Title: Mark

Characters: James and Lily Potter.

Rating: M

Summary: "We could so easily be clichéd, you know," James said, when they were both lying on their too-small double bed, sharing a cigarette and staring up at the smoke-stained ceiling. The night outside was dark, and so was the world, but at that moment, neither of them cared. Dark!Lily/Dark!James. AU.

Warnings: Mentions of sex, "open" relationships, murder, language, slight insanity, and, of course, Dark!Lily and Dark!James.

Notes: This is deliciously dark, with a few, cough cough, steamy scenes, though they're far from X-rated. Lily and James are still Lily and James, but this is an AU, so expect more than a few changes, and yes, they are slightly out of character, with good reason. There are hints of slash and femmeslash as well - remember, the main pairing is, and will always be, Jily - but nothing heavy or anything to be squeamish about.

I'd recommend listening to Eminem's Love You More whilst you're reading this; it's perfect for this piece, though what that says about me, I don't know.

This story is a collection of dark scenes mainly from James' life, it's the longest one-shot I've even written, and I'd love if you could give me some feedback. Please? Don't be afraid to ask questions, and, without further ado, enjoy!

"Some of them want to use you;
some of them want to get used by you.
Some of them want to abuse you;
some of them want to be abused."

- "Sweet Dreams', Eurythmics.

Harry had always been under the impression that his parents had had the perfect marriage. After all, it was the classic love story; girl meets boy, boy falls for girl, girl hates boy, boy loves girl, girl falls for boy. Date as Head Boy and Girl, stay together after school. Engaged, married, baby on the way.

A classic fairytale, no?

It didn't go like that; two people as extraordinary as Lily Evans and James Potter didn't do things the normal way. Where was the fun in that?

What they had... well. It was destructive; it was angry; it was fierce and it was beautiful. It was love.

They left their mark on the world, and Lily and James wouldn't have had it any other way.

"James," Lily said coldly, walking past and flipping her hair over her shoulder. James ran forward, caught hold of her shoulder and spun her round.

"Malfoy, Lils? Malfoy?" He asked, his grip on her shoulder tightening.

"I heard some things about his talents," Lily commented idly, ignoring the pain. "As a prefect, it's my duty to check if... harmful rumours are true or not." She smirked at him, and run a nail across his cheek mockingly. "Don't worry, James, darling. He's got nothing on you. But he's truly marvellous at begging."

"Really," James said flatly.

"Funny, I heard an interesting story the other day... Narcissa Black, James? I didn't think blondes were your type."

"I didn't think they were yours either. And luv, you forget; I don't have a type."

"They only have to be breathing, right?" Lily mocked, shuffling her books into her other arm and tapping her foot slowly. James grinned.

"It's not a requirement."

"You disgust me," she said, but she leaned closer, running a hand through his hair, closing her eyes and breathing in deeply. She opened her eyes. "I hate you so much. But I love you at the same time. How is that even possible?"

"We share a common bond, my dear," James smirked, releasing her shoulder and caressing her cheek in a harsh imitation of her earlier move, still slightly sore from when she slapped him yesterday. "Hate and date are only one letter away for a reason, after all. And the sex is brilliant."

"That must be it."

"Oh, and love?" Lily raised an eyebrow at him. "You have a hickey." He touched the side of her neck, just above her collar. "Just there." He kissed it gently before Lily raised a hand to cover it from view.

"I still need to invent a spell to hide those," she said nonchalantly, but her hand, though covering the hickey, did nothing to hide her faint blush. James grinned.

"Let me walk you to class?" He asked, and Lily nodded. He took her books and snaked a hand round her waist. He opened the door to the Transfiguration classroom, and raised a finger to her lips, gently pushing her hand out of the way in the process.

"Showtime, Lils."

"White roses, James? How... plebeian."

"You love them really," he said, leaning over the back of the sofa she was reading on. He dangled the flowers in front of her face. "You can even pretend that you're fit to wear white on your wedding day, if you want."

"Bastard," Lily growled, whipping around and slapping him, hard. The other people in the common room gasped - Lily and James had never been so public with their dangerous relationship before. They were hailed as the perfect, bittersweet couple.

James leered.

"I believe that would be you, don't you think?" He mused, showing his teeth and leaning closer. "My mummy and daddy don't hate the living hell out of each other, or me."

"You don't know a thing about my parents!" Lily yelled, standing up now and walking round the red sofa.

"Don't I?" James asked. "Daddy's a high-class businessman. You barely see him, and if you do, he smells of candles and sex and his secretary's perfume, right? And Mummy, well; she's always been a little wayward, wouldn't you say? Being a lonely housewife without even a pool boy for company must be very taxing for her. And if Daddy isn't there to spend the money, well; what better way to splash it than on imported wines and vodka?"

Lily pounced.

She threw James into the wall with surprising strength before taking out her wand. Without speaking, she traced a line on his cheek with it, drawing blood. James cursed and jerked away.

"So your parents are okay, are they, James?" Lily taunted, her voice calm and even whilst she slashed her wand through the air, tearing a gash in James's chest. "Last I heard, Mummy'd gone crazy and Daddy's practically dealing with the devil to get a cure. Wasting away your precious inheritance, I'm sure."

When James drew his own wand, people screamed, and somebody called out for Professor McGonagall, but nobody moved.

"Better on cures than booze, right, Lils?"

He hit her.

When she looked up in feigned shock, he laughed. "What, did you think I wouldn't hit a girl? You can't even be counted as that any more. You've spread your legs so many times I'm surprised you can still stand."

"And you're so much better, are you? You've never exactly been a master of pillow talk, though I imagine now it's more along the lines of "Hop along, whore, you're not needed any more." You must have a thousand diseases by now; fucking that many girls can't be sanitary," Lily jeered, laughing as James aimed a spell at her.

A window behind them shattered.

"I fuck you, don't I?"

Lily's laughter stopped.

"You're convenient. And aren't you supposed to be my boyfriend, Potter? Head Boy to my Head Girl? Right symbol of purity and rule-following, you are. Great job."

"Oh, 'cause Lily Evans is practically the patron saint of all things pure, isn't she? You're a two-faced, motherfucking bitch who doesn't give a damn about anyone in this room, especially me. Don't pull the used-and-abused act on me now, Lils. Merlin knows, I won't buy it."

"I heard you were taking it up the arse for free, though, right James?"

Gasps echoed round the common room. It was common knowledge, of course, that Lily and James had a very on-and-off relationship, but they didn't know that they openly slept around. They definitely didn't know that James slept on both sides of the dormitories.

"How did you know about that?" James's voice turned cold, making the rest of his words sound like sweet nothings compared to it.

