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Disclaimer: All of these characters belong to the genius J.K. Rowling, none of them belong to me. What I make them do, however, is a different story :D



"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go."
-Herman Hesse


There were jets of light flying everywhere, the purples, pinks, reds, and greens shooting through the air, contrasting brightly against the dark night sky. There was a warm wind blowing that carried the promise of rain, and there were no stars present on this night, for thick clouds were shielding them from view.

The Death Eaters seemed to have the edge to this battle. While the Order of the Phoenix was working as hard as they could, they simply did not have the manpower tonight to win. But they weren't about to give up. In the field where the fight was taking place, Order members were scattered about, fending off the Death Eaters, who were steadily gaining.

"Look out!" James Potter yelled over his shoulder as he spotted a Death Eater at his right shooting a spell, and at once his best friend and fiancé ducked, a stream of green light narrowly missing their heads. As soon as it passed, however, both Sirius Black and Lily Evans, the friend and fiancé in question, were up again, standing back to back and firing spells at Death Eaters so quickly the lights from their wands were blending into one another. James didn't have time to watch them however, as a new Death Eater was taking up much of his concentration.

"We're outnumbered!" Lily shouted hopelessly. She felt Sirius tense and she ducked. A green light just missed her ear, and she fired a Stunner behind her shoulder. There was a satisfying thump that followed which meant she had just knocked a Death Eater unconscious.

"I know," Sirius replied, shooting a few complex jinxes at two advancing Death Eaters. They fell where they stood, instantly unconscious. "We have to get back soon, there's no way we can win this one." Just as he finished speaking, there was a flash of green light and a shout of pain from Sirius's right, completely grabbing his attention.

"James!" Sirius shouted, turning to look through the darkness. "You okay?" He heard a sharp intake of breath from directly behind him, and he knew Lily was waiting for a reply. Instinctively, she grabbed Sirius's wrist tightly, and he could feel her hand shaking.

"Yeah, I'm okay!" James's voice sounded, and Sirius released the breath he had been holding. He broke away from Lily and headed over to his best friend, all the while firing spells off at the advancing Death Eaters.

"Get Lily out of here!" he instructed James, waving his arm behind him to indicate Lily, who was struggling to fight two Death Eaters at once.

"We all need to get out of here!" James shouted, and up close Sirius could see sweat and blood on his best friend's face. "It's just-" he ducked as two different spells nearly hit him. "Hey Padfoot, a little help?" At once, Sirius and James shot two Stunners at James's Death Eater, hitting him right in the chest.

"Where's Remus?" Sirius craned his neck and tried to spot his other friend, but it was now far too dark to see more than a few inches in front of his face.

"I don't know, I lost sight of him a bit ago. Peter too. Watch it!" Sirius leapt to the side and caught some sort of spell in his leg, causing it to burn fiercely. Ignoring the pain, he jumped to his feet, trying to steady himself.

"James we have to go now." His voice was urgent, insistent. Above them, there was a low grumble of thunder, warning of the approaching storm.

"I've gotta find Remus, he's my partner." The Order members had taken to choosing partners each mission. You didn't leave without your partner, or at least knowing where he or she was. It helped save time, and also cut down on the many 'Well I'm not leaving till you find him either!' arguments.

"Okay, I've got Lily. I don't think we can App-" At that moment, there was an explosion of light that seemed to illuminate the entire field the group was fighting in, causing Sirius and James to look up as time stood still for the briefest of seconds, and then the light rushed forward, bringing with it a wind that knocked everyone to their feet. James took one look around, and instantly his eyes landed on Lily, who flew through the air before slamming into the ground.

"Go!" James bellowed, and Sirius was off. He ran to Lily, grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet, then the two took off into the woods surrounding the field. They ran without thinking, without stopping. They both knew that looking back could be deadly, but the unfamiliar woods ahead were not offering much comfort either. Jets of light flew by their heads as they both struggled to remain sprinting, though their bodies were protesting angrily.

"Sirius… much…farther…" Lily gasped out after minutes of running.

