Arya: Hello! *looks out from rock she's been under* Did you miss me?
Remus: we are sorry for the long wait between chapters. Life got busy around her.
Arya: Between summer school and family vacations for me, and a big move for my beta plus an ankle sprain...updating was the last thing on my mind!
Remus: but we are back now although we cannot promise speedy updates.
Arya: I have full time work, college and now volunteer hours for my major so while I am going to try to update often you may have to wait a bit. I can promise this fanfiction will be finished though.
Remus: just not sure when...
Arya:right. So here is an extra long chapter to make up for my absence, please review!
They were basing everything on the whims and thoughts of an old man. Nothing they had been told was based in proven fact.
What made this more scary, was the man whose hunch they were following was almost always right. Once before in his life, he had lived through a war. Had earned an Order of Merlin First Class for protecting the Wizarding Community from the biggest threat the had seen since the Goblin Wars.
Until now, that was.
Now they were facing their biggest threat since then. They were not prepared. That was the terrifying part about it. Nothing was for sure and things that had been taken for granted now stood on shaky ground.
Lily wasn't sure when she had started thinking of Dumbledore as an old man. However, seeing him that night for the first meeting, it was the only thought that had filled her mind. He was no longer a young man, his hair had gone white. His blue eyes still sparkled and laughed but the old spark he had when Lily and her friends had been at school seemed to have dimmed a little. Lily was almost afraid to see how dark that flame would become as the days dragged on and they struggled to complete the task that had been handed down to them.
Lily's stomach churned when she thought about the tasks that had been handed to her and her friends. Every morning she opened the Daily Prophet and news of a more death was waiting to be read about. In her mind she couldn't help but wondered if it would happen to them as well. If one morning Lily would open the Daily Prophet to a picture of Remus, Peter, or Sirius would be straying back out at her. Her heart clenched at that thought and she shoved it into the back of her mind by looping her arm through James's and holding it tightly.
In her mind, Remus had the hardest task out of all of them; he would be stepping into the Dark Wizarding World. He would be working at the only bar in Knockturn Alley. His backstory had brought anger out in all of the friends as McGonagall had described his task. After leaving Hogwarts, he had found that the Wizarding World was not welcome. His hope to step into further learning, like he had wanted to, had been shot down, again and again. His friends, while being sympathetic had been too wrapped up in their own thoughts.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Remus had gone to a werewolf friend who had helped him throughout his early years. This old friend, one Lily had never heard of before now, would be his leg up into the Dark Wizarding World. Hopefully, this would help Rumus gather some information on more wizards who were not just giving support to the Dark Wizard attacking them, but was actually working with him. Rumus would pass this information on to his contact whenever he found something worth being told.
James's hand tightened against her hand giving her a reassuring squeeze as they walked along, pulling her from her thoughts. Lily gave him a weak smile before letting her mind slip back down the alleyway it had been dancing down. What would happen to Remus if he was caught? Would they kill him? Or would they torture him first, trying to learn the information that he might have on their side? For that matter, did the other side even care that there were people standing up to them? Or did they find it a funny notation? Something to leave until the end, when they were winning, and then stomping them under their feet like little ants. Doing this would be a great show of power. It would tamper down any remaining desire to fight against the new dark order.
"You've been awful quiet," James said softly, giving her hand a gentle squeeze as he spoke.
"You have as well," she pointed out.
It was true.
Since leaving the bigger on the inside cottage they had met in for the meeting, neither of them had said much of anything.
When leaving, James had suggested they go on a walk. That had been the last words spoke between them as they went along, each lost in their own thoughts.
James hadn't been over joyed about what Dumbledore wanted her to do. He'd argued loudly against it, with Peter and Remus support. Only Sirius had been oddly silent during the discussion. He seemed to know what James and the rest of them kept forgetting. Lily was going to do what she wanted to do, especially if it meant helping the order.
James huffed loudly beside her, "I still think it's too dangerous."
"I don't. He has been my friend for years," Lily said calmly. Apparently they were going to have this discussion...again. It seemed to be one of James favorite old bones to worry and fret about.
"He attacked you with an unknown spell at Hogwarts!" James snapped.
At the word spell two old ladies paused in their evening walk.
"Lovely evening for a walk isn't?" Lily asked them, tugging James passed them. "Be careful what you say James, Muggle Secrecy Act and all." She reminded him gently. "Technically, it wasn't Snape that attacked me, but one of his friends in some messed up test to see if I was worthy to be near a pure blood."
