"No no no please no." the soft words were easily heard by the two young wizards who were hidden in the shadows of the spacious torture chamber.
The wizard with jet black hair that stood out at all angles clenched his jaw angrily while the one with shoulder length dark hair shot him a warning look. They had to wait till their enemy's back was turned to attack.
Both of the men however, tensed when they saw a wand pointing at the woman who was leaning against a table gasping in pain. There was a whisper of a spell being spoken and a flash of light before it hit the woman.
Lily Potter's screams were too much for them to bear and they sprang furiously up as one and hexed the man that was cursing her.
The man was blasted off his feet before he had time to respond and he crashed into the ceiling and slid limply down the wall. Sirius Black swept his shoulder length hair out of his eyes and walked over to the man. He muttered a spell and ropes shot out of his wand and wrapped themselves tightly around him.
James Potter had not even bothered looking at the man before he gathered his sobbing and shaking wife into his arms. "James oh James…" she cried. After holding her for a moment he kissed her forehead gently.
"It's alright love I'm here, I'm here." He kept whispering over and over again into her hair. He had been so terrified that he was going to lose her.
Sirius had come back over and was quickly examining the manacles that bound Lily's hands to the table. They had been welded shut and he could not find a charm that would open the damn things. So he blasted the chain apart with a reducto spell and finally Lily was free.
James gathered the woman fully into his arms, muttering a quiet thanks to his best friend and waited while Black searched his pockets for the emergency portkey they had with them. There was a flash of red light and Sirius' search became a lot more urgent.
"Common Pads we have to go!" James whispered hurriedly, shifting from foot to foot. But then Lily gathered his attention whispering softly in his ear.
Sirius' fingers closed on the small spool of thread he was searching for just as the door crashed open and three death eaters ran into the room. But before he could activate it a well aimed curse hit him in the chest and he crashed to the floor.
"Sirius take Lily and go!" James said, frantically dragging his dazed friend behind the table he had tipped over as he threw hexes at the Death Eaters.
"No I can't leave you here!" Sirius replied thickly but not resisting when James gently placed a barely conscious Lily in his arms, the effects of the spell were hard to shake off.
"Moony is still here somewhere Lily just told me! He was captured by the werewolves! I'll be fine just go! You have to get Lily out!"
Sirius opened his mouth to protest but James saw it coming and whispered, "I'm sorry," before squeezing his friend's hand around the spool and activating the portkey; Sirius vanished with his wife and a furious look.
James stunned the final Death Eater in the room and quickly ran out and down the hall to where Lily had told him Moony was. He easily stunned the guard that was outside the cell and quickly took the man's keys. It felt like it took ages to find the right key but he finally did and the door opened with a small 'click.' He stepped into the room and felt his heart catch up in his throat.
Remus Lupin was kneeling in the center of the room with his hands suspended above his head magically. His shirt had been removed and James could see multiple wounds all over his friend's broad chest. The young werewolf looked up when he heard someone enter the room and a smile split his face when he saw James standing in front of the door.
"James." he sighed as his friend hurried over to him, but a sudden thought struck him as the black haired wizard knelt down next to him. "James, you must get Lily out! She's here she-"
James cut him off by placing a finger against Remus' lips, "She's already gone with Padfoot. She's the one who told me about you." He said as he examined the spell that held Remus' hands in the air.
Remus nodded as James waved his wand over his hands. The spell came undone and Remus fell face first to the floor with a groan, unable to hold himself up.
"Easy there Moony." James said gently, picking his friend back up off the ground.
Remus groaned again and leaned heavily on James who was searching his pockets for something with one hand.
"Yes." James muttered finally grasping something and pulling it out of his pocket. He reveled a bottle cap which Remus took to be a portkey. "This will take us back. Are you ready?"
Remus nodded and touched the cap with a finger. James tightened his arm around his friend's waist and squeezed the cap. Instantaneously they both felt the familiar jerk and an instant later they landed hard on the floor of the Order Headquarters. They were shocked by an explosion of shouting; it seemed that they had landed in the middle of a very upset Sirius Black's tirade.
