"Ouch! James…can we leave? I just rolled onto a stick."

"Not yet, the sun hasn't set!"

Lily groaned. "We've been sitting on this beach for hours. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I'm tired. And hot. And possibly bruised." She turned to her boyfriend, who was still staring up at the sky expectantly. "And I really don't care about the sun anymore."

"You can't not care about the sun, it's setting! It's romantic!"

"But why is it romantic? Because everyone else thinks it is? Maybe we're just not sunset people."

"Don't be ridiculous, of course we're sunset people. Everyone's sunset people."

"I've no idea why you've built this up in your head so badly-"

"That's just it," James burst out, turning to Lily as if that was the opening he was waiting for. "Things like this…they're supposed to be perfect. You build them up in your head, you know? I mean, you hear about the colors the sky makes and you imagine just watching this miracle with the person you love, and you can't imagine it could be anything less than what you picture. So you chase after it. But the thing is, once you really experience it…it's flawed. I mean, there are bugs everywhere, you're sweating like mad, and you've got sand in places you don't even want to begin to talk about. It's nothing like what you thought it'd be. And most of the time, that would be disappointing. But sometimes, and only if you're really lucky, it's not disappointing at all. Because sometimes once you get to experience what that thing you've been dreaming of is really like, you find that – somehow, miraculously - the flaws make it even more perfect. And unless you're really stupid, you hold on to that thing as tight as you can. Because you can't imagine going back to your life without it."


"I'm many things, Lil, but I've never been stupid."

And that was when she saw the ring he was extending toward her.

Lily hurriedly ran through the hall, passing door after identical door, looking for one in particular. Healers and Mediwizards called after her, offering her help, but she knew where she was going. Ignoring the people she was rushing past, she kept going until she saw a familiar face.

"Remus!" she called out, causing the wizard in question to look up. Beside him stood Sirius and Peter, midway through a conversation. She stopped in front of the trio. "How is he? They told me he's fine, but they won't let me see him. Is he in here?" She pointed to the door they were standing in front of, the door who's number she'd gotten from a piece of classified parchment she'd summoned from the patient information filing cabinet when the attending Mediwitch left to deal with the distraction she'd caused.

Remus seemed hesitant to answer. "Lily…"

"They said he's fine," she repeated, more to assure herself than anything. "He's fine, right?"

This time Remus spoke more directly. "His wounds aren't serious, he'll recover quickly…but Lily, there's something you need to know before you go in there."

For the first time since she heard of the attack, Lily paused. Then, "Remus…what's wrong?"

A/N - I'm writing this author's note to let you guys know how much I hate author's notes. Seriously, writing them bugs me. So, for those of you who aren't already aware, I'm going to plug my ff blog. The link is in my profile. (It is a Tumblr blog, but you don't need to have one yourself to go through it OR ask questions. So you have no excuses. Mwaha.) This blog is where I'll post links for new stories/chapters, as well as any additional information I feel like sharing about my work. (Think behind the scenes, teasers, quotes, updates, etc.) It's also where I can answer any and all questions you may have about any of my pieces. I guarantee your questions/concerns/gratuitous praise will be answered 1000x more quickly if you send them there - I only hop on ffnet to update and read new reviews but I am on my blogs every single day - and I think it's just all around more user friendly to compile the aforementioned information in a blog format. Did I mention I'm addicted to blogging? Anyway, this is the last a/n I'll post for this fic, so if you ever find yourself desperately needing to hear my voice, head over there. Cheers. -Izzi