Light and Dark Part 26 - A/U
Summary: Your sweetheart boyfriend, James Potter, can’t seem to hide his feelings for a certain beautiful redhead - who’s not you. Meanwhile, there’s a strange Slytherin boy, Cyrille Lestrange, famed even among purebloods for his lineage and inheritance, whose silver eyes somehow seem to always find you. [Multi-Post Story] [James Potter x Reader] [Cyrille Lestrange x Reader] [Warning: Story Contains Explicit Smut.] [Warning: Torture: Psychological and Physical Violence and Abuse; PTSD.] [Warning: Slight Voyeurism.] *Please do not repost or copy my work without my permission. Thank You!
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Note: A/U is Alternative Universe. This chapter is Part 1/3 of a James Potter x Reader/You A/U. Timing-wise, the beginning of this chapter picks up right after graduation.
Note: If you prefer you/Reader end up with Cyrille, you absolutely do not need to read the A/U chapters. A/U is a branching off of the story and is not essential in any way to the Cyrille x Reader plotline. You could think of it as a “choose your own story” type structure. So - don’t read it if you don’t want to!
After graduation, life changed so dramatically. Working full-time as an Auror trainee and as an Order of the Phoenix member was so draining. After your full day of Auror training, you had to report to James Potter’s house, for his house was the central Order safehouse. You’d been given the password by James, one of the Secret-Keepers, so you were able to enter the house. You, Sirius, James, Lily, Emmeline, and Peter were all on shift tonight.
* * * * * * * * * *
Briefly, you recalled when Marlene had come to give you your shift assignments for the month. She’d looked at you and said slyly, “Have you heard?”
“Hm?” you replied, looking up at her. “Heard what?”
“James and Lily broke up.”
You paused. What? Never thought that would happen. But you merely said, “Oh.”
Marlene looked at you expectantly, but you didn’t ask why. It didn’t matter. You were sure it had nothing to do with you, and it simply wasn’t your business.
* * * * * * * * * *
As you entered James’ house, you heard everyone gathered together in the living room, chatting with each other. But you headed to the kitchen first, to make yourself a cup of tea. While you were waiting for the water to boil, you sat at the table. You put your head in your hand, waiting, waiting, waiting…
“Watch it.” With the back of two fingers, someone casually pushed your head, which had been slipping off of your hand, back up.
You looked up, blinking tiredly, to see Sirius standing beside you.
James was standing at the other side of the table, frowning. “Blimey,” he remarked. “How hard are they working you at the Ministry?”
“I’m fine,” you sighed. Getting up, you started towards the kettle, which was beginning to let out a high-pitched whistle.
But James gently pushed you back down in your seat. “Let me do that,” he told you. “Wait for me.”
Sirius, who had come into the kitchen to grab a packet of crisps, was already busy rummaging around the cupboard.
“I’m fine,” you replied to James, not wanting to accept a favor from him. “I just nodded off -”
“You’re barely awake,” James responded to you. “Come on. I can make tea for you. I’m not going to mess it up -”
“I know you’re not going to mess it up. That’s not the point.”
“All right, well, what’s the problem, then?” James said, a bit frustrated but also genuinely confused.
You also gave a frustrated sigh as you finally plopped back down in your chair.
Sirius, having retrieved his crisps, chuckled at you and James.
“What’s so funny, Pads?” James asked, now scratching his head, messing up his hair in the back.
“Nothing,” Sirius said airily, ripping open the packet of crisps with his teeth. “Anyways, Prongs, if you want to make her tea, you should get to it. The kettle’s going to melt through if you keep waiting.”
“Oh, right.” James turned around and quickly pulled the kettle off.
He made you a cup of tea and put it down in front of you. “Here.”
“Thank you,” you said, a bit stiffly.
James paused, wondering why you seemed a bit ticked off at him. Finally, he said, more than a little awkwardly, “Er, okay, then. I’ll head back to the living room. Lily’s probably waiting for me. I said I’d fetch her strawberries.”
Sirius shook his head lightly. “You have horrible timing, Prongs,” he muttered, grinning wickedly. “Just horrible.”
* * * * * * * * * *
At midnight, the on-call team was whittled down to you, Emmeline, and James. Lily and James traded off shifts because, although Lily had moved out of the house, they were still both Secret-Keepers, and it was good to try to always have one of them up in case an emergency called for a Secret-Keeper to reveal the address. So, tonight was Lily’s night off. She said good-bye amiably to James. Clearly, they were still on good terms.
In truth, they had simply and mutually fallen out of love with each other as romantic partners. They would always have a good relationship, but after countless arguments where Lily would get frustrated with James’ struggle to explain himself clearly, and James would become angry and confused at why she always had to demand that he explain himself, they realized that it was exhausting to be with each other all of the time. Finally, they had mutually decided to call it over, and in that moment, they found their footing as good friends, which is what they would have been at Hogwarts from the very beginning, if they hadn’t had such an intense relationship, what with Lily being such a stickler for rules and James being an outrageous prankster. Their dynamic at school had been naturally, almost necessarily, flirtatious, but they both found real life to be very different, and it changed how they responded to each other and what they needed from each other.
James, too, had grown as a person. He had always been a natural leader, but since becoming the leader of the Order, where lives were on the line almost every day, he had been forced to mature quite a bit in the past couple of years. One of the things that he learned was that there was always ambiguity. It was never clear-cut what action would save lives, which meant that he could no longer simply follow his feelings when making a decision. James had to think broader; he had to take responsibility.
These experiences changed James fundamentally as he realized that spontaneity and infatuation, while they made life glittering and fun, were not things to build a life on. Instead, it was about choice. You chose who you loved. You chose how to move forward with your life even after you made mistakes… That was what defined people during hardship and in the long-term.
As James thought about this, his gaze fell on your napping figure just then. Back then, when the two of you had separated, he hadn’t understood the power of choice. James had gone off of his instincts all of his life prior to joining the Order, and when his emotions became all coiled up and confused, he had felt so confused, even though the choice was clear. Now, with more perspective, James regretted deeply what had happened between the two of you. I was too immature back then. I didn’t know what you were asking for, James realized. But then, he also thought that you had been cruel to him. Because, if only you had given him more time… But no one can change the past, James told himself. He sighed. He looked away from you for a moment, but then his gaze immediately came flickering back to you.
You were curled up the couch, tucked into Emmeline’s side. You weren’t in a deep sleep, but you had closed your eyes and were shifting in and out of a light sleep. You had also made sure to have your wand in your robes and at the ready, just in case you were called for.
Through a somewhat dream-like state, you heard James ask Emmeline quietly, “Is she mad at me?”
Emmeline snorted softly. “Only for a few years now, I think.”
“What?” James sounded genuinely surprised. “A few years? What are you talking about?”
In a clipped voice, Emmeline replied, “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe when you broke her heart.”
James fell silent all of a sudden. Then, he murmured, “I didn’t – That wasn’t – That was years ago.”
Emmeline shrugged. “I wasn’t trying to blame you for anything. It’s just that you asked, and I thought it was pretty obvious.”
There was another, somewhat awkward, beat of silence. Then, James said, very quietly, “You know, not that it matters, but she broke my heart, too…”
Just then, a swooshing sound made you open your eyes. You witnessed Marlene’s Patronus soar into the room. “Death Eater attack outside of Exeter! Urgent help needed!”
The three of you jumped up at once. With a loud crack, all of you Apparated simultaneously.
* * * * * * * * * *
The Muggle village was already up in flames. People were screaming and running everywhere. In the middle of the village, there was a group of Death Eaters, some mask-less. They were laughing uproariously as they continued shooting hexes as Muggles who were trying desperately to run away.
Marlene and Remus were fighting furiously to protect a Muggle family. But, as it was seven against two, they were no match. You, James, and Emmeline raced up as fast you could with your wands out. James got there first, with you right on his heels. Both of you raised your wands and shouted together, “Stupefy!” Two jets of red light, joined only a second later by Emmeline’s Stunner (then making it three jets of light), shot high in the air, arching like arrows fired at the Death Eaters.
James’ Stunner hit a masked Death Eater in the shoulder, who immediately collapsed. Yours overshot slightly, disappearing into the grass. Emmeline’s nearly hit the Death Eater closest to you, but he turned around and, slashing hard at the air, he managed to deflect it just in time to save himself.
Your jaw fell open when you saw the Death Eater, for he was unmasked, and he was plainly – “Father?”
When he spotted you standing there, your father’s eyes glinted hard, reflecting the bright red flames sprouting up all around the group of Death Eaters.
“Look!” Besides him, Bellatrix cackled loudly. “It’s your insane Mudblood daughter!”
Your father snarled at the insult. He knew what Bellatrix was doing. She was goading him to hex you. He raised his wand. “Incarcerous!”
You saw ropes flying your way. My own father… You hesitated.
“No!” James tackled you to the ground. The ropes grasped at thin air. Breathless, you looked up at James.
“What are you thinking?” he yelled at you. “Get it together!” He pulled you to your feet as Emmeline covered the two of you.
You looked back towards the group of Death Eaters, but your father was gone. You swallowed hard.
Then, feeling a dark gaze on you, you looked over your shoulder. You spotted your father standing in a lightless alleyway behind you. As soon as he knew that you had noticed him, your father stepped back and hid in the shadows.
Shaking your head, you made yourself focus. You shot more Stunners at the group of Death Eaters until, finally, they Disapparated. Then, you, along with James, Emmeline, Remus, and Marlene helped to douse out the fire and heal the Muggles who were hurt.
Afterwards, James, wiping his face free of sweat and dirt, said, “All right. I’m heading back. I’ll see everyone back at mine?”
You waited until everyone else had Disapparated before you slowly turned around and headed into that deep, dark alleyway where your father was waiting for you.
* * * * * * * * * *
Your father immediately grabbed you by the scruff of your neck and slammed you against the hard stone wall.
