tw: major character death, mentions of war, implied sex
The first time James kisses her, he doesn’t think. He can’t. He is enraptured by the feel of her, the warmth of her, the taste of her. When they pull apart, he blurts out—
“Apples and honey. You taste like apples and honey.”
She’s red-cheeked and breathless, her eyes the colour of a dew-crusted Quidditch pitch. “What?” she whispers, looking pleased and incredulous all all at once. “What, Potter?”
“Apples and honey,” James mumbles, feeling sheepish.
Evans doesn’t let him forget what he said for a week. Not that he’d ever forget.
James Potter is sure that that kiss, that very moment, will be engraved into his memory for the rest of his life.
At first, he counts their kisses.
The afternoon by the lake, when they’d told the others.
The drunken night at the Hog’s Head when he’d thrown up all over himself and she’d pressed him up to a wall anyways.
The evening at the Halloween feast, when she’d tasted of pumpkin pasties and chocolate frogs.
One kiss comes with a hundred others, all wrapped up in one perfect afternoon.
Soon, he loses count. Their love is a fiery blur—he loses track of everything when he’s with her. As if her very presence is enough to wipe his mind clean and turn him into a sweet stammering schoolboy with a sweet stirring crush.
Their last night at Hogwarts, he begs for a lifetime with her. She tells him a lifetime would hardly be enough, that eternity with him would barely suffice.
He thinks she tastes like apples and honey.
That night, they stumble into territory there-forth un-walked. There’s nervous laughter at first, unsure hands and anxious whispers. Then all that melts away, disbanded in the mindless heat of passion.
He’ll remember that night forever. So will she.
For a lifetime together, for eternity.
First year out of school, and he’s back to counting kisses, counting nights together.
They’re so precious, he treasures every one, spares each a special place in a secluded corner of his mind. When it all grows too much, when the darkness overwhelms him and the thunder of war beats him to jagged pieces, James retreats within himself—to that quiet corner, that safe haven. He think of green eyes, of warmth, of apples and honey.
One night, she whispers the words neither of them dare say.
“What if we don’t make it through this, James?”
There’s a bruise on her cheek, a healing scab spanning a scrape on her forehead. She’s had it bad this time. They’ve had quite the fright. James is exhausted. He has no idea what she must be.
“We will,” he insists. “We will make it.”
“And if we don’t?”
“Lily, if you think a nose-less freak can keep us from each other, think again. We’ll never be apart. Together, forever—for eternity, remember?”
He sounds like a child. He knows it. She does, too. They cling to childish innocence and turn their faces from the terrible truth.
They will make it through this.
She kisses him again, but this time, the kiss feels bitter. Laced with fear, with the knowledge that forever is nothing more than a sweet stirring lie.
He’s scared. More terrified than he’s ever been.
She kisses him, and the fear melts away.
They will make it through this. All three of them.
Once upon a time, a fifteen-year-old—day-dreaming in a particularly boring History of Magic class—had imagined his last ever kiss with Lily Evans.
They hadn’t even shared a first kiss at that point. But that had seemed beside the point.
To the school boy, to the child with only half an inkling of life’s cruelties and the eyes of a hopeless romantic, the last kiss had been something beautiful. There’d been a patio, a rocking chair. A sunset, if he remembered right. They’d whispered wise words of romance to each other, both on the far side of ninety, their blue-veined, liver-spotted hands clutched in each other’s, as they let a lifetime together slip into eternity.
Reality proved rather different.
“Lily, take Harry and go! Its him!”
As James Potter sprints into the hallway, knowing with unnerving calmness who lurks at the door, he finds that he can’t remember when the last time was—not a swift peck on the cheeks or a brief brush of lips—when the real last time was. Before Harry? No, that couldn’t be right…
“Run! I’ll hold him off—”
The hooded figure raises His wand, and James Potter realises he’s come unarmed.
Together forever, he thinks, for eternity.
And he hopes, he hopes with all his might, that it would be otherwise. James would take an eternity apart from her, if He’d just let her live.
Cruel, cold laughter falls from His lips, and James Potter sees a burst of emerald light.
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