Author's Note: Final chapter so please leave a review and tell me what you think about the this chapter and the whole story overall. It would honestly make my day. If you like Next-Gen HP you can check out my story, Paper Moon, it only has one chapter up now and I'll be posting a bit sporadically. My next two weeks are going to be crazy.
Charlotte McKinnon looked down at her list and frowned. It had been a week since Voldemort had been defeated, and she was left with Lily's letters. She never thought that she had to distribute them, but now here she was hanging on to her daughter's hand tightly as they navigated Privet Drive. She was given firm instructions to hand deliver the letter to her sister. Charlotte grabbed her daughter when they got close and knocked once.
"Yes?" The woman answering the door questioned. She did not look very much like her sister. Lily Evans radiated kindness, she was all warmth and clever smiles. This women was thin with a pinched face. "Who are you?"
"My name is Charlotte McKinnon and...Could I come in? I want to talk to about your sister, Lily Potter."
The woman visibly paled and clung to the handle tighter. "I have not seen in her in almost three years, nor do I wish to."
Charlotte pulled her daughter tighter in an attempt to control her anger. As much as she wanted to shout as this woman, she knew being calm was the only option. "You don't have to worry about seeing her again."
"Come in," she said quickly, eyes darting about. "Before the neighbor's see you standing here." She led her into the kitchen and put a kettle on the stove, then dumped a box of biscuits onto a delicate china plate. "What is this about?"
Charlotte sat down and pulled her daughter onto her lap, smoothing her hair before withdrawing the envelope from her coat pocket. "Lily and James Potter were murdered a week ago." The words were blunt and delivered with a flat tone. Charlotte was renowned as Healer for her excellent bedside manner, but she couldn't find it in her heart to treat this woman with compassion .
"My sister is dead?" She practically fell in a chair as her face twisted in an odd manner. "Why would they kill her? She's just a…" She shook her head. "I always thought she was a freak, but she chose that life over me...She did, you know. That man she married, I can't believe she would marry-"
"Don't talk about James Potter like that. I only came to deliver a letter your sister wrote you."
"You're one of them, aren't you?"
"Yes," she replied stiffly.
"Then tell me why she died!"
"Because she believed that muggles were worth something." She gave her pointed look and rose to her feet. "So did my husband. He and his family were killed for that belief. The next time you speak ill of them, think twice."
Without great ceremony she tapped her daughter on the shoulder and Sophia hopped off. She gripped her hand tightly and apparated right there in front of Petunia Evans, without a care in the world.
The last letter she had to deliver made panic well inside her chest. She had to go to muggle London to deliver the final letter. Charlotte had no idea who Adrian Graham was and surmised that he himself was muggle. Did he even know Lily was a witch? How would he react to the news?
"Mama," her daughter said as they walked down the street. "I want to go home."
"I know," she answered, but Charlotte never told her when they would be returning. They moved out of Sirius apartment after… the incident. She swallowed harshly wondering just how he could have betrayed James and Lily, how he could have killed Peter? But right now, living in London seemed better than living in Paris. They were able to rent a flat in the building where one of Marlene's friend still lived, Athena. The flat might have been empty, filled with transfigured furniture, but it was better than living in a place that had Scott's presence filling up every inch of space. It was a place designed for a family.
"Mama?" Sophia's wide eyes looked up at her and Charlotte managed a smile before she bent down to pick her up. Then she walked a ways further a bit surprised to see that the address led to a medical clinic. When she entered the atmosphere felt strangely familiar. Work had been more like home since she left school and before she met Scott. Her heart panged for the hospital when she felt the warmth and smelled the clinical scent.
"Hello," a blonde woman called from behind a desk. "How can I help you?"
"Hi," she said slowly. "I'm looking for an Adrian Graham."
"Dr. Graham? He just got in, are you scheduled for an appointment?"
"No, but...It's a personal matter and shouldn't take more than a few minutes." In her arms Sophia moved and she set her down, when she did that the girl stumbled in the direction of an opening door not far down the hallway
"Edith? Do you have the file for Smithson?" It was a man that was fairly tall wearing blue scrubs and a white coat. She saw a name sewn on the pocket, Graham. "Hello." He smiled widely when he saw Sophia standing in front of him. "Are you my eleven o'clock?" he inquired, bending down a bit to get a better look at her.
"Are you a Healer?" she questioned. "My daddy was a Healer."
"Yes," he responded with a chuckle.
"Sophia…" Charlotte said and rushed over to place a hand on each shoulder of her child. "I'm sorry."
"It's perfectly alright." He made his way over to the counter to grab the file folder labeled with a blue sticker.
"Doctor you don't have anyone else scheduled until later, you can speak with her." She pointed to Charlotte.