"No not much farther," Sirius responded breathlessly, interpreting what she was trying to ask. "We can't Apparate just yet." With Anti-Apparition fields up, the Order had been having a harder time retreating from precarious situations.

Sirius could hear Lily's sharp, uneven breathing as they ran through brambles and sticks that scratched at their legs, weaving around trees as they dodged spells. Every so often she let out a small whimper and stumbled, but he made sure she didn't fall. He tried to offer a comforting word, but his chest was restricted, the pain in his arm from where he had landed on it earlier was growing. He knew he couldn't run much farther, and neither could Lily. As if in response to his thoughts, she suddenly tripped and landed hard on the ground. Sirius stopped quickly and bent down beside her, all too aware of the approaching Death Eaters that had followed them into the forest.

"Lily, you okay?" She shook her head, biting her lip in pain.

"My ankle, I- I landed on it earlier and now it-" she stopped and sucked in a deep breath. Even in the inky darkness Sirius could see how much Lily was in pain, and though she tried to disguise her voice, it was clear she was trying very hard not to cry. Sirius was thinking hard of a way to get them to safety, but suddenly became aware of an eerie silence. Sirius realized that the spells from the pursuing Death Eaters had abruptly ceased altogether. That wasn't right. He knew from experience they wouldn’t give up on a chase so easily. No, they were playing with them, toying with their prey before going in for the kill. His instinct was telling him to run, but he knew that Lily couldn't run anymore. There was a sudden crack of a stick from nearby, and Sirius’s heart began thudding in his chest.

“What are we going to do?” Lily’s soft voice came from beside him. She had her hand tightened around her wand, but Sirius knew it wasn’t going to be much help if they were surrounded by Death Eaters.

They would have to find somewhere to hide. Sirius’s keen eyes scanned the dark forest and he picked out a spot through a cluster of trees to his right that appeared to be covering a hole of sorts. He waited a few more seconds, catching his breath, and then helped Lily to her feet. She looked at Sirius uncertainly, watching him as he counted softly. Suddenly he grabbed Lily's wrist and dove for the section behind the trees, just as three jets of green light shot through the air where the two had been standing only seconds before.

They landed hard in a fairly large pit in the earth, well hidden by leaves and branches, but one Sirius had been able to make out with his trained eyes. He held his breath, hoping the Death Eaters hadn't seen the little detour. Beside him, Lily's breathing was coming out harsh and ragged as she struggled to sit up. Sirius placed a comforting arm around her shoulders as he sat down farther in the hole, listening intently as the Death Eaters discovered that their quarry had escaped. She moved beside him, shaking as a sharp bang of thunder exploded from the heavens.

"If they find us we're dead," she whispered very quietly to him. The Death Eaters were breaking into groups, plowing through the woods, shooting spells in every direction.

"You're right."

But it sounded as if the Death Eaters were bypassing their hiding spot; many footsteps were running past, snapping twigs and kicking up leaves. There were angry shouts echoing through the night, curses and threats reverberating through the forest. A few terrifying moments passed as they searched right beside the hole, and Sirius gave Lily's shoulder a comforting squeeze as he looked up at the sky and silently mouthed a prayer that they wouldn't be found. If Sirius had been alone, he wouldn’t have hidden like this, but he wasn’t about to endanger Lily for his pride. After a minute, the voices had grown more distant.

"You think we can-" Lily began, but Sirius shook his head, silencing her.

"No, not yet." He settled back against the edges of the trench, his body becoming less tense as seconds passed and there was no sound of Death Eaters. But he didn't want to chance it, not just yet, and they were not yet far enough away to Apparate. With Lily unable to run properly, they couldn't afford being chased again.

"So…" Lily began tentatively, her voice shaking a little as it cut through the darkness. Sirius noted that she was rubbing her ankle, trying to appear inconspicuous, but he could hear her gasp as her fingers brushed against the bone. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Sirius?"

