Chapter 1: Lily Wakes Up
Another one my muse came up with. I'm trying to make it different than other Lily sticks around stories. So, here's to hoping my muse gives me some good thoughts. I have a few directions I can think of, but I'm undecided as to which way it's going to go.
Anything you recognize belongs to someone else. This is the disclaimer for the entire story.
Harry Potter was a strange boy. He was six years old when he found that he was not alone in his head. His mother had been sucked into his noggin when she had died. She stuck with him the entire time. It took until he was six for her to get enough power to come out and talk to him.
She had always been there in some capacity, a warm feeling when he was sad and lonely. A feeling like a kiss on the forehead when he was about to sleep. Things that little boys needed, to know they weren't alone in the world. It was just that she was too diminished to be of any help until he was six.
"Harry," he heard in his head when he had gone to bed one night. He looked around to see where the voice was coming from. However, he was alone in the dark cupboard under the stairs. There was little light in here, but there was enough to see it was empty besides him and the spiders.
"Who is talking to me?" he asked the air. He wasn't scared, not yet. The voice sounded familiar, like someone he had heard in his dreams. A voice that sang to him in his nightmares. It was a soft feminine voice. Like a warm hug on a fall day.
"It's your mother," the voice said, still in his head. It was a mere whisper, and it was like a spring breeze clearing the cobwebs out. It made him feel loved and content.
"My mum? My mum is dead," the tiny boy protested. "My aunt told me so," he added, not believing the voice. His aunt had told him that his mum had died in a car accident when he was a baby. She said many mean things about his mum. He didn't want to believe them, because of the warm feelings he got when he thought about her.
"I am dead," the voice said, there was pain in it. A small bit of pain, like a moment missed that could not be brought back. "I am a ghost in your head. It has taken me this long to get the strength to talk to you," she said, and Harry felt a hand brush the side of his face. "Plus, I can come out now," she said as she materialized in front of him.
Harry almost screamed, but he realized that he would be punished if he did. It was late at night and if he woke his uncle, there'd be hell to pay.
"You're a ghost," he said, scampering as far back as the tiny cupboard would let him. His back was pressed to the wall and his feet were trying to find purchase on his little mattress. He finally settled down when she didn't come any further towards him. He looked at her and noted that she looked very pretty. Almost like an angel.
"I told you," she said, smiling at him. He was handling it really well. At least he wasn't in hysterics. She knew she would be if a ghost had come to her at this age.
"Are you going to kill me?" he asked, worried that she wanted him to join her. He wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. He had always wanted to be with his mum, but he was pretty sure he wanted to live.
"Of course not," she said, smiling softly. "I want you to live. I want you to have a long life. I died so that you can live long." She touched his face again. It was cool on his skin.
"Aunt Petunia said you died in a car accident," Harry said, looking at her like she was the one fibbing.
"She lied. There was a very bad man that killed me. He wanted to hurt you, but I stood in front of you, so he hurt me instead," Lily said, wondering when Harry had met Petunia.
"Okay," Harry said, thinking that was very brave of her. He was looking at her face. He had never seen a picture of his mother. He still thought she looked like an angel. "Is Dad here too?" he asked, hoping that he was. He never even knew what his dad looked like, and if he were here, then he'd have both his parents.
"No, baby, he moved on. I don't know why I didn't," she said, looking around the room they were in.
"Oh," Harry said with some sadness. He was disappointed that his dad wasn't here. However, he was happy that his mum was. Maybe now he could get hugs and kisses like Dudley got.
"Why are you in a cupboard?" Lily asked, her nose wrinkled. She noted that they were under the stairs, and she couldn't understand why her son was sleeping here. There was a bed with a blanket and no sheets. A few shelves with clothes, books, and a few toys. A bare bulb overhead, and that was it. At least there were no chemicals.
"This is where I sleep," he said, looking around trying to figure out why she was upset. It wasn't that bad. It was fine to him. Sure, it had some spiders in it, but other than that it wasn't that bad. It was warm and cozy.
