Quick author's note: The parts written in italics are flashbacks.
The streets of Paris bustled with the business of its muggle inhabitants. At a table by himself at a small corner cafe sat James Potter. He slowly sipped his coffee before turning the page of his book. He was on an important assignment for the Order of The Phoenix, however they had sent him to Paris two weeks ahead of time telling him that if he didn't take a break that they'd have to lock him up.
James saw their point, he supposed. After all, before coming to France he hadn't slept even four hours straight in almost two years. He really was exhausted. Who wouldn't be?
"Thanks, Padfoot. That stupid...well, he almost had me." James walked across the room to pick his wand up off of the floor. With a flick of his wrist, the Death Eater that Sirius had just saved him from was bound and gagged.
"So I think that puts me up to twenty-four times saving your life," Sirius said, clapping James on the back.
"Yeah, but you're still trailing me by three, why don't you work a little harder next time, eh?" Both young men laughed. "Oh well, lets drop this lot off by the Ministry, shall we?"
"You'd think they'd start to wonder who is dropping all of these bound up Death Eaters at their doorstep, wouldn't you?"
"Eh, they're stupid."
Once the friends had gotten rid of the four Death Eaters that they had just been battling, they both apparated back to Godric's Hollow. "Hunnies, we're home!" Sirius shouted, dropping onto the couch.
"James!" a shriek sounded from the kitchen. Peter came running into the sitting room, tripping over his own feet.
"Jeez, Pete, I thought you were
Lily," James said jokingly. "Where is my pleasently plump love,
anyway?" "St. Mungo's!" Peter exclaimed, arms in the
air. "She's having the baby!"
"St. Mungo's!" Peter exclaimed, arms in the air. "She's having the baby!"
James licked his finger before turning the page again. He sighed lightly, wondering where the waitress was. His cup was empty. The waitress reminded him strongly of Lily, with her long auburn hair and kind demenor. He just wished that he understood wait she was saying to him...
Ah, yes, Lily Evans. James' mind wandered from the novel in his hands. How he missed Lily Evans... How he wished that he had done things differently...that he hadn't taken that mission...that he had stayed by her side that day...
Remus and Sirius were pacing back and forth opposite each other as Peter snoozed sprawled over two of the waiting room chairs. They would stop every so often and look at each other worriedly before resuming their pacing. James had been out to tell them that there was some sort of complication over 2 hours ago and they had not heard anything since then.
Little did they know at that moment that James was standing in the hallway watching them. He took a deep, steadying breath and let it out slowly before stepping out into the waiting room. Both Remus and Sirius were at his side within a second, neither saying a word.
James looked them both in the eyes momentarily before becoming very interested in his shoelaces. Finally, he shook his head.
"Lily?" Sirius croaked.
"Hasn't woken up yet," James whispered. "Has no idea."
Remus grabbed James in a
bonebreaking hug. "James-" "I need to go back to her
now," James said, cutting off any sympathy from his two best
friends. "You guys can get out of here if you want. Feel free to
use the house or whatever...I don't think I can go back there for a
while... Can you feed the cat?"
"I need to go back to her now," James said, cutting off any sympathy from his two best friends. "You guys can get out of here if you want. Feel free to use the house or whatever...I don't think I can go back there for a while... Can you feed the cat?"
"Sure, pal," said Sirius.
Without another word, James turned and left them standing there looking hopeless. When he reentered Lily's private hospital room, all of the doctors had gone, taking his daughter's body with them. James moved into the room slowly, finally taking a seat on the edge of the bed. He tucked Lily's hair behind her ear. She began to stir and he suddenly started to panic. He wasn't ready! He wasn't ready to tell her what had just happened.
"James," Lily whispered, smiling a huge smile. "James, where's the baby? I want to hold her." When James did not respond, Lily opened her eyes fully and tried to take a good look at her love. "James, why are you crying? Is something wrong with the baby?"
"Lily...the baby...she..." James stood up, turning away from Lily.
"James, you're scaring me."
James turned back to Lily, kneeling next to her bed and taking her hands in his. "Lily, the baby...the baby was stillborn."
"Wh-what?" Tears instantly sprang to Lily's eyes. After a moment, she slowly turned away from James and began to sob. James laid behind her, wrapping his arms around her smaller, shaking body...
A single tear made its way down James' cheek. He let it fall, knowing that it was beyond his control. The smiling waitress made her way to his table and refilled his cup. "Than-I mean, merci." She smiled at him and turned to the next table.
James refocused his eyes on his book, thinking about how strange he probably looked staring at the same page for so long. However, he couldn't help his mind from wandering yet again.
"You want me to go on a mission now?" James said, running his hand through his hair. "I don't think I should leave Lily."
"James, I told him that," Sirius said, looking into the room where Lily was napping. "I told him that I'd go alone, but he won't let me. And Remus is still out for the count for a couple of days because of the moon and no one knows where the hell Peter has been. He's disappeared." He sighed. "Believe me, I don't want you to leave her, James, but everyone else is on their own assignments."
"It's only one night if we get it done quickly," James said heavily. "I'll tell her...we'll leave in an hour."
James closed the book, giving up on himself. He picked up his coffee and downed half of the cup in one gulp. With a heavy sigh, he checked his watch. He still had another hour or so before his dinner reservations, so he contented himself with watching the cars pass by in the street.
