Chapter 1 : Call Me Lily
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Summary: One-shot. James stumbles across an intoxicated Lily one night in Hogsmeade. Could this be the event that brings them together?
AN: Hello! Oh man, I know I probably really shouldn’t have done this since I still need to work on my other story, but I got the idea and just couldn’t pass it up. This is my first attempt at a one-shot, so...that’s my excuse! Haha. It’s completely silly, but it was really fun to write, and I just hope you guys enjoy it. :) Please know that I am not condoning underage drinking and as always, please remember to drink responsibly. Okay, that’s it! Enjoy!
James could hardly believe his eyes. No. There was no way Lily bloody Evans was slouched over across the bar in the Three Broomsticks…completely smashed. He refused to believe it.
The red haired girl lifted her head at the sound of her name, her forehead taking a napkin with it. The white paper partially covered her eyes, and she looked around wildly for a moment.
James stepped forward and slowly plucked the napkin off to be met with the green, albeit slightly dazed looking, eyes of the one and only Lily Evans. Yep. It was definitely her. He wasn’t dreaming or in some weird dimension where happening upon a drunk Evans was a commonplace occurrence or indeed a possible one after all.
“Oh. S’you. Pot—” hic “—Potter.”
James gaped at her. “Are you drunk?!”
Lily made a face at him as though she had just bitten into a lemon.
“Pffff….no!” she said, waving a hand in dismissal wildly and nearly smacking him in the face with it in the process. “I’ve never been—“ hic “—drunk in my life.”
She started giggling then, as if she had just said something quite hilarious. James continued to gape at her and turned his head to take in the many empty shot glasses that littered the bar top before her. He picked one up and sniffed.
Firewhiskey. Go figure.
“Bloody…how many of these did you have?” he asked incredulously, his mind still refusing to believe that perfect Prefect Evans was utterly intoxicated.
Lily frowned and peered suspiciously at the small glass in James’ hand as though she suspected it of some wrongdoing. She seemed to think hard for a moment before replying.
“Eleventeen,” she said finally, giving a curt nod and looking slightly pleased with herself.
James cocked an eyebrow, amused despite himself. “Eleventeen? That is neither a word nor a number, love.”
“Course ‘tis. Comes right after…er…” she paused, obviously trying her damnedest to figure out what came before ‘eleventeen’.
“Blasted number disappeared,” she mumbled finally in disappointment. “And don’t you call me…that…Pot—“ hic “--Potter.”
“Right,” he sighed as he ran a hand through his hair, looking around.
The place was nearly empty. Night was fast approaching and most of the students had returned to Hogwarts already. And if James hadn’t forgotten his blasted scarf he would be there already as well. He had come into The Three Broomsticks in search of it, though he now felt stupid for doing so seeing as how he hadn’t even come in here earlier.
Instead he’d found a drunk Evans. Fancy that.
Padfoot is not going to believe this…he thought to himself. I don’t even believe it…
“Alright, come on. Let’s get you back to school,” he said, taking her arm with a sigh. “Can you walk?”
“Course I can…” she said. Lily stood and took one wobbly step before she started to topple over.
“Whoa!” James said as he caught and steadied her. “Careful, love…”
“I’m okay,” she said with a loud laugh, swaying slightly. “And don’t call me that.”
James ignored this and kept a hand on her arm. She shrugged him off and tried taking yet another wobbly step, this time falling against one of the barstools.
This wasn’t going to work.
Ignoring her words of protest, James grabbed one of her arms and threw it over his shoulders, wrapping his own arm around her waist. Under normal circumstances, this would be a dream come true for him, but given her current state it was hard to enjoy it very much. Lily was a handful sober…he could only imagine what she was like when she had eleventeen shots of Firewhiskey in her.
In an attempt to keep Lily awake (but more to get rid of the awkwardness of this very strange situation), James decided to try and get her to talk.
“So, you wanna tell me what drove you to drown yourself in Firewhiskey, of all things?” he asked as they walked unsteadily out the door. He kept a firm grip on her.