“You fucking blood traitor,” he hissed at you. “Do you know how difficult your mere existence makes my life?”
“Father -” you began.
“Don’t call me that,” he snapped at you. “Now, listen. I have to get back quickly. I’ve been given orders to kill you. It’s a requirement, as the Dark Lord put it, to prove my loyalty to him.”
You gripped your wand tightly in your hand.
Your father glared at you, knowing that you were holding onto your wand. But he was even quicker than you. His wand tip was already jutting into your soft flesh, right under your jaw. Matter-of-factly, your father told you, “I could take you to him right now and kill you. It would please him greatly and re-instate my loyalty.”
You swallowed hard.
Your father paused. “But… you are my daughter, after all, blood traitor though you are, so, I give you an option. Bring me the corpse of your little Order ringleader, and I’ll spare your life.”
You stared up at your father’s dark, glinting eyes. “Ringleader…? I can’t kill Dumbledore.”
Your father snorted. “Of course you can’t. I was talking about Potter.”
“James?” you whispered in a hushed voice.
“Yes, exactly, that other blood traitor – James Potter. You understand, don’t you? A blood traitor for a blood traitor. So. Bring me his head.” Your father suddenly muttered a curse and a fire rune appeared on your neck. You cried out as a searing heat seemed to stab at your neck.
You threw your head back, and your father, not wanting to deal with your squirming, threw you down onto the cold stone alleyway. Then, kicking your wand out of your hand hard enough to make you yelp in pain, he warned thinly, “You have twenty-four hours. If you don’t make up your mind by then, that Rune will light your body aflame. The Dark Lord taught me the curse himself. You won’t be able to stop it. So, make up your mind, daughter.”
With a simple turn, your father disappeared, leaving you trembling and shivering in the black night and in the freezing cold alleyway.
* * * * * * * * * *
“Where is she?” James said worriedly. He had his head in his hands and he was tugging incessantly at his hair. When he looked back up, he looked a bit crazed. “I saw her right up until we Apparated. She was safe. She said she’d meet us back here.” He paused. “Right? I didn’t imagine all that, did I?”
“No, you’re right,” Emmeline agreed, biting her lower lip anxiously. “I saw her, too.”
“I’m sure she’s safe,” Remus replied. “She’s one of the best fighters we have.”
“Yeah, but she was off today,” James recalled, thinking hard. “It was as though she was… all right with being hit by a hex today. I know that sounds odd. But I mean, she’s usually one of our quickest fighters. But today, she was just standing there like she was waiting to get hit or something.”
“Prongs.” Remus pointed out gently, “That doesn’t make much sense.”
“I know,” James sighed out. “I know it doesn’t. That’s why I can’t stop worrying. I wish she’d just come home.”
Emmeline and Remus shot each other a quick look. It was probably unintentional, but James had called his home yours, too.
At that moment, everyone heard the sound of the front door opening. Everyone jumped up to their feet, but James dashed out of the living room and got to you first. You’d barely stepped foot in the house when he grabbed your shoulders and said furiously, “Where were you?”
Your eyes swept up to meet his.
When you saw yourself gazing into James Potter’s furrowed gaze, with his warm light brown eyes blinking furiously at you from behind his glasses, you held your breath. Your life… or mine?
When you didn’t answer, James asked, “Are you hurt? Or… Or are you punishing me because you’re angry with me?” His voice dropped into a whisper. “You wouldn’t do that to me, though, would you? You hate me, but you wouldn’t… You wouldn’t…” Pain ran heavy in his voice as he murmured. “Please don’t let yourself get hurt. It would kill me.”
You gazed up at him, and your eyes held all sorts of intense emotions: fondness for James’ constant stream of words as he tripped over how to tell you he cared about you and the guilt he felt for breaking your heart, sadness because James didn’t understand that your heartbreak for life ran far behind simply your relationship and involved the much deeper darkness of your heritage, and finally, a quiet solemnity, because you had already made up your mind. Right, you acknowledged heavily in your mind. Between your life and mine, it’s not even a question. It never has been.
“James,” you said quietly, and James, who had been murmuring quietly to you this whole time, fell silent at once. “I’m all right,” you told him softly. “Don’t worry about me.”
* * * * * * * * * *
As you stood in front of your parents’ mansion, you thought to yourself, I suppose in a way, this was foreshadowed by Cyrille’s regression after graduation. You hadn’t heard from Cyrille in over two years, except to receive a note that merely said: Gone after Regulus. Don’t expect me back.
Upon receiving that note, you’d raced over to the Lestrange house and nearly gotten yourself killed. Dumbledore had had to barter for you to be released as a hostage. That had been over a year ago, and you hadn’t seen Cyrille during any of the Order fights since. That was frightfully telling, because you’d seen him at nearly every single fight before that one.
But your relationship with Cyrille had ended before then, though you would always care about him and feel a fierce protectiveness over him. The day you both graduated, you met for the last time as lovers beneath the willow tree and shared one last kiss before you went your separate ways, promising to commit whole-heartedly to your chosen roles and not hold back because of each other.
And, in fact, you’d heard stories of Muggles being mysteriously revived after Death Eater attacks and you knew that it was Cyrille at work. You still kept your ear out for such stories, and you still hoped to find a trail to track down Cyrille, but you hadn’t been able to pick up on anything for over a year.
Staring up at your namesake’s estate, you took a deep breath. For those like us, Cyrille, home has to be death, right? If we can’t escape our past, but we also can’t accept it – what is left for us? You slowly pushed open the gate to the mansion. You knew that the alert would go off in your father’s study.
Steeling yourself, you walked up the long pathway to the front door, with the gravel crunching under your feet. Sure enough, your father had opened the door.
When you stepped inside, he asked you, “Where is he? Potter – where is he?”
“He’s not here,” you said quietly.
There was a long silence.
“So, this is your decision?” your father asked you gruffly.
“A fool right to the very end. I gave you the option -”
“The fact that you believe it’s an option explains why you and I never saw eye-to-eye,” you replied.
Your father’s conflicted expression suddenly turned into a sneer. “Fine, have it your way. Die from your own righteousness, as you prefer. It’ll be erasing a blot off of my reputation.” Without any further hesitation, he grabbed your shoulder. Then, he turned, taking you with him into the vortex of Apparition.
* * * * * * * * * *
The next morning, Emmeline woke up to your owl tapping on her window. Rubbing her eyes, she rolled out of bed, sliding out of her fiancée’s - Jonathan’s – arms. She opened the window. Yawning, she took the letter and unfolded it. Upon seeing the content of the letter, she froze. Without even putting on her cloak, she raced out of the house at once and straight to James’.
* * * * * * * * * *
Hearing Emmeline’s frantic shouting and pounding at the front door, James thundered over, clumsily shoving his glasses onto his face and then, clutching onto his wand, he ripped open the door.
“Call the Order!” Emmeline screamed at him. “Call everyone! Now!”
“Em, what is going -?” James began.
“Read it! Quickly!” Emmeline thrust the letter into his hand.
James looked hard at the parchment in his hand. It read:
By the time my owl has gotten to you, I expect it’ll be far too late, which is just as I wish it. My father has given me an ultimatum: to bring James to him, or to go to him myself. I believe my father has been tasked with a mission to kill one of us so-called pureblood “blood traitors” to prove his loyalty to Voldemort. Between James’ life and mine, you know it’s not a question for me. In some ways, it’s worked out better than I hoped. I think I would have done anything to save James, but this way, I feel as though I’m meeting my fate, too – returning home, as it were. Em, you’re my best friend. I hope you understand why I’m doing this. And you already know that I trust you more than anyone. So, please, do me one last favor: Don’t come after me.
James forgot how to breathe. His head rang out, spinning so dizzily that he wanted to throw up. But now was not the time for that. No, focus, James told himself harshly. I’ve got to go after Baby.
“Em! Gather the others!” James shouted.
“James, wait!” Emmeline began. “You can’t go into Rosier’s mansion all by yourse -!”
But with a crack!, James had already disappeared. Baby chose my life over hers? Well, I choose hers over mine. Merlin, I hope she’s all right. Just hold on, Baby. I’m coming!
* * * * * * * * * *
You thought you would have died by now. But you were wrong. What you hadn’t counted on was the hours and hours of humiliation and torture. Humiliation, because the Death Eaters saw you as the worst kind of scum. Since you, a pureblood, willingly choose to defy the Death Eaters, it put their whole ideology at risk. Thus, by ridiculing you, they were trying to shove you down into appearing as nothing more than an idiot, so that you would be less of a threat to them.
They jeered at you between sessions of torturing you with the Cruciatus Curse. As the torture began to challenge your consciousness, their words seemed to ring out even louder and straight into your ears: How could you willingly choose to degrade yourself to the level of Mudbloods? Do you like Mudbloods, you disgusting girl? Do you like to rub shoulders with them and count yourself among the peasants? Does being with those ignorant of magic somehow make you feel superior? Does being with such filth make you feel cleaner? And on and on and on…
You lost all track of time and identity. You were just a body lying on the floor, silently crying, bleeding out, dying…
Raspy screams pierced the air and your limbs jerked uncontrollably. It felt a hundred hot blades were tearing into your skin at once. But as soon the curse was lifted, you lay completely still on the floor again, tears streaming down your face. You were barely breathing.
And you turned that Lestrange boy! It was because of you! He’d been such a good boy, and then you filled your mind with filth, you slut, and now he’s off to who-knows-where, probably killed himself, and it was all your fault -!
“No, C-Cyrille...” you whispered.
“Crucio! Crucio! Crucio!”
Your scream rang out hoarsely in the large, empty space of the ballroom. “Ahhhhhhhh!”
“Bellatrix, that’s enough,” your father said, but Bellatrix ignored him, and you kept screaming. “ - hhhhhhhhhhh!”
Suddenly, the door at the end of the ballroom burst open.