"You said your aunt told you I died in a car crash, does that mean you are living with your Aunt Petunia?" Lily asked, her voice firm. If so, this was an unmitigated disaster.
"Yes, ma'am," Harry said with a respectful nod. His aunt and the teachers at primary were teaching him to be polite to adults. You always said, ma'am to women and sir to men. Only the adults though. You can call kids whatever you want.
"That was not supposed to happen. I don't suppose you know who Sirius is?" she asked, tilting her head a bit. 'Where the hell was that mangy mutt,' she thought. 'He was supposed to be taking care of Harry.'
She looked around the cupboard again and did a quick inventory in her head. There were clothes, but they were all far too big for Harry to wear. Looking at her son, she noticed how small he was, even for a six-year-old. There were a few books around, but they looked like they had been rescued from the tip. The covers were all torn and dirty. There were some soldier toys, but they were missing parts. Everything in there was second, if not third, hand.
"No, ma'am," he said, tilting his head mirroring her. He wondered what was putting that look of dismay on her face. It was like something was greatly disappointing her. He hoped it wasn't him. He didn't want to disappoint his mum.
"Blast and damnation," she said, slamming her ghostly hand on her leg. There was even the sound of the fist hitting. "How long have you lived here, baby?" she asked her son.
"All my life, I think," Harry answered, trying to remember his first memory, but he was tired, and he could hardly remember what happened at school today.
"Okay, sweetie, I understand," she said, patting his head, making it feel like an egg was just cracked on the top.
"Are you mad, Mummy?" Harry asked, his voice timid a bit. He wasn't allowed to ask questions of Aunt Petunia.
"Not at you, baby," Lily said, leaning down and kissing his forehead. It was cool, but it made Harry feel loved.
"Oh, okay," was all the boy could say. He still wasn't sure if he was in trouble or not, but she was giving him pats and kisses, so probably not.
"We need to get you out of this cupboard," she stated, thinking of all that she was going to do to her sister. That woman was a harpy when they were younger, she must not have improved as she grew. If she had, Harry would not be sleeping in a cupboard.
"I don't mind," Harry said, picking at the fuzz on his blanket. He really didn't care. The cupboard was warm and safe. His uncle didn't come in here and his aunt hated it in here. Dudley couldn't fit in here either. When he tried, he got stuck between the bed and door. He stopped chasing Harry at the door.
"I do," his mum said, her voice left no room for argument. "Little boys don't sleep in cupboards," she added in a softer tone. "It is not right." She rubbed his face again and he was getting used to her cool touch.
"Alright," he said, not sure what he was agreeing with, but she was an adult, so she must know what she was talking about. Then again, his aunt was an adult and she put him here.
"Trust me, Harry. Your aunt will soon be feeling my wrath," Lily said as she looked at the ceiling of the cupboard. She was tempted on going and waking the woman right now. "For now, you need to go to sleep. Let me tell you a story," she said, making a motion for him to lay down.
He complied. He never had anyone tell him a story before. He listened as she told him about a castle on a mountain with pictures that talked and moved. Stairs that moved, and ghosts that haunted the halls. There were magical animals in the forest, and they talked too. Her voice was soft and sweet. It was like listening to a mug of creamy hot chocolate. It lulled him to sleep quickly.
She talked until he was long asleep. She then thought hard on what she was going to do with her sister in the morning. There were many things that came to her mind. Until then, she just watched her baby sleep. She was upset that he had suffered under her sister's ministrations for this long. She had to wonder how he had gotten here. He was supposed to be raised by Sirius, so where was he? What happened?
When she found out what happened and who brought her son here there would be hell to pay.
She spent the rest of the night inspecting the house and the surrounding area. She noted that there was magic around the house. So, there was a ward up, but she didn't know what kind. She could feel it, and it felt familiar, but she didn't know why.
She saw there were a lot of kneazles running round too. That meant there was at least one person that knew about magic in the area. Were they there to keep an eye on Harry? That would take some investigation. If they just sat back while her baby was being abuse, then they were an enemy in her books.
