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Lily sat at the kitchen table, twisting a piece of thorn and damp tissue in her hand, she was concentrating on her rapid breathing, trying to make herself relax and for once not go for the bottle of gin, which now mocked her from its place on the kitchen shelf.

Lily sighed and bit her lower lip. Did she just do the right thing?

A letter sat opened on the table in front of the woman, written neatly across the paper was her best-friend, Alice’s words of persuasion, but no matter how much the poor woman wrote or how pleading she sounded, they did not work. Lily had her heart and mind set on this one opportunity of getting back to reality before she cracked up, so Lily did not listen to the Marauders or anyone else for that matter.

They all had a go in persuading both James and Lily not to take up the positions and both Sirius and Remus ended up having a fight with Albus in his office, who Sirius remarked just barely twenty minutes ago ‘had lost all his bloody marbles’ before storming out of the house…

Lily brushed her hand through her hair just as a ‘pop’ sounded from the hallway. Lily waited patiently, the noise of shoes could be heard hitting off the wooden floors and then James walked into the kitchen seconds later, his wand raised over his shoulder pointing at the bundle of boxes and bags levitating in mid-air behind him.

“Did you get everything?” Lily asked, as she watched the parcels land in a neat pile on the table.

“Yea, I think so,” James said flopping down with relief onto one of the chairs. Silence fell between the couple as Lily stood up and started pulling books and pieces of paper from one of the brown bags.

“I think-,” Lily stopped in mid-sentence, the sound of whining came into them from the hallway, closely followed by the noise of nails hitting the floor and the already slightly ajar kitchen door was pushed open, a large black shaggy dog came into view, its tail tucked between its hind-legs and its head bent between towards the ground.

Lily would had said ‘awe’ and fallen in love with the poor creature, if she didn’t already know who it really was.

“Piss off Padfoot!” James’s voice snapped from beside Lily, the second James had laid eyes on the dog; he jumped off the chair and without another glance towards the dog, he stormed over to the fridge.

The feature of the pathetic dog started to transform, the black hairs sinking rapidly back into its skin, its long snout residing back into its face… within seconds the handsome, slim figure of Sirius Black stood upright and proud, wearing an expensive looking suit.

“Oh Come on! This is ridiculous! Albus shouldn’t have asked the two of you! There are hundreds of more people in the world who can take the job!” Sirius barked.

“Lily,” Sirius said pleadingly, Lily looked at the man, trying her best to look rather bored and uninterested in his accusations. “Please, rethink it through,” he said softly.

Lily dropped the bag of owl pellets she was holding making them clatter onto the table.

“Sirius! I took what everyone said into consideration but I’m doing this for me,” she said, Sirius’s expression saddened and he heaved a sigh.

“I give up,” the man said, sounding defeated. He pulled out a chair and slumped down onto it..

Lily and James glanced at each other. They both knew what the other one was thinking… Sirius was not the type of man to ‘give up’ on anything.

“Here Prongs,”

Sirius’s voice was just barely more of a whisper, he lifted out a small brown pouch of galleons from an inside pocket “The Canons won,” he said throwing the bag over to James, who’s reflexes had not abandoned him in over a month of not playing Quidditch. The bag made a loud ‘clank’ as James caught it.

“Sirius, I don’t need it,” James moaned, walking over and placing the bag in front of his best mate “and anyway I think you need it more than us,” James said, Sirius looked up at him and they both smiled.

“Yea OK,” Sirius mumbled pocketing the bag. Lily’s head snapped around at the two of them just noticing what James had said.

“What do you mean?! I thought you were OK?!” Lily screeched in outrage.

Sirius looked up at her, and he had no need to say a word… his blue eyes told Lily everything…

“Sirius!” Lily screamed, and she watched as a tear streaked down the man’s cheek.

“I’m sorry,” Sirius mumbled and his whole body seemed to collapse, he placed his head on the table and started to cry. At the sight of the beaten man, Lily’s heart snapped in half, she stood up and moved around the table to sit down beside, she rubbed his back soothingly while making soft ‘shushing’ noises.

“It’s going to be OK Sirius,” she said looking around at James who was ruffling up his hair, an indication that he was completely lost for words.

Then as if Lily had just woken up from a long coma, it dawned on her- it was not just the two of them who were going through a living hell…

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