Author's note: It's been awhile, but I've been in the spirit both of writing and Harry Potter recently, so I decided to pick this up again.

In Which Lily Is Surprised

She's got diamonds in her eyes that she likes to hide

Seek and you'll find the hide-and-seekin' kind

She's got rings wrapped around her precious things

What the day brings, oh it's no surprise

Don't you ask me how I'm doing when everything I do

Says I miss you

Don't you ask me how I'm doing when everything I do

When everything I do

When everything I do

Says I miss you

--Whiskeytown, Everything I Do (Miss You) (Strangers Almanac, track 5)

Time seemed to last forever without Severus. Although he wrote faithfully and a new owl arrived every day, Lily felt as though she was lost when he wasn't around. She spent most of her time puttering around the house and counting down the days until Christmas, when she would see him again.

"I think perhaps when I start my full-time work after Christmas, residence in Hogsmeade might be a better choice for us," he wrote in one particularly mournful letter. "At least then we should be able to see each other on weekends and even in the evenings. I know that we only bought our house in the summer but I'm sure that we could sell it and rent a small house if you want to. Think it over and send your reply promptly. I will write more tomorrow. All my love, Severus."

For days she mulled over the letter. It seemed like such a simple proposition—almost deceptively so. But she had been talking to Remus lately—Severus had forbade her to read anything on the war and Remus was the only one of the Marauders who still thought she was worth talking to. He had been giving her weekly updates as best as he could, and she knew that the Death Eaters were watching Severus' every move very closely. He feared that her moving, especially so close to Hogwarts, would be cause for suspicion. "They might think that you're a spy," he told her worriedly. "I don't want them to think that you're transferring information to Severus…they could capture you both…or worse…Milly and Egbert Samuels, do you remember them? They were found dead this morning, Lil…suspected of passing information around as spies. The Samuels, Lily. Of all people! And…" he dropped his voice. "…With Severus being an actual spy, there's no telling what they might do to you."

Lily laughed him off, although she'd thought of that herself. "You're being ridiculous, Remus. The Death Eaters don't even know that I married Severus, let alone that I would be moving to be closer to him!"

Remus sighed wearily. He was looking tired lately, and Lily knew that he was under a lot of pressure. He was just trying to protect her, she knew—he understood what it was like to have to lead a double life, and he didn't want Lily to have to worry about any of those things. Lily, feeling guilty, bit her lip and stood up to hug him. "It'll be alright, Remus. Everything will be alright."

Remus stood, hugging her back, before pulling away. "Just take care of yourself, alright?" he said pleadingly. "I'll see you next week." He walked out to the doorway, pulling on his worn, brown leather jacket. Lily followed him, standing on tiptoe to kiss his forehead. "You take care of yourself, alright?"

He smiled tiredly. "I'll try."

"And I will, too. See you next Sunday, Remus."

"See you." He left the house, and Lily watched from the front window until she couldn't see him anymore. He never Apparated—too dangerous, he said. They were tracking Apparitions, especially from the suspected spies' houses. And anyway, he'd added, as if this somehow made the whole situation less bleak, he liked the half an hour walk back to his flat. Smiling, Lily walked back into the kitchen to start a letter back to Severus.

"I spoke to Remus today," she wrote, "And he warned me that the Death Eaters are working double time to eliminate the possibility of spies. Although we were very careful, I fear that perhaps one or two have caught on to our marriage and I'm not sure a move, at this point in the war, with your involvement, would be for the best. Please know that it has nothing to do with you—I want very much to be closer—but everything to do with our health and safety into the future. I think that, for the immediate future, remaining here would be better for both of us. But I love you immensely and I look forward to seeing you over Christmas. All my love, Lily." Satisfied, she left the letter on the table. She'd been so tired lately, and she'd already sent her owl out once that day with a message to Remus. She'd send it out in the morning, and it would reach him by afternoon. Smiling, she put out the kitchen light and headed upstairs to bed.

It wasn't entirely unexpected—although they hadn't been trying they hadn't been avoiding it—and it was easy enough for her to pretend that the increasingly obvious signs were a result of the stress of not having her husband home with her. But it was hard to ignore the results of the test, the nurse's words—"Definitely positive"—and by the time she got home, Lily's head was spinning and it was all she could do to wait until she got upstairs to throw up. It wasn't possible for her to raise the baby by herself—not entirely by herself, of course, but with Severus gone eight months out of the year, it might as well be. Finally, she tore up the first note and quickly scribbled another one: "Severus," she wrote, "We are coming." She folded it up and, with an owl treat, sent the family owl, Persephone, on her way.

Severus was late to supper that night. It wasn't that he enjoyed giving detentions; it was simply that some of his students seemed to enjoy getting them. It went without saying that he was not in a good mood by the time he arrived in the Great Hall. He took his place next to Slughorn and glared sourly out at the students. Rather unintentionally, he was getting a reputation as being one of the "crabby" teachers.

"Good evening, Severus!" Slughorn said brightly.

"Good evening," Severus replied, pursing his lips.

"Post for you, Severus!" he chirped.

"Mmm," Severus replied noncommittally, pouring himself a cup of tea.

"From your wife, I think!" He was really beginning to irritate Severus, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep himself from punching him in the face. But he perked up at the mention of Lily's name. "From Lily?" he asked, interested.

"Mm-hm!" Slughorn lifted his plate and handed him the letter. Severus opened it eagerly and scanned through, and as he did, his face went from an expression of concern to one of joy, back to concern again. "What does it say?" Slughorn demanded, practically clapping his hands in excitement.

Severus held the letter in shaking hands. "We are coming," he replied, barely able to contain his excitement. "We are coming."

Lily arrived the next morning at the Hogsmead station—she had written Dumbledore about the special circumstances and he'd arranged for the train to make an unscheduled stop at King's Cross station for her. Stepping off the train, even just in Hogsmead, filled her with a sensation that she was not able to place but that she didn't exactly find unpleasant. It was, she would later realise, the sensation of coming home.

Severus had classes all that morning, so she spent the morning milling around the little village, peering in shop windows and reminiscing. Dumbledore had arranged for a house for them, and she attempted to memorise each one of the houses that she passed, just in case it was hers. She was gazing longingly at a two-storey brick house with gingerbread scaffolding when she felt a hand come to rest on her shoulder and she spun around to see Severus smiling down at her. She squealed in delight and stood on tiptoe to press their lips together, wrapping her arms around his neck as though she might never let go. When she finally did, though, she beamed up at him, eyes twinkling, and said, "'Ello there, dad."