The next morning Petunia banged on the cupboard door. That was just the signal that she needed for Lily to spring forward. She flew through the door and right into her sister's face. "Good morning, sister dear," she said, her voice sugary sweet. She was eye level with her taller sister, since she could float off the ground. Her eyes stared daggers into Petunia's eyes. She sorely wished she could turn them red, but she was all see-through with a hint of color. It was like a faded stained glass.
Petunia screamed bloody murder. First, she landed on her arse. Then, she scrambled to the wall and walked her arms up until she was standing. Then, she ran up the stairs like that would do her any good. It didn't.
Lily followed her up the stairs.
By this time the males in the house were coming out of their rooms. They saw Lily and yelled and moved back in the rooms. Dudley was crying behind his door, and Lily felt a little bad for that, but she needed to set some boundaries with her sister.
"Where are you going, Pet? Aren't you happy to see me?" Lily asked as she followed her sister into her room.
Vernon was pale white and had wedged himself into a corner and was quaking in his nonexistent boots. "You're dead," he said, lifting his shaky hand and pointing his fat finger at her.
Petunia was wedged in the opposite side of the room in the other corner. She was having an easier time of it than her husband. "Go away, Lily," she said, making shooing motions with her hand, like Lily was a bug that was making her afraid.
"Oh, you married a smart one, Pet," Lily said, smirking at her sister. She ignored the shooing motions for the most part. "What's the matter, fatboy? You can dish it out, but you can't take it?" she asked as she glided closer to the quivering mass of fat in the corner. She didn't even go around the bed, she just flew right through it.
"You let me be," Vernon said, making his fingers into a cross, like that would ward her off.
"I'll let you alone for a moment," Lily agreed, then turned and floated to the other corner. "Now let's talk about how you treated my son," she said, glaring at Petunia like she was a pile of shite. "Why would you do such a thing? If it had been me and your son, I would have treated him like family," she said, tapping her foot impatiently like she was a schoolteacher who had been lecturing to someone who knew better.
"You're a freak, and your son is a freak too," Vernon said, getting braver by the moment.
Lily flew towards him and screamed at him soundlessly. Her hair flew around her head and her face screwed up into a visage of fury. She looked like a banshee with her faded coloring making her red hair surround her pale face.
He thumped back onto the wall. He yelled out and then his eyes rolled in the back of his head and fainted away.
"Yeah, you picked a winner," Lily said to Petunia, who was looking at her husband with dismay.
"You leave him alone," Mrs. Dursley said to her sister. "We are nice normal people. We don't need nor want your kind here," she said, being braver by the minute. She was remembering all the stories that Lily had told her about Hogwarts and that ghosts can't hurt her.
"I will not leave you alone," Lily said, floating to where her sister still was wedged into the corner. "You are not going to let my son sleep in a cupboard anymore. You have four bedrooms in this house. He will be sleeping in one of them. I don't care which one," she said, glaring at her sister.
"Or what? You are a ghost. What can you do?" Petunia said, her face twisted into a sneer. She moved to get past her sister's ghost, and Lily backed up to stand in the doorway.
"I can have Harry tell anyone that you are mistreating him. He is not a ghost, and he will tell anyone I tell him too," Lily said, folding her arms and tapping her foot again. "What you are doing is abuse, plain and simple. If the neighbors find out, no one will look at you the same." She knew Petunia had always worried about what others thought about her. She was sure she was still the same now. "I can make myself invisible and drop a word here and there to your neighbors. It will be the talk of the neighborhood in seconds. I can even use the phone and do the same. There are many things I can, and will, do," she finished. She wasn't sure about the phone part, but she was going to try her hardest to make that happen.
"You wouldn't dare," Petunia said, nervously looking out the window, where there were some neighbors looking at her house. Probably wondering what the screaming was about.
"Try me," Lily said, not the least bit intimidated by her sister. "I can and I will." Her eyes narrowed at her sister, making good and sure that she understood that she meant business. She died for her son, she would make sure that he had a good life, if it… well, she'd make sure he had a good life.
