Happy Halloween! In honor of the holiday, have a story about the tragic, canonical murder of some beloved characters. Hope you enjoy :)
It had been a good day. James hated staying in hiding, hated communicating with everyone through letters, hated being unable to join the fight, but he loved living, just living, with Lily and Harry.
His family. Sometimes he still couldn't believe in the midst of war something so good and beautiful could exist. He loved living in relative peace and just enjoying life together.
True, Harry's supposed destiny was frightening, and many nights he or Lily was unable to sleep for worrying about it.
But today was Halloween, and any holiday was something to celebrate. It was too dangerous to take Harry trick or treating, unfortunately, and it was the first Halloween in the past decade he wouldn't spend with the rest of the Marauders. Nevertheless, they determine to make the most of it.
Lily slept in; she always hated mornings. James got up, took care of Harry, and tried and failed to make breakfast. He managed to clean the kitchen before Lily got up, and she made brunch while he played with Harry. They spent the rest of the afternoon together, playing games with Harry or letting him ride his toy broomstick. While he napped, James sat on the couch reading the newspaper, and Lily lay propped against him with a novel. Later, she made dinner while James teased her. It was delicious, as always.
After dinner, as Lily began washing up, James walked up behind her and put his arms around her. She was holding back the curtain, staring outside, although it was too dark to see much. He kissed the side of her head.
"What are you thinking?" he murmured.
She turned troubled eyes to him, a small crease between her eyebrows. "I don't know. I just have a bad feeling."
James stares out the window himself. The wind blows leaves across the yard. He catches a glimpse of trick or treaters going house to house. It's dark, windy, and there are wisps of clouds chasing each other across the crescent moon.
"Classic night for a horror story," he said, lightly.
Lily smacked him, shooting him an annoyed glance.
He laughed, quietly. "Come on, Lily, it's Halloween. It's supposed to be spooky; that's all it is."
Lily looked out the window again, eyes shadowed. James felt his own good mood shaking in the face of her unease.
He broke the embrace only to turn her around to face him. He gripped her shoulders, gently but firmly, staring into her beautiful, green eyes. "No one can get us here, Lily. We're protected. Let's have one night without worry."
Lily nodded, a slow smile curving across her face. James caught a glimpse of mischief in her eyes, an impish quality in her grin, but too late. She seized a pot full of water and tipped the whole thing over his head.
James stood there, soaked to the skin, blinking stupidly, while Lily hooted with laughter.
"Diabolical," he choked out, which just made her laugh harder.
Grinning wickedly, James began to shake his head sending drops of water everywhere like Sirius did when he was Padfoot. Lily shrieked, hiding her face from the rain of water. James grabbed her and pulled her against him, soaking her clothes by default.
He kissed her, cutting off her protest.
As they broke apart, Lily pushed against his chest gently and moved past him back to the kitchen, drying her clothes with her wand as she went. "You dry off and take Harry to the sitting room while I clean up."
James dried himself off. He took Harry out of his highchair and swung him into the air. "Come on, Squirt!" He cheered, carrying the giggling baby into the next room.
He set his son down on the couch and sat next to him. Harry clapped his hands together, babbling.
James grinned and twirled his wand dramatically. Puffs of colored smoke emerged from his wand and floated toward his son, who laughed and grabbed at them.
A few minutes of the fun, and then Lily entered the room. "Alright boys," she said, trying for stern but sounding like she was about to laugh. "I think it's time for Harry to go to bed."
James looked up at her. She was smiling, her vivid green eyes sparkling, her long, dark red hair falling over her face. He thought she had never looked more beautiful.
"Alright, Prongslett," he said, scooping Harry up, "Mummy says it's time for bed." He handed the toddler to his wife, giving her a swift kiss on cheek as she left the room.
He tossed his wand onto the sofa and stretched, yawning as he did so. Maybe it was bedtime for the adults too. Although, he should really write to Sirius; it had been a while since…
The door slammed open with an unmistakable bang.
James knew at once that it was bad news and was out of the room and sprinting into the hall towards the front door before he even fully registered the threat.
He drew up as he came face to face with the chalk white face and red eyes of Voldemort that he had seen three times before.
James didn't even have a wand on him, and he cursed his own stupidity.
"Lily, take Harry and go!" he shouted as loud as he could. A distraction was their only hope now. "It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"
Voldemort cackled, high pitched, sharp. James wasn't getting out of this; he prayed that Lily and his son would survive.
His last thought was of Lily, her laughter, the feel of her lips on his…
He did not see the green flash of light, lost as he was in the green of her eyes…
The killing curse hit him…
And James Potter knew no more.
Lily heard the bang of the front door, and just like James, she knew what it meant. Only a handful of people knew where they were, no one was supposed to come tonight, and anyone with good intentions would have knocked, not burst in.
She clutched Harry tightly to her. They were coming for him; he was coming to kill her baby!
James! Where was he?
She couldn't afford to lose it. Reaching for her wand, determined to fight to her last breath to defend her son…
She didn't have her wand.
Despair filled her as she remembered that she had left it in the kitchen.
James' shouts reached her ear. "Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"
There was nowhere to run. She was upstairs in Harry's room. The stairs went straight to the hall; she'd be taking her baby right to Voldemort. Without her wand, she couldn't jump out the window.
Knowing already that it was hopeless, she started shoving the chair against the door with her shoulder.
She froze for a split second, listening hard, hoping, praying…
There was a thud, like a limp body falling to the floor.
Lily screamed and redoubled her efforts.
Her husband, the love of her life, was dead.
But there was no time to mourn. James was dead, but Harry was not, and he was all that mattered now.
The chair was in front of the door, and Lily quickly added the few boxes of toys and clothes that were in the room. There was nothing else to use, nothing else in the room save the crib, which was too big for her to move.
Lily backed away from the door until her back hit the crib, still holding Harry to her. She might have had a chance in the muggle world, but this was the wizarding one, and she knew she had none.
The door opened and the chair and boxes were cast aside as if they weighed nothing. Voldemort stood there in all his dark glory, swathed in a black cloak, his hood shadowing his unnatural face.
As soon as she saw him, Lily dropped Harry in the crib and turned back to face Voldemort, spreading her arms out in defense. She planted her feet firmly in the carpet, refusing to be moved. Voldemort would have to kill her if he wanted to get to her son.
"Not Harry," she begged, "not Harry, please, not Harry!"
"Stand aside, you silly girl," Voldemort hissed. "Stand aside, now."
Why was he sparing her? He had killed James without a second thought. Lily felt a pang in her heart.
"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead." She knew it wouldn't do any good. If only it weren't for the prophesy!
"This is my last warning," Voldemort insisted.
Lily didn't know why he didn't want to kill her. She didn't care.
"Not Harry! Please… have mercy… have mercy… Not Harry! Not Harry! Please, I'll do anything!"
"Stand aside. Stand aside, girl!"
She knew she was out of time, but she meant every word she had spoken. Harry was the only thing that mattered.
She saw Voldemort raise his wand, open his mouth for the curse that would end her life.
She would see James again soon.
She only prayed desperately that Harry would somehow live.
There was a flash of green light…
And Lily Potter knew no more.