"POTTER! I swear, if you touched my plant I will hex you into next WEEK!" Lily's voice yelled down the stairs.
"Mrs. Potter! If you don't stop shouting, the neighbours will hear!" James called back up the stairs, dodging the question with a subtle flirt. Or a 'subtle' flirt.
"Stop flirting, you kiss up! This is why we put Silencing Charms around the house when we moved in!" Lily's voice floated down the stairs, still quite loud, but not quite so aggressive. James smirked to himself; he had a way with Lily.
"AND STOP BLOODY SMIRKING YOU-" was then heard from upstairs. James winced; he'd forgotten that Lily had a way with him too.
Meanwhile, outside on the street…
"I love going to Lily and James', it reminds me of home, Mr. and Mrs. Potter senior's home, I mean," Sirius said, walking next to Remus, hands in his pockets. Remus nodded to the ground, smiling.
"Remember that pie fight, in the kitchens in seventh year?" Remus asked in his quiet way, his voice louder due to excitement.
"Sure, which one?" Sirius snorted.
"The one where James licked the pie off Lily's face?" Remus replied, laughing. There had been a fair few of the food fights that year, enough to nearly balance out the screaming fights of the years before. Of course, there was plenty of screaming in the food fights too, Remus added to himself reasonably.
"Oh, yes, I remember it well. See, time was, Moony my boy, when…" Sirius continued rambling on until they were on the steps.
"This really does remind me of home, you know," he said, quietly. Remus nodded and opened the door.
"Oh Merlin, wrong home! This is like my parents place!" Now that the door had been opened, the boys could hear the shouting easily. They both whipped out their wands and ran in, letting the door close behind them. No sane person would enter this house, which explained why they, the Marauders, were running into it.
"Silencio! Protego!" Remus cried, running into the kitchen. Sirius repeated the spells, because neither Lily nor James needed words to put good spells to work. In the moment of silence that followed, flour settled down onto everything and everyone. Then Lily started moving and stamping her feet.
"Lily, don't make me body-bind you," Remus said warningly, quickly disarming the young witch. James started to walk over to Sirius, to clap him on the shoulder for restraining his wife.
"Don't even think about it, I still have that scar where she punched me with her engagement ring on! I know, I know, it was deserved," Sirius said, putting his hands up and backing away from James. James' grin slid off his face faster then shampoo off Snape's head. He looked at Remus, who shook his head. He wasn't stupid enough to go against Lily either. The boys had always said that James was the stupidest one, except Wormtail of course, and here was the proof: James had married the woman he annoyed the most.
Lily looked at Remus and signed something to him in sign language, then started having unmistakeable fits of laughter at what ever it was he said back to her. James and Sirius looked at each other and turned back to the other two and folded their arms at the same time. This just caused Lily and Remus to laugh harder. Sirius looked at James.
"We are not amused," Sirius said seriously.
Lily and Remus looked at each other and had to hold onto their knees to stay upright, they were laughing so hard. James frowned at his wife and she at least had the decency to look properly ashamed of herself.
She signed something to Remus who glanced up and nodded.
"She says she's sorry," he said and then he took the spells off Lily while James and Sirius' mouths dropped. She ran over to James and reached up and kissed the corner of his mouth and then turned back to survey the room, ignoring James' shocked look. Sirius fell to the floor in bouts of laughter, and Remus smiled. She had him wrapped around her pinky.
"Remus, my wand, please?" she said, hand held out. Without even thinking, Remus handed her the wand. Then his, Sirius and James' mouths all dropped open and Remus looked at his empty hand.
"I just gave Lily Potter a wand, didn't I?" Remus asked, still stunned. All it had taken was for her to ask for something and she'd got it! She'd been living with James for too long, and she'd been too…absolutely unrefusable for too long.
"You're joking me. Mate, she asks and you just give it to her? You need help." Sirius said flatly, clearly questioning Remus' sanity.
"Sirius, get the cloth and wipe down the cupboards, James, start the dishes and Remus sweep the floor. Thanks guys," she said, smiling angelically. The boys didn't even pause they just started doing exactly what she'd told them to do, after taking the charms off James. Lily walked away and about ten minutes later, Sirius looked up.
