”

“Not really,” I swallowed, “it’s like a sunburn.”

James kissed me again, holding me up with the hand on my hip and pushing me down with the weight of chest pressed against my body.

“You’re incredible.” James muttered into my skin and I was becoming acutely aware that I was only wearing pants – something which, really, I should have thought about before I let him start kissing me. Perhaps we were taking it in turns to be slightly underdressed in silly situations. Except this time, James didn’t need to go anywhere and Sirius wasn’t about to walk in.

And I only had my freaking pants on.

When the tension between James holding me up and pushing me down was resolved by me being fallen on by the former mentioned James Potter, and in doing so pinned down on his bed (and, honestly, I don’t know how I ended up in these sort of situations), he pulled away and looked at me seriously.

“So, what did Petunia say to make you go and get a tattoo?”

I looked at him: beautiful James Potter with his eyes and his messed up hair, his stupid sense of humour and his pratness – and I realised that I didn’t want to think about Petunia, or the Slytherins, or Voldemort, or anyone, really, because I could be quite content just thinking about him for the rest of forever.

“We can talk later.” I muttered, wrapping my arms around his neck and bringing his lips crashing back towards mine.





Oh hey everyone, how's it going? I hope you all enjoyed the chapter and stuffs... and thanks once again for a really lovely TAOS month last month! And thank you so much for being such incredible reviewers and, yeah, I love you guys to pieces.  We're nearing the end of Saving Grace month right now. Muggle Studies/All the Abstract Nouns up next, so you should check them out if you're bored or something. I like you all a lot. And reviews. I like those too :D


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