Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Harry Potter series. That credit goes to the brilliant mind of J.K. Rowling. Go Jo! I also do not own some of the material used. Again that belongs to Jo and Warner Brothers.

Chapter 26 The Rat

Severus was walking down a corridor when he spotted Peter. He knew what he had to do, but for some reason, he found himself not wanting to. He hated James, so why would getting one of his friends to double cross him be a bad thing?

"Wormtail," Severus called. With a nervous look, Peter turned around. "That's what they call you, isn't it?"

"Wh… what do you want?" Peter asked.

"I think you know," Severus said.

Peter began shaking his head.

"I'll never join you," he replied.

As he turned to leave, Severus took hold of Peter's arm.

"Oh yes, you will," Severus said.

"How do you know?" Peter asked in a trembling voice.

Peter took a step back as Severus walked up to his face.

"You really think your friends can save you?" Severus asked. Peter did not say anything. "No harm will come to you if you join us."

Peter took a deep breath.

"And if I don't?" he asked.

"You will die," Severus said.

Peter slid down the wall as Severus walked away.

xxx

May 7, 1978

Sirius gasped for air. He had had that prison dream before, but as real as each one felt, this one was on top. James groaned as he sat up in bed.

"Had that dream again?" James asked Sirius.

"It just feels like it's going to happen anytime now," Sirius said.

James sighed and let his head hit the pillow again.

"It's only a dream," he replied.

"I don't know about that," Sirius muttered as he did the same.

xxx

July 4, 1978

James and Lily stood in front of a small house in Godric's Hollow.

"How did I let you convince me to buy a home with you?" Lily asked.

They had now graduated from Hogwarts.

"Because you love me," James said, throwing an arm around Lily. "You're just too stubborn to admit it."

"You're right," Lily replied.

"How could you…" James began to say, but then he realized what Lily had said. "What?"

Lily laughed and kissed the arm that was still around her.

"I said you're right. I love you," she said.

"I love you too, Lily," James replied with a huge smile.

He then pulled her into a deep kiss. "Well, now that that's taken care of, there's one thing left to do…. for now."

"What's that?" Lily asked.

She gasped as James bent down on one knee and pulled out a small black box.

"Marry me," he said.

"Don't be funny, James," Lily replied, tears rolling down her face.

"I'm not. Lily Ann Evans, will you do me the honor in becoming my wife?" James asked.

"Yes," she said.

James jumped up and pulled Lily to his lips.

xxx

July 11, 1978

James and Remus were over at Sirius's flat that he had just purchased.

"Where's Lily?" Sirius asked as he hand James a Butterbeer.

"Oh, you know women. She's out trying to find some things to put in our house," James replied with a laugh.

Sirius and Remus also began laughing.

"How you got her to move in with you, I'll never know," Sirius said.

"How about you, Moony?" James asked.

Remus stopped laughing and had a surprised look on his face.

"What about me?" Remus asked.

James and Sirius glanced at each other for a moment, wondering why Remus's attitude had changed.

"Have you got a place yet?" Sirius asked.

"I'm looking for something near the woods," Remus replied.

"Do you need a place to stay in the meantime?" James asked.

Remus looked down. He did not want to be a burden on his friends.

"No, thanks. I'll stay with my Mum until then," Remus said.

"Well, you're always welcomed to stay," James replied, and Sirius nodded in agreement.

"Thanks," Remus said.

There was a moment of silence before Sirius asked, "Where's Wormtail?"

"I don't know," Remus replied with a shrug of his shoulders. "I haven't heard much from him since we left school."

xxx

July 13, 1978

And like that, Remus had found himself a place to live.

"Well, that was quick," Sirius noted.

"I saw it and I just had to have it," Remus said.

Lily and James laughed as they turned to Peter.

"Where have you been, Peter?" James asked.

"Looking for a flat," he explained.

"Any luck?" Lily asked.

"Yeah, actually. I moved in yesterday," Peter said.

Sirius smiled and threw an arm around Peter.

"Good for you," he said.

