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EPIC by Solmussa

Format: Novel
Chapters: 33
Word Count: 180,109
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Mild violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Spoilers

Genres: Romance, Action/Adventure, Young Adult
Characters: Lupin, James, Lily, Sirius, Pettigrew, Voldemort, OC
Pairings: James/Lily, James/OC, Lily/OC, Remus/OC

First Published: 08/12/2019
Last Chapter: 12/18/2019
Last Updated: 12/29/2019

Summary:

"I would rather poke my eyes out with a quill than spend time alone with you, actually” I said coolly. Black ran a hand through his dark long hair, visibly exasperated.

 

“Don’t be ridiculous! I'll have you know that any girl in the school would kill for a chance to spend an entire evening alone with me” he said. Arrogant bastard. Not that he wasn’t right, but you know.



Chapter 21: Skin on skin

Halloween was always fun at Hogwarts. Especially, when the marauders decided to be in charge of organizing the party. I was in my room getting ready with Lily, and missing Alice so furiously it choked me.

 

“I miss her too” Lily said in a small voice.

 

“It’s hard. She loved parties. She loved telling us what to wear or helping with hair and makeup” I sighed.

 

“And she would be fuming if she knew we were about to ruin it all crying” Lily said, fanning herself to try and stop the tears.

 

“True” I smiled a bit and Lily gave me a quick hug.

 

“Let’s have a toast to her tonight” she nodded, and we exited our room together.

 

The marauders had outdone themselves. The joint classrooms we were using for the party looked scary and cool, exactly what you want for a Halloween party. This year I had even made an effort and put on a costume. Lily and I had chosen our costumes flicking through muggle magazines. Lily was Twinker Bell, from animated movie Peter Pan. A classic. I have to say the green costume really brought out her features and made a lovely combination with her red hair. I had decided to do a take on Marilyn Monroe. I even turned my hair blond and short temporarily. It felt very odd.

 

“Stop playing with your hair” Lily chastised me as we moved towards the bar.

 

“It feels really strange. Like I’m naked” I explained. I was so used to feeling the heavy waves on my back.

 

“Funny how a temporary haircut makes you feel naked, but you swaggered across platform 9 and 3/4 in a bra and thought it was perfectly fine” she said.

 

“You’re never gonna let that go, are you?”

 

“Never” we were in a fit of giggles when we reached the bar. I poured myself and Lily a glass of fire whisky each and we raised our glasses solemnly.

 

“To Alice. She would be proud of us having fun and living life the way she said it was supposed to be lived” said Lily.

 

“To Alice” I looked up as if she could hear me from wherever she was. “I’ll keep my promise. I’ll find epic”

 

We drank and then Lily leaned closer to me. “Explain that”

 

I sighed. I had never told Lily what Alice’s last moments had been like because I didn’t feel like I could. It had taken all I had telling Remus what she’d asked me to. After that I just couldn’t bring myself to talk about it to anyone else. But it was time.

 

“She made me promise I’d keep looking for, you know, the fireworks” I said.

 

“And with good reason. You need to. I am” she replied.

 

“Yeah, about that, little missy. When did the marauders let you in on their secrets?”

 

“Is it obvious I know? I thought I was being cool and collected about it” she said. I snorted. Lily was a lot of things. Cool and collected were not amongst them.

 

“You were practically bouncing with excitement, and you wouldn’t have found me on that windowsill at six am without the map” I reasoned.

 

“True that. Well, that’s exactly when they told me. They said they’d been waiting for you to be back to normal to do it together, but I was worried about you enough that they decided to just let me in” she blushed.

 

“I’m glad. It felt weird being the only one in on it. Alice knew”

 

“Have you ever seen them?” she asked me, getting super close.

 

“Seen them what?” I knew what she meant but watching her pretend to be so-not-bothered by it was hilarious I had to tease her a bit.

 

“Them” she made a very intense face.

 

“You look like you’re about to pass out” I chuckled.

 

“Jo!” she protested.

 

“I am teasing you. Yes, I have seen them. James is sexy as fuck,” Lily’s mouth opened.

 

“What do you mean? What is it like?”

 

“I KNEW IT! Lily Evans, have you finally, after all these years, fallen prey to James’ charms?” I squealed like a little girl, trying to keep it down. She blushed, a lot.

