Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, sadly. I'd love to though, so if you know how I can, let me know!

So I just had this idea pop into my head over the weekend and it wouldn't stop bugging me until I wrote it down, so here it is. I hope you like it!! I was really excited for the idea. So without further ado….

Lift Me Up

'I hate paperwork.' She grumbled. 20-year old Lily Evans sat at the desk in her home office with a pile of paperwork, hyper aware that her ex-boyfriend, 21-year old James Potter was standing vigilantly in the corner of the room in full Auror mode.

James Potter, Auror, was assigned to be her bodyguard. Yes, that was correct. He was assigned. Or so they told her. She had an inkling that James might not have given any one else the option of the job. In his mind, he wouldn't trust anyone else with the task of guarding her life. No one loved Lily Evans as much as James Potter did. There wasn't anything James wouldn't do for her. He would give up his life for her without a second thought.

'And I will if it means saving her.' James thought. His eyes hadn't left her silently working form since she had settled in to get some work done that Saturday evening. Although it was only just passed six in the evening, the sky outside was pitch black except for the shine of the crescent moon. The cold air whistled passed the closed windows in Lily's apartment.

Where James had been staying for the past week. That's right. He was a 24/7 bodyguard until this threat was extinguished. No one threatened Lily. Not on his watch. What is this threat, you ask? Just over a week ago, Lily had come home to find a letter on her kitchen counter.

Written in blood.

I am going to take from you what you took from me, Evans. You won't be able to hide and you won't be able to run. Wherever you go, I'll find you. You're going to lose much more than your dignity. You stole mine. Just try and hide.

The letter had, understandably, rattled Lily. She had immediately gone with the letter to the Aurors. As her luck would have it, when she had reported the letter, who was the auror she was reporting to but her ex-boyfriend's best friend, Sirius Black. Of course, Sirius had not wasted anytime calling James to the room. Moody had not agreed with Sirius in that because everyone knew that James and Lily had a history.

And everyone except the couple in question knew that they were in love. Sure, Lily knew she loved James, and James knew he loved Lily…but they were clueless to the others exact feelings. It was for that reason, the inability for each of them to open up, that had cost them their relationship.

James had come storming into the room and demanded that Lily either get put in a holding cell in protective custody, or that he would be her bodyguard 24/7. Lily had balked on either idea, but Sirius had backed James up. Lily knew it was either that or get thrown into a cell. So she was now living with her ex-boyfriend, the only love in her life, while fighting the terror of this threat looming over her head.

And they still didn't know exactly what the letter meant.

Standing in the room, James watched as Lily bit her bottom lip. He felt a tightening in his loins that had his hands tightening on his biceps.

'Cool it, Potter. She's not yours anymore.' He reminded. Immediately he argued with himself.

'The hell she's not mine! I want her. I want her as my wife. I want to have children with her. I want to grow old with her. I want to die with her. I love her.' He thought passionately. Too bad it was only in his head.

But watching her now, he couldn't stop himself. He broke the silence in the room and pushed away from the wall.

"Lily." His deep voice resonated. Lily looked up in surprise to see James coming towards her. She automatically pushed back from her desk and stood up. She saw the look in his eyes and her own widened. She knew that look. She knew him.

"James?" she asked him, wondering what had gotten into him. He wasn't Auror Potter now. This was all James. She stepped back, but he kept advancing. She gasped when she backed into the wall, trapped between it and James as he stepped up and plastered his hard body to her softer one. His strong hands came to cup her face, his lean fingers spreading across to frame that beautiful face that made up his dreams.

"I love you, Lily." He breathed out, looking directly into her eyes. "Merlin, I love you." He sighed passionately before he leaned down and covered her mouth with his. There was no hesitation in his kiss. His mouth was hot and open. Lily gasped and responded immediately, her arms coming to lock around his neck. Twin moans erupted and James's hands slid down her body to wrap low around her slender waist, pulling her closer to him.

James coaxed Lily's lips open with his tongue, causing Lily to push closer to his body. She raised to her toes and aligned herself as best she could with the hot and hard body against hers. Despite the cold seeping in from the outside, she felt herself grow warm. James's arousal pressed hard against her belly and only the desperate need for air made her rip her lips away from his.

