Time is a funny thing. We underestimate the power that one second can hold, how that one second could hold your future, your life. It may have taken you years to accomplish something that you never thought possible, but it would only take a second for you to lose everything. We do not count on these seconds to add up, we do not realize how things could be postponed. We do not realize our mistakes until it is too late.
James Potter stretched back on his couch as he ruffled his hair. This habit he had developed in Hogwarts and now had become second nature.
Lily rolled her eyes as she bounced Harry on her knee. ‘Why do you always do the thing?’
James looked at his wife and raised an eyebrow giving her a patronizing smile. ‘The thing?’
Lily’s lips pursed in frustration as she gazed at her husband. She’d never met someone who she could be annoyed with one moment and the next she felt like she’d fallen in love all over again. ‘When you ruffle your hair, it’s still annoying. I hope that Harry doesn’t start doing it, children are so impressionable.’
‘Now whatever happened to accepting your significant lovers traits, no matter how annoyingly sexy it is.’
‘You’re still the same boy you were at Hogwarts, only with a steady job as an Auror.’
‘Being young has its perks.’
‘Like what?’ Lily put Harry over her shoulder and rubbed his back. She knew he was becoming restless and it was almost time for bed.
‘Like the fact that I still love you like I did as a teenager.’ Lily smiled warmly at James and had once again pushed away all the annoying traits she found in him. ‘Except it’s better now because you’re actually returning my love rather then hexing me.’
‘You deserved it, you were a horrible child.’
‘But I was cute.’
‘How did you tolerate me through all those years?’ Asked Lily with a smile, she loved the confirmation James would give her whenever she asked why he loved her and why he had continued to love her after she had been so horrible to him.
‘You had the best body in Gryffindor.’
Lily pulled a face and hit James playfully on his arm. James smiled and placed his arm around Lily’s shoulder pulling her towards him.
The moment was quiet as Lily rested her head in the crook of James’ neck. Harry was cradled in Lily’s loving arms, as the silent moments passed he started to fall asleep.
Harry had been holding onto James’ index finger and James looked down at his son like it was some sort of miracle that Harry was his child. The grip on James’ finger eventually fell once Harry had fallen into a peaceful sleep.
James could feel Lily’s head shifting and James turned his head so that he was staring into her dazzling green eyes. ‘How long will you love me?’ Lily’s voice was barely a whisper as she searched her husbands eyes with her own.
‘Even when I’m old and sagging?’
James laughed and kissed Lily’s lips. ‘Even then.’
‘Even when you realize that the stretch marks will never go away?’
‘I will still love you.’
Lily wasn’t able to finish the last comment as James placed a finger on her lips silencing her. ‘I will love you until I draw my last breath.’
James slowly slid his finger down Lily’s lips until they were bare once again. He quickly covered the naked lips with his own as he tenderly kissed her. Lily moved her body so that she was closer to James but had forgotten momentarily about Harry and Harry had woken up.
Harry started to cry and Lily broke the kiss regretfully. ‘I better get him to bed.’
Lily stood up and turned towards James. He smiled at her and ran a hand through his hair once more. Lily rolled her eyes and smiled at James, she couldn’t help but love his annoying habit.
Lily moved to go upstairs when suddenly the front door burst open. James’ playful grin fell from his face as he jumped to his feet and gave Lily a frantic look.
‘Lily take Harry!’
Lily stared at her husband as the door banged once more. She couldn’t move, everything was turning into a blur and she became numb. Harry’s cries were lost on her ears as she stared at James.
‘Lily, go! I’ll hold him off for as long as I can. You need to protect Harry!’
James’ last words brought Lily to her senses when she realized that her son was in her arms. She reached the stairs and looked back at James’. Her heart ached and her stomach turned when she realized this could be the last time she would see him.
‘Until your last breath?’ Lily asked in a whisper, her tears falling from her face and onto Harry.
James looked at Lily and it was as if he suddenly realized what was happening. The longing he felt to hold her one more time was powerful and sent a wave of nausea through him. He looked at his son and then Lily once more before he said, ‘until my last breath.’
Lily turned and raced upstairs. She had barely gotten halfway up when she heard the door swing open triumphantly. It felt like her heart had stopped beating when she heard Voldemort’s voice. She shook her head and raced upstairs, throwing herself into the nearest room.
Lily then heard a hiss and silence fell over the house. Her breath was the only thing she could hear and she strained for a sign of James’ voice. But his cheerful laughter could no longer be heard and as if she was hit with a ton of bricks she realized that James was dead. The love James had held for her was now gone as he had drawn his last breath.
There was another bang and Voldemort stepped through the door and looked at Harry.
Lily looked at Harry and held her breath, hoping that it would be enough for the both of them.