<b></b> *19th October 1981*<p/><b>James:</b> We want you as our secret keeper<p/><b>Sirius:</b> I've got a better idea: Peter, nobody will suspect the rat<p/><b>Lily:</b> Brilliant, we'll choose the traitorous rat over the faithful dog<p/><b>James:</b> Haha That's why the plan is perfect!<p/></p>
Thank you, thank you, for Harry’s birthday present! It was his favourite by far. One year old and already zooming along on a toy broomstick, he looked so pleased with himself, I’m enclosing a picture so you can see. You know it only rises about two feet off the ground, but he nearly killed the cat and he smashed a horrible vase Petunia sent me for Christmas (no complaints there). Of course, James thought it was so funny, says he’s going to be a great Quidditch player, but we’ve had to pack away all the ornaments and make sure we don’t take our eyes off him when he gets going. | Lily’s letter to Sirius
James is just too happy his son is already a quidditch player
“How come she married him?“ Harry asked miserably. "She hated him!” “Nah, she didn’t,” said Sirius. “She started going out with him in seventh year,” said Lupin. “Once James had deflated his head a bit,” said Sirius. “And stopped hexing people just for the fun of it,” said Lupin.“
Headcanon that when James was young, his dad used to hold the back of his neck when he cried and tell him, in a strong and steady voice, that he was okay and it was all going to be okay.
In First Year, James wakes up in the middle of the night to crying. Sirius is in the next bed over, kicking out and whimpering, in the clutches of a nightmare and James can just make out the agony on his new friend’s face in the dark. He gets out of bed and gently wakes him up, shushing him and nudging his shoulder. Sirius awakes with a jolt. He stares at James with wide, black eyes, panting heavily, and he only lasts a moment when reality washes over him, before he starts sobbing. James holds the back of his neck and puts their foreheads together and tells him he’s okay, it’s just a dream. You’re alright. You’re okay. It’s going to be okay-
In Second Year, James confronts Remus about where he goes off to every month. He knows his friend is lying to him. He can tell because Remus isn’t a very good liar, though he thinks he is, and it’s obvious he’s done it too many times, and James is starting to worry because every month, his friend wakes up in the Hospital Wing with bruises and scratches. He’s done his research and he thinks he knows and when he sees the colour and light drain from Remus’ face, he knows he’s right. The other boys can’t believe it, but they swallow their disbelief to tell him that goodness grief, you fold your socks, Remus, really. Forgive me for not trembling at the sight of you! and that of course, we don’t want you kicked out of Hogwarts!! Where on earth did you get that idea from? And Remus, that poor little boy, pale and fading, with more scars than he can count and cover up, collapses and sobs and James sinks to the floor and holds him and he grips the back of Remus’ neck, and tells him he isn’t a monster and it’s okay. It’s going to be okay. You don’t need to hide anymore. We’re your friends and we’re staying.
It’s the summer of their Fifth Year and a heatwave brought a storm with it and Sirius turns up on his doorstep, drenched and broken, bleeding and bruised, and the rain drips from his hair. He’s hauling a trunk behind him and he’s sobbing and when the door opens, he can only utter I didn’t know where else to go before James understands and drags him into a hug. He holds him together so he doesn’t fall apart and Sirius sobs and grips at his friend’s pjs and James grips the back of his head securely and says in his ear in a firm and low voice You’re safe here. You’re staying here. I don’t give a damn about your mother. This is your home now.
In Seventh Year, McGonagall called him to her Office one afternoon to tell him that his parents had died of dragonpox and he stands and stares at her and tells her she’s being absurd because his dad wrote to him just yesterday to tell him about the garden gnomes that keep uprooting his roses and his mum sent him a batch of brownies she made at the weekend. Sirius starts crying first and James tells him it’s okay because their parents are fine, but Sirius only tries to reach for him (James-) and when James recoils and demands to know why he is crying, Sirius grabs him and wrestles with him as he struggles because James is sobbing now and he collapses in his brother’s arms and Sirius has one arm around his waist and one hand holding his head to keep him grounded because it’s not okay but it will be. We have each other. We have each other.
They’ve finished school and Lily Evans is Lily Potter and James cried more than he ever thought he would (though he knew he’d cry a lot). Sirius, his Best Man, made a speech with no less than 33 deer-related puns, and Remus looked healthy and happy for once and Mary kissed Peter for the first time and Lily’s sister didn’t come but her parents were there and her dad walked her down the aisle and she cried when she saw James waiting for her. James twirled Lily around the dancefloor of their marquee and The Beatles crooned on an old Muggle record player and fairy lights hung from the rafters. He pulled her close and she was laughing and he held the back of her neck when he kissed her because this was good. This was more than good. This was extraordinary.
It’s the War and Lily, his beautiful wife Lily, is sobbing in their bathroom and he only came to ask her if she wanted a tea making but she’s crying and he sinks to the floor beside her and holds her and when he sees what she’s holding, he can’t quite believe it. This is a war but somehow, in amongst all this death and destruction, they’re going to have a baby and his dad isn’t around anymore to hold the back of his neck and tell him he’s going to be okay but how can they bring a baby into a world like this? We can’t, Lily, we can’t- but Lily holds the back of his head and kisses his lips and says We can James Potter. My love, we can love this baby enough that no war will ever touch him. This gives us something to fight for. And my God, they were going to fight for it.
It’s the War and they’re sitting in Dumbledore’s office and the war is raging, harder and bloodier than ever, and their baby, their little baby boy, is in a prophecy. Their Harry is in a prophecy and he can’t even roll onto his tummy yet. They’ve lost people. His parents died of dragonpox in his Seventh Year at school, and Benjy Fenwick was found in pieces only last week. Fabian and Gideon Prewett were the first people he loved to die in the war and he was so angry he broke their bedside lamp. But this- this blow feels like he’s died with them because how are they meant to survive what’s set in stone? Lily is too shocked to respond but she’s crying silent tears and he knows there is an avalanche brewing inside of her golden heart and he holds her head and hides in her hair because he’s crying and the world looks garish to him and he whispers we’ll protect him. Harry will grow up and we’ll watch him do it. Everything will be okay-
It’s the War and people are dying, and Marlene’s entire family was slaughtered on Thursday and Lily spent all night locked in her room, sobbing and screaming, and Harry cries, and Sirius doesn’t visit anymore and Dumbledore sent Remus undercover. Mary didn’t come back from the last battle and Peter sits in James’ kitchen, hot chocolate going cold in his hands, and James sees that he’s dead inside and that he’s terrified and he crouches in front of him and squeezes the back of his neck and tells him you’re okay. You are alive. It’s nearly over and we are going to survive this thing. D’you hear me, Pete? We’re going to survive it. I promise you-
“We’ll find a way to offer up the night tonight The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight, tonight. Believe in me as I believe in you tonight,tonight.” (tonight, tonight -The Smashing Pumpkins)