Lily Evans yelling at James Potter for an unidentified reason. Circa Summer of 1978.
“You can’t do this!” It’s shrill, she’ll admit, but she refuses to wince. Even if James is feet in front of her, walking away. He says nothing, doesn’t even acknowledge that she has shouted.
“You can’t just snog me and then tell me Moody’s sending you off a week long mission!”
He’s whirled toward her now, and even from this distance she can see the anger prominent in every movement of his body. “I can’t just tell him no, it’s important or he wouldn’t ask.” He shouts it, but only because he’s so far away — she knows that if he was closer, he wouldn’t have shouted it. He would be trying to control the temper. And it’s infuriating that he has that ability.
“You led me out here to soften me up! ‘Oh, Lily, a nice walk, a little snogging — oh by the way, I have to go put my life in bloody danger, so long!’” He takes a step toward her, but stops himself, and she fumes.
“I’m not talking to you about this right now. I’m going on. Cool off.”
“Cool off? Why don’t you heat up? What, it doesn’t matter to you? It’s just a job? Who cares if I’m leaving my wife for a week to possibly die, what does it matter, she can handle it, she can handle anything —” None of them are fair cards to play, and none of them are particularly true, but she needs to see him angry, needs to satisfy the ugly little ball of hate inside of her that demands she make him hurt even a little but as much as she is worrying. He hasn’t even left yet but it feels like the worry will swallow her alive. So she takes it out on him because he can handle it, because he’s the one who can handle anything.
And because she knows that once they both cool down, he’ll know why she needed to shout at him and hurt him.
“We both know what this is about, Lily. I have to go.” He just sounds tired now — defeated, and it takes some of the heat out of her anger. “I can help. I know that I can, and Moody knows it or he wouldn’t send me. Remus is going too, he’ll keep me out of her trouble — and Sirius will stay here. And Peter, too. And you know they’ll both be in the house constantly.” He strides toward her, taking her arm. “I can’t promise I’ll be okay but you can’t promise you’ll be okay while I’m gone, either. And that eats at me.” He runs a hand over his face and she does the same, noting the tears that have started but ignoring them. He does too.
“We can’t stop the war, Lily. And we sure as hell can’t stop the worry. But we can stop taking it out on each other.”
She studies him. “I’ll remind you that, next time I’m the one going off for a week and leaving you here.” But she pulls her arm out of his grip to hug him, and they both accept the fact that they’re both speaking the truth. They’re try to talk to it out, but it isn’t how they work. She needs to shout, and he needs to shout, and they’ll shout at each other because they’re available and because they’ll understand.
But maybe they’ll talk it out more, too.