Bellatrix turned, hissing loudly. Your father, along with Lucius, Rodolphus, and Rabastan all leapt up to their feet.
“What in hell -?”
“How did he -?”
James Potter’s voice rang out. “Expelliarmus!” His spell hit Bellatrix, whose wand went spinning out of her hand.
“Shit!” Rabastan cursed. “What if the whole Order’s here?”
“No, wait! Brother…” Rodolphus murmured. “I think it’s just him.”
“What? Just him?” Lucius said incredulously. “Could he be such a fool?”
Grinning, Rodolphus raised his wand, as did Rabastan. Victoriously, they both shouted, “Avada Kedav -!”
Emmeline, Sirius, and Remus all raced inside the room at the same time, wands aloft, and gasping for breath from all the running they’d just done. But they managed to send three successful spells straight at the Death Eaters, cutting short their curses and putting them on the defensive.
Meanwhile, James raced over to you. “Oh God,” he murmured frantically when he saw you. “Respond to me! Please, talk to me! Tell me you’re okay… Please…”
Your glassy eyes slid shut.
James’ own eyes widened before he sobbed, “No! No, please don’t go. Don’t leave me, sweetheart, I’m begging you to stay with me!” He gathered you up in his arms. He put his head to your chest, listening frantically for your heartbeat. To his total relief, he heard it, but it was very faint…
James saw Lucius turn his wand over towards you in his arms to try to finish you off.
“Sectis!” Lucius yelled.
James snarled and turning quickly with you still in his arms, he hunched over you and took the Cutting Spell straight to his back. He groaned when he felt the flesh on his back split open. But you had been spared.
“James! Get out of here!” Emmeline called to him, while she dueled fiercely with Rabastan. “Get her to St. Mungo’s!”
James’ heart turned cold at the thought of leaving his three friends behind to duel with some of the most fearsome Death Eaters, but he knew that your life was fast slipping away. Focusing, James Disapparated to St. Mungo’s with you in his arms.
* * * * * * * * * *
You slowly opened your eyes. You felt sore and stiff all over. Your limbs felt so heavy that you literally felt like you could not move. You blinked as you regained consciousness. The sunlight is so strong…
Your eyes flickered down from the high window. Taking in your surroundings, you realized that you were in a hospital and found yourself lying on a hospital bed. Sleeping with his head in his arms on the edge of your bed was…
“James?” Your voice came out so raspy; it hardly sounded like you.
Upon hearing you speak, James jolted up. His eyes widened when he saw your eyes open. He immediately leaned forward, closer to you. “You’re awake?”
You nodded. Ouch, bad move, you thought, wincing.
“Oh my God, you’re awake. You’re awake!” James said loudly.
Overhearing this, a nurse came rushing in. “Excuse me, sir, you can’t be so loud to a patient who just woke up!” she chided James.
“Right, sorry,” James apologized at once, looking bashful.
You couldn’t help but smile at him. Always so earnest…
James looked back over at you, even as the nurse started to push him out. He managed to catch a glimpse of your bright, if not exhausted eyes, and he saw that small smile appearing on your lips – his heart leapt with joy at seeing you smile – and then, he was pushed out, and the nurse closed the door behind him.
“I’m sorry,” the nurse remarked, fussing over you. “We tried to get him to leave many times, but he insisted on staying by your side.”
“No need for apology,” you reassured the nurse, speaking very quietly because your throat ached from dryness. “It was the best thing I could have woken up to.”
“Well, I suppose that’s good to hear, seeing as he hasn’t left your side in three days.”
Your eyes widened. “Three days?” you croaked out incredulously.
“Yes.” The nurse nodded severely at you. “You were in quite a state when that gentleman brought you here. For a moment, we thought you were lost. But you’ve got a strong heart beating in your body, miss, and you’ll be all right now, if you listen to my instructions.” With that, she began to rattle off detailed recovery instructions, but you were simply lost in the incredible thought that you had nearly died – but didn’t. I truly believed I was going to die. But no, I’m alive. So is James. You let out a long, slow breath, as a deep sense of relief and peace washed over you.
* * * * * * * * * *
The nurse told you that you needed someone to care for you over the next few weeks, and she naturally assumed that James was your boyfriend.
“Oh,” you said, attempting to correct her, “no, he’s not.”
“Well, then, your fiancée should make sure -”
“Er, no, not that, either.”
“Your husband will have to -”
You finally just let it go.
* * * * * * * * * *
It backfired spectacularly on you, though, when James came in again. The nurse, on her way out, said to him, “Your wife will be fine. Just don’t excite or upset her, now.”
James looked at her with a bewildered look, but she was already gone. He came over to you, brow furrowing. “Did you tell her we’re married?”
You shook your head a little too strongly, and you winced again.
“Careful, there,” James said quickly, catching the flash of pain going through your expression.
“I’m okay, James.”
“Right, the nurse said you’d be fine as long as you get your rest. So, I guess that’s good news.” James sat down in the chair besides your bed. He tried to remain calm and quiet, but he couldn’t help himself, and he kept fidgeting.
You looked up at him. “Something wrong?”
James shook his head.
“James,” you pressed knowingly.
James, struggling very hard not to growl at you, finally replied, “Listen, I know you’re injured and you need to recover, and the last thing I want to do is upset you or stress you out, but -” He shot you a hard, almost furious look “– never do that to me again. Risking your life like that; that was incredibly foolish.”
You bristled at this. “It wasn’t foolish,” you argued back. “What, you think I took my own life so lightly? I didn’t go for nothing. I had to go.”
“No, you didn’t.”
“Yes, I did -!” Your voice began to rise.
But James shocked you when he said simply, “You could have taken my life instead.”
You paused. Then, you asked uncertainly, “How did you know that?”
In fact, you suddenly realized that you were missing an entire segment of the story. You had no clue how James had come and found you in the first place. So, you questioned, “Wait, how did you know where I was? And how did you get me out of my father’s house?”
James tensed, as your words made him remember how utterly broken you’d been when he found you. His eyes narrowed and his arms clenched as his hands suddenly curled up into fists.
“Your letter,” he explained, his voice tight as he tried to keep himself controlled for your sake.
“Em showed it to you?”
James nodded. “I went after you immediately. Emmeline contacted Sirius and Remus, and the three of them arrived shortly after I did, covering me as I left with you.”
At this, you suddenly sat up. A jolt of pain ripped through your body, but you didn’t care. “Are they all right? Did they get hurt coming after me? Oh, Merlin, if any of them got hurt for my sake -!”
“Everyone’s all right,” James reassured you quickly. “Sirius got a bit scrapped up, but that’s his own fault. The bloody idiot couldn’t hold back from trying to hex Malfoy, even when he was supposed to fall back.”
“But he’s okay?” you asked anxiously.
“Yes. He’s fine. Spent one day in the hospital,” James replied. “Remus is a hell of a defensive spellcaster, you know. He had us covered. D’you remember how he was the first to master the Patronus in our seventh year?”
“And Emmeline was fighting really hard for you,” James told you. “I don’t think anyone could have stood up against her.”
“And you?” you asked James, examining him worriedly with your eyes. “Did you get hurt?”
James hesitated for the slightest second before he shook his head.
You cocked your head to the side, sensing that he wasn’t telling you everything. But at that moment, the nurse walked in and announced, “All right. You’re free to go, miss.”
“And, you sir,” the nurse said, nodding over at James, “make sure you apply ointment on your back now. That was a nasty cut you got.”
You shot James a confused look. But he said he wasn’t hurt… James was determinedly avoiding your gaze.
However, the nurse then said, “Right, your husband can take you home now. Remember, sir, you’ll have to take care of her and be attentive to her for the next few weeks now.”
You and James both shared wide-eyed looks.
“Is there a problem?” the nurse asked, catching your expressions.
“Um…” you began. “Well, you see…”
“No,” James said, his eyes still meeting yours, “there’s no problem.”
* * * * * * * * * *
“You really don’t have to do this.”
“I’m happy to.”
James had given you his bedroom. He’d put a pillow and a blanket out on the sofa for himself.
“James, really,” you said, uncomfortable, “this is unnecessary. I can just go home.”
“Yeah, you probably can. I should lock my windows, huh?”
You paused, startled. Then, you caught James’ cheeky grin playing around his lips.
But when James saw your surprise, his eyes softened. “Do you really want to go home?”
“Well, I don’t want to inconvenience you, James,” you said, looking away from him. “I mean, we’re not exactly… Um…”
Gazing at you with a scrutinizing and intentional gaze that you’d never seen on James before, James asked you, in a slow, deep voice, “Do I make you uncomfortable?”
You both paused for a moment. He’d clearly meant the question to be about his taking care of you – if you might prefer Em or if you really wanted to go home and be alone.
But there was an unspoken, yet very clear second meaning to his question. Are we feeling the same tension – the tension we used to feel with each other when we were together at Hogwarts? The tension that never really went away, only we kept distance between us and allowed ourselves to fall in love with other people for a spell – James with Lily, and me with Cyrille?
Your brow furrowed slightly as you found yourself unable to answer that question without giving too much of your heart away. Because the truth was, whenever James so much as looked your way, you noticed it at once and your heart thumped as though you were still a schoolgirl, despite the fact that you were now a young woman with a budding Auror career.
Moreover, there was a new aspect to your relationship with James now. It had to do with how he had matured, how there was a different type of intentional energy about him now.
James, seeing you thinking hard but unwilling to respond, sighed to himself as he began to head to the door.
Wait, you thought suddenly. This is how I lost you the first time, isn’t it? By pointing out what was uncomfortable between us, and then rejecting you if you couldn’t take responsibility for it right in that moment. I never did it to hurt you, but I think that if I had been more patient and given you more time back then, we could have been something. I mean, we might still be something…
He was at the door when you finally found the courage to whisper, “Yes, James. You do. You still do.”
