I do not own anything to do with Harry Potter, obviously. See end for notes
Lily awoke with a start. "Harry!" She was in a white room, in a white bed, under white sheets. St. Mungo's or some other hospital.
She scrambled out of the bed, nearly falling as her feet got stuck in the sheets. She had to get out; she had to find her son. Her legs seemed unnaturally wobbly, but she made her way across the room anyway. A couple of feet from the door, it opened, and a healer walked in. The woman shrieked.
"I want to see my son," Lily said, determinedly, drawing herself up to her full height, though the effect was undermined by her swaying where she stood.
"Mrs. Potter," gasped the healer. "What… how…?"
"Did you understand me?" Lily demanded, wishing she could sit down.
"Lily?" At the familiar, much-loved voice she had been sure she'd never hear again, she whirled around.
James lay in the bed next to hers, which she had not seen until that moment, she had been so focused on getting out the door. He was throwing back the sheets and sitting up, looking around blearily. He didn't have his glasses.
Tiredness forgotten, Lily flew across the room and flung her arms around him, kissing him soundly on the lips.
"James!" she cried. "I thought… I thought…" She couldn't finish.
James hugged her back, silent, just holding onto her tightly. Finally, they leaned back and looked at each other, still with their arms around each other.
"Lily," he breathed her name like a prayer. "What happened? The last thing I remember…"
"I know, me too," Lily said.
A hand holding glasses appeared in their line of vision. Lily took them and put them on her husband. The healer who stood before them was not the same one Lily had so clearly frightened.
"I've flued Professor Dumbledore," said the healer. "He's on his way. In the meantime, I need to give you both an examination to see if anything is wrong."
"We need to find our son," James said, firmly.
"Your son is fine," the healer assured them. "We need to make sure you are."
"What happened?" Lily asked. "I was sure I was dead."
"Me too," James nodded.
"I'm not the best person to explain that," said the healer, looking uncomfortable. "I do need to examine you."
Lily exchanged a look with James. They weren't sure if they could trust the healer, but they were willing to wait a little while at least to see if Dumbledore had answers.
Half an hour later, they were given a clean bill of health from the confused healer, and just when they were going to raise another uproar insisting to see their son or at least get some answers, Albus Dumbledore walked in, followed by Remus Lupin.
James knew immediately that something was wrong. Dumbledore looked the same, but Remus… Remus looked so much older. There were lines around his eyes and mouth and streaks of silver in his brown hair.
"Prongs?" Remus whispered.
"Hey Moony," James breathed, still trying to figure out what the heck had happened.
"I thought you were dead," Remus muttered, so quiet James could barely hear him.
"As you may be able to guess," said Dumbledore, and when James glanced at him, he saw tears in the old man's eyes. He looked back at Remus, unable to keep his eyes from his friend for long. "You two have been in a coma for almost ten years."
Lily moaned, a hand over her mouth. James sat back, barely able to think under the weight of that sentence.
"What? But… what?" was all he could, very intelligently, say.
"That's not possible," said Lily. "How?"
"We don't have an explanation," said Dumbledore. "We all thought you were dead. It wasn't until some healers were sent to your house to collect your bodies that they realized you were alive, just unconscious. The staff at St. Mungo's were convinced you would never wake, that for all intents and purposes, you were dead. Why you woke today, we have no idea."
"Wait," said Lily. "Harry?"
Sweet Merlin, his baby son was almost eleven years old now! They had missed so much.
"Where is he? Is he alright?" he asked.
"He's fine," Dumbledore hastened to say. "He's been living at your sister's house, Lily."
"What?!" Lily exploded, looking about ready to jump out of bed and storm over to her sister's house right then. "You can't have left him with her! She hates magic; she hates me!" Her voice broke on the last sentence.
"It was the only safe place for him," Dumbledore said, loudly. "When you cast yourself between him and Voldemort's curse with the intent to die in his place, you placed a powerful protective magic over your son. That protection lives in your remaining relatives, Harry and Petunia. As long as Harry lives there, neither Voldemort nor his followers can harm him."
