Lily sat down at her table on June 13th, which happened to be a Friday, and ate some dinner. She was in the middle of her second piece of chicken when four owls flew in her open front door.

She tore open the letter carried by the first one, which she recognized as James'.

Dear Lily,

Happy Birthday! I miss you dreadfully, and Sirius keeps teasing me. Which is all well and good, as Jessi is staying at his house this summer. Remus and Ally are at Remus' house. Remind me again: Why aren't you here?

You present will be arriving in a short while. Trust me, it's worth the wait.

I hope you'll like it. (Ally helped me pick it out.) You should really have a party; that big house all to yourself! We could always magically rebuild it after Sirius and Jessi destroy it! (J/K, love.) Well, I love you, and I hope to see you soon!

Love, your devoted boyfriend,

Before even touching the other presents, she picked up a quill and wrote,
Dear James,

Didn't you mean, demented boyfriend? J/K, honey, J/K. That present better hurry up and get here. I'm extremely impatient. Well, I'll think about the party.


She let TigerLily, named after her, go. The owl spun in a circle and came to rest seemingly on air in the corner. Lily laughed until her sides hurt as James sheepishly pulled off the Invisibility Cloak.

"Do you really find it that funny?" he asked, giving her a hug and a kiss.

"Yes, nice to see you too, Lily; Happy Birthday, Lily; I love you, Lily," she mocked.

"Nice to see you, Lily; Happy birthday, Lily; I love you madly, Lily; am I forgiven?"

"I believe I can arrange that," she said, pulling him to his feet and kissing him.

A loud wolf whistle, coming... very appropriately... from Remus, interrupted their reunion. He stuck his head in the window.

"Aw, are we interrupting?"

"Yes, you git! Go away!"

"Maybe not. We want to wish Lily a happy birthday!" cried Alison Bates.

"Well, you can wish her a happy birthday after I do!" said James, kissing her again. This time, Sirius let out a howl from the other window where he and Jessi were waiting. Jessi was on Sirius' shoulders, hysterical.

"Don't you ever give up?" asked Lily.

"Nope, or else we wouldn't be..." Sirius paused for dramatic effect...

"MARAUDERS!" cried everyone together. Lily whispered to James,

"Watch this."


Suddenly the doors closed, the windows slammed shut, and the remaining four Marauders found themselves locked out.

Lily went over to the window. "Now, Sirius, if one of you can remember the Unlocking Charm, they can come in and we can start this party," she said cheerfully.

Ally whipped out her wand. "Alohomora!"

The front door swung open. Ally made a bow, which Lily returned, and she entered. Sirius tried to follow, but was repelled back.

"Whoa, Lil. What'd you do?"

"I have to invite you in. I said the one who said the Unlocking Charm could come in, and James was already in. Jessi, would you like to come in?"

"Why, certainly, Lily," said Jessi, grinning.

"Why you little..." started Sirius, but Remus interrupted,

"Now, now, Sirius... your blood pressure..."

"You never could take as well as you give, Black. Care to come in, Remus?"

"Why, yes, I think I'd enjoy that, Miss Evans. Thank you kindly."

Now Sirius was left all alone. "Lily Marie Evans *cough* Potter *cough*, you let me in, right now!"

"Aww, but it's so much more fun to leave you out there. Alas, I haven't the heart to leave a DOG like you out in the cold, so.... Padfoot, my friend, would you care to come in?"


Lily laughed. "Ah, Sirius, always so difficult. Fine, have it your way.... Sheildeaus Sealious Sirius Black!"

"What did that do?"

"Erased his permission to enter until I say differently. Dumbledore set this up.. since I'm living alone.... come on, let's get this party started! James, I hope you brought Butterbeer, I'm fresh out..."

"Turning into an alcoholic? Tsk, tsk, at least be a social drinker and share," said Ally, swiping a bottle out of James' bag. She chugged half the bottle while the others stared. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

"Anyone want to try me?"

"I'll take a crack at it, Ally, my love," said Remus.

"Now, now, what happened to the voice of reason?"

"Spending three weeks with a free reined Ally tends to throw all reason out the closest window... give me a bottle, Potter, I'll be damned if my girlfriend bests me at drinking."

Too surprised to say anything, James handed over a bottle. Remus popped the top and chugged the WHOLE thing.

"Have my eyes deceived me, or did I just see Remus Lupin chug a whole bottle of Butterbeer in about ten seconds?"

"Whatever you saw, I think I saw it, too." Remus laughed aloud.

"Remus, my man, good to see you're loosening up," said Sirius, slinging an arm over his shoulder.

"Great ghosts, Sirius, you scared the hell out of me! How did you get in here?"

"Blocking charms don't work on dogs."

"Padfoot, you idiot! What if someone had seen you!?

He waved an impatient hand. "Oh, calm down."

