Chapter 1 : Just say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
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Drinking is James' favourite pastime, after playing Quidditch.
James is gorgeous, and all the girls and boys of all the ages agree. He's tall, like his father and his father's father. His eyes are a deep brown like his mothers, and his nose is straight and his jaw is strong. He's loud but not bawdy, he's affectionate without being clingy, and he's kind without seeming fake.
He's the best friend anyone could ever have, and he's got a lot of friends. People are drawn to him the same way flies are to honey. Or whatever the saying is.
James Potter never comes across as lonely, or needy, or bitter. He is always smiling, even if it's -4 degrees out and the rest of the world couldn't seem unhappier. He is a permanent ray of sunshine in cold rainy England.
And I suppose that's why I love him so much.
But I don't love him love him. He's my best friend, but I've never found him properly attractive. I can see why anyone else would, but I think I still remember the 11 year old boy from Hogwarts trying to chat up the 5th Year girls too well to find him anything but cute.
I mean, that's all he is to me.
Cute. Like a puppy or something. It's the eyes, I think. They stare right into you and force you to give up whatever bit of chocolate you were saving to yourself and end up giving it to him. And he'll smile at you, that smile that says 'Ha, I knew you were gonna give in.'
I don't get drunk with James. I never have. It's always been something he does with his other friends. His male friends; they all swig back as much Firewhisky as the human soul can contain, and then they swig back twice that.
If I didn't know James, I'd say he has a drinking problem.
Maybe he does and I'm just delusional. It's not the first time he's been called out on his drinking habits. But he dismissed it and eventually, so did everyone else. The papers went back to calling him 'extraordinary' and 'the son of the boy-who-lived'. His old girlfriend Nina Boot tried to ask him out again after she was sure he wasn't an alcoholic, but he didn't want to know. He was a gentleman about it, though. Because that's what he's like.
He likes a drink and I suppose the drinks like him.
But he's sober now, anyway, and he's stood in front of me wearing a suit with no tie and a plain white T-shirt. He looks cool and it's moments like these that I'm proud to call myself his best friend.
"Do you like it?" he says, with that 'swagger' that lets me know he knows I do. I do like it, very much.
But I shrug instead, trying to seem nonchalant. "Yeah, it's nice."
Damn, I should've said 'alright'. But James doesn't notice because in his head he's heard 'OH MY GOD YOU GORGEOUS HUNK MARRY ME' and he winks.
He's in that mood where he believes he can do anything with the wave of his wand. Actually, he probably could.
"Are you ready to go?" he asks. I stand up and smooth down my dress. I don't look cool. The dress has pink and sparkles and it's all a bit flowery for my taste, but James' sister said it was appropriate.
We're going to a celebratory dinner. It's the anniversary of the second Wizarding War tonight, and James said a lot of people wanted it to be a casual, light, cheerful affair. So that's why we're going like this, though I imagine some people will come dressed for a three day gala. Or something like that.
James and me went together last year, and the year before that. It's kind of tradition, I think.
He holds his arm out and I take it. and then all of the sudden there's a pulling sensation in my lower abdomen. I close my eyes and when I open them, there's a sparse expanse of land all around us and a light tinkling of music somewhere fairly far from my right ear. We are on top of a hill. James was always shit at Apparating.
"Must be down that way," James says, letting go of my arm and leading the way down the hill. I roll my eyes and silently say thanks to Wizard-god for giving me the good instinct not to wear heels.
"This is pants," James comes up to me and murmurs in my ear. I nearly spit out my champagne; I've not heard anyone say 'this is pants' to me since I was about eight. But James has his childish face on.
He gets like this when he's bored, and I roll my eyes because I'm not interested in acting like a mum to him. Plus, I'm enjoying the party.
It's spread over an acre of land, and there are different tents and stalls all for various activities. There's an open bar, which I personally think was a terrible idea, especially when people like Rubeus Hagrid are invited, but I wasn't on the planning-commitee for this.