"What do you need?" he asked, eyebrows knitting together in perplexment especially when he saw Sophia beside her. "Our clinical director, Steve, is handling interviews in about two days."
"No, I'm not here for that. I just was supposed to give you this." She handed him the envelope and his face visibly paled.
"Edith, I'm going on break. Could we speak for a moment?"
"If you want your daughter can stay back here. I have some colored pens and paper she could draw on."
"Thank you, but I couldn't-"
"Edith adores children, come along." He gestured to a room down the hall and shut the door behind them before taking a seat, then waving Charlotte over to sit across from him. "How is she? That's why you're here, Lily, right?" he questioned. "I'm just assuming because-"
"Sophia asked if you were a Healer," Charlotte finished. "And yes, I am here for Lily, but the letter did have her name on the return address." She gestured to the envelope she held.
"She's alright, her and James and Harry?"
"Harry is safe." Her words were slow, cautious even. "Lily is...she was killed about a week ago. I'm sorry."
"Killed?" He gripped the table and squeezed his eyes shut. "Who would kill her?"
"James and Lily have came out in opposition against a dark wizard, he wanted to kill Harry and…"
"She was a good woman, I wished I knew her better," he said. "Why did she write me this?"
"Lily wrote goodbye letters to several people, she sensed this was coming." At that Charlotte felt tears sting her eyes, but she continued to speak hoping it would go away. "She knew I was planning on staying in England." She looked at the letter in his hand that he still had not opened. "She wrote me one. You were right, Lily was a good woman, but she was also wise, it was like she knew her fate."
When Adrian opened his eyes he saw Charlotte in front of him. "I take it you were close?"
"Not as close as other people were to her, I knew her through James." Charlotte reached up to wipe up tears that dripped down her face. "It's still hard, though."
"Death can always be difficult…" He began and Charlotte looked up at him. He was going to give her the 'death talk', the one that all doctors and nurses and healers had memorized. Adrian appeared to be even better than her at compartmentalizing, at feeling emotions but not letting them overtake you. "This isn't about Lily is it?"
She shook her head and wiped away the tears. "No, it's about Scott, he was the brother of Lily's and James' friends."
Adrian didn't say anything, but his eyes did land on the ring that remained on her left finger. "Your husband?"
"Yes, losing Lily and James, and…" She couldn't talk about Sirius, not now, she would be both furious and sad. "I just want to make a good life for my daughter and I have a chance now, but I can't go back home.'
"You don't live in England?"
"No, France. I'm surprised I haven't started speaking French or my accent start slipping. It would terrify Scott when I came home from the hospital upset." She brushed back her hair and took a deep breath trying to compose herself. "I don't even know if I want to be a Healer anymore."
"How about a doctor or a nurse?" Adrian questioned. "I have connections at hospitals around here."
"I couldn't ask you to do that, besides I don't have adequate muggle training."
"You could still learn."
Charlotte looked at Adrian and managed a smile. "Maybe you're right." Her voice was shaky as her eyes drifted to the ring on her finger. She never planned on getting married, despite all the men her parents tried to set her up with. Scott just happened, and now she was gone. Now, she had to live her life without him, not only for her sake, but for Sophia's as well.
When Remus Lupin arrived in Godric's Hollow, he hoped that the report he received was wrong. As he walked down the street he caught sight of the house. When he put his hand on a gate a plaque rose in front of him, confirming his worse fears. On this spot, on the night of 31 October 1981, Lily and James Potter lost their lives. There son, Harry, remains the only wizard ever to have survived the Killing Curse. This house, invisible to Muggles, has been left in its ruined state as a monument to the Potter's and as a reminder of the violence that tore apart their family. If only his mission had ended two weeks early he would have gotten to see them one last time. He regretted that he didn't even get to see Harry.
As he ran his hand over the plaque he saw that it was defaced. Anger rose up inside him, but then he read the messages. They were ones of solidarity and support. His eyes passed over flowers strewn across the ground, they had not died in vain. He knew that James' parents were buried in the cemetery beside the church. Making his way over to the grave he wondered about Harry. How could a child have survived that? Was it possible that death of his parents somehow protected him?
When he finally located the stones he sank to his knees beside them and brushed away a few leaves that rested on the newly dug earth. It was all too real now when he read the headstone, saw the identical death dates on each of them. Though, it was the quote at the bottom that struck him hard, The last enemy to be conquered is death.
As he sat there by the graves he made himself think of the war and not of the Marauders. He was the last one still alive, Sirius might as well of been dead to him. Remus went on that mission for Dumbledore only after he was accused of being a spy by Sirius. He shook his head and got to his feet to conjure a small spray of flowers.
Only one thing brought him comfort as he said goodbye to his friends one more time. That single thought was despite all sorrow and hardship due to the war, all was well. For now.