"Yeah, Lil, calm down. Besides, I believe you have presents to open."

"So I do, my dear Fox, so I do." Ally's nickname was Fox, or Foxxy, depending on the person talking.
((((In the wizard world, drinking age is sixteen. Just bear with me, I had to make it interesting!)))))
Lily finished the last letter and sent the last owl off. She walked back into the living room and sighed. Ally was passed out on the couch on top of Remus, Sirius was sprawled in front of the fireplace, Jessi was in Lily's bed, and James was unconscious on her kitchen table. She was the only person below the WLAB (Wizard Limit of Alcohol in Blood)

An owl swept into Carrie Potter Colby's window as she was getting ready for bed.

Dear Mrs. Colby,

James and the rest are going to stay at my house for a little while. Don't expect him until at least day after tomorrow... Sirius must have spiked the soda with Sleeping Draught, cause I can't wake them up. I have enough beds... Sirius is up, of course, and Jessi, cause she's not that stupid to drink anything her boyfriend gives her.... well, just letting you know!



Carrie smiled and climbed into bed, chuckling. "Poor Lily." Her husband of three years, Jonathan Colby, turned over and said,

"Why do you say that?"

"Oh.... Just that Lily's the only sober one in a group of very drunk and very unconscious Marauders. She said it was a Sleeping Draught, but I know better. She's going to have fun, I'm sure. Poor girl. I know James brought the Butterbeer, all of the ones in the fridge are gone. And knowing Sirius, he slipped something a little more potent and a lot tastier than sleeping draught into those Butterbeers..."

Jonathan clucked his tongue. "Our James is so love struck he's getting careless. We'd better start planning for the wedding."

"Darling, I started the invitation list the first time he brought her here, in their fourth year."

"That's my Carrie. Always thinking ahead. Got bridesmaid dresses picked out yet?"

"Well, I was thinking of green..."

He took the pillow out from behind his head and whacked her over the head with it.

"I was joking!"

"Think Lily and James will be like this when they get married?"

"Don't you mean, if?"

"No, I mean, when."

"No... they'll be worse."
Suddenly a bang was heard from downstairs. Carrie sat up, straight as an arrow. "What was that?"

"It was probably the boiler, Carrie, calm down."

Nevertheless, Carrie got out of bed and heard someone downstairs. She hurriedly picked up a quill and scribbled,


No matter what you hear, don't let ANYONE, especially you and James, come near our house. There is danger, I can feel it.


She sent the owl out the window quickly and snatched up her wand. Jonathan was already downstairs. She heard a hiss and a bang, and suddenly she knew, felt it in her bones, that Jonathan was dead, just as James' father was. And by the same man. She flicked her wand and was immediately dressed. Just as she was about to kick off from the balcony on her broomstick, she heard, "Avara Kedvara!" The curse bounced off a mirror and didn't hit her full force, but knocked her off a balcony. As she clung to consciousness, she performed a spell to make her appear dead for fifteen minutes.

It worked. When she awoke, Voldemort was gone, and Dumbledore was leaning over her. "Carrie!" She blinked once, twice.

"Where am I?"


"Jonathan is dead."



"Lily got your letter, and the other five are still out.... Lily said it was 'one hell of a party,' excuse the expression."

"You're excused. Now, am I badly hurt?"

"Not that badly. You'll have to stay in bed for awhile, however... I've instructed Lily to bring James up when he is sober again."

Carrie smiled and laid back down against the pillow. "She's good for him, Albus."

"I know."
Lily received the letter from Dumbledore about James' mother and stepfather and sat heavily on the couch... and right on top of Remus and Ally.

"Ow!" came a muffled voice, then "Ooooohhh, man. Do not tell me I have a hangover."

"Awww, Remus' first hangover! How cute!" said Lily, laughing in spite of the serious situation.

"Shut up," he said, getting up and dumping both Lily and his girlfriend on the floor.

Lily was somber again as Ally groaned.

"Lil? What happened?"

Lily got up and hauled Ally to her feet, pushing her into an armchair. "You, my dear Angel, had about a dozen too many Butterbeers... not to mention the fact that Sirius laced them with Sambuca and vodka."


That was Remus. "I should've known!"

"Known what?"

"Lil, it takes three times as many drinks to intoxicate a werewolf. At least, when you're drinking Butterbeer straight. And I had five bottles... that's not nearly enough to put me under... unless you add Sambuca and vodka, of course."

Ally laughed, then groaned and clutched her head. "Ugh... Lily, got any good old fashioned Muggle aspirin?"

"First door on the left, second shelf in the cabinet."


Suddenly a loud bang and a cry of pain was heard; Lily ran over to the kitchen door and let out a snort of laughter... her boyfriend was lying on the floor, flat on his back, one leg up on the chair and another still on the table. But the sight of him reminded her of the letter still clutched in her fist... she let out a sob and started to cry.