"James…" she breathed out, her eyes closing again as James simply trailed his lips down her jaw to the pulse at her throat. He raised his head and framed her face again. She was between him and the wall. Her face was flushed, her lips were beginning to swell, her chest heaved up and down as she caught her breath and, as he looked into her eyes, he saw the multitude of her emotions, somewhat covered by the aroused heavy-lidded expression she had.

"I need you, Lily. Tell me you need me too." He burned for her. His lips went back to the jumping pulse at her throat before he moved them to take Lily's lips in a deep heady kiss that left her dizzy and wanting.

"I need you, James." She said as well. It was all the encouragement James needed. Banding his arms around her tightly, he apparated with her into her bedroom. With one step, he had the backs of her knees against her bed. She folded but kept him close, forcing him to follow her with his body on top.

Lily reveled in the hard weight of him on her body. Like this, she could forget the threat looming over her head; she could forget the pile of paperwork on her desk. It was just him and her, and she felt totally safe in his arms. Nothing could hurt her now.

James loved her. With care, he began undressing her. She had been wearing Muggle clothes since she was to just stay home that day. He cherished her body as he removed the thick socks from her feet, the knitted sweater from her torso and unsnapped and unzipped the skinny jeans before throwing them aside. She was trembling with need beneath him. He levered up on one elbow to stare at her, in only a bra and underwear. And groaned.

"You're beautiful, Lily." He said as he lowered his head to hers to kiss her. Lily's hands shimmied between their bodies as she worked on getting him out of his Auror robes. She shucked them to one side of her bedroom and then wasted no time starting on the rest of his clothes. At the same time, James ridded Lily of the rest of hers.

Grabbing his wand in a last second thought before he lost all control, James casted the contraception spell and then allowed his wand to roll off the bed. He settled himself between Lily's legs and looked into her eyes.

"I love you." He said before sliding into the heat, his eyes closing as the pleasure surrounded him as Lily welcomed him into her body. There was a split second in which neither of them moved, enjoying the feeling before Lily whimpered and her hips twitched.

Then James lost control and that was all it took for him to start moving, driving them both home.

Sated and satisfied, Lily lay with her arms around James' body thinking quietly. He loved her. She couldn't put into words the extent of her joy. She squealed in delight when James suddenly wrapped his arms around her, kissed her neck and then rolled onto his back, taking her with him so their positions were reversed.

"That's better now, isn't it?" he grinned up at her. Lily smiled down at him and allowed her head to settle on his shoulder. She had always thought that making love to James was something otherworldly almost, but the loved the time after when they would lie in the aftermath of it, just being with each other; sometimes talking, sometimes not talking.

Before another word could be said, a beeping noise went off and James and Lily groaned simultaneously. It was his pager. Pushing up on his elbow, his arm curved around Lily to keep her against him, he reached over to see the offending piece and his eyes widened at the message.

"Deatheater attack at Lupin Lodge." James gasped out. He looked at Lily, torn at what to do. Remus was his best friend. Lily was the love of his life. Lily gave him a soft smile and cupped his cheek.

"Go, James." She said. Concern for Remus was in her eyes. "Bring him in if he needs attention. I'll look at him." She stated. James took one last look at her before they both jumped out of bed and began dressing. Lily would go back to her office and get some work done while James was away. It would keep her from wearing a hole into her carpet pacing with worry.

But as James watched her settle in her office again, he reached over the desk, pulled her face to his and kissed her quickly. Just as quickly, he was gone with a POP.

James apparated to Remus' property and immediately, his senses went on high alert. It was too quiet. Remus' door was open so James took out his wand and carefully stepped into Remus' house. What he saw wasn't exactly what he was expecting.

Most of the aurors James worked with, including Sirius was in Remus' living room, but it didn't seem that there had been an attack at all. In fact, Remus seemed a bit perplexed with the situation. He and Sirius saw James standing in front of the door and their eyes widened.

James put away his wand and walked towards his friends. He sighed, happy to see Remus was okay, but he couldn't understand.

"I thought…" he took a deep breath as Remus and Sirius met him halfway. "I thought you were under attack, Moony." James said. Sirius and Remus both looked at James with something akin to dread in their eyes.

