"Hold Fast"

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Early in the morning when the sun comes through any window
Break the promise that each day is a new early morning, through any window
Blue is the memory of her bedroom eyes
Green as the envy I can't hide
Red is the color she lays so bare

In early morning, through any window
Sunlight kiss me on my head of gloom in early morning
Glide across the bed then fade at noon through any window, in early morning

Blue is the memory of her bedroom eyes
Green as the envy I can't hide
Red is the color she lays so bare

In early morning, through any window
School bus take them far from home
Take the children far from home
Take the children far from home
Soon to see how sad their lives become, through any window

Blue is the memory of her bedroom eyes
Green as the envy I can't hide
Red is the color that she lays so bare
In early morning, through any window
In early morning, through any window.

"Through Any Window", by Willie Wisely.

Abc.

I'm sorry I haven't put up a new chapter of All that Matters yet. I'm struggling with it and it's a miracle I find the time to write at all. But when I do, it's been these random oneshots. I love the Sirius/Lily relationship and explored it intensely in this oneshot. It's a bit strange, not a lot of...Well, I don't know. I wrote it too quickly and sometimes I ramble and go on and lose the point of it. But I thought it was a nice piece at a couple of points throughout. Take care.

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I was pregnant. Eight long months pregnant. I was pregnant and there was a war and it was the middle of summer. I was eight months pregnant in the hottest June that we had seen in years and years. The meteorologists would laugh and joke about it on the news in the evenings – abnormally high temperatures, long periods time with no rain at all and just humidity, humidity, humidity all of the time. It did my hair no favours; long, red and curly, it was a horrible, frizzy mess and lately I had just not been washing it.

Sometimes I thought, "well, no wonder he left me". I was massive and disgusting and bloated and could not see my feet anymore. My toenails were long – some random fact from my muggle life reminded me that they grew longer, faster in the summertime – and I cut my own ankle one night when I was tossing and turning in bed. There was an embarrassing moment when I realized I couldn't actually see the cut on my ankle. I was just aware of the blood on the sheets and therefore couldn't heal it with my wand nor a bandage because I could not see it, could not reach and I just sat on the toilet crying and bleeding with my wand in hand and my toenails long.

That was the moment I realized how miserable he had left me and what a situation he had left me in. I was alone, pregnant and heart-broken and I was not the Lily Evans I used to be. Well, for one thing I was Lily Potter and as a proud, stubborn sort of girl it did take some coaxing to get me to say yes, to get me to marry him. I wished I hadn't sometimes. Hadn't married him, hadn't sacrificed what could have been my future for a shared future with him. But I was just angry, Sirius would tell me. I was just angry and I had better love James because he hated to see someone give up the bachelor life for nothing.

Sirius Black may have thought I was that 'nothing' that James had given up single life for. I didn't really know what he thought of me. He was unabashedly whorish and cheeky and sometimes embarrassingly vulgar. The first time I slept with James, the next day Sirius sauntered up to me and relayed the details to me in a low, taunting voice. I did not speak to James for nearly a week for telling Sirius my "breasts aren't nearly big as they look – she must stuff." He wasn't familiar with the idea of a padded bra.

But now it didn't matter because they were huge and pornographic and I wondered about that pregnancy glow and where it was. I had not felt more unattractive in my entire life and would've appreciated a nice glow to my pale skin. Or a husband to tell me I was beautiful, despite.

Abc.

James had told Sirius, Remus and even Peter to look out for me while he was gone. Rather, I assumed he had because their visits were far more frequent than they normally would be when it was just me alone. Peter was quiet and watched television with me and made me tea and I wondered how he fit in with these boys at all. He was sweet, really, and it was funny to find myself wishing James was a bit more sensitive like Pettigrew.

I had always been close to Remus – even before I was close to James – and he understood aspects of my life that I had hidden quietly away from James. The fact I cared about Severus Snape, for one, was something Remus understood and accepted and he had almost killed him once. And who had set Severus up for that kill? Sirius. And I think it was a sore spot with us. I had seen him as a cruel boy for many years until James convinced me otherwise.

Sirius's visits were...unappreciated, sometimes. Remus would carry on conversation with me and we'd laugh and play games and he would always bring me ice cream or something else to make me exceedingly fat.

But Sirius would sit and read his paper and listen to the wireless and just positively brood sometimes. Some days he'd smell of alcohol and cigars and he may have been killing himself with both, I didn't know. Often, when he'd visit two days in a row he'd be in the same wrinkled clothes as the day before and there was a post-coital look to him that was surprisingly easy to identify. The sex always seemed to come with the liquor and the smoking. He'd be unshaven, wearing his leather jacket and his hair just kept getting longer and longer.

Yet, he was the one to come crashing the morning – 2 in the morning, actually – I was sitting sobbing on the toilet, bleeding from my self-inflicted toenail wound in a pair of too-small panties and a tank top that didn't completely cover my ever-expanding stomach.