"Oh, yes, that sounds so much better saying it like that." James snapped.
Lily groaned loudly, "James. I won't be directly interacting with him. Just keeping tabs on him. Besides, if I'm caught, at least I can claim an old friendship and get away without to much damage done. If Peter were to do this and get caught, he'd ended up in a duel and while he is good at dueling ,so is Snape."
"I still don't like it." James grumbled.
"Tough," Was Lily's brilliant response. She knew it was not the best response in the world. Saying it did not solve the issue at hand. It was the only thing she could think of to say.
James hatred of Snape, while justified in the last year, had been legendary at Hogwarts. He had found every opportunity possible to hex Snape, often tag teaming him with Sirius. Lily had learned after school had ended that at least half of those fights had been started by Snape and the deep seated hatred that James had towards him was not just out of spite. Back when they had been in school Lily had spent much of her time with Snape, a fact that James had hated.
Lily had thought that since Potter, as she had called him back then, had just been jealous about their close relationship and had been determined to get a date from her in order to rub Snape's face in it.
All of these assumptions, though, had been proven wrong. Her oldest friendship had been broken because of what Snape had become, making the deep rooted hatred Snape had for James, and James had for Snape, deeper.
It was hard to see Snape as a dark wizard. Lily had always thought he would end up as a dark wizard catcher. He had always had a fascination with the dark arts. He had always craved power and a higher social status. Lily had known this but she had always thought that these would just make him better at stopping the use of Dark Magic. It often happened in books, the hero not want to embrace the darkness in their soul, and therefore used their knowledge for the good of mankind. Lily had always hoped that's what would have happened. A small piece of her heart still hoped it would.
She knew that hope was a foolish thing. It could lead her blindly to her death. Hope could also bring back those who were on the cusp of using their soul to madness.
Lily snugged softly beside James, glancing at the darkened sky. It was going to rain that evening, Lily could smell it on the air.
It was foolish of her to still want to save Snape. She knew that. She half glanced at James beside her, he was glaring straight ahead and scowling. Whatever love she had harbored for Snape had died a long time ago. While her love for James kept growing.
If she was smart then Lily would listen to James. She would not be so willing to risk her neck for someone who had tried to hurt her. Yet she couldn't let go of her old friendship.
A very small part of her wanted to save him.
Sort of like a hero complex. She had a need to save the hopeless.
James warm hand wrapped around one of her cold ones as they strolled across the street. "Forget your gloves again?" He asked as they walked along.
"Erm," Lily mumbled. She hadn't forgotten them per say she just hadn't been able to find them.
"Lost another pair?" He sounded amused.
Lily glared at him, he looked amused, "No. I'm just not sure whe-what was that?" A loud clunk had sounded to the right of them down a dimly lit alley that provided a shortcut back to Lily's flat.
"Not sure..." James's hand tightened around hers, while his other hand slid into his pocket grasping his wand. Lily followed his lead, wrapping cold fingers around the wooden handle.
The alley they walked down was dark and Lily could smell the rank scent of garbage, as they walked along. Looking towards the sky, Lily could see a small sliver of the moon peeking down between the two buildings. There was another thump, which had Lily and James both flinching, followed by a pathetic meow.
James turned, holding his wand above his head and peering between two trash bins.
"Aww! How cute!" Lily cooed, shoving her wand back into her bag and moving forward to pick the small kitten up.
James hand caught her arm tightly, stopping her from moving forward. "Don't," he said, "You don't know if the cat is a cat or someone on their animagus form," he pointed out. He lifted his hand a little, glaring down at the small thing.
Lily blushed slightly, this was one of the reasons that James was going to make a good arour. He had a suspicious mind that kept him, and often his friends, out of danger.
However, Lily doubted that a small little kitten was anyones animagus form unless the person was a child.
James muttered something, doing some sort of jabbing move, towards the kitten who let out a shriek and jumped into the air, back arched and die standing on end.
"James! You scared the poor thing!" Lily huffed, scooping the kitten up. It was a small, slight thing with dirty fur that still stood on end from James's spell.
"Sorry, but we can never be too careful," James pointed out, reaching out to scratch the cat's ears. It hissed at him, swiping with its claws across the back of James's hand leaving four long scratches. "Bloody hell!"