 

“I don’t know why you’re making a big deal of this. It’s not like you’re immune to him”

 

“Difference is I didn’t spend six years firmly denying the kid was worth a minute of attention. I went out with him the first time he asked, you know. I didn’t make him work for it for ages” I was giggling so hard it was hurting my stomach.

 

“You really don’t mind?” She asked timidly.

 

“Lils, I honestly do not. I am never going to stop thinking James is hot, because well I’m not blind, but that’s it. He’s one of my best friends, and there’s lots of other hot people for me. James isn’t my epic, but he could be yours” I told her very sincerely. “As long as you don’t find it weird that we used to date, there’s nothing to stop you from pursuing him”

 

“I just... I don’t know. I am not even sure yet. Like I have started noticing that he is, as you say, super-hot. But I don’t know if I really fancy him beyond that and... well, I think I need a bit of time now I know for sure you’d be okay with it if it happened” she smiled.

 

“This deserves another toast” I said, refilling our glasses.

 

“Wait, we can’t just toast to my maybe future relationship. What about you?”

 

“Hardin told me he likes me a lot. I might give that a go” I said casually.

 

“Do you like him?”

 

“Well, he’s totally my type. You know dark, tall and handsome” I said. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Hardin at all but there was no reason not to try to find out, was there?

 

“He looks a bit like Jax” she said.

 

“He does. I think James was an outlier, I am clearly into more of a bad-boy sort of thing” I shrugged. “Who knows, maybe it’ll work out with Hardin”

 

“The marauders are coming” Lily whispered. I didn’t fail to notice that she took obvious pleasure in the fact that she could now call them by their secret nickname.

 

“Lily! What’s up? Where’s Jo?” I turned around to face them with a (fake) angry expression on my face.


“What? A girl cuts her hair and you stop recognizing your best shot at winning the quidditch cup again? I am offended” I scoffed.

 

“Oh, woah. What… you look… different” Sirius said, tilting his head to one side.

 

“Yeah, that’s the point of costumes” I waved my empty glass in front of them. “You’ve missed two toasts. You’re way behind us. Catch up!”

 

“Is this… permanent?” Peter asked gesturing towards my hair.

 

“I haven’t decided yet” I said. James made a face.

 

“You look hot” he said. Lily glanced at him but didn’t say anything. “But I preferred your long hair”

 

“So do I” I grinned.

 

And, with that, they got over the shock of my current looks and busied themselves with drinks. Lily went dancing with Remus after a while and I leaned against the bar watching them. Moony refused to even look at a girl now, so we took it in turns to keep him company at parties.

 

“Would you care for a dance, Miss Monroe?”

 

“Hardin! Oh, you look good” and it was true. He was dressed like a pirate and the look suited him.

 

“Thanks” he winked at me. “So, dance?”

 

James’ POV

 

I couldn’t stop staring at Lily. I don’t think I had ever seen her wear a dress that short in my life. It was giving me palpitations. I hadn’t noticed I was paying a lot of attention to her again until the day Alice died. When the attack started, all I could think of was protecting her. In the aftermath, we were all too distraught for me to remember or think about it but since we’d been back at school I had been stealing glances at her like I used to before Jo. And then, we had played that stupid spin the bottle game.

 

Things started out hilarious when Moony had to kiss Padfoot. They took it in a very manly way and did an ultra-quick, barely-there peck on the lips. I almost passed out from lack of oxygen (due to my laughing fit). Then, Wormtail had to kiss a sixth year girl before it was my turn. I felt a bit awkward when the bottle pointed at Jocelyn. Thinking it wasn’t anything I hadn’t done before, I shrugged and walked over.

 

“Is it okay?” I asked her. Jocelyn being Jocelyn, didn’t even bother answering. She kissed me, and for a brief second I couldn’t remember any of the reasons why I had decided we were better off as friends. When we broke the kiss, it was all I could do not to drag her to my bedroom. Obviously, she knew exactly what I was thinking and winked at me before sitting down. Women can be so cruel.