"I suppose it's only natural. Why go into other houses, other dormitories, when you can keep your escapades inside the same dorm room?" Lily asked, looking to the side where the Gryffindor boys' dormitories were.

James burst out laughing.

"You think I care? Like you haven't got off with Mary McDonald. I thought I said to drop the used-and-abused act. If anyone had half an idea of what we do in that dorm room, Lils, we'd both be in Azkaban."

"You'd be in Azkaban; you're a terrible actor. I, on the other hand, would walk clear with an Order of Merlin, the key to your cell, and weekly visits with a caring psychiatrist."

"Maybe. But we're both as evil as each other, babe; don't you get it? Dumbledore wants us to "lead the revolution" as it were, but how long will it be before your bloodlust gets ahead of you? How long 'til people think it's not just the Death Eaters anymore?" James chuckled, and with a flick of his wand, the white roses burst into flames, leaving a black mark on the couch.

"You're a bastard," Lily growled, before turning away from James and walking out of the common room.

"Already used that one, sweetheart!" James called at her retreating back. As she turned around, he winked and threw her a kiss.

"Funny, that's what I said when you screwed Sirius Black," she retorted. They both turned away, but they were both smiling. It was just too fun.

"James Potter?"

James turned around, wand in hand. He was walking to his last class of the week, marking just another month left at Hogwarts - Defence Against the Dark Arts, which he had already deemed oddly appropriate - when a tall figure dressed in a red robes, a Auror badge and a personality that screamed 'dangerous' called his name.

"May I help you?" He asked with forced politeness. Professor Dumbledore emerged from the other corridor, talking to another bearded Auror in hushed tones.

"I think you can," the Auror said. "If we can ask you a few questions?"

It was voiced as a question, but James didn't hear any room for refusal in it. He turned to the professor.

"We'll go to my office, gentlemen. Mr Potter, if you would lead the way?" The twinkle in Dumbledore's eye had faded slightly, and he looked more solemn than anything. James had a feeling that this wasn't something as meagre as Head Boy duties.

"Sir, I-"

"I'm sure you know the way." Dumbledore smiled at him as if he hadn't spoken. James prickled under his calm, somewhat-ignorant exterior.

Walking up the marble staircase, he turned to the statue, then back at the headmaster and the two Aurors. Dumbledore smiled encouragingly, and the statue moved out of the way, revealing the door to Dumbledore's office.

"Sir, if I can ask what this is about?" James asked as he took a seat opposite the desk. Dumbledore sat behind it, whilst the two Aurors stood, looking down at the two of them and attempting to look opposing.

"These two young gentlemen have some grave news, Mr Potter." He motioned for the Aurors to speak.

"Last night, a home in Dorchester was torched to the ground." James sucked in a breath. "We regret to inform you the Dark Mark was found above it in the early hours of the morning."

"Mum?" He asked, looking towards Professor Dumbledore, who had his fingers laced together and a grave expression etched onto his face, that James suspected he practised in the mirror for times like these. "My mum, is she alright? My parents, they live in Dorchester, and my mum, my mum wouldn't have been able to-"

"I'm afraid, Mr Potter, that your mother didn't survive the attack."

"And you told me like this?" James looked up at them through his glasses, letting betrayal sink into his voice. ""A home in Dorchester, Mr Potter." Not your home. You're about as subtle as a griffin in Florish and Blotts."

"This is a very difficult situation for them, James-"

"Difficult?" James laughed. "My mother is dead. She's all I have left, and she is dead," he growled, standing up and placing his palms on the desk. "You don't understand the meaning of difficult."

Looking confused, Professor Dumbledore stared James down from behind his half-moon spectacles. "Your father is alive and recovering in St. Mungo's."

"My father!" He choked on his laugh, collapsing back down in his sit with harsh giggles. "I don't give a fuck about my father. My darling father didn't do anything for Mum, he let her go insane, giving her prescribed potions and pretending like he gave a damn."

"Mr Potter," the bearded Auror addressed him, looking disgruntled. "Charlus Potter has been unable to tell us why his house was targeted. You've never been a threat to the Death Eaters, and we were hoping you could shed some light on-"

"No. You think it's because of me." The three adults in the room said nothing. "Don't you? Well, it's not, alright? I'd be stupid not to believe that these so-called Death Eaters care as little about me as they do about injured Crups.

"They were after my mum."

"Your mother?" The other Auror asked, sounding surprised. "Mr Potter, I don't know if you're aware of this, but-"

"My mum was insane, yes, I know," James said with exasperation, rolling his eyes. "She'd lost her marbles long before you people had heard of her. But she was a bloody genius. And you don't need people to be sane to get them to talk."

"But they torched the place. It burnt to the ground, there wasn't anything left. Your father was in the garden and tried to stop it, but he couldn't. We... we suspect it was Fiendfyre," the first Auror said, looking distressed.

"Well," James started without a hint of emotion, leaning back in his chair and smiling softly, "I suppose she was no longer needed."

"Mr Potter, I understand that-" Professor Dumbledore said with a shake of his head, looking at his "star pupil" earnestly, but James cut him off.

"May I be excused now?" He looked between the three of them. "You don't need me anymore, right? So I'm free to go."

The bearded Auror nodded hesitantly, straightening his badge and gesturing to his colleague, who joined him next to the fireplace.

"'Til next time, Mr Potter." And they Flooed away in a flash of green light that reminded James of something other than emeralds.

"Good day, Professor," James said, bowing his head and not looking away from the floor and he trudged his way back to Gryffindor tower. His absence would be excused, he was sure.

It was Lily who found him, in the end.

When she came over, concern and hesitation written all over her face, he grabbed her wrists and looked into her eyes. She blinked owlishly and tugged her arms away experimentally. James' grip held, probably leaving a mark.

"Marry me, okay? No, don't ask why. Just say yes, Lily, dear God, please say yes. I need - I need-"

"Yes," Lily whispered, not making any move to touch him, but just stood stock still, looking into his eyes and somehow, he thought that she knew, on some Lily-level. She always knew. "Yes, okay, James. I'll marry you." If she found anything odd about James' tears that day, she didn't question it.

He didn't expect her to.

"So you two are shacking up then?" Remus asked, casually leaning against a willow tree, smoking a cigarette that looked more than a little suspicious.

"Got a house in Cambridge," James said idly, tugging on Lily's hair, making her overbalance and topple back into him. His arms encircled her and kept her there. "What about you three? Got plans or staying with the parents?" He glanced sideways at Sirius. "Or my parents, in some cases."

