Epilogue: Etched With Love, Mom and Dad

* Voldemort sat on his black throne as a self-proclaimed prince. Below him at his feet laid a large snake, coiled in and between his feet, and around him stood his loyal subjects, the Death Eaters.

"The prophecy has been fulfilled. It is now the first day of August, and the boy that the prophecy has spoken of must now be eliminated, or else. I cannot allow him to interfere in the future with any of my plans for total purification of the wizarding race. Bring me the woman!"

"Let me go! I swear if you don't let me go I'm going to murder you! Worse, I'll turn you into a mouse and feed you to a cat! Let me go!" Two Death Eaters threw Arabella Figg into the spotlight. Ara looked up, and her ranting instantly stopped.

"It's you! You're…"

"Lord Voldemort." The blank, evil laugh sent chills through her. And to think Lily and James had fought this disgusting man three times!

"You were the friend of Lily Evans, you must know now when her child was born! Tell me, was it indeed born in late July? At the end of the seventh month of the year?"

"I'm not talking." Ara stuck her chin out stubbornly. Voldemort looked at her with mild amusement.

"Crucio!" He waved his wand. Ara gasped and tried to breath as she felt the pain rip through her body and tear at her muscles. Any strength she had faded under the hot blaze of terror, and she sank down to her knees, clutching her stomach. "Care to try again?"

"I'm not telling you anything!" She managed to yell and bite her lip, waiting for another surge of pain, or worse, death.

"She's not talking. Dolohov, what shall we do with her?"

"We could use a test human for our newest spell. We aren't quite sure how it will work—yet." One of the Death Eaters stepped forward.

"I have no real use for her, after all, I do have another victim much more willing to talk. Try your spell, Dolohov, and let's see what you've accomplished."

"Yes, master, as you wish." The Death Eater took out his wand and pointed at Ara, who squirmed and tried to run away. "Expellart witch magico!" As the spell hit Arabella, she knew something was wrong.

First she felt stronger than anything she had ever felt before. And then, as quickly as the extra strength had come, the surge had gone, and she dropped to her knees, and then collapsed all together, with barely enough strength to breathe. Every bone in her body ached, and every muscle creaked as things shifted and twisted within her. She reached for her wand, which she could now see laying on the floor, and with it turned to curse the first wizard she saw.

"Impedimenta!" She cried. But the wand, her very own wand, stung her hand. Nothing happened. Again and again and again she tried, numerous curses, until finally she could take no more pain and her body gave out. Slipping into unconsciousness, the last thing she heard was:

"Congratulations, you've just made a squib of a full blown witch. With the minor side effect of aging her by fifteen or so years." A squib! Old! And then she blacked out.

"Bring out my second victim—let's see how much more willing to talk he is." Two more Death Eaters brought forward a short, thin and pale man who was so terrified he was shaking from his head to his toe.

"Ah, yes. Peter Pettigrew. The fourth Marauder, and one of James Potter's dearest friends. Tell me. Where can I find Potter and that wife of his!?" Voldemort snapped.

"Oh, oh, please don't hurt me!" Peter squirmed.

"I'm not hurting you—yet. Now, you insignificant worm! Tell me where the Potters and that child of theirs is, or else the pain will be worse than you can imagine."

"They're, they're hidden away." Peter stammered.

"Are they? Where!"

"I, I don't know!" He lied.

"Crucio!" Peter's jaw opened and a haunting scream echoed through the black night.

"You think that was bad? I can do so much worse. Come on, Wormtail. I can be a great friend when you need one. Why not join our side? The power, the pleasure you'll gain from torturing someone is incredible."

"You're going to kill Lily and James!" Peter accused.

"And that brat of theirs! Do you really think I would let them get away? True, the Longbottoms may have escaped me, but the Potters humiliated me! Me! The all-powerful Dark Lord! I know that it is their son who is my threat, the threat I must destroy now, while he is too young to harm me. And you could join me, Peter. Imagine the power!

"What did the Potters ever do for you anyway? Did they help you when you needed it? Or get you in trouble? Did they give you power? Or ignore you? Come on Peter! James Potter is not really such a nice guy that you would die for him, now is he? Answer me!"