"Hold up a second, did we just do what she told us to? I'm going to ask her how she does that, stupid Evans!"
"That's Potter!" James said, whacking Sirius across the back of the head while Remus said, "And she's not stupid, she got you to do her dirty work easily enough. Although that's not that hard." Sirius whacked Remus while Remus whacked James for not defending Lily's intelligence. It might have turned into an all out fist fight, had an angelic voice not called out, "Boys, I'll be down to inspect in two minutes, it had better be spotless!" What had started as angelic had ended in a menacing growl. The boys got back to work until Remus paused.
"We have wands you idiots!" he said, pulling his out and making everything spotless.
"Yes, but do you remember the last time they tried to use a simple cleaning spell?" Lily asked, and they could hear her walking down the hall.
"Well done, Remus," Lily continued, appearing in the doorway, wiping her hands together to get rid of the dirt on them.
"Sirius, the venomous tentacular is teething again, deal with it later, yeah?" Sirius looked up, excited. The biting plant was like a dog to him, which was saying something as a dog would be Sirius' child.
"I'm leaving nowm" James said, not quite storming out.
"Lily? I don't think he's very happy with you," Sirius said sadly.
"I know, just stay down here, I'll be back soon. Do not interrupt, ok? Ok," Lily said, turning and walking up the carpeted stairs. She got to the top and followed the hallway into her art room. Lily stepped under a rope dangling down and she tugged on it, walking up the steps it unleashed. She opened another trapdoor leading onto the roof and stuck her head out of it. This was Lily and James' place, high above the world, never touching it, where their love could colour the sky in reds and pinks and purples. They both came up here, usually together, sometimes separately.
"James?" Lily called out softly. She could see his broad back against the sun, which was beginning to set. James' head ducked but he didn't otherwise acknowledge her call. He looked back out into the sunset. Lily went to sit next to him, still about ten centimetres away. He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her onto his shoulder and kissed her head. She put her hands on his knee and leaned against his chest.
"I'm sorry, James," she said softly. He stroked her hair softly.
"I know, love, I know," He started rocking and she snuggled deeper into his embrace and moved closer to him. Unbeknownst to her, he looked down and grinned at his young wife. Even though she could be exasperating, and nerve wracking, she was a…an indescribable person. He was glad he'd waited; glad he had known she was there. So many people walked their entire life, not knowing the love he knew right now, on this roof in the middle of this war. He was glad.
"It's just…seeing the happiness there, and knowing that there's a war out there…" he said, gesturing widely and randomly with his spare hand. Lily caught his hand and kissed his palm, then hugged his arm to her chest. He rested his palm on her neck.
"But we are here; we've been blessed with this day, and with our family and with each other. It's ok to be glad for this, James, that's all that they're saying," Lily reassured James, turning her face to kiss his chest. James paused and when he continued, he was hesitant and he sounded like he was struggling for words.
"But what if my entire existence disappeared, what if my eternity isn't going to be here tomorrow? Lily, what if you disappear, if you aren't going to be here tomorrow?" James' voice broke and Lily pulled back, only to wrap her arms around him and hold him to her chest.
"James, James, its ok, I'm going to be here as long as you are. I love you, its ok. And your parents didn't disappear baby, they're right here," she said, rubbing soothing circles on James' back. She knew it wasn't just fear for her that made James tetchy at the moment. His parent's death had hit everyone hard, especially James. Even though they'd died of an illness, James still missed them terribly.
"They aren't though, Lily, they aren't! And I want them here!" James said, and Lily felt the tears on her shirt. She just hugged his head tighter and rocked him gently.
"But James, they are here, they are right here, in my arms. They are here because you are here. They love you, they really do," she said quietly. After awhile, James stopped crying and he leant back on the roof, pulling Lily onto his chest.
"I love you," he stated.
"I know, everyone does, what's new?" she said and he squeezed her, and she felt the vibrations of his silent laughter under her.
"And you call me pig headed?" he asked, the laughter still in his voice. She smiled, and then forced her face into a serious look.
"Duh? Stop rolling your eyes, you'll need to get glasses!" James was silent.