"Fuck off," Sirius replied easily, dusting off his trousers and lighting a fag. "And I've got a flat too, right in London. Massive, modern and the wrong side of the East End. Perfect."

He grinned devilishly and Remus snorted.

"Perfect for some, maybe," he scoffed. "Most of us don't have dear, disowned uncles who cop it and give 'em tonnes of cash. I've got a tiny thing up in Liverpool. Hear the pubs are ace, though. Five shots for a quid, last time I was there."

"Have to visit you up there, Moony!" Sirius laughed. "Beauty of being a wizard, that is. Only thing in the way of us and the best time is the channel and bloody foreign apparation laws."

"I'm still stuck with my parents in Norfolk," Peter moaned, stealing a bottle of amber liquid from beside James. "And my sisters. Not my perfect idea of adulthood."

"Poor Wormy!" James said, laughing at his friend's expense. "Come and sleep on our couch, if you're lucky and hit us on a good day."

"Merlin knows, the chances of that happening are slim," Lily joked.

"Look at us. High and dry at eighteen, and still no clue what we're doing with ourselves. Well, in life. The bedroom's a whole other matter, far as we're concerned." They all laughed. "Seriously though! Supposedly we're Dumbledore's golden lot! Circe, what does that say about the rest of our year?"

"Ah, Moony. I love it when you get all philosophical."

"One of my many charms, Padfoot."

"At least me and Lils have got each other. What have you three got? Wormtail's still tiptoeing round that Slytherin chick, Padfoot's slept through half the school, and Moony's slept through the other half!"

"Oi! Remus isn't as bad as that jerk," Lily interjected, pointing at Sirius.

"You have a lot to learn, Red," Sirius told her mockingly, throwing his arm round Remus' shoulders. "Moony here is the quiet romancer of Hogwarts. All those young virgins go for the bookish types, you see... He's had 'em practically begging since fourth year."

"No!" Lily gasped, looking mock-affronted. Remus nodded solemnly.

"I'm afraid it's true. And all those young girls looking for comfort; I couldn't well turn them down, now, could I?"

"Young girls?" Peter laughed. "Last I heard, young, virginal girls were the least of your problems. That Ravenclaw bloke Bernie was eyeing you up for a month, and you never did tell us how you got rid of him."

"First two rules of surviving boarding school: never tell anyone everything you know."

They all waited for Remus to finish the sentence, but when he smirked, they all rolled their eyes and let out reluctant laughs. James patted Remus on the back, causing him to almost choke on his cigarette. Remus glared back at him.

"Two weeks lads." Lily glared up at James. "And lady. Two weeks until the sweet release of freedom. You know, I'm kind of going to miss it, if only because the booze in Hogsmeade is so cheap."

"That's because you steal it!" Lily reprimanded him, hitting his leg.

"Besides the point, my love," James retorted, waving his hand about and gesturing to the sky. "No more will we just be able to pop down a secret passageway, nick a few Firewhiskeys and prance off back to our dormitory. It's the end of an era."

"Bloody good era, though," Remus said absentmindedly, taking another drag of his cigarette before crushing it into the bark of their willow tree, leaving a burnt black mark.

"The best," Peter, Sirius and Lily agreed simultaneously. And, you never know; maybe it was.

"The Order, then," James started conversationally, tucking his arms behind his head and stretching out on the bed.

They had moved into their house in Cambridge five weeks ago, and so far, things were going great. Sirius', Peter's, Remus' and Mary's couches had all been used to house one of them at least once in the past couple of weeks.

"Oh, your pillow talk astounds me, darling," Lily retorted, leaning over to face him. "And you know what they say, right? Why play one side when you can play both?"

"Isn't that what Mary told you?" He asked with a wink. She hit him with a pillow, but his grin didn't fade. "Think of it, Lils. We could rule the world. Top Order members, right, Dumbledore's golden couple with a group of merry men and all that shit.

"Then, on the other hand, top Death Eaters. We could do anything, be anyone. And we wouldn't get the blame from Voldemort, 'cause hell, that's a spy's job, isn't it? We have to play our parts. It's perfect, really; no one will know just how far deep we're in, on either side."

"What would we be then? Double agents?" She asked doubtfully, threading her fingers through his hair.

"Something like that, babe," James laughed. "It all depends on who wins. Dumbledore; well, then we were the goody-two-shoes soldiers for him, just so dedicated to the cause, you see. We didn't know what else to do. We were never Death Eaters.

"If Voldemort wins; well, being a Death Eater spy has always been such an aspiring career opportunity."

Lily laughed with him, imagining the scene. The final battle, killing simply whoever gets in their way, witch or werewolf, Muggle or pureblood, a member of the Order or a Death Eater.

It was perfect.

"What about our friends, though? Peter would follow you in a heartbeat, and Sirius would too, but not if it meant fighting alongside his family. Remus has always felt as though he owed Dumbledore for even letting him in to bloody school. And Mary'll never accept. She'd die before she became a Death Eater."

"You forget my dear," James teased, leaning forwards and whispering into her ear surreptitiously, "that they have something against everyone, including Dumbledore."

"What do you mean?" Lily asked, interested. If they could all be spies... well, they'd have nothing left to lose.

"Well, Wormtail's always been overshadowed. He could shine in the Death Eaters, and if Dumbledore wins, he'll be a hero. Padfoot hates his family sure, but don't you think they went to Voldemort's side for a reason? He's a sadist, everyone knows it, and being in the Death Eaters, with us, is just another chance to rebel."

"So, Remus?" She probed after James stopped.

"If anyone should be a Death Eater, it's Moony." Lily raised an eyebrow at him. "Not because I don't trust him, or that I think he's inherently evil, though I'd have a point there, but... he deserves to. All the Wizarding World has ever given him is shit. Shit grades, shit house, shit job, shit money, and generally shit life. All because he's a werewolf. And, dammit, Voldemort could save him from that. He deserves to be saved," James concluded thoughtfully.

"And Mary?" She asked quietly. "What about Mary?"

James looked at her sideways, and sighed. "I don't know. With Mary... I don't know. What you said is true; she'll die before she becomes one of us."

"Who do you think we should side with?" Lily asked him quietly, looking at him through her eyelashes. "It'll come down to a full-out war, James, you know it will. What should we do?"

"We kill them," James replied coldly.

He thought of his poor, cold, dead, insane mother, and his pathetic, grovelling father locked up in St. Mungo's.

He thought about Peter and Remus and Sirius and Marlene and Mary and Dorcas and Benjy and Hestia and Frank and Emmeline and Fabian and Gideon and -

"We kill them all."

They both fell silent.