Lily still did not look happy, but she sank back and seemed to be prepared to continue to listen. Dumbledore and Remus came further into the room and sat down in chairs at the foot of the beds.
James had been following the conversation with one half of his brain, while the rest of it was going a mile a minute, trying to figure this out and only coming up with new questions.
"Where's Voldemort now?" he asked. "What's he doing?"
"Voldemort is gone," said Dumbledore. "When he tried to kill Harry, his spell rebounded and hit him instead."
"So, he's dead?!" James interrupted, excitedly.
"No," said Dumbledore, gravely. "He is a spirit, with no body or power. He is currently in hiding."
There was silence as Lily and James tried to process all this information. Remus was staring at them as if he was in some beautiful dream that he would wake from any minute. James noticed something missing, and he cursed himself for not noticing it sooner.
Dumbledore and Remus exchanged the briefest of looks. "Sirius is in Azkaban," Dumbledore said gently.
"After betraying you," Remus began.
James interrupted. "Peter was our secret keeper."
Remus stopped speaking, his mouth hanging open. Even Dumbledore looked surprised.
"Sirius thought it would be the perfect bluff," James explained. "We changed to Peter at the last minute. Didn't Sirius tell you?" This he said to Remus.
Remus shook his head. "This is the first I've heard of it." He looked extremely pained. "James, after you and Lily…" he swallowed, "died, Peter tracked Sirius down. He was shouting and sobbing about how Sirius had betrayed him, had betrayed you, that Sirius was the spy, and it was his fault you and Lily were dead."
"That was him trying to save his own skin," James insisted. "He was always the best liar out of the four of us."
Remus looked away.
"That is possible," Dumbledore said. "Except, at that point, Sirius blew up the street, killing Peter and twelve muggles."
Lily gasped. James felt as if everything real was falling away leaving him stranded in a new, cold, dark reality.
"But… but…" he appealed to Remus. "Remus?"
Remus clearly knew what he was asking. "His finger was all that was left," he whispered. "Almost a hundred witnesses swore to what they saw. Sirius was arrested at the scene. He was laughing." Remus related the facts with detachment, as if reading a textbook. Each one was like a blow right to James' heart. "Moody talked to him in Azkaban, asked him if he was responsible for your deaths. He admitted it. He was sentenced for life without a trial."
James passed a shaking hand over his eyes. Peter was dead. Sirius was a traitor.
Sirius was a traitor.
It didn't seem possible.
A hand gripped his shoulder, and he looked up to see Remus looking at him. "I'm so sorry."
Remus looked so old and sad. James realized for the past ten years Remus had been living alone. The last Marauder.
He pulled his old friend into a hug. "I'm glad you're here Remus!" He whispered, fiercely.
Remus didn't answer, but he gripped him back just as tight, and his shoulders hitched with sobs.
Author's Note: The inspiration of this fic was exploring how Harry's parents would react to the crazy dangerous situations he's always getting into. As such, while it is obviously an AU because Lily and James are alive, there are no other major deviations to canon. One example being that Sirius is still in Azkaban for now. If it seems like James is quick to accept Sirius as the traitor, he is in shock and obviously Harry is a priority at the moment. Later, he'll go through the stages of grief (especially denial and anger), but the most damning evidence is the 12 innocent bystanders that Sirius would never have killed if he were innocent, even if he had been out for revenge, and James is eventually forced to accept it.
Most of this story will be told in the form of letters between Harry and his parents. As the series progresses, there will be more scenes like the one above, especially in book 5 and 7 when letters aren't safe.
On a final note, how did the Potter's survive and why do they wake up now? I have no idea, and neither does anyone else :) Nothing I thought of was even remotely plausible, and as I was more interested in them being alive than how they are alive, I'm willing to write it off as a miracle.
Sorry for the long note. Please enjoy!