Live, Love, and Die

By: Zetta
Disclaimer: PG-13
Genre: Angst/Romance
Summary: Rose Evans watched her daughter live, love and die.
Spoilers: Up to OotP.

Lily had never brought her boyfriends home before him.

Oh, Rose knew she had had some- back when she was younger, even before they had known she was a witch, she had played with the boys, happy enough to play in the mud, and they could all remember when she had cried because a boy had kissed her.

Later, the tears were replaced by curiosity, not strong enough to bring out a father's defenses, but strong enough that Rose had talked to her about the birds and the bees and explained what it was all about.

When she was ten, Rose had found a cut-out heart with a boy's writing on it, the bottom of which said "I love you".

Back then it had been easy to ask her daughter a few questions.

Once she had started at Hogwarts- it got a little more difficult.

In the summers, she got letters from her friends, the owls frightening Petunia. Rose gathered them up and would be unable to resist peeking through them to see if she recognized any of the names, or if there was new handwriting.

When they picked her up at the platform after fifth year, she had waved at a young man with a blue sweater and light hair, but she had not offered to introduce them to her parents.

Throughout those seven years at the wizarding school, she had mentioned only few boys consistently- and those were boys that she "hated" and later "disliked". At the end of fifth year, they were immature, and over the holiday breaks in sixth year, they were "obnoxious," and then "annoying".

By the time it got to annoying, her complaints were accompanied by an odd look, as though she were puzzled by something. Then she would shake her head and reinforce "annoying" with "especially Potter. He's like a twelve year old!"

At the end of sixth year, she was tight lipped and rarely brought them up. She spent a lot of time locked up in her room writing letters to her friends and looking at pictures.

Changing the sheets one morning, Rose found a picture of a group of Lily's classmates. A strange flutter went through her when she saw her daughter- or more accurately, the way the boy next to her was looking at her.

She set the picture on the table beside the bed and finished changing the sheets. She didn't mention it to her husband or daughter, wondering what it meant, and yet, in no hurry to find out.

When it came time to take Lily to Diagon Alley for her supplies before seventh year, Lily spent over an hour dressing. She came downstairs in her newest and prettiest dress and a little bit of make up.

Rose looked at her husband, wondering if he knew what that meant, but David was engrossed in the sports section and merely grunted a good bye to them.

Petunia, Rose noticed, saw Lily's outfit and scowled. Rose fought back a sigh- it was one thing for the girls to not be best friends, but the intensity of the animosity between them was frustrating.

But the drive all the way to London would be frustrating enough without arguing with Lily about it, and so she remained quiet.

Rose dropped Lily off in front of the building that Lily claimed housed the entrance to Diagon Alley, and then she spent the rest of the day shopping and wondering about the boy.

When she returned at six o'clock, Lily was already up front, along with two dark haired boys, both of whom had been in the picture.

Rose drove slowly, watching for a moment as the two boys spoke animatedly and her daughter crossed her arms and gave them a look that was meant to be irritated. Rose thought that Lily looked more amused than anything.

Rose had to pull up to the curb then, and Lily glanced over and saw her, giving her a gesture to wait a moment while she finished talking to the two boys.

The disappointment was clear on the one boy's face, and the other boy cast his friend an amused look before saying good bye and stepping inside.

Lily glanced over at Rose again, and Rose obliged her by turning away and looking across the street.

Then she peeked again in time to see her youngest daughter give the boy (whom she had never met) a peck on the cheek and then turn and hurry towards the car.

Rose pretended she hadn't seen the kiss and smiled as her daughter climbed in the car, leaving the boy still on the sidewalk with a large grin on his face.

The same boy was waiting for her when they went to the train station to drop her off for the start of the seventh year. This time, his dark haired friend was accompanied by two others, both lighter haired, one short and a bit pudgy, the other very lean.

Lily had unhappily told her that the boy was the James Potter that she had spent so long complaining about, but Rose didn't think she looked unhappy to see him.