"The bastards wouldn't accept me, and you know it," Lily told him suddenly, picking up her wand and threading it through her fingers.

James rolled over and loomed over her, leaning forward and capturing her lips for a moment.

"Well, you'll just have to show those bastards what you can do," James whispered breathily, nibbling on her ear and sucking on her neck, marking it. Silently, she agreed. And so it began.

"And why would you wish to join our Lord?" Lucius Malfoy drawled, looking between Lily and James, the fingers of one hand curled around a shot glass, and the fingers of the other curled around his wand.

"It's only natural. We're survivors. We want what's best for us, and our family," James insisted, his gave wavering over to Lily's.

Lucius raised an eyebrow.

"You see, I was under the natural presumption that you were under Dumbledore's command. Has he lengthened your leash since school? I would think it foolish of him to do so."

"Lord Voldemort offers us redemption," James said flatly, taking another sip of Firewhiskey, grimacing. It was never as good as Rosmerta's.

"There's more to it that that," their companion replied easily, watching the two of them. James stirred his drink thoughtfully before meeting Lucius' eyes.

"Yes. Dumbledore has been double crossing us since we were eleven; manipulating us., Fuck, he even made me Head Boy so he could watch me closer, we all know it. It's probably why Remus was made a prefect, too. We're sick of being held under his shadow. We can spy for you; immerse ourselves in the Order, pretend as though we're simply watching you. We won't spy for them, too. We'll take the Mark, and no one will know."

"I don't believe you."

Lucius stood up and wrapped his cloak around himself gracefully, staring at the door. Lily leapt forward, and grabbed onto his sleeve. He looked down with a mixture of amusement and disgust.

"Please, Lucius," Lily begged, her eyes finding James from where he stood behind Lucius' shoulder. She ran her fingers up at arm, lingering on his bicep before falling back down again.

James fumed quietly, and in the background, a glass cracked, fell and smashed onto the floor, but Lucius, still staring at Lily, didn't hear it.

"You don't understand what it's like. Dumbledore's a useless old fool-" Lucius snorted at this "- but he's a fool who treats us like pawns, and we're doing nothing for the Wizarding World sitting there and pretending we're fighting your Lord. We want to help."

She lifted her chin and looked into his eyes, her hand resting on his. "We can help."

Lucius studied her for a second, before gazing down at their joined hands.

"I can take you to him, if you really do want the Dark Mark. Bring your friends, too. Meet me at the Hog's Head at noon tomorrow. And for Merlin's sake, look presentable."

He gave James a final glare before walking out, slamming the door shut behind him.

Lily straightened her robes and looked towards her fiancé. "Well, that was easy." He just laughed, his smile promising an impending argument, and offered his arm to her, leading their way back to Cambridge.

"I don't know about this, guys," Peter said quietly as James led the way to the Hogs Head at quarter to twelve. "Dumbledore could catch us. They might just kill and torture us here and now."

"Stop moaning, Wormtail," Sirius said with a roll of his eyes that couldn't be seen behind his sunglasses.

"I want to know why," Remus interjected softly, cutting off the argument soon to erupt behind the two other Marauders. "Lily," and Lily turned to look at him. "Lily, they killed your parents. You're Muggleborn, going into Auror training, for Merlin's sake. And James." James kept walking. "They want you dead Prongs, maybe more than me or Padfoot or Lils. You're a pureblood engaged to a Muggleborn. They've killed the Prewetts, James, your friends."

"So what, Remus?" He snapped, whipping round to face his friend. "So what? Dumbledore's done similar; he's done worse. The way I see it, they're both just as bad as each other, and I just want to be on the winning side."

"You're surviving them," Remus said, but his hands clenched at his sides. "That's not living. Fighting for two things you don't even believe in, well, that's even worse."

"Oh, like you're much better, Moony," Sirius called impatiently, already at the doorway. "Are we going in or not?"

The mis-matched group followed him into the Hogs Head, where midday drinkers were already drowning their sorrows, some at the bars, some at tables dotted round the pub. Lily wrinkled her nose.

"Well, they're not here yet," James said conversationally, leading the way to the bar and leaning forward. "Five of your finest Firewhiskeys, my man."

The barman looked at him doubtfully, obviously trying to figure out if he was already drunk. James just grinned.

"Don't get too drunk," Remus warned, getting a booth in the corner, nearest the least-dirty-but-still-not-completely-transparent window. "Don't want to be slipping anything."

"You think we can't hold our liquor?" Sirius snorted, downing half of his Firewhiskey in one gulp.

"We've had free booze basically since third year," Peter reassured him, taking a smaller sip out of his own glass, and collapsed onto the frayed seat, "I think we're alright, somehow."

"I give up."

"Ah, s'alright, Moony. You know you can't win the ultimate battle of idiocy with the world's biggest idiots. Maybe next year, okay?" James joked. The door opened with a bang, and three people, hooded, walked into the Hog's Head. Lily was the only one of the five who stood up.

"Malfoy. Lestrange," she nodded at the two men, before turning to the final member of their group. "Female Lestrange."

Bellatrix smirked. "Please. Call me Bella. We're all friends here, aren't we not?" She turned her smile to Sirius. "Siri! Oh, it's been so long. What? Three years since you ran away from Mummy and Daddy? We must catch up."

"As much as I'd love to, Bella, I believe we have business to attend to. Don't you?"

"For some reason, cousin, Lucius finds your friends trustworthy - Mudblood or not." Lily twitched where she stood. "Therefore, we're interested in your allegiance. You have talents..." She flicked her gaze over Remus, who growled, "... that will be useful to us."

"That's what we're trying to prove," James said loudly, turning Bellatrix' attention back to him. She giggled cruelly.

"Oh, if it isn't wittle baby Potter? Tell me, how is Daddy doing nowadays?" James glared. "And Peter, sweet Peter, how are your Gryffindor friends? Treating you well, I hope?" Peter shivered.

"That's none of your concern, Bellatrix," he said tightly.

"Of course, of course, we're here for business, aren't we? I must say, the Dark Lord is very impressed with you, and looking forward to having you join our ranks."

"Funny," Sirius mused, finishing off his Firewhiskey and standing up, "I never took you for a messenger, Bella. I suppose things change." Rodolphus Lestrange, Bellatrix's new husband and pureblood Death Eater, stepped forward warningly. "Relax, Roddy. I'm just trying to get to the point. We want the Mark. We've thought about it; we're willing. Your Lord doesn't have enough spies, and we can offer just that."

"Who would suspect us?" Remus finished, also standing up and looking straight at Lucius. "After all, we're Dumbledore's golden lot, with every reason to rebel against him."