James’ hand was on the doorknob when he heard your answer. He paused, and then he turned his head back to look at you. When your eyes found each other, the expressions on both of your faces were indescribable.
* * * * * * * * * *
The next night, Sirius came over for his shift. When he popped his head into your room, he grinned at you and said teasingly, “Well, well, if it isn’t the little martyr…”
You scowled at him.
He shot you a wink before he closed the door behind him.
A few minutes later, you heard the soft, low rumble of James and Sirius’ voices mingling as they talked together in the living room.
You shut your eyes and fell back on the pillows, slowly falling asleep. As you settled into bed, mind quieting and eyes falling shut, you could start to make out little bits of their conversation in the living room. Sirius’ voice was slightly deeper and huskier and therefore reached your ears more easily.
“Pads, mate, while you’re here, could you just…? Can’t reach…”
“You’re an idiot, Prongs. Why’d you have to take the curse full-on?”
“… Couldn’t reach my wand… She was in my arms.”
“Good thing you’ve got a broad back, Prongs.”
“Ow! …Don’t slap it… Ointment… so it heals, you fool.”
“Oh, right. Sorry. Here, give it over. I’ll put it on for you.”
“You’ve got to… Thanks, Prongs.”
* * * * * * * * * *
Thankfully, you healed as the days passed. But much like your prior trauma (when you were only a young girl and your mother nearly took your life), this time, too, the psychological wounds haunted you for far longer than your physical wounds. The nurse had assigned you Dreamless Sleep Potion for a week, but told you not to go beyond that as the Potion could be incredibly addictive.
The first night you attempted to sleep without the Potion, you dreamed so vibrantly that you literally envisioned Bellatrix standing at the foot of your bed, pointing her jagged wand at you and screaming, “Crucio!” Behind her, your father had a deeply pained and contorted expression on his face, but he didn’t do anything to protect you.
“Ahhh!” You woke up screaming, and you were screaming hard enough that your lungs were burning. You felt like your chest was going to burst.
Footsteps sounded out loudly, racing towards your room. When your bedroom door flew open, you yelped in fear and buried yourself under the blankets, shivering. Even though you knew it wasn’t Bellatrix, your mind kept whispering in fear, Is it Bellatrix? Is it Bellatrix? Has she come to torture me again?
But it was James. Seeing your state of shock and fear, James did not attempt to pry your blankets away from you. Instead, he got onto the bed and, though he had to rummage around for a second to figure out how to pull you towards him, eventually he managed to pull you, blankets and all, still in a big fluffy shaking heap of blankets, against him.
“You’re okay, sweetheart,” he murmured softly to you, feeling you shivering besides him. “You’re not in any danger. It was just a dream.”
Your hand snuck out from beneath the blankets and found his. James let you clutch onto his hand, and he squeezed your hand back lightly as he gently reassured you, “I’m right here, love. You’re safe with me.”
James waited until you were still in your blankets, no longer quivering. James heard you breathing quietly and he saw the blankets lifting ever so slightly as you breathed in and out. Finally, he very carefully pushed your blankets down from your face to make sure you could breathe freely. You were clearly fast asleep now, but James thought, If I move, I might wake her. He stayed for a while longer before reluctantly sliding his arm out from under you and gently propping your head up onto a pillow. The two of you were still holding hands, and he had to gently slide his hand out from yours. Your fingers twitched slightly, instinctively searching to reclaim the loss of heat, before falling back on top of the pillow, hand now lying open.
As James began to close the door carefully behind him, his eyes naturally flickered over to you one last time. James unintentionally found himself pausing when he saw you asleep in his bed. It made his heart thump a bit off-rhythm when he saw you sleeping so peacefully, one hand out on the pillow besides you, your curls a bit messy on the pillow, eyes closed and breathing softly, as you slept in his bed.
I should probably get Baby a glass of water, he thought. Knowing full well he was just making up an excuse to be near you again, he did go fetch a glass of water. He quietly set the glass down besides your bed before he trotted off to his own bed – the sofa.
* * * * * * * * * *
Waking up in James’ bed always surprised you, even after a week of doing so. Falling asleep and waking up to his scent was oddly comforting. It was a familiar scent, though there was an addition of aftershave fragrance now that you weren’t used to.
When you woke up the morning after your nightmare, you simply lay there for a moment, breathing in James’ scent all around in the sheets and blankets, before you got up and showered. You noticed the glass of water by your bed. You drank it, while thinking over last night. I don’t think I ever even thanked him. I think I just stayed under the blankets the entire time he was trying to comfort me…
A bit sheepishly, you plodded over to the kitchen, carrying the now empty glass to wash it. James was already in the kitchen, yawning as he flipped over the front page of the Daily Prophet.
When you came into the kitchen, he greeted you sleepily, “G ‘Morning.”
“Hi,” you replied softly, putting the glass in the sink. Then, turning to him, you said, “About last night – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb your sleep. I know I’m already a bit of a nuisance. I’ll put a Silencing Spell on the room before I sleep from now on.”
James blinked hard, trying to get his brain into working mode. He was not a morning person, as it were. When your words sank into his mind, he suddenly blurted out, “No.”
You’d already started washing the glass. You paused and looked over you shoulder. “Hm?”
“No Silencing Spell,” he told you.
You frowned. Shutting off the faucet, you wiped the glass and put it back before you responded, “Why not? Didn’t I wake you up?”
“You did. But, I’d rather know,” James said, looking up at you from behind his glasses. The way he was gazing at you, with such an honest and good-natured expression, made your heart skip a beat.
I can’t stand here and take this and expect myself to remain indifferent, you realized. Looking away, you simply said, “Okay.” Then, before another word could leave your lips, you quickly hurried back to your – well, James’ – bedroom.
James watched you scurrying away from the kitchen. He had a confused expression on his face, mouth slightly open in puzzlement. Did I say something wrong? he wondered, abandoning the newspaper and sitting back in his chair to think it over. I mean, Baby’s always been a bit of the suffer-in-silence type, but… maybe it’s because she just doesn’t want me any nearer than I already am. James’ heart sank, and he let out a deep sigh as the image of you scampering back to your room without looking at him played over in his mind. He’d hoped that the two of you being together would bring you both closer, but it seemed to have just the opposite effect, and that depressed him.
* * * * * * * * * *
Back in your room, you were getting dressed for the day (Em had been gracious enough to bring some clothes over). As you picked out a shirt, you found yourself looking at the other clothing in the closet space. Hanging on the coat rack, your eyes ran over James’ button-ups, jackets, and his old Quidditch jumper… You hesitated. Then, you reached out and gently touched the Quidditch jumper. I remember this, you thought fondly. You ran your fingers along the fraying hems…
Suddenly, you heard two voices chatting. One faded away just before two sharp knocks sounded out on your bedroom door.
You ran over and opened it. “Em!” You threw your arms around her.
Emmeline smiled at you. “Thought I’d stop by to say hello. How are you holding up?”
“I’m fine. Pretty much all better, I think. How about you and Jonathan?”
“We’re all right, as always.” Emmeline looked at your face and she immediately noticed, “You do seem healthier, but you don’t seem all right.”
“Well,” Emmeline said dryly, “we’re nine years too deep into our friendship for you to start keeping secrets now, so you’d better spill.”
Emmeline also paused before she murmured thoughtfully, “Actually, I guess you didn’t tell me about your heritage, so that’s one big strike against you, but -”
She stopped talking when you gently pulled her into the room and you shut the door behind her. Turning to her, you said very quietly, “Em, you’re going to think I’m pathetic.”
Emmeline lifted her eyebrow at you. “Why would I ever think that about you?”
“Because,” you said in a small voice, “I don’t know what to do.”
“About what?” Her forehead creased in concern.
Emmeline paused. “What about him?”
Your cheeks slowly began to flush with embarrassment as you confessed, “Being so close to him all the time isn’t exactly easy. My mind keeps reminding me about how we broke up at Hogwarts, and how I learned my lesson then – that he’ll never love me the way I love him, but then, being here with him every day, I’m starting to think -”
“Wait,” Emmeline put her hand on your shoulder to stop you. “What do you mean ‘love him?’ That sounds like you’re talking about now, not back then.”
You fell silent, caught.
A bit exasperated, Emmeline said incredulously, “Still?”
A long moment of complete quiet rose up between the two of you, but Emmeline did not release you from her stern, questioning gaze.
Feeling defeated, you murmured, “I should move out, right? I should get out of here before I do or say something stupid.”
When you said this, Emmeline recognized the conflict within you, and her gaze changed. She looked at you with eyes full of sympathy as she said kindly, “I know it’s hard. But I think you’re right: you shouldn’t forget what happened last time, at Hogwarts. You were pretty messed up for a while after you broke up with him. I remember. And when he started dating Lily…”
“Right,” you mumbled, nodding.
Emmeline studied you for a while longer. Unbeknownst to you, she was thinking back to the conversation she’d had with James, when you’d been asleep on her shoulder on the sofa. James had said then, “You know, not that it matters, but she broke my heart, too…”
“Or, at least, don’t be so upfront about your feelings this time,” Emmeline suggested to you. “I know honesty is the best way to go, but in this case, I don’t think it’s fair for you to put yourself up like that twice. If anything’s going to happen, let him come to you, okay?”
You nodded again and repeated, rather unconvincingly, “Right.”
“Promise me,” Emmeline said to you. “Promise me you won’t confess to him first.”
“I promise,” you answered quietly, and a bit unwillingly.
Sensing your reluctance, Emmeline shook her head at you. “Why do you have to have a soft spot for James Potter, of all people? I mean, he’s a wonderful human being, but he’s a hard one to pin down, you know?”
“Trust me,” you sighed softly. “I know.”
* * * * * * * * * *
Two nights later, you woke up in the middle of the night again, jolted awake by another nightmare. Thankfully, you had not screamed aloud this time. But the visions in your mind were still brutal.
