Chapter 1 : Always Have, Always Will
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“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,
Well that’s alright because I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and watch me cry,
Well that’s alright because I love the way you lie…”
He stood in the doorway of the hospital room and watched Lily snuggle her tiny baby boy. She was in her favorite nightgown – the very one he’d Transfigured from his favorite t-shirt the after her first fight with James. It had managed to retain the incredible softness that seemed to be missing from all other aspects of their relationship.
Harry was lying on her chest, his tiny thumb tucked into his mouth and his other hand fisted into the fabric at Lily’s shoulder.
There was no doubt that the child in Lily’s arms was James’.
“Are you going to come in, Sirius?” Lily asked softly while trying to smile.
He nodded, but didn’t move.
Lily looked incredible. There was no other word for it. Her luscious red hair was pulled gently back from her face and three or four curls had fallen lose to frame it softly. She was radiating a happiness that he hadn’t seen in ages, and though he was happy to finally see it again, he only wished that he was the cause.
“Sirius?” Lily asked again. “Come in, please?”
He walked forward slowly. He’d never been able to resist giving her anything she wanted, and Lily knew that. It was something she often used to her own advantage.
He sat in the empty chair next to her bed.
Now that he was closer, he tried to find a single feature in the baby that could possibly be his. It was useless, there were none. Lily’s eyes peered out of James’ face and his heart broke a little more.
“He’s beautiful, isn’t he?” Lily asked, admiring her son.
Sirius just shrugged.
“Do you want to hold him?” She offered.
Sirius shook his head. He would not hold his disappointment in his arms. For nine months he’d prayed to Merlin and Zeus and every other entity that he could think of but didn’t believe in. And the child was still not his.
And now – after nine months – Sirius’ hopes were crushed once again.
Sirius had lost to James once again.
Lily had broken his heart once again.
“Sirius, are you okay?” Lily asked, softly. She shifted the baby in her arms and reached for Sirius with her free hand.
“No.” Sirius finally spoke, but he kept his hands folded solemnly in his lap. “When will James be back?”
“A couple of hours. He’s out on order business.” Lily pulled her hand back.
Sirius just nodded.
“What’s wrong?” She demanded. “You’re doing that thing.”
“What thing?” Sirius knew exactly what she was talking about.
“You know the one where you get all dark and brooding.”
“I’m not brooding.” Sirius said, although he knew that he was. “Or dark.” He added as an afterthought.
“Yes you are. Last time I saw you, you were fine.” Lily’s eyes stared at him, but he wouldn’t meet them.
“Last time you saw me I still had hope.”
Lily eyes him suspiciously.
“Is that about James?”
“No – yes – it’s about everything, Lily.”
“What are you talking about?” Her face was now a mask of confusion.
Sirius just shook his head and was a silent for a moment.
“Can I ask you something?” He finally said.
“If last year – before the baby – we were fighting somewhere, all three of us, and James and I both needed your help equally and you would have had to choose to save one of us, who would it have been?”
“Sirius – I don’t know.” Her face was pained.
“Lily, you do. Someone popped up in your head first. I need to know who it was.”
“So it was James?”
“I don’t –“
“Lily. I need to know.”
“Yes, okay? I would have chosen James.” She conceded. “But I’d have tried to save both of you.”
Sirius refused to let any emotion show on his face as his heart broke again. It was always like this between them.
“I have to tell you something.” Lily whispered.
Sirius just looked at her.
“James wants – he wants you to be Harry’s godfather.” She managed.
Sirius stood up and walked to the corner of the room, refusing to face her.
“And you?” He asked, looking at the wall. “What do you want?”
“For you to be as happy as we are.” Lily admitted.
In that moment he knew.
He was her back up.
He would always be her back up.
When James was away, Lily spent her nights in Sirius’ arms.
When James and Lily were fighting, Sirius was her best friend.
At Hogwarts, when James had other plans, Lily wanted to be with Sirius.