"The perfect crime," Lily added, stepping round the table to lean closer to Rodolphus. "The perfect blow to Dumbledore's forces."

"And you would be hailed for proposing it." Peter stood next to Bellatrix. "Held above all the others."

"All you have to do is accept us," James whispered secretly, the only one remained seated. "We're willing to take the Dark Mark to prove our loyalty. Just say yes..."

"If that's what you want," Lucius said, attempting to look cagey, but instead just looking sure of himself and obviously proud at the chance of becoming a higher ranking Death Eater. He nodded at the Lestranges.

They both surged forward, Rodolphus grabbing Lily and James, Bellatrix taking Sirius and Peter, and leaving Lucius to put a hand on Remus's shoulder.

They all Apparated away, and all James could do was laugh.


James ran to their room. He expected something, anything; maybe the Death Eaters found that they were playing both sides. Maybe the Order had finally come to their sense. Maybe it was Remus, Sirius, Peter, maybe -

"Lils? Lily, what is it? What's wrong?"

"How the bloody, fucking hell am I supposed to cover my Dark Mark?"

James stood stock still in the doorway, watching Lily trying out different hairstyles. Their wedding was approximately three months away; only close friends and family, you understand. No Death Eaters; nothing to connect them with Voldemort, as planned.

"Is that it?" He asked quietly. Lily turned with wide eyes, which narrowed quickly when she saw James' clenched hands.

"Yes, I believe it's rather necessary to hide the fact we're bloody - spies, or something! Only us and Voldemort know that we're spies. None of the Order even know that have the Mark! Do you want to get us killed?" She fumed, throwing her hands up in the air.

"You bloody bitch. I thought we'd be caught. I thought - I thought you were dead!"

The lamp he threw hit the wall just to the left of her head; the Chaser reflexes never really went away, after all, and that was only a warning. Lily started to laugh.

"Oh, you're throwing a tantrum now? What, Jamie? Did I scare you? Oh, poor you."

So, being the unpredictable couple that they were, James leant close and pushed her back against the wall. And kissed her.

"We'll find something, babe," he growled against her lips, pressed her back, back, back, until she was simply a line, a barrier between him and the wall, and trapped, and safe, but trapped, but still safe and -

"Don't," Lily snapped, pushing him back, but only succeeding in making him stumble a few steps and crash into the bureau. "Don't call me babe!"

Her fingers twitched and crawled towards her wand, on top of the dresser. James just smirked.

"Now, now, Lils," he said, snatching her wand and threading it through his fingers, "don't you know it's rude to shout?"

"I hate you," she half sobbed, falling against the wall and clutching at it with desperation. "I hate you so much."

James laughed, and sunk down, crouching in front of her and tracing a line on her cheek with his finger. "But darling..." He kissed her forehead and ran his fingers over their matching Dark Marks. His hands trailed lower. "That's why you love me."

Lily moaned when his fingers brushed down her inner thighs, tracing patterns she herself couldn't see, but she knew James could. He traced letters and numbers and pictures with an artist's hands.

She licked her lips when James pulled down her underwear from under her skirt and blew softly against her clit.

The room vibrated with magic, the combined power of the two of them almost visible in the heavy air. James smirked, and worked his own brand of magic.

"We'll invent a spell if we have to," he purred against her, and her back arched against the wall, their past argument almost completely forgotten. Lily nodded before sliding down the wall and capturing James' lips with her own.

"If we have to, darling," she murmured, unzipping his trousers and biting his bottom lip, "we can conquer the world."

"I fucking hate you!" Lily screamed, throwing that horrible vase Petunia got her for a belated, unwanted house warming gift against the wall. James ducked just in time.

"So you keep saying," he drawled, leaning against the same wall with faked nonchalance. "Though you keep refusing to say why."

"I'm pregnant, you great sod! I'm bloody pregnant!"

James' face fell. He pushed himself off the wall, and prowled over to where Lily was standing, eyes ablaze, hands clenched tightly and chest heaving.

He stood over her, marvelling at the way she stood up straighter, attempted to try to match his height. It wouldn't work, of course, but he let Lily have her little victory when she could meet his gaze without tilting her head back.

"Excellent." He grinned like a shark and hugged her tightly.

"Excellent?" She screeched, sounding eerily like the mother she had strived so hard not to become. "How the bloody hell is this situation excellent?"

"I do love you, you know," James told her in amusement, resting his hands lightly on her waist. "It's excellent, because it's another wand in the works. To Dumbledore, we're now a family straining to protect themselves against the coming threat. To Voldemort, we're two people with yet another grudge against the world.

"Don't you see? It's the perfect guise. And we get a baby!"

James smiled wistfully. "I always wanted a family, you know. A little girl, with your eyes, of course, and maybe my unfortunate hair. She'd have your intelligence, my Quidditch talent, and our joint ability to stand our own in a - what should I call it? - a battle of wits, shall we say. Admittedly, it's not perfect timing, and the kid is a bastard after all-"

"Don't you dare talk about my baby like that," Lily scolded him, sounding a little lost.

"Right, right," James appeased her. "And you shouldn't be showing by the wedding, should you? How far along are you?"

"Three weeks," she replied airily.

"Well, you'll be just under two months by that time, which is perfect, really-"

"You're really okay with this?" She cut him off, looking perfectly put out. "I mean, you're not going to say this is all my fault, or that you never wanted kids, or that we're too young, we're too angry, or anything like that, are you? Because a bit of warning wouldn't go amiss if you are."

"Never, Lils," James assured her, looking quite sick at the idea. He smiled that grin again, the grin that promised danger and miracles and the one that made Lily's breath catch. "I love you, remember?"

He knelt down, his hands still on Lily's waist, and called to her stomach, "And you too!"

Lily laughed.

With this family, the world wouldn't know what hit them.

James's face fell suddenly, and Lily looked down at him. She stroked his face, which hadn't been shaved for a while now and was showing hints of a 5 o'clock shadow.

"My dad died today," he whispered, and hell, blame it on the pregnancy, blame it on her new mothering instinct, but she thought he looked like a lost little boy just then.

So she knelt down and hugged him tightly, crooning to him and stroking his head while he refused to cry.

"It's okay to cry, you know," Lily scolded lightly, slightly annoyed that even after all this time, he didn't want to show emotion.

"That's the thing. I don't want to. I hated my dad, he disapproved of you-" James heard Lily suck in a breath, and he remembered that she hadn't known that little titbit of information "- and I think he hated me too. He would've hated our baby. So I don't want to cry. He doesn't deserve it."

