This project has been festering on my computer for almost a year. It's come in fits and starts, so some pieces were written months ago and some were written a couple days ago. It began as a drabble challenge, which I never actually finished because I commitment issues, and then evolved into this...which is a collection of moments from and about Lily Evans' life during her Hogwarts years and beyond. I've tried to be fairly canon compliant, even including aspects of canon I wished didn't exist. So, here we are...
10 July, 1971
The day Lily got her first Hogwarts letter was burned in her memory forever. There was nothing outwardly special about the day, but then again, many extraordinary things happen on very ordinary days.
Although she had always fully embraced and loved the idea of Hogwarts that Severus Snape had presented to her so long ago, she had not completely believed that one day she would be invited. After all, how could she belong in such a magical place as Hogwarts?
The day the owl woke her from her slumber in the early morning by pecking impatiently at her latched window, she screamed so loudly her parents and sister thought that she had had a nightmare. Instead, they had rushed into her bedroom to find the small girl clutching an envelope from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry half-torn from her giddiness.
Her parents studied the owl dubiously, suspecting some elaborate prank. Petunia was strangely silent and disapproving. Lily could not have cared less. Magic was finally real and no longer an intangible idea from the playground for her. Every doubt she'd had previously vanished in that moment and she knew she would be on the train to Hogwarts this September just as Severus had promised.
Exactly a week later, a strangely dressed but amicable man came to discuss Hogwarts with the Evans and it was decided once and for all that Lily would go. Her father was ecstatic at discovering the talent of his youngest and her mother was relieved to finally have an explanation for the strange happenings of Lily's childhood. Petunia remained silent, shutting her door to her younger sister's exuberance.
Lily felt as if she was flying from the high her happiness gave her. She ran to the playground to find Severus, telling him everything even though he knew it all already. He didn't seem to mind and immediately began plotting with her in earnest about all the wonderful exploits they would have while at Hogwarts.
September 2nd, 1971
"Sev, it's not like we can't be friends just because I'm in Gryffindor," Lily pleaded. There were tears in her eyes as she faced off with her friend in the nearly empty corridor.
Severus stared coldly at her, his mouth set in frown. She wished he would say something, anything, even if it was just her name, but he remained stonily silent. Lily's face, in contrast, was overwhelmed with hurt that her best friend was angry at her on their second day of being in a new, foreign place.
It's not as if she could help that the stupid hat didn't think she would fit in Slytherin. It had called out "Gryffindor!" before Lily had a real chance to protest. She had tried in vain to tell this to Severus, but despite everything he still treated her sorting as some sort of betrayal.
He was angry because she had spoiled all his grand plans of them being in the same house together, but Lily didn't see why it was such an obstacle. She only had the vaguest notion of the rivalry between the two houses and couldn't care less abut its implications. She only wanted her only friend to speak to her again.
"Talk to me," she pleaded, wishing he would stop acting so strangely. He shook his head, but his dark eyes softened a bit at her distress. Lily relaxed at the shift in his mood, believing that it was a sign he would eventually get over her deviation from the plan.
21 June, 1972
At the beginning of the summer, Lily had been eager to see her parents and sister again after so long away from them. However, June hadn't even fully passed away before she found herself wishing to be back in the Gryffindor girls' dormitory at night instead of her childhood bedroom.
She stared listlessly at her trunk, its contents sprawling across the floor reminding her of all the magic she was missing. Sometimes she would close her eyes and pretend she was back at Hogwarts already, especially when Petunia was in a foul mood because she tended to take it out on Lily.
Today was one of those days. Lily had gotten in Petunia's way one too many times in the kitchen while they were supposed to be making their father's birthday cake and then had accidently turned what was supposed to be blue icing completely pink. Petunia screamed that she wasn't allowed to do her "freak magic" at home and Lily, tears in her eyes, had screamed back that she'd just put the wrong dye in, but Petunia would hear none of it. Furious that she wouldn't listen, Lily stormed up to her room in tears and bolted the door behind her to cry in peace.
She prayed fervently that the days until September would pass more quickly than ever before and wistfully stared out the window, hoping to see an owl bearing a letter for her, but of course, none came. Instead, there was a soft knock at the door.
"Lily, dear?" her father's soft voice called before turning the doorknob. Lily sighed, a little childishly, before getting up from her bed and opening the door, but not without wiping her eyes first. Her father took in the sight her without comment and gestured for her to sit back on her bed where he joined her.
"Petunia doesn't really mean the things she says about your magic, love," he said finally, trying to comfort his daughter.
"Yes, she does, Dad," his young daughter argued, tears threatening to spill over again. "She hates me."
"Sisters could never hate each other, not really," her father countered and when he caught her attention, winked playfully at her. Lily smiled weakly, but didn't reply this time, instead choosing to stare at her scuffed trainers. He finally added, "You should keep that in mind when she screams at you."
"Okay," Lily mumbled, unconvinced.
Her father patted her hand and rose to leave. As he reached the door, he turned as if to say something more but the sight of his daughter, dejected on the bed, stopped him and instead he closed the door quietly behind him, leaving her alone.
3 February, 1973
"Your friend Snivellus looked awfully clean today, Lily. Was today his monthly shower?" Sirius called across the green, his voice laced with malice. Lily stopped in her tracks, knowing she should ignore the bait, but felt heckled all the same.
"I told you to stop calling him that," she said, marching over to Sirius, who leaned against a wall alone.
"You never gave me a reason though," he said, bored.
"Because it's incredibly rude, for a start," Lily burst out, hotly. She felt her temper rising at the ridiculous way Sirius Black shrugged at her. "Besides, why can't you just use his name?"
"It's such an ugly name," he whined, pushing himself off the wall as if to go. "Why are you on his side about this anyway? Gryffindors don't side with scum like that."
"This Gryffindor can side with whomever she pleases," Lily said stiffly right as James Potter sauntered up behind her to hear what she was saying.
"Well," he interrupted, surprising her. "If you're not with us, you're against us and that's never a good place to be."
Stung at the comment, Lily gaped slightly as Sirius laughed and slapped his partner-in-crime on the shoulder.
"So, I'm the enemy now just because I think you should stop calling him that horrible name?" Lily cried out, frustrated at the easy grins and sarcasm that the boys had.
"Exactly, Evans," James confirmed, stressing her last name as he said it and winning a grin of approval from Sirius. It was obvious it was all a game to the two and Lily threw her hands up in the air in anger.
"Honestly, get over yourselves!" she huffed before turning on her heel and leaving the two boys grinning in satisfaction.
April 2nd, 1975
"I just don't understand why you're friends with him," Mary said with a wrinkle of her nose as she watched Severus retreat down the hallway. Lily frowned. She'd had this conversation too many times for it to be a welcome topic anymore.
"Mary," Lily sighed, hitching her book bag further on her shoulder as she started off in the opposite direction. "We've been over this."