"Aww! It's okay, little kitty! He was only trying to make sure you wouldn't kill us the moment I takeyou home." Lily cooed, scratching the little things ears.
"You're taking that thing hole?" James asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yes. Look at the poor baby, it's all alone and sad." Lily said.
"I'm looking at the thing and it looks like it wants to kill me." James said.
"Oh. don't be silly. James!" Lily laughed, holding the kitten out towards James. She stuck her bottom lip out in a pout, making her eyes wide as she did. "Isn't she just so cute?" She asked batting her eyes at James, who was shaking his head.
"No, no it's not. Couldn't you love dogs instead." James whined.
Lily laughed, snuggling the small kitten close to her chest. James made a face, positive that the little beast was giving him a smug look from its place between Lily's breasts. "I think you're being a tad silly," Lily said, taking James's hand with her free one and pulling him along.
As they stood speaking, the air had grown colder and the scent of rain had come on the wind. Emerging back into the main street, Lily glanced around. A few stragglers were hurrying home with briefcases or bags of items. A man passed them muttering about the awful weather they had been having as of late. Silently, Lily agreed with him. This weather was what you expected for fall, not summer.
There was something about tonight that had Lily on edge. Something felt off to her, not quite right.
"That thing probably has fleas," James grumbled.
"Then I'll give her a bath," Lily said, giving the small kitten a scratch behind the ears.
"James?" Lily asked as she led the way up to her and Hesita's flat.
"Huh?" James asked, still giving the kitten a stink eye.
"Did that sound on the alley really sound like a crash to you?" Lily asked, as they walked up stairs, James's arm around her shoulder.
"Not really, I assumed it was someone apparating, but when we got into the alley no one was there. Only the mangy kitten was."
"She is not mangy," Lily defended. James made a scoffing noise in his throat, "I thought so too. I thought it was just the kitten but then I thought about it. There were no bins turned over or anything of that nature. What if there had been a witch or wizard in the alley before we turned down there? Why would they hide? If they were dark wizards they would have attacked us, and if they were good wizards wouldn't they stay and defend?"
"Maybe we are expecting danger at every turn, so are we over analyzing things?" He suggested shutting the door behind the both of them and barring the door.
The flat was quiet and dark, the only light source coming from the remains of a burning out fire. A window was open, causing the curtains to blow in the breeze and cool air to fill the room. Placing the kitten on the floor, Lily moved to the window shutting and locking it into places. "I guess Hesita and Sirius are at your place?" Lily said, glancing around. It looked as if their two friends had left in their typical quick fashion.
"More than likely," James agreed giving his wand a wave. The lamps in the living room lit, casting a soft glow around the room. With another flick of his wrist a fire appeared in the fireplace, the flames dancing around in the grate.
The kitten gave a soft meow before hiding under the chair. Lily could just make out its eyes glaring from its hiding spot. "Poor thing is probably scared," Lily said before heading into the kitchen. She hadn't had a pet in years, her older sister had always hated animals. A small bubble of excitement burned in Lily's stomach at the thought of keeping the small kitten. It would be nice to have a little creature to take care of and keep her company when James was busy.
A kitten, however, wasn't James, Lily thought as she set a bowl of milk on the floor near the chair. James was sitting on the couch, his head leaned back against the cushions and his eyes shut. "When does training officially start for you?" Lily asked curling up next time him. A lot of James time had been spent with Moody as of late, training and preparing. Sitting as close as she was to him Lily could see the dark bags under his eyes, normally hidden by the frames of his glasses.
"Next week," James answered, opening one eye lazily, and grinning.
"Not a lot of free time left." Lily responded.
"I don't know the meaning of free time. I'm positive that Moody is trying to kill me with all this training." James complained and Lily fought to keep from smiling.
"I think the training is to make sure that you don't die, with what is coming." Lily pointed out running her fingers through James hair.
"Maybe." James grumbled opening one eye, "However, I don't see how jumping out from behind trash bins or closets yelling 'constant vigilance' and attacking is helping anyone. I think he does it more to torture us because he thinks it is funny. I bet all the old aurors at the Ministry have some type of game going, how many new recruits can they scare off..."
Lily laughed, shaking her head. "My poor baby," Lily teased.
