Prologue: A Little Fall of Rain
Lily Potter leaned her thin frame against the counter of her small kitchen, looking out the bevelled glass window to the outside world. The raindrops pattered against the window and Lily watched them slide down the glass. It almost seemed like the world outside matched how she felt inside. With a sigh, Lily set down her dish towel to finish clearing dinner from the table. Cleaning, cooking, and meaningless housework seemed to be the only thing to take her mind off things these days. If there was one thing she was certain of, she absolutely hated being cooped-up in her own home; even if it was with her small family whom she loved and cherished. Lily had wanted to be doing something more with her life, to be something more. But that didn't quite seem to be in the cards she was dealt.
Before they had gone into hiding, Lily had been training to become a Healer and worked quite closely with the Order of the Phoenix to bring down Lord Voldemort. Quite honestly, she found satisfaction in both venues because they allowed her to help others in need. It seemed that was what she was destined to do: help others. Or so she had thought, but now, she was forced into hiding to keep her children safe from Lord Voldemort. Yet despite how much she loathed it, she knew that what she was doing was what was best for her children, to keep them safe from the lurking danger. Too often Lily tried to keep a brave face, but the thought of losing her little boy or little girl, both of whom had so easily captured her heart, terrified her. So if keeping her babies safe meant staying in her house, which was protected by the Fidelius Charm and their Secret Keeper, then so be it.
Lily sighed once more and attempted to leave her thoughts and worries behind in the kitchen. She walked to the front sitting room where she found her husband James, lying on the sofa watching their twins Harry and Leila. The twins were on the floor and James had a goofy grin on his face. Surprisingly, James was such a good father to their fifteen month old twins. If you would have told her five years ago that she'd be married to and have kids with one of the biggest toerags at Hogwarts, well, she would have thought you were mental. Yet, here she was. While her situation with James sometimes seemed unfathomable… what was almost harder to believe was how fast Harry and Leila were growing. As their mother, she hoped that they'd live long lives; but sometimes that hope seemed very much in question.
The mother of two sat down on the patterned rug with her children, who were playing with a set of ordinary wooden blocks. Blocks that had once belonged to Lily as a child. Lily made sure that her children got the best of both of her worlds: the Wizarding and the Muggle. She wanted them to grow up as rounded as possible: taking full-advantage of their magical heritage, yet not holding prejudices against those who weren't so fortunate. She watched as her daughter reached for one of the wooden blocks and of course, as with any young child, it went straight for her mouth. Lily chuckled as Leila slobbered all over the block and her hand while looking up at her mother innocently. The young mother then tapped Leila on the nose which made the little girl giggle and more slobber to drip from her mouth. A jealous Harry reached his grubby little hands for his sister and stole the block. He put the block into his own mouth expecting the same reaction from his mother. This made Leila cry as Harry looked to his mother for satisfaction. Lily shook her head and pulled the block from Harry's mouth and handed Leila a different block.
"Harry James Potter, we share the blocks," Lily reprimanded, pointing index her finger at her son. Baby Harry looked up at his mother with innocent eyes as he clutched the wooden block in his grubby little hands. Lily shook her head at her son with a slight smile on her face before she took it away and handed the block to her daughter before turning back to Harry. "Leila had that one, sweetheart. As her big brother you need to always be there for her."
"Lils, you do realize he doesn't understand a word you're saying," James said, trying to stifle a grin from his face as he watched from his spot on the sofa. He was clearly enjoying this. Lily shot him a look before turning her attention back to their children.
"It's never too early to learn how to share." Lily watched Harry reach for another one of Leila's blocks, but she gently swatted at his hand. The look of shock on his face almost made Lily laugh, but she tried to keep her lips pursed. James however didn't miss the almost smile on her face. He grinned at her before sitting up on the sofa and leaning in closer toward his beautiful wife.
"You and your instilling of proper values." It was obvious that even after growing up, James still enjoyed ruffling his wife's feathers so to speak. He couldn't help but tease her, but Lily could dish it right back at him and she did.
"I won't have our children acting like you did as a child."
"I turned out alright in the end." James winked at his wife; but Lily shot her husband another look, and he tried to look offended. Instead he ended up smiling and shaking his head. He knew that she was right. He had been a terrible prat growing up. Hopefully, his daughter didn't end up falling for someone like that—but if she was anything like her mother, he was doomed, because she would. James just wanted the best for his children, no matter what that meant. He ran his fingers through his hair before responding, "Well, then we'll just have to hope that Leila and Harry end up like you. Although, if Leila ends up with your looks, we're doomed."
