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James Potter could not sleep. Not that he wasn’t tired; he had had a very long day, followed by a longer Order meeting. It had left him exhausted; yet he just couldn’t fall asleep. He lay next to his wife, his eyes firmly shut, counting unicorns. It was no use. After several more fruitless attempts, he gave up.

He opened his eyes, found his glasses on the nightstand, and gently wiggled himself into a sitting position. He looked down at the beautiful redhead lying next to him. Her hair was vibrant, even in the dark, and he could just make out the kind features of her face. Merlin, she’s gorgeous. Chuckling softly, he thought about how lucky he was to have her. It had not been too long ago, after all, that she had claimed to hate him. The road to where they were seemed so surreal, sometimes James even thought it was just one great, elaborate, glorious dream.

James noticed a small smile on Lily’s mouth. It was just like her, to smile even in her sleep. She was almost always smiling, and it was one of the things James loved best about her. Of course, she didn’t always smile. There were other nights, when the sadness of the events surrounding them became too much, and all she could do was cry. Those nights, he would hold her, while the weight of the world came out in her tears. It broke his heart to see her cry. It never lasted more than a night, though. And in the morning, she would be smiling again. Yes, even in these dark times, when it seemed sure the world was going to end, Lily could always find something to smile about. His lips curled upward. As long as she was smiling, he was too.

Glad that she was smiling, James turned his attention away from his wife. He furrowed his brow for a moment. Is she happy? She smiled, of course, more than anyone else he knew, but did that mean she was actually happy? Or was she just putting on a show? Did her smile display her true feelings, or was it simply what she thought others needed to see? That would be like her too. Smiling not because she was happy, but simply because she knew it would give others hope. He hoped she was. He had promised her she would be. She certainly seemed it, but was she really?

He looked back down at her. Lily stirred slightly, and he froze. “James,” she breathed. He smiled, and wondered if she was dreaming of him. “James,” she said, more clearly this time, “why are you awake?”

“Just thinking about how beautiful you are, love,” he replied.

“Interesting, because I was just thinking,” Lily rolled over, “about how annoying you are, dear.” She opened his eyes, and looked up at him.

“I love you too.” James said sarcastically. Lily beamed, and moved up to kiss him.

“ So, really, why are you awake?”

“I dunno,” he sighed, “I couldn’t sleep. I was just thinking about some things…”

“Things like what?”

“Like how beautiful you are.” He smiled at her.

“Oh ha ha.” She rolled her eyes, and shoved him playfully.

“I’m being serious!”

“Okay.” She rolled her eyes again.

“Really. I was thinking about you. And how beautiful you are. And how lucky I am. And how much you smile. And well… never mind.”

“No!” She said enthusiastically. “I want to know!”

“No, it’s stupid.”

“It’s obviously important enough to keep you awake. So, it’s not stupid. Please tell me.”

“Alright, I was thinking about, well wondering, I, Lily,” He looked into her curious eyes. “Are you happy?” She looked slightly shocked. “I told you it was stupid. You don’t have to answer.”

“It’s not stupid. And when are you going to learn that I don’t think anything you think is stupid? I am married to you after all.”

James laughed. “Well, you know, sometimes I forget about that.” Lily looked at him with a confused, yet slightly amused expression. “Well not like that, but sometimes I wake up convinced that the last few years have been a dream and I’m going to walk down into the common room, and you’re going to hex me for looking at you.”

Lily laughed this time. “I never hexed you for looking at me,” James opened his mouth to interject, but Lily beat him to it, “drooling, maybe. But certainly not looking.”

James smiled. “Okay, whatever you say.”

“Anyway,” Lily started, “Why would you think I’m not happy? Don’t you see me smiling all the time?”

“Of course I do Lily. It’s just, I dunno. I guess it’s just that, we’re at war. We’re off actually fighting in it. Our friends are dying. The maniac is trying to get us to join him, and there’s a very good chance that we’re going to need to go into hiding. It’s all very, very stressful. And I promised you you would be happy. I want to make you happy. And that’s all I want in life: you to be happy.

“You seem happy. Most of the time anyway. When nobody’s died. I… It just seems like you wouldn’t be. Like nobody would be. And it’s just amazing to me that you could be. With all the fear, and despair surrounding us. I- I- just- Are you?”

“James, are you unhappy?”

“I’m happy as long as you are.”

Lily smiled at her husband. “I’m happy, James.” A look of utter relief spread across his face.

“Really?”

“Yeah.” She nodded, “I am. You’re right, though. I mean, I’m not one hundred percent, all the time. We are at war, and our friends are dying, and that makes me sad. It’s stressful, yeah, but I- I don’t care. Well I do, of course I care, but, you know what I mean, right?”

James nodded. “I just choose to look on the bright side, or the brighter side anyway, because neither side is all that bright these days. But, I have the most amazing husband I could ever possibly ask for. Who can always make me laugh, and who would do anything for me, and who I would do anything for.” He smiled widely. “ And we’re fighting in a war, but we’re doing it to make a better world for our children, and grandchildren. And it’s terrifying, and it’s sad, but there’s nothing anyone can do about that. But with all of that, and the very good chance that our time will be short, why wouldn’t I be happy while I can be?

“I know most people wouldn’t be. And that it seems like I wouldn’t be. Like nobody would be. But I am. I promise.”

He smiled at her, and she smiled warmly back. “Good.”

“Ready to go to sleep now?”

“I think so.”

The both lay down. Lily fell asleep almost immediately. James kissed her forehead- and knowing she was really, truly happy- fell asleep shortly after. They slept soundly through the night, smiles on both of their faces.

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