"Okay," she murmured, kissing his dry cheek and watching him rub circles on her stomach with one hand, and trace her Dark Mark with the other. "Okay." They'd dealt with harder fates, after all.

They were James and Lily soon-to-be Potter; if they wanted to, they could do anything.

"We could so easily be clichéd, you know," James said, when they were both lying on their too-small double bed, sharing a cigarette and staring up at the smoke-stained ceiling. The night outside was dark, and so was the world, but at that moment, neither of them cared.

"We could," Lily agreed absentmindedly, "but we don't have to be, so we're not."

James looked over at her in amusement. "Are you drunk, Lils?"

"No!" She gasped back, sounding affronted. "Okay, maybe a little bit. It was the champagne at the wedding. You know the bubbles..." She made an airy gesture with her hand. "Go to my head."

"That I do," James said with a smirk; he had exploited that knowledge more than once, he seemed to remember. "It was a good wedding though, wasn't it? Even though Petunia had to come, which I still don't see the sense in, and maybe Moony got a little drunk and tried it on with my cousin, and your cousin, and your mum, and Mary, and Dumbledore, and then with Padfoot, and maybe they both disappeared for half an hour, but..."

"Stop it. They're perfect for each other. And it was a perfect wedding," Lily scolded, taking a drag.

"Even though Peter threw up on your dress and Marlene crawled under it in an attempt to escape from Dorcas?" James asked, leaning over her and stroking her cheek. She laughed.

"Especially then. A good cleaning charm later and all was well."

"Even though we had one of our legendary arguments five minutes before when we thought that the spell for our Marks would'nt work and we both resolved that there wouldn't be a wedding, you'd run off with Mary and I'd kip on Wormy's couch?"

"Well, that just made the wedding original, didn't it?" Lily resolved, scowling slightly at the mention of the argument. They got the spell to work, in the end.

"I had an idea, you know..." James muttered around the fag in his mouth, tucking his hands behind his head and squinting his eyes slightly. "You know the spell has a time limit, even though we don't know why?" She nodded. "Well, if we were ever caught, we could always cast the spell but put a time delay on it, so that if our wands taken away, it would be working when we were interrogated, and not before."

Lily stared at her husband.

"Well, it was just an idea anyway," he said moodily, crossing his arms. "I know a few charms we could use to join the two spells, so it would happen every time, but, you know. Whatever suits you."

"I think it's a brilliant idea, James," Lily purred, finishing the cigarette with a flourish, and leaning over to straddle him. "Now, I believe I was promised a wedding night."

James grinned in return, and traced the Dark Mark on her forearm from memory, looking into her eyes. "Well, you know me; I always keep my promises." They were James and Lily, and in the end, they were anything but clichéd.

"He's gorgeous, you know," Sirius told them, cradling his godson closely. "Fuck. How the hell did you two prats make this?"

"Now, Sirius, as interesting as our sex lives are for you..." Lily said, leaning against her newly-fluffed up pillows and sighing. She shuffled the blankets around her and tried not to stare at her son like a crazed maniac for too long.

"How come Padfoot is godfather anyway? The only kid he cares for is that bloody motorbike," Remus grumbled, cuffing Sirius round the head playfully.

"Well, we have a plan, see," James explained, making baby noises back at Harry, who giggled in response. "Moony's going to be godfather for our little girl-"

"Who is not going to be called Tigerlily, thanks very much," Lily grumbled, her back aching at the thought of yet another, 21-hour labour. "It took me ages to convince you not to call our son that."

"Well, names aside, we figured it was fair that way. Moony can be the sensitive one and you can share 'time of the month' stories and she can let you know when we're both being idiots and such... It's perfect, really. Ingenious, if I do say so myself."

"'Time of the month' stories?" Remus growled, taking Harry from James and rocking him carefully, wishing painful, messy and imaginative forms of death on his father all the while.

"What about me?" Peter interjected. James looked up, and sauntered over to his third best mate. He sniffled and rubbed his eye with the back of his hand.

"We didn't know how to tell you, 'Tail, but... would you do us the honour of being Harry's godmother?"

"Bastards," he mumbled, his face falling from where it had lit up, his fingers scratching at his forearms in an opportunity not to look too disappointed. Lily glared at James, who rolled his eyes, acquiesced all the same.

"S'alright, Pete," James told him, clapping him on the shoulder. "You can be honorary godfather for the first two, and proper godfather for the third. If you can convince Lily, that is."

He glanced at his wife, who fumed quietly and tried not to think of yet another 9 months feeling like a bloated whale, whilst trying to eat for two then throwing up for four.

"James Potter, you are never touching me again," Lily said calmly. She felt quite proud of herself, to be honest.

"Of course, dear," he muttered, tickling baby Harry, running his fingers up his left forearm. "Anything you want, dear." Lily slapped him on the knee, and James smirked. They weren't perfect, but hell - they were pretty damn close.

"Fuck Voldemort!"

James paused on his way down the stairs.

"Lily, this prophecy is very harmful. You know that it could be you, and if Lord Voldemort ever does find out, it's a 50/50 chance that he will choose to go after Harry, and consequently, you. The Longbottoms have already gone into hiding, so-"

"We," Lily stressed angrily, stirring a mug of coffee and not paying attention to the burning liquid spilling over the top, "are not the Longbottoms. Frank's capable of looking after himself, sure, but Alice isn't! A powerful witch, of course, but you know she hates violence, practically castrated the Ministry official who suggested she be an Auror. Which is quite contradictory when you think about it, but still! Albus!"

"I'm not suggesting that you and James are incapable of providing your own and baby Harry's safety, but in times of war, we can't afford to take risks."

James peered round the corner to see Albus Dumbledore, bright lime green robes and all, sitting in his kitchen.

"We need to take risks! Without risks, without living, Voldemort has won, Albus, and I will not let my son live in that kind of world, I won't."

"It's better than having him dead."

Lily gasped, and was obviously about to throw something potentially breakable, expensive and dangerous at the Headmaster when James decided to valiantly intervene.

"Harry's in bed. Reckon all the excitement of his Mummy and Daddy's anniversary knackered him out," he said calmly, leaning against the doorframe, and raising one cool eyebrow from behind his glasses. "Is there a problem, Albus? It's very late, you know."

"I was just leaving, thank you, James," Dumbledore reassured him with a troubled smile. "Please try and reconsider my proposal, Lily."

"I will not hide from him," Lily told him quietly, looking him in the eyes. Dumbledore nodded sadly, and Disapparated.


"No!" She shouted, throwing the cup of coffee against the wall with a resounding smash! Upstairs, Harry began to cry. They both ignored him. "No, you don't get to tell me what to do too! I will not be weak. We go into hiding, we are out of the Death Eaters, and no one gets out alive. All these years of planning, of playing it safe-! All for nothing. I can't do it, James, I won't!"

