A/N: So this plot was floating around in my head – this is just the prologue, I'm still working out the details of what I want to do with it, how I want it to turn out. I'm also trying to finish Year Seven of "Seven Years With Lily" but that's nearly done, so I felt safe starting this.

She was curled up in a ball in the darkest corner of the alley when he found her. Her skirt was ripped, as was her shirt. She had bruises all over her arms, legs, and face. He knew there were probably some on her stomach and back as well.

She whimpered and tried to get even further away from him when she heard footsteps. She thought the man was coming back to hurt her again.

"Shh, Lily, it's me, it's James," he said soothingly. She looked up at him with vacant emerald eyes, eyes that usually sparkled and laughed and blazed. It was that, more than anything, that broke his heart. In all the years that he had known her, nothing had been able to extinguish the spark behind her eyes. And yet, here she was, hugging her knees to her chest, her wand laying forgotten on the other side of the alley, her eyes as lifeless as any he had ever seen in corpses.

When she realized he wasn't going to hurt her, she relaxed marginally. He stepped slightly closer and held his hand out to her. She looked at it as if it was going to hurt her, her eyes flicking back and forth between his hand and his face.

"Lily, it's ok. We need to take you to St. Mungo's. You need to see a Healer. I'm going to take you, okay? Just take my hand and let me help you up."

Her eyes kept moving between the hand he held out and his face. Finally, she reached up and slowly, timidly, placed her small hand in his. He pulled her gently to her feet, and swore under his breath when he saw the blood staining the front of her torn skirt.

She stumbled, her legs giving way. Without hesitating, he scooped her up and carried her, one arm under her back, the other under her knees. She tensed, stiffening in his arms, and he hastened to placate her, to get her to relax.

"Sirius," he added quietly. "Pick up her wand." His best friend nodded, and swiftly moved into the shadows to wear her wand lay.

He carried her out of the alley and down the road, walking briskly towards St. Mungo's.

A/N: Please review! I won't update unless you do! Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't know it!