 

Next, a sixth-year boy got the same girl as Wormtail had. Then Moony got a different sixth year girl. They kissed very quickly. I knew he wasn’t ready to date but probably didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Padfoot got one of the fifth years, and she practically fainted. This always happened. It wasn’t until they were kissing that I realized Padfoot hadn’t been sleeping around as much lately. I had to check he was feeling okay. Sleeping around was Padfoots’ favourite thing after magical mischief with us and playing quidditch with Jocelyn. Whilst I was thinking this, it became Hardin’s turn. I knew he had cheated but couldn’t prove it, so had to watch as he stood up and kissed Jo. I waited for jealousy to appear, but it didn’t. I guess you can lust after someone without actually wanting to be with them. After all, just because she was my friend didn’t mean I couldn’t see Jo was still ridiculously good looking. 

 

The game went on for a little bit and then, the unexpected happened. Lily’s turn came and the bottle pointed straight at me. I didn’t know what to do. I would die of embarrassment if she refused to kiss me – it was just a game – but I also felt strongly against this being the reason Lily Evans was finally going to kiss me. 

 

Lily blushed furiously and walked over to me a bit timidly.

 

“It’s okay if you don’t want to do this, I can make an excuse” I whispered to her quickly.

 

To my surprise, she shook her head lightly so I leaned into her and gave her a kiss.

 

It was as if I got hit by lightning. Where my lips touched hers an electric current sparked to life and run through my body, making me hyper aware of her. The softness of her mouth, the smell of her hair, the taste of her lips.

 

It was over way too quickly, but the memory of it stayed with me every waking second. It was a defining moment in my life. There was only ‘before’ and ‘after’ I knew what kissing Lily Evans felt like.

 

I drank some more whiskey, trying to redirect my mind towards less problematic memories. I looked over at Jo, who was now dancing with Hardin. To my astonishment, they weren’t snogging. They were barely touching.

 

“What is with them?” Padfoot asked, appearing out of nowhere with a new bottle of firewhiskey. He proceeded to open it and refill my empty glass.

 

“I was wondering the same. I thought she was just shagging him as a coping mechanism”

 

“That’s what Lily said. Doesn’t look like it though, does it?” I raised my eyebrow at my friend. I had a feeling there was something going on with Sirius. I had a collection of little clues dancing around in my brain just waiting to be put together, but I was missing a final piece to make sense of it all. If only I knew what it was.

 

“Maybe now she’s getting better she feels ready to date. I think it’d be good for her” I said.

 

“Not Hardin” he spat. Padfoot and Hardin hated each other. I didn’t understand this because the guy was actually alright and, obviously, nobody should hate Sirius because he was, well, like my brother. But they did, and fervently.

 

“I really don’t get why you’re so obsessed with the guy”

 

“I just don’t like him”

 

“Yeah, I know that. But why?”

 

“Got a feeling” was all he said. He proceeded to down his drink and re-fill his glass again.

 

“You’re in a mood” I observed. “Should I warn the female population of imminent danger?”

 

He looked thoughtful. “That’s an excellent idea, Prongs”

 

“What? Warning them?”

 

“No, obviously not” we laughed, and he saluted me before disappearing in the crowd.

 

My worries that he wasn’t himself dissipated when a whole seven minutes later, I spotted him making out with the new seventh year Ravenclaw in a corner of the room. ‘Well, that took long’ I thought.

 

Jocelyn’s POV

 

“You are a good dancer” Hardin said when we made our way back to the bar to refill our drinks.

 

“You’re not too bad yourself” I conceded. He smiled.

 

“Hey Jo, Hardin” Remus joined us, followed by James.

 

“Guys, let’s do a shot!” Peter appeared out of nowhere.

 

“I’m in” I said. Hardin nodded, so Wormtail started preparing.

 

“Is Sirius going to join?” he asked, counting the glasses.

 

“Where is he anyway?” I looked around and found him. He was making out with the new seventh year Ravenclaw. I felt annoyed at the sight and had to look away.

 

“He’s busy” James said.

 

I grabbed the shot glass and, for once, didn’t look at anyone or tap it. I realized that without Sirius, I didn’t want to anyway.

 

“Let’s get out of here” I grabbed Hardin’s hand and waved bye towards the boys. I saw Sirius glancing our way out of the corner of my eye, but I decided not to acknowledge him.

