"There was a slight mishap." Slight didn't cover it. "Good morning, though."

He surveyed the kitchen. Food was everywhere and several plates were broken, as well as a steak knife sticking out of a wall.

"Good morning, love," he had given up on trying to understand women years before, especially his Lily Flower.

"I'll clean this up," she murmured, and waved her wand. Everything returned to its proper place, though there was still a whole in the wall where the knife was.

"What's wrong, Lils?" he asked.

"Nothing," she said, turning her face away from him and allowing her long red hair to block his view of her.

"Lily," he said, turning her face to his with one finger, "you destroyed the kitchen, and it wasn't over nothing. What's really going on here?"

She bit her lip. "James, what if one of us goes on a mission and never comes home?"

That was what her problem was about? He caught her hands in his. "Lily Potter, I love you more than anything else in the world. I married you, which shows a lot." She laughed slightly, and he continued. "I know—we know—that it's always a danger, but Lily, nothing, not even death, could keep me away from you. I love you more than is truly healthy."

"But what—"

"No, Lily. We'll get through this, same as we always do. Brighten up, we have our whole lives ahead of us."

"You're late to work."

He looked at the time. "Darn, you're right. I have to go!" He ran out the door.

"James, dearest," she called after him, "some pants would be nice!"

Finally, Lily got him out the door and sat down to work on the novel she was writing.

'It was a cold, snowy day in November, and Juliana Paris was stuck outside in it. The snow landed on her black jacket and hair, turning both white. It was the first time the young heiress had ever been caught in such a storm, and she was almost enjoying it, though she longed to be inside.

In short, she was the perfect candidate for my master plan.

"This isn't smart," Spencer whispered to me—'

"LILY!" Ally burst into the house. "Lily, Lily, Lily, the Cannons almost won!"

"Almost?" the redhead raised an eyebrow, not happy to be disturbed while she was writing.

"Yes! It was their final game, and they scored a goal!"

"Just one?"

"Yes! The other team only won by 490!"

"Well, that's wonderful."

"I have to go tell Frank!"

"Isn't he at work? And aren't you supposed to be?"

"Well, yes…" she admitted, "but I took the day off for the game!"

"You know, Ally, it would sound better if you could say the Cannons actually won," Lily pointed out.

"I guess it would, but Lee, this is revolutionary!"

"Revolutionary how, exactly?"

"Well, the Cannons haven't gotten this close to winning in years!"

"That's all very wonderful, but Alice, I need to write."

"You used my full name, Lee."

"I'm well aware of that fact. It means you need to scram."

"Fine then," she sighed. "If you would just get a job, all of this would go away."

"I can't," she said, "Muggleborn, remember?"

"Since when does that stop you from getting a job?"

"Since all this Voldemort nonsense started. Now if you don't mind, I have a book to write."

Alice rolled her eyes and parted with one small remark, "Have you told him yet?"

Lily wasn't quite sure how to answer that.

His day at the office had been a mess. Someone had apparently swallowed poison, and some idiot wanted to call it murder, so he and two other Aurors were called to sort that out. After that, there was a whole bunch of paper work to do. At least, until the ceiling started raining and five secretaries quit.

All in all, he was looking forward to a nice, relaxing evening with his wife. That was not what he found when he walked in the door.

"Lily," he sighed as he waded through parchment to get to her, "what is this, exactly?"

"I can't get it right!"

He read over her shoulder. '"Is anything I ever do smart, Spencer?"

"Well, no, but—"

"Then don't insult me." I readied my wand and slunk forward.

"I just don't like this, Valeria," he sighed. "But I suppose you're the boss."

"Darn right I am. Are you ready?"

He nodded tersely, his wand clasped in his sweaty palm. I already knew he would help. Spencer was always behind me, no matter what.'

"I like it," James said.

"Don't lie," Lily said. "It's terrible. I have the writer's block of the century." She moved her hand and winced. "Writer's cramp to go along with it, as well, I see."

James began to massage her back. "Just let go," he said, "and write. It's okay, Lily, I promise."

"Do you think Valeria is a weird person?"

"I don't think her name quite fits, but she seems fine otherwise."

"I wasn't sure what to call her. What about Hope?" Lily smiled up at him.

"I don't know. Perhaps you should choose something a bit more dangerous and foreign. Like Anastasia."

"That's Russian," Lily said, "and a lot of people think Russians are dangerous…"

He knew she didn't like it. "What about Carrie?"

She beamed. "Perfect."

"Well, no, but—"

"Then don't insult me." I readied my wand and slunk forward.

"I just don't like this, Carrie," he sighed. "But I suppose you're the boss."

"Darn right I am. Are you ready?"

He nodded tersely, his wand clasped in his sweaty palm. I already knew he would help. Spencer was always behind me, no matter what.

Juliana pulled out a cell phone, some high tech thing, and I used that moment to spring onto her back, my momentum pushing us both over into the deep snow.

Spencer hurried out, ropes at the ready. I grabbed the girl's phone, purse and yanked her coat off. What can I say? It was a nice coat.

Oh, you want to know more about me before we continue with this story? As you can see, I go by Carrie, but my full name is Caroline Hacks. I'm a first class criminal—don't look so scared, I've never actually murdered someone.

And I know that you think this story has no plot, but let me assure you, it has a plot. It has a lot of plot. But the story starts there, with Juliana, so that is where I began telling it, though you didn't know anything about me.'

James and Lily didn't know it, but looking at them was a rat. Well, not a rat, precisely. He was a human who was in the shape of a rat, though his personality… let's just say that 'rat' was the best, and possibly nicest, way to describe that foul rat, er, man.

'There are Potter and his slut,' the rat thought. 'I can't believe we were ever friends.'

He turned and scurried away from the pair, back to whatever hole he came from. Unfortunately, it would not be the last time the two were in the presence of the rat.