"It still doesn't make sense," her friend pointed out. "Not only is he a Slytherin, he's also got a strange fascination with Dark Arts that is hardly healthy."
Lily lost a bit of her resolve at this. It hadn't escaped her notice that ever since Severus had befriended a few older Slytherins, his tastes had turned decidedly darker.
"I've known him for a long time," Lily countered, knowing it was a weak argument. "He's a good person...he just gets...I don't know."
Mary stopped in her tracks, giving Lily a strange look.
"Lily, all I'm saying is that you should consider that you've grown apart from him," Mary suggested gently, but it still stung. Lily flinched, uncomfortable at the way the conversation had gone. "People are starting to talk about some strange things in connection with him. Have you heard about the hex he sent James Potter's way last week?"
"James Potter probably deserved it," Lily defended Severus coldly, although she did admit silently to herself that it had been particularly nasty sounding. Mary shook her head in disbelief at Lily, but eventually shrugged and continued walking down the hallway. Lily trailed a little ways after her for a moment before catching up.
"Look, I'm sorry if I upset you," Mary apologized as they reached the classroom they had their next class in. "I just want you to think about some things is all."
"I know," Lily accepted, following Mary inside and sitting down beside her in the still only partially full classroom.
30 June, 1975
Lily's letter from Hogwarts was early that year and she was surprised to see the stately owl waiting for her at her windowsill when she came home from the park that day. She fed the owl a crumb of the half-eaten biscuit on her desk before taking the heavier-than-normal envelope from him. He pecked her thankfully and flew away without ceremony.
She absently tore the letter open, expecting nothing more than an extra-long booklist and was startled when a shiny badge fell from the folds of parchment stuffed inside. She stared in shock for a moment before picking it up.
"Mum!" she yelled, before she can stop herself, a grin plastered sillily across her face. She grabbed the letter and ran into the hallway, calling for her mother again. "Mum!" Breathless, she found her mother in the kitchen with Petunia, who was glowering at the interruption that Lily had caused.
Lily ignored the hateful looks her sister was sending her way and instead thrusted the letter and badge toward her mother proudly.
"They've made me a prefect!" she announced, practically brimming with excitement at her unexpected achievement.
Petunia made a sound of disgust from where she was leaning against the counter, muttering "Freak!" under her breath.
"Petunia," their mother intoned warningly and then turned with a proud smile to Lily. Lily rolled her eyes at the now familiar act from her sister and instead turned back to her mother's glowing expression. "This is wonderful, Lily," she announced, drawing her youngest daughter into a tight hug. "Your father will be so proud when he gets home tonight."
The rest of the summer passed in a strange delirium and not even the fact that her sister hated her more with every day or that the boy who was once her best friend was drifting farther and farther away seemed to matter at all, at least for those last, few precious weeks before fifth year started.
19 November, 1975
She had picked up the book inadvertently after they had finished revising for Potions one evening and when she'd found it later in her bag, she had immediately planned to give it back to him the next morning. She never meant to open it. She immediately wished she hadn't when she did.
The next morning, she returned it to him, too scared to confront him about what had been inside the Potions book just yet. He took it from her wordlessly, his face blank, obviously trying to gauge if she had looked through it. He seemed uneasy at what he saw on her face.
A few days of silence later, she confronted him in their usual corner of the library.
"Sev?" she asked uncertainly, standing over the chair she would have normally seated herself in. She didn't want to sit. He seemed to sense immediately what the conversation would be about and the cold expression that crosses his face is almost completely foreign to her. "What are those spells for, Sev?"
He ignored her question, bending further over his books.
Frustrated, she walked around the table to where he was sitting and pulled his work away from him.
"What are those spells for, Severus?" she repeated herself, her voice a little harder this time. She is shaking on the inside, but to him she appeared calm, even menacing as she questioned him.
"They have nothing to do with you, Lily," Severus finally answered. He pulled his books back toward him forcefully, meaning to end the conversation.
"And they shouldn't have anything to do with you either," Lily whispered furiously, a flush suddenly rising on her cheeks. Her cool had vanished and her eyes burned as she glared at her friend. "Those spells that you've written in there...they're evil, Sev. They're downright malevolent."
Her words seem to have little effect on him. He continued to scribble across a parchment, the only visible sign of his emotion was the deathly grip he had on his quill.
"I said," he grinded out after a moment, "that they have nothing to do with you. Now leave it alone."
"Those spells are Dark Magic, Sev. I thought you told me you weren't going to get mixed up with that stuff," Lily pleaded, trying a different tactic. Her words had even less effect on the boy sitting in front of her this time and she sighed after a moment of watching him write out an essay.
"Is this how it's going to be from now on?" she asked quietly.
"Yes, it has."
"Just keep out it," he ordered shortly.
Lily straightened up, sensing that she was being dismissed. She left him alone without another word, not noticing or caring that Severus watched her every movement until she was long out of his sight. As she left the library, she resolved that this would hardly be the last he would hear about this.
24 April, 1976
"I can't pretend anymore. You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
"No - listen, I didn't mean-"
"- to call me a Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 676
Severus opened his mouth, ready to excuse himself again, but Lily was already halfway through the portrait hole by the time any sound came out. The portrait clicked shut neatly behind her, the sound registering strangely in the chaos that screamed inside her head. She stepped into the common room slowly, swallowing back tears in case anyone happened to have come in while she was talking with Severus.
It was empty. Lily collapsed in the nearest armchair, tears spilling freely down her face. She sniffed, trying to wipe away the traitorous emotion, but the tears were too fast and thick to really deter.
"Lily?" a soft voice questioned, coming from somewhere behind her. Lily stiffened involuntarily. A moment later, Remus Lupin's loping form came around her chair to loom next to her. "Are you okay?"
There was no point in trying to hide the fact that she'd been crying. Her botchy red complexion and red-rimmed eyes were always a dead giveaway. Lily gestured vaguely to a nearby armchair while trying to find her voice. Remus nodded, sitting down in silence next to her. His presence soothed her and the tears lessened after a moment.
"Remus," Lily said, after collecting herself. "Why do you think it matters so much?"
He looked confused for a moment, not able to immediately pick up on her train of thought. Then as the cog slipped in place, as if he too was replaying this morning's incident in his head. He nodded slowly, his mouth contorting strangely in the flickering light of the fire.
"I don't know," he sighed. "Tradition is a hard thing to let go of, I suppose."
Lily stared miserably at the fire, swallowing back a new wave of tears.
"He was my best friend once," she confessed. It was something no one ever seemed to understand, but Remus didn't ask why. He merely nodded quietly again.
"I'm sorry that James and Sirius make that harder than it has to be," he apologized, the ghost of a smile tugging at the corner of his tired mouth. Lily sniffed in response, not ready to forgive them for anything yet.
Remus sat back in his chair and she watched him as the shadows played strangely with the scars on his face. He would almost paint a frightening picture if it weren't for his overtly gentle nature. It was almost impossible to believe what Lily had known as fact for a long time now about Remus. Impossible to believe that beneath the gentle exterior lurked a dark illness.
