The chimes on the apparition wards went off and Lily looked up. She wasn't expecting James home for another two days, or more, if the snowstorm outside ever let up. Even wizards had problems apparating in snow.
"Lily," his voice sounded through the door, low and gravely, "let me in; it's bloody freezing out here." With a roll of her eyes Lily went to the door and pulled it open, revealing a very wet and cold Sirius Black standing there.
"Sirius, what are you doing here?" Lily asked as she stood aside, allowing him to enter the house. He shivered and removed his coat and gloves, revealing muggle jeans and a jumper. He shook the snow in his hair in her general direction and she jumped away from him, resisting the urge to squeal like she used to. "Sirius Black, if you wake your godson up I'll have your head," Lily snarled. Sirius just smiled and brushed past her into the living room.
"Little tyke's asleep then?" he asked settling into the chair he usually occupied when he visited.
"Yes, and it took me forever to get him to sleep," Lily said, and for a brief moment Sirius could see just how truly exhausted she was. "He's always harder to get to sleep when James isn't here," she said.
"Prongs must have the magic touch, no pun intended," Sirius said, his eyes lighting up mischievously. He laughed quietly as he ducked, narrowly avoiding the pillow that was sent flying in his direction.
"Why are you here?" Lily asked again, pulling a ragtag quilt over her legs as she settled into the couch.
"James wanted me to check on your and Harry with all this snow, just to make sure you were okay," Sirius said. Lily quickly opened her mouth to retort that she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself when Harry's cries filled the house. Lily sighed deeply and put her head into her hands.
"It's only been thirty minutes," she said, moving to get up from the couch. She was stopped, however, when Sirius pushed her back down.
"I'll get him, don't worry about it," he said and then disappeared down the hallway to Harry's nursery. A few seconds later Lily heard the rocking chair squeak, signaling that Sirius was rocking Harry. She listened to the sound, a smile on her face. It didn't take long for her to fall asleep.
It was hours later before she awoke with a start, disoriented. She was still on the couch, tangled in the quilt. Remembering that Sirius had been rocking Harry when sleep had overtaken her she listened for the tell-tale squeak of the rocking chair but heard nothing. Disengaging herself from the blankets she rose from the couch and made her way to her son's room. Sitting the rocker, sound asleep, with his godson in his arms, was Sirius. Lily didn't do anything for a moment, just stood in the doorway and watched. Seeing Sirius like that, so vulnerable and still made something within her stir. Scared by the feeling she ignored it, moving into the room to remove her son from Sirius's arms. His eyes flickered open and watched as Lily gentlely placed Harry back into his crib, making sure to cover him with a blanket as she placed a kiss on his forehead. Sirius smiled as he watched her. He had always thought that Lily was beautiful, and even more so now as a mother. She turned around and caught him staring.
"Come on, you dog, you can sleep in the guest room tonight," she whispered, motioning for him to follow her out of the nursery. He followed her to the room at the end of the hallway and as she turned to walk to her own room he caught her in his arms, his face buried in her hair. She didn't move, didn't speak, she's wasn't even sure if was breathing. Moving slowly, he lifted his face from her hair and placed his lips on her forehead. They're dry and rough, but they're warm and comforting. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to lean into him.
"Goodnight, Lils," he said quietly, his breath tickling her face. She smiled up at him and watched as he disappeared into the guest room and closed the door.