You sighed. Stop thinking about it. You reached over and downed the glass of water beside your bed. James had made it a habit to come bring you water in the evenings. You’d protested a little at first, not wanting to accept any more favors from him, but it seemed silly to fight over accepting a glass of water, so you finally let James do it for you.
You tossed and turned in your bed for thirty more minutes before you gave up in defeat and simply got up out of bed. Wanting more water, you slipped out of the room.
Passing the living room to get to the kitchen, you found James on the couch. He was snoring lightly, having fallen asleep with his stomach pressed to the couch, while his cheek was pressed up against the pillow and his arm was over the pillow and dangling over the edge of the sofa. His hair was a total mess (it always is, you thought affectionately) and his glasses were askew. Still open in front of his face was a book on werewolves and treatments for humans after transformations.
Wondering why on earth he was reading up on such a topic, you gently set the book aside. Then, taking care not to wake him, you slid his glasses off of his face and folding them neatly, you placed them on the table besides the couch. After that, you gently pushed him back so that he’d be sleeping on side instead of on his stomach. Finally, sitting carefully on the edge of the sofa beside James, you started to drag the blankets over him, when James suddenly grabbed your waist in both of his hands, and without warning, he squeezed your little waist.
It was the same spot he used to squeeze – that dip in your waist - and it always made you moan. Startled, a soft “uh” left your lips. You froze as soon as the sound left you. You saw James’ brow furrow and he confusedly felt your waist a bit more with fumbling hands. Then, he began to open his eyes. Your nerves got the better of you, and you suddenly ripped yourself away and ran back to your room.
You hurriedly huddled under the covers, heart thundering and wide-eyed. Oh, come on, you told yourself. Nothing happened. Pull it together. You’re a grown woman, for goodness’ sake. But it still took a while for you to calm down. Thankfully, though, that small incident with James seemed to have brushed your mind free of horrible nightmares for the rest of the night and you fell back asleep with your face buried in your pillow that smelled lightly of him.
* * * * * * * * * *
James paused. He thought there might be a lingering warmth on his palms, but when he fumbled his hands out blindly in front of him, there was nothing there. However, he thought he could just detect your scent besides him. Hm… Foggily, he wondered if he had dreamed of you. Entirely possible, he thought. Entirely possibly I’d dream about Baby.
* * * * * * * * * *
However, the next morning, when James sat up and put on his glasses, the first thing he noticed was the water glass you’d left on the table in the living room next to the sofa. He also saw the way you slunk around him at the breakfast table, and he immediately knew that something was off. He wasn’t sure if it was related to this phantom “dream” he’d had of you or not, but certainly, something had happened to heighten your already existing discomfort around him. All right, James thought. That’s it. I have to know what’s going on between me and Baby. I can’t have her hating me like this. It’s killing me.
You looked up from putting your toast on your plate. “Yes?”
“What’s going on?”
James gave you a bit of a puzzled look. He hadn’t asked you what was wrong, just if anything was going on. “Are you feeling all right?” he asked you. “Are you still hurting somewhere, or are you sore? You know, I could go back to St. Mungo’s and get some more Recovery Potions for you, if that’d help.”
As he spoke, James came closer to you. You’d been standing facing the kitchen counter, putting the toast on your plate. But when he came closer, you immediately dropped your toast onto the plate and then instinctively pushed yourself back, so that your back was pressed up against the kitchen counter and you were facing him. James, a bit surprised at your sudden movement and thinking you were feeling unwell, started to reach for you. Then, seeing that you were fine, he awkwardly ended up leaning over you for a moment, with his hands pressing up against the kitchen counter, nearly pinning you down. He hastily pulled his hands away and took a small step back.
You found yourself looking straight at his chest, blinking and feeling a bit disorientated from the abrupt and awkward movements that had just played out between the two of you.
“Body’s fine,” you mumbled, in an attempt to carry on the previous conversation. But you only blushed further when you realized that you were obviously staring at his chest.
James was gazing down at you, too. He swallowed hard, pushing back this overwhelming desire he felt to lean closer to your face, and maybe put his warm mouth on your soft one…
But you slipped away from him just then. Sliding out from between him and the kitchen counter, you replied casually, “Anyways, it was just a dream I had.”
“Oh, another nightmare?” James asked knowingly.
But you replied quietly, “No. It was a good dream.”
“Oh.” James paused. “But you seem… I mean, you seem a bit off.”
You looked down at the floor as you told him, “I guess I was just thinking about when I should leave.”
James fell silent for another moment, but this time, you could see that he was slightly hurt. “Oh, right,” was all he said.
Hurriedly, you tried to explain yourself, “I’m really grateful to you, James, honestly. It’s just that I think I’ve bothered you enough. I mean, you’ve slept for two weeks on your couch because of me. Besides, I’ve got to get back to work and all -”
“The nurse said you can’t go back to work for at least three weeks -”
“Yes, but I think I’m all better now, thanks to you, and if not, I’ll rest up more at home, where I’m not bothering you anymore.”
James frowned. Again, that same refrain – she doesn’t want to be with me. I should just accept that, right? But James growled at himself in his head. Aargh, I want to just accept it, but I can’t. Not when I don’t know the reason why, and not when I still care about her like this.
“All right,” James spoke decidedly all of a sudden, “if this is none of my business, you can tell me to bugger off, but I have to ask you, because it’s been bothering me for some time now. You seem to hate taking any favors from me and you’re always trying to avoid me. Is it because of what happened between us at Hogwarts?”
“No,” you replied quickly, remembering your promise to Emmeline not to put yourself out there first.
“So, it’s just me feeling this, then,” James murmured, almost to himself. “This… thing between us that’s still lingering. I can’t figure out what it is exactly – Is it your resentment towards me? Is it anger at myself? Or is it just a remnant of our friendship that now feels awkward…?” He blew out a long breath. In a voice so soft you barely heard it, he said, “Maybe it’s just me.”
Seeing James’ frustration, you felt your barely-formed resolve already starting to break. No, James, you thought to yourself. Of course it’s not just you. Of course I feel it, too.
Oh God, you groaned in your head. I can’t bear this anymore. I can’t stand making James so upset, not when he’s being so kind to me.
But, the other side of your head warred back, don’t let your feelings get in the way. Don’t be a fool, now.
Finally looking up at him, you tried to make a compromise in your heart by saying, “James, it doesn’t really matter what we might feel, does it? I mean, don’t you think we should have moved on by now?”
James, however, did not adopt your compromise – your escape, really - at all. Instead, he voiced slowly and meaningfully, “Yes and no. You’re right in that we shouldn’t be exactly the same. We are adults now, after all, or trying to be, anyways. But that doesn’t mean we just throw away the past and pretend like we don’t know each other.”
“Well, to be honest, I – um, I don’t think I’m strong enough to take on both yes and no,” you responded, though you felt quite embarrassed to admit this. “Not with you, anyways.”
“What do you mean? Why not with me? Is it because you still haven’t forgiven me?”
“No, it’s not that. It’s not because I’m upset with you or anything. It’s just – The entire thing, being here with you, being in your home, is difficult. Because I realize… that after everything, you’re still you, and I’m still me. I mean, your bed smells just like you, still. And you still hold me the same way you used -”
You were referring to when James had held you after your nightmares, but James’ eyes flashed as he suddenly realized, “That was you. Last night. You were really there, sitting on the couch beside me, and I…” His voice trailed off as he understood what had happened. He’d reached out for you, the way he used to in the early mornings after you’d slept together in the same bed, and he’d squeeze you by your waist, and you’d inadvertently let out a little moan… That was what he had heard last night, that sweet little “uh” that had woken him from his sleep, just as it had many, many times before…
A hot flush of embarrassment ran through you when you registered that James had figured out what had happened last night, that he had really touched you, and you had really responded, and then ran away…
Leaving behind your toast still sitting on the counter, you abruptly made to leave the room. But James stood up, too, and in a flash, he came over to you. “No, no, wait,” he said. Not wanting to hurt or frighten you in any way, he didn’t touch you, but he managed to gently pin you in-between his arms and the doorway. “This is the closest I’ve gotten to a real conversation with you since we broke up. Please don’t leave me now.”
You bit your lower lip and avoided his gaze, which was so intent on searching your expression. “Well,” you murmured, “what is there to say, James? I loved you, and you didn’t love me back. That was all.” You tried to sound nonchalant about it, but you couldn’t. Your heart hurt. And yet, when you finally gathered the courage to look into James’ eyes, you immediately felt a deep sense of tenderness welling up within your heart. What you intended to be a matter-of-fact and unaffected gaze softened into an expression of complete tenderness and fondness for the man standing in front of you. Because, no matter what, he was your favorite person, and you couldn’t hide that.
Your relationship with Cyrille had been absolutely essential in your healing. Because of Cyrille, you’d learned that you had it in you to love someone other than James, and to be happy with someone other than James. And yet, James Potter was still the best person you’d ever known.
Your words struck James straight in his heart, and he felt like you had stuck a sword through his chest. But at the same time, he also saw the tenderness in your gaze. James felt himself starting to become overwhelmed with emotions, responding to you so intensely in his heart that his mind scrambled to put anything into coherent words.
“I wasn’t – When you asked me if I – Given time I would have -” He suddenly cut off. Shutting his eyes tightly for a moment, he took a deep breath and then, he said, slowly, “That’s not all.”
You continued to gaze up at him. Here was a James Potter you hadn’t met yet, one who took responsibility for his feelings. Your voice trembled slightly as you whispered, “No?”
“No,” he replied firmly. “Because it’s not just about feelings. You didn’t give me a choice. You didn’t give me time. I was well on my way to loving you, and just you. I think you knew that.”
“No,” you pushed back honestly. “I truly didn’t know.”
James hesitated. “You didn’t know I was falling in love with you?”
