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In the Midst of War by anitamarie
Chapter 3 : Almost Lost
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7

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“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.”
- G.K. Chesterston

Lily sat across from Peter Pettigrew in the main room of Sirius’ flat. They looked uncomfortably at eachother, as they overheard the heated argument taking place in Sirius’ room.

She instantly felt guilt rush through her. She had invited Remus and Peter over in an attempt to calm Sirius as only old friends could.

Sirius had become almost unbearable this past month. He only left the flat to buy food and potion supplies. Although it was for Lily’s safety, he had not taken well to the enclosure. When he wasn’t pacing the flat, bored with his paper work for the auror office, he was drinking Firewhisky in an attempt to forget the horrors that were going on outside.

Lily figured that Remus and Peter could help him, but her plan had fallen apart as Sirius and Remus had begun arguing in the next room.

Peter’s eyes darted to Sirius’ door as they both heard Remus’ voice rise steadily. “...He’s coming back Sirius! He’s going to have something to say about you shacking up with his girl!”

They heard a loud bang and Sirius screamed “Fuck off Remus! You wouldn’t know the first thing about loyalty!”

Remus burst from the room only giving Lily the slightest nod as he left. Lily was amazed by what had just happened. She had never seen Remus so angry. Remus was always the calm one, particularly in the worst of times. She guessed his undercover work with the werewolves was getting to him. After all, he was only human and being a double agent wasn’t an easy life. She also knew he was just as worried about James as the rest of them.

Peter mumbled apologies and left just as quickly. He knew better than to stick around when Sirius was angry. Lily had no choice but to stay, however she wasn’t worried. She knew Sirius would fight to calm himself in front of her; and if he didn’t she knew she could put him in his place without having to fear him. He would never hurt her.

She suddenly noticed he stood in the doorway watching her, his expression blank. His voice was just as expressionless, but unexpectedly soft. “I think I’ve just figured out which member of the Order has been leaking information to the death eaters.”

Lily raised her brow, surprised by his statement. “Surely you don’t mean Remus?”
“Who else Lily? He’s been pretty fucking secretive lately, and he HAS been living with werewolves.”

Lily’s face flushed with anger as she shouted despite herself. “You bloody hypocrite! You’ve been complaining for ages that people have trouble accepting you because of your family! If you want to discriminate against Remus because he’s a werewolf than you ARE just like them!”

Sirius stood up and looked down at her crossly “That werewolf just accused us of “shacking up”! He thinks I’m shagging you senseless and taking advantage of the fact that James is gone!” Sirius’ voice broke for a moment as he thought of James, but he went on “Can’t you see he’s trying to cause rifts between us? He has traitor written all over him!”

Lily considered him for a moment. They had never talked about how others saw her relationship with Sirius. It was a topic they had both avoided.

Lily bit her lip nervously and looked up at him “Sirius, I’m sure there are other people that may think we’re “shacking up”. I mean, we’re living together, and some people have a hard time telling the difference between close friendship and romantic attachments."

Sirius kept her gaze as he confessed “Lily, I would NEVER...these people are idiots. Can’t they understand that the reason I’m staying here with you is BECAUSE of James! Because I love him like a brother! Because he loves you so much! How could Remus, after knowing me for so long, think that I could ever betray James?”

Lily put a hand on his shoulder sympathetically. “How could YOU, after all those years of knowing him, possibly think that HE would betray YOU?”

Sirius stood open-mouthed for a few moments before nodding his head in acceptance. He turned and let himself fall back onto the couch. “You’re right, as always. I’m sorry Lils. I just feel like I’m going mad! James is my best friend. He’s my brother Lily; he’s the only family I have. Sometimes, I can’t help but feel like I AM betraying James by being here, along with everyone in the Order. Our friends are dying out there; I should be out there fighting alongside them.”

He put his head in his hands as Lily sat beside him, slowly, as she was now eight months pregnant. She tucked a strand of his silky black hair behind his ear. “Sirius, maybe this isn’t the best idea. You’re right. You should be out there fighting. I love you Sirius and I know you. You’ve always been a fighter.”

He looked up at her for a moment and gently rubbed his hand across her bulge. “You’re definitely not alone anymore.” The baby kicked to prove his point. “My godson will be with you...and when he’s old enough, he’ll end this war once and for all.” Sirius’ previous anger seemed forgotten as he smiled sadly.

Lily bowed her head and looked at Sirius’ hand on her stomach. She was suddenly feeling too many things at once: fear, pride, loss, determination, love... She needed to protect her son. She couldn’t lose him, she already loved him too much. Words she had memorized from one of the old charms texts kept flashing in her mind.
“The most powerful of protective magics are bound in love.”
Her hormones intensified her emotions and large tears welled up in her eyes.

“Lils, I’m sorry...I didn’t mean...” He pushed back his hair nervously, clearly distraught that he had made her cry. She interrupted him. “It’s alright Sirius. You may be right. I’m just pregnant. I even cry listening to the commercials on Wizard Wireless these days.” She smiled and wiped her face, taking pleasure in the sudden humor that seemed so rare lately. He gave her a knowing look and grinned back at her.

They were both interrupted by a mirthless laugh and the sound of windows and doors being opened all around them.

Sirius stood and had his wand out instantly. He kept his eyes on their surroundings as he helped a very pregnant Lily up so she could grab her wand on the table. They were surrounded by death eaters.

Lucious Malfoy’s sneering voice was unmistakable. “I would put those down if I were you.” He said, nodding at their wands through his mask.

Sirius’ eyes flashed dangerously. He looked at Lily when she pinched him hard on his back, and her eyes darted briefly to the large key on the table in the corner. He gave her the slightest nod in response. He understood. None of the death eaters seemed to notice their silent conversation.

Sirius spoke venomously “What’s the matter Malfoy, don’t think you and the dozen death eaters you have with you can take us down if we keep our wands?”

Before any of the death eaters could react, there was a blinding flash of light and Lily felt herself being pulled by Sirius. When she could see again, they had already grabbed the large key and were transported to the alley adjacent to his building.

“What was that?” Lily asked, referring to the blinding light. Sirius put his arms around her. “An old trick. Hold onto me.” She did and he apparated them away.

The moment they appeared in the Forbidden Forest just outside of Hogwarts, Lily wretched. She was not supposed to apparate this late in her pregnancy.

Sirius rubbed her shoulder gently, his face stricken with immediate concern. “I’m sorry Lily. It was the only way out. Are you okay? How’s the baby?”

Lily took a few moments to steady her breathing. She felt ill, but it didn’t feel serious. “It’s okay. I’m fine. We’re fine. I just feel a little sick. I know we had no choice. I’ll be okay, lets just get to Dumbledore.”

His grey eyes still flashed concern, but he nodded and they walked towards the gate. A great black dog erupted from Sirius’ wand and Hagrid met them shortly after.

Once inside, Dumbledore was already waiting for them in the hallway below his office. He inquired about Lily’s health as he quickly led them up the stairs. Just as they were outside the door to his office, he stopped and whispered to them. “Although these are unfortunate circumstances, you have come at a good time. I was just about to go see you myself.”

He opened the door and stood aside. There, at the back of the small office, stood James with his eyes widened in shock at the sight of Lily.

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