"I have to go back and help him! You have to let me go! He forced me to leave! That dirty rotten-" But he cut off when he saw James and Remus slowly stand up from where they had landed.
"Prongs! Moony!" the man shouted happily and he pulled them both into a huge embrace.
"Dirty rotten what precisely?" James asked with a laugh as Sirius released them.
"STAG!" Sirius exclaimed glaring at James as he placed Remus' arm over his shoulder. Together they helped Remus over to the makeshift hospital wing they had set up.
"That was a dirty rotten trick and you should have gone back with your wife rather than send me." Sirius grumbled as they gently laid Remus on a bed.
"Speaking of Lily, where is she?" James asked looking concernedly around the room.
A worried look passed over Sirius' face and he looked down at the floor before looking up at James. "She's not doing so well Prongs, Peter took her to Mungo's."
James felt his heart jump into his throat and all the color drained out of his face, contrasting brilliantly with his jet black hair. "I…I…I have to go…I have to help…she…I…" he stuttered running his hands through his hair messing it up even more. Before Sirius could say or do anything more James turned on his heel and disapperated with a faint pop.
"Prongs…Pads…" Remus wheezed; he was so close to passing out and he was having trouble breathing around his battered and possibly broken ribs.
"Right," Sirius said tearing his gaze away from the spot his best friend had disapperated from and pulling out his wand, "healing spells…Moony…right. Episkey!"
James apperated into the main lobby of St. Mungo's and spun wildly around looking for the help desk. He spotted it and ran over, luckily there wasn't anybody in line.
"I'm looking for Lily Potter. She is supposed to be here!" He said quickly.
"Intensive care unit. The Healers are…"But James didn't hear the rest, he was already sprinting down the hall. He burst into the ICU and nearly ran over some trainee healers.
"Sorry." He muttered but he had seen his wife and nothing else mattered. He pushed his way quickly through the room and fell to his knees next to the cot she was laying on. "Lily, oh Lily, my beautiful Lily."
"Prongs!" said a squeaky little voice on the other side of the cot. James looked up and saw Peter Pettigrew sitting there looking immensely relieved to see his dark haired friend.
"James Potter?" said another voice. James turned his head and saw a Healer standing near Lily's feet.
James nodded, "What happened to her?" the healer asked, "We know and have healed most of what is wrong with her but one of her injuries is…puzzling."
The healer pulled back the blankets that were covering Lily and James saw thick white bandages covering her stomach. The healer waved his wand and the bandages vanished revealing a wound on the left side of her lower abdomen. James gasped as he recognized it to be a cursed wound. The wound itself was not life threatening. It was about six inches long and was not very deep but the edges looked like they had been burnt and it looked infected.
"We are currently working on something to reverse this but we have yet to find anything. It does not look like she will wake up until the wound is gone and her condition is deteriorating. Right now it looks like if we do not find a cure with in the next three to four hours we will lose her." The healer said sadly.
The words the healer had just spoken rang through James' head and the room seemed to sway out of focus. "…three to four hours we will lose her…" James felt like he was going to be sick. He couldn't live without Lily, she was his life, his other half. He fell back to his knees and he could feel the healer's hand on his arm and he could hear Peter talking but the only thing James could focus on was Lily's beautiful face.
"SIRIUS! Sirius its Peter! Sirius Black!"
Sirius jerked awake at the sound of his name being called and scrambled to grab at the small hand mirror that stood on his nightstand.
"Peter wha-" he mumbled looking into the mirror to see Peter's scared face.
"SIRIUS! Finally! Sirius its Lily, she's in a bad sort and James won't talk to anybody. You have to come up here!" Peter gasped.
Sirius sprang out of bed instantly awake and started to pull his clothes on in a haphazard manner. "Right Peter I'll be there in a minute I have to check on Moony first."
