fuel to the fire || james & emma


She stretched, cat-like, on the ground by the fire. Mm, warm, she registered distantly; most of her focus was on the boy seated nearby, who seemed to be empty-handed. Or not, Emma couldn’t really tell. She flopped onto her back and lifted a half-emptied bottle of Firewhiskey, a peace offering of sorts. Maybe. She was largely ambivalent about the boy, but there were old scores and old grudges that ran deep.

And it might’ve been foolish, four years after her graduation, to still be so hung up over a game that, on hindsight, had been ridiculously arbitrary. It’d been a fun way to pass the time, definitely, and Emma loved flying; she missed it, now that it had been deemed a risk to their security. But these days she was bitter and resentful at just about anything, and this was a good excuse to vent her frustration at someone. 

“‘Lo, Potter. I never did get back at you for your win in sixth year.” Or fifth. Was it? Emma was usually good about these things, but the bloody drink was making her woozy. “Your lot cheated, of course, but I’ve learnt my lessons about trusting Gryffindors, in that you really shouldn’t. Truce?” 


James had propped himself up on his elbows, squinting at the darkened sky above him and trying to string together Canis Major from the stars to the east. His glasses were tucked safely in his pocket; wearing them in front of the fire just fogged them up, so he had chosen the less dorky option, which was to wrinkle his nose and squint at the sky. A motion to his left caught his attention. Vanity, offering alcohol.

"Hullo," he said, unsure if he was greeting the girl or the bottle. Taking the Firewhiskey and downing most of what was left, James watched her with a slight furrow between his brows. It was a bit baffling to him why she’d just come up, insulted his team, then asked for a truce, but he supposed Slytherins were prone to bouts of entitlement. He finished the Firewhiskey but let the bottle dangle from his fingers as he stared at Vanity, uncertain if she was joking about the truce.

"First off, we never cheated." James couldn’t help his lower lip from sticking out in the smallest of pouts. Integrity, or whatever. "I’m sorry you’re so hung up on how much better we were, four years later. It’s a shame you can’t accept that I’m a superior captain and chaser." Reaching a hand out to give the top of Vanity’s a consoling pat, he continued in a voice barely tinged with frustration, "Shove your truce up your arse, please. I would rematch, but the Inferi have probably infected the skies by now."

Bonfire \ James & Remus


Splinters scattered across the ground and crunched under Remus’ shoes as he guided the levitating bundle of firewood to the already substantial pile. Behind him the fire was already roaring and crackling filling the area with its warmth. All Remus was doing now was staking logs for later.

"That’s it for now." He huffed, letting the future fodder fall with a series of thuds. "I need a drink."


James glanced over his shoulder, interrupted from his staring at the fire by his friend’s entrance. He hadn’t been feeling in a bonfire mood, strangely, so he’d just settled for looking vacantly ahead of him. Remus was a welcome interlude. Cheeks flushed from the warmth, he blinked and waited a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.

"Looks tough," he commented, eyeing the new firewood. He couldn’t help but let a smile slip into his voice. "You must’ve struggled, what with all that lifting of your wand."

Letting a hand fall onto the empty spot beside him, James beckoned the other boy with a tilt of his head and a grin. "If you sit down, you can have my scotch. I wasn’t planning on having it, anyway."


"Oh merlin no," she said, rolling her eyes at the stack of supplies and laughing, "Glad to know you’re not a monster then." Daisy picked up a few bottles of various medicinal liquids from the crate she’d been unpacking, shelving, and cataloging before placing them on the shelves. She turned to James again, looking between him and the canteens he was counting. "Y’know I’m only counting and cataloging because I’m not sure there’s much else I can do right now. Gotta be productive, right?" Daisy knew that was the truth, but she was never really sure what needed to be done. There were no charts or schedules or anything like that telling people what to do — not that Daisy was very into organization and schedules, but it’d be nice to know what needed to be done every once in a while.