"Fine," Petunia said, moving slowly towards her sister as if by getting closer to her would make her move. It didn't. "If you would move," she said, making a shooing motion. "I have to tend to my son," she added, tilting her head and hearing Dudley crying in the other room. She glared at Lily, knowing it was the ghost's fault. How was she going to explain this to her Dudikins?
Lily moved out of the way and scared her nephew in the process. "Sorry," she called out to the boy as he slammed his door closed. She moved back to the cupboard where her son was. He was wondering what was going on.
"Are you in trouble?" the concerned boy said, looking at her like she was going to disappear. He was worrying his shirt, which was three sizes too big for him. It, like all his clothes, looked secondhand. The logo, which she couldn't make out, was faded, and there were threadbare spots on the shoulder area.
"No, I am not in trouble. You are going to get your own room, and your aunt isn't going to be mean to you anymore," she said, running her hand down his face again.
"What about Uncle Vernon and Dudley," he asked, looking up the staircase like they were going to come down and get him any moment.
"They will be nicer to you too," she said, smiling at him like he had asked something silly.
"Okay," was all he said, though it was dubious.
"We need to do something about your clothes too. Do you know what day it is?" she asked him, hoping it was the weekend.
"I don't go to school today," was answer enough.
"Good," she said, then herded him out of the cupboard and to the kitchen. "Do you know where the cereal is?" she asked.
"Yes, ma'am," he said, moving to get some. It was in the pantry. It was kept low in case Dudley wanted some in the middle of the night. Dudley was allowed to eat whenever he wanted.
"Make yourself a bowl and then sit and eat it," his mum said, watching him to make sure he was doing it safely.
"I'm supposed to help Aunt Petunia make breakfast," Harry said, grabbing the box of sweet cereal, and then he put it on the table. He then grabbed a stool to get a bowl. He had to reach up to the drainboard, but he got one and a spoon. He then went to the refrigerator and got the milk. He took it all to the table. It was quite a juggle, but he did it. He made a bit of a mess pouring the cereal, but he cleaned it up before his aunt came in the room. He did get the milk in the bowl without spilling.
"Your aunt is old enough to make breakfast without your help," Lily said, patting his shoulder. It was chilling to feel, but he wasn't going to complain.
He was happily eating his cereal when Petunia came in with Dudley. Vernon was still passed out in his room.
"Mum, he's eating my cereal," Dudley said, pointing his finger at Harry. There was a look on his face that didn't belong on a six-year-old's face. It was malicious.
"Rotten little boy," Petunia hissed, going towards Harry, only to be intercepted by Lily.
"What do you think you're doing?" Lily asked, completely affronted. "Didn't we just talk about this?" she asked her dense sister.
"He is not allowed to eat that," Petunia said, backing up and taking Dudley with her. She had just calmed the boy down and didn't want him to start his hysterics again. As it was, she was going to have to buy him a new toy.
"Why? It's just cereal," Lily asked, not sure what the woman's problem was.
"We get no money to pay for him. Why should he get the good food?" Petunia asked, getting braver and going towards Lily as if to walk through her.
"Don't you dare," Lily said narrowing her eyes. The room got colder the angrier she got. "Take Harry to London today and I'll see you get a stipend." She would take Harry to Gringotts and hope they would listen to her. Perhaps she could find out what the hell was going on.
"If I didn't already have to go, I'd tell you to go back to hell," Petunia snapped as she snatched the box of cereal from in front of Harry. She made Dudley a bowl and made sure it was a larger bowl than Harry's. "As it is, I have to so I will drop him off. However, you will have to find a way to get him home. I am not waiting around for him."
"You would leave a six-year-old in London. You are a right bitch, Petunia," Lily said, knowing how she would get Harry back here, but wondering if she should. "His room better be ready when he returns," she added, shuffling Harry away.
"I am leaving in twenty minutes," Petunia said, fussing over her little boy.
Lily took Harry up the stairs and hoped there was at least a toothbrush for the boy. There was. She got him ready, and they were downstairs and waiting when his aunt was ready to go.
Look out London, Lily Potter was coming, and she was mad.