Chapter one: Faith proceeding death
"What do you know, Potter actually can study." Lily joked; running a hand absently through the head of dark hair beside her, bent diligently over a dusty tome. "And I thought you couldn't read."
"You do realize that there are detailed instruction on the safe use of dung bombs on every box." James replied, grinning no doubt, even if he never looked up. He must have guessed at Lily's skeptic look, because a few minutes later he added almost sheepishly. "Of course I can't remember actually reading them ever."
"My point proven." Lily raised her hand triumphantly from her husband's head to make a fist of victory, when a sudden knock came at their apartment door. "I'll go get that, I don't want to ruin this perfect moment." Lily rose slowly from the couch yawning, it was midnight after all, and she had already had a hard day of work and caring for the still very young Harry Potter. Unsurprisingly when the door opened Sirius was fidgeting at the other side.
" 'ello Lily." Sirius greeted her jovially; sickeningly awake for this hour. "And how is my dear godson?" walking into the Potter's front hall he pulled off a muggle jacket and placed it on 'his' hook.
"Asleep, thankfully, and if you change that I think I shall finally follow through with every last one of my threats of our school days." Lily replied with a malicious grin that quickly softened. "James is in the living room doing some last reading," she added walking past Sirius. "How about if I get us some tea?" Now that Sirius was here she couldn't help but think about what they where going to do, and it scared her.
"That would be nice." Sirius replied, growing slightly grimmer, Lily's mood was contagious. With a last smile he walked down the hall, quickly, into the living room.
"I don't think I'm the best choice." Lily looked quickly over at Sirius, of all the words she had expected upon entering the living room those had not been them. What was Sirius doing? "Thank you Lily." Sirius accepted the steaming cup of tea with his usual smile as well as a pointed look in James' direction. "Just think I'm the most likely choice, and Remus…" Sirius looked away, his eyes giving away his mixed feelings of guilt a betrayal.
"James, what is this all about?" Lily asked, looking anxiously over at James, confused.
"Lily, Sirius doesn't think he should be our secret keeper." James replied with an almost exasperated sounding sigh; as if, only now, he was realizing how childish Sirius could be.
"But he's your best friend, if you can trust anyone you can trust him. You've been like brothers since fifth year when he moved in with your parents!" Lily's confusion and exasperation grew; this wasn't the time for Sirius to pull out. They where set to do the spell tonight, now!
"That's exactly my point." Sirius replied, the calmest of the three. "Who is Voldemort going to go after first when he figures out what you did? And that I can guarantee won't be long." Lily and James where left speechless, they couldn't argue with that.
"But we've been planning this for a month." James replied, regaining power of speech. "We can't just not do it; our information says he's coming after us soon, within a week." A slight note of fear entered James voice as he admitted to the immanent danger.
"But you see, I was thinking about it last night and I've got it all figured out." Sirius was exultant as he paused for dramatic effect, slightly broken by Lily's look of total skepticism. Who else could they trust like Sirius? "Peter!" Sirius finished, once again casting a silencing spell of sorts on the room.
"Is that how intelligent you are Sirius?" Lily regained her powers of speech rather quickly, tears of despair and frustration actually forming at the edges of her wide eyes. "I thought after all those amazing pranks, all those Os on tests, I actually had accepted that you where intelligent." By this time she had raised herself shakily to her feet. "But if you expect me to trust that mouse of a man with my child's life." seriously distressed she looked imploringly at Sirius, as if he would joke about such a serious subject; she apparently still had no confidence in Peter.
"It's ok Lily, I'm sure Sirius has a logical point to this." James had quickly risen and gone to wrap his arms reassuring around Lily, who took the opportunity to wipe her tears off onto his shirt, sniffling slightly. James gave Sirius a pointed look over Lily's shoulder.
"Of course I have a logic point." Sirius replied, slightly defiantly, but also repentant for so distressing her. "You see Peter would be the last person that he'll go after; and Peter's so eager to please, he'll agree to anything." Sirius let it all out in a rush, not bothering with any dramatics anymore. "I'm sure if we flooed over to his flat now he'd agree in an instant." He added this last suggestion as Lily showed familiar signs of giving in.
"I'll get Harry ready then for a quick trip." Lily replied unenthusiastically. Gathering up the, half empty, teacups back on her tray still obviously nerves. "I'm not leaving him behind." She added as she walked out, as if either of the men would suggest such a thing. Quickly returning with their eleven-month-old son.
James, already standing by the fire, quickly threw a pinch of powder into the fire that immediately turned green. "I'll go first, then you and Harry, then Sirius; I'll feel better that way." James said over his shoulder to Lily, giving her a reassuring look; safety being so close, only a matter of hours away, heightened their feeling of how unsafe the present was.
Leaning over the still groggy Harry, Lily kissed James on the edge of the lips.
Giving her a last reassuring grin James stepped into the green flames. "Thirty five London apartments." Then he was gone.
"Your next." Sirius commented after a minute of dead silence. "Better hurry up before the powder runs out."
"Yes." Lily stepped forward; clutching Harry to her chest she repeated James' last words. "Thirty five London apartments!" then came the spinning sensation, though personally Lily though spinning was to tame a word, quirling or thworling sounding much better. Thankfully it quickly slowed back down again and she stumbled, not that much worse for wear, out of Peter's fire. James stopped her, or she might have fallen or run Harry into something, and she took a moment to ketch her breath. By the time that she was freestanding again, Sirius had joined them; who immediately it seemed had fallen to explaining their decision to Peter, who at that moment was staring flabbergasted at Sirius. Lily even could imagine, with a twinge of horror, some glee or excitement of a sickening kind.
"Ye-yes, I'd be perfectly willing and happy to be James' and Lily's secret keeper." Peter replied, still looking at Sirius like some god who had just bestowed him with a holy gift.
Lily still hung back apprehensively back as James stepped forward to perform the spell. A few waves of his wand and he was finished, the keeper was set for better or for worse.
"Don't worry Lily, it'll all work out." James reassured Lily, pulling off his collared shirt. "I made sure Peter told Sirius, and he's going to come over tomorrow night to check on us." He added slipping into bed next to his wife, relieved that that part of the tension of war was over, wrapping his arms around her tiredly he sighed contentedly as she snuggled contentedly back into him.
"We can only pray now." Lily replied sleepily. Soon the couple was wrapped in the depths of contented sleep.