 

“I like your hair this way, it looks cool” Hardin said as we walked back to the Gryffindor Tower.

 

“Maybe I’ll keep it” I said, knowing full well that I would never, simply because Sirius and James had said they preferred it long and dark.

 

“Liquorice wand” he said to the fat lady as we arrived at the portrait. She swung it open and let us through. “Would you like to sleep in my room?” he asked me.

 

I looked at him and was going to reply when he said “I mean sleep. For real, just sleep”

 

“Oh. Really?” this was unexpected.

 

“Yeah, absolutely. I’d like to just cuddle and sleep next to you. I meant what I said, I want to give this a try, a real one” he smiled and ran a hand through his hair. He reminded me of Sirius in that moment, and I decided just sleeping was fine with me.

 

“Sounds quite nice, actually” I smiled and we made our way there.

 

Lily’s POV

 

Life was finally giving me a break. I had felt constantly overwhelmed since Alice’s death. First, dealing with the loss of such a close friend had been very difficult. It hadn’t helped that my other very close friend, Remus, was in absolute pieces too and I wanted to help him. And then, the girl I considered my sister, had turned into an emo slut. No, the past couple of months had not been easy. Fortunately, things were almost back to normal. Jocelyn was back to us, albeit with a bit more eyeliner and a new tattoo. Remus was healing and I could think about and remember Alice without busting into tears.

 

The only problem I had now was that I was extremely confused about my feelings for James Potter, or Prongs, as I had discovered his friends called him. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly when I had started feeling this way. Sometimes I thought it was the kiss we’d shared during that silly game. It surprised me (in a good way) that he offered to help me get out of it. Never in a million years would I have thought James Potter had that level of maturity and respect towards a girl. Yes, Jocelyn had actually told us time and time again this was one of the things she really liked about him when they were dating, but I thought it was because Jocelyn can be rather scary and James was probably worried she’d neuter him if he overstepped her boundaries.

 

I was wrong. And I was happy I was wrong.

 

Other times, I thought it had really started when he told me about the map and the cloak and, later that day with Jocelyn, told me they were animagi. I was very, very impressed he had learnt such a difficult skill so early in his life but, above all, I was deeply touched he had done it to help Remus.

 

The truth was, it didn’t really matter when it had started or how. Every day I caught myself paying more and more attention to him, noticing small details and admiring how smart and mature he was when he wanted to be. He had not missed a single Head Boy duty, or patrol, or meeting with me.

 

I was lost in thoughts of James when Jo came back to our room. From the looks of it, she’d been running. She looked much healthier than she had a month ago. Thank Merlin, I was worried she’d develop an eating disorder.

 

“You’re looking at me funny” she said.

 

“I don’t understand how anyone can find joy in running. For your information, if you ever see me running, you better join, it means I’m being chased by a scary thing” I informed her. She laughed.

 

“I really, really don’t feel like going to classes today” she informed me in return.

 

“It’s Thursday. We have two hours of DADA. You love DADA. What’s wrong?”

 

“It is Thursday? Oh, then forget it. I thought it was Wednesday” she said, taking off her running gear and stepping into the bathroom.

 

I got out of bed and got ready as well. On the way to breakfast, Jo looked pensive. So, of course, I asked her what she was thinking about.

 

“It’s full moon tonight” she whispered. Then, she grabbed my arm and pulled me aside to a small corridor away from the pedestrian traffic.

 

“I know, what about it?” I asked her.

 

“I’m considering joining the marauders tonight” she said. “You know, in my animagus form”

 

“Why?”

 

“I have never done it before, I’m kind of curious, but I also think it’ll help me finish healing. I think Alice would like to know I was looking after Remus for her” she said. I understood that.

 

“I think you should go, if they are okay with it”

 

“I’ll ask them” we went to the Great Hall and had breakfast with the boys.

 

“Good morning, everyone” Jo said sitting between Sirius and James.

 

“Here” Sirius handed her a piece of toasted bread on a plate with a knife. He’d put butter and jam on the plate already, and I noticed it was the perfect amount for Jo’s toast.

 

“Thanks” she said taking it. “Have you seen…”

 

“Here” he passed her a mug filled with coffee.