"Have you ever lost a friend over...it?" Lily hesitated. Remus started a bit. They had never openly discussed his condition, although when Lily had become frighteningly adept at predicting when Remus would be unavailable for rounds it had become an unspoken secret between them. Remus swallowed visibly and shifted, his careful face crumpling a bit in sadness.
"Yes," he murmured. "Of course."
The heavy silence of the shared burden of loss fell between them. Lily suddenly clenched her jaw, a resolution forming. She grabbed Remus's hand from his lap and squeezed it hard.
"It's not important," she resolved with a fierce shake of her head. "You can't help your illness anymore than I can help who my parents are."
He smiled and returned the squeeze.
"It's hard to remember that sometimes," he admitted. His gaze was still sad as he studied her hand clasping his. "It's good to have friends who see beyond it anyway. Don't forget that you have those too."
"I know," she agreed quietly.
They sat together in silence for a moment before Remus seemed to come to himself again. He gave Lily's hand another squeeze before letting go and rising.
"Well, I promised Peter I'd help him with some homework tonight. I just came back down to grab I book I left down here actually," he excused himself, smiling apologetically.
Lily rose too, wiping her face one last time before nodding in agreement. Remus crossed the room to pick up a battered Defense textbook, tucking it neatly under his arm. Lily walked over to the foot of the staircase, waiting for him. She kneaded her hands together, trying to dispel the emotion that was still coursing through her from the fight she'd had.
"Thanks for listening, Remus," she said as he joined her. Before she could stop herself, Lily launched herself at him, embracing him tightly. He hugged her back cautiously, letting her hold onto him for a long moment. She pulled away with a sheepish smile which he returned, a moment of understanding passing between them.
"Anytime," he replied with a small smile and bid her goodnight with a small wave. She headed up the girls' staircase, her heart still heavy at the final loss of Severus, but there was a lightness there too.
2 December, 1976
Lily lay in her bed, staring at the canopy above her and listening to the soft breathing of the other girls in the room. On any normal night, she would have been asleep hours ago.
Instead, she was mentally replaying every moment she could remember ever encountering James Potter.
He was driving her crazy.
James Potter had somehow, inconceivably, morphed from an inconsiderate bully into a funny and almost...charming classmate and Lily was having a hard time remembering when this evolution has started.
What happened? What changed? She thought to herself desperately. It was impossible to pinpoint when the imperceptible shift in her own thoughts toward him had occurred and even harder somehow to think of the point in time when James had stopped hexing younger students for fun. It had happened so slowly that Lily had barely had time to notice until it already happened...James Potter had grown up.
And all Lily knew was that earlier that day when he had joked about accompanying her to Hogsmeade next weekend, she had found herself suddenly wanting to say yes.
15 February, 1977
Lily can't recall a time when she'd been completely alone with James Potter before. It made her uncomfortable in a way she was having trouble identifying. Yet here they were, abandoned by friends on both sides and uncomfortably alone in a classroom.
Lily cleared her throat and shifted in her seat just for something to do.
James studied her, not shy about openly watching her. He seemed about to speak when she interrupted abruptly.
"Can I ask you something?"
Startled, he nods dumbly. He can't remember the last time she initiated a conversation between them.
"And you'll be totally straight with me? I mean, really honest?"
He nods again.
"Do you really want to go out with me or are you just trying to have some fun?"
He stared. The question caught him even more off guard than he already was, but he struggled not to let it show. His features softened after a minute of struggle and a deep V creased his forehead. Lily can't help but trace the lines with her eyes, unwilling to look at him fully in the eye.
"I think it started out that way...just a game, I mean," he admitted softly, strangely introspective. His hand ran through his hair, mussing it. "But it's not that way anymore."
Before she can respond, a small flood of students stream into the classroom, shattering the moment. Lily turned back to her unopened book and pretended to study the the well-worn cover of her textbook, well aware that James Potter had yet to take his eyes off her.
2 May, 1977
"Ms. Evans, have a seat," Professor McGonagall said warmly. Her usually stern features were kind as she peered over her spectacles at the tired young woman in front of her. Lily sank into the seat quietly, clutching a piece of parchment in her hands with a neatly scrawled list on it. "Would you like some tea?"
"No, thanks, Professor," Lily declined. She looked down at the list, her eyes scanning it as if she was looking at it for the first time.
"The object of this meeting is not to scare you, Ms. Evans," Professor McGonagall suggested gently. Lily nodded, clearing her throat.
"It's not really this...it's -" Lily broke off wildly, her green eyes showed her discomfort.
"Ah," the professor intoned, understanding. "I understand that the events of last week are distressing, but I want to impress upon you that there is nowhere safer for you to be than this school, Lily."
"I've never doubted my own safety," she admitted quietly. Her hands worked furiously on the end of the parchment, shredding the smooth edge. "But isn't someone doing something for the people who don't have a place like Hogwarts? There are more disappearances every day, mysterious deaths..."
McGonagall sighed unhappily and her lips straightened almost imperceptibly.
"Whenever darkness threatens, there will always be those who fight to bring the light back," she mused, not answering the question directly. "There will come a day soon that you will understand this better than I can explain to you now, but this rebellion is not unchallenged."
Lily was sitting straight as a board in her chair, her eyes dark with emotion. She was visibly tensed but had stopped tearing at the parchment in her hands. McGonagall motioned for her to hand the list over and Lily complied, smoothing it as best she could.
"When we spoke last year, you expressed your interest in working for the Ministry in a Charms-related position. You've changed your mind?" Professor McGonagall looked over at Lily who was almost silent across the desk from her.
"I have," Lily answered. Swallowing hard, she added, "I've decided I want to pursue healing. I believe I still have time to complete all the required N.E.W.T.S. next year."
"Indeed," McGongall agreed. "I see no reason to deter you from this plan if it's what you really want."
"It is," Lily said determinedly, her jaw clenched.
16 May, 1977
Lily recognized the acidic tone immediately and turned to face Severus in the mostly deserted hallway.
"Severus, I don't want to discuss it with you," she said softly, her eyes sad as she took in her much-changed friend. His face was drawn with a bitterness that looked out of place on a boy just coming into manhood.
"Well, you should discuss it with someone," he hissed angrily. "Can't you see that Potter is manipulating you?"
"Manipulating me?" Lily almost laughed at the absurdity. "Severus, you're being ridiculous and besides what do you even care who I'm friends with these days? You have a new crowd of friends, I have mine."
"The way I hear it, he's more than a friend," the boy insinuated maliciously and Lily colored at the jab. Without a word, she turned away and stormed down the hallway.
"Lily, wait!" Severus cried and grabbed her arm forcefully to make her stay. She jerked away, but he wouldn't release her.
"Let me go," she said in low tone, incredibly aware that his fingers were bruising the pale skin on her arm from holding so tightly.