"Mmm?" Sirius replied distractedly, leaning his head a little to the side as he listened for any more sounds coming from the woods. The shouts were getting further away; something was leading the Death Eaters in the opposite direction.

"How do you think the others did?" Even though she disguised it well, Sirius knew she was scared- not for herself, but for her future husband and her other friends.

"They're fine. I know it." His confident tone seemed to assuage her fears for the moment, and she sighed, rearranging herself so that she was sitting closer to her friend. Sirius knew that it was highly unlikely that they would all get out of this battle alive, but he wasn't about to tell Lily that. He listened intently for a few minutes more, all of his senses on edge, until she yet again broke the silence.

"So…" she began again, this time a bit more easily, seeing as how there were no more sounds coming from the dark forest. “I'm getting married in two weeks."

"You sure are," Sirius said, grinning. The topic had been a favorite of Lily's for awhile now, and Sirius found it strangely humorous that in the middle of the woods, when their lives depended on hiding in this stupid hole, all she could think about was her wedding. "And I'm going to be James's best man, and it's going to be a spectacular day and everyone is going to have lots of fun and you and James are going to have a ridiculously happy life together."

"I hope so." Lily paused, and Sirius had an idea of what she was thinking. Mostly because he was thinking the same thing.

"Things are going to be different, aren't they?" she asked, brushing her hair back out of her face as she grimaced in pain.

"Shh," Sirius mumbled. "I have to listen." A bang of thunder shot through the woods, and Sirius tensed, before chiding himself on being so edgy.

"Sirius?" she asked persistently, knowing he was being evasive. "They are, aren't they?"

"Yep, they are," Sirius responded truthfully.

"Bad different or good different?" He laughed softly- sometimes her childlike innocence really did shine through. They were hiding in a pit of dirt in the middle of the woods, and little Lily wanted to know if things were going to be different after she got married.

"Good different Lils. Good different." She stirred slightly beside him.

"You haven't called me Lils in a long time."

"I know." He put his hands behind his head and sighed. "It's against the rules now, isn't it?"

"To call me Lils? Surely James wouldn't mind if you called me by a nickname."

"Somehow, I think James would mind," Sirius laughed. "Considering that the only person who ever called you Lils was me, and that was only when we went out." Lily laughed a little too. She shifted beside Sirius so that she was leaning her head on his shoulder.

"I'm going to miss this a lot," she suddenly whispered, her voice cloaked in some emotion Sirius couldn’t quite place.

"Miss what, love? Hiding from crazed Death Eaters? That won't stop after you get married." A flash of lightning illuminated the small area for a moment before darkness enveloped them again. The air was growing thicker, more humid, as the storm approached.

"You know what I mean. These talks, this…" she trailed off, but Sirius knew what she meant.

"Lily, we can still talk."

"It won't be the same." She sighed. "But don't get me wrong," she covered quickly. "I definitely love James. So much. It's just-"

"Lily, you don't have to defend your love for James to me. I know you love him. But I'm going to miss these talks too." Sirius paused, listening once again for any outside noises. He felt Lily's hand brush his shoulder, and instantly he tensed.

"I'm trying to listen," he lied, trying to supply an excuse for his edginess. She saw right through it.

"See, things are already changing. Sirius, I don't want us to change." She sounded particularly naïve at that moment, and Sirius felt irritated by it.

"Lily, how can things not change? You're going to be married, for Merlin's sake." Lily couldn't help but detect a note of coolness in his voice, and she winced.

"You are okay with it, right? Us getting married? I mean, I did ask you first before I said yes to him, and you said-"

"I know what I said. And I stand by it. You two belong together. He's so completely in love with you, and you two are perfect for each other. What we had Lily, that was something completely different. It was- it wasn't the kind of love you have for James."

"No, it wasn't," Lily admitted, crossing her arms as she leaned against the dirt wall. "But it was still love, wasn't it?"

"Why are you talking about this now?" Sirius asked curiously. "You don't have cold feet, do you?" His voice held the smallest bit of suspicion.