Massive poles have been erected and gorgeous fairy lights hang between them. And when I say 'fairy lights', I literally mean someone has taken a load of fairys and hung them on a wire. I don't know how they did it because fairies are nasty creatures.
Like I expected, a lot of people have really gone all out on the dressing up. I can see Erin Corner and Jessica Jordan looking smug in a corner because no one is wearing the same thing as them.
They ignored me most of the time in Hogwarts, which I'm pretty glad for because I've listened to them chatting in the girl's bathroom and I'm sad to say that I know more about Richard Evans' arse than I'd care to admit.
It's a nice atmosphere, though. I have seen a few people crying, because this is an emotional time for them, I know. I sometimes feel a little sad myself, especally when I look at Mr. Potter. He likes me, but he's always quite distant with other people, unless you're his family. If you're his family, he holds you very close. I think it's nice that he is so loyal, but it always makes me sad because I know how much he's lost. He couldn't go through that again.
The sun has set; it set ages ago, but no one is going to go home, not for a long while. James is still looking moody, and I shove my drink into his hand and tell him to get over himself. Then I stalk off to a table where a group of girls I knew from Hogwarts are sitting.
"Hi!" I say, putting on a voice of a girl who hasn't seen her friends from school since she left it. They all do the same voice and embrace me, and then pull me down onto a seat. I find myself regaled with gossip and squealing about him-and-her and she-and-him and I realise that this is exactly why I prefer the company of James and er, just James really.
It's not that I don't have any other friends. But James is my only proper friend-I-would-die-for. If I was given the choice between Ellis Fangtooth and James, I'd pick James, no matter what Witch Weekly says about Ellis' 'perfectly chiseled jaw'.
Eventually I disengage myself from the girls and go off to my best friend. I find him lurking by the bar, trying to ignore the simpering middle-aged woman by his left. She sees me approaching and stalks off.
I bite my lip. Sometimes girls will do that around me, like they're jealous. They don't need to be. The hilarious thing is that I'm the furthest anyone could be from James' type. He likes girls with breasts and legs and I have neither of them. Well, I've got legs but they're not long or shapely.
James sighs in relief when he sees me. "Can we please go?" he whines and I laugh and nod, because I kind of want to leave as well. He gives me a light hug and then dashes off to say goodbye to his parents. Somewhere on the other side of the bar, I spot his younger brother, Albus. I wave. He doesn't wave back.
Albus has always been a moody bugger. He hates everyone and everything. I've tried to be friendly, but he doesn't want to know.
James comes bounding back and grabs my arm. "Let's leave!" he almost shouts and he pulls me so fast my feet barely touch the ground.
"Where are we going?"
Now, I've never been drunk with James. I don't know, it just feels like something that we shouldn't be together. We can be silly, angry or kind, but not drunk.
But I guess tonight is different. Tonight is the night that marks 29 years since just a few miles away, people were struck down dead in a school that I lived in for 7 years.
The pub is pretty empty because most of the Wizarding population are at the party we were just at. The bartender just looks bored and annoyed that he has to be here while everyone else is enjoying themselves.
James is pretty hammered now. His eyes have kind of glazed over and his smile is lazy. The top part of his suit is gone and I'm not sure where.
He leans over the table at me, almost knocking over my firewhisky. This place seems to be brimming with firewhisky.
"Aprillll," he slurs.
I blink. I've seen James piddled before, but this is outrageous. "What did you say?"
He chuckles into his drink. "Youu. Mee. Weddingg."
If I was drinking right now, I'd have choked on it. Because James has said some pretty stupid stuff even when he's sober, and to be honest with you, I have expected him to say something like this before. But he never did, so I kind of stopped expecting it.
"Did you say let's get married?" I ask him.
He nodded slowly and leans back in his chair. He tries to focus on me and fails, which I find hilarious, but I bite my lip.
"I know tisss place," he slurs. "Ummm, I've gut cashhh. An' if yuh wanna break up layta, thasss cooll. I won' blame yuh. I jus' wanna marry yuh."