"You've got to listen to me about Potter first," he insisted, his black eyes cold and determined.
"No, Severus," Lily refused, jerking away again. "Whatever you've got to say, you've said before. I'm not listening to it anymore."
He let her arm go suddenly, looking slightly shocked at her words.
"So, that's it then? You're one of his worshippers now with no second thoughts?"
"I don't worship him," she snapped, rubbing her sore arm. "And I have the right to be friends with whoever I'd like without interrogation from you. You lost that right a long time ago, so sod off."
The summer that Petunia met Vernon Dursley was the worst Lily ever had.
Lily came home from Hogwarts that summer to find her home life inexplicably changed. Her father had suffered a stroke a month before and his once boisterous presence was confined to a bed, leaving the house feeling emptier even though he was still in it. Her mother spent her time at work, trying to pick up slack while her father was out of commission. It took its toll. Petunia refused to speak to Lily except for the most dire circumstances and besides that, she spent most of her time with the snooty friends she'd picked up at school.
Lily felt the sharp sting of loneliness despite the steady stream of concerned letters from friends. She spent her days taking care to make her father comfortable or thinking about how much she wanted to return to Hogwarts so she could pretend this life wasn't hers.
One day, much like the others that had already passed, Petunia abruptly announced to Lily and their mother that she had gotten engaged the previous night. The man's name was Vernon Dursley and they would have known that if they hadn't been so involved with their own lives, but no matter, he would be coming for dinner later that week.
On the appointed day, Petunia made sure that the house was perfect and she helped their father down the stairs to seat him at the head of the table, a place he had not sat in weeks because it was a strain to walk up and down the stairs more than once or twice a day. Petunia had also made sure to instruct Lily sharply that she was to keep her mouth shut about any "weirdness" and stick to the carefully thought out script for the night.
Vernon Dursley arrived at 7 o'clock sharp for dinner. Petunia's thin face broke into a smile for the first time all day as she led him in, introducing him to the family. He was already a fairly rotund man who looked a few years older than Petunia and his blonde hair only served to highlight an unattractive ruddiness in his cheeks. Lily never thought it was possible she would meet someone more obsessed than Petunia with being completely and utterly normal.
The dinner was quiet, filled with the silence of a family that no longer knew how to communicate with each other, much less a guest. Petunia did her best to fill the gaps of conversation by prodding Vernon Dursley into telling one awful joke after another. Lily watched her parents carefully for their reactions, but their faces were harder to read with the newfound tiredness that had come to them.
The dinner was deemed a success as soon as the door closed soundly behind Vernon Dursley that night and Petunia cornered their mother in the kitchen to discuss the details. Lily helped their father up the stairs and he thanked her quietly, not saying much. As she was leaving for her own room, he told her quietly that he hoped she would one day find a man who made her as happy as Vernon Dursley made Petunia. Lily had nodded absently, her mind far from the thought of her own romantic life.
Two weeks later, Petunia shook Lily harshly from an already uncomfortable sleep. Her thin face was drawn and pale, a mixed look of horror and grief twisting her features. She didn't need to say anything for Lily to know what had happened. For the first time in years, the two sisters embraced as they mourned their father.
When the heavy letter came by owl bearing a shiny new badge proclaiming her Head Girl for the coming term at Hogwarts, Lily threw it out of the window in a fit. She folded herself into a corner of her bed and cried herself to sleep. Later, when she woke up, she would find the letter and badge sitting neatly on her desk after Petunia had recovered it from the patch of flowers she had been tending in the garden outside.
28 October, 1977
"You never ask me out anymore," Lily mused one night as they finished up their rounds together. She snuck a glance at him out of the corner of her eye and gratified to see she'd caught James off guard.
He cleared his throat, pulling a hand through his hair nervously.
"I thought you wanted me to stop," he answered finally, his voice quieter than usual, unsure.
"There was a time when I did," she said mysteriously, stopping as they reached the Gryffindor common room entrance.
"Are you telling me you'd say yes if I asked you now?" he asked and she smiled to see the light that animated his face suddenly. It was amazing how expressive his features could be when he was happy, she admired.
"I'm saying..." she trailed off, choosing her words carefully. "That it wouldn't hurt to try again soon. You might find the odds more in your favor."
17 November, 1977
James was visibly nervous. He couldn't yet see Lily, but she could easily see him from her vantage point at the top of the darkened girls' staircase. It was late and nearly everyone had gone to sleep, but she had agreed to come out with him tonight. She wasn't sure what to label what was happening between them. He was fast becoming her friend, confidant and...something more. Lily blushed in the darkness and stared down at the boy sitting in the common room.
She knew she was already late, but she couldn't resist the chance to watch him without being watched herself. It was a rare occasion to see James unaccompanied by his faithful friends and an even rarer occasion to see him without the cool, confident swagger he usually displayed. The James she was observing now was a far cry from the one she had known through most of their years at Hogwarts.
Lily sighed and stood, shaking her robes out and straightening her hair before descending the stairs. James seemed immediately aware of her presence and he tensed, looking, if possible, even more nervous than before. Lily smiled, a strange fluttering sensation of her own in the pit of her stomach.
"Hey," she said quietly.
"Hi," he returned, his voice strained.
They stood there for a moment in ridiculous, awkward silence before James laughed nervously, letting out a long breath of air. He straightened himself up and offered, "Shall we go?"
Lily nodded, eager despite herself.
"So, where are you taking me exactly?" she teased playfully as she followed him through the portrait. "I need to know if this abuse of our Heads privileges is worth it."
He offered her a hand to help her down from the hole and she took it, hopping down easily. He dropped her hand uncertainly as he gestured the way. Lily tried not to let her disappointment at the loss of his hand in hers show in her face, but even if it had, James seemed oblivious in his nervousness.
"I thought we'd go for a midnight snack," James explained. Lily smiled, deeming it a worthy option for the night and let him lead the way for her. They walked in silence for a few minutes, Lily hyper-aware of every movement of his body beside hers in way she'd never been before. The few times her hand brushed against his arm and she would blush involuntarily, her fingers stretching a bit and almost grabbing his, but always stopping just before they caught hold.
He was seemingly blind to her attraction for once and she wondered what was keeping him from poking fun at her tonight. He was usually so quick to point out anything that would even suggest she was attracted to him. It had evolved over the years from a mean-spirited joke to a more playful cajoling between the two.
"James," she said as they turned into the hallway that would lead to the kitchens. "Is something wrong?" The question was quiet, but it stopped him in his tracks.
"Wrong?" His brow furrowed and he looked a bit lost as he studied her face as if it would reveal the motivation behind her question.
"You just seem quiet, is all," Lily observed. She wanted desperately to reach out to him, to touch him somehow even if it was just holding his hand, but some invisible force held her back.