Lily smiled at her husband who got off the sofa and crawled across the floor to the twins. He tried to give Harry a fright; but her son only giggled at his father's attempts to scare him. James then moved over to Leila and started to tickle the girl. He knew how ticklish his little girl was. Leila's giggles and squeals filled the room which put a smile on James's face. James picked up both the twins and started tickling them both at once, one with each hand. Both children squealed with delight but after a few moments, Leila started coughing and wheezing. The poor thing wasn't feeling well and Lily's maternal instincts kicked in. Lily reached for her daughter and cradled her.
Holding Leila close, Lily gently rocked her daughter in her arms. She placed a gentle kiss against the top of Leila's head before the little girl coughed again. Lily could feel how tight her daughter's cough was, as Leila was recovering from being sick, and Lily's heart practically broke at her daughter's pain; but she knew a way to soothe the pain: a bath. Lily stood up with her daughter in her arms and told James to change Harry into his pyjamas. Before Lily left with Leila, James stood up and placed a gentle kiss on his daughter's chubby cheek before he returned to the sofa with Harry.
Leaving Harry with James in the sitting room, Lily took Leila into the kitchen and set her down on kitchen floor while she filled the sink with warm water. Little Leila cooed at the cat which watched the little girl carefully. After adding some lavender to the warm bathwater, she placed Leila in the sink who always seemed to love being in the water. Leila playfully splashed her bathwater all over the counter, the window, and her mother. Even though her shirt was dripping water, Lily breathed a sigh of relief hoping that her daughter would finally be able to get a good night's sleep. With a smile on her face, Lily began to gently splash her daughter back; but this only made Leila splash harder and giggle more.
By the time she finally pulled Leila out of the bath, Lily was soaked practically from head to toe, but Leila seemed content. Lily chuckled as she wrapped her daughter in a warm, fluffy green towel which practically matched her daughter's dazzling eyes. Lily could feel a slight blush on her cheeks, knowing that both of her twins had inherited her eyes; a fact that James often boasted about. Leila yawned and her mother then placed several kisses on her daughter's forehead. Lily then proceeded to carry her little girl upstairs to the small nursery she shared with her brother.
The nursery was cozy but comfortable enough for two. The walls were a light yellow that Lily had picked out to be gender neutral. Good thing too, since she had one of each. Although, James did tease her about picking a Hufflepuff color, but it could have been worse. Inside the nursery there were two cribs, one for each of the twins, a changing station, and Lily's favorite item: the rocking chair. Lily set Leila down on the changing station to diaper and dress her little one.
After dressing Leila in a fuzzy purple sleeper, Lily sat down with her daughter in the rocking chair. While she rocked her little girl, who was snuggled close to her, she hummed a somewhat haunting melody as a lullaby. Within minutes, Leila's eyes began to droop and even sooner than that, the girl was fast asleep. For several minutes, Lily continued to rock her sleeping daughter and hum, knowing that she wouldn't be able to do this with her daughter forever because someday her daughter would grow too old for this. Sentimental. She was probably being overly sentimental, but there was just so much love in Lily's heart for her children. Lily placed a kiss against her daughter's chubby cheek before she set her down in her crib. For a few minutes, she watched her daughter to make sure that she continued to sleep peacefully on her own. Then, she headed back downstairs to her husband and her son.
Lily opened the door to the sitting room to find James lying across the sofa playing with his wand as Harry enjoyed the puffs of smoke that were emitted. After a small chuckle, she walked across the room and sat down on the sofa beside her husband's legs. She patted his legs as he offered her a smile before Harry released a squeal, demanding another puff of smoke.
"Leila's asleep," Lily said as she reached to flatten a piece of Harry's hair. He had definitely inherited James' unruly hair.
"You must have the magic touch," James said with a smile before he pulled his watch out of his pocket. He looked at the time and then to his son. "It's about that time, isn't it? What'd you say, little man? Time for bed?"
James sat up on the sofa before picking up his son. Harry looked at his father before blowing a few raspberries at him. James chuckled as he handed Harry over to Lily. "Why can't you put him to bed?" Lily teased.
"Like I said, you have the magic touch." James grinned at his wife and she just rolled her eyes at her husband before taking hold of her son.
