Shaking hands clutched each other
Fiery red clashed with mousy brown
Tears fell down identical, pale, clammy cheeks
Sobs convulsed equally pregnant bodies
Fear shone from their watery eyes.

Not a little, inconsequential fear
Not a fear of the dark, or spiders, or having to see your great-aunt for dinner the next day
A proper fear
Huge, painful, biting at every nerve ending in your body, ripping and clawing at every emotion- that kind of fear
A fear for your life
A fear your son's life
A son who had not yet even taken his first breath
A fear for everyone you have ever loved and everyone who has ever loved you

Eventually tearstained cheeks finally dried
Trembling forms stilled
A sort of calm came over them
There was still the fear, burning with as much ferocity
Burning like it could only get hotter, more intense, more painful.
More terrifying.

But they were Gryffindors
And they were intelligent and logical and reasonable
So, in a shared looked, piercing green eyes locking with warm honey ones
They silently vowed that they would not let this fear get the best of them
They wouldn't give in to terror
They would stay strong
They would go about their days laughing and singing and never letting anyone know
Just how terrified they actually were.

But they wouldn't fake their contentment because they were lions
They would because they were mothers to be
And they knew, accepted almost
That their time together with each other, and their sons would be sort
Painfully short
Even after a thousand years with their children they would still call it short when the time came to part
But they knew, they knew deep down in their stomachs
That they would be lucky to spend just one year with them.
That time, they probably would never remember
Just babies
They would never remember helping their fathers decorate the Christmas tree
Or their mothers baking them biscuits and teaching them to finger paint
But they would know
They would never be in doubt that they were loved
And they would walk to the ends of the earth to ensure that their sons, when they grew old knew that they were loved
They had accepted that that would require sacrifice
Most likely the ultimate

"I love you, Lily," the brunette choked, voice breaking and tears threatening to spill once more.
"I love you, Alice," the redhead whispered, not wavering, only certainty.
Best friends do everything together.
They had shared a room from their first day at Hogwarts
They had gone on double dates with their husbands
They had bought school robes, wedding dresses, baby clothes together

A shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a friend to count on
Lily Potter and Alice Longbottom had been best friends for nine years,
Since they were little Lily Evans and Alice Prewett, two tiny first years until
When Albus Dumbledore broke the news
Offered his deepest regrets and condolences
And gave them some privacy

Lily Potter and Alice Longbottom had been five months pregnant
When they realized
That they, just two girls, newly-weds, hardly out of Hogwarts,
Forced to grow up too fast, by a war which ravaged their world
Would give their lives for their firstborn and only born sons.

They did not try to find a way out of it
They did not kick and scream
But they cried, not for losing their own lives
But for losing the childhood of their children
Of the very real possibility of never getting to watch them grow up

And when the crying stopped, when the tears had all been spilled
They sat together, in a darkening room of Hogwarts school,
Cuddled together in a warming, comforting embrace
And they hoped, wished and prayed
To any deity who had the sympathy to be listening to them

That their sacrifice would not be in vain
Because nobody lived once he decided to kill them

They were right of course,
They knew from that day that were marked women.
A year from that day,
The redhead was referred to as
The late Lily Potter, the brightest which of the century
But only by those who did not know her
And by those who did
Dear, sweet Lily, who did not deserve to die, but who did so with honour and bravery and undying love for her son.

The brunette:
One of the finest aurors ever to grace the ministry's halls
Such a shame, such a great shame
Poor, brave Alice, who did not deserve her fate

Lily Potter gave her life for her son and had a tombstone to show for it.
Alice Longbottom gave her life for her son and a hospital gown to show for it.

Harry Potter lost his parents at the age of one, when they were aged just twenty three.
Neville Longbottom lost his parents at the age of fifty-six, but Alice and Frank had been lost so long before then.

Lily Potter and Alice Longbottom both gave their lives for their sons
Willingly, lovingly and with no regrets
Lily may have died within a year
Alice may have lived as an empty shell, her mind unusable and insane for half a century.
But both,
If asked to
Would do it a thousand time over

Nobody lived once he decided to kill them
Until two best friends, both intelligent, bright, honest, true, loving and incredibly brave,
Paid the price of their lives to break the trend.

Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom lived once he decided to kill them