"Prongs, mate. It's your secretary." Sirius said. James was caught off guard.

"Malaina?" he asked. "What about her?" His secretary was a 19 year old squib but he had been happy to hire her. She had been dedicated and eager to please him. Maybe too eager. Dread started to grow in his chest. He didn't think he'd like where this was going.

"Mate, the one responsible for threatening Lily is Malaina." Sirius clarified.

James laughed; actually laughed. "That's crazy, Padfoot. Malaina is a squib. She couldn't hurt Lily."

Sirius and Remus did not look amused.

James's laughter died and the smile fell from his face as he took in his best friends' solemn expressions.

"Malaina?" he repeated in a croak as his stomach dropped to his feet. They nodded.

"Think about it, mate. She's in a position where she can call Aurors, especially you, to a scene under the pretense of an attack." Sirius stated. James tried to wrap his mind around it.

"James, she might be a squib but she doesn't have to perform magic to be able to harm Lily." Remus spoke softly. "Squibs can use potions, even muggle methods." James' eyes began to widen with horror.

"Where's Lily, James?" Sirius asked his best friend with something in his voice that could only be identified as barely controlled panic. "Who's with her?"

"No one…" James gasped in horror. "I left her home alone."

James's thoughts plagued him all at once like a tidal wave as he and Sirius jumped into action, years of partnership slipping seamlessly into place. He'd told her he loved her, shown her how much, and the first chance he'd gotten, he'd run. James had left her bed, his body still warm from their lovemaking, her cheeks still flushed, the minute the page had come in. He hadn't even gone to headquarters for his orders.

James cursed himself for a fool.

'If anything happens to you, Lily, I'll never be able to live with myself.' Sirius clasped James' shoulder as they reached the front door to Lupin Lodge.

"James, you need to keep your head on right now. Nothing will happen to Lily. She can take care of herself. She's going to be fine." Sirius said with a conviction that he prayed was not misplaced, for James' sake and for Lily's sake.

Meanwhile, at Lily's home office, James had been gone for a little over ten minutes when Lily heard a crash in her living room. The small hairs at her nape stood on end as she looked around for her wand.

"James?" she called out, hoping it was him.

She couldn't find her wand and then realized she had left it in her bedroom, but before she could do anything else, a silhouette filled her doorway. She looked up to see James' secretary stepping into the room.

"Malaina?" Lily gasped. The young squib slowly began walking towards the desk, her plump form filling out the knee length floral dress she wore. She carried a red shoulder bag and a sorrowful expression.

"What's wrong?" Lily stood from her chair. "Did something happen to James?" she asked with rising dread. Malaina walked to Lily's desk and shook her head.

"No." she answered shortly as she opened her shoulder bag. Lily watched as her lover's secretary secreted a medium vial, a quill and a piece of parchment from the bag. Lily gasped suddenly as her mind put together what was happening.

"It was you." She said, stepping back automatically, her eyes widening as Malaina pulled a small handgun from her red purse. Malaina nodded.

"Yes. I am the one who has been threatening you. Imagine that! A squib getting the better of Hogwarts' HEAD GIRL! You stole James, you bitch. Even after you two broke up, he was still yours. I could never get near him." She cried holding the gun pointed at Lily's head with one steady hand. "It didn't matter how well I did the things he asked. He was always in love with you! But now you'll die from this unknown threat and I will move in to comfort James." She said.

"You won't get away with this, Malaina." Lily said. She wished James would come back soon. She couldn't get her wand and Malaina had a gun trained on her. Damn, she was in some shit. Malaina held out the medium vial with one hand.

"Drink it." She ordered Lily. Lily looked at Malaina incredulously.

"You must be joking!" she told the young woman. "I won't be drinking anything." She stated. Malaina shook her head.

"We can do this two ways, either way you die. One way is that James can come in and see you dead in sleep. Or he can see your brains blown to pieces. It's your pick. I might not be able to use magic, but I have other resources at my disposal." She said.

"And don't try to apparate. I know you don't have your wand with you right now and I also put up the ministry barriers the minute James left so no one can apparate in or out. You're all alone." Malaina said. She fixed her aim with the gun to point to Lily's heart.