Lily cleared her throat to get James's attention.

"When are you going to tell them?" she asked in a whisper.

"Soon," James promised.

Lily sighed in frustration.

"I don't know why we're waiting," she said. "For Merlin's sake, you even made me take off my ring."

"We'll have our day. Right now, it's about Remus," James replied.

Lily nodded in understanding.

xxx

July 29, 1978

James and Lily had invited Sirius, Remus, and Peter over to eat. They were going to be announcing their engagement to them.

"What's this all about?" Remus asked.

James gave a nervous laugh. Lily had to nudge him a little to draw his attention to it.

"Can't friends come over and eat a meal?" James asked.

"When it involves you... no," Sirius answered.

"It was my idea," Lily replied.

She knew James was not going to make it through this.

"I was only joking, Lily. James would do anything for you," Sirius said.

"Even if he didn't want to," Peter added.

James finally seemed to gang his composer after dinner.

"You are right though, Sirius. There is a reason why you all are here." he said.

"I knew it," Sirius replied with a laugh.

"What is it?" Peter asked.

Lily and James stood there for a moment and stared at their friends' anxious faces.

"Lily and I are getting married," James announced.

"Well, it's about time," Sirius said with a laugh.

He, Remus, and Peter all bombarded Lily and James with hugs.

"Congratulations," Remus said.

"Thanks," James replied.

Lily was now able to wear her ring again. After they had all been admiring it, something crossed Sirius's mind.

"You're not doing this because you already knocked you up, are you?" Sirius asked.

"Sirius," Remus gasped.

Lily and James did not know what to say. Lily looked like she wanted to yell, James looked a bit embarrassed.

"Just checking," Sirius said.

He looked very uncomfortable after that.

"Are you all right, Peter?" Remus asked.

They had not seen him take hold of his left arm.

"What? Oh, yes. I just forgot I need to do something. Congratulations again," Peter said.

"He's been acting rather odd lately," James noted as Peter walked out.

"I know you're not afraid, but put yourself in his shoes," Lily said defensively. "Death Eaters are looking for everyone in the Order of the Phoenix. They want to kill us, James."

xxx

Lily sighed as she climbed into bed later that night and wrapped her arms around James.

"I'm sorry about going off on you tonight, James," she apologized.

"Don't be. I know how he feels. I just don't show it," James said.

"You're scared?" Lily asked in surprised.

James smiled and pulled her closer to him and replied, "Aren't you?"

"Of course I am," Lily said. "They're going to come after me not just because I'm in the order, but I'm also a Muggle-born."

James kissed the top on Lily's head.

"I won't let anyone harm you," he vowed.

"You can't promise that," Lily said, her eyes beginning to water.

"I'll die trying," James replied.

"James..." Lily began, but her mouth was covered my James's.

"I love you, and I'll do whatever it takes to protect you," he said.

Lily smiled and gave him a quick kiss back.

"I love you too, James," she replied.

Lily laughed and wiped her eyes.

"Enough with the heavy," James said, and Lily noticed it was a little cracked. "There's something I've been wondering for a long time now."

"What's that?" Lily asked.

"What are we going to name our first child?" James wondered.

Lily blinked. Of course she had names picked out, but she was taken aback that James would want to talk about it now.

"For a girl... Rose Mary Potter," Lily said.

"Pretty," James replied, and he seemed to be genuine about it.

"If it's a boy," Lily continued, "I want to name him Harry."

"Harry what?" James asked.

Lily was having their would-be-daughter's middle name her best friend's name. He wondered what Harry's would be.

"I want him to have your name," Lily said.

James looked at her in shock.

"Harry James Potter. I love it," he said, a huge smile on his face.

"I thought you would," Lily replied, also smiling.

James leaned in and kissed Lily.

"Thank you, Lily," James said.

"For what?" she asked.

"For everything," James answered.

THE END

AN:

Well, that's a wrap on this story! I apologize for the wait. Some stuff came up and with college started back up, it's been crazy. I hope you enjoyed this!