"He… he isn't." peter whispered, his eyes opening wide. "He always gets me into trouble. He doesn't include me… never listens to me…" Peter closed his eyes.

"That's it Wormtail. Where are the Potters hiding? Only you can tell me!"

"They're hiding in Lily's old childhood home. It's on the coast of northern Britain, in a very small town named Juniper."

"Very good Wormtail. I might yet have a place for you here, beside me."

"Thank you… master." Voldemort smiled darkly.

"See to it that the woman is left on the Ministry's front doorstep… the thrill of panic would be splendid to watch." Voldemort stood, and shook his robes out. Then, taking his wand, he apparated before his loyal subjects.


"James, isn't he perfect?" Lily asked her husband as she looked down at little Harry, who sat in his crib.

"Almost as perfect as his mother." James kissed the top of her head lovingly. "My son, Harry." James sighed wistfully. "He'll grow up, go to Hogwarts, become troublemaker extraordinaire…"

"Yes, I'm sure Dumbledore will be thrilled about that." Lily said sarcastically.

"Hey! It's my son we're talking about here, not some ordinary, run down wizard child!" Lily laughed.

"You certainly have a way with words, don't you James?"

"You married me because of them, didn't you?" He grinned like a maniac.

"Yes I did. What a shame." Lily smiled. "He'll be a powerful wizard James, and Hogwarts will suit him well enough."

"Lily, Hogwarts will not only suit him, it will keep him safe. You know with Voldemort out there as bloodthirsty as he is at the moment, the school is the safest place to keep Harry." James had the slight impression he had heard someone use those very same words a very long time ago, but the memory was a little vague. Still they were true nevertheless.

"James, let's go downstairs, I'm hungry. Harry's asleep, so we won't have to worry about him until, what, two in the morning?" James laughed at his wife's sense of humor.

"Come on Lady Lily, you're tired, let me cook you dinner. Pancakes sound good?"

"Pancakes? Oh James, that sounds disgusting! How can you eat pancakes for dinner?" James shrugged.

"I just can. Sirius and I used to all the time."

"You miss him, don't you?" Lily asked, her forehead wrinkled with concern for her husband's happiness.

"I do, but you and Harry are more important. I love you Lily, and I swore I would protect you, or die trying."

"I know James. I know. I made the same vow about you to myself, and the same vow to Harry." She smiled lightly.

"Do you remember the first time we realized we loved each other?" James asked her.

"Hmm. I didn't even believe in love, and you convinced me." Lily laughed. How could she possibly have forgotten how she had come to believe in love? She remembered it like it was yesterday…

"Otherwise?" Lily echoed.

"Otherwise I wouldn't know how to describe what I feel for you." He heard Lily slightly gasp, but grew bolder and continued. "Lily, what I feel for you, yes, lust is a part of it. But there's more than lust. I'm not scared of being alone if I never find the person I want to be with either. But Lily, I have found the person I want to be with-you. And even then, my love for you is more than just lust and fear." James buried his head in the crook of Lily's neck and a single tear fell.

"Lily, I like helping you with your problems and when you help me with mine. I like hearing your voice, your laughter. I feel warm when you're happy, and I feel cold when you're sad. My emotions change depending on you. That isn't fear or lust. That is a sign of deep care for another person. Lily, I love every little thing about you, down to the fact that when you're mad or jealous your eyes change color, or the fact that you always blush when I call you lovely Lady Lily. I love you." He finished. Pulling his head up, he dared to look her in the eye.

"James…" She breathed.

"I know this sounds horrible and fake, but I can't help it Lil. I don't know how else to tell you." James lowered his head. They stayed in silence for a long moment, simply breathing in the moment.

And James had kissed her.

"I still love you that same way Lily. I still want you more than anything in the world. Lily…" He breathed in deeply. James bent down and kissed her fully on her soft, sweet lips. They drew the kiss out long and slow, letting the love they felt for each other radiate gently through their lips. Then James roughly pushed Lily back.

"What? What's wrong?"

