"And then quietly and without you really noticing, someday is today,
and then someday is yesterday, and this is your life."
— Nathan Scott
With a groan and a squeak of the bed, James collapsed onto Lily. He buried his head into her neck as she wriggled under him, her fingers playing with the hairs at the nape of his neck. It was quiet, save for the sound of their slowing breaths and pounding hearts.
"James, you're squishing me." Lily huffed, her cheeks red.
"Oh, whoops." He cracked a grin, making no inclination that he was going to move. She shot him a glare, pouting playfully.
"James," She whined, "Gerroff me."
Chuckling, James lifting himself up into his elbows and looked down at Lily, a smile tugging involuntarily at the corners of his lips. "If you insist." he said simply as she opened her mouth to talk again, rolling off her smaller figure and onto his side. She shuffled towards him, her body automatically curving itself into his. His arm snuck under her, and Lily's eyes fluttered shut for a second. "By the way," James murmured, his lips at her ear, "You looked amazing tonight, Lils."
"I did, didn't I? Had to impress Sirius, you see." It was Lily's turn to smirk, her voice convincingly innocent.
"What're you doing in my bed, then?" James attempted to mask his amusement, quirking a brow when she turned to glance up at him.
"You seemed desperate. I mean, blimey, how many times can a lad eye up a girl?" She shrugged. He rolled his eyes.
"You've confused me with Sirius, I see." James teased, tickling her sides gently. Lily squirmed, batting his hands to the side with a breathy giggle.
"James Potter, you stop that right now." She gasped, trying and failing to escape his hold.
"Not until you admit that you were wrong." He smirked.
"Fine. Now stop!" With a laugh, he let her go. Flipping onto her side, she eyed his hands hesitantly for a second before giving him the benefit of the doubt and relaxing into the mattress. Reaching up to trace his face lightly with her fingers, she hummed contently. "Besides," she started, her fingers stopping at his lips before traveling upwards to the edge of his hairline and then brushing through his hair, "you're way more attractive than that git." Bringing her palm down to cup his jaw, she chewed on her bottom lip as his eyes finally met hers.
A soft sigh escaped her mouth as their mouths pressed together, something deep and fragile buried deep within them trembling at the touch.
It had been a year since they'd graduated from Hogwarts. Twelve months since they'd been thrust into the War they'd previously been sheltered from - influenced only by the headlines flashing across the top of that day's Daily Prophet. As days dragged onto weeks, the effect of the war on everyday life only grew. Sights of the Death Mark increased from day to day, and fear spread through the people like wildfire.
Though they felt these pressures, the younger witches and wizards also faced other problems as well.
The economy hadn't flourished under the new circumstances - fewer and fewer people were going out, the lack of trust they felt towards each other diminishing as the war surged forwards. Jobs were harder and harder to find — a stable, safer job even more rare. And so it was only with great difficulty that James had been able to land himself a job working in the the Auror Department office and Lily with a small job at a local muggle store.
Not without consequences, however. Work hours were long and often, it was unusual for James to step out the office until Lily had already succumbed to sleep. They saw each other less and less as James threw himself into his job, determined to use the most of his measly position to help the people he could, putting every ounce of energy into the war effort. The Auror that hadn't quite made it to an Auror, James Potter spent more time in the office than out.
But not even work or Voldemort could keep James away from his family at Christmas. With a bit of nagging from Sirius, carefully placed hints by Lily, and a few determined visits from Mrs. Potter, James pulled out his dress robes and, with Lily beaming past the wrinkles forming on her forehead on his arm, found himself right smack in the middle of the annual Potter Christmas Ball. And, James and Lily being who they were, ended eventually tangled together in the middle of the night.
Pulling away from the kiss a moment later, Lily smiled, resting her forehead against James' as she entwined their fingers together. Her eyes remained closed when she spoke, her voice dropping to a whisper. "I missed you."
"I see you everyday, Lils." James' forehead creased as he let go of her hand, reaching up to stroke her hair back from her face. Lily frowned, her eyes popping open.
"No. I mean, yes, technically, but no. You don't." James looked at her quizzically. "You're never home anymore, James. And when you are, it's two in the morning. I know… I know that you've been busy with work and all, but I just — I guess I just really missed you. Being with you like this. I feel like I haven't properly talked to you in days." Lily let out a nervous laugh, reddening under his stare.
