Remus had not been at the Order meeting long and he was regretting the change for what felt like the hundredth time. He sat there thinking about James who was in his place, knowing life could be rough. He worried how James was handling the wolf. He knew he should have insisted on waiting until after the moon. This was no easy time to take on the wolf particularly when one didn’t quite have practice, but the encroaching moon made matters worse.  He didn’t doubt James, but how could he have agreed to allow one of his best friends to take over the mantle of maintaining the beast? The guilt continued to build as he was greeted by fellow members of the Order. He put on a ‘brave face’ as most saw it and smiled. It was no secret to anyone that James had been worried sick over his family, what the prophecy had said and what Voldemort had heard.


Eventually most everyone arrived at the meeting and order was called which didn’t help Remus in anyway. His mind wasn’t in the present, but back to when he was still himself and agreeing to switch with James.  Thoughts of his shelter in the slums, his work with Bigsby and getting accepted by the wolves made it impossible to concentrate. He had been very informative to Dumbledore but had it been enough for James to pick up where he left off?


Remus was so deep in thought that he literally jumped in his seat as Sirius clapped him on the shoulder before sliding into a chair next to him. He was late which was rather normal for him to be honest; nonetheless it earned him a death glare from Moody, who was speaking at the moment.


“Still on edge, Prongs?”


Remus adjusted James glasses on his face as they had slid down some in his surprise. He wasn’t used to such a limited range of sight at all. He forced a smile on his face, reminding himself that while he personally still had issues with Sirius, James did not. “Yeah, I guess you could say that,” he admitted.


“No worries mate, I’ve got the perfect thing for you.” Sirius gave his best friend a perfect grin that simply oozed confidence.




“I’ll come over to your place after the meeting and tell you then. I think Moody’s about ready to shove a wand down my throat reminding us all about constant vigilance.”


Remus looked back at Moody who has turned his normal eye back to the diagram he had conjured up.  His newly acquired magic eye continued to stare them down, giving Remus an unsettled feeling.


“I’d be more worried about that eye of his,” said Remus going against his natural instincts to shut up. He knew that James would have joked with Sirius at this point even if he were feeling a bit off.


Sirius continued to grin. “You notice how he never says where he got that thing? Spooky.”


“I’d be less concerned about my eye and more concerned about how you hope to survive the next coming months, Black,” snarled Moody interrupting his own lecture to glare at them full on.


“Constant vigilance!” proclaimed Sirius sitting upright holding up his middle and forefinger. “We will be having three groups Apparating simultaneously along the perimeter of the building to hold position while you and those select few Auror-trained will be moving forward to scout out any potential traps and setting up Apparition counter charms. You were about to explain the next step which I assume is us moving in on the building,”


This caused Remus to laugh a little bit as he could tell that Sirius had gotten under Moody’s skin. He sobered up quick enough though as he knew that the jokes were done for now. This wasn’t just another Defense Against the Dark Arts class where James and Sirius could goof off the whole time and not worry. Failure in a class wasn’t a big deal because they could always pull something off to make up for it. This was life and death; this wasn’t something they could simply make up if they made a mistake.


The moment the meeting was done, Sirius was out of his seat faster than James’ old snitch.  He placed a hand on Remus’ shoulder pausing long enough to say, “I’ve got to see to something first, but I’ll see you at your place.”


Remus wondered what Sirius was up to and watched him walk away for a moment.  He chanced a look at Dumbledore who gave him an almost imperceptible nod.  Nothing was amiss for the moment. He could go ahead and Apparate to Godric's Hollow and wait for Sirius to come by with whatever his brilliant plan was.


When he arrived he was glad that he knew the location of where James and Lily lived after the Fildelius charm was placed on the house, otherwise the plan for him to play James living with Lily and Harry would have been impossible. He landed just outside the door he thought for a moment to knock but realized in some ways it was not necessary.  He took the handle and crossed the threshold with ease.


"James or Remus?" said Lily the moment the door opened.


Remus paused in the door at the question. So she knew. Clearly she had been informed about James' idea; Dumbledore had said as much. Really, Lily was the last person he wanted to try and fool any way, and there just were certain things that he could not do in James' place. James would kill him for one and he would never forgive himself, either. Not to mention that while Lily was beautiful, he wasn't interested in her romantically.


