Disclaimer: All characters besides the ones I made up belong to J.K. Rowling. I am only borrowing them for my pleasure and intend no harm to Rowling or her characters in doing so. In other words, please do not sue.
"Remus?" Lily said, her voice going up a couple of octaves causing both James and Sirius to flinch in unison, "You're having me on."
James gave Sirius a brief look before reaching for Lily's arm. He lightly touched it, in that comforting way he did whenever she became worked up. Turning, he walked into the kitchen, knowing she would follow him. This conversation was what he had been dreading for days. Ever since he and Sirius had began planning the Secret Keeper trade off between him and Peter. James knew Lily wouldn't understand, wouldn't want to understand. She trusted her friends, she trusted the people around her.
"Honey, I know it's hard to comprehend but we've talked about this before."
"Not about Remus betraying us. James, it's Remus!" Lily's eyes were wide and bright. Her eyes always seemed to glow when she was emotional.
James nodded, "I know. But he's the most logical suspect. Sirius and I . . ."
"Sirius." Lily said in a knowing voice, "It's always Sirius and you. It's never Peter and you or Remus and you, it always has to be Sirius."
"Lily." James sighed, not sure if this conversation was going any way like he had hoped, "Sirius is my best friend."
"And what the hell are Remus and Peter? You obviously trust Peter enough to switch to him as our Secret Keeper."
"Come on, Lil. You know Peter as well as I. He's the last person anyone would suspect." He paused for a few moments watching her as she shook her head, not meeting his eyes, "We've been noticing things with Remus lately, the past few months."
Lily's eyes narrowed as she shook her head more strongly. She couldn't believe it, she wouldn't. Remus was someone she trusted, third to James and Professor Dumbledore. She could picture him just hours ago, holding Harry in his arms, talking to him in the softest voice, rocking him, singing to him, brushing his fingers lightly over Harry's cheek. She could still remember the first time Remus held Harry, he had refused to come near her or Harry until a few days after Harry was born. Lily had to literally force the baby in his arms. Harry had been sleeping but the moment he was in Remus's arms, he had opened his green eyes and stared directly up into Remus'. Lily watched as a smile spread across her babies face and tears immediately sprang to Remus's eyes. He looked to Lily who smiled in return. There hasn't been a day that has gone by since then that Remus hasn't come by to see them, to hold Harry.
Unlike his own Godfather who would go off for days without coming by to see them. Who would only hold Harry if he was completely content and the moment Harry began to fuss or needed a bottle or a diaper change, Sirius practically threw Harry back to Lily or James.
No, Lily refused to believe that Remus would betray them. And if not her and James, definitely not Harry.
"I don't believe it. I won't."
James approached her and lightly brushed his hand over her cheek, "I know it's hard to accept."
"It's pure codswallop." Lily cried out as she jerked away from her husband's touch.
"Damnit Lily, this isn't something we can argue about. It's been decided, it's done."
"I wouldn't trust Peter or Sirius before I wouldn't trust Remus." Lily said, tears suddenly in her eyes, "He has been nothing but loyal to us James and I will never understand your reasoning. I know in my heart," She brought the palm of her hand to her breast, covering where her heart beat, pressing hard, "I know he isn't the one betraying us."
James stepped up to her again, surprised at the sudden sadness in his wife's face, the tears in her eyes. If she believed so passionately then maybe . . . No. He and Sirius had been through every logical explanation. Neither of them had wanted to believe it either but it was the only lead they had. If they were wrong then he would make it up to both Remus and Lily but if they weren't. Well, it would save all of their lives. He had a wife and a child to think about now. He couldn't let friendship loyalty blind him.
Harry let out a small cry from his bedroom and James sighed. Lily gave him one last hard look before turning and leaving the kitchen without another word. James had Sirius there to help with Harry but he knew Lily was done with this conversation for now.
"Sod off, Sirius." Lily said as he tried to take Harry from her and James saw the hurt look on Sirius's face as he excited the baby room. A few moments later, Lily emerged from the room, her and Harry both dressed in light jackets.
"We're going for a walk." She said, not looking at either of them.
"It's almost dark, baby." James said gently, cringing in fear of her reply.
She finished securing Harry into the stroller without a word to them and headed towards the door. James jumped up, to hold it open for her and he lightly touched her arm, "Lil."
She looked up at him, her bright green eyes that he loved so much, meeting his, "It's not a full moon, so you don't have to worry about him killing us tonight."
James flinched and watched as his wife and child walked out the door and down the driveway. There was a definite anger to Lily's walk and James knew he was in for it this time. It could be an entire weekend on the couch for him. Luckily, they had the extra room, with a nice king size bed, for visitors.
"So is the bed in the guest room comfortable?" James asked Sirius who in turn gave a small chuckle.
"More comfortable than my own bed."
James fell more than sat in his favorite chair, "That's not saying much."
* * *
"Do you realize Remus is the reason we are together."
James had been just to the point of sleep when he heard Lily's faint voice next to him. Although she hadn't spoken to him the rest of the evening after her and Harry had returned, she hadn't condemned him to the guest bedroom like he had assumed she would. Yet she hadn't let him touch her either, pulling away even if he accidently brushed against her.
James turned his head to face her, searching out her eyes in the darkness, "What do you mean?"
She sighed and he wondered if she was crying, "Remus and I used to smoke out by that Willow tree by the lake all of the time."
"You smoked?" James asked, acting shocked. She shifted on the bed and gave another sigh. "Okay. Sorry." James quickly apologized. She wasn't in the mood for joking.
"I would say we talked a lot but it was mainly me that talked. He listened. Asked questions that needed to be asked and I talked about everything. My past, my future I hoped to have. All the plans I had, all the plans I hoped to have. Libby and Meygan were my best friends and I knew I could tell them anything but Remus. I just felt completely safe talking to him. I never felt like he was listening to be a good friend, I felt like he was listening because he really did want to know all those things."
"James, I just can't believe it. I don't want to."
Now he was sure she was crying and when he reached to pull her into his arms, she didn't pull away. She buried her face in his chest and cried for the friend she knew she was losing. "How can I trust any of our friends if I can't trust him?" She asked, her voice muffled. James didn't reply as he ran his hands over her back, instead he kissed the top of her head over and over again, trying to give her as much reassurance as he could.
Lily calmed down, her sobs quieting and she lifted her head from his chest, placing it on the pillow. Her breathing became steady and James thought she was falling asleep. Lightly he brushed her hair off her forehead before giving her a light kiss.
"He loves Harry, James. I know he does." She said, her eyes still closed.
"He wouldn't hurt him. He would never hurt Harry."
James sighed as two more tears tickled out of his wife's eyes and down her cheeks. He knew Remus adored their son, but sometimes that just wasn't enough. There were other things at work here, things more powerful then the joy a child could bring to a person and in the end, if James and Sirius were correct, then Harry just wouldn't be enough to keep their friend from betraying all of them.