Chapter 1 : I will always keep you safe
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As she started to walk away he started to cry, not wanting to leave the mesmerising shower which soothed his head. The woman paused for a moment before stilling again, leaving the little boy to look so innocently upon the world around him. It didn’t matter what is was, whether it was rain, snow, hail or even cats and dogs, he loved to look at things falling outside his window.
It was several minutes before the woman felt brave enough to leave again, his breathing had stilled to a pace which could have only meant he was sleeping but she was still cautious. She took slow steps down the stairs and could only hear the slight rustle of paper as the person downstairs hurridly tried to hide some more of her presents.
She creaked open the door but there he was already standing over the pile like a guard dog. She rolled her eyes and placed the little boy in the swinging basket beside the sofa before throwing herself down. The mirror opposite surprised her as she looked aimlessly. Her gaunt features and tired eyes could only be noticed in this light but she hadn’t paid much mind recently, her own appearance hadn’t concerned her for some time.
The man came to sit beside her and the woman buried herself into his chest, inhaling his earthy smell, only then did she start to cry. She cried like she had the weight of the whole world on her shoulders and all of the guilt was going to overspill through her tear; She cried in a way that it seemed if she didn’t cry she was going to combust with all the anger and frustration; But most of all she cried because she was tired, tired of fighting, tired of being scared and tired of feeling helpless.
‘Oh Lily,’ he murmured through her silky locks. His comfort only made her cry harder as he struggled not to do the same, he had to be the strong one now because although he was just as scared and tired, he had to keep his family together.
‘Lily, please stop. Look it’s Christmas, everything is going to be okay.’ He whispered again, pulling her head up to face him. The tear streaked face had been one he had been well accustomed to in the past few months after the announcement but he had never thought she was any less beautiful than the woman he had met when he was 11.
‘Christmas is a time for celebration James, what do we have to celebrate? Being in hiding? Being terrified of every little noise? What sort of life is this James.’ Her wails were almost hysterical and the cracks were beginning to show. She had never been like this before but the death of Poppy really shook her up, now no-one, not even the aurors were safe.
‘We have everything to celebrate. I have you and we have Harry and that is enough and more than enough.’
‘You have me for how long James? How long is it before they break through the charms? They almost have the ministry under control and who’s to say the Unspeakables haven’t already found a counter spell? We have Harry but is this a life for him to live? A life where he can’t go outside to play in the garden, he won’t be able to go and learn magic at Hogwart-‘
‘Hey since when does he need Hogwarts, Sirius and I are all the teachers he’ll ever need’he replied with a twinkle in his eye.
‘Now is not the time for you and your ego James. I’m being serious.’ She tried to keep up her angry façade but she couldn’t deny the little smile which twitched at the corner of her lips.
‘And so am I, Lily I would walk to the ends of the earth and back to make you happy and we will make this work. I promise I will keep you and Harry safe.’
‘But James, this could be the last Christmas. This might even be the last time we are together with Dumbledore sending you off on missions.’
‘It won’t be our last Christmas, we can have Christmas tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next if it meant you stopped worrying. It doesn’t bother me; I love it when we have the decorations up!’
‘You’re not funny,’ she repeated again.
They looked at each other and laughed at the silly throw away comment in a time of turmoil and uncertainty.
The clocks chimed in the background as the clock struck twelve.
‘Merry Christmas Lily.’