Lily made the lemon face again. “That stupid Melinda whassername girl. Did you know that I caught her snogging Brian Riggs in the girl’s lavatory? Honestly…hic…the nerve of some people…”
“You drank eleventeen shots of Firewhiskey because Melinda Stephens was snogging someone in the loo?” he asked incredulously.
“Pffff…..no. And how do you know her last name?” she asked, tilting her head back to stare at him suspiciously. The movement upset her balance, and she would have fallen backwards if James hadn’t caught her.
“Whoa! Easy there, love,” he said as he straightened her next to him.
Lily paid no attention to the fact that she had almost toppled over and continued walking next to him, the same suspicious look in her eyes.
“Don’t call me that,” she mumbled. Her eyes widened quite suddenly then, however, and she gasped while pointing an accusing finger at him. “You like her, don’t you! I knew it!”
“What?” he asked, thoroughly confused.
“You do. You like Melinda whassername. Bet you wished it was you in that loo with her…”
James stared at the red head as though she were insane. “It’s Stephens. And no, I don’t like her. She’s on the Quidditch team for Merlin’s sake…Just because I know her last name does not mean I have a crush on her.”
Lily continued on as though she hadn’t heard this. “I knew it. I hope you…hic…know what you’re getting into Potter.”
James sighed. “And why is that?”
Lily halted her steps and James had to reach out to steady her swaying form as he too stopped. She looked around and leaned in conspiratorially towards him.
“Because,” she began, pausing a moment. “She’s a whore.”
She whispered this last word, giving him a significant and all-knowing look. James was trying his absolute hardest not to laugh, but was failing miserably at it. Lily stared at him in confusion for a second before apparently just then realizing what it was she had said. Her eyes widened and she slapped her hands over her mouth.
“Oh my God! I just called Melinda Stewart a whore!” she screeched, horrorstruck and apparently forgetting the need to keep her voice low.
“Shhh! Bloody hell woman, keep your voice down!” James hushed quickly. “And it’s Stephens.”
Lily automatically began tearing up to James’ complete and utter horror. “Oh no! Do you think she’ll hate me now?” Tears welled up in her eyes and she looked about ready to burst.
“No, no, no, no…don’t cry…Oh bugger. It’s all right, love, she doesn’t know you called her a whore,” James said hurriedly in a soothing tone. This, however, did nothing to appease Lily.
“I don’t want her to hate me! She’s my best friend!” she wailed, the tears now spilling onto her flushed cheeks.
James groaned and ran a hand through his hair once again. He knew very well that Lily and Melinda were anything but ‘best friends.’ There’s Firewhiskey for you. He went into a sort of male panic then when Lily’s tears turned into a sobbing.
“Oh no…no, shhh, it’s okay. She doesn’t hate you, all right? I know for a fact she doesn’t. You’re still best friends…oh god, please stop crying, Evans…”
Lily sniffed and stared at him with her large, sad green eyes. James could have sworn he felt his heart break a little at the sight.
“R-really?” she sniffed again.
“Yes. For Merlin’s sake…yes, love,” he breathed, willing to do or say anything if it meant she’d calm down and stop crying.
Lily cast her eyes down to the earth and swayed slightly as they stood in the middle of the street. James still had a hold on her arm. An eternity seemed to go by before she spoke again.
“Don’t call me that,” she mumbled in a still watery voice.
James heaved an inner sigh of relief; just glad she had finally stopped crying. Careful not to disturb her pacified state, he gently placed an arm around her and slowly pushed her forward once again. Maybe it was better not to ask her any more questions, he thought to himself.
A moment of silence fell over the both of them as they made their way slowly back to school. The stars were starting to come out and there was a warm breeze playing across both of their faces. Lily’s hair whipped around her, and James caught a whiff of its flowery scent. She always smelled so wonderful. Even when she should reek of Firewhiskey she smelled wonderful…
James was ripped from his dangerous thoughts about the girl next to him at the sound of her small voice. He berated himself inwardly for getting so lost in them.