"Shut up," she said, realizing how stupid what she had just said sounded.
"I didn't say anything!" he said, but she felt him laughing. They were silent as the sun dipped down below the clouds.
"Come on, we've left the feral animals alone long enough, I half expected the house to have burnt down by now," James said, getting up and pulling Lily with him. One last glance showed her the sky without the sun and she followed James, holding on to his hand.
Sirius looked up from the pie he'd managed to make without exploding the kitchen, over to Moony's three course meal. Then he snorted. Sirius had grabbed James' apron, a red affair with a bludger on and a lion. Moony had grabbed Lily's good one, which was pink and frilly. Sirius shook his head and admired his pie, adding a dusting of sugar to it. Another layer of sugar.
"If anyone has my apron on again, I will personally shoot them!" Lily's voice floated down the stairs and they could hear feet on the stairs.
"Sirius, take Lily's apron off, you mutt!" Remus hissed. Sirius smirked and looked down, only to discover that the bloody animal had switched aprons with him. Sirius quickly grabbed it off the apron and sent it over to its hook on the wall.
"You sir are a bloody toss-" Sirius snarled until he was interrupted by Lily.
"That had better not be foul language in my house, Sirius Black," She said warningly.
"Our house, then," she corrected laughing.
"First off, you two disgust me, and James, you are unhealthily infatuated with Mrs. Potter. And thirdly, what's 'shoot'?" Sirius said, shaking his head. Lily merely rolled her eyes, and sniffed the air.
"Mmm, something smells good," she said appreciatively. James nodded, staring down at Lily head and trying very hard not to laugh.
"Thank you Lily," Remus said graciously, pulling her along by her elbow into the dining room. Lily kept her grip on James' hand, and he grabbed the back of Sirius' shirt.
"I'd say 'nice job', but I'm afraid that it may only encourage your pansy-ness," James said to Remus.
"I'll have you know, chicks dig a guy that can cook," Lily said and James looked down at her, shocked.
"And I'd like to point out that you happen to cook very well, James," Lily continued. Sirius looked at James in shock until Remus shoved him into a chair. Then he looked at the food in front of him, and promptly closed his mouth.
"Stop drooling, Padfoot!" Remus said, sounding strained. Padfoot had always disgusted Remus, and sometimes James with his table manners, or lack there of.
They ate and talked, staying away from the topic of the war and James' parents.
"And we are not having a pie fight in my house," Lily said at one point, quickly followed by Sirius.
"Not with my pie, you don't!" he was indignant.
They continued talking and reminiscing. One thing they knew was that they were a family, all for one and one for all. Forever.
"Sirius, look, mate, I don't see how any of us are going to survive this war," James started when he and Sirius were alone in the lounge room; Remus and Lily were upstairs, talking about something with words containing a minimum of twenty syllables.
"No, listen, if anything happens to me, I want you to look after Lily, ok? If it's within my power, I'll die to save her, but a dead man won't help much," James said, still talking fast and in a low tone.
"Yeah, whatever you want, mate. I love Lily too, you know, and this is my real family. I'll die to protect it," Sirius said, equally intense.
"I think we all would." Unnoticed by the two men, Remus and Lily had reappeared and were standing in the door way.
"My little boys are all grown up," Lily said, smiling wryly, trying to break the tension. It worked, they all relaxed and a few hours later found them all on the floor, the boys in boxers and Lily in a pair of tracksuit pants and jumper with the Gryffindor lion on them. They were playing truth, dare or would you rather. It was like old times, like the war wasn't on, like they weren't going to go and face death tomorrow, like they didn't everyday.
Eighteen months later, James and Lily were dead.
Peter was presumed dead, killed at the hand of a friend.
Sirius was being accused of killing his adopted family. It was ludicrous.
Remus lost his entire family, everything, and everyone.
James died to save Lily and his gorgeous baby boy. He died for his family, just like Lily did.
Their sacrifice was indescribable.
The love of friends and family can never be underestimated. Even now, they're looking after their boys, laughing with each other.
They are still here, high above the world, never touching it, where their love colours the sky in reds and pinks and purples.