Short jily fic, prompt mine
James Potter was dangerous. That’s what people told Lily, anyway—that he’d set a fire under a cauldron full of explosives, if it was next to the right person. And James Potter was charismatic. He could get any girl or any boy, and leave them just as quickly. James Potter could never be bored, James Potter didn’t like to live anything simple or easy, James Potter was intoxicated by the thought of anything wild and joyful. No one told Lily those last few things, but she knew. She was more perceptive than people gave her credit for. So it fit in with everything about James that he might get drunk once in a while.
Lily Evans was quiet. That’s what everyone knew, anyway—that she studied and worked hard, dated nice boys, got good grades. And Lily Evans was beautiful, skilled, and Muggleborn. These were the things James knew. They had talked, sure, but Lily’s walls (around him at least) were as hard as the emeralds that shimmered in the color of her eyes. And James was less perceptive than anyone gave him credit for. Charm and the occasional prank did not help him navigate a minefield of interpersonal connection.
James wasn’t surprised when Lily turned down his invitation to a Halloween party. It was their seventh year at Hogwarts, and this tended to split people into several camps. Some spent every moment preparing for exams and for their futures. Some clung to their friends and lovers, knowing that at the end of this year, everything would change. Some, like James and Sirius, knew all about exams and futures and changes, and preferred to forget about them. So they had parties. A lot of parties. It was easy to get alcohol, not difficult to distract teachers and bribe prefects, and occasionally possible to get into the Room of Requirement. Their parties were already infamous by the time word got out about the Halloween one.
It was also possibly infamous how James and Sirius had ended up with different girls, and sometimes boys, every time. And how heartbreak and drama surrounded them like clouds. In fact, they’d been nicknamed Heartless One and Heartless Two. Their parties were hardly the sort of parties Lily Evans, Head Girl and Gryffindor prefect, darling of Hogwarts, would have wanted to attend. But they were the sort of parties James Potter, Head Boy and Quidditch Captain, loved to throw, and they were the kind where he could drown some of his sorrows concerning the aforementioned beautiful Head Girl. Sirius told him he was a masochist to keep inviting her, and James, as usual, did not listen at all.
He cornered Lily for the third in a third-floor corridor, on October 30th. “Come on, Evans, it’ll be fun!”
“The kind of ‘fun’ you lot get up to is the opposite of fun the next morning.” She ducked under his arm and crossed her own arms over her chest, looking up at him defiantly.
James grinned. “We’ll be good. Just ‘cause you’re there.”
“Well, I guess you’ll have to be bad, then, because I’m not coming.”
“You can’t possibly study all Halloween night!” He put on a face of exaggerated shock. “Live a little!”
Lily did not laugh. “I have plans, actually.”
“What plans could you possibly have?”
“I think you’ll find it’s possible I could do many things you don’t understand, Potter. Not everyone wants to come get drunk off their arses and be groped by you all night.”
“Well, I certainly can’t think of any better way to spend a fine Halloween night.”
“I can think of several, and I’ll probably do them all.” She turned and walked away, calling over her shoulder, “I have class! Later!”
James ran after her. “Wait! Evans, wait. Please.”
He took a deep breath. “Can I come to whatever your plans are?”
She looked amused, and his stomach made an odd clenching feeling. “Look, it’s not that I don’t like you, Potter—”
“Then spend Halloween with me. Please. You’ve been diligent all term, I’ve been crazy and unfocused all term. Please just let me get to know you somewhere on even ground.” The words tumbling out of his mouth surprised him. Slow down, Potter.
“We do know each other. We’ve known each other for the past six years.”
“Not really. And some of it’s been bad.” She winced and he made a mental note to smack himself over the head later. She doesn’t need to hear about Severus right now, idiot. “It’s just…I know I’ve asked you out a lot, in stupid, silly ways. But I think you’re beautiful, and I really would like to get to know you better.” He smiled, making a conscious effort to turn some of his charm back on.
“It’s just.” She paused, frowning.
“What is it? Can I help?”
“I’ve never actually been drunk before.”
James got about halfway through a guffaw before he saw the look on her face. “Er, I’m sorry. It’s just—I can’t imagine.”
“I know full well you can’t, Heartless One.”
It was his turn to wince. “That’s unfair. But—also, you know what—kind of fair.”
“How about this? I’ll ditch the damned party and we’ll find somewhere you won’t walk into anything, and you can get drunk. Bring a friend, if you like. Nothing special, no pressure, just three mates sharing the bounteous joys of alcohol.”
“I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous in my life.”
“I know you’ve been hearing about me for a while, so I’m pretty sure you have.”
She gasped. “You’re an asshole, James Potter.”
He sighed. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Please? Just give me a chance?”
“Fine. I’ll be ridiculous. One time. You bring a friend as well.”
James grinned, his mood rapidly lightening again. “It’s a date! Shit. I mean, it’s—See you tomorrow night, Evans.”
She gave him a half smile. “See you.”
Please reblog and/or follow if you liked this, I am just getting back into writing this stuff and I would love to know how it is received. I will try to post similar things every day, as well as my poetry and excerpts from current novels. Thanks, lovelies <3