I was lucky to be young and pregnant, though, because the abuse my skin was taking didn't present itself in big, ugly stretch marks. The ones I did have were smaller and pink and I did have an appreciation for my belly. When he was gone and it was late at night and I was really, truly alone I would feel less alone because of the baby I knew was there. Sometimes it would kick and it would be amazing and he was not there to feel it, to know it. James was gone.

In came Sirius that night, morning, whatever and he knew I'd be alarmed at his sudden appearance, so he immediately began calling my name and identifying himself and given the time of night it was surprising he wasn't drunk. He sounded perhaps alarmed and I heard him on the stairs, entering the bedroom quicker than I had expected. I tried to collect myself, adjust my shrunken top and panties and quit my crying.

"All right, Lily?" He said, breathless and he obviously had been out doing his typical late-night roamings, dressed in a pair of dark jeans and though the night was still, hot, humid he wore that damned leather jacket.

"Oh god, did you fly here on that motorbike? Is that what the skirts fall over these days?" I bemoaned, trying to hide my face behind the cloth I had used to mop at my burning forehead.

He shrugged the jacket off, was wearing a dark blue tshirt and tossed it over a chair in the adjoining bedroom. "Not really, it's the leather that gets them going – and the cigs, for some reason."

"Ah, they like a man who's harming his health. Winners."

Sirius didn't roll his eyes or sigh at my comments but instead looked at me as if he were genuinely concerned, absolutely uncertain about why I was sitting up in the bathroom, bleeding and crying and half-naked.

"Lily, are you...You know James has that mirror here? We have mirrors, the two of us – we used them to talk all the time and he left his here and set it to, I don't know, react to certain things, I suppose. You were crying, weren't you? You look a fright, you must've been. That must be what sets it off."

I didn't hide my mortification over this fact and cried a bit more and it was uncontrollable by now. He was all grey eyes and long, dark brown hair and he didn't look as bad as the rest of us. Remus was a werewolf and it took a hellish toll on him, Peter was always a bit short, a bit plump, a bit tense and even James had faint lines around his eyes and creases on his forehead. I did not feel twenty. I felt so much older but not in an older-wiser way. In a way that just made me feel pathetic and heavy and naive.

And Sirius came and went, free and easy and he looked good, young, handsome. It was easy to forget Sirius was anything but smooth and suave and flirtatious. It was easy to forget where he came from, how he had gotten here. The product of two Slytherin parents who supported the Dark Arts, a brother who was actually a Death Eater. A dead Death Eater. Regulus had died and Sirius hated him, hated his whole family but when word had reached him of his brother's death – there was something in those fathomless grey eyes that could have been hurt, could have been sad.

"Please just go away, Sirius."

Sirius snorted and cocked an eyebrow and I'd like to have had slapped him.

"Yeah, Lily? Really, darling, you'd like to me go away? You're sitting in the loo, bleeding from somewhere – god, are you in labour? – and bawling your eyes out but you'd like me to go away? Come, love, quit being stubborn." As he spoke he took my wand from my hand and cleaned up the mess of blood on my leg and then healed the wound from which it came, somewhere near the back of my ankle.

"What did you do?" He muttered, from his kneeling position on the bathroom floor.

Sniffing and wiping my wet face, I sighed. "My toenails are really long and I-I haven't been able to clip them and I'm a bit of a disaster."

He said nothing as he used the wand to trim my toenails and my cheeks burned because, really, this was an increasingly embarrassing situation and he had never put this much effort into carrying for me before.

"James is really quite daft, you know," he murmured, lips close to my knee as he proceeded to rub my feet and it was funny what a comfort his rough, cool hands were on my swollen, hot feet.

"No," I shook my head. "That's not any fair, Sirius. He's being brave, he's fighting, he's just doing what Dumbledore asked of him."

"Exactly he is – doing just what Dumbledore asked of him. Running away from his pregnant wife, that's brave of him? Brave would've been saying 'no, someone else can do it, I'm staying with Lily'. He's my best mate but he should've stayed with you."

I hated to admit that sometimes those were my thoughts exactly, that the last thing I shouted to him before he left was "coward!". He had been gone I think nearly three months and I could not remember what it felt like to lay in bed with him, what it felt like to have him kiss me with those lovely lips, his endearingly dorky glasses brushing my skin and snagging in my hair. James Potter was pretty great once I had given him a chance and now to be without him just tore at my heart.

"I'm tired of being angry with him," I told Sirius and he smoothed his hands over my legs, a bit of a smirk on his lips. "I just miss him."

"Can I just say, for a pregnant woman your legs are still fit. Tits aren't bad either but your thighs are a bit amazing, aren't they? It's just sad that Prongs is missing out on all of this."

I swatted his hands away and became very aware of how much leg I was showing, sitting there in panties and ashamed at the state my body was in.