"Lily —" James started, his voice soft.
"I'm being silly, aren't I? I mean, you work for the god damn Auror office, and they need you a lot more than I do. And the Order's new and all and it's for Dumbledore, and… I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought it up." Her voice was a mumble, her fingers fiddling with the cover thrown haphazardly on both of them. James remained silent for a while, looking up from Lily to the half-open window across the room, a thoughtful expression taking hold of his features.
"Lily," He started a moment later, cutting Lily off when she opened her mouth to speak. "Don't be sorry." She glanced up with a frown, "I know it's been tough, to say the least, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't really fucking miss you too."
She tensed, "But."
"But… Someone's gotta be there for everyone else, too. Someone's gotta be there for those kids in the office." James let out a small chuckle, "Who else will babysit them?"
"Someone whose name doesn't start with 'J' and end with 'ames'?" Lily grinned meekly. He rolled his eyes, flicking her hair.
"Ooh, I got it this time." James raised a brow, "Sirius."
"When pigs start flying, I'll take that suggestion seriously."
"Well, we could always arrange that. I do know magic, you know. Funny how things work out that way."
James let out a laugh, shaking his head from side to side, lapsing back into silence. "Yeah, funny." He murmured. "Listen, Lily, there's — I haven't been… There's something you need to know." His voice was tight when he spoke up, his eyes staring determinedly out the window as he adjusted his grip on Lily. Worry clouded immediately over her eyes.
"What is it?" She tried to keep the wobble from entering her voice. It didn't work.
Shutting his eyes tight, James removed his arm from under Lily, bringing his hands up to rub his face. Turning onto his back, he propped himself up on the headboard and kept his gaze straight as he began speaking.
"I got an offer. A promotion, I guess." He cut Lily off before she could get out a word, "As an actual Auror." He added softly, "So that's where I've been. I haven't been working, Lily. They've started my training a few weeks ago, and I've a month left before the examinations. They said… They said that they needed someone like me. They need me to fight for them. Guess all those extra hours at the office really paid off?"
"An Auror." Lily's voice raised in pitch as she sat up in stunned silence. "You, an Auror."
"Yeah, that's… That's, yeah." He shifted, finally bringing his gaze back to Lily.
"Like Benjy. Before he went on that mission and got killed by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Like Marlene, who got murdered by Lestrange. Like —"
"It's not like that, Lily! It won't be like that. They need me." She let out an uncontrolled laugh, turning to face him with an almost wild look reaching her eyes.
"Don't you fucking dare say that, Potter. Don't. You. Fucking. Dare. Has it never occurred to you that I need you too? That I hardly gotten a wink of sleep on the nights you're out working? That I'm left here worried sick that something's happened to you, that something's happened at the Ministry while you're still stuck in that godawful place? And that's just because you work in the Ministry. You work in that building, and I can barely stop myself from apparating there every day just to check to see if you're still alive. What do you expect me to do once you become an Auror? What do you expect me to do when I know you're out there looking for Voldemort and his terrible little army? I can't do that, James. I can't just sit here knowing that there's a highly good chance that you won't be making it home in one piece, much less alive, and that you're out there every day as practically… a target!" Tears built up in her eyes, threatening to spill over as she waved her hands around exasperatedly."Did you even consider speaking to me about this before you agreed? How long's a few weeks, James? Were you just planning on lying to me about this until I saw your name in the headlines of the Daily Prophet?" Hurt leaked from her words and the cracks in her voice, the words tumbling out almost effortlessly.
"That's exactly why, Lily! That's why they need me and why I need to do this. How many people do you think worry about the exact same things every night? But who else would do it if we didn't? How do you think I could live with myself if I never took this chance to save you, to save me, us, the whole wizarding world, and because of that, someone hurt you? If anyone got hurt because I didn't take this one risk? Filing cabinets and arranging paperwork's important, sure, but really getting to fight? It's one risk to save the world, and I'm sure as hell not going to miss that chance.