He sighed loudly and turned away from her momentarily, running a hand through his hair and tugging harshly on it. When he looked back at her, his hazel eyes were flooded with a riot of emotion. She watched, transfixed, as his the apple in his throat bobbed up and down as he swallowed whatever it was he wanted to say. He fixed his gaze on her steadily and she had never felt so transparent in her life.
"What is it that we're doing?" he asked finally. His question was cryptic and he offered no explanation. There was no need anyway, it was if he had plucked it right from Lily's own musings.
She opened her mouth, hoping the answer would come easily, but it didn't. Instead, she dropped his gaze, fixing her eyes instead on his hands that were clenched by his side. After a moment of hesitation, she reached out and took one of his hands in hers, uncurling it gently so she could thread her fingers in his. This accomplished, she swallowed and met his now carefully guarded eyes.
"I never thought I would feel this way about you," she confessed, weakly taking a stab a laugh. His mouth quirked in a mixture of understanding and amusement.
"I never thought you would either," he agreed in a soft murmur.
She brought their interwoven fingers to her lips, kissing his knuckles gently.
"I'm glad I do though," Lily decided.
4 December, 1977
"Petunia's written on the invitation that I'm not allowed to bring any of my kind with me to her wedding," Lily mused as she turned the frilly invitation that had arrived this over in her hand. She was sitting across from James at a small table in a hidden corner of the library. Books and papers littered the table and space around them; they had been there for awhile, but Lily was only just bringing up the subject that had been on her mind all day.
Her eyes slid up to meet his across the table and he flashed a small smile at her before asking, "Your kind?" He had the grace to look bemused at the idea of a Muggle not wanting to mix with magical folk.
"Oh you know...the type of people who turn her teacups into frogs and nonsense like that," Lily answered, trying her best to be nonchalant.
"You turned her teacup into a frog?" He looked impressed as he pushed his essay away from himself and lounged back in his chair.
"Once," she replied defensively. "By accident."
He smirked, not believing a word of her defense. There was a time when that look would have made her want to slap him, but instead Lily shook her head and huffed to herself. They both resumed their work in comfortable silence, Lily sneaking looks at James while he pretended not to be finished with the Transfiguration essay she still needed three inches on. She doodled in the margin, her mind far from schoolwork and with another glance at the invitation sitting tauntingly by her hand, she made up her mind.
"Do you want to come with me?" she asked suddenly, the words tumbling out so fast she didn't have time to re-think her decision. She blushed fiercely, staring down at the pen she had in a death grip.
James was perfectly still for a moment, his usually expressive features blank with shock.
"Sorry, what was that?" His voice wavered between amusement and genuine concern that he might have just heard Lily Evans ask him on a date.
"To the wedding. With me," Lily mumbled, half-regretting mentioning it. "Do you want to come?"
"Ah," James cleared his throat. "I definitely don't qualify for admission if your sister's to be taken seriously."
"Oh, she is," Lily warned, meeting his eyes for the first time.
"Count me in."
He smiled, a real, warm smile free of his usual satire. She nodded, allowing herself a small smile too before leaning over her essay again.
2 February, 1978
"James, it's cold," Lily complained, only half-heartedly.
"I need to show you something."
She sighed at his insistence and wrapped her arms around herself a little more tightly as she followed him through the snow-covered grounds.
They were walking along the edge of the forest with the last light of day just leaving the sky. Lily frowned a bit at James, trying to divine his intentions. His face was cast in shadow, making it hard for her to discern his emotion. He grabbed her hand and stopped just as they reached the path that would circle them back toward the castle.
"What's this all about, then?" Lily asked curiously.
"I - we - well, Sirius and Peter aren't sure if I should trust you with this yet, but I think you should know. Remus agrees with me," he stated shakily, his hand running through hair nervously. Lily stared at him in silence, at a loss for what was going on. "Just watch, okay?"
He squeezed her hand, letting it go when she nodded in compliance. She flinched when he drew his wand from his back pocket, but was too dumbfounded to say anything. Then, without a word, his shape suddenly twisted and morphed and for a moment, Lily looked around wildly to see where James had gone. The tall, regal presence of a stag registered a moment later in her mind and Lily gasped, stumbling backwards in shock and falling to the ground. Her eyes were wide as she gaped at the beast in front of her. Shaking, she reached out as the stag started toward her as if checking that she was uninjured.
"I - I don't understand," she choked out. Her hand rested on the velvety nose for a split second before she recoiled, not in anger or shock, but from the overwhelming confusion she felt. "Why?" she asked quietly.
Suddenly, James was standing before her, unchanged and worried. He sat down beside her carefully before answering.
"It's not obvious?" he asked, studying her reaction. His eyes wandered upward and Lily's followed his to see the moon peeking out from behind clouds as the sky grew darker with the growing night. Her face paled at the implication, but the emotion that flooded her eyes now was far from fear.
"You did this all for Remus?"
He nodded. She took his hand in hers, turning it over before bringing his palm to her lips for a kiss. Her mouth lingered against his skin for a long moment before she let go. He pulled her closer with an arm around her shoulders and she rested against him without protest.
"Sirius and Peter too?"
"Of course," he confirmed.
"It's illegal," she said, with no real conviction.
He sighed, hanging his head a little, his free hand playing with his wand nervously. She shifted in his arms to face him and pulled his head up so she could look him in the eye. He relaxed a bit to see that she wasn't angry despite her words. She rested a cool hand on his face before kissing him softly.
"I love you," she whispered against his mouth. It was the first time she had said it out loud and his heart soared to hear the confession.
17 April, 1978
Lily's hands shook as she held the paper up to read the article that covered the entire front page of the Daily Prophet. It was accompanied by an awful picture of Aurors levitating lifeless bodies from a broken home. She shivered at the sight.
"I thought you were going to stop reading the news?" James asked as he took his place next to her at the breakfast table that morning.
"Sometimes I can't stop myself," she murmured, her eyes still scanning the article. He glanced at the headline over her shoulder, his mouth in a grim line as he read the headline.
10 WIZARDS FOUND DEAD; 8 STILL MISSING AFTER ATTACKS LAST NIGHT
Then, without hesitating, James pulled the paper from her grasp and flung it down the table, startling some nearby fourth-year girls who had just been giggling over how handsome they thought he was. He gave them a small smile in penance and then turned back to Lily, pulling her hands into his.
"It's getting worse every day, James," she said softly. Her big, dark green eyes were filled with sadness and fear as she stared at their intertwined hands. "I just...feel so helpless here. I want to do something."
"We will," he promised. "As soon as we're out. We can join Dumbledore's new Order and fight."
He squeezed her hand, hard, and leaned his forehead against the side her head, breathing in the scent of her hair. She turned to him, gently kissing him before pulling away and standing up from the table.
"I'm not hungry anymore," she announced and he nodded understandingly. Grabbing a scone, he hopped up from the bench to join her as she left the Great Hall. She grabbed his hand as they left, lacing their fingers together.
"What's going to happen to us after Hogwarts is over, James?" she asked quietly, not meeting his eyes.