During their seventh year, James had had a date with Alice and Lily had expected Sirius to take her out to Hogsmeade.
And now that James was Lily’s child’s father, Sirius would only be the godfather.
“Lily, I can’t.” Sirius finally said as he examined a crack in the wall and tried to school his features into a calm demeanor.
The room was awkwardly quiet, save the sweet baby noises that Harry was making in his sleep. Sirius already knew that he would always love that child. But he also knew how today would have to play out, now.
“Look at me.” Lily finally demanded.
“I said look at me.” He could hear the panic finally beginning to rise in her voice.
He finally turned his head.
“You have to be Harry’s godfather. You’re being totally selfish about this.” She nearly shouted.
“What do you want me to say? You want me to make promises I know I can’t keep?”
She flinched at his words.
“I want you to do the right thing.” She finally replied.
“Like we’ve been doing the right thing for the last five years?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You know exactly what it means.”
“Are you really going to go there?”
“Lily, be real! Out entire life is ‘there’.” Sirius wanted to scream. “Are you happy with the way he turned out? Because you and I both know you got lucky.”
“James is my husband…”
“Didn’t he wonder why you’ve been so concerned with how he’d turn out? Don’t you think he knew you were nervous? James isn’t an idiot, he has to see what’s going on.”
“Don’t you think I’ve been torturing myself for the last nine months? Don’t you think that every single day I debated on who I wanted him to look like? You or him?”
“Honestly? No, I really don’t.”
Lily closed her eyes in agony.
“He’s your best friend.” Lily whispered.
“He’s your husband. You’ll always choose him.”
“And you? Who would you choose?”
“You, of course. It has always and will always be you. That’s the difference. You could stand by and watch me burn, but I’d never care. I’ll always hurt for you, Lily. You could stand there and watch me cry, but I wouldn’t care, because I watch you lie to your husband every day. And I shouldn’t but I love the way you lie to him, because it’s for me. And all this is fine and perfect. Because even though I’d choose you, Lily, I’m not sure I could ever love you.”
Sirius didn’t know which was worse. The loud gasp and pain that flashed across Lily’s face or the fact that he knew he was telling her the truth.
He wanted to be lying through his teeth, but he wasn’t.
Too many times he’d watched her walk away and back to James.
Too many times he’d had to stand aside and watch her lie to James.
Too many times he’d been left alone and he could take no more.
“So you won’t be his godfather?” She finally asked.
Sirius shook his head.
“Ask Remus.” He offered. “Or Peter, even.”
He knew that in a day or two, James would come ask him and he’d say yes.
“And who will tell James?”
“He’s your husband.” Sirius knew she’d never tell him.
They were both silent.
“This is really it, isn’t it?” Lily asked. “You’re walking away from me – from us?”
“Away from everything.” Sirius agreed.
“And if James asks where you’re going?”
“I’ll tell him – I don’t know – that it’s just too much. He’ll understand. He gets me.”
“I get you, too, Sirius.” She closed her eyes. “What can I do to make you stay?”
“You can’t Lily. I can’t anymore.”
“I don’t want you to leave.”
“Perhaps that should have been considered before.”
Sirius stood and walked back to the doorway.
“Please don’t disappear.”
“I’ll be around.”
“Goodbye then, I guess.”
He started out the door.
“Sirius –“ She called one last time.
He turned to look at her.
“I love you, you know. Always have, always will. I wish – I just wish it were enough.”
“Yeah, me too.”
He turned back around and walked out of the room.
When he got to the end of the hallway, he turned around and watched as James appeared from the other end.
James had a huge smile on his face and several brightly wrapped packages in his arms as he walked into Lily’s room.
Sirius could hear James greet Lily and Harry and his heart broke again.
He turned to the elevator and began the long trek home.
A/N - Again, this is a repost. I hope you like it, it's one of my favorites. I'm not particularly a Sirius/Lily shipper, but I remember that this story wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. So I hoped you enjoyed! Please, leave a review and let me know what you thought!