You shook your head. “No… I thought that…” The words pained you to say, but you managed to speak them aloud. “James, wasn’t I just convenient for you? A stand-in for Lily?”
“What? No,” James said, surprised. “That’s never what it was about. I was torn, I admit that, but it was never… You were never a replacement. I valued you on your own terms.” He paused, frowning deeply. “How could you think that?”
“How could I not?” you asked him, with real hurt flashing through your eyes now. “You always had your eyes on Lily. You loved her for so long.”
“I did,” James admitted. “But she was an infatuation. I mean, I think she’s an incredible woman, but we were meant to be friends. I think that when I was younger, her being the first girl to reject me so soundly made me want to chase after her. Most of it was about the thrill, I think… That’s not the kind of love that sustains you, though. It doesn’t hold up as well in the light of day.”
“I didn’t know that,” you said honestly. “I just thought you regarded me as someone comfortable and easy, and that your real love was only for Lily. I mean, after our break-up, I was the only one who was miserable. It didn’t affect you at all.”
James stared at you in disbelief. He suddenly said, rather furiously, “Didn’t affect me? You really don’t think it affected me when you left me? When I lost you?”
You paused, taken aback by the emotion in his response. “I… James… I didn’t…”
James took a deep breath. His anger slowly faded away as he said miserably, “I guess I understand now how you might think that. Lily did always tell me that I was horrible at communicating my feelings…”
“No,” you said softly. “I’m not trying to put the blame on you, James. We were both so young.”
“Then, what about now?” James asked you, and his voice was deep and husky, carrying both anticipation and pain within it. “Do you still doubt me?”
“Well, yes, I still don’t know,” you confessed. “If Lily was an infatuation, then what was I? What am I to you?”
“You?” James blinked. “You’re the kind-of everyday love that keeps my soul strong,” he whispered. “The kind of love where I would choose, every single day, who I want to be with…” He opened his mouth, intending to say, “And I would choose you, if you’ll have me,” but then he stopped and quickly closed his mouth. He didn’t want to push you too hard, too fast.
You swallowed hard. His eyes were holding yours, locked in an intense gaze you couldn’t seem to tear yourself away from.
“And what about you?” James asked in a very quiet voice, trying to search for your feelings for him. “Are you still with Lestrange?”
You slowly shook your head back and forth, indicating that no, you were not. “We were together, but we’ve gone our separate ways,” you replied honestly. “I still hope the best for him, and I’m still worried about him, but even if I find him again, I don’t see myself together with him.”
“Then,” James continued, “I have to ask: What am I to you?”
Your thoughts were going haywire. Every instinct you had was telling you to protect your heart, warning you how James had hurt you before. You’d told him that you loved him, and you’d had your heart crushed. But how could you deny it? How could you not be in love with him?
“Tell me,” James murmured. “Please. I have to know.”
“I’m not supposed to tell you. Em said not to. She made me promise,” you whispered back, looking up at him with fearful eyes. “And she’s right. I’ve already made this mistake. I can’t do it twice.”
James’ brow furrowed deeply. “What mistake?”
“No, I don’t want to tell you…” you mumbled again. But you knew you were fighting against a lost cause. You could never hide it with James. “I don’t want to admit again that I love you…” Unable to help yourself, in a pained whisper, you committed your “mistake” and you confessed, “But I do.”
Em’s going to kill me, you thought numbly, in disbelief that you’d admitted your feelings plainly and out loud after so many times of resolving not to.
James’ eyes flashed in realization. You trembled as you stood before James. Oh, no, you thought to yourself, how could I have…? What have I done?
It wasn’t until you felt James’ warm hand pressing gently on your face, and he was slowly wiping away a tear with his thumb, that you realized you were crying a little.
“Baby,” he whispered, using your old nickname, “don’t cry.”
You both stood there for a moment, sharing one silhouette as the morning sunlight grew stronger and moved into a deeper gold that lit up the entire kitchen.
“If I kiss you, will it hurt?” James murmured, still concerned about your physical condition.
“Yes, but not in the way you mean it,” you whispered back, tears clinging to your eyelashes. Suddenly scared of breaking down into outright tears, you instinctively held your breath.
James’ expression became pained, as he realized you were talking about your heart and how you felt the need to guard yourself around him.
Quicker than in the blink of an eye, he leaned down and pressed his lips to yours. His lips caught yours so passionately that your lips immediately parted in response, and the breath that you had been holding in left you.
Your mind spun. Is James Potter really kissing me? After all these years?
Slowly, your arms came up – James ducked down a little more so you could hold onto him - and with a soft sob, you wrapped your arms around his neck. His hands came up, too, and grasped his favorite spot on your body, your lovely little waist that fit so perfectly in his hands.
“Ah,” you breathed out softly, when you felt his warm palms pressed up tight to your sides, and his fingers grasping at the sides and back of your shirt.
Baby’s so perfect. She fits up right against me, lips and waist and everything, James thought warmly, his heart leaping with joy in his chest as he felt you accepting his kiss. He’d been so afraid and uncertain that you’d push him away and leave him.
Your mouths were familiar to each other, and they pressed against each other without any hesitation. However, though the movements may have been familiar, the feelings bubbling up between you both were new and strange, and warm and frightening, at the same time.
James’ hands slid across the back of your waist and he squeezed you in his embrace. Warmth from his chest seemed to radiate out and touch you as the two of you shifted closer and closer together. Your kisses became deeper and more fervent, grasping at each other’s lips. You were both wanting so badly to convey your desire for each other, after so many strange years of being unable to acknowledge any connection between the two of you. How many awkward Order meetings had you two had to sit through, purposefully avoiding meeting each other’s gazes, but stealing glances at each other all the time? How many times had mutual friends insisted that you all gather together at someone’s house, and you’d inevitably bump up against one another in the kitchen or living room, and you’d find yourselves unable to say even simple things such as “Hello” or “How are you?”, let alone something like “I might still be in love with you.”
So, was it any wonder that you stayed so close together now, hugging each other tightly, as though you were each other’s hearts and you could only remain alive so long as your chests were touching to give one another your hearts? When you were finally kissing after years of longing for even the merest glance or touch from one another…
Of course, there had been periods of time where you were not one another’s first choice, where you and James had not been in love, and each of you had both been devoted to your partner – Lily to James, and Cyrille to you. While you were in those relationships, you were in love with Cyrille, not James. But what was curious and wonderful and heart-breaking all at once was that something, some thread, had been sustained throughout all that, and it had been lit aflame once more as the two of you found yourselves falling out of love with your partner not because they had done anything wrong, but because of the path your life had taken. Had there been no war, perhaps James would have had less to argue about with Lily, and they might have stayed together, or you and Cyrille would never had separated after graduation. But life had not ended up that way – life had put you two together again, and when it did, you found yourselves both completely in love with each other.
Your mind was still whirling, and of course, James’ mind was, as per usual, going a hundred thoughts a second. Breathing out a bit heavily, he suddenly whispered, “Wait, we shouldn’t do this. I mean, you’re still injured.”
“No,” you murmured back, lips still on his, unwilling to stop kissing him. “All better.”
James stopped kissing you for just a second to repeat hopefully, “All better?”
“Mhm, thanks to you.”
Your lips met again, and a long moment rolled by as you kissed each other, softly and lovingly moving your mouths against one another.
But then, a bit helplessly, James tore his lips away from yours for just a second to mumble anxiously, “But the nurse said three weeks…”
“The nurse also said you were my husband, so I don’t think we have to take everything she said at face value,” you murmured. Closing your eyes, you kissed him again, and James responded, parting his lips to catch yours warmly.
But only two seconds later, and James had moved his head back a little to ask you, with uncertainty curled up in his voice, “So you don’t – you don’t hate me?”
“No,” you whispered back. “I don’t hate you…” Unable to help yourself, you smiled just a little at how he was looking at you, all doe-eyed and earnest, when it truth, you loved him with all of your heart.
A bit impatiently this time, you pulled him back to you, pressing your lips against his, and the two of you kissed lovingly again. His lips slotted so warmly and perfectly into yours. He had the softest lips. You remembered how much you loved his kisses, and how good he had made you feel all of those times he’d bury his head between your thighs.
“Mm,” you breathed out softly.
The lovely feeling of sensation blurred and thickened as the two of you increasingly tugged and grasped at each other’s lips. Your lips glistened softly now with each other’s wetness on your mouths. Blissfully, your mind went into a haze – of comfort, pleasure, love, forgiveness, and pure want, all of the things that you had denied yourself for so long.
As you kissed, you snuggled up against James as much as you could. The warm sunlight meshed with the incredible warmth of James’ body. He'd always been so wonderfully warm, and now, as a young man instead of a teenager, he was only more so. You wanted more of him – to taste and touch more of him now. You pushed yourself onto your tiptoes to kiss him deeper, but the movement caused James to step back just a little, as his desire to take you suddenly flared up within him, and he immediately counteracted by stepping away from you. Ironically, however, though he meant to step back and clear his head, because he was completely unwilling to let you go, he kept his arms around you, and the sudden movement of being pulled forward to stay with him as he stepped back meant that you actually ended up falling forward even further, accidentally pressing you up flush against him, with your tummy now pressed tight to his abs.
“Baby,” James breathed out, feeling you suddenly right up against him. He was breathing heavily now, with his heart racing furiously in his chest. “I don’t – I don’t want to make a mistake with you. I took you for granted last time and I don’t – I never want you to feel that way again. I was an ass, and I’m not an ass anymore, or at least I don’t think so. No, I mean, I don’t want to be, but I’m nervous and – and – it’s been a long time since we’ve done anything like this and -”
You watched him sputter out loud, and you gazed at him with warm, loving eyes. James kept talking (“– I don’t want you to regret anything you do with me…”), but as he did, he noticed the way you looked at him; how, unlike Lily, you didn’t seem annoyed or angry that he couldn’t quite seem to find the words to convey his feelings to you. (“And I want you, I really want you. But maybe we’re losing ourselves too fast here…? Or – But, if you want to, then, I want… you…”) No, you didn’t seem annoyed at all. Instead, you seemed patient. And… perhaps even… a little in love? James’ heart suddenly soared. He’d fallen silent, and he hadn’t even realized it.