“Yeah?” he asked.
Lily kept her eyes downward, watching her feet as they walked over the grass. She said nothing for a while, and James wondered briefly if she had forgotten she had been about to ask him something. But she broke the silence once more before he could say anything.
“Am I fun?”
“What?” he asked.
Lily frowned, her eyes still downcast. “Am I…a fish in the mud?”
“I think you mean a ‘stick in the mud,’” he offered gently.
“Yeah, that’s the one,” she said dejectedly.
James sighed and suddenly this situation was starting to make sense. “Is that what Melinda said?”
Lily nodded slowly and sniffed. “She got mad when I…hic…gave her a detention and said some really awful things about me. She said they were just having fun and that I probably didn’t even know what fun was and that I probably had never had fun in my entire life. She said, ‘I’ll bet you don’t even know what Firewhiskey tastes like,’ and I said, ‘Of course I know what it tastes like,’ but it was a lie,” she said, whispering the last word to him. “That’s why I tried it tonight. I wanted to show her that I could have fun too…I’m not a fish in the mud. Right James?”
James came to a complete and sudden halt.
Unfortunately for Lily, this meant her anchor was left behind as she continued to stumble forward, so it didn’t take very long at all for her to topple over to the grass below.
“Bloody hell!” James exclaimed, coming out of his trance and rushing to her side. “Are you all right love?” he asked hurriedly, inwardly cursing himself for allowing her to fall.
He’d just been so surprised when she had called him by his first name. Never, in the many years he had known Lily Evans, had she ever called him anything but ‘Potter’ or ‘stupid git’ or even the occasional ‘thick-headed prat.’ Never. Granted, she was completely smashed, but that didn’t make it have any less of an effect on him. How many times had he secretly longed to hear her say his name?
Figures it would happen for the first time in a situation like this one, he thought morosely.
James once again broke from these thoughts as he was reminded of the fact that Lily was still sprawled out on the grass before him. And laughing hysterically.
“Did you…hic…see that? I went down like…BOOM!” she said, gasping for air between her laughter. The bright sound echoed around the grounds of Hogwarts, and James couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped from his throat.
“Yes, love. Boom,” he laughed as he helped her to her feet once more.
Lily seemed to have forgotten her objections to being called ‘love,’ for her only response to this was a beaming smile sent in his direction. James saw it and immediately felt his cheeks blush and his heart give an extra beat.
If he thought he was in trouble when it came to Evans before, it was nothing compared to what he was feeling at that moment. He had to resist every urge and instinct in his body that were screaming at him to just take her beautiful, smiling face in his hands and kiss her senseless. But he knew that was out of the question.
Why, why, why did she have to be bloody smashed? It wasn’t fair…
“Come on. Time to get you into bed,” James sighed, breaking eye contact.
Lily said nothing more, just nodded in agreement as James led her through the entrance doors. They climbed up through the castle, meeting no one in the halls, which James was exceedingly grateful for. It wasn’t difficult to tell that Lily was intoxicated, and he knew how quickly rumors spread. If anyone had a reputation to uphold it was Lily Evans. She’d thank him for that later.
If she even remembers, that is…
With as much stealth as a guy with a drunken girl in tow could muster, James led Lily through the portrait hole and into the Gryffindor common room incident free. He thanked Merlin that it was around dinnertime, which meant the room was deserted. They paused at the foot of the stairs leading to the girls’ dormitories, and for a moment he was at a loss as to how to proceed.
Sirius and him had figured out how to counter the protection spell on the stairs back in third year. It had come in handy when playing pranks on the Gryffindor girls, none of whom knew just how they managed to do it, or indeed who the culprits were at all. And Evans definitely didn’t know about their secret. She’d have their heads if she did.
