Lily closely studied her reflection in the mirror and gave herself a sad smile. She was going to do this and she wasn’t going to back down. She brushed her hand through her hair just as the floorboards behind her creaked and she turned around to see James walking out of the bathroom, a toothbrush protruding out from his mouth.
“You ready?” he asked as Lily came up to him and started to fix the collar of his suit, Lily just nodded in response.
James grabbed hold of her wrist, stopping her in her tracks of fixing his overcoat.
“Petal, no-one is forcing you to do this,” he said, giving Lily a sympathetic glare which she could not look directly into.
“I want to,” she said determent, now moving onto fixing James’s cuffs. Without another word to one another James landed a kiss on her forehead.
“I love you,” he whispered into her ear and for the first time Lily felt numb, the warm fluffy feeling she use to get when James touched her wasn’t there, and she didn’t like the way she felt now…
The train belched out big puffs of smoke over the heads of the many students and adults who were saying their goodbyes or exchanging warm hugs, and as Lily and James came through the red-brick stone wall onto the platform, most of the people turned around to look at them.
James had his hand on the bottom of Lily’s back, persuading her to keep walking as he had already foreseen her breaking down in tears in the middle of the crowd when she saw all the happy and care-free children and parents. But to his amazement Lily only let out a little sigh and she didn’t stop walking until the two of them were safely on the train and in their own little compartment.
James sat down straight across from Lily just as the whistle sounded and the last few stragglers hurried onto the train, quickly kissing their parents goodbye.
James could feel his eyes starting to burn, he bit down hard on the inside of his cheek and his teeth tore into the soft flesh of his gum, making the metallic taste of blood slip down his throat.
For the beginning of the journey Lily had her head buried into the ‘The Daily Prophet’, just looking up from the newspaper to shoot James a little twitch of a smile, as to reassure him she was OK. While James on the other hand had his head resting against the cool glass of the window, doing the one thing that he loved, even more than playing Quidditch- staring and admiring his beautiful wife…
Lily pulled her coat off of her, as she and James walked down the empty halls, their shoes echoing loudly around them. They walked up the stone steps, which led to the Great Hall, just to find Albus and Minerva waiting side-by-side for them just outside the large wooden doors.
“Albus,” James croaked his voice thick with sleep from his long doze on the train journey.
“James! Lily!” greeted Albus, stretching out his long and bony hand to them. James shook it with a smile. The ‘mature’ wrinkles around is eyes etching into his skin. Lily brushed her hair away from her face and kissed Minerva lightly on both of her cheeks.
“I’m glad you chose to take up the positions as Potion and Defense Against the Dark Arts professors. I couldn’t get anyone else and I’m so very sorry about the timing,” Albus said, with a small bow of his head.
Lily did not reply to him, she was afraid if she did open her mouth she would curse him down to the ground for being so completely arrogant about their situation but then at the same time she wanted to praise him for giving her the job, for giving her a reason to get out of the house, and to keep on living.
When they had shook hands with all of the professors of Hogwarts. Lily took up her seat at the empty staff table, and as she sat there in the silence, she stared around at the Great Hall, nearly eight years had past since her last time of being in the hall and it seemed to not have changed one single bit. But that was Hogwarts- no matter how far you traveled or how long you went for, it would always feel like home when you came back to it- the one place where you belonged. Lily turned her attention up to the ceiling which now resembled the night-time sky outside and she could feel a smile cross her face.
A smile- the one thing she thought she would live life without.
Later that night Lily sat in her and James’s bedroom, sitting in the glare of the dancing candle light.
She picked up a large quill and placed it inches above the parchment, she looked over at James who was sitting up in the double bed.
She paused, not knowing which way to rephrase what she wanted to say. Then she placed the quill back down onto the parchment and let her hand flow.
I hope everything is well. Hogwarts has not changed one single bit since my last visit. Have the Blacks left you alone?? They are idiots I swear I would kill the whole lot of them if I could.
If they haven’t left you alone and if you want to, you know where the key to our Gringott’s vault is for the rest of the money and if the Goblins don’t let you into it, just write to us and James will go and get the money out for you.
If you need to talk just come over here and take a break, get away from things. I’m sure you will want to.
Sirius, I wanted to say thank you for being there for both of us. It really means a lot to us and I’m sorry I have to write it down instead of tell you face-to-face
I hope to hear from you soon.
Lily placed the quill into the ink bottle and folded the parchment neatly into a small square before placing it into an envelope and giving it over to one of the two owls who were sitting just on the inside of the opened window. The owl gave a quick toot before spreading its wings and soaring into the night.
Lily walked back over to the desk and took out another piece of parchment from her draw, she picked up her quill.
Will you please keep an eye on Sirius for me, he wasn’t looking well when I saw him last… please I don’t want things to built up on him and him doing something stupid that he might not be able to regret later. You know what he’s like when he gets drunk.
I made up a couple of more potions for you, they are in the kitchen in the fridge, you know the way you like them cold.
I hope you are well.
Lily sigh, folded up the parchment and handed it over to the second owl, who took off into the night just like the first owl.
“Are you coming to bed?” Lily turned to see James taking off his glasses and settling his head down onto his pillow, ready to go to sleep.
“Yea,” Lily said, checking the silver watch on her wrist, it read five past two.
Lily got changed into a nightdress before climbing into bed beside James, but her mind was on overdrive with worry and dread, as she stared out of the window at a speck of an owl soared into the distance on a night-time hunt.
The next morning the two of them woke up at seven o'clock to see the owl which Lily had sent to Sirius standing on the table and quietly eating the pellets out of the silver flat dish.
Lily jumped out of bed, waking James in the process and made her way over to the owl, she looked down at the envelope which was tied around its scaly leg.
Lily’s heart jumped up into her throat.
“James!” she screamed, terror plummeting through her whole body…
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