Rose, attuned to her daughter's thoughts and actions, noticed the faint flush that grew in Lily's cheeks as she greeted the four boys, though she greeted them with words sharp enough to make Rose scold her.

Three of the boys found it amusing, but James smiled and introduced himself and his friends to the rest of the family and then they gathered Lily's things and took them inside.

Rose hugged Lily and kissed her and wished her good luck. Especially in snagging the boy she was obviously smitten with.

Lily was not pleased by that comment and denied it, her cheeks growing even pinker.

Nonetheless, she turned and waved before going through the platform.

Her letters contained no reference to Potter again until a week before Christmas, when she wrote to ask if she could spend the holiday at school, since some of her "friends" were staying as well.

Rose worried, of course, and though she didn't tell her husband, she sent her daughter a special note that reminded her to be careful and practice safe sex.

The reply to that came immediately.

I would send you a Howler for those "helpful hints", mother, but you don't even know what they are. One of the boys almost read that! Don't ever do it again! (And what in Merlin's name gave you the idea that I would be having sex, anyway?)

Rose was relieved, because she knew her daughter would have responded differently had she been in a relationship as serious as Rose had feared.

At Easter, Lily did come home, and sulked around a little bit, and when Rose changed the sheets once more, she found a picture on the nightstand of James Potter, on the back of which was scribbled a love note of sorts.

Rose really didn't mean to read it, but when it was knocked over, she couldn't help but skim through the note.

Since I knew you would be pining away without me, I sent a picture...

...Sirius offered to pretend to be you so that I would stop moping, but I declined... Maybe if he didn't have the mustache.

...I can't wait to see you again...

...I just sent an owl to my mum and dad asking what a good day for you to meet them was... Have you asked your parents?

...I love you. - James

Rose picked up enough from it to know that things were serious between them.

Unsurprisingly, Lily came down after dinner the night before break was over, when Petunia was gone, and asked them if she could bring her boyfriend over to meet them after school let out.

David was quite startled, but Rose nodded and said that would be fine, and she asked what he was like.

Lily's love for him was obvious when she sat down and began talking, the words falling out of her mouth. Almost all were good, but she included a few humorous anecdotes from less pleasant times.

When she had gone to bed, Rose and David looked at each other. Her husband looked uncomfortable. Rose smiled and patted his hand before assuring him that she wasn't ready for it either.

Two days after school had let out for Lily, she returned from meeting James's parents, accompanied by the young man himself.

He was a perfect gentleman, and Rose was quite impressed.

David looked very uncomfortable and nervous, but James charmed him quickly. Petunia was the only one not impressed, but Rose wasn't too worried about it.

She would get over it eventually.

James ended up staying the night, and he slept on the couch in the family room.

Or at least, he stayed downstairs in the family room.

When Rose woke up, her youngest daughter was still dressed from the previous night and sitting on the couch talking with him.

Neither looked too rumpled, much to Rose's relief, but they both looked startled when she came downstairs.

She greeted them cheerfully and while James was changing clothes in the bathroom upstairs, Rose told Lily that she was quite impressed with him.

The soft smile on her daughter's face and the look in her eyes made Rose decided to start making notes for Lily's wedding as well as Petunia's, which would be in only a few months.

James left the next day and Rose told her husband of her suspicions.

David got even more uncomfortable after that, as though afraid of losing his little girls all at once.

The summer dragged on, and Rose was just starting to question if she'd been a little premature when Lily returned from a date- her and James's one year anniversary- sporting a very large, very lovely diamond ring and a smile on her face.

Rose had her suspicions that Petunia was a little jealous of the size of the ring, but soon enough, it was time for Petunia's wedding, and the spotlight was on Rose's eldest daughter for some time.

Lily was not bothered by that, and continued to plan her wedding, helping out with Petunia's as well, as cheerful and happy as Rose had ever seen her.

