I'm not really sure where I'm going with this story; it just came to me the other morning while I was halfway between sleeping and waking and I had to get it out of my head, so I'm just going to go with it and see where it takes me. I've always been sort of a fanfiction lurker, reading stories here and there but keeping to the sidelines but I was intrigued by the idea of James and Lily somehow surviving so here's my take, I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
The only thing he knew for certain was that every muscle in his body ached, most of all, his head. There was damp earth beneath him, stars above him and a cold breeze that gave him a chill. Had it been warmer, he might have stayed put but the seasons were changing and winter would be there soon.
He rubbed his eyes and straightened his crooked glasses- that's when he realized blood was dripping down his face from a tender wound on his hairline. How had that happened? In fact, how had any of this happened? He sat up in a panic, looking around for anything familiar. It was all foreign to him. The field he was in, the trees beyond it, the cottage about a hundred yards away and the street beyond that. None of it was familiar. How had he gotten here?
It's him- take Harry and run- I'll hold him off!
Take me instead!
Stand aside! Avada Kedavra!
His head exploded in pain and the words began to fade quickly from his memory. He tried desperately to grasp onto them, but they were gone, as though they were in another language, one he couldn't even hope to understand or remember.
What was the last thing he remembered? He tried to think back to several hours ago, what had he been doing? It was blank. What about several days ago, what had he done last week? Blank. A month ago? Blank. A year ago? Blank. Years and years ago? Blank. It was all blank.
What was his first memory? He focused remembering, it was as though all the answers were hidden behind the wall and there was no door to get through and no way to break it down. He could feel the wall and all the answers behind it, but he couldn't get to them. His first memory was mere minutes ago, waking up on the damp ground looking up at the stars.
How old was he? What did he look like? What was his name? Did he have a family? Basic questions he didn't have answers to flooded him.
He ran his hand through his hair in frustration, but it caught on something- a ring. A gold wedding band encircled his left hand ring finger. He was married, the thought filled him hope. Maybe that was his cottage a hundred yards away. Maybe his wife was there, or someone he knew, someone who knew him.
He pushed himself to stand but a flash of red caught his eye. She had been behind him the whole time, lying in the grass just like him, though she was not yet conscious. She was young, barely twenty, if that, with long flowing hair that was a vibrant shade of red and delicate features covered in freckles. Her eyes were closed, he didn't have a clue as to what color they could be and yet he somehow knew that they were the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen and that the woman had a radiant smile to match. On the ring finger of her left hand was a wedding band. His wife, he knew instantly.
"Hey," he shook her shoulder gently, "Wake up," he whispered, "Please, wake up." She didn't stir. His heart was in his throat, he couldn't swallow his panic. With shaky hands, he placed his index and middle fingers on the inside of her wrist and held his breath. She had a pulse. He released a breath of relief, she was unconscious, but now he didn't feel so alone.
He lifted her carefully and carried her towards the little cottage. He was bleeding and couldn't remember his own name and she was unconscious. They needed help and the cottage was their only option.
He pounded on the door, but it was the middle of the night, whoever lived here would be fast asleep, he didn't know what else to do or where else to go so he kept knocking. It took several minutes and he was close to giving up when eventually the old woman answered the door. She was a small, shriveled thing though her warm brown eyes shone with youthful energy. "Can you help us?" he asked desperately.
"Oh, my," she said, concern upon her face. "Let me get my keys, I'll take you to the hospital."
The little old Volkswagon sputtered and hissed but started regardless and they drove in silence. He sat in the back seat with the redhead still in his arms, half afraid that she would disappear if he let her go. He brushed a piece of hair out of her face, she really was beautiful.
"So, what happened to you?" the old woman asked suddenly.
He stayed silent for a long moment. "I'm not sure." The rearview mirror showed her cocking a curious eyebrow, but she didn't press him.
"What's your name?" It occurred to him how completely ridiculous it was that he couldn't remember his own name. How could this have happened? He wanted to be angry at the situation but instead he only felt the crushing weight of grief and mourning for a life he couldn't remember. He could only hope that the redhead would have answers when she woke up.