"Lily, we're back!" James shouted as he climbed the steps to their Godric's Hollow bedroom. "Everything went alright, no bumps at all." He pushed the door to their bedroom open and his heart nearly stopped.
All of the drawers in Lily's dresser were empty, her closet was empty...none of her stuff was in the room. James ran down the stairs to find Sirius in his fridge. "Lily sleeping?"
"She's gone," said James, dropping into a chair, burying his head in his hands.
"She went out?" said Sirius. "That's great! She hasn't left at all yet."
"No, man, she's gone," James shouted angrily. "All of her things are gone! She's not coming back, Sirius!" James began to cry. "She's left me..."
I don't even like coffee, James thought to himself as he finished what must have been his eighth cup. He sighed again. "God, I miss her," he whispered to himself, running a hand through his hair. As he said this, a fluff of red caught his eye. He turned his head to see a redhead walking toward him, her nose in a french magazine...her emerald eyes flicking from side to side...
"Merlin..." he whispered. "Evans!" he shouted. The woman looked up alertly, a look of pure shock on her face. Suddenly, she spotted the messy-haired englishman sitting at the corner cafe.
"No way," she said. "James Potter?!"
"Lily...Lily what are you doing here?" James exclaimed, jumping to his feet and wrapping his arms around the petite redhead.
"Oh, James! It's been so long!"
"One year, three hundred and thirty-seven days-" James checked his watch "-sixteen hours and forty-two minutes."
"...wow," Lily said, popping an eyebrow. "May I sit down?"
"Of course," James said, smiling and pulling a chair out for her. "What in Merlin's name are you doing in France?"
"I could ask you the same question," said Lily.
"I asked first." James nervously fidgeted with his watch. "I'm on assignment and a forced vacation. Sirius seems to think I'm about to drop dead from stress and stuff."
Lily looked slightly guilty at this. "I'm so sorry to hear that," she said. "And...I'm sorry that I just, well, up and left you."
James waved it off, though his face betrayed him. "Why are you here?"
"Well, after I left, I moved here and became an English teacher at a muggle school," said Lily. "I'm living just up the road in my own little flat. It's quite nice, actually."
"Oh, well...I'm glad you're doing well, Lils," said James. "It's really nice to see you and all, you know..."
"Listen...how about I make you something for dinner tonight at my place?" Lily offered with a genuine smile. "It's the least I can do after what I've done to you and all."
"Er, alright. Yeah, why not?"
James left what he owed and a tip for the pretty waitress on the table. Lily led him back to her flat while telling him all about the children that she was teaching and about her new life in the muggle world. James was so torn. He had been absolutely miserable since she left England without warning, but at the same time he was so happy that she was no longer depressed as she had been when last he saw her.
Lily cooked James a lovely meal of lasagna with homemade sauce. Together they laughed and joked, remanising about happier times. It was the first time James had truly been happy since Lily left.
"Remember the fort?" James said, laughing. "That was the best."
"Yes! Yes!" Lily gasped. "I have hot chocolate! We can build one out of the couch!"
"Meet me in the living room," James said with a huge smile. He hopped off the stool and grabbed his wand out of his jacket. By the time Lily was done making the hot chocolate and made it into the living room, James was inside a very elaborate version of their old hangout.
Lily crawled inside and handed James his cup of cocoa. They continued to remannice about the 'old' days, but after a little while, they lapsed into a very comfortable silence. James slowly slid his arm around Lily's waist, causing her to slide closer to him.
"I had almost forgotten how perfectly our bodies fit together," she whispered, not meeting his eyes.
"I never did," James said, his heart beating so fast and so hard that it was hard to hear Lily's whisper.
"I didn't leave because I don't love you, though," Lily continued. "I just couldn't stand being there anymore...not after..."
"I understand, I suppose. A letter would have been nice, though. I didn't know if you were even alive anymore, honestly. But I never stopped loving you either, I can promise you that."
Lily looked up into James' face. Before she could help herself, she found herself kissing him. And before he could help himself he found himself taking her shirt off. And before she could help herself she found herself unzipping his slacks...
The next morning, James needed to leave for his assignment, and later that day he was due back at Order headquarters. Lily was half dressed and making breakfast when he awoke to tell her this.
"I don't want you to leave yet, James," she said sadly. "I miss being with you."
"So come back with me," James said, moving toward her. He was shirtless and wearing only a pair of boxers. "Come home, Lily. Please."
"I can't stand to," she cried, arms in the air. "The baby-"
"The baby's dead," James said. "That's going to be true wherever you are!"
"Come home, Lily. Come home and marry me."
"Pack your things, come back to England, and marry me!"
"I can't just do that..."
Lily's hands dropped to her side. "Okay," she said weakly, shrugging.
"Okay," she repeated. She dropped her spatula and ran to James, jumping into his arms...
A/N: Okay, so that's that. This chapter is dedicated to JustCallMeDollFace. Thanks for getting me to finish this. Thank you to everyone for reading this story and to those of you who reviewed, an extra special thanks. I may or may not post another story. I want to write at least half of it before I post the beginning because I don't want to run into another wall like in this one then make everyone wait forever for an update. So if you'll check in with my bio periodically, you'll find out when that will happen. Thank you again everyone!