"Calm down, Mr. Potter," said Dumbledore.
The Order had just received intelligence that Voldemort was coming after James. Voldemort had recently tried to recruit the last remaining Potter, James had, of course, told him where to go. Apparently Voldemort was determined to get James on his side, so he was going after anyone he could use to hurt James.
Right now, James was pacing up and down Dumbledore's office, waiting for word from the other Order members. They had all been sent out to bring everyone on the Death Eater's list.
"Calm down? Sir, how am I supposed to calm down? They have everyone except her! What if he has her?" James all but shouted as he pulled his hands through his hair.
"We have no reason to believe that Voldemort has Miss Evans," said Dumbledore calmly.
"That doesn't mean a thing! She was the first on the list, he's going after her first! We could be too late!" shouted James, with an agonized look on his face.
Before Dumbledore could try and calm him again, Sirius' voice filled the room.
"Prongs! Professor!" he shouted, making sure he had the right room.
"Yeah, do you have her?" James shouted frantically back.
"I can see her," said Sirius carefully.
"What the hell does that mean? Is she alive? Does he have her? What is going on?" James shouted again. He hated that he couldn't be the one to round everyone up. He hated letting everyone else do everything when all he could do was wait.
James and Lily Evans had gone out in their Seventh year and for a year after they left school. They had broken up a year ago. Neither of them really knew why. They were young and it was so dangerous for them to be together, and they wanted different things. At least that is what they told people when they asked. Somehow in their hearts it didn't seem that simple.
"She is alive and no, they don't have her," said Sirius, concerned. He had never seen James in this sort of state before.
"Thank God," whispered James, closing his eyes in relief.
"Then what is the problem, Sirius?" asked Dumbledore.
"She…uh isn't coming quietly. She's already taken 6 of our members down. She knocked Moody out," said Sirius, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. "I think she thinks we're the bad guys."
"Well bloody hell, tell her!" shouted James.
"They've tried," Sirius protested.
"You were friends with her in school, she trusts you," said Dumbledore.
"He's right! Get off your arse and make her listen to you!" James shouted.
"I'll do my best," said Sirius. He was only allowed to go along with the other members on the condition that he stays out of sight, he was on Voldemort's list as well.
"Typical Lily," James muttered. "She couldn't just come quietly."
"BLACK, I AM GOING TO MURDER YOU!" James and Dumbledore heard Lily scream. James had never been so happy to hear her shout before.
A few seconds later the door to Dumbledore's office burst open. Sirius walked in with Lily flung over his shoulder while she kicked and struggled with him.
"Let me go!" she commanded, wriggling and trying to get out of his grip.
"Not until you stop being such a pain in the arse," said Sirius, keeping a firm grip on her.
"YOU are the pain the arse!"
Sirius lifted one hand off her leg lifted and gently hit her bottom. "Now you have a pain in…"
"Paddy!" James shouted. How dare he do that? Especially to her.
Lily shrieked indignantly. "You will pay!" Then she reached down and tugged as hard as she could on Sirius' belt causing valuable assets to be squished. The shock of this causing Sirius to let go of Lily and crouch over, holding his crotch area for dear life.
"Owwwww!" shouted Lily. She had hit the floor when Sirius had let go of her.
"What about me? I may not be able to have children!" winced Sirius, clearly still in pain.
"Then I did the world a favour," snapped Lily.
"There is no need…"
"Miss Evans, I'm sure you're wondering what you're doing here," said Dumbledore, interrupting the quarrelling pair.
"What?" asked Lily, then it all suddenly came back to her. "Oh right! What am I doing here? And what does this have to do with you?" she asked, pointing accusingly at James.
"You better sit down," said James seriously.
"No! I want to know right now!" demanded Lily, as she got to her feet.
"Voldemort is after me…"
"That doesn't explain why I was ambushed!" interrupted Lily.
"It will if you let me finish!" said James. He always could infuriate him more than anyone. But her standing there right in front of him made him realise how much he had missed her. And right at that second he knew why she was at the top of that list.
"Fine," she said, not looking amused in the least.
"Anyway, a few weeks ago I was captured…"
"Oh my god, are you okay?" she gasped.
"Great, now you're concerned…"
"What happened?" Lily asked, ignoring his sarcasm.
"Will you let me finish telling you why you are here?"
"Sorry," said Lily meekly. What was it about James that turned her into such an idiot. And did he always have to look so bloody good, even when he looked like he hadn't slept in days.
"Right, anyway. The short version is they wanted me to join them, and I refused and escaped. Earlier today, the Order received information that Voldemort is coming after the people I care about…I guess they are trying to get me that way," said James quickly, before Lily could interrupt him again.
"Right… so again why am I here?" said Lily, completely nonplussed. "We haven't been in touch in over a year, there is no reason to think why they would come after me."
"You…" started James, he about to tell her about the list.
"James, I'm a profiler for the Ministry," she told him with a devil-be-damned know-it-all air about her as she paced. "It's my job to analyze how these people think. I know their tactics and how they work. An old girlfriend you haven't seen in over a year is not even going to be on their radar. They go after current girlfriends, or ones you have recently split with. They use lifelong friends, family members, children or a building full of strangers to try and force your hand."
"You don't understand…"
"I do understand," said Lily strongly. "I know that if the Ministry or in this case, the Order thinks you could be in danger they put you in protective custody and I'm doing it. I know the odds are slim that they will come after me…"
"They are coming after you though!" interrupted James, tired of her interruptions. "We found a list, your name is on it!"
"Oh…" said Lily, shocked. She had not been expecting that.
"See, that is why we had to bring you here! And why you have to go into protective custody!" said James, his voice full of concern.
"No," said Lily clearly.
"No? What do you mean no?" Sirius blurted out.
"I mean I'm not going into hiding," she said clearly.
"Lily, be reasonable you have to. There isn't any other option," said James desperately. He knew better than anyone how stubborn she could be.
"There is. I can go home, and not hide from something that probably will never happen. Even if I am on the list, they are going to go after the people you love and care for the most. Concentrate on looking after them first," said Lily.
"Don't be ridiculous," said Sirius.
"I'm not. I can take care of myself, I took down 7 Order members," said Lily calmly.
"They were sent to capture you. Death Eaters are sent to kill," said James in a last ditch attempt to convince her.
"I'm not afraid of death," said Lily simply.
"Don't do this Lily, please. Go into protective custody please, for me," James pleaded.
"I'm sorry James. I'm not doing it," she said. "I'll do anything I can to help protect those who need it. I hope nothing comes of this, and I really hope you all stay safe."
"Lily…" said James sternly.
"If that is all, I'll be going," said Lily, opening the door and leaving before anyone could say anything to stop her.