Lily looked up at James as they stood looking across the lake, looking back up at Hogwarts, their home for the past seven years. He glanced down at her.
"You know we have the rest of our lives together Lil. It's not as if we're saying goodbye to each other."
"I know. Still. This is where we grew up. This is where we met. This is where we fell in love," she said, shrugging. "It bears a moment of reflection."
James nodded perfunctorily, "Right, well. Moments over, let's see what Sirius and Lupin are up to." He tugged on her hand and tried to lead her back to the path that would lead them back around the lake.
"I'm serious James!"
"What? What are we doing here?" He asked laughingly, tucking a strand of her auburn hair back behind her ear.
"Well…I thought we could…for posterity's sake…do it here one more time?"
"Good God woman, I'm marrying you! Once we leave here we can do it in a bed finally and you're saying you're going to miss doing it in the wet grass praying somebody doesn't decide to take a very long walk and catch us."
She pouted and whined, "Please. I don't know why you're refusing me. How could anyone refuse a good little school girl like me? I've been awfully good," she teased, holding her skirt out at her sides, then teasingly raised it a few inches.
"No. I'm being firm on this. You yourself said you wanted to wait from now until the wedding. As a penance maybe for all the times we've shagged up here, I don't know. But I know you're impossible when you don't get what you want, so I'm putting my foot down."
She smiled and sat down.
"Since when did you decide to become the perfect gentleman?"
"Since you decided you wanted me to be," he said, laying down and putting his head in her lap. She smiled and began stroking his beautiful black locks away from his forehead.
"That's very pretty, James," she said suspiciously.
"I know, and I just came up with it on the spot," he said proudly.
She patted him on the chest, "Foolish and arrogant as always."
"And would you love me if I weren't?" He asked jokingly, but then his face fell and his eyes seriously questioned hers and she took a moment to think.
"No, I don't think I would love you any other way than exactly the way you are. Of course my parents think I'm making an awful mistake marrying so young. But I assured them we're not going to have children until the world is a safe place again. Until we help the world become a safe place again."
"I've felt so helpless here while he's gaining followers by the day."
"We made the right decision James," she whispered, still massaging his head.
"But what if we didn't?" He sat up and faced her, his face earnest and passionate as always when he talked about the evil and corruption surrounding them, closing in on them. "What if we could have saved even one life by leaving school and joining the Order now, instead of waiting till after graduation?"
"Dumbledore told us what he wanted us to do. He told us to stay in school. I know you never listen to anyone James, but he of all people you should."
"He's too old. He doesn't have the stomach to fight anymore. I know he still thinks there's some part of Tom Riddle that can be saved."
"I don't think he thinks that," Lily disagreed gently, reaching up to stroke his face and ease him back down onto her lap.
"You haven't talked to him the way I have. You've always been closer to Slughorn. I know what he thinks and how he thinks. He's not a fighter, he's a talker, and he loves peace more than anything."
"James you're talking like a Death Eater. We don't want to fight, we have to fight."
"Exactly, we have to fight. And I think all Dumbledore would have us do is strategize until our faces are blue and Voldemort-
"Shut up!" Lily clamped her hand over his mouth. He tore her hand away.
"And Voldemort comes banging down head quarter's door!"
Lily sat back in silence and stared out over the lake again.
"Those are terrible things to say, James. I'm going to pretend you don't mean them."
"And you would just rather get pregnant right now, go back to your Muggle family and raise a baby in a comfortable country life."
"How dare you say these things to me?" She demanded furiously, rising to her feet and towering over him.
"You would rather just marry some Muggle, pretend you never were a witch, and forget all about Voldemort!"
Lily smacked him across the face so hard he toppled backwards onto his elbows, and stared up at her in horror.
"I'm sorry Lil. I'm so sorry."
She felt tears coming and frantically tightened her mouth against its shaking and blinked her eyes furiously.
"I don't know what comes over me Lil. I just get so angry I don't know what to do with myself. You have to forgive me, for the hundredth time, forgive me."
Lily's tears overflowed and she covered her face in her hands and let out a muffled cry. James got to his feet and reached out to hold her. The minute his hands touched her shoulders she shrugged away. He tried again and this time she let his hands stay, and pull her close, and then she was holding onto him for dear life.
"I promise, I will learn to control my temper. It's this wretched place, I feel so trapped now."
"I know," she whispered into his chest.
"Will you forgive me?"
She stepped away and brushed her eyes dry.
"Of course I will," she struggled to smile. "I love you, and you are truly the best man I've ever known."
"I disagree with you there," he corrected, patting her on the arm awkwardly, not wanting for a moment to lose physical contact with her.
"Maybe not now," she amended with a rueful smile, "but you will be."