Snapshots of Distraction
The frigid February air seared his skin as he struggled through the deep snow blanketing the Hogwarts grounds, bound for the lake. It was midday, a Friday—he should have been in class. But James was distracted.
He didn't know why he kept it on him, but he felt as though the weight of it was keeling him over, bending him irresistibly toward the ground as he trudged ever forward. He laughed at himself as the notion crossed his mind, wisps of white steam jetting into the clear air—was he crazy? He was eighteen…
No, he thought, slipping down the last few feet to the lake edge, initiating a miniature avalanche in his wake, the crazy thing would be to wait…
James stumbled onto the frozen surface of the lake, throwing himself closer to the center of the lake before skidding to a halt. His chest heaved from the bitter air, each breath tearing at his throat; every nerve in his body tingled he took he object from his pockets, turned it over with numb fingers, examined it with streaming eyes.
So this is how it felt… it was indescribable. He felt an uprising of hope, nervousness, excitement, and happiness such that he had never imagined before, knew it the feeling would only grow stronger. He imagined the scenario in his mind…
He would do it that night.
It had all passed in the blink of an eye, and now it was happening. He waited in the candle-flickering darkness of Order Headquarters, jaw clenching repeatedly in anticipation. There was a small number of guests present of course, whomever had been available to attend, and though they smiled at him happily and Sirius clasped his arm in a brotherly way, he hardly noticed them. James was distracted.
She was entering the room, eyes locked with his, unable to keep a smile from her face. All of his repressed nerves seemed to uncoil in that moment and fill his stomach, and as he reached out to join hands with her, he couldn't keep his own from trembling.
They stood inches apart, locked together by their clasped hands, and everything seemed to cease existence. There was no sound, there was no darkness, there was no one else in the room; there was only Lily.
He forgot the standard procedure, about waiting until he had been given permission. "I do," he said quietly, and he kissed her, his mind going blank with exhilaration.
He hadn't gotten any sleep. Bleary-eyed and fidgety, he paced in the sterile corridor, ripping a hand through his hair anxiously. Healers rushed by him, in a hurry to reach the most recent site of an attack, groggy patients shuffled by, portraits of deceased Healers called hailed him loudly, shouting out remedies for "Fish Eyes" and jumpy nerves, but he ignored them. James was distracted.
He had known it was coming, but hadn't expected it so soon. To be greeted at his post by a formerly off-duty Order member, who congratulated him and directed him to St. Mungos, arriving in time for Lily to grip his hand while she screamed before he was unceremoniously chivvied from the room… James felt weak, very out-of-body, and, for the first time, scared.
The door of her room opened, and James bounded over to the emerging Healer.
"She's fine, the bleeding has stopped," said the Healer, forestalling the inevitable torrent of questions. "When she's well enough, you'll be the first—well, second—visitor."
"You have a beautiful son, Mr. Potter," said a beaming midwife, pressing a blanketed bundle into his arms.
He seemed to soar back into himself as he glanced down, taking in the fingers that were so small, the mop of unruly black hair of… my son… it was quite surreal, almost unbelievable that he had helped to create such a wonderful, fragile, thing. Once the Healer and midwife had both gone, taking his son with them, James leaned heavily against the wall and cried.
It was overwhelming, this love.
AN: Well, there you go, my first drabble ever! The idea came to me and two hours later it was "finished", thus it could probably use some editing, but... I like how it is: raw. 3