"Something's not right. Lily, get Harry, we have to go, quickly!" Lily, her mouth wide open, lips swollen and bruised from the kiss, nodded and raced up the stairs. As she reach the top, the saw the door down below fly open, and there, in all his glory and terror, stood the Dark Lord, Voldemort. "Go Lily!" James yelled at her.

"Potter. It's been so long, I've missed our little encounters. But now it's time to finish what I promised I would. I will destroy you and your family! Avada Kadavra!"

"James!" Lily screamed in horror as she watched James fall limp and then lay still and unmoving. James Potter was dead. "James, no James!" Tears streamed down her face, burring her vision. Voldemort then looked up at her.

"Ah, the mudblood Potter had fallen in love with. Don't worry; you will soon be joining your husband, in oblivion! And then your son shall follow!" Despite her tears, Lily's heart screamed at her.

"Not Harry… you can't have Harry too! I forbid it!" She screamed. Racing as fast as she could, she ran into Harry's room and collected him in her arms, shushing the screaming child. Just as she turned to apparate, Voldemort blew the door in.

"Killing two birds with one stone shouldn't be too hard." He sneered. "Avada Kadavra!" He screamed. As the curse hit her, Lily turned, taking the full brunt of the attack and leaving Harry well protected from any of the black magic that might have ended his life. Then she lay still, heart and lungs no longer pumping. Lily Evans Potter was dead.

"Ah, little Harry Potter!" Voldemort sneered. "To think, killing such a tiny child will ensure my victory in the wizarding world and the future to come." He raised his wand, and waved it. "Avada Kadavra!"

But when the magic stream of red light hit Harry squarely, it bounced off of him, only knocking him back at little bit. Instead, the magic, weakened by hitting him, backfired and engulfed Voldemort instead. As the Dark Lord sprouted black and violet flames that ate him from the inside out, he made one last vow.

"I will return for you, Harry Potter, this is not over yet!" And then he was gone. Fire caught on the drapes in the room, and soon the house was ablaze. The old brick was hard to burn, but that night it popped and sizzled, and Lily and James Potter were given a proper burial by the fates—buried in the same house that she had been born in, he had dreamt of her in, he had proposed in, and they had been happy and in love in.

Later that night, as the stars and moon began to wane, an old motorbike sputtered towards the ruins of the Potter household. Sirius jumped off his bike instantly and began digging through the ashes, trying to find something, anything, that would lead him to believe Lily and James had escaped. The small cried of a hungry baby met his ears. Beneath a pile of rubbish Harry lay, crying and alone, abandon not by choice, but by other, more disastrous means. A tiny lightening shaped scar was freshly etched into Harry's forehead, a sad reminder of this night that would last him until eternity.

Sirius picked up the child and sat down on the cold, wet ground, crying his eyes out over his best friends who had been lost forever because of the Dark Lord Voldemort and his selfish and greedy aspirations.

"Sirius." Hagrid appeared from the shadows, tears streaming down his cheeks. He knew what had happened; asking would only make it more real, only make the pain tougher to bare. "I've come for Harry. Dumbledore's sent me." Sirius nodded.

"I'm his Godfather Hagrid."

"He needs to be hidden Sirius. Ara was targeted because she was associated with you—don't do the same to Harry, he can't even defend himself."

"I know." Sirius' voice was hoarse from crying. "Take my motorbike Hagrid—at least you'll get there sooner. The sooner he's safer, the better."

"Alright. Goodbye Sirius, I hope to see you soon."

"Bye Hagrid." As he watched Hagrid take off, Sirius felt one last tear trickle down his cheek.

"Goodbye Lily, James. Rest in peace. I swear to you, I will protect your son, or die trying. But, as you would say Lils, that's life as we know it—you give a little, you get a little, and life goes on." And away he walked, shrouded in the cloak of the night. *

The End.

~~~Well, it's over. That's all I have. Did you like it? Hate it? Please review and tell me!

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I just want to thank you all for supporting me in my writing of this fic, and being very patient with me in my slow updating. It's really great to know some of you have followed this saga from Our Complicated Lives and on, and it means the world to me that you've taken the time to review and tell me what you think. Thank you for everything! Much love, Vixen~~~ Rix13Rix@aol.com