 

“You’re the best” she said and busied herself with breakfast. How could everyone else be oblivious to it? How could they not see it?

 

“You okay, Lily?” James asked me.

 

“Huh?”

 

“You seemed a bit distracted” he said.

 

“Ah, yeah just lost in thought” I replied with a smile.

 

“What do you think we’ll do today in DADA? I wouldn’t mind a bit of dueling” said Sirius.

 

“Nah, I don’t think so. It’s early in the year for dueling” James said.

 

“As long as we don’t go through dangerous creatures, I’ll be happy” Remus added. Turns out he dreaded the week we studied ‘dark creatures’ every year, he thought his fellow students would realise he was a werewolf and spent the entire week feeling extremely paranoid.

 

“That’s not in the syllabus for this term” I said.

 

“Of course you’ve read the syllabus” Jo chuckled. “I would like a boggart. We haven’t worked with one yet. I thought it was standard”

 

“It was but they haven’t managed to find a boggart since the incident two years ago” Remus informed me.

 

“Fucking Slytherins” Jo muttered angrily. The incident Remus had mentioned involved seventh year Slytherins trying to prank Frank Longbottom, the boggart, and a nasty explosion. 

 

We walked to DADA together after breakfast. Our new professor was a cool and collected middle aged man from the US. I quite liked him, and I knew a few of our fellow students had a little crush on him.

 

“Welcome. Today, we are going to be working on patronus charms” he informed the class. There was an excited whisper. “Learning this skill is difficult, and performing it in the real word is even more so because you must conquer the fear inspired by dementors to summon the thoughts and feeling that will enable you to cast a patronus effectively. Now, turn to page 193 of your book for a brief explanation and, when you’re ready, form a line, please”

 

We all busied ourselves with the reading. I noticed Jocelyn didn’t open her book. I wanted to roll my eyes at her, sometimes she did like to show off. I had never seen her or heard that she knew how to cast a patronus but, then again, I didn’t know she was an animagus until a month ago either so…

 

She positioned herself at the very end of the line, directly behind Sirius. They were whispering to each other and commenting on the rest of the class’ efforts. Typical. Our fellow students had a go with varying degrees of success. I managed a decent patronus but it had no actual shape. Remus had a similar result. My heart skipped a beat when it was James’ turn. He was so focused he was frowning ever so slightly. It reminded me of how determined he’d looked the day of the attack, when he had come to protect me and not his other friends.

 

“Expecto patronum” he did way better than me. It wasn’t fully corporeal, but you could clearly see the outline of a stag. I was impressed and thought I might ask him to help me improve mine. With a satisfied smile, he moved aside to let Sirius go. He looked over at Jocelyn quickly and she moved to stand beside him.

 

I could tell the professor was going to protest but they didn’t let him. “Expecto patronum” they said at the same time. There were ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ as two beautiful dogs ran around the classroom, playing and teasing each other. It was then that I realized, with a jolt, that maybe Jocelyn did have stronger feelings for Sirius than I had ever thought. My mind started racing, going through known facts: Jocelyn liked every boy she’d ever met that looked like Sirius (Jax and Hardin were practically clones), she gravitated towards him, she trusted him with her life (quite literally) and most importantly, no matter how hard she had tried, she hadn’t managed to fall in love with anyone. And I was starting to suspect Sirius was the reason why.

 

Jocelyn’s POV

 

Sirius’ birthday was on the same day as our first quidditch game of the season, so I had convinced Prongs to help me plan a surprise party in our common room. He had made me promise we would win, saying he would not party if we lost. Birthday or no birthday.

 

I knew he really meant it, so when I kicked the ground and soared in the air I was hyped. Padfoot winked at me and I blew him a kiss. He smiled wickedly and I felt giddy, probably because of the adrenaline. Then, the game started. It was vicious. Slytherin had clearly not forgiven or forgotten my stunt last year and I quickly became the target of every nasty trick they knew. Lucky for me, we had been expecting it and so had the entire team. Our strategy this game was radically different to anything we’d done before. It was risky, but if it worked it would pay off. My job during the game wasn’t to hit bludgers or try to knock opponents off their brooms. My job was to be bait and distract them long enough for everyone else to win the game. Cal was under strict instructions to try his best to find the snitch quickly. We’d much rather have to score extra points against Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw later in the year than play Slytherin a second longer than necessary.