"No, of course not. But answer the question Sirius, it was still love, wasn't it?" Sirius inwardly cursed himself for allowing her to set him up like that.

"Of course it was love Lily." He felt her moving beside him, and he held out his hand, knowing that was what she was grasping for. She slipped her hand easily inside his, and he was painfully reminded of all the times he had walked hand in hand with her through school, during late night rendezvous…their hands fit perfectly together, her smooth, petite one inside his large, calloused one. Complete opposites, much like the people the hands were attached to. A branch snapped somewhere in the distance, and both of them tensed. Silent minutes passed, but there were no more sounds. When Lily spoke again, she was much quieter.

"Remember our first kiss?" she asked, and Sirius laughed softly.

"Yes, and I remember how you almost punched me after I kissed you. If I recall correctly, you called me the ugliest git you had ever laid eyes on, and you hoped I got eaten by the giant squid." Sirius smirked. "Remember our first-"

"Yes," Lily cut him off, and he knew she was blushing. "So you're sure you're okay with it all? The whole getting-married thing?"

"I am positive Lily Evans. You have my blessing, if that's what you're after." He felt her turn and smile into his shirt and knew he had hit right on target. "So that's what this is about. You want to make sure I approve of your little romance with my best friend. Lily, listen to me."

She sat up, and he could picture in his mind's eye her solemn face, a little dirt-smeared and scratched from fighting, her bright green eyes sparkling as she listened intently to what he said.

"Some things in life just aren't meant to be. We were one of them. An anomaly of fate, but the classic cliché. Good girl meets bad boy. Doomed from the start, right?"

"Sirius, don't talk like that. We weren't like that." Sirius grimaced, he knew she was right. But he couldn't let her know that. The truth was, he would always have a spot in his heart for Lily Evans, who was about to become Lily Potter. But he knew nothing would ever become of it- nothing could ever become of it. Just another cruel trick fate has chosen to play on him. A light rain began to fall and Sirius lifted his head up, letting the drops run down his face, blocking out bad memories and cynical thoughts of the future.

"You know I-" he began, but was interrupted by a sudden rustle of leaves. Instantly he had his wand out, his whole body tense. He had made a big mistake, letting his guard down like that. Now he could have cost them their lives.

"Lily! Sirius!" came the earnest call from behind their little hideaway. Relief flooded through Sirius as he recognized the voice.

"Over here James," Lily called, struggling to stand. She cursed under her breath as she grabbed her ankle again.

"You guys okay?"

"We're fine," Sirius replied, thinking about how much of a lie that was. He wasn't fine, at least. But he would be, he knew. In time, he would be fine.

"How about the others?" Lily asked anxiously as the rain began to pick up. That was Lils, always thinking about everyone else, even if she was injured. Hell, Sirius thought, she'd care about everyone else even if she was dying.

"Everyone's okay. The Death Eaters are gone." A lit wand illuminated the small pit and James's face came into view.

From the light, Sirius could make out the scratches on Lily's face for the first time. She had a deep gash on her jaw line and a scratch on her cheek, but she shook her head when she caught him looking. I'm fine, she mouthed, before turning to James, who held out his hand to help her to her feet. She shook her head, wanting to stand up herself, but then grabbed his hand anyway and allowed herself to be pulled up, suddenly hugging James tightly in relief. Sirius stood after her as James walked ahead to call Remus and Peter over. As the two friends stepped out of the hole, Lily brushed her lips against Sirius's cheek, then turned and continued walking, or rather, limping, as if nothing had happened. For all Sirius knew, he could have imagined the whole thing. He smiled at the girl walking in front of him and suddenly came up and hugged her from behind, breathing in the sweet smell that was Lily.

"Bye Lils," he whispered to her, as he heard James, Remus, and Peter approaching.

"Bye Sirius," she said, and then they broke apart, Sirius feeling his heart aching and Lily's feeling lighter. They had finally let each other go.




A/N: This was The Plot Bunny That Would Not Die, I just had to write it. I hope you enjoyed it, and any feedback at all is greatly appreciated.

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