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“So then, hic she told me that he hadn’t even asked her about going out with Terri and I told hic him-”

“Alright,” James cut Lily off. He had the distinct feeling that she didn’t really care what she was saying to him. They were hobbling their way out of Hogsmeade and back towards the castle. “Now when we get back to the castle, just try and act sober.”

“You know hic something?” Lily said sadly. “I…hate it hic when everyone thinks I have to hic be perfect.”

“No one thinks you have to be perfect,” James said kindly.

“Yes hic they do.”

James cocked an eyebrow and realized that Lily was actually crying softly. “Don’t cry,” he said sweetly. “Let’s…let’s just sit down.”

He ushered Lily over to a small grassy patch on the pathway where they both sat down. Lily, of course, couldn’t support herself and resorted to leaning on James’ shoulder. Bloody Perfect, he thought to himself. Lily Evans is leaning on my shoulder and my hand is on her waist and all I can think of is getting her back safely.

“No one ever hic thinks of me as wild or funhic. I’m just boring old hic Eily Levans.”

“Eily Levans?” James said amusedly. “Sweetheart, you’re name is Lily Evans.”

Lily looked at James and then looked back at herself and pondered the thought for a few minutes. “Does hic it hic even matter?” she asked. “All you hic ever call me is hic Evans!”

James couldn’t help but smile. “Do you want me to call you Lily?” he asked playfully.

Lily nodded playfully. “Lily,” she said again. “Not Evans.”

“Alright,” James smiled. “Lily…not Evans.”

Lily didn’t respond and James realized she’d fallen unconscious. “Lily!” he said loudly and gently shook her shoulders. “You have to wake up!” he said.

“Lily!”

He reached for his wand and pointed it at Lily. He whispered a spell under his breathe and a jet of cold water shot out from the tip, drenching Lily from top to bottom.

“Hey!” Lily said, still obviously drunk but now, awake.

“Lily!” James said, looking at her with concern. “Are you alright?”

She furrowed her brow again and then looked at James. “You hic called mehic Lily!” she sounded overjoyed.

“Alright,” James said, tiredly. “I think it’s time we headed back up.”

He grabbed Lily’s waist and her other hand and helped her up. “Can I hic ask you somethihic ng?” Lily asked, looking at James with an innocent look.

“Sure,” he said gently.

“Do you really like Megan Rivers?”

James looked at Lily with a surprised expression. She had said that sentenced so fluently and coherently that he would never have believed that she’d had 12 firewhiskeys. But he had a deeper feeling – or rather a deeper hope- that she had been meaning to ask him that question for a long time.

“Why do you ask?” he said teasingly.

“Wellhic you always hic flirt with her and-”

She seemed so sad that it broke James’ heart. And on the other hand, he didn’t feel completely sorry for Lily either. He knew that she had gone out with many guys too – and had an equal amount of extravagant encounters around the castle.

“No,” he said after a while. “I don’t like her.” He smiled at the sudden look of relief on Lily’s face. “In fact, I like someone else.”

Lily looked up immediately. “Who?” she asked.

“Well she’s very pretty,” James said. “She has the fieriest red hair I have ever seen and her eyes are the deepest green anyone could ever imagine.”

Lily didn’t seem to get the reference and just looked angry and dazed. “What’s her name?” she asked indignantly.

James whispered into her eye. “Lily.”

Lily looked up at James and then beckoned him to come closer. “Is that me?” she asked and James nodded.

“Yes it is, sweetheart.”

Before James could say anything, Lily had pulled him in and kissed him. For a second or two, he hadn’t resisted the kiss. His heart was jumping for joy and screaming. Yes! Yes! Yes! but his mind kept nagging. She’s drunk you idiot! Don’t take advantage of her!

Finally, James pulled back despite unwillingness not to stop kissing Lily. “Maybe…maybe we should just go inside.”

Lily didn’t really seem to care. “I never really hic hated you…hic…” Lily said softly, as they entered the large castle and James covered them with his invisibility cloak.

“Yeah…” James said slowly. “I kind of figured that tonight.”

“Where…where hic are we going?”

“To the common room,” James said. “We’ll get you some water and maybe wash your face and then you can go to bed.”

“My…my head hic hurts…” Lily said and placed her hand on her head.

“Just hang in there for a few more minutes,” James said kindly. “We’re almost there.”

As they approached the Fat Lady’s portrait, James noticed that her portrait was empty. He cursed under his breath and looked back towards Lily.

“Sit down for a second,” he said gently. “I’m just going to go and get Sirius to open the portrait.”

Lily nodded obediently and huddled herself down in the corner. “Be back soon!” she said excitedly.

James smiled and placed his invisibility cloak on Lily. Then he headed down towards the corridor where a tiny statue of an elf was visible. Behind the elf, Sirius had placed a magical ear that allowed communication between the Gryffindor common room and the hall.

“Sirius!” James whispered into the statue. “Open the portrait to the common room! The Fat Lady’s not here!”

He banged on the statue a couple of times until Sirius finally whispered back. “Hold on! I’m coming!”

He slowly opened the portrait and came outside. “It took you guys this long to get up here?” Sirius asked.

“A wasted prefect isn’t that easy to carry,” James said sarcastically. “Surprisingly enough.”

Sirius gave him a bemused smile and pat him on the back. “At least you guys got up here without a teacher finding you.”

“Yeah,” James said slowly. “Come on, help me get Lily up.”

“Where is she?”

James looked around. The cloak was on the floor and Lily was nowhere to be seen.

“Bloody hell!”
***

A/N: I know this chapter is short but I promise the next ones will be longer! Reviews/comments are much appreciated!

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