"Remus," he said softly stepping into the house to see Lily sitting in a rocking chair facing the door. She held Harry in her arms, and he seemed to be asleep.


"Figures," said Lily her tone flat as she stood up with Harry and walked out the room. Remus could tell she wasn't happy with the turn of events though he wasn't sure how to deal with it. Lily usually exploded when angered and this was not an explosion. He wanted to take the lack of an outburst to be a good thing, but he had this gut instinct that a quiet Lily was worse than a raging one. He gave a dry swallow and adjusted his glasses standing there in the entryway not sure of where to go or what to do.


Lily came back without Harry and stood at the entrance that led to the back of the house, arms crossed and a frown painted on her face as she leaned against the wall and stared at Remus. The silence between the two of them grew and Remus felt like he was going to crack under pressure, but he wasn't sure what it was he was supposed to say or do now.


"You weren't supposed to be here," said Lily finally breaking the stony silence.




"You were the sensible one! You were supposed to tell James no! Why in Merlin's name did you agree to do this?"


Lily's tone was very accusatory and it caused Remus to duck his head much like a scolded puppy. "I'm sorry Lily, I didn't know you were opposed to this whole thing."


"Of course I was! Did you think for a second I wanted to be without my husband? That I wanted things to be this way? Suffice it to say my feelings on the matter weren't even brought up, were they?"


Remus felt sheepish. "They weren't."


"I am going to kill that man! The moment I get to see him again, I am going to kill him. When the switch is made back, you better not hold out any hope you're body is in one piece, because I am going to kill him!"


This was the raging Lily that Remus had expected. It put him at ease some, but not by much. He never knew what to expect from an angry Lily and the general rule of thumb when she was in a full-on rage was to run.


Yet the storm didn't last. Remus realized that instead of raging, she was crying. "Lily, I -" Remus drew closer as a friend wishing to comfort another; he gingerly reached out a hand to touch her arm. He had barely grazed it and Lily had flung her arms around him sobbing into his shoulder. He gingerly placed his arms around her.


"I just want my husband back, Remus!"


"If I had known - " he trailed off not sure what he would have done. Doing this was so important to James and yet having him there with her was so important to Lily.


"I'm sorry," he finally spoke a while later when Lily's tears subsided a bit.


"It's not entirely your fault, Remus. I know James has a way of getting what he wants." She stepped back and started to wipe her eyes as a knock was heard on the door. Lily looked at Remus with surprise. "Who?"


Remus cringed, "Uh - Sirius, he wanted to..."


"You are as bad as James!" she hissed her anger back leaving the room to clean up her face Remus assumed considering it would be a bit difficult to explain why she had been crying.


Remus let out a sigh knowing that this was far from over as he went to answer the door. He painted a smile on his face expecting Sirius only for it to falter the moment the door opened. "Peter?"


"Uh – hi, Prongs," said Peter timidly waiting to be invited in by the dumbstruck Remus. It was, of course, with impeccable timing that Sirius Apparated next to Peter and placed an arm around his shoulders.


"Sorry I couldn't warn you, Prongs," said Sirius pushing Peter and his way in the door with no mind for the surprised look on Remus' face. "I know you weren't expecting Peter and I would have told you, but he was part of my brilliant plan and the less anyone else knows the better."


"What?" asked Remus closing the door as he turned to face the two people whom he used to be friends with. There was still, of course, an assumed friendship; when the truth of things came out that would remain to be seen.


"Where's Lily? She'll need to be part of this."


"In the back checking on Harry."


"Right here," corrected Lily coming back into the living room appropriating Sirius with a stern look as she held her arms crossed.


"Perfect, you'll want to hear this too!"


"You'll want to keep your voice down if you know what's good for you."


Sirius waved his hand as he pushed a protesting Peter towards a chair and expectantly waited for Remus and Lily to take seats as well.


Remus inclined his head to Lily in the direction of the couch following along with Sirius’ unspoken demands. Lily didn’t argue and the two of them sat next to each other. Lily took hold of his hand out of habit as she would have with James. Remus glanced at her a moment but kept her hand in his for appearance sake though he knew Lily wasn’t sure as she had tried to withdraw some. To distract from any perceptible odd appearances Remus spoke up, “So what’s this brilliant idea of yours, Padfoot?”


“Pretty much everyone knows I’m your Secret Keeper, right?” asked Sirius rhetorically before he continued on. “What if I wasn’t?”

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