"Do you want to know why I didn't tell you? Because I knew you'd be like this, and I knew I'd cave if I saw you, Lily. I knew that I wouldn't do it if you told me not to. So I didn't tell you. I didn't tell you and I accepted the offer and I started the training. But don't you think for a second I didn't want to tell you, that I wasn't dying to tell you about doing this the second I even started. I know it was wrong and that it was selfish of me, but I had to, Lily. You have to understand that I had to. Because I love you, Lily Evans. I love you so fucking much, and I'll do whatever I need to in order to keep it that way."
Lily shook her head, her eyes trained on the ceiling. "Your brother said that too. But that never stopped him from… From leaving." She crossed her arms, voice stubborn and frosty.
"Lily." His voice was sharp and his head jerked up.
"It's true, isn't it?" She met James' gaze, seemingly unfazed by his reaction.
"That's not fair, and you know it." He gritted his teeth, his fingers curling around the bed sheets.
"I — I know. I'm sorry. I don't… I shouldn't have said that." She paused, blinking quickly. "I just… I can't do this, James. I really can't." The fight was gone from her voice, her shoulders sagging and her head hanging low. "I don't want you to go. I don't want you to do, James! I don't want to have to worry about you every day, wonder whether or not you'll actually be home for dinner or if I'll have to heat up leftovers again or if the dinner'll just run cold. I don't want to have to worry about you. You've got this obsession with playing the hero and helping others, and God, I know how great that makes you and — don't get me wrong — I love that about you. I get it. I get that feeling you get in your stomach when you see those damned Prophet headlines everyday. I know how fucking... hopeless and useless you feel just sitting there at the office filing papers when you know you could be out there, actually going something about it." She let her last words hang in the air for a moment before continuing, "We joined the Order for that didn't we? But... being in the Order was dangerous enough, James. And now you're becoming an Auror, and I'm supposed to sit here, reading between the lines of the Prophet to figure out what's going on, and just watch? I don't know if I can do that. I can't."
Reaching forwards to grip her shoulders, James lowered his voice. "That's bullshit, Lily. You're strong. You're the strongest person I know. You're brave and you're tough and you'll be fine. I'll be fine." His voice was tight, "I'm scared as hell too, Lily. I'm a fucking baby trembling in my boots everyday we're in training, but I know that it'll be okay one day. Someday, this will all add up — all the fear and the bravery, the hope and the risks — and then we'll know that it was worth it. But that day's not today, and all we can do now is fight for someday."
"And what if that never comes? What if something happens before someday?" She exhaled, blinking quickly and pressing into his touch.
"We'll know that we fought for it, Lily, and that we made it that much closer to being someday. That's all we can do."
Squeezing her eyes shut, Lily nodded slowly.
Someday, James will drop down to one knee and trip, sprint, and stumble over his words until Lily screams 'yes' before he can even finish.
Someday, Dumbledore will knock on the door in the wee hours of the morning with news from a frizzy haired Seer, and James and Lily's faces will pale and their hearts will drop. Both James and Lily will quit their jobs and devote their time entirely towards the Order.
Someday, James and Lily will have a small, quiet wedding. Lily will stun in a simple white dress, her belly protruding a foot from her body. James will forget how to speak — again. Tears will be shed and vows will be made. Cake will be thrown and flowers will be caught.
Someday, Lily will huff and puff until a boy with jet black hair and emerald green eyes greets the world for the very first time. James will beam and rub at his eyes, Sirius will whoop and promise to teach the little boy everything he knows, Remus will grin, and Peter will worry.
Someday, James and Lily will move to Godric's Hollow to hide from Voldemort, a smiling infant cradled in Lily's arms. James will make Sirius the secret keeper and he will pace inside his home until Lily warns him against pacing a hole in the middle of the living room floor.
Someday, Sirius Black will give Harry Potter his first broomstick, and he will nearly kill their cat. He will give his role of secret keeper to Peter, who will almost say no. But he doesn't.
Someday, a man will dress in a black hood on Halloween and he will ask for more than just candy when he knocks on the door of the Potters.
But for now, James Potter and Lily Evans will drift slowly to sleep with the thought of someday in their minds.
A/N: Hello again, FFN! So, I guess you could say that I've come back. To writing, to the boy who lived, to fanfiction. Anyways, I wrote this for Jily October and in honor of the anniversary of their death. Hope you liked it!
Cheers! (and Happy Halloween!)