James opened one eye glaring at her for a moment. Lily gave him a sweet, innocent smile scratching her nails soothingly against his scalp. At her feet, the kitten she had found meowed, demanding attention. Lily turned to scoop it up into her arms and shrieked. James's fingers dug into her side and began moving up and down tickling her. Lily shrieked again, turning sideways, trying to get away from his fingers.
In the back of her mind, Lily heard the small kitten hiss, not liking the noise.
"James stop!" Lily gasped, still trying to get away from his tickling fingers.
"Nope, this is what you get for being mean." James said in a sing-song voice. He did not sound very breathless despite all of Lily's struggles.
"I wa-wasn't mean!" Lily laughed, swatting at his hands.
James easily avoided her meager slaps, his fingers dancing up and down her ribs and across her belly. "You were laughing at me."
"N-nn-ever" Lily giggled, her eyes were watering and her nose was running slightly.
"Lies!" James laughed moving slightly so he had an easier time tickling her.
"Nooooo," Lily laughed, still trying to get away. What on Earth did Moody feed him? He was horribly strong, although not so strong that it hurt her. Just strong enough that getting loose was impossible. "James! Air..I need air!" Lily said still struggling to get away. She twisted slightly, trying to make her frame expand so she could slip away from James fingers, which were still showing no mercy towards her. James grinned, slowing his attack but refusing to stop it, his fingers still running up and down her ribs.
Lily twisted slightly, wrapping the fingers of one hand into his hair and pressing her lips hard against his. James paused for a moment, his hands still resting on her ribs. Lily smiled inwardly and made a mental note to thank Hesita for the advice; that if you kissed a guy, he would forget what he had been doing and focus on the kiss.
James's tongue traced along her lips, one arm sliding up into her hair, while the other wrapped tight around her back and pulled her close.
Lily sighed softly allowing James to slide his tongue into her mouth.
Kissing James was one of Lily's most favorite things to do. Everything drifted out if her head when ever his lips touched hers. Sucking his bottom lip between hers Lily made a mental note to kiss James more often.
Gently, she scratched her fingernails against his scalp before letting her hands rest on his shoulders and sparring with his lips for dominance.
A loud ding sounded through the quiet flatt, causing Lily to jump and bit down hard. James hissed pulling his lips away from Lily's own.
Warm heat flooded Lily face as she met the amused eyes of James. "I hate that clock," she declared. She had hated the stupid thing since Hesita brought it home but her best friend loved it and refused to part with it, or keep it in her room.
"I know you do," James said smiling, "it's very late. I should be going." He didn't sound as though leaving was something he fancied doing. His arms were still wrapped around her, his head leaning against her shoulder.
"Stay here," Lily said.
James staying had become a normal occurrence for them. Sirius and Hesita were always together at James's flat and neither of them had much description.
Standing up, Lily helped pull James to his feet, heading towards the hallway and her room.
"What about your kitten?" James asked.
"He'll be fine," Lily said.
"Hesita may come home and freak out about it being here," James said glancing over his shoulder.
"Hesita will live," Lily said.
With a wave of her wand, a light flickered on in her room. Her bed sat unmade and in disarray from last night, Lily had never lived by the make your bed every day thought. A few articles of clothing were tossed on the floor, Lily bent over scooping them up and throwing them in the direction of the laundry basket.
"Close the door please. I don't want another Hesita wake up call," Lily said digging into her dresser for pajamas. The one time Lily left her door open with James here had ended with Hesita barging in on a heated make out session.
The door clicked into place and was loud in the quiet of the bedroom, sending goosebumps racing down her back.
An air of awkwardness seemed to hover around the room. It felt like this was the first evening James would be spending the night, despite him having done so on multiple occasions. An underlying air of tension mixed with the awkwardness as if one of their friends could walk in at any time.
"What time do you have training?" Lily asked, looking at James who had gone and sat on the edge of the bed. She stifled a giggle, pulling a yellow pajama set from her drawer. Her mind dwelled on this being like any other cliche lose your virginity on prom night movie or book that Lily had ever read, although neither of them seemed to have sex on the mind.
"Seven," James said with a groan. "I know he wants to kill me with all these extra hours," James grumbled and Lily smiled shaking her head. He was like a dog with a bone, he was not going to let it go.
"Again, I say, my poor baby," Lily teased, walking over to him. She leaned her head on top of his playing with the unruly strands. James leaned his head against her, nuzzling into place between her breast.
"You're making fun of me," James grumbled.