Peter nodded and his face disappeared from the mirror leaving Sirius to stare at his own face, white with fear. He jammed the mirror in his pocket and ran out of his room and into Moony's.
"Moony," he said softly, laying a hand on his friend's shoulder, "Moony wake up."
The man shifted in the bed and mumbled something indistinguishable and buried his face into this pillow.
Sirius cursed under his breath, "Bloody werewolf." He drew his wand and jabbed it toward his other hand and a bar of chocolate appeared. He peeled the wrapper back and passed it near Remus' face, wafting the smell.
Remus opened one eye and glared up at Sirius, "Not fair." He said, sitting up and grabbing the bar out of his friend's hand.
"Moony, Lily is still in the hospital and James has drawn in on himself. I'm going to go see if I can do anything." Sirius told him.
Remus stuffed the last of the chocolate in his mouth and stood, brushing his hands off. "Well let's go." He said.
"No you need to rest." Sirius said, shaking his head.
"Where better to rest than in a hospital?" Remus asked with a grin. "It's been nearly two hours Pads I have rested and you healed me just fine. Let's go."
Sirius shook his head, "Fine. Bloody stubborn werewolf, you'll be the death of me yet."
Without a word they turned on the spot and apperated to James' side. There was a small pop and two out of the three people standing around Lily's bed flinched as the two wizards appeared out of nowhere.
"Sirius! Remus!" Peter exclaimed.
"Peter…Oh no Lily." Remus said, while Sirius muttered something along the same lines and fell to his knees next to James.
"Sirs I must ask what you are doing here?" the young healer standing at the foot of Lily's bed holding a thick ancient looking book.
"It's alright ma'am they're family." Peter said.
The woman nodded and shut her book with a snap. "Well unless they know anything about healing cursed wounds then I suggest they leave. We only allow two visitors at once." She said in a very business-like tone.
"Ma'am I do know something of healing cursed wounds." Sirius said, looking up at the healer, "I am a curse breaker for the ministry."
The woman opened and closed her mouth like a fish out of water; clearly she hadn't been expecting that.
"Do you mind if I look at it? From the way James is acting your search isn't going very well." Sirius asked, rolling down the blankets. This action gathered James' attention and he looked up noticing the arrival of his two friends for the first time.
"Padfoot? Moony? What are you guys doing here?" he asked
"We're here for you Prongs." Remus said, gently laying a hand on the man's shoulder.
"Padfoot what are you doing?" James asked slowly.
"Just checking up on Lily." Sirius answered nonchalantly, he didn't want to get James' hopes up to quickly.
"Right, Lily." James replied; his tone was soft and slightly deflated. Remus squeezed his friend's shoulder comfortingly; he knew what loosing Lily would do to James.
Sirius was examining the wound on Lily's stomach with interest and he waved his wand over is a couple times murmuring under his breath. Suddenly he straightened and turned to look at Remus with an excited expression on his face.
"Remus I think you should take Prongs to get a cup of tea. The lovely nurse here did say only two visitors and James needs a break." Sirius said shooting Remus a look that pleaded his friend to go along with his plan; a look that he and James had often used on Remus when they were still in school planning some prank or another.
Fortunately Remus was quick as ever on picking up the hint and he heaved James to his feet. "Here we go James, let's go find some tea."
"No Remus I can't leave Lily she needs me to be here for her." James said trying to slip out of his friend's grasp and back down to the floor next to his wife; his Lily.
"Prongs my good man!" Sirius exclaimed jovially, although he felt far from it, "Peter and I will keep your lovely wife company. You need a break and I will not rest until you have it!" He smiled the smile he always used on James when he was trying to talk his friend into something.
James held Sirius' gaze for a moment before giving in. "Fine I'll be back in five minutes." He said before walking off.
"How long do you need to fix this?" Remus asked Sirius quickly.
"Give me fifteen minutes and I'll have her fixed." Sirius said turning back to Lily and rolling his sleeves up. "This is one hell of a curse." He muttered more to himself than to Remus who nodded and hurried off after James.