Your hands were still around his neck and you were looking up at James with your head cocked to the side a little as you listened patiently to him rambling on. Truth be told, it reminded you a little of the very first time he’d made love to you. James had been the first to make love to you, and he’d been just like this – all nervous and stuttering - when in reality, none of it would make the slightest bit of difference to you as long as you were with him.
James suddenly whispered, not in a nervous voice, but in a fervent voice of adoration, “There it is.”
“There what is?” you wondered, a bit surprised at the high level of certainty suddenly present in his voice.
“Your eyes turn a certain color, all soft and like, when you’re with me like this,” James explained to you. “It’s my favorite color…”
You blinked. “Oh…”
James smiled softly at you. “You didn’t know? I never told you?”
You shook your head.
James sighed a little. “Well, I’ll have to tell you all of those little things I kept to myself last time, so that you’ll know…” He left the last words unspoken, as his lips had found yours again, and the words “how much I love you” were swallowed up in each other’s mouths once more.
With James holding you so tightly, the morning sunlight thickening, and your heart racing at a high speed, you were starting to feel very flushed. James felt your cheek starting to burn up against his hand.
“Baby,” he murmured, pulling back just a little to look at you, “you’re flushed. Are you all right? Am I holding you too tightly?”
“Yes,” you whispered honestly, but as James began to disengage, you held onto him tightly and finished, “but don’t let go.”
James softened at once, holding you tenderly in his arms and stroking your hair.
“James,” you murmured. Tucked against him, which was exactly where you loved to be, you gripped the front of his shirt in your hands. Pushing yourself onto tiptoe again, you pressed warm and tender kisses against the side of his neck.
“Mm,” James’ hold on you suddenly tightened, as he felt your pretty lips grasping softly at his skin.
“James,” you whispered again, and the desire in your voice made it clear what you wanted – him.
James’ hands slowly moved down your body, and you felt his broad hands slip onto the back of your thighs. He easily picked you up in his arms, and you knew to wrap your legs around his strong, wide hips at once. Holding you like that, James pressed you slightly against the doorway behind you. But, still mostly holding you up in his arms, James kissed you more fervently now, heads shifting back and forth a little as you traded fierce kisses.
“Careful,” James warned you between kisses, “don’t bump your head.”
“Okay, I won’t,” you promised him, and the way you said it made James’ eyes crinkle up as he smiled at you.
However, the atmosphere quickly shifted from one of pure, sweet happiness to one that was, while happy, also shot through with rising tension. Feeling your legs wrapped tightly around his waist, James couldn’t help but start to feel his heart beat faster with anticipation. He wasn’t the only one starting to feel a bit heated, either. For you, too, feeling yourself literally in his arms and pressed between the doorway and his waist, it wasn’t a stretch by any means to want him more than just emotionally – you also wanted him physically; you wanted him inside you.
James felt you shiver slightly in his arms, even though you were very warm in his arms. Your prettily flushed cheeks were evidence of that. Then, James felt your legs squeezing a bit tighter around his waist, and he groaned softly. The groan came out a bit muffled as you claimed it for yourself, capturing and swallowing James’ groan into your own mouth. You were holding onto him and kissing him passionately, with your fingers tangled tightly in his scruffy locks at the back of his head.
Still kissing furiously, you both very slowly began to move your hips together.
“Uhn,” you breathed out softly. “J-James…”
“What is it, sweetheart?” he asked you tenderly. “What is it you want?”
In as vulnerable and as soft a voice as you’d ever spoken in, you whispered, “I want you to love me, James.”
James paused. He gazed into your eyes for a long spell to make sure he was understanding you correctly. You leaned forward and pressed your forehead against his and whispered, “Please.”
His heart thumped loudly in his chest. Baby’s begging. She never begs. Or she never used to beg. And it still… The way it affects me is so intense it’s almost embarrassing. I already want her so badly, and then to hear her call for me… Merlin, I’d do anything for her, and I need her to know that.
And before James knew it, he had reached down with one hand to pull his trousers down and then, reaching down under you, he managed to tug your pajama bottoms and your panties up your thighs, just enough for him to be able to reach you between your legs.
“You’re probably not wet enough, sweetheart,” James told you. “You’re a little wet, I can feel you on my fingers, but I remember how tight you are. I’ll help you, love.” Kissing your forehead, he meant to unwind your legs from his waist, but you shook your head and hugged him tighter, locking your arms around his neck and your legs around his waist and decidedly refusing to let go of him.
“Just go slow, please,” you murmured. Yes, please, I want you in me now.
James hesitated. He was afraid to hurt you. But suddenly, he remembered all of those years ago, when, after he’d filled your room with books as an apology, the two of you had made love far too frantically, and he’d pushed inside of you before you were ready. James still remembered your desperate gasps as he took you between your legs. You had sounded like an absolute sweetheart.
The next day, however, you’d been very grumpy in Transfiguration. James had come after you, teasing you about how you hadn’t heard a word McGonagall said all class. James suggested he take you back to his room in Gryffindor Tower so he could bury his head between your legs to soothe your ache by making you cum until you felt better. But you surprised him by dropping onto your knees right there, under the willow tree by the Great Lake, and taking him in your mouth without a second thought. James had thought, wait, I’m Head Boy, I shouldn’t be doing this, but you’d so sweetly asked to sit on his cock that he couldn’t help but acquiesce and make love to you right there, on the grass among the daisies. James hadn’t been able to stop thinking about that incident for weeks.
Remembering the way you’d made love to him then, clutching his shoulders just as you were doing now, James smiled to himself as he listened to you this time, too. Still holding you up as you held on tightly to his neck and waist, James reached under you and guided his cock to your waiting pussy. You both shivered when the head of his cock ran along your pretty slit. Then, he pushed the tip of his cock inside of you.
“Ah…! J-James!” The sudden friction of James pushing in the tip of his cock inside of your tight sex made a sudden burst of warmth blossom between your legs.
“Uhn…” James groaned and pressed his forehead against yours, as he felt how tight you were, and your soft pussy walls were pulsing on his cock already. “Shit,” he moaned. “I forgot how soft you are, all warm and sweet… And so tight, too, so tight for me, baby...”
James’ hands slid down to grasp your ass while your knees were folded over his elbows, legs hanging out on either side of James’ waist. When James repositioned himself like that, now holding you lowering against his body, naturally, your hips sank lower and closer to him as your thighs suddenly became vertical, meaning that you were suddenly settled down right on his cock.
“J-James,” you stuttered out again, whimpering slightly as you felt his cock sinking inside you. James’ cock was thicker than you remembered. You did, however, remember how his cock broadened out, and you tensed even before he was too deep inside of you, because your body instinctively remembered him. And sure enough, right where his cock became thicker, you moaned as your little pussy struggled to take him in any further. James had to step forward and anchor you against the doorway a little to push himself inside of you any further.
“A-Ah…” you moaned softly, feeling your little hole being beautifully stretched out by him.
“Uhn, baby…” James groaned, too, as he felt your pussy slowly spreading open for him. “Sweetheart, you’re really tight.”
“Mmm, James,” you whispered into his ear. “Make me wet.”
James nodded, and he promised you, “I will, love. Just hold onto me tight.”
Sweetheart, baby, love… All the old nicknames were suddenly flooding back into your life all at once. You wanted to swallow them all and keep them in your heart forever.
You held onto James as tightly as you could and kept pressing kisses onto his face as he gently fucked you. Your hips and ass hit up so softly against the doorframe as he pushed his cock into you, sinking himself right between your pretty thighs, which were pressed tightly against the sides of his hard, muscular stomach.
Lovely, soft moans rang out from the both of you as, standing there in the doorway, with the summery morning light coming in through the half-closed blinds and lying down in stripes across your merged bodies, the love you made together was so, so gentle.
Groaning at feeling you wrapped around so beautifully on his cock, James leaned forward and buried his head against your neck. He gave you blushing love marks all down your neck, by biting and sucking softly but passionately at your skin.
Finally, needing more, James, still carrying you, walked over to the kitchen table and he carefully laid you down at the end of it. Your legs were still around his waist, but you were now lying back on the table, looking up at James, who was gazing back down at you with a soft gaze that portrayed, as clearly as you could imagine, that he was so in love with you.
“Sweetheart,” he whispered and he reached down to push your hair back from your face before he started to move his hips again, gently rocking back and forth as he spread you open little by little on his cock.
You breathed out. “Uh…”
“Am I making you feel good, love?” James asked you.
You nodded as you moaned softly. “Y-Yes… So good…”
You both were speaking to each other in the quietest and sweetest of voices.
James, feeling how your pussy, while still squeezing hard all around his cock, was becoming steadily wetter, leaned forward a little to angle himself to push into you a little deeper.
You instantly moaned, and then bit down on your lower lip.
“Fuck,” James groaned out, feeling you taking in more of him into your warmth. “You feel so good, baby. So good wrapped around me like that.”
“Uhn…” you breathed out.
James, who had placed his hands on both of your thighs to gently hold you in place, now slid his hands forward, slipping them under your soft, loose pajama shirt. He pressed his hands against your skin as he pushed them up, and the hem of your shirt caught on his wrists and followed his hands up, exposing your tight little tummy and beautiful bare breasts to him.
“Mm,” James moaned wantingly at seeing you. He pressed his large hands down on your breasts, and he kept his hands there as he made love to you on the kitchen table. “So soft,” he murmured. “You have the softest little body, baby.”
Yeah, fits perfectly in my hands, he thought to himself, a bit hazily.
