Something sparkled above Lily's head. The rose. She reached up but it wasn't there. Blinking again, Albus Dumbledore's face swam into view.
"Ah. Thank goodness you are alright," he said softly. Lily looked around her and found herself in the Hospital Wing, tucked comfortably in a white bed. Alaura and Sirius were curled up against the side of her bed fast asleep, Remus and Liandra against the end and James was asleep on a chair off to the side. A pile of gift and cars were beside her and as she picked up a card, Dumbledore spoke.
"From friends and admirers," he said smiling.
"Around two weeks if I am not mistaken." Lily gaped. Two weeks? She was out cold for two whole weeks?
"Your friends woke up last week."
"Professor? I have a couple of clarification questions," she said looking him straight in the eye.
"By all means, ask away."
"The ancient power… it wasn't the rose, was it?"
"Alas, no. The rose was only a conduit for the power." The curtains shifted slightly in the late April breeze coming through the open windows of the infirmary.
"The ancient power was the power of the heart, wasn't it?" Lily asked the professor.
"Very good, Lily. Determination and hope, the power of the heart, is the oldest power known at the moment," the headmaster answered.
"So when we all piled our hands together and 'combined our heart power', that's what revived Tanice? And Tanice is awake, right?"
"Quite right, my dear. Miss Cook woke up on the twenty sixth of March at about eight o'clock in the morning. Now, I must go. There are important issues I must attend to," Dumbledore said, standing and strolling out of the pure white room as Madam Pomfrey bustled in, potion bottles in her arms. She set about pouring the recommended amounts into the glass that she had brought with her.
"I am keeping you for the night, Miss Evans, just to make sure you are in tip top shape," the nurse said before pouring the redhead some dreamless sleep potion.
"Please don't tell my friends I've woken. It'll be easier for them to see later." Madam Pomfrey agreed, watching carefully as Lily drank every last drop of the potion and drifted off.
Waking the next morning to an empty Hospital Wing, Lily dressed, thanked the medi-witch and made her way to Gryffindor Tower.
Lunch, she though upon reaching the unoccupied common room. Quickly changing into a clean uniform, Lily checked to find that it was Friday before grabbing her afternoon books and heading down to the Great Hall for something to eat.
Applause and cheering greeted the emerald-eyed redhead as she opened the door to the Great Hall. James, Alaura, Sirius, Liandra and Remus seemed tired and out of it, completely missing the loud racket around them. Rolling her eyes, Lily made her way towards them, taking the empty seat to James' left, as always. When they still didn't react, Lily sighed and spoke.
"You've been up to that much have you?" Five heads snapped in her direction and eyes lit up as they fell on the smiling girl.
"Lily!" came the reaction as Remus and Liandra rushed around the table to join the group hug Sirius, James and Alaura had started. It was great to be back with her friends. Where she belonged.
With exams done, and standardized testing (OWL's and NEWT's) complete, relaxation was the top priority on every one's list. Lily, James, Sirius, Alaura, Remus and Liandra were sitting in the shade of a large oak by the lake, enjoying each other's company.
"No worries or cares. This is the life," Sirius said wrapping his arms closely around Alaura.
"We all know it won't last long," Lily pointed out. "Sooner or later Snape and Malfoy will come over to pick a fight with you three, Sirius and James will pull out their wands to fight them, Tanice will come over with more of her first year friends and ask Alaura to tell the story of the Angel's Seal again, and Remus and Liandra will start a debate with Kristiina over foreign languages and places, leaving me as peace keeper." Every one laughed as James hugged her closer. She was perched comfortably beside James, her head on his chest, Alaura and Sirius only a few feet away, lying on Sirius' robe.
"Think about it guys, we only have one year left," Liandra said quietly.
"And to think. James and I are Heads next year," Lily replied.
"How did you manage that any way? You two have got to be the worst pranksters in the school," Alaura asked.
"Our impeccable grades and charming personalities. Plus, we're not the top pranksters. You and Sirius are," James retorted. They laughed again, the sound carrying across the grounds to the open window of an abandoned classroom where a small girl was training with a very stern woman. The girl smiled, throwing another pillow against the wall without the use of her wand. This was how things should be. Happy and carefree and she had helped achieve it along with making friends in the process. Yes, everything was going perfectly.
The end of the year feast was as elaborate and fun filled as it had ever been, the food as filling and delicious as ever. Dumbledore announced the house cup winner – Gryffindor – the quidditch cup winners – Gryffindor – and that Lily and James were next year's Head Boy and Girl. The end of the year prank, courteous of Alaura and Sirius, was not as glamorous as it could have been, but dung bombs seemed to work fine for the occasion. Memories were exchanged, memory lane walked by most and before they knew it, it was time to board the train for home. The Marauders, Lily, Alaura and Liandra were fairly quiet on the ride, thinking of what they had learned this year, not only in classes but as people too. They disembarked as they train squeaked into King's Cross station and said their goodbyes with hugs, kisses and last words.
Until next year, Hogwarts, Until next year, Lily thought as she walked through the barrier and into her mother's arms.
This is the absolute end of the story. Look for the reposting of Possession soon!