"I don't remember," he said in a tone that was barely louder than a whisper.
Now the old woman looked really surprised, "What about her name?"
He looked down at the redhead again. He could feel the answer, just behind the wall that was keeping him in the dark- if only he could break through it. It was something that started with E, he thought. Yes, that seemed right: E-V- but past the second letter he was lost.
Evan. The name came to him suddenly, but Evan wasn't a girl's name.
Evans, then, it could be their last name. It seemed almost right for her, but completely wrong for him. He didn't feel like a person whose last name was Evans.
Eva. It still didn't feel right but he couldn't think of anything else, maybe he had been completely wrong in the first place. He couldn't remember his own name so how could he know hers? "I don't know," his words came out like a frustrated sigh, the way he spoke was the way a student might guess to answer a teacher's question. "Eva, maybe?" He considered the name again, looking at the redhead in his arms and gave up. She would know her name when she woke up. "I can't remember anything," he said very seriously, "I just hope she will wake up and tell me who I am. All I know is that we're married and I feel like I love her more than anything, but that's it. Everything else is blank. I don't know anything."
She absorbed the information then said, "My name is Ethel," she smiled kindly, "Now you know that too." He couldn't help but smile back at her.
As they arrived at the hospital, the redhead's eyelids began to flutter. "What happened?" She asked groggily. Her eyes were more captivating than he could have imagined. The irises were like two emeralds, not only in color but in the way they caught the light and came alive. He couldn't look away from those enchanting eyes.
He explained everything he knew, from the moment he woke up to the drive to the hospital; he finished by saying, "I was hoping you would wake up and be able to tell me what happened or who I am. Who we are."
The redhead closed her eyes again and shook her head. "I don't know," she said, a tear rolled down her cheek. "I don't know. I can't remember my name. I can't remember anything. I don't know who I am or who you are or why my head hurts so badly."
"Hey, hey," he soothed, his disappointment pushed aside by his desire to see her happy, to be the one to make her happy or at the very least, lessen her pain. "It'll be alright. We'll figure this out." Eyes still closed, she nodded, releasing a long breath.
The doctors were completely and utterly confused by them. They both had head trauma, his was on his hairline near his right temple and hers on the back of her head, but both were minor concussions at worst. Their injuries were not severe enough to have possibly caused permanent brain damage or amnesia, yet their memories were not returning. The doctors had resolved that the brain was a complex thing that no one could even begin to understand and sometimes unexplainable things just happened.
Every day, the couple checked newspapers and missing persons, but never saw their own faces and no one came looking for them despite the article that had been written about them. At the end of a week, the doctors told them they didn't know what else they could do for the couple, their physical injuries had nearly healed and there wasn't anything on their scans or tests that indicated that they needed to be kept there. The doctors recommended that the couple be transferred to a long term care facility that specialized in brain injuries but Ethel wouldn't hear of it and outright demanded that the two be released into her care.
She visited them every day, she was lonely, her husband had died a few years before and she didn't have any children or living family so she visited the two strangers in the hospital. She told them stories of her past, tried to help them unravel their pasts and even helped them choose names to use until they discovered their real ones.
They had decided on Eva for the woman, like the man had said in the car. It still didn't quite seem to fit her, but it suited her better than anything else they could come up with. And for the man, they chose Jacob because it was the only name he didn't hate. They had spent days spitting out all the boy names they could think of, and he had rejected every single one until Jacob. He said he could probably live with being called Jacob. They hadn't told her yet, but Eva and Jacob had decided to adopt Ethel's last name, Andrews, as a way to honor and thank her for her help.
Ethel argued with the doctors and at last convinced them to release Jacob and Eva into her care. With no money, no house and no identities, Jacob and Eva lived with Ethel. She knew nearly everyone in the little town they lived in and found Eva a job at the library and Jacob a spot at the police academy with ease. She helped them get back on their feet and when her health began to decline, it was Jacob and Eva who took care of her, for a time. Her health decreased rapidly and she passed away peacefully in her sleep less than a year after Eva and Jacob had come into her life. She gave them everything, but most importantly, she gave them a home.