"Oh, I suspect we'll never talk again," he cracked, trying to make her smile. She shot him a glare instead and he sobered a little. "I'll stay with you for as long as you'll put up with me, probably longer."
She smiled at that and he pulled her into an embrace, kissing the top of her head lightly.
"Then one day, when you're least expecting it, I'll do something crazy like ask to marry you," he murmured in her ear, his whisper tickling her skin. "Then you'll say no, but you'll really mean yes and we'll have this great wedding with just us and our friends and families. Then a couple years down the road, we'll start having children - lots of them. I want a whole Quidditch team, mind you, and we'll watch them grow up and send them off to Hogwarts while we grow grey together at home."
She giggled, burrowing her face into his warm chest.
"That sounds nice," she conceded, a glow of happiness on her face.
"It does," he agreed.
27 September, 1978
James hadn't quite succeeded in keeping his proposal a secret, but Lily let him believe he did because she knew how much it meant to him. It was only because Sirius couldn't keep his mouth shut that she was tipped off at all, although she might have figured it out from his sudden attack of schoolboy nerves that night.
He had tried to be so casual as he suggested they take a walk through the park on the pretense of enjoying the beautiful colors the leaves were turning at this time of year. She had smiled, giving into his suggestion a little too eagerly. He didn't seem to notice.
He had taken his time getting around to it, waited until they were deep into the park and most of the errant passerby had disappeared. She wondered if he would ask at all. Perhaps her sources had been wrong.
But then he'd stopped her. And cleared his throat. And shuffled his feet a bit. Then he nodded to himself, just once, before taking the plunge.
"Lily, I wanted to ask you something." He sounded uncharacteristically serious and Lily almost cracked a very inappropriate smile at the worry lines that creased his forehead at the moment.
"Yes, James?" She did her best to sound innocent and for good measure, squeezed James's hand in silent encouragement before releasing him. He looked up then, catching her eye and she knew in that moment that she was busted. He grinned, a little sheepishly and she smiled to see a faint blush on his cheeks.
Changing tactics very suddenly and dropping his serious demeanor, he grabbed both of her hands back, bringing them gently to his mouth to kiss them. His thumbs stroked the soft skin of hands before letting her intertwine their fingers together.
"Marry me?" he asked softly, a fierce happiness in his eyes that made Lily shiver.
Of course, there was no other answer but yes for her and he knew that too. Instead of saying the words, she flung herself at the man in front her, hugging him as tightly as she could. James didn't miss a beat and swung her around joyfully, his laughter mixing with hers.
Lily, for her part, couldn't remember a time when she had felt so perfectly happy.
7 January, 1979
Lily stirred from her chair at the kitchen table at the familiar voice. She sighed and tried to look relaxed before she called out to Sirius, "He's not back yet. I'm in the kitchen."
Sirius sidled into the room a moment later from the entryway and smiled at Lily, but not without noticing her worried eyes. He propped himself up against the counter and set a small bag next to him.
"What's up with you? You're looking rough," he commented casually and began to pull out several bottles from the bag next to him. Lily shrugged, not answering him immediately as she watched him pull an impossible number of bottles from the bag.
"What's all that?" she asked curiously and stood to walk over to where Sirius had unloaded his stash.
"A selection of every beer and whiskey The Leaky Cauldron has to offer," Sirius said proudly.
"What on earth for?" Lily made an incredulous face at him as she noticed the moving color labels on the bottles for the first time. She picked up the nearest bottle that screamed `OGDEN'S FIREWHISKEY' on the label and turned it over in her hand as if she'd never seen such a thing in her life.
"Lily, Lily, Lily," Sirius said patiently, amused at her confusion. "Have you forgotten that you're getting married in a month? You do have to decide what you'll be using to get your guests drunk at some point in the very near future. Why not today?"
"I haven't forgotten, but I still don't see why you had to bring the entire bar into my house."
"James asked me to," Sirius answered simply, and started rooting through the various bottles and pulling some toward the front. He took the whiskey bottle from Lily's hands and replaced it with a much daintier bottle with a foreign label that boasted a small dragon cradling a bottle on the label. He flicked the top off with ease and gestured for her to try it.
"I'm not drinking this," Lily insisted and tried to hand the bottle back to him. "Did you say James told you to bring these...here?"
Sirius smiled at her roguishly and covered her hands in his while pushing the bottle towards her face.
"Try it, you'll like it. And, it makes sense to bring it all here. This will be your future dwelling place with your husband-to-be," he explained, smiling as if it all made perfect sense to him. Lily frowned at the bottles on the table, but she knew better than to put up too much of a fight when Sirius had teamed up with James. She sniffed experimentally at the beer in her hand and was surprised to find the scent pleasant. She raised it to her lips and took a small sip, then deciding she liked the taste, took a more generous mouthful.
"Good?" Sirius asked in a way that suggested he already knew her answer. He opened a bottle of a less exotic looking beer for himself and sat at the table. Lily followed him to the table and sat next to him. She sighed as she set her beer on the table, already feeling its tongue-loosening effects.
"I'm worried, Sirius," she admitted, her tone dark. His smile faded for a moment but returned quickly.
"Just keep drinking," he suggested. "I've found there are few problems in the world that a little beer or whiskey can't help."
Lily cracked a smile and slouched deeper into her chair. She took his advice, however, and took another swig of the beer he'd given her. She let out a long breath of air and pulled herself up in her chair. They drank their beers in relative silence as the minutes ticked by with still no sign of James.
"What if one day it's one of us doesn't come back from one these missions for the Order? What if one day it's one of us that is found dead?" Lily blurted out suddenly, her face pale and drawn despite the flush of intoxication.
Sirius straightened himself up and grabbed her hand on the table.
"Lily, listen to me," he commanded gravely. "I know it's hard, but what we're doing is important. I know you know that, but sometimes we just have to be reminded of that."
She squeezed his hand in hers, clinging onto it for dear life. He let her calm herself down before continuing.
"Besides, you should know by now that even if some bloody Death Eater somehow gets his hands on James, he'll find his way back to you even if he has to resort to haunting you for the rest of your life," Sirius joked, in hopes of lightening the mood. It seemed to work and Lily laughed quietly. He smiled in relief and joined in her laughter.
"What's all this then?" The very man in question suddenly stepped into the kitchen, interrupting their growing laughter.
"James!" Lily cried and launched herself from her chair into his arms. He hugged her back happily, smiling into her red hair.
"I see you two have started without me," James laughed, catching sight of the beer bottles on the table once Lily had released him.
"Well, mate," Sirius said, lounging in his chair with a smirk, "You know I'd never pass up an opportunity to get the lovely Lily Evans drunk."
Lily laughed, her eyes never leaving James as he grabbed the bottle of firewhiskey that Lily had been studying earlier, and then she shook her head.
"You two are ridiculous," she decided, going back to drinking her own beer.