You smiled up at him, lips turning upwards beautifully. Your cheeks and eyes were aglow as you looked up at him. You’d missed this - his warm, broad hands touching you, and his thick cock stretching you out so pleasurably.
“Baby,” you murmured back softly. Hearing you whisper that name back to him, James was helpless except to pause from taking you to lean forward and share a kiss with you. You just looked so lovely, lying there for him, letting him touch you and take you as his baby again.
“Mm,” you moaned softly into the kiss, as your lips pressed against each other sweetly. “I love - I love the way you taste, James, and the way you - you touch me,” you confessed, panting a little into his mouth as he felt your breasts in his hands while keeping his cock warm inside of you.
“Good girl,” James praised you softly, as he parted from you but stayed down with his face close to yours for a moment. He kissed the tip of your nose quickly, making you giggle, before he stood back up.
Then, as James continued to press his cock deeper and deeper inside of you, you felt yourself starting to hold your breath before every thrust. As a result, your inhales and exhales both became sharper, turning into like audible puffs of air. Your legs slowly fell away from his waist, as your mind became more occupied with the slowly but definitely building tension between your legs.
James wasn’t taking you hard, but he didn’t need to. Everything felt so good as it was. It all felt so dream-like: being with James again, making love first thing in the morning when the kitchen was just starting to light up with the early midday sun, and having him inside of you while you were lying back on a softly creaking wooden table. Truly dreamlike, you thought to yourself, as James’ touches - both his hands on your breasts, covering them warmly with his large palms and long fingers, and then the more rhythmic waves of sensation cresting up between your legs – made you believe that you had entered some sort-of heaven, where sex was soft and lovely because it was all enmeshed in this incredibly warm feeling of love and sunshine.
“Hah… A-Ah…” Your breath hitched and stuttered a little as the soft waves of pleasure began to crest a little higher, tugging at your lower tummy and bit by bit, guiding you to –
“Yes, baby, that’s it,” James breathed out lovingly, feeling you starting to tighten around him.
You lifted your legs up and James helped you, taking his hands off of your breasts to help you bring your legs into the air. You crossed your legs in the air and then, James pushed down a little on your thighs so that your long legs were now hiding the rest of your body from view, except for the soft curve of your hips and ass against the table.
When James looked down, he saw your beautiful legs coming down to your thighs, pressed tightly together and being rocked back and forth by him on the table. Then, there was soft, plush ass on the table, curving up to the shape of your hips, which were curvier now than James remembered. And finally, there was your sweet pussy, still with your cute puffy pink lips, glistening wetly for him now, spreading out so beautifully to take his cock.
You were slick all over your pussy now, as James took you softly but steadily, and he moaned to see you like this all gathered up on the kitchen table to let him inside of you. Your pajama pants and panties were all scrunched up and caught on your thighs just below your knees, tangled around your legs and caught under James’ hands. Your soft pajama shirt, a pretty light green color and made of soft cotton, was still pushed up to your chin, and the morning light was still kissing your body, lying down golden stripes across your breasts and your beautiful curves. Your curls, too, spread over the table, glinted charmingly in the sunlight.
And for James, the view of his cock sliding in and out of you, tugging slightly at your pussy hole over and over again, making you moan softly, looked so fucking pretty to James. Because you - his girl, his love, his baby - just had the prettiest little pussy and the way you were offering yourself to him, with legs up and crossed in the air, made him feel amazing. You were so sweet for him, and that was as it should be, in James’ opinion, because you were his sweetheart, and he was yours.
As though you could hear his thoughts, you reached out and you put your hands over his, pressing your palms against the back of his much larger hands as he held your thighs down. Having your legs together like that and up in the air, it made your pussy lips press together, enveloping James’ cock in another layer of sensation as he entered you over and over again. And of course, bringing your legs up had also opened yourself up more to him because your pussy was higher up in the air, so James could fuck into you deeper.
“Ah… Ah… Ah!” Your moans were starting to become much more consistent now.
James let out a deeper groan and holding your thighs down harder, he started to push into you with a bit more thrust in his hips.
While at Hogwarts, James’ stature had always been tall and broader across his shoulders and chest, but he was still lanky compared to someone like Sirius, especially in his abs, hips, and thighs. But James had naturally come to fill out quite a bit since graduating, just as your curves had gotten softer and deeper and more shapely, and now, James’ natural build and weight, much larger and heavier than yours, meant that his pressing into you with the slightest bit of thrust felt like much more force to you taking it than him giving it.
“A-Ah! Uhn! Uh!” You started to gasp out as James leaned into you and actually began to move his hips.
“Uh, baby, look at you,” James murmured, looking down at you and seeing your pussy taking his cock repeatedly. “Just look at you, taking my cock so prettily. Mmm, fuck, your cunt feels so good for me, love.”
“J-Jamie,” you whimpered out, and you clutched at the back of his hands on your thighs.
James heard you stuttering out his nickname while he felt your small fingers scrabbling at the back of his hands a little before finding a grip. You held onto his hands tightly as you kept your legs up and let him fuck you on the kitchen table like that.
“Yeah, little pussy’s getting so wet, isn’t it?” James moaned, watching his cock get wetter and wetter, glistening with your cum, as he started to fuck you just a little harder and faster. You were slick all over now, and so was James, thanks to you.
“Y-Yes… yes… yes…!” you moaned in reply. Your legs started to tremble in the air. “U-Uhn! I’m – I’m close, J-Jamie…”
“Yeah? Then cum for me, sweetheart. You know I want it,” James panted out, working harder now to fuck you as your pussy was clenching down on his cock. “I want to see your sweet cum all over my cock.”
“Uhn! Uh- Ah! Ah!” Your lips parted as you let out moans that sounded just gorgeous to James. You shut your eyes tightly and, with your hips trembling all over the wooden kitchen table, you felt yourself cum. It had to be one of softest and yet most intense orgasms you’d ever had. That gentle fluttering in your tummy was overwhelmingly pleasant, and it was enough to make you tense all over and cry out, but instead of feeling exhausted, as you usually did after sex, you just felt so happy and so loved. You felt a golden thread of warmth run through your body as you came for your love.
“Sweetheart,” James murmured a second later, watching you cum on his cock. He saw your thighs quivering, and he felt a warm gush of cum run down his cock. A moment later, when he pulled out just a little, he saw his cock covered in your sweet creamy and milky cum. James paused. “You creamed on your first climax… You never used to do that. You’d have to cum three or four times before you creamed for me.”
You opened your eyes. Cocking your head to the side, you wondered to yourself, I creamed? Really? James is right, I never do that the first time I cum.
You slowly opened your legs and looked down at yourself. Sure enough, James’ cock was coated with your sweet cream. He was literally dripping with you.
“Oh…” you breathed out.
James smiled when he saw you, still panting and fresh with afterglow, but now wearing a puzzled expression, looking down at yourself. He chuckled lightly as he told you, “It’s not a bad thing, you know. You’re so cute, baby.”
At this, you reached out for James and asked in a soft murmur, “Will you kiss me? You can fuck me harder if you want; just kiss me.”
James immediately responded to you, leaning down and scooping you up in his arms, sliding his hands under your back, between you and the kitchen table to pull you up so he could kiss you deeply.
He was saying to you, “I’ll give you kisses anytime you want, love, ‘cause you’re such a good girl for me,” when you suddenly caught a glimpse of a tall, dark, handsome figure standing in the kitchen doorway. You gasped loudly. Because there he was, smug bastard, wearing his leather jacket, arms crossed over his chest, and an absolutely shit-eating grin plastered on his arrogant face – “Sirius Black!” you shrieked loudly. “What the hell do you think you’re doing here?”
* * * * * * * * * *
A minute later, you were sitting at the kitchen table, shirt pulled down and panties and pajama bottoms pulled back up. Your hair was still a bit messy from being pressed up against the doorway and the table, and your face was still blushing ever so slightly with an afterglow, which, to Sirius, was like a lighthouse beaming the message “I just got fucked.”
You were livid, glowering at Sirius.
“Don’t look so mad, pup,” Sirius told you, not caring one whit that you were mad. “It’s not my fault you two were acting like heathens, fucking on the kitchen table for the world to see.”
The way Sirius said the word “fucking” was so crude, somehow.
Not to be overcome, you replied flatly, “A kitchen is inside a house. A house is a private area, Sirius.”
“Not if your house is the base of the Order of the Phoenix and you’re expecting a messenger carrying Dumbledore’s orders,” Sirius said flippantly.
“Wait.” You turned your gaze onto James. “You were expecting him?”
“Er – yeah,” James said sheepishly. “I, uh, lost track of time when we – uh…” James winced, and he waited for you to yell at him, the way Lily would.
Instead, you simply flopped over onto the table, groaning in defeat as you put your head in your arms.
Sirius grinned. “Not a graceful defeat, pup, but I appreciate the act of surrender all the same,” he told you.
“Whatever,” you said grumpily, your voice muffled by your arms. “And stop calling me ‘pup.’”
“Anyways,” Sirius replied, “you two didn’t have to stop for me, you know. I quite enjoyed the view.”
Suddenly, you were thankful that your face was buried in your arms because you felt yourself flush.
“Here’s this month’s assignments.” Sirius brought out a rolled-up length of parchment and tossed it down onto the table. “It has everyone’s shifts, per usual.”
James nodded. “Thanks.”
“Well,” you sighed, finally sitting back in your seat and morosely pushing back your messy curls from your face, “I’m going to get cleaned up and dressed.”
“Yes, you should get ‘cleaned up,’” Sirius said, shooting you an amused look.
You let out a scoff and crossed your arms, but otherwise ignored him as you left the kitchen.
* * * * * * * * * *
James waited until he heard the bedroom door click shut behind you before he threw an entire box of tea straight at Sirius’ head and cursed at him, “Good job, you fucking cockblock.”
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