"Maybe a little," Lily said, kissing the top of his head. She ran her nails lightly against his neck grinning when James sighed. "You know, I like when you stay over. You're much more fun to cuddle with than a pillow." Lily said thoughtful.
"I should hope I was more fun than a pillow." James said dryly. "I doubt you could do this with your pillow," James said, pushing Lily's head down gently until his lips pressed against hers. His hands slid from her waist until they were clutching her bottom. He pulled back slightly before pressing his lips against hers, once, twice, a third time. Their tongue twisted together, deepening their kiss.
James's lips moved from hers down her neck leaving nibbling kisses that caused Lily's toes to curl in her shoes, she titled her head slightly, enjoying the rush of heat it brought throughout her body, before settling in her center.
Feeling bold, Lily slid her hands under the t shirt James was wearing. James hissed sucking his stomach in slightly. "Your hands are freezing, love," he mumbled still nibbling on her neck.
"Mmh," Lily hummed choosing not to respond, she was quite enjoying what he was doing with his lips. She didn't want to give him any reason to stop.
James chuckled slightly sliding his own hands under Lily's blouses, and then up until the weight of her breast rested in his hands. He gave each breast a gentle squeeze that made Lily groan, and flush before moving his hands around her and unhooking her bra. His lips moved away from her neck, causing her to groan and pout from the list of contact.
In the next moment she hissed, as the cool air of the room made contact with her skin. A moment later James warm lips pressed against her bare breast.
"You have an obsession with my clothes on the floor," Lily moaned, enjoying the tingling sensation James was creating on her chest.
"They look better there," James responded. Lily wondered how he was able to form a coherent sentence with his mouth full of her breast.
Grasping the hem of James's T-shirt she tugged, pulling it away from his body and knocking his glasses to the floor in the process. She giggled silently at the disgruntled expression James wore for a second.
Her eyes roamed over his bare chest enjoying the nice V that vanished at the waistband of his pants.
James's arms looped around hers and they fell sideways into the bed; their lips pressing into a heated kisses.
Lily let her hands roam, scratching gently between his pecs and smiling when he moaned on her lips.
Her hands slid downwards, following the trail of hair that went into the waistband of his jeans. Her friends had always called it the "happy trail" and judging by the bulge Lily felt pressing against her thigh James was very "happy" at the moment.
James hissed and groaned when Lily slid her hands under the waistband of his jeans, muttering something about her cold hands. She moved her trembling hands to the button of his jeans, releasing the tension before her hand returned to a dazed James.
Slowly, she moved her hand up and down his member smiling at the groaning noise James made. Warm liquid seeped from his tip, smearing that, Lily used it to move her hand quickly up and down, twisting her wrist slightly every once in a while.
James's lips pressed warm lingering kisses against her neck, his warm breath tickling the skin there. His hips jerked along with her hand, and his arms rested on either side of her, as if trying to make sure she could not get away.
On a downward stroke, Lily squeezed tighter, twisting her wrist at the same time. James groaned, his hips jerking forward in quick succession.
James groaned as warm liquid spilled into Lily's hands and the boxers James wore.
Giving James a kiss that was too innocent for what they had just done, Lily waved her wand at her hand washing it of the mess they had just made.
With another too innocent kiss James moved from the bed to the bathroom muttering something about needing to clean up. Lily giggled slightly. She would have to thank Hesita for the unwanted sex advice she was always giving her.
Giving the bathroom door another quick glance, Lily slid out of bed and over to the window. The street outside was dark, illuminated by one flickering street lamp. Despite the dark, Lily could see the silhouette of a man standing on the corner. It was too dark to be sure, but Lily had a feeling the man was looking up at her dark bedroom window watching her like she watched him.
James's arms slid around her and Lily jumped slightly before sighing. "All cleaned up?" Lily asked letting herself, sag against James.
"I'm glad you find that so funny," James said in a grisly sort of voice, placing kisses along her neck. "I could make a mess out of you, you know." He pointed out and Lily laughed feeling her face heat up in a blush.
"You could..." Lily said turning in his arms to kiss him, "but it's late and you're tired...we can...play another night..."
James grinned crookedly at her, drawing her back towards the bed. Lily throw one more glance over her shoulder before curling up beside James. As sleep closed in, she could not help but wonder if the man was truly there or a figment of her imagination.
Remus: September 12th is Arya birthday. Please give us lots of reviews as a birthday gift to her!