James drifted idly through his tasks, letting his hands work on their own and not putting much thought into his work. He understood why they couldn’t use magic — to keep the Inferi away — but tedious busywork never failed to annoy him. Daisy seemed uncomplicated and fun, a welcome distraction from the rest of his life. With most people, James couldn’t help but be genuinely eager, and he didn’t think Daisy would be an exception.  “This is why we need people like you.” James grinned, placing the last of his items into its box. “If you’re productive, then that means I don’t have to be.” Abruptly, he got to his feet, struck with great inspiration. “But!” James held up a finger, not even bothering to hide the archness in his tone. “If I have someone who sorts stuff for me — you —, then you must have someone as well, which that leaves us both free to misbehave.”

This Paradise Has Disappeared; James and Lily


She didn’t say a thing nor turn around to face James while he spoke. But she was listening intently, the hand that had been brushing her hair freezing mid stroke. Lily was darkly curious as to what he had to say. After knowing him for so long she knew that he was not always as easy with his words as he was so often around others, and so it did not surprise her that he seemed at a loss to pinpoint exactly what he meant. He was obviously finding it difficult to broach the subject with her. She should have felt some sympathy towards him for this, but it didn’t come. 

It was not until James compared her to one of the infected that Lily showed any kind of reaction to questions. She winced, recoiling from such a plain analogy. In all her confusion and avoidance, it was like a bucket of ice water to the face to be confronted with such a blunt way of describing her behaviour. He had been as hasty to take it back as he had to say it, but that didn’t make him any less correct. A thought occured to her that maybe the inferi didn’t only spread their curse with bites. Maybe the panic and horror they spread was alone enough to turn someone into one of their slaves. Maybe that was what was happening to her.

The grimy mirror in front of her showed James with his head bowed, staring regretfully at the floor instead of at her. Lily bit her lip to stop herself from speaking before she thought and slowly placed the hairbrush back onto the dresser, noticing for the first time that her hand was trembling slightly. She withdrew it quickly and held it with her other one, trying to make them still by wringing them together on her lap. Finally, she turned to him - not completely, just so that she was side on and he was in the corner of her view. It was pathetic that she couldn’t look at him fully. She paused there for a moment, the silence after his monologue becoming more than awkward, before she replied. 

"No, you’re…you’re right." Her tone wasn’t warm, but not cold either. It didn’t have any emotion at all in it. "I don’t care. I don’t care about much at all anymore, to be perfectly honest. It’s nothing, everything feels like nothing and I…" She suddenly felt as if she wasn’t making any sense at all, and she rose, walked a few feet and then stopped in her tracks. She didn’t even know where she had been going. Turning front on to James now she stood staring vacantly at him, thoughts racing through her head but vanishing into smoke before they could reach her tongue. 

The silence that followed was awful. It seemed to him that the sun had taken the surplus time, unused by words, to slip below the horizon and leave the room drenched in a dreary imitation of sunset. He took his hands out from where he sat on them, stared at them instead of the floor, and then sat on them again. He was piteous. Sirius would probably laugh at him if he saw them like this. Fuck, James would probably laugh at himself right now if he weren’t positive that he wouldn’t be able to stop.

When Lily finally stopped brushing her hair — James thought it looked the same after brushing, but who was he to judge hair? — and replied, he felt almost embarrassed at the immense relief that flooded him. He peered up at Lily from underneath his lashes, earnest in his attention. Everything she said sounded so familiar. Unbidden, James thought of his misadventures this afternoon, chasing Inferi. He told himself they fascinated him, that he wanted to make himself useful around the stillness bottled inside the wards. But was that really all? He did it to feel something; without the danger as a distraction, James would have fallen into the same rut Lily had. Her words about not feeling anything, not caring even, raised unwanted questions concerning his own motivations. What James had been reluctant to admit about himself fell neatly into Lily’s answer, though he felt strangely unsurprised that this revelation involved himself and not Lily. When had James Potter ever considered someone besides his own ego?