Nearly twenty minutes later the pair finally came back and James nearly panicked when he saw about three healers gathered around Lily's bed. Before he could say or do anything Sirius noticed him and came bounding over.
"James they figured it out!" he exclaimed grabbing his friend's arm and dragging him over to Lily while sending Remus a conspiratorial wink.
"They've healed her?" James asked disbelievingly.
"They're working on it right now." Sirius replied.
The trio gathered around Lily's bed and watched as the main healer glanced at Sirius who nodded discreetly. The healer leaned over and read from a book one of the other healers was holding and waved his wand over Lily.
James was so focused on the healer that he didn't notice his best friend draw his own wand and point it at Lily as well. Sirius murmured softly the last few words of the breaking spell and suddenly Lily's wound began to heal itself and the healer dropped his wand arm.
"You've done it!" James breathed. He turned to Remus who was standing next to him and grabbed the man by the shoulders, "They've done it Moony! Pads, Wormtail they've fixed my Lily!" he exclaimed whirling around to look at his friends excitedly.
"We will be moving Mrs. Potter to a private room if you would like to accompany us?" the healer asked, attempting to divert James attention from yelling back to his wife.
"Yes of course." James replied. He turned to look back at his friends. "Are you guys coming?" he asked them
Peter said something about having to go back to base to report and he apperated away when James nodded. "Remus, Sirius what about you two? Wait Remus what are you doing here? Last time I saw you, you were all mangled up."
"Sirius did a very good job with the healing spells and all I need now is rest. And yes to answer your question we will come with you I just want to ask Sirius something first. You go on ahead we'll catch you up." Remus replied.
James nodded and he left with the Healers and Lily. Remus and Sirius followed them out of the Intensive Care Unit and they stopped outside the doors.
Remus turned toward his friend but Sirius cut him off before he could say anything.
"I know what you are going to ask Moony and yes there is a reason why I am not going to tell Prongs that I am the one who healed Lily." Sirius said quickly.
"Then what is it Sirius? I saw you break the spell while James wasn't looking and the healers didn't even tell James that it was you that had done it. In fact I think they knew they weren't doing anything when the spell was finally healed."
"I don't want Prongs to know it was me because he would be all grateful and whiny. Plus it just easier when he doesn't know that I just saved his wife's life. And of course the Healers knew I was the one who healed her. Hell, I was the one who suggested they do the fake wand waving thing!" Sirius replied and Remus saw the logic in his explanation.
Lily was James' life and if he knew Sirius had been the one who had healed her and not the healers then the dark-haired wizard would certainly have thanked Sirius until his ears bled. With a grin Remus placed his hand on Sirius' shoulder, "Paddles you are just too noble for your own good."
Sirius scowled at the ridiculous nickname for his marauder name Lily had thought up years ago and shook his head with a soft growl. "Remind me to kill Lily for thinking up that name."
"Well then I don't think James will be too happy with you then." Remus replied with a laugh.
The pair set off down the hallway James had just disappeared down talking quietly and just enjoying each other's company. They entered Lily's room and Remus watched as Sirius snuck up on James who was sitting with his back to the open door. Before he knew it there was a flash of light and James was dangling from the ceiling by his ankle and Sirius was laughing heartily.
"Padfoot!" James growled, scowling at his friend.
Sirius was laughing too hard to be able to think the counter charm so Remus gently let James down from the ceiling. He watched with a wide smile as James tackled Sirius who yelped and crashed to the floor. Suddenly the man's face changed there was a great black dog lying on the floor underneath James. The dog heaved over and pinned James to the ground.
"Oi not fair!" James whined as the dog licked his face, "The room is too small I can't transform in here."
The dog barked joyously as if agreeing with James and wagged its tail frantically. Remus watched as James shoved the dog off of him and forced it to transform back into Sirius with a spell from his wand.
His friends really were a piece of work but he didn't know what he would do with out them. Despite the war and all the horrible things happening in it he knew nothing short of death could destroy their friendship and for that he was very glad.