James grew to be a regular fixture around the house, and was very much a welcome addition, especially since Petunia was gone and David Evans was searching for a distraction.

Quicker than any of them would have consciously thought it possible, James became a part of the family, in a way that Vernon had never quite achieved. The confirmation of that came when he took David to a Quidditch Match with his father and invited Rose and Lily to join his mother for a luncheon and shopping.

The men returned from the game boisterous and loud and a little bit drunk, and the women kept it even by coming home a bit lighter in the pockets.

By the time the June wedding came about, James was already Rose's son.

Only a few months later, Rose had needed no more than a single look at her daughter and son-in-law to know that her first two grandchildren would arrive shortly.

Dudley was born, and then Harry, and Rose was as happy as she ever could imagine, though a little uncertain how she felt being called a grandmother already.

It pleased her to see that her daughters were so happy in their new marriages and new lives, and Rose had hopes that the differences between her daughters would lessen as they began to raise their children.

The first sign that all was not well came at Christmas of that year.

Lily and James arrived with Harry, both pale and drawn looking.

It was then that the family learned of the dark times in the wizarding world- and that there was a strong possibility that the Potters would be forced to go into hiding.

Even Petunia was frightened by this news, and when the day had ended, the embraces lasted a little longer, and Rose and David held hands as their youngest daughter and her family departed in the small car, leaving them behind.

The winter faded, replaced by spring, and spring turned into summer even faster than anyone could have imagined.

Lily and James held a birthday party for their son at the end of July, and it would be the last time the whole family gathered together.

Rose and David left the little house late at night.

Lily arrived at their house the following morning still dressed in the same clothes that she had worn the night before. The Death Eaters- the ones that were after them- had attacked only minutes after they had left. James and Harry were in a safe place, and she had only dropped by to tell them she wouldn't be able to see or speak to them for a while.

That was the last time Rose saw her youngest daughter alive.

Rose and David got letters from Lily about every week, but soon it became every other week, and soon enough, Lily wrote telling them that they had to take another step to keep safe, and she would not be able to see them or write to them or contact them at all. She sent love from all of them, and asked them to pray for her and James and baby Harry.

Rose and David did so.

It wasn't enough.

On the first day of November, while making breakfast in the kitchen, Rose got a phone call from Petunia, who was in semi-hysterics.

Harry had been left on her doorstep over the night.

Lily and James were dead.

Rose read the letter that Lily's former Headmaster had written and wondered if it was really true, that her daughter had died before her.

Petunia and Vernon were in the family room with Dudley, and David was holding Harry and looking as old as Rose had ever seen him.

Rose wept for her daughters, for her sons, for her grandchildren, and for her husband and herself.

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Author's Note: Thanks to everyone for reviewing! I do appreciate it.

I wanted to respond to a comment I've gotten a few times, about how everyone was dead in Lily's family. First off- where does it say that? That's just a guess we've made based on the fact that they're never mentioned in the books. In this case, I'm presuming that Lily's parents died sometime shortly after Lily's death, in a car accident or something.

My second comment: People are suggesting that if Harry's grandparents had lived, he would have gone to them- I disagree. I don't know what your families are like, but my grandparents are too old to have a little kid running around, but both of my aunts have cousins of a reasonably close age, and so, they would have taken us in had my parents died while I was still a minor. In the case of Lily's family, I see it the same way- Dumbledore probably knew that Lily and Petunia didn't get along, but he probably assumed that Petunia would deal with Harry as best as she could. He didn't want to give Harry to his grandparents because they were old, they had already raised (at least) two children, and if they had succumbed to old age sometime during the years before Harry was an adult, he would have been forced to move into Petunia's anyway, and I don't think that the "ancient magic" would have been quite so strong then. (Though that's a personal belief without any facts to back it up.)

Anyway- thank you for reviewing! Even if you disagree, I hope you enjoyed the story. Please review!