There still remained some parts of Lily’s explanation that bewildered him, but then she had started to walk away and James couldn’t let all of the things unsaid, suspended in the air between them, fall to the ground and be lost, not again. “Don’t go.” His open hand reached in front of him, as if it would somehow stop Lily from leaving. He opened his mouth, and for the second time in an hour, was at a loss for words. So he settled on a mangled explanation. “I s’pose I’ve been going through a similar thing. With the apathy and the, er, dissatisfaction.” James sounded young and ruinous and he hated it. He hated the way he ached to make Lily happy only to stumble into his own problems.

“‘S like you’re removed from everything, yeah? And nothing can get through the distance to affect you anymore but it turns out that p’rhaps you want to be affected just to feel something again? To make sure you’re still there under all your skin? Just to know that you’re alive and not just dragging through the day only to do it again tomorrow.” He trailed off. James didn’t want to end up describing himself in case he was completely off the mark and that what he had solved for himself wasn’t even close to Lily’s description. It wouldn’t do to be too embarrassing in a day. James had standards. Raising an unsteady hand to rest on the back of his neck, he quirked his lips in a poor attempt at a smile. “Or maybe not; I know it’s hard to accept, but I can be wrong sometimes.”

moodboard △ James Potter

Home Safe \ James & Remus


One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

Remus was pacing. Again. Throughout the night Remus had been switching between research, pacing, smoking, trying to fall asleep on the sofa, and failing at falling asleep on the sofa. Everyone was out on on the Blackburn mission without him. He’d come down with food poisoning before the last meeting and despite his best efforts Remus had been forced to stay home in bed to rest while the others split into pairs and divided up tasks. Missing out on a mission had made Remus feel like a slacker and he’d thrown himself into research rather than dwell on how unhelpful he was recently. As bad as the plan was it had worked well enough for a few days but once everyone was out on the mission it became painfully obvious he was just deadweight and nothing he did improved his mood in the slightest.


“All I have is my love of love….” Remus sang along with “Ziggy and The Stardust” as he moved toward the kitchen to look for something to clean. There was nothing to do though as he’d already scrubbed every surface twice since Sirius had left several hours before, including the bathroom, both bedrooms, and the sitting room. Really the apartment hadn’t been this clean in weeks! Just as he was considering messing everything up just to clean it all again when the door swung open. Remus froze as he looked towards the figure framed in the doorway. “James!” He breathed a sigh of relief. “But…” Remus paused, “Sirius?” His brow furrowed and his mind started to spin with all the horrific images of what could have happened to Sirius.

For someone so brilliant, James could be really impressively stupid. He had heard the broadcast say “stay away” from Leeds, which he took as a sign that meant he should pay a visit and check up on his old Inferi friends. By himself. What he hadn’t anticipated was the WWN actually not exaggerating for once; by the time he had reached the outbreak, unquestionably hundreds of the infected crowded around to greet him. And not even he wished for death by Inferi so, slightly hindered by some clinging Inferi after he’d barreled straight into them, he Apparated back out of that forsaken city and into Blackburn for some supplies.

Blackburn had been uninteresting for the most part, which is why James found himself trudging up the stairs towards Remus and Sirius’s flat, nursing a bleeding knuckle in his mouth. Without bothering to knock, he opened the door and stepped inside. James blinked. “Remus.” Everything looked surprisingly clean, considering the people who lived here; he’d have to congratulate them on this particular feat. His easy grin quickly fell away when Remus mentioned Sirius. “Sirius? What did Sirius do?” Crossing the room to stand beside his friend, James jammed his hands into his coat pockets and bit his lip, feeling a bit guilty for not seeking him out more often. “I haven’t seen Sirius in a while, actually. Is he all right? Are you all right?” It wasn’t odd for Remus to ask after Sirius, James supposed, but why was that the first thing he asked? He felt a deep sense of either foreboding or bewilderment, neither of which were very helpful.