I stare at him. I know the place he's talking about. It's cheesy and cheap, and if I hadn't just had about four drinks, I would've just got up and left.
I mean, we could just break up later. And it would be fun! Marriage! I never pictured myself getting married. None of the boys I'd dated before that would've been good marriage potential, and I don't think I'd be a very good wife. I'm too giggly or whatever. I don't really know what I am. A mess, a marvel, a marble floor in the middle of a woods. Just out-of-place, a little bit out of it.
A lot of my final decisions are made by me simply going 'fuck it', and I think this is the right attitude to take here. James is drunk as hell, and I'm on my way. I knock back a shot of something that I'm not quite sure of and haul James up.
"Screw it," I say, and I find myself slurring. "Less get fuckin' married!"
He just nods blindly and takes my hand, letting out some kind of high pixie-like laugh as we stagger out the pub.
"I forgot it wasn't legal," James says softly into my pillow. I lie next to him, holding a cold flannel to my head. It's not doing very much. but it makes me think a little bit more steady.
"You aren't allowed to get married when you're drunk." I repeat the guy from the chapel's words. "But I mean ... why do those things exist? Like, surely they were made for drunk couples who don't wanna go through with it sober?"
James groans. "Are we a couple?"
I shake my head and the room spins even when I'm lying. I close my eyes. "I think I'm a lightweight."
"I think we're a couple." James mumbles.
"We go everywhere together. And we always go on dates together. And you said you loved me this one time."
I reach out a hand and pat him. "No, darling, we're friends. You're an idiot."
I'm so drunk right now. If I wasn't drunk this conversation would not be happening. "We're not a couple and we never will be. I said I loved you because I do. But I am not attracted to you."
"Yeah, you are," he mumbles, opening one eye to look at me. I feel myself blush because James has got such an intense gaze.
"You wanted to marry me, though."
"Because you said we could break up later!"
"You wanted to know how it would feel to be married to me. Because you're in love with me."
"Well ... you're in love with me!" I splutter; the room is still spinning.
Then, quick as a wink, James is siting up, and this time his gaze is entirely focused on me. "Yeah, so?"
I remove the flannel from my head and I stare back at him. He's got such pretty eyes. Isn't there a sobering solution somewhere around here. I turn away from him over to my bedside cabinet. How the hell did we end up in my bed anyway? This is ridiculous. I find the solution right at the back of the cupboard and it's full, because I don't get drunk very often. I swig some and offer to him, feeling my world become clearer as I do.
Ooh. James is so pretty. I know this, though. It's just a nice sight.
He drinks some of the stuff as well and he shakes his head. There's a silence as we both gather our bearings as sober beings in the world.
"So ... you were saying?" I ask nervously.
"What was I saying?"
"Um. You loved me or something."
He frowns and shrugs. "Nah, I don't think so. Must've been the alcohol."
He shoves himself off my bed and looks around, I presume, for his suit jacket. It's not here, obviously and he shrugs again, smoothing down his T-shirt. He finds his shoes by my door and puts them on, before turning around to me again.
"We've never got drunk together before."
"Um. No..." I say. For some reason, I feel like crying. Just a moment ago was such a lovely kind of intensity, a moment that I've never shared with James. We've just never done it. I want it back, and I hate myself for getting that sobering solution.
He grins at me. "It was fun, girl. We should do it another time."
James almost never calls me 'girl', and I normally hate it, but this is different.
And as he leaves, blowing a kiss at me as he does, I make a game plan in my head.
This time next week, me and James are getting hammered.
OK. So, here's something hilarious.
I haven't written fanfiction since last October. I've tried. God knows I've tried. But it hasn't worked. But I've had Bruno Mars songs in my head all day and this one just won't go away! So I wrote a one-shot based on his song 'Marry You'. I hope you liked it and I hope you leave a review, maybe? Mazz X
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognise from Harry Potter and I don't own Bruno Mars songs. The title, description and song references are his property.