"Dumbledore's a controlling bastard who trusts us as far as he can throw us. Shit, all we've done, we can't back down now, Lil. We'll plan it out, go into hiding in a few weeks, when we know it's the best option. Okay?"

James ran a hand through his hair, watching the coffee run down onto the kitchen floor tiles.

"Okay," Lily whispered, casting a Scourgify and shakily resting her hand on the back of a chair, "Okay, I trust you. When did you get so bloody... calm?"

"Ah," he told her secretly, balancing one of his hands on her waist and letting the other play with the tie in her hair, "I've always been worldly-wise. I've just had to hide it, to make it seem fair for everyone else, you see."

"Conceited wanker," she murmured affectionately. Harry cried from upstairs. "Alright, I'm coming, I'm coming..."

James nodded briefly, and followed her up the stairs, making smooth motions with his wand and securing an Anti-Apparation ward around the house; no more nasty surprises from Dumbledore. He watched from the doorway as Harry tugged at the bars of his crib, struggling to stand up.

"What do we do, James? If we're caught? If Voldemort deems us... dispensable, or Dumbledore sees our Dark Marks? What do we do then?" Lily asked, looking at her son; their son.

James wondered if Harry would have the best, or the worst, of them.

"We do what we do best, Lily," he replied, picking Harry up and rocking him against his chest, cooing assurances to him. "We fight."

"Sirius! Left turn!" James shouted. Sirius did as he was told, effectively cutting of a Death Eater's curse with one of his own. The battlefield was alight with red and green, lighting up the Muggle street with a flurry of curses and cloaks.

The Death Eaters had attacked the Muggle town near Norwich; of course, James knew it was just to distract the majority of the Order as Voldemort planned a smaller-scale attack in Yorkshire, for whatever reason.

Still, the Order had fallen for it, and James, Sirius, Lily, Peter and Remus called Mad-Eye Moody, Emmeline Vance, Benjy Fenwick and Hestia Jones to the scene.

Their fellow Death Eaters weren't going easy on them, but James didn't care. They just had to distract Dumbledore's lot and keep them away from Yorkshire.

But, they still had a duty to keep the Order alive.

"James! Point blank!"

James turned on his feel and punched the Death Eater that had been standing right behind him. He nodded to Remus, who was busy keeping Lestrange away from Moody and trained on him.

Lestrange was probably having the time of his life, sadistic git.

"We need to get out of here!" Hestia said, panting and sending a Biting Curse straight at Nott's crotch. He howled painfully, and James winced in sympathy.

"You, Hestia, Moody and Benjy Apparate back to Headquarters, the rest of us will go further into the town, see what we can find!" Lily shouted over to Emmeline, twisting her wrist and effectively Stunning Mulciber. When it looked like Emmeline was about to argue, Lily turned to face her properly. "Now, Vance! We can handle it! Go!"

Emmeline nodded, but just as she turned to give the other members of the Order their instructions, she screamed. A spell the colour of silver hit Benjy straight in the chest.

They all held their breaths, and just as James reached out a hand, Benjy shattered.

"BENJY!" Hestia yelled, running over to him. But Benjy wasn't there; Benjy was dust on the cobbled ground. "No, no, Benjy..."

"We need to go," Moody whispered harshly, and Emmeline and Hestia turned to him with wide, disbelieving eyes. He just looked solemn. James nodded along, looking at the approaching, grinning Death Eaters, their wands trained on them.

"They won't be able to hold the fort forever," James told them, looking at Peter, Remus, Lily and Sirius who were deflecting the various spells back at them, protecting the huddled group.

"We can't just leave him!" Hestia collapsed and knelt down on the ground; Emmeline crouched next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and hugging her tightly. She looked at Moody and James with pleading eyes.

"We can't stay," James said softly, aiming a spell at a Death Eater who had snuck past their defence.

"You!" Emmeline growled, standing up suddenly, pointing a wand at a Death Eater who was looking shell-shocked in all the excitement. "You killed him!"

The Death Eater shook his head, stumbling backwards and tripping over the body of one of his fallen allies. His mask slipped off.

"Regulus!" Sirius screamed from where he had been battling Malfoy, darting forward to stand in front of his quivering younger brother. They all just stared. "Don't you dare hurt him, Vance. Don't you dare lay a finger on him," he panted, pointing his wand at the Order members.

"Stand down, Black," Moody growled at him.

Lily stopped her fight, and stood next to Sirius, keeping her wand drawn at her side. Remus cast one final spell before joining them, Peter at his side.

"Don't do this, Emmeline," James pleaded, watching the woman with weary eyes. Sirius had been searching for Regulus for months, not finding any traces of him in the Death Eater ranks.

All they could gather was that Regulus had attempted to leave, but had decided against it, remaining undercover most of the time. They didn't know why he changed his mind; maybe he had realised that no one got out alive, or maybe he heard of Sirius joining them.

Either way, Sirius would risk their cover without a second thought if it meant keeping Regulus alive.

With sudden pops, pulling James out of his thoughts, all the Death Eaters including Regulus, who had been huddled on the floor, Apparated away. Lily cursed under her breath, as did Emmeline.

"He killed Benjy. He killed our friend! And you were defending him? Brother or not, he deserved death for what he did. And now he's gone! He didn't just kill Benjy, Black, he destroyed him!" Emmeline fumed, her wand hand steady but her eyes darting between Sirius, James and the sobbing Hestia frantically.

"Emmeline-" James was cut off when a silvery phoenix Patronus flew into the middle of the warring groups.

"The Longbottoms are dead. Voldemort has fallen." Dumbledore's voice spoke through the phoenix's mouth. It disappeared, and just as James was turning back to Emmeline, he found his wand skittering across the stones.

He looked up at Moody, who was pointing his wand at him. He tied James' wrists together with a flick.

"I'm arresting all of you for abetting and aiding a known Death Eater, for possible relations with other known Death Eaters, possibly possessing the Dark Mark and not obeying orders given to you by a senior Auror. You do not have to-"

James tuned out Moody's speech, turning with wide eyes to Lily. She held her wand tightly in her grip, and fired a quick, wordless spell at all five of them just as Moody cast it away, and tied up her hands too.

His Mark tingled painfully, and he found his arm in Emmeline's death grip. James watched as the world and the frightened face of his wife spun away.

"Sir," James begged as they dragged him from the Ministry holding cells, clutching a metaphorical, one-way ticket to Azkaban in his hand. Sirius, Remus, Peter and Lily, dear sweet Lily, were being dragged behind him. "Albus, we're your students. We've always been on your side. We fought for you."

