Chapter 3 : The Truth Comes Out
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The Art of Awkwardness
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. They are all property of J.K. Rowling, and I am in no way trying to steal them.
In a student’s life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as one got older, the days when there was no homework assigned for the night became fewer and fewer, much to the students’ disdain. Furthermore, if it wasn’t homework assigned, there was some sort of huge exam to study for, or a project due in the near future. That wasn’t to say that the young witches and wizards were constantly doing work, but there were few nights when a student was completely free to do what he or she pleased.
Tonight was one of those cherished nights for several select Seventh Year students. Lily Evans was one of these students, and thankful for it. Now, although there was no way of knowing who all had the same joy that she did that evening, but she had a feeling people were doing all kinds of odd things with their free time—swimming in the lake before it got too cold, sneaking off to remote parts of the castle, have romantic dinners… She, on the other hand, was reading. Many would reprimand Ms. Evans for such behavior, but she would politely point out that she was not reading any kind of school book, but instead, a nice piece of fiction. She would also say (again, oh so politely) that those people should leave her alone to her reading, because it was what she enjoyed and that they were simply being bothersome.
Lily was reveling in this small read-a-thon contentedly in the Gryffindor Common Room, which was slowly becoming increasingly empty as the night wore on. Of course, she was paying no attention to this, far too caught up in her book to notice people coming in and out. It wasn’t until she heard a great clock chime midnight when she looked up and realized that not only was the fire almost completely burnt out, but that she was alone. Laughing a bit to herself, she set her book on her lap with a long yawn, deciding that she should probably go to bed before it got too late.
It was at that moment when she heard a bang outside the Common Room before the portrait flew open and three rambunctious boys clambered in. Sirius was the first, who literally tripped in and stumbled across the ground with a loud guffaw before falling completely down. Next, was James, almost equally as disoriented, and finally, Remus walked in. His composure was quite different from the other two, and rather than falling over his feet, he was walking quite normally with a rather bored look on his face.
“I can’t believe we lost Peeeteer!!!” Sirius yelled, his slurred voice echoing several times through the Common Room.
“Shhhhhhhh!” James scolded, holding his finger in front of his mouth before laughing loudly. Well, she’d be damned…
They were drunk.
Raising her eyebrows, Lily watched this display with little amusement from her chair. They hadn’t seemed to notice her just yet. Sirius was still on the ground, and it was less than a minute later when he completely passed out. Looking up, she saw Remus roll his eyes and look over to James, who had noticed Lily.
“Lily!” he called, throwing his hands up in the air, a grin on his face before covering his mouth quickly, shushing himself loudly once more.
“Lily…” Remus said with a sigh of relief. As James stumbled over to her, Remus grabbed both of Sirius’ hands and began dragging him towards the stairs. “Can you just…Watch him while I get Sirius up here? I’ll only be a minute.”
Before she could answer, he was dragging Sirius up the stairs, which looked quite painful, to say the least. He’d surely feel that in the morning… After a few moments, James’ head obstructed her view as he jumped in front of her, clearly quite excited to see her.
“Lilykins!” he hollered, at which point she stood up slowly, gently leading him over to the couch to sit down.
“Sh, James…” she said gently, sighing slightly. He wouldn’t remember this the next morning. She might as well be nice. “It’s late, everyone’s asleep.”
“I know!” James exclaimed. Suddenly, his eyes widened as he realized again that he was loud, and whispered quietly, “Sorry... See, we were out at Hogsmeade—…”
“You’re not allowed there if it’s not a scheduled trip,” Lily interrupted with another sigh.
“I know! That’s why it’s so cool! See, we went undergrooouuunnd!” he continued to whisper with a giggle that was quite uncharacteristic of him.
With a small raise of her eyebrow, Lily said, “Okay…” He was probably just rambling and making things up.
“And we went to Zonko’s and then Honeydukes and then the Three Broomsticks!”
“You didn’t drink, did you?” Lily asked in exasperation, though she already knew that answer.
“See, we didn’t drink so to speak… See, Madame Rosmerta is just so nice to us, and she gave us this Firewhiskey. I wouldn’t say that was drinking really. Just…” After a long pause, where James seemed to be contemplating just what consuming Firewhiskey was, he continued with a frown. “Okay…I think that is drinking, actually.”
“What in the world could persuade you to drink your body weight in alcohol?” Lily demanded with a frown.
