James wearily climbed the long, winding staircase to the Head dorms. Moony had been particularly difficult tonight and none of the friends had escaped the night without injuries. Poor Wormtail had been batted against a wall and knocked unconscious for a few minutes. James guessed he'd come out of it with, at the very least, a nice concussion. Sirius would probably be covered in bruises by morning and have a few new scars to brag about. Somehow, James had seemed to have taken the majority of the beatings tonight. They had hastily patched up the long gash running along his ribs and managed to stop the bleeding from his head wound.
By the time he reached the top, James was thoroughly winded. Mentally cursing whoever decided having the Head's dorms at top of a tower had clearly been off their rocker. He stumbled through the portrait hole after murmuring the password and tiptoed to his room, doing his best not to make any noise. He knew the Head Girl wouldn't be awake at this early hour and he didn't want to risk waking her.
Closing the door softly behind him, James began undressing. The heavy curtains covered the windows, leaving the room almost completely dark. Tossing aside his cloak and blood-stained t-shirt and kicking off his shoes and filthy jeans, James crawled into bed, only to be shocked that it was occupied by a warm body.
"Bloody hell!" he exclaimed, jumping up and groping for his wand.
"James!" a melodious voice cried sleepily from the bed. "It's just me!"
"Lils? Bugger, Lils, what're you doing?" he demanded, though not unkindly.
"Hi," she said softly, pushing her curtain of auburn hair behind her shoulder and looking up at him sheepishly.
"Not that I'm not thrilled, darling, but why, exactly, are you not in your own bed?"
"I was worried," she said simply. Then her eyebrows furrowed. "James," came her voice, tone full of concern, "why are your ribs bandaged? And badly so, might I add."
Bugger, he cursed silently. "It's a long story, love. And one I have every intention of telling you, but let me get some sleep first, alright?" With that, he promptly crawled into bed beside her. "Come on then," he coaxed her into laying back down, curling her back against his front and draping an arm around her waist.
They settled in comfortably and were silent for several minutes before Lily whispered softly, "Remus did that to you, didn't he?" James had nearly been asleep, but was jolted awake by the sound of her voice. His grip on her tightened almost imperceptibly, but it was all the confirmation Lily needed. She rolled in his arms to face him, and he was shocked by the look in her eyes. James had expected disgust or anger, really any emotion rather than the one he found: understanding.
"How?" he whispered. "How do you know?" worry coloring his tone.
Lily shrugged. "I've known for years, James. About Remus, anyway. I didn't figure out about the rest of you lot until just recently. I had rather expected you to tell me, but when you came back in the state you're in, I-I couldn't not say something."
"You knew about Remus?" he demanded softly.
"Of course I did. I kept it to myself, too. I know Remus and I know he's not a bad person in the least. Why would I discriminate against him for something he can't control?"
James gave her the barest hint of a smile before brushing his lips against hers. "I'm going to marry you some day," he promised, which earned him a deeper kiss from the blushing redhead. "Lily, I really was going to tell you…" he began, before she cut him off with another kiss.
"Let's talk about that later," she demurred. Her leg snaked around his and rolled him on top of her. A groan escaped from the back of James' throat, though from desire or pain he wasn't entirely sure. Moony had beat the hell out of him tonight and was interfering with his concentration on the beautiful girl currently occupying his bed. Her hand brushed against a particularly bruised area of his bicep and a gasp of pain escaped his lips. Lily pulled away slightly, looking concerned. "Merlin, James," she admonished. "Let me patch you up a bit, please?"
He quirked an eyebrow. "Want to play Healer, then, Evans?" he smirked.
With a laugh and roll of her emerald eyes, she gently pushed him off of her. James sighed heavily and rolled onto his back, both hands behind his head. Lily seized her wand from the bedside table, opened the curtains with a flick of her wand and lit a few candles with another flick. Turning her eyes back to the Head Boy, a gasp of shock escaped her lips. His injuries were much worse than she had anticipated. In addition to the bandage covering the side of his ribs, his body was more or less covered in bruises and gashes. Most of the lacerations were superficial and could be healed easily, probably with no scaring. There were a few, however, that concerned the girl. She knew he would refuse a trip to the hospital wing, the dolt, so she would have to do her best on her own.
Muttering a breathless, and somewhat annoyed, "I'll be right back," she leapt lightly from the bed and made her way out the door (with James appreciating the view her short nightdress gave) and across the common area to her room. She was back moments later with several bottles of potion and packages of clean bandages. She immediately began giving him doses from the bottles and after he was again lounging back on the bed, did she get to work on the cuts. Her brow was creased with worry while she was working. "James? How bad are the others? Should I check up on them?"
He sighed heavily. "Yeah I suppose it couldn't hurt," he allowed. He hissed in pain as she ran her wand over a particularly nasty gash, but then chuckled weakly. "Although, I must ask you to put on something more appropriate." Lily's face flushed immediately as she realized her state of dress. "It's quite a turn on when it's just you and me here, love, but I'm not gracious enough to share you with my mates."
Lily snorted as she finished with the last cut, placing a small butterfly bandage on the deep cut above his left eyebrow. "Well, you parade around half naked after Quidditch practices," she argued.
With a sly smile, he pulled the beautiful redhead back down onto the bed. "Yes, but that's just a show for you," he informed her with a quick peck on the lips. He adjusted them to their original spooning position and she threw the blankets over them before snuggling deep into the soft mattress. Lily closed the curtains again with a flick of her wand before tossing it onto the bedside table again.
"Lils? You know, I think it'll be a day or so before I'm feeling up to thanking you properly," he murmured into her hair.
With a devious smirk she knew her boyfriend couldn't see, Lily quipped, "Darling, your boxers don't have a pocket, so I know that isn't your wand I'm feeling on my leg. If you really wanted to thank me, I'm fairly certain you could."
James barked out a laugh and pulled her more tightly to his body. "Bloody hell, Evans, you can't let a bloke catch a break!" he exclaimed. "I've had no sleep and have been beaten up by a werewolf all night. I'm not entirely sure my performance would be up to par," he joked.
Lily shrugged and pressed a kiss to the closest body part she could reach, his bicep. "Night, James."