"Lil? What's wrong?" asked James, untangling himself from the table and putting his arms around her. She pulled away and handed him the letter, heading upstairs to pack.

James read the letter and mimicked Lily; he sat down heavily on the couch, accidentally kicking Sirius on the way down.

"Hey, Prongs, what's the big...." started a groggy Sirius, but didn't get to finish before James was gone, taking the stairs three at a time, calling Lily's name.

Carrie drifted in and out of consciousness. The first time Madame Pomfrey came upon her unconscious patient, she immediately called for Dumbledore. He ran into the wing, literally running, worry etched into his face.

"I thought we had mended her completely," he said sharply.

"So had I," frowned Poppy as she puzzled over the woman. Dumbledore took out his wand and cried,

"Suriv Laever!"

A deep blue cloud shot out of the wand, fluttering over Carrie's body and focusing on her heart, brain, and stomach.


Carrie regained consciousness feebly, hearing two worried yet hushed voices over her. She sat up suddenly.

"Give me paper and a quill, Albus, and be quick about it," she barked. Dumbledore complied, ushering a stammering Poppy out of the room while he was at it.

"I'm dying, Albus. I want to write three letters before I die. And you, too, must sign one."

As she spoke she was scratching the quill over the parchment at top speed. She handed one to Dumbledore, who nodded and signed.

She sealed the other two and wrote on each. One to James, and one to Lily. These she placed by her bedside. Then she spoke again to Dumbledore.

"Albus, Voldemort is not stupid. He does not take risks... I have foreseen, that James and Lily will take a huge part in what is to come... and you know I'm more reliable than Sibyll. Lily, if possible, must not live alone anymore. Send James and Sirius to live with her, send Jessi and Ally, send her to live with any of them... just not alone. Although..." she smiled, "I believe my James will take care of that in his own, very proper way. 'Tis a shame I can't be at the wedding... well, physically, anyway. I'll be there in spirit. Lily is good at that type of thing...Divination, necromancy, you know.... Her parents, both adoptive and real, are dead, and her sister has disowned her. All she and James will have are their friends and each other. I'm rambling. I am holding on until Lily and James... ah, here they come."

Sure enough, James burst through the door, Lily right behind.


She smiled at him feebly. "'Ello, James. Lily, dear." They both covered smiles at this enDEERment.

"Mrs. Colby."

"Ah, formal to the last. I am dying, my children... and don't say a word, Lily, you're my daughter, as much as James is my son, although it isn't official.... yet."

Lily shot a look at James, who shrugged.

"I have letters for you... there. Read them later. Be careful.... Voldemort, he's growing more powerful... and you must stop him.... I love you both...."

She closed her eyes, and suddenly her body shivered. Lily and James, both crying, put arms around each other. James kissed his mother's forehead.

"She's gone."
They sat for a few moments, and then James opened his eyes to the rustle of paper. She pulled out a letter, and motioned James to do the same.
Dear Lily,

It has been three years, my child, since you first walked through my front door... and three years since I knew that you were my James' soul mate, his love. These past years have only strengthened my conviction. All I ask of you is that you help James now... when he needs it most.

Voldemort is responsible for many things.. including my death... but nothing can prepare you for his sheer evil. My recommendation is that you ask Dumbledore to teach you seven to defend yourselves. I, too, have asked him, and he has told me that if you go to him, he will be more than willing to help you.

Dumbledore is one of the only ones you can trust... even some friends, mind, are not always what they seem. If anything ever seems out of place, go to Dumbledore. Immediately.

Lily, know that I will always be watching over you and James. (Don't worry, never during embarrassing moments!)


Dearest James,

As I write this, I remember all the good times... watching you grow up, sending you off to Hogwarts... the day you got off the train with Lily on your arm, and Sirius running behind like a lunatic.... My son, cling to these memories. Dark days are coming. I am not trying to scare you... merely trying to warn you for what is to come. For I will not be here to help you then, so I must help you all I can now.

Protect Lily and take care of yourself, James... you two play an important role in what is to come. Dumbledore, too, knows this. Trust him, James. And you probably should trust no one else.

I enclose a necklace... it was rumored to belong to the wife of Godric Gryffindor himself. She gave to her son, who gave it to his wife.... who gave it to her son, who... you get the idea.

Keep it well, my son... and pass it on.

I'll always be watching you.


I, Carrie Jessica Faust Potter Colby, upon my death, leave custody of my son, James Harold Potter, in the care of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Black, until he has graduated Hogwarts. If they are unable, I leave him in the care of Albus Dumbledore.

Signature: Carrie Colby

Witness: Albus Dumbledore
Lost in their own thoughts, James and Lily sat for quite awhile... until Carrie's wand, lying upon the bedside table, crumbled into ash as its owner's last day on Earth officially ended.