They’d had a report of a former Death Eater hideout just outside of London. James thought the task seemed easy enough; go in, clear the area, gather any useful information of Voldemort’s location, and get out. He was always reluctant for Lily to go on missions, but he knew better than anyone how capable she was, so he found her and they immediately apparated to the scene.
They arrived on the ground floor of, what they assumed, was an empty house. Everything was running smoothly until James’ eye caught movement over Lily’s shoulder. She knew him well enough to understand what was happening before he even opened his mouth.
“Lily, look out!” he warned as she immediately spun around and sent a curse at the approaching masked figure. He disapparated away before it could hit him and Lily glanced back at James, apprehensive, “Do you think there’s more of them?”
“Probably” he replied with a reassuring smile, “but it’s nothing we can’t handle.”
They didn’t get far before a number of dark figures suddenly materialised, coming at them from all angles. They’d assumed the Death Eater they’d encountered earlier would return with others, but there were definitely more than they had anticipated. James silently cursed The Order for their faulty information and his decision not to leave when they had the chance.
They held their own for as long as possible, until Lily was confronted with four masked figures and ultimately disarmed. She stared them down, refusing to cower as she waited to be hit with a curse, until a familiar voice called out to her left; “Protego!”
James quickly shielded her with a spell, and then with himself as he stepped in front of her. She could tell he was finding it difficult as increasing numbers of Death Eaters joined the attack and cursed herself for getting disarmed, what good was she without her wand?!
James thought two against eight was bad enough, but with only one of them armed even he was overwhelmed. He faltered slightly when he heard Lily cry out in pain behind him, his heart jumping to his throat as he, too, was soon disarmed. The spells immediately ceased and an ominous quiet descended on the scene. James quickly turned to Lily who was clutching her stomach, but quickly assured him with a single look that she was okay.
They were both surrounded, and now without wands. Perfect.
Lily braced herself for the inevitable and squeezed James’ hand as the cloaked figures raised their wands against them in unison. The moment seemed to stretch on, until a deep voice cut through the silence; “Don’t!”
The owner of the voice stepped forward, “Lord Voldemort will want to see them.”
“Great” James murmured as his wife let out a relieved breath and the Death Eaters advanced on all sides. He glanced over at Lily, “any bright ideas?”
“So let me get this straight. You, James Potter, want me, Lily Evans, to help with a prank?”
“Sounds about right” James replied with a grin.
“And why would I even consider helping you?”
“Because it’ll be fun” he countered, “You’re the one who said you needed to live a little-“
“I’ll think you’ll find that was you-“
“-and what better way than joining in on one of the infamous Marauder’s pranks?”
She rolled her eyes and refused to answer.
“Fireworks Evans, it’ll be the best yet, trust me.”
“Trust you?” Lily replied, incredulous, “You’re the last person I’d trust thank you.”
“Did you not hear me Lils? Fireworks” he repeated himself with a look of childish wonder and excitement which she had to admit made him look quite adorable.
Lily shook her head slightly to get rid of that line of thought, “am I supposed to be impressed?”
He nodded, “Oh you will be.”
She frowned, eyebrows furrowed, “we are not having this conversation.”
“Tell me Lils” James began, trying a different tactic as he took a step towards her, “when was the last time you broke school rules? Even the little, insignificant ones?”
Lily paused in thought. She frowned as she came up blank, was she really that much of a goody two-shoes? She put her hands on her hips, “Well, I’m a prefect, unless you’d forgotten.”
“You don’t let me forget” James murmured in reply.
Lily ignored his remark, “It’s hardly setting an example if I run around breaking the rules I’m supposed to enforce now, is it?”
He sighed, “Come on Evans, don’t be a bore.”
“I am not boring Potter!”
“Then prove it” he smirked. He’d got her right where he wanted her; she couldn’t possibly back down now, she was too stubborn.
“Fine" she replied through gritted teeth, "but I swear if I get caught” she lifted her wand, pointing it between his eyes, “don’t think I won’t think twice about taking you down with me.”
He laughed and beamed at her in triumph, “I would expect nothing less.”
She’d heard James leave the common room that evening in a hurry. It wasn’t a new occurrence, but there was something bothering him tonight that she couldn’t figure out. Curiosity got the better of her, as well as the opportunity to scold him for wandering around the school after curfew, so she grabbed her jacket and followed.
As he quickly headed outside, Lily kept a safe distance. The light of the moon allowed her to keep an eye on him, at least up until the point she tripped over a tree root and ended up sprawled on the grass. She blew the hair out of her eyes in frustration, quickly regained her footing and brushed herself off, frowning as she lost sight of him.
She bit back a scream as a hand grabbed her arm and she was confronted with a shocked, and very angry, James Potter. “What the hell are you doing here?!” he demanded.
“Well you can’t just disappear in the middle of the night and not expect me to follow!” she bit back in reply.
He took a breath, clearly attempting to quell his anger, whilst his eyes flickered around at the surrounding area as if looking for someone, before coming to a rest again on hers; “It’s dangerous out here Evans, go back to the castle!”
She had a million questions flitting through her mind, why he was so on edge for one, but she was most definitely not going back until she had some answers. “No! Just tell me wh-“
She was cut off upon the sound of a chilling howl, the noise causing the hairs on the back of her neck to rise. She quickly glanced up at the full moon and gasped as a wave of realisation hit her. Looking back at James didn’t help matters either when she noticed how his previous anger had been replaced by a look of blind panic.
“Lily, you need to go!” he all but yelled, pushing her forcefully away towards the castle.
Lily stared back at him, alarmed, “But what about you?”
“Trust me I’ll be fine, just go!” he commanded, with a look that left no room to argue.
She turned to follow his request but immediately stopped in her tracks. The sight that greeted her left her frozen in place as she was confronted with the towering form of a werewolf, teeth bared and looking straight at her.
And then all hell broke loose.
The sky took on an ominous green hue and a chill ran down her spine, stopping her in her tracks. She looked up and a feeling of dread buried itself in the pit of her stomach; the Dark Mark.
She snapped out of her reverie upon the shout of her name and looked to the left, one glance at James told her everything she needed to know; they needed to get out of there. He ran towards her, grabbing her hand and pulling her down the street, her heart beating wildly in her chest as a swarm of Death Eaters descended onto the road behind them. She raised her wand and sent a curse at one of the hooded figures, the jet of red light sending him flying in the opposite direction.
A flash of green illuminated the path as a Death Eater appeared directly ahead, causing them both to come to an abrupt stop. James pulled Lily back behind him as he sent a curse towards the figure, which was casually deflected with a flick of the wrist. If they were expecting a fight, they didn’t get one as the enemy remained still, reaching up to take off his mask. Though they had never come face to face before they recognised him immediately; Lord Voldemort.
“What do you want?” Lily boldly demanded, casting a quick glance at James who had his wand out ready to defend himself, their minds searching desperately for a means to escape.
Voldemort merely smiled, “I want you to join me”
There was a brief silence between them before a sudden explosion caught the Dark Lord’s attention, James immediately took advantage of his lapse in concentration and sent a curse his way, turning to run and pulling Lily along with him back into the heart of the battle, her defiant reply ringing in their ears;
“We will never join you!”