Dumbledore motioned for the guards to stop.

"We knew Voldemort would kill Harry or the Longbottom's kid - our son or our friend's son, how could we work for the man who would murder either of them in an instant?

"Of course we were all at the town in Norwich, we heard of the Death Eater's plans to be there - it's our job! We told Moody, we didn't realise it was a distraction. Why would we? No one knew he was going after Neville. Not tonight."

Dumbledore turned to look James in the eye.

He took his chance.

"Question us! Me and Lily, it was our idea to go to Norwich, yes? Use Veritaserum, if you like. We don't care; we're innocent! Just give us a chance. Just this chance. For Harry, Albus, for our son, who is waiting for his parents to come home."

He took a step forward. At Dumbledore's nod, the guards released the five of them, glaring at their turned backs as though, even if the trial proved them innocent, they would always be guilty. Dumbledore just looked sad.

"I trust you, James. The Ministry dare not criticize my judgement, but they usually pay the consequences for my infrequent mishaps... You were arrested by Auror Moody, though, and a few captured Death Eaters say that you were present at Death Eater meetings. But I will give you a chance. Just pray, for both our sakes, that this is not another of my mistakes."

"It's not, Professor," Remus reassured him softly, and as he rubbed his wrists where the silver chains were, only his friends recognised the dangerous gleam in his eyes that said that Albus Dumbledore would pay anyway.

"Innocent as the day we were born, we are," Sirius interjected cheerily, but the way he bounced told them that he was only waiting to get his hands on a wand.

"We'd never be Death Eaters, sir," Peter whispered, eyes wide and watery, but it showed that he would be watching Dumbledore's every move, waiting for him to just... slip up.

"They killed my parents, Albus," Lily said sharply, tapping her foot angrily, though it was far from directed at the Death Eaters, "and I sincerely hope they rot in Azkaban for it! Giving up names of the Order...! Pure malevolence, Albus. Those immature children," she growled, but her gave was far too focussed on the wizard in front of them.

"Trust us," was all that James said as he tugged his left sleeve further down his arm, but it was enough for Dumbledore to finally turn away, leading them to the interrogation rooms.

When they all sat down, they were on a different side of the table than they were used to.

Kingsley Shacklebolt, Albus Dumbledore, Dedalus Diggle and Emmeline Vance sat at their usual side of the table, expressions stoic and regretful at the same time. A wand sat in Kingsley's hand, recording every word they said.

"For the records, may you please confirm that Mr Black, Mr Lupin, Mr Pettigrew and Mr and Mrs Potter have agreed to the use of Veritaserum?"

"Yes," they all chanted loudly and tonelessly. Five glasses appeared, seemingly full of Butterbeer, and Emmeline took a vial from her pocket, and poured an equal amount into each with care. Sirius snorted and leant back in his chair.

They all drained their glasses, and choked. The Veritaserum had taken control.

"This interrogation on the 31st October, 1981 is being conducted by Aurors Shacklebolt and Vance, Trainee Dedalus Diggle and Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. We may begin."

"Mr Pettigrew. Who suggested that you join the Order of the Phoenix, and why did you agree?" Dedalus asked nervously; a new recruit, James thought with a smirk.

"Albus Dumbledore and Lily and James Potter. I wanted to join for the safety of all those innocent people." And their own safety, as well.

"Mr Potter. Why did you, along with your wife, suggest to Albus Dumbledore that you should be more important in the Order of the Phoenix, attempt to find out information? Surely we have enough spies to tell us that, without the five of you skulking round Knockturn Alley when you're known Order members." Kingsley asked, watching for James' reaction.

"We thought we could be more useful doing that." More useful to themselves. "We felt that something had to change." Just not in Dumbledore's favour. "We didn't want to be Death Eaters, to have the Mark-" at first "-because we didn't want to be at Voldemort's beck and call. We don't believe in the sodding-"

"Mrs Potter. Did you convince your husband to suggest the idea, or did he convince you?" Emmeline interrupted James, smiling tightly.

"We decided to suggest the idea together." Actually having the idea was another matter. "We didn't need convincing." To suggest the idea to Dumbledore; take down the king, and checkmate.

"Mr Black, did you associate with Death Eaters to help your family?"

"Of course I did." Shocked murmurs went through the room from both sides of the table. Dumbledore carried on looking regretful, Kingsley shocked, Dedalus horrified, and Emmeline stoic. "James, Remus, Peter and Lily are my family. I joined the Order because I thought they might need me." If one side decided they didn't need spies anymore and they had to choose. "I didn't want them to do it alone." Or survive whilst watching them die.

"Mr Lupin; what did Voldemort offer you to become a Death Eater and a spy for his forces?" Dumbledore asked, his first question.

"Oi!" Sirius shouted, standing up in his chair. James stood as well. "You have no right to ask that! No. Right!"

"Mr Black, Mr Potter, please sit down," Emmeline said softly, but with authority, appealing to James' inner, muddy-kneed eight year old who just wanted another ride on his toy broomstick. They sat down.

Dumbledore repeated his question to a stormy-faced Remus Lupin.

"I work for the Order and for you." But he was also a spy for the Death Eaters and for Voldemort. "He offered me nothing to become a Death Eater." Remus went willingly.

Dumbledore leant back in his chair, and watched them. None of them had lied; the Veritaserum would never allow that. But they had withheld the truth, and done it well. The Dark Lord wasn't gone, they knew, but they could play their parts for as long as they needed to.

The interrogation continued for another half hour- every one of them was getting even more agitated, until Lily caught James' eye, her gaze questioning.

He nodded, and turned back to face Kingsley, who was questioning him.

"One final question," Kingsley said, watching each of them for their reaction. "For all of you." They all held their breaths as a subtle shiver ran through their forearms; they had timed it all perfectly. "Do you have the Dark Mark?"

The clock on the wall softly chimed midnight, and all of them grinned.


So, just to clarify: for the Order, James and Lily were not spies, but it was their job to sneak around the Death Eaters, find out a bit more, and mainly, watch them. For Voldemort, however, they were spies, as Peter Pettigrew was in canon. Nobody but Death Eaters knew they had the Dark Mark; they were more dedicated to Voldemort than they were to Dumbledore. They're Dark!Lily&James, after all. Their spell to hide the Dark Mark was designed to activate two hours after it was cast, lasting for one hour.

Voldemort went after Neville rather than his own Death Eaters' son, and all five were released. You can make up your own future after that! I really hope you enjoyed it, and please leave a review - maybe?

-Odd x