"Next time it's your turn." Lily whispered in James' ear before she pressed a kiss against his cheek. "I'll be back down when he's asleep."
"I'll be waiting." James winked suggestively.
"James Potter!" Lily gasped, pretending to be offended.
"Lily Evans…Potter!" James mimicked his wife causing her to bend down and gently punch him on this arm.
"You're just lucky that I love you."
"Luck's got nothing to do with it, Lils."
"You keep telling yourself that."
"I love you too, sweetheart," was James' response, which must have been good enough for Lily. She bent down and gave James a proper kiss before she headed upstairs with Harry.
As she walked into the room, she could hear Leila's soft breathing coming from the crib. Her poor baby girl. With Harry in her arms, Lily walked over to the rocking chair and rocked him to sleep just as she did with Leila. She sang to him and watched out the window, wishing that she could take the kids outside to play. She wished that she could take them to Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. She wished that they were anywhere but practically under house arrest. House arrest was usually for Muggle criminals, not innocent people. Lily sighed and looked down at her son who was breathing softly in her arms. She smiled before she placed a kiss on her sleeping son's forehead. Then, everything changed.
James screams echoed through the house, "Lily, it's him! Take the twins and run! I'll hold him off!"
For a moment Lily froze with fear and panic. Her wand was downstairs in the kitchen from when she had been doing the dishes. She hadn't thought that she would need to use it while putting the children to bed and if Voldemort was downstairs where her wand was, there was no easy way to get out. Doing the first thing she could think of, Lily placed a kiss once more on Harry's cheek before she put him beside Leila in her crib, so it would be easier to protect them both. She must have set Harry down rather roughly because his eyes immediately opened and he looked at his mother who was giving Leila another kiss.
With tears welling in her eyes, Lily began to physically move everything in the room that she could into a pile in front of the door. She knew that it wouldn't keep Voldemort away; but it was the best that she could do given the circumstances. She had to try and do something to keep her babies safe. Hopefully, it would at least distract Voldemort while she had some time to come up with a better idea. Nearly blinded by her tears, Lily looked back at her babies to as Harry crawled on top of his sister, waking her up, which caused her to start to scream. Looking to the door, she rushed across the room to the twins and tried to comfort them. Leila, who was still crying, and Harry both pressed their faces against the bars of the crib looking to their mother.
"Harry. Leila. Be safe. Be strong," Lily cried.
As tears streamed down her face, she kissed each of her children through the bars once more. First Harry's chubby cheek and then Leila's. As she kissed Leila's tear-stained cheek, the door handle jiggled. Lily's breath hitched as she knew right then that they weren't going to make it. They were going to be counted as victims, like the countless others who had been murdered by him and his followers. Lily's thoughts instantly turned to her children. They were so young and still had so much of their lives left to live. It wouldn't be fair to them never getting to know or experience life and love.
As Lily choked back a sob, she knew that there was only one thing left to do: plead for the lives of her children. Just then, the door flung open and off its hinges, revealing Lord Voldemort.
"Not my babies!" Lily cried, using herself as a shield in front of their crib. She only hoped that there was some bit of humanity left in him. That he might allow her babies to live. They hadn't done anything wrong. They were innocent in all of this. They deserved more. "Please, not Harry or Leila! Please spare my babies!"
"Stand aside you silly girl," Voldemort ordered.
"Please, take me instead! Leave my babies alone!"
"This is my last warning..."
"Have mercy—please, have mercy."
"I said stand aside!"
Voldemort drew his wand and pointed it at the crib, so Lily did the only thing that she could think of: she threw herself in front of the crib screaming her children's names. But that only lasted momentarily before a green light filled the room and Lily Potter's dead body dropped to the floor with a loud thud. Harry, who had been clutching the bars of the crib, looked at Lord Voldemort who was muttering to himself as Leila's cries continued to fill the room. The Dark Lord took one look at the children and growled something under his breath before he pointed his wand at the crib. The green light filled the room once more and then everything went dark. The only sounds heard in the darkness were a child's soft cries and the patter of a little fall of rain.
Author's Note: I'm really excited about this rewrite! I hope ya'll enjoy reading about younger Leila. She's a bit different than older Leila for those of you who have read "Lost Along the Way" Thanks to my beta Renny Autumn. :)
The next chapter will be posted later today. :)