He took hold of both my hands and helped me to my feet and I waddled from the bathroom to the bedroom, moaning in discomfort. I couldn't sit for too long, I couldn't stand for too long and it was too hot to sleep. I was uncomfortable and tired and soon wouldn't be able to reach my legs to shave them. Alice Longbottom was pregnant, too, and we didn't see one another as much anymore and sometimes I missed having another woman to talk to.

I had stopped going to the Order meetings when James left because I couldn't do anything and Dumbledore was worried about my safety – "defying Voldemort three times, Mrs Potter, is an extraordinary feat but we don't want to risk it, especially while you're pregnant". All I could tell the man I still regarded as my Headmaster was that James's Mum had been called Mrs Potter.

Remus usually bought my groceries for me and I never left the house. I was so isolated from every former aspect of my life. I sat around all day watching television and I used to be smart, ambitious, worthy of this world. I could hardly remember when I was anything but a useless, pregnant, husband-less wife.

I perched myself on the edge of the bed, rubbing my hands over my stomach and I wasn't surprised anymore when it kicked and moved about but Sirius gasped and pointed to it and I thought he had just realized how protruded my bellybutton was.

"Is that a foot?" He murmured and before he reached a hand out to touch it, he met my eyes and I nodded to him, granting silent permission. "It's been kicking, has it? He's missing out on this, you must hate him. Lily, you must hate James."

My eyes stung with tears again but it wasn't some hormonal break down it was because I did not hate him, not at all. I loved him, I was in love with him and I wished I was the irrational, crazy jilted lover who was eight months pregnant but threw her husband's best friend down on the bed and slept with him, anyway.

"No," I shook my head, hand pressed tight against my mouth as I willed myself to be as strong, calm, collected as him. "I don't hate him, I love him and I feel so alone, Sirius."

He stood back, shrugged his shoulders and ran a hand back through his hair, which with a pang reminded me of James.

"It's because you are alone. You're married, pregnant and live here alone. He loves you, though. We all love you and Lily, I love you," he swallowed and shook his head and he finally looked a little less like himself, a little disheveled.

"We are in a miserable situation these days. It's sort of like – well, what's it matter if we're all going to die tomorrow anyway? You can't take anything for granted these days and I promise, promise you that he'll be back soon. He knows it, too, he knows he needs this time with you."

It was uncharacteristic and strange of him but I didn't dislike it. I didn't dislike the change, the affection – and my rush of affection toward him. He really had always been there for James and he was loyal, so loyal and I suppose if you disregarded his womanizing ways he may have been sweet, kind.

And if you looked at him, really looked at him, he did look worse for the wear. Dark circles, bruised left eye and I didn't ask, just looked. Just appreciated his maybe sudden descend into imperfection.

"Do you need anything?" His voice was low, and the stubble on his face was thick and he scratched his chin absently.

"No, not right now. You could stay, though. Sometimes I forget about him until I climb into bed alone."

He did stay the night and he helped me into a pair of pajama bottoms and he slept on my side of the bed and I slept on James's. I couldn't remember the last time I had done a wash let alone changed the sheets and the pillows, the covers if you really thought of it almost smelled like James. It was not nearly enough comfort but with a body next to me, with Sirius next to me and warmth next to me I felt calm.

It was a frightening calm, though – One that washes over you and it could have been before the storm or it could have been when you were just submitting to it, just surrendering.

There were things we could have done that night, lines we could have crossed but we didn't. James hadn't touched me in months and I was needy, lonely but there was hope, maybe. Something in those grey, grey eyes that could have been offering me hope.

I slept atop of the covers and let open the window so much that Sirius was forced under them, for the breeze could still be chilly at night. There were simple things I had forgotten of – the stars and the sky and rain and sun. Weather seemed trivial now, seemed something I didn't need to be concerned with. My magic was even less now that I was...well, I figured it was my half-depressed state that had it backfiring because my pregnancy was meant to enhance my abilities. I wondered if I would ever forgive James for stealing this from me, for leaving me and with him taking the good pregnancy experience I could have had.

When I woke that morning, Sirius had made breakfast and did really well with it, too. Nothing was burnt and the bacon was crisp and he made hard-boiled eggs, putting a dill pickle on the side because it had been my craving all throughout the pregnancy.

I could not imagine going on any longer in my isolation, my sadness and I could not imagine giving birth to the baby inside me that I hoped weighed the whole thirty pounds I had gained – but there was comfort in company and until James came home to me, until something changed, something shifted I was content with Sirius and Remus.

"You're going to be godfather to the baby, you know that, right? James won't have it any other way and well," I met his gaze and the smile on face reached his eyes, squinted them slightly and I hadn't seen the boy grin in ages. "Well, I want it, too. If anything happens, there's...My sister can't have the baby if anything happens, Sirius. She'll squash the magic out of it. I trust you."

He thanked me with slightly watery eyes and when he had to leave for an Order meeting, I gave him a swift kiss on the mouth and thanked him for everything.

And James did come home to me one grateful day. Things may have been better than ever and he knew what he had missed and he needed to hear that I still loved him.

Abc.