But he needed to get her to bed. There was no way she’d make it up the stairs unassisted. She’d fall in a second and probably break her neck in the process. He shot a quick glance at the red head next to him, struggling inwardly for a moment. Her head was lolling slightly and she seemed about ready to pass out. Should he risk it?
He took another look at the stairs before him and heaved a sigh. He’d have too. They couldn’t stand there all night, and there was no way he was leaving her in the common room for everyone to see. At least if he got her into her bed he could just tell people she wasn’t feeling well and fell asleep or something. Chances are she wouldn’t remember anyways…
He murmured the spell softly as he pointed his wand at the stairs and quickly looked to see if she had noticed. Her eyes were still half closed and she seemed unaware of her surroundings. So far so good…
To save time, James bent down and hooked an arm behind Lily’s knees, lifting her with minimum effort. She gave a small yelp of surprise as he did so, which he ignored as he climbed the steps.
“Where are we…hic…going?” she asked, her head falling backwards every now and then despite her efforts to keep it upright.
“I’m taking you to your bed so you can sleep it off,” he said calmly.
“Sleep what off?” she asked before giggling suddenly for no apparent reason.
“That,” James replied matter-of-factly, mostly to himself.
He entered Lily’s room with her in his arms and crossed over to what he knew was her bed. Gently, he laid her down on the soft surface and pulled the covers up and over her. She gave little resistance to this. In fact, she seemed to doze off the minute her head hit the pillow. He smiled at the sight and reached out to brush a few strands of her red hair from her face.
He sighed and turned to go, but was stopped by the unexpected sound of her small voice.
“So you don’t like Melinda Stanley, then?”
James turned round a few feet from the bed and saw that Lily was quite awake as she stared at him, looking tiny beneath the covers of her bed. He gave her a half-smile and dug his hands into his pockets.
“No. I don’t like Melinda Stanley,” he told her, grinning. “As a matter of fact, I happen to be quite fond of someone else…”
“Is she pretty?” Lily asked, turning on her side to face him. She looked ready to fall asleep again, but seemed to be making an effort to stay awake.
James stared at her for a moment. Her red hair sprawled across the pillowcase around her, resembling dancing flames in the dim light of the room. Her large eyes stared up at him shyly, looking more green and vibrant than he had ever remembered seeing them. They were shining with innocence and that catlike curiosity he secretly loved about her. He smiled again.
“She’s beautiful,” he whispered in reply.
Lily seemed to think about this for a second, never breaking eye contact with him.
“Is she fun?” she asked quietly.
“Increasingly,” he said, grinning now.
She bit her lip as a small smile formed across her face. Her eyelids drooped slightly as she gave a small yawn.
“Get some rest, love,” James said softly to her, turning round again to go. He had gotten as far as the door when her voice stopped him once more.
He felt his heart stop and turned around to face her.
“Yeah?” he managed to choke out.
She stared at him in silence for a moment. Then…
“It’s Lily. Call me Lily.”
He felt his heart swell at those words. It was not a command. Just a soft suggestion, but said with all the sincerity he needed to be able to obey.
She was asleep not a moment later. James could hear her soft, steady breathing from where he still stood in the doorway. He watched her in silence and smiled slowly as he walked out of the room.
He knew he shouldn’t be feeling the immense crush of happiness that was surging through his very soul right now. There was a chance…a good chance…that Lily would remember none of this tomorrow. That she would revert to calling him ‘Potter’ and ‘stupid git’ once more as though nothing had happened. That he would never again hear his name escape from her soft lips. That he’d get a slap in the face if he even dared call her by her first name.
But maybe…just maybe…things would be different from now on. Perhaps this was the end of Potter and Evans. Perhaps this was the start of something new. He grinned as he made his way to his own bed, collapsing upon it with a sigh.
One could only hope…
AN: Well there you have it! Thanks for reading! I would LOVE reviews if you’re willing to give them. They really make my day. :) Hugs!
Oh, and just a side-note, I made Melinda Stephens and Brian Riggs up. They are not canon, but were needed for the purposes of my story. Thanks!