1 March, 1979
"James, that is not funny," Lily pleaded as seriously as she could, putting her hand on his underneath the table to still his wand.
"I know you don't mean that," he laughed, grinning as he turned Vernon Dursley's mustache into an unsightly green color. Vernon and Petunia were sitting at the very end of the reception dinner table on Petunia's insistence that she be as far away from the "freaks" as possible. Unfortunately, it seemed that the entire wedding party was qualified to be a "freak" and both of the Dursleys looked ready to bolt. It didn't help that a few moments ago Vernon's mustache had started to inexplicably turn the most extraordinary colors. He hadn't noticed yet thankfully, but Lily didn't think she'd ever seen Petunia's eyes so large. She bit back a giggle, attempting to give James a warning look.
"You promised you'd leave them alone," she reminded him gently. "I'm lucky they even came. You don't know how much begging I had to do to convince Petunia."
"It's not my fault his facial hair practically begs to be a lovely shade of pink!" James defended himself, still laughing quietly to himself. He ribbed Sirius to see the new shade he'd just turned the unsuspecting Muggle's mustache. Lily sighed in defeat.
"If my sister never talks to me again, it's your fault," she said, half-joking.
"She'll never know it was me, promise," James swore, distracted for a minute from Vernon's mustache to turn to the woman he was marrying the next morning. He smiled, his silliness stemming from the complete happiness he felt at the thought of marrying her, and pulled her a little closer by wrapping an arm around her. He kissed her cheek, whispering into her ear, "Are you ready for tomorrow?"
"Am I ready to put up with you turning my brother-in-law's mustache pink for the rest of my life, do you mean?" she challenged sarcastically, not bothering to hide her smile this time.
"I'm fairly certain that's included in the fine print for becoming Mrs. James Potter," he agreed solemnly. She laughed, throwing her head back and enjoying the feeling. She reached up to run her fingers alongside his face, feeling the light stubble on his jaw where he still needed to shave, and kissed him soundly.
"I can live with that, I guess," she promised softly. "As I long as I get to be Mrs. James Potter."
7 June, 1979
Lily would never forget the first time she'd seen him come home injured from a battle.
He had been late, late enough to make her worry, and she was pacing the kitchen in way way that she was becoming far too familiar with. And then, suddenly, he was there, but it wasn't right somehow. She'd known immediately that something was wrong, but it wasn't until she crossed the room to him that she saw the blood.
"James!" she cried.
"Hit me with some curse right as we were leaving," he wheezed, the words coming out jumbled as she led him to the couch and pushed him on it. Her wand was in her hands before she even knew what to do and she tore his shirt from to see the worst of the damage in a huge gash across his chest.
"James," she murmured, her heart squeezing in her chest. She wished desperately that someone else was here, someone with a clear head. Of course, she had learned how to mend such injuries but as she stared at the gash all she could think about was that this was James's blood pouring from the pale, torn skin.
Steeling herself, she called every mending charm she knew to mind and began to work to close the gaping wound. The skin obeyed slowly, reluctantly, and even with Lily's expert touch, when the wound closed there was an angry welt, no doubt the lingering effects of the curse.
James's breathing evened out after a time and he tried to sit up but she forced him back down.
"Don't, you could tear it open again," she warned. He took her hand in his, kissing her fingers gently.
"I'm sure it's perfect," he assured softly. "I'm sorry for coming home like this."
"You scared me," she admitted, seating herself onto the couch beside him.
"I'm sorry," he repeated and pulled her gently down to here he could easily kiss her mouth without moving. As an afterthought, he added, "I've gone and gotten blood on our new couch."
She laughed weakly, shaking her head before kissing him again, her hands framing his face.
"What am I going to do with you?"
18 November, 1979
"We've been tipped off to a possible Death Eater attack on a small Muggle village in Wales tomorrow evening. We believe they may be targeting a young squib who lives there with relatives."
Lily felt almost as if she were back at Hogwarts in class again as she listened to McGonagall address the room, calmly outlining the newest information the Order had received.
"We'll be there to meet them then," Sirius spoke up from beside Lily and she nodded, feeling James do the same.
"Count Lily and me in," James offered, squeezing her hand under the table.
McGonagall nodded tersely. Lily wondered briefly exactly when it was that McGonagall had given up trying to stop her just graduated students from fighting. They needed all the fighters they could get for the Order and their young age was no longer allowed to be a barrier.
Lily couldn't recall ever actually feeling nineteen anyway even though she'd reached it in January. Sometimes, she felt as though she'd lived through at least three times that amount of years and every battle added ten more years to her running total.
30 January, 1980
"Happy birthday, love," James whispered in Lily's ear, making her skin prickle at the nape of her neck. His arms wrapped around her from behind as they surveyed their now empty house that had just been emptied of the last of their friends who'd come to the modest celebration.
"I need to tell you something," Lily sighed. She had put it off long enough, worrying over his reaction. Her hands instinctively rested on her still flat stomach and she swallowed, trying to find her courage.
"What?" he laughed softly, nuzzling her neck gently with his lips in a way that was making it hard for Lily to concentrate. She pulled away from him and tried not to register his confused look as she took his hands in hers.
"I'm..." she trailed off, finding it hard to say it out loud. " James, I'm pregnant."
He was silent for a long moment and she was scared she had misread the situation. He raised a hand to his face, rubbing his chin and exhaling loudly as if she had punched him in the stomach. When he looked her in the eyes, however, Lily's fears dissipated at the warm, heart-melting emotion that was there.
"Are you sure?" he asked, his voice barely above a whisper. He leaned his forehead against hers and she shifted closer to him, feeling his hands ghost across the fabric of her shirt and then trace invisible lines across the skin underneath.
"Doubly," she assured him, wrapping her arms around him and burying her face in his warm chest.
"Lily," he murmured, drawing her as close as he possibly could, his fingers now tangled in her hair. He didn't seem to know what else to say, but Lily didn't need him to anyway.
"I know," she agreed.
2 May, 1980
"Have you talked to Remus lately?" Lily asked Sirius as they ate dinner together quietly.
James had taken off with Peter to run errands for the Order hours ago and Lily had invited him over to keep her company as she stared at the clock. She had wanted to come with James and Wormtail, but James had insisted on going alone with Peter because he had seemed so down.
Sirius shook his head, his mouth too full of potatoes to answer properly right away. He swallowed hard and his face creased into an uncharacteristic frown.
"He's slid off the map for the past few weeks," Sirius answered darkly, pushing his food around on his plate as if he'd just lost his appetite. He sighed and leaned back in the chair. "I'm not sure what to make of it."
"This isn't like him," she murmured, worried for their friend.
"It isn't," Sirius agreed. "James and I...we're worried. Wormtail's been trying to find him through some friends at the Ministry he made, but no luck. It's like he doesn't want us to find him."
"You don't think...?" Lily asked, but couldn't finish her own question, unable to fully picture Remus crossing over to the other side.
