G, 800 words.
Lily, Sirius. Gen.
Summary: Lily is having a moment of doubt.
Notes: For nest_of_spiders Day 07.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It's beautiful here; the East Anglia coast has always been a favourite of Lily's. She used to come on family holidays here, and Petunia would attempt to sunbathe and shriek when Lily splashed her with water. Other than her own efforts to create chaos, it'd always been peaceful, and today that's what she needs.
Sirius shuffles down next to her, looking out at the sea she's been staring at for the past – oh, she doesn't know how long. He doesn't ask what she's thinking, being out here alone, and she's grateful for that. She doesn't bother to enquire how he found her – there's no such thing as real privacy, not any more.
"Are you alright?" he asks instead, and she turns slightly to face him, knees crunching against the sandy rock of the shoreline.
"No," she admits, and Sirius nods. "It's just- Sirius, what am I doing?"
His hand rests on top of hers, and she sighs, resting her head on his shoulder, surprising herself at how grateful she is someone is there.
She tries to laugh at herself, but the sound chokes. "I don't know what's come over me. But after what happened to Caradoc, I just keep thinking-- about who it's going to be next. If it'll be James next. And Harry- Christ, what am I doing bringing a child into the world? At a time like this? I can't see the end of this."
She feels Sirius' slow breath, and it makes her feel calmer. She watches the waves flow gently to shore. "Maybe we should just take off, you know? Go somewhere else, somewhere safe. Not have to fight any more."
Sirius snorts. "Nice try. This isn't a war you get to run from."
"Yeah." Lily nods, trying to rally up some conviction in herself. "I'm sorry, I'm being an idiot."
"Nah, not at all." Sirius looks down at her. "But come on now. You know why we're doing this."
"Think I need a refresher course."
Sirius is silent for a while, and Lily wonders if she's asking too much.
"Because the other side's not thinking like that. They're thinking about which family they're going to destroy next, and we have to stop them. Because they won't stop. We're not fighting people, it's a disease."
There's something in his tone that scares her. "Sirius!"
"That's how you do it. You remember that you love, they don't. You're human, and they- they aren't. They can't be. So we'll fight them. And we'll win."
The anger in Sirius fades. "C'mon, our side's got us – what more do they need?"
Lily laughs. "Right!"
He shifts to look at her properly. "Are you sure you're okay?"
Sirius bites his lip. "Yeah. Sorry, that was a bit-"
"No, don't apologise. I wish I had your conviction – seems to have left me somewhat." Lily stands up slowly, brushing sand off her skirt.
Sirius shakes his head. "You've just got more heart than me, that's all. Can't exactly deny this is personal for me."
"It's personal for everybody, you idiot. You don't get to be special just because of your stupid family, I'm afraid."
"Hey!" Sirius stands up too, indignant, and Lily cackles before running off down the beach.
Sirius quickly transforms, and she's being chased by a huge dog that soon enough catches up, pounces on her and decorates her face with slobber before she can stop it.
"Sirius!" she shrieks, shoving at him. "Get off!"
Padfoot rolls over and waves his legs in the air, and she rolls her eyes. "Come on, let's go home."
They walk back from the beach in companionable silence, heading to an Apparition point in the village. Lily turns for a moment for a last glance back at the sea. "'Tis not too late to seek a newer world'," she murmurs to herself.
"Oh, sorry. Muggle poet."
"No no, I know it," Sirius frowns. "Tennyson, right? 'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield'?"
"Yeah," Lily answers in surprise.
"Well, that's what we're doing, isn't it? Not yielding. We can go 'sail beyond the sunset' after that, if you like."
Lily clutches his arm. "Watch I don't take you up on that."
Sirius grins suddenly. "Ah, you'll be alright, Evans. Now then, let's get you home before your husband accuses me of absconding with you."
Lily giggles. "I'd like to see you try."
They slip behind an ice cream van, check the coast is clear, and Lily forces herself to return to the world. Her purpose holds.