Lily's heart beat frantically in her chest. She was in a draw. She could do this one way or another, but she had to consider which way would be easiest for James to handle. She loved him and she couldn't cause him anymore pain. She knew either way, he would get hurt. So she chose the road which would hurt him less.

With a pale and shaking hand, she reached over to grab the vial and uncorked it. The smell wafted towards her. It was wormwood, straight up. Her nose wrinkled and amazingly, Malaina smiled.

"It's like tea. Very strong tea." She giggled slightly. "Come now, bottoms up." She said. Lily sipped.

Images of James flew through her head. Memories of him flooded her senses. She sipped again. She remembered his deep tenor voice as he called her name. She took another sip and found her balance a little shaky. Without realizing it, she sat herself back down in her chair at her desk. She remembered James' face as they made love. Lily took another sip. She remembered his face the day they graduated, sitting by the lake with Remus and Sirius and herself, between his legs, with his arms around her. She sipped again.

"Hurry up, now!" Malaina snapped. Lily's eyes grew heavy and she barely heard the secretary snap at her. Her head lolled as she finished off the final bit of 'tea' in the vial. The vial slipped from her relaxing fingers to the carpet and she pitched forward as her world began to grow dark around her.

Just before her head landed on her desk, she thought of one more thing…

'I love you, James.' She thought as her eyes closed. 'I love you.'

THUMP. Malaina laughed as she saw the red hair covering the face of the woman who was no longer available for James to love. Her work here was done.

She gathered up her bag and walked out of the room. A muffled curse was heard and Malaina's eyes widened as she recognized the voice.

"Expulso!" James cried from the other side of Lily's front door. Malaina had made it to Lily's fireplace when the door exploded, showing James and Sirius with their wands at the ready. They saw Malaina with the gun in one hand and her other hand reaching for the floo powder and reacted immediately.

"Expelliarmus!" They both cried out. Their aim was true. Malaina felt the gun fly out of her hands and across the room, straight into Sirius' hands. She looked at them. This wasn't how it was supposed to go. She was supposed to get away with it and the case was supposed to go unsolved.

Then she would get James.

"It's too late." She said simply as James stared at her as though she was a stranger. Her eyes glanced over to the door to Lily's office. James' head snapped in that direction. Red filled James' vision.

"Stupefy!" he cried as Malaina started to throw floo powder into the fireplace. It shouldn't have surprised him that Sirius' voice blended with his. Of course Sirius would know his thoughts. They were like brothers. She dropped with a thud to the floor.

James dropped his aim and immediately jumped over the rubble of the broken doorway and ran towards Lily's office.

"Lily!" he called out and slid to a halt as he entered the office. Lily sat slumped at her desk, her hair hiding her face, one arm dangling at her side, the other folded on the desk. An empty vial lay on the carpet below her hand.

"Lily?" he said as he took a step before springing into action. 'Oh Merlin, sweet Merlin, no!' he thought, praying for everything to be okay as he finally reached the love of his life. "Lily, baby!" He found her pulse thready; slowing even as he checked her over.

"SIRIUS!" James called out, lifting Lily into his arms. Her head lolled on his shoulder and her eyes remained shut. A knot stuck in James' throat. 'Oh sweet Merlin, no.' he thought, kicking aside the chair and taking Lily into the hallway. Sirius had handed Malaina over to Moody who had come with reinforcements after Remus filled them in. Sirius nearly bumped into James and Lily as he ran into the hallway towards the office. His eyes widened as he saw Lily's limp form in James' arms.

"Is she..?" he asked, his throat closing at the word he did not want to say. James shook his head adamantly.

"No. We've got to get her to Mungos. Make sure they know we're coming." He said. Sirius nodded, running to the fireplace ahead of James and flooing to St. Mungos.

"Potter!" Moody snapped at him. Even Moody could be surprised though. His magical eye went berserk as he saw Lily in James' arms. James didn't stop. Moody threw floo powder in the fireplace for James and allowed the man in question to step in.

"Keep her with us, Potter." Moody said gruffly. James nodded and tightened his grip on Lily.

"MUNGOS!" he bellowed out clearly. While they spun away, James kept Lily close, praying that he wasn't going to lose her for good.