“It wasn’t my body weight! I think Sirius and I shared a bottle…” Holding up his hands, measuring how tall the bottle was, he continued. “I don’t think that’s my body weight. I’m a lot bigger than that.” Pausing for several seconds, he stared at her, and then realized that she had asked a question and jumped a bit. “Oh! Yeah. So, first it was that we lost that first Quidditch game of Seventh year which kind of sort of really sucks, and then it was that Sirius failed his first Potions exam, which isn’t really out of the ordinary because he fails everything, and then it was that you had yelled at me about being Head Boy and then I asked you out really really really nicely and you said no.”
They shared several seconds of silence as they merely stared at each other, unable to speak.
“…Why do you care, James?” Lily asked finally, confusion lacing her features.
“Because I worked sooo hard over the summer to make you like me and I took lessons and learned how to be a good person and Remus worked really hard too to help me and…”
Before he could finish this quite long run-on sentence, Lily interrupted him.
“You worked over the summer to be better so that I would like you?” she asked slowly, feeling her stomach begin to knot up.
“Yeah,” he said simply with a shrug, lying down across the couch so that his head was lying on Lily’s lap. He looked quite comfortable, really, especially after he closed his eyes contentedly. Lily, on the other hand, looked rather surprised and nearly jumped, though restrained herself. “Why don’t you like me, Lily?” he asked suddenly, and for a moment, she almost forgot that he was insanely drunk. Speaking of which, where the hell was Remus?
For once, she couldn’t come up with anything, though. She couldn’t say that he was egotistical, because he wasn’t anymore. He didn’t hex people randomly, and he didn’t tease her or anyone else. He worked in his classes, and did polite things like open doors for her and smile kindly in the halls when they passed each other. He had changed, and she hadn’t noticed at all until now.
“I…I do like you…” she said finally, letting her fingers play with his unruly hair gently, telling herself over and over that he would never remember this.
“Then why won’t you let me be your boyfriend?” he asked simply, his eyes staying contentedly closed.
“Because…I just… I…” With a gulp, Lily closed her eyes for a moment as she composed herself, trying to come up with a response. Instead, she asked him, “Why do you like me so much, James?”
Finally, his eyes opened and he sat up slowly, staring at her. “How could I not?” he asked her, completely serious. For a moment, she forgot he was even intoxicated. “You’re so smart and nice and your hair is so pretty and your eyes sparkle and your freckles make shapes on your arms and you have long fingers and you always know the answers to questions and when you smile, you mean it.” He had said all of these things in one breath, listing them off as if they had always been stored there in his brain, waiting to be said. “You’re perfect. And I know you’ll say you’re not, because that’s how nice you are, but you are.”
She kept having to remind herself that he was drunk and that he couldn’t mean what he was saying, but hadn’t she been told that people say the things they mean the most, good or bad, when they’re drunk? That when they can’t sort through the things they want to keep to themselves and the things they want to say to the world, you get to know the most about them? Letting out a sigh, she closed her eyes as he rested his head against her legs once more, closing his eyes once again.
“I’m sorry, James… For being so awful.” The words were soft and gentle and somehow, she didn’t feel disgusted by her words.
She waited almost an entire minute for an answer, before she heard gentle snoring and realized that he was out. Leaning her head back against the couch, she tried to calm herself as Remus began to walk down.
“I am so sorry, Lily. He started running around and waking up everyone and was throwing stuff out the window. I had to—…” Stopping, he saw James lying there on Lily’s lap and he laughed halfheartedly. “I hope he wasn’t too bad. I tried to stop him from drinking so much, but I turned my head for just a minute and they had downed an entire bottle. Merlin, I hate being the sober, responsible one sometimes,” he joked with a smile. Walking over, he dragged James off of the couch, shaking his head. “Someone’s going to have a headache in the morning…” he muttered, before turning back to Lily. “Have a good night. Thanks for watching him.”
Lily said nothing through all of this, and merely stood up as Remus began dragging James up the stairs as well. Even as they disappeared out of sight, she continued stand there, staring at the empty staircase as if they were still there. Over and over, she told herself that he wouldn’t remember what happened, and that what they said would go with her to her grave. It was only when the clock struck twelve thirty when she hurried up to her dorm, wishing desperately that she could have a drink as well.
Hah…Hah. Well, I was sitting here tonight, wanting to add something to the story, but I couldn’t come up with anything, so… Here it is! A nice, lovely drunk James. Hope you all enjoyed it. I would really appreciate reviews, and I decided that if you have any spectacular ideas on how Lily and James could share an awkward moment together, I’d love to hear from you! Please email me any ideas at with a title of “Idea” or something of the like so that I know it’s not junk. Don’t forget to include your fanfiction username, or, if you are not registered, any name you’d like to be called. If I use the idea, I will, of course, give you credit. I think that’s all. Thanks for reading, everyone.
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