 

The new chaser was really good, and James… well, James was on fucking fire. I would have just watched him play if I hadn’t been busy trying not to die. I did every crazy pirouette and trick I knew (and I knew a lot). The more I teased them and showed off my skills the more irate they became. Sirius was on defensive duty rather than offensive. His job was to protect our team from bludgers, without hitting Slytherins either. Everything was geared towards me capturing the snakes’ attention as much as possible, and nothing else. And it was working.

 

When Cal finally caught the snitch, I was exhausted but thrilled. Sirius quickly flew next to me and escorted me to the ground, not trusting the Slytherins even after the game was over. James was beaming. We all walked into the changing rooms together and, after a quick but enthusiastic congratulatory speech, James made an excuse and left. I, however, had the difficult task of entertaining Sirius long enough for everyone else to get to the party and prepare the surprise.

 

I was failing. When I came out of the showers, he was almost done changing. He was so much quicker than I was. I panicked and fussed over my stuff, letting my towel slip a little by accident. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to catch Sirius’ attention. I saw him pause what he was doing and stare at me out of the corner of my eye. My heart skipped a beat. I tended to forget that Sirius was, first and foremost, a boy and as such was also susceptible to hormones and the havoc they wreaked on us. So, I quickly slipped my underwear on under the towel and turned my back on him before letting it fall to the floor. I prayed to Merlin and Godric and Rowena and all high witches and wizards that he was still watching, or else I had no way of keeping him here until the party was ready.

 

I put on my bra and turned sideways again. I almost let out a sigh of relief when I saw he was still standing in the same spot, frozen. I took my dress out of the bag and put it on.

 

“Help me?” I asked casually, turning my back to him again and moving my hair to the side.

 

He didn’t say anything, and I got worried for a second but then I felt him move closer and his hand grab the zip. As he pulled it up, his fingers grazed the skin on my back. I realized with a jolt that Sirius and I didn’t touch much. He punched my shoulder and sometimes gave me a quick hug. I playfully patted him on the arm or sat on his lap or close to him in the common room, but never skin-to-skin. Never without all our robes and clothes as a barrier between us.

 

The only time I could clearly remember I had actually touched him, touched his skin, was when I had had a hysterical breakdown on top of him when he crashed in the Hufflepuff game. But in non-high emergency or life-threatening situations, we didn’t touch each other. It wasn’t a conscious thing; it just didn’t happen.

 

And I had just found out that I was extremely glad. I had almost forgotten the incident last year when we’d ran into Alecto Carrow and Christian Rosier and we’d pretended to be hooking up. He hadn’t actually touched me, but I had never been so close to him, and now, as his hands carefully helped me with my dress, I was having flashbacks to what I had felt like to be within an inch of Sirius Black. It was maddening.

 

Even though his fingers barely caressed my back, I felt them imprinted there long after my zip was up and we were on the way to the common room.

 

“SURPRISE!”

 

The common room exploded when he walked in, and he stopped dead in his tracks before a huge grin appeared on his face.

 

“Happy birthday, Padfoot” I whispered, giving him a quick hug. He turned around to say something but didn’t get a chance as he was engulfed by his marauder friends. I laughed and walked over to Lily.

 

“Never, ever, do anything like that again” she said. I was going to ask what she meant but she continued. “Actually, I am considering banning you from quidditch altogether. Can you not play a game during which I do not fear for your safety? Can you not play like the rest of the world?”

 

“And be average? I don’t think so missy. Now, stop being a party pooper and pass me that firewhiskey” I replied, grinning at her. She shook her head but gave me the bottle.

 

“I am very, very impressed” said a voice behind me. I smirked before turning around.

 

“Hello Hardin”

 

“I had been told you were good, I wasn’t told you are also insane” he said, laughing. I frowned.

 

“See? It’s not just me” Lily smiled at Hardin.

 

“Pr… James and Sirius are on my side. So is the rest of the house, I believe” I flicked my hair, making them laugh again.

 

“You should teach me some of those tricks” Hardin suggested, moving a bit closer. Lily understood that as some sort of signal she had to leave and excused herself before I could tell her I didn’t actually want to be alone with Hardin.

