Chapter 1 : The Finish Line
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All I have is this image in my brain, this picture of a beautiful redhead, something I can’t let go of…
“Now that you’re not half-dying,” James mutters, waving his spoon around wildly as an indication of my state of being before flopping down on the couch.
I’d showed up that night, bleeding and panting, barely able to stand: the night I ran away.
“I wasn’t even half-dying to begin with,” I grumble, waving my own spoon back at him, “Just shut up and get the fire going.”
He flicks his wand lazily at the dead fireplace, and it instantly crackles to life. I shake my head, grinning from ear-to-ear, before sitting next to him. He spins the cap off of his sixteen ounce jar of peanut butter, dips his spoon in, and returns with a mountain of peanut butter. I laugh at him as he sticks the spoon in his mouth, but it’s all in good humor considering I’m about to do the same.
“So, like, what happened?” James asks after a few moments of silent eating.
I snort through my butterbeer at his nonchalant response before shrugging, “I dunno, mate. Guess I just blew a top, had enough, and was out the door. Well, I mean, I was trying to get out the door when my mom tackled me.”
“She tackled you?” James says, stunned.
“Yea, my exact expression. I almost didn’t get up. I was just like, what the hell just happened? Am I really awake right now? Are we sure I’m not dreaming? Cos I totally thought I was.”
“She tackled you,” he repeats before doubling over with a hearty laughing bout.
I just shove him before going back to my peanut butter. This is not uncommon for us. I remember the first time we discovered this unusual trait in each other, James packed half his trunk full of jars. We finished half of that that year. We usually were up late, talking and giving advice, scheming and just being blood brothers.
“So, what now?”
“Disowned. Like Andy,” I grumble, shrugging again, “But whatever. Have you spoken to Remus this summer?”
“Here and there. He’s coming to visit next week, actually.”
And so we sit like that, spooning peanut butter, sipping butterbeer, and talking. Sometimes, we delve into the darker realms, sometimes we get a little mushy, and sometimes we just talk about this girl or that. It’s hours upon hours later, when the sun is almost rising, that I finally finish my jar, six butterbeers later, and I cap the empty jar, sit back, and drape my arms over the back of the couch.
James is still eating when I sigh.
“You know you’re my best friend, James, right?”
“Yea, of course.”
“Thanks, mate. I really appreciate you taking me in.”
“Hey, I think we just clarified I was your best friend, stupid. That’s what best friends do.”
“Sometimes, I’d like to punch you.”
“Yea, but, y’know, you love me.”
“I do, indeed.”
Every time I close my eyes, all I can see is her, all I can feel is her, and I nearly cry, every single night I dream…
Remus clears his throat. He and I are still inside the Shrieking Shack. James bailed early because he had a breakfast date with Lily, and Peter is either sleeping on some corner still or has already left.
“You okay?” I ask delicately, arching an eyebrow as he shrugs into his jacket.
He laughs, low and humorlessly, and I frown.
“Moony, you know it’s okay,” I mutter, stepping toward him.
He flinches, stepping away, and I sigh. Though my face is still tender from where he scratched me last night, I don’t really care. It’s not as if we haven’t rough housed before. I’ve had plenty of black eyes and questionable marks from James and Remus before. It doesn’t bother me.
But he still shrugs and turns away.
I sigh, arching an eyebrow at him, “Remus, you’re one of my best mates, I don’t care if you scratched me. You should know that by now. What?” I grumble as he frowns, “Do you want me to punch you? Will that make it better?”
A shadow of a grin touches his face, and so I quickly continue, “It’ll be a good one. Which body part do you feel like losing the ability to move?”
“Shut up,” he laughs, pushing me, and I just smirk, draping an arm around his shoulders.
“Let’s get out of here. We can go make faces behind James’ back.”
“Yea, whatever. That’s what I’m here for.”
My best friends. Gone.
“We’re not that far, Sir. We’ll always be in your heart.”
Lily said that to me, hands on my shoulders, and eyes glassy, the day she and James went into hiding at Godric’s Hollow. We’d grown exceptionally close in those past few years, even before she and James had started dating. I’d learned to confide in her, learned that she had one of the most beautiful hearts I’d ever encountered. She was a golden person.
And she’s gone.
“Sirius,” Lily whispers, touching my hand, “Will you kiss me? Just once?”
We’re outside, May of our sixth year, and tomorrow is graduation. I slipped away from the guys to spend a few precious moments with her.
“I just want to know what it’s like,” she goes on, “What everyone is always raving about.”
“Is that all?” I ask quietly, not looking at her.
“That, and I think you’re kind of handsome.”
I laugh at this, a typical Lily comeback.
“In all honesty,” she starts up again after a few minutes has passed, “I just feel so close to you, so connected, and I want to share this with you, just once.”
She had me hooked. I turn, pull her face to mine, and kiss her lovingly, softly, happily.
Sitting here, she’s all I can think about. They’re all I can think about. I have this picture in my mind of these beautiful moments, of these experiences that I’ll hold onto for a lifetime. They’re my best friends, the three of them, and I’d almost rather die than spend my days without them. I feel worthless just pretending to live on, just attempting to survive without them because it isn’t really possible, it never has been.
Even with James and Lily only in Godric’s Hollow, I felt empty, I felt alone. I felt like I would never be whole again.
I pray tonight, that death shall take me.
This was meant to turn out sadly. So no, it wasn’t like those others where it came as a surprise. I had a hard time writing this one. It’s the last one I’ve written (I know, there will be more posted after this, but I’ve already got those done), and I just really had to push myself to write this. I think part of me was a little worn out from writing thirteen (THIRTEEN) oneshots, but I think a larger part of me was sad to see this little experiment die, especially on such a sad note. So. There you have it. The last oneshot I wrote, but, of course, with a few more to follow after this one, haha.
I’ve taken on a stupidly large idea that I’ve dubbed The Snow Patrol Project. This is part ten of thirteen.
Some odd amount of months ago, I made my boyfriend a mixtape of only Snow Patrol songs, those only that reminded me of him, and so I’m taking those thirteen songs and turning them into oneshots that feature only three pairings: Harry/Ginny, Draco/Hermione, and Sirius/Lily. Yes. I know. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this.
So. If you’re reading this now, look out for the next one: Crack the Shutters. It’s a Harry/Ginny. And I hope anyone who reads this goes on to read the other twelve!