"I don't know what to think," Sirius answered grimly.
29 August, 1980
Harry wasn't the kind of baby to cry in the middle of night, but James had taken to sneaking out of bed to stand by his crib anyway. Lily pretended not to notice, smiling into her pillow when she saw him silently staring down at his newborn son as if he couldn't quite believe he was there.
One night, when he had caught her staring, he had smiled sheepishly before commenting, "He has your eyes, you know. They're so green."
"Maybe that means he won't be half-blind without glasses," Lily teased and he laughed softly, not wanting to wake the newborn who slept soundly only a few feet away.
"Hopefully," he agreed before climbing back in bed with her and hugging her close.
23 October, 1980
"A prophecy?" James asked incredulously. "You want us to stop fighting and go into hiding because some crackpot made a prophecy?"
"James," Lily admonished, putting her hand on his arm to remind him to calm down. He stepped back a bit from Dumbledore, who for his part was listening to James' outburst impassively.
"James, I understand your reluctance," Dumbledore assured him. "But I'm afraid the prophecy very clearly makes you and your family targets for Voldemort and his followers. I feel the best course of action would be for you to disappear, for your son's sake, if not for yours."
"What should we do then?" Lily asked, speaking for the first time since Dumbledore had revealed his purpose for calling them there today.
"I propose a Fidelius Charm," Dumbledore answered her, his blue eyes calculating. "I, of course, would be happy to act as your Secret Keeper if you choose."
"Sirius will do it," James interrupted fiercely. His brown eyes blazed in an anger that belonged to a caged animal that knew it had no way out. Lily grabbed his hand, intertwining their fingers tightly.
"Very well," Dumbledore agreed. "I'll need you both to be ready within a week."
29 October, 1980
"They'll expect me to be your Secret Keeper, Prongs," Sirius insisted, his black eyes bright with ideas. "If we use Wormtail instead, they'll be thrown off the trail even longer. It will keep you and Lily and Harry safer longer, don't you see?"
"Padfoot, I trust you with you it. We don't need a feint."
James was shaking his head while he paced the small room. Lily sat quietly at the table, watching and listening in silence as her husband argued with their friend. They were to go under the Fidelius the next day and Lily felt a strange uneasiness at changing the plan now, but she was trusting James.
"I just think you should consider it," Sirius said adamantly. "I have to go now, but I'll be back tomorrow for the casting. I'll bring Wormtail."
And with that, Sirius apparated suddenly with a large crack. James sighed, his hands pulling at his hair in frustration as he threw himself in the chair beside Lily.
"I don't know what to do," he admitted. "Sirius has a point, but..."
"Do you trust him?" Lily asked simply, not knowing what else to say.
"Wormtail?" James asked, looking surprised at the question. "With my life."
Lily nodded, clearing her throat.
"Then I trust you with whatever you decide," Lily assured him, taking her hand in his and kissing it gently.
3 August, 1981
Lily couldn't remember laughing so hard since Hogwarts.
"James! you've got to catch him!" she gasped, unable to catch a hold of her small son who was busy zooming about on a miniature broom. Right at that instant, there was a huge crash and momentarily worried, Lily sobered until she heard Harry laugh delightedly as he surveyed the damage he'd caused safely from James' arms who had scooped him from the wreckage just in time.
The tail end of the small broom had knocked an ugly, red vase from its precarious position on the bookshelf and Lily sighed at the broken pieces.
"Petunia gave me that," she observed.
"You can't possibly tell me you're actually upset that it's broken," James laughed, smirking at his wife as he bounced Harry up and down in his arms. Harry seemed as unperturbed by the broken vase as James and was desperately reaching for the small broom in hopes of flying again. Lily picked the broom up off the floor and quickly stashed it for the moment, deciding there had been enough flying for now, at least until she had the glass cleaned up.
"I'm not upset," Lily insisted, rolling her eyes at James who was hardly even paying attention to her as he made various faces at Harry. Harry, for his part, was eating it up, trying to twist his face to imitate his father's expressions. She smiled at the sight, pressing her lips together to keep from laughing at the pair.
"Did you see what a natural flyer he is?" James asked suddenly, practically bursting with pride. "He's going to be a great Quidditch player like his dad."
"And hopefully a little more humble about it," Lily teased, swatting James on the back of the head. Harry giggled delightedly at his parents' squabbling and Lily laughed along with James at the sight.
31 October, 1981
"You're going to make yourself sick with all that sugar, James," Lily admonished playfully, grabbing a cauldron cake for herself before he could gobble them all up.
"Oh Merlin, I don't even care," he groaned, splaying himself out on the couch lazily. "It's been so long since I've had Bertie Bott's. Sirius really outdid himself with this one."
"He did," she agreed, surveying the huge pile of sweets that Sirius had had sent to them earlier in the day. The sweets had delighted Harry and the sugar had kept him awake hours later than he should have been, exhausting both James and Lily. Lily had only just gotten him to bed after a full day of chasing him around the small cottage.
"This was a good day," James observed softly, playing with the wrapper from a chocolate frog. Lily smiled in agreement, running a hand through her hair before pulling it back. She started to gather up the rubbish from the table and took an armful to the kitchen to throw it away when a strange scuffle outside the window attracted her back to the other room.
"James, what was that?" she asked and was surprised to see her husband alert and suspicious when she walked back into the room. "James?"
"Lily," James said sharply, suddenly. He had moved closer to front corridor, his eyes casting around wildly for his wand that Lily realized too late was buried underneath wrappers somewhere in the room. She made a move to go upstairs, but stopped, still waiting for something more to happen.
There was another huge crash, this time from the direction of the front door and Lily felt a cool shiver of fear run through her. She paled as she looked towards the direction of their front corridor and then to the stairs, Harry's bedroom light still shining from the top of them. He saw her hesitation and pushed her firmly in that direction before half-running to the corridor, still without his wand.
Lily heard another crash, this time almost certainly the front door coming down. She opened her mouth to yell after him in warning but he cut her off suddenly and harshly, spurring her into action.
"Lily! Take Harry and go!" James ordered loudly and at that she bolted, his words following her up the stairs like a horrible curse. "It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"
His words jangled in her head uselessly and she flung open the door to Harry's nursery, inexplicably relieved to see him still sleeping soundly, but that feeling disappeared instantly when a strange flash of green light invaded the hallway behind her. She screamed silently, grabbing Harry from his crib, realizing too late that she had no idea where her wand was.
"Damn it, damn it," she cursed, tears flowing down her face as she held Harry close to her chest and looked for an escape route. The window was the only way out. Just as she made a move for it, a cold, high-pitched voice behind her stopped her in her tracks.
"Step aside, girl."
Sorry for any mistakes, I tried to weed them out! Also, kind of, but really, sorry for how long this turned out to be. I didn't mean to keep adding onto it, it just happened and then I decided to post it before it became a novel or something.
Please make my day by leaving a review. :D