 

“Sure, do you fly?”

 

“A bit. Nowhere near your level, though” he said.

 

“I am on a league of my own” I joked. He nodded, getting a little bit closer again.

 

“So… I was thinking…” he didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence because the marauders plus Lily arrived that very moment and insisted we did shots.

 

I don’t remember much of the party after the fourth time I tapped the glass on the bar and, looking straight into silver-grey eyes, downed the tequila.

 

Eventually, it all died down. I looked up and around to realize the marauders and I were the last ones standing. Hardin had stumbled up the stairs half an hour ago. I could tell he had been trying hard to keep up, and I had to give him points for persistence but it hadn’t been enough.

 

“People should be ashamed they can’t hold their liquor” I said, leaning against the bar.

 

“It is hard to keep up with you” slurred Peter.

 

“I think you should go to bed” Remus told him. Peter nodded. “I’ll come, too” he added.

 

They both walked up the stairs together and I was left alone with James and Sirius. We were still by the bar but we’d pretty much ran out of alcohol. I didn’t have a clue what time it was.

 

“Lily isn’t happy with our strategy” I said, casually.

 

“What do you mean?” asked James.

 

“She feels you put my safety in jeopardy to win the game” I informed him, pouring the last of the firewhiskey into my glass.

 

“That is so not fair” Sirius said, pointing at it. “Share!” he demanded.

 

“You are too drunk” I purred.

 

“Am not”

 

“Are”

 

“Jo! Focus, is Lily actually upset?” James interjected.

 

“Calm down Prongs. She’s not actually upset. She is fine. You are fine” I said, grinning at him.

 

“Good, good” he muttered.

 

“You are so wasted” I told him, giggling.

 

“We won against Slytherin. Our last ever Hogwarts game against Slytherin and we won it. I say we deserve to get as drunk as we want to” he replied beaming.

 

“That makes me sad” I said. Sirius pulled me backwards into his chest and wrapped his arms around me.

 

“Don’t be sad” he said softly.

 

“I know what you mean, and I’m kind of sad too, we’ll definitely miss Hogwarts but we’re going to stay together and be friends for life, so it’ll be alright” James smiled. I reached out with my hand and grabbed his.

 

“Promise me. We’re going to stay together always” I said.

 

“Always”

 

“Always”

 

“With Lily too!” I added as an afterthought.

 

“Dear Josie, I plan to make your redhead friend my wife. If I have it my way, she’s going to be stuck with me for life” James wiggled his eyebrows. I felt Sirius’ chest vibrate with laughter against my back.

 

“I am going to bed, then. I want to impress her by waking up early tomorrow and making our Head meeting on time!” Prongs added.

 

“You do that” I said. He nodded and walked up the stairs.

 

“Last ones standing” Sirius said, grabbing my glass and taking a sip.

 

“That’s my drink!” I protested, turning around to face him. 

 

“You need to get better at sharing” he replied with a smirk.

 

“You are too drunk anyway! Don’t need any more” I said, poking him in the chest with a finger.

 

“And you aren’t?” he whispered, catching my hand with his.

 

“I can do what I want. I was live bait for this game, I had to dodge crazed Slytherins for an hour in the air. I deserve to finish the fire whiskey” I replied.

 

“That is true” he gave back the glass but didn’t let go of my hand. I drank the liquor, my fingers playing with his of their own accord.

 

I looked up at him to see his eyes fixed on our hands. I fleetingly wondered if I was being stupid, if maybe Sirius and I clicked so well because we were meant to be more than friends. I felt as if I was on the edge of a big epiphany again, but alas my short body decided it had finally had too much and all my thoughts of Sirius, and maybes, and love and whatnot were interrupted by a strong wave of nausea.

 

“I’m going to be sick” I announced to Sirius a second before I emptied my stomach in a trash can.

 

“You are such a refined lady” he joked before hurrying over and helping keep the hair out of my face.

 

“Thanks, Sirius” I told him when I was better.

 

“Anytime” he smiled. “You okay to make it to your room?”

 

“Yeah, I’ll live. See you tomorrow”

 

“Good night, Jocelyn”



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