PG, 650 words
Summary: After their shaken start to the day, the Potters and their guests go down to the sea.
It’s a slow process, moving from the events of the morning into a normal day, but as they walk down to the shoreline of Cornwall they begin to manage it. Peter still seems shaken, so James and Remus steer him aside and start their efforts of reassurance.
Sirius is left alone with Lily, so he pulls his best suggestive face, and is gratified to see her roll her eyes and thereby restoring normality. They begin the stroll down to the beach, Lily describing in elaborate detail the room she’s planning for the baby, and Sirius offers to help with the building of a mobile to hang above the crib, although she forces him to swear to put nothing Quidditch-related on there.
He gently helps her down over the last few rocks, so that at last they are stood in front of the sea. There are people already there, but it’s quiet, the hush only punctuated with an odd child’s delight over a sandcastle.
Sirius doesn’t want to admit it – and now isn’t the time, anyway – but he’s never been to the sea before. The Blacks had always been city folk, and so he’d had photos and stories, but nothing more.
And so he stands on the beach with Lily, for whom day trips to Brighton have always been a birthright, and tries to play down the thrill of seeing real, sea-salt waves for the first time.
Lily sighs happily and buries herself into a cleft beside a rock pool, donning a pair of enormous star-shaped sunglasses (she still hasn’t got over glam rock).
Sirius stands absently, mesmerised by the glinting of the water. James, Peter and Remus crest a sand dune and walk down slowly, James and Remus talking seriously to Peter, who is beginning to regain some colour in his face, although once they reach the beach he moves away from the others, going to the other side of the rock outcrop.
James looks up and catches Sirius’ eye. He breaks away from the others and runs towards Sirius, grabbing a stick on the way. Taking the hint, Padfoot bounds up to them, slobbering all over James before turning to Remus and pawing at his legs.
Laughing, James throws the stick towards the sea, and Padfoot chases after it, diving into the sea and sending spray up all around. He returns, stick in mouth and tongue lolling out to one side in a fashion that suggests he is thoroughly pleased with himself and ought to be congratulated.
The dog races around in a circle before stopping suddenly and shaking violently, showering the entire company in droplets of sea water and receiving a chorus of abuse for the trouble.
Sirius reappears and cackles as he encounters furious glances from all around. James promptly leaps on him and wrestles him to the ground, pummelling him affectionately.
After a while, Sirius begs off and collapses onto the ground. Remus tuts at James, who just looks indignant and settles himself down next to Lily, adjusting a towel beneath her.
The sea seems to provide solace for everyone; there are soothing waves and soft shores. Sirius happily sprawls out on the sand, and Remus quietly takes his hand. He looks up, and Remus says nothing, just smiles then kisses him softly. Out of the corner of his eye, Sirius can see James whispering something in Lily’s ear, who giggles.
He finds he really doesn’t mind all that much.
The sun warms their bones and softens the harsh corners of the morning. Sirius sighs slowly, happy that he is here, here with everyone who’s important. Just before his thoughts drift away on the ocean tide, he wonders if this is what it feels like to be home.
"All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea -- whether it is to sail or to watch it -- we are going back from whence we came."