Three hours later, James was sitting in the waiting room with Sirius and Remus flanking him on either side. With his knees spread, elbows on his knees, hands clasped loosely and his head bent, James was the epitome of desperation. He was dying inside at the thought of losing Lily forever.

'Wormwood…Merlin…She drank straight up wormwood.' He thought.

"She'll be alright, Prongs. She's a fighter. You know it." Sirius said, trying to keep James from losing it completely.

"I imagine she would probably berate us all for worrying about her." Remus said, wistfully, working hard to hide the worry he had for Lily from James. He couldn't add to it.

"I can't lose her." James spoke in a hoarse voice. He lifted his head to look straight at the doors behind which Lily was. "I can't live without her. I love her…" He managed to get out before he broke down into tears. He squeezed his eyes shut as silent sobs wracked his body.

James felt his friends' hands come up to latch onto his shoulders. Remus and Sirius both sat silently, supporting James through this ordeal without a word to be said. The three grown wizards were found like that when the Healer came out. The picture of a grieving man flanked by his friends, each with one arm around his shoulders, purposefully gripping his shoulder in silent comfort.

"Auror Potter?" James' head shot up and he jumped to his feet.

"Me! I'm Potter." He said, walking to the old healer whose heart had been touched by the picture he had seen coming out of the operating room. "Lily….How's Lily?" he asked anxiously.

"Relax, my son. Don't worry. She's out of danger. She'll be just fine." The healer said with an aire that screamed knowledge and experience. James nearly collapsed but he sensed his friends coming up to stand beside him. He nodded eagerly.

"Thank you. Thank you so much." He said, shaking the healer's hand firmly.

Thirty minutes later, Remus and Sirius had left James alone in search of coffee while the nurses allowed him in to see Lily.

Lily's eyes fluttered open when she heard the scuffle of robes beside her. She turned her head and saw James' head of hair in her line of view. His head was down on the side of her bed, his warm hand covering hers.

"James…" she whispered softly. She raised a pale hand to play with the disarray of hair on his head and he jerked up.

"Lily…" he breathed when he saw her. She smiled softly. She never thought she would be able to see him again. James stood up and he bent over her, framing her face gently in his large hands. "Merlin, Lily, I love you. I thought I'd lost you again." He said with an undertone of self reprimand.

Lily let her hands slide up to cover his as they framed her face and she smiled at James.

"It's not your fault, James. I'm alive because of you." She stated. James shook his head.

"No. You're in here because of me. I never should have left you alone. I-" he stopped when Lily put a finger against his lips.

"I love you, James." She said. James' eyes widened. "I love you. You couldn't help but leave. You thought Remus had been attacked. I love that part of you too." She said. James's eyes closed and he lowered his forehead to hers.

"Marry me." He said. "Marry me, Lily. Please. Make me the happiest and luckiest man in the world." James proposed. Lily's eyes widened then. They grew teary as she listened to James. "I want to live my life with you. I want to see you pregnant with my children. I want to grow old with you. I want to die with you. Without Lily, there is no James. Will you marry me?" he asked.

A few tears escaped Lily's eyes and trailed down her cheeks to where James's hands framed her face. She nodded through a sob.

"Yes!" she cried. "Yes, of course, I'll marry you, James." She sighed as James grinned and brought his lips down to hers. They reveled in the feel of each others lips.

"Alright, pay up, Black." A smug voice said. The couple broke apart to see Sirius handing over a bag of coins to Remus, who had a smug look on his face.

"Don't get too smug, Lupin. I call Best Man." Sirius said, grinning smugly back at the werewolf. Lily and James stared at the two men and then looked at each other before breaking out into laughter.

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So that was my latest oneshot! I know I'm still working on Our Tower, but I couldn't help myself. Please check out my other stories if you haven't already, by the idea just popped into my head over the weekend and I had to get it out. I hope you guys liked it. Please let me know what you think. I really appreciate constructive criticism and PRAISE!! No flames please. Oh, and if you have an idea for a one shot or a short story and you want me to write it, run it by me, and maybe we can get another story up! So now you know what I'm going to sign off saying…Please review!

Love always,

Lunar Artemis xoxo