Disclaimer- I don't own Harry Potter. That's what my lawyers advise me to say, anyway.
AN: Another little goodie for RWYS fans. Set after the finale, but no spoilers. Well, unless you never expected me (which is almost impossible) to get Ginny and Harry married. Excerpts from Lily's diary! A quick note. I looked up on the HP Lexicon, and they don't have a definite maiden name for Alice Longbottom. Plus, there aren't that many pureblooded families in the books right now. Bah.
September 1, 1971
It looks like I'm finally here! Hogwarts! I can't believe it! It's a real castle with ghosts and wizards (Professor Dumbledore, our headmaster, looks a lot like I thought Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings was)! The only thing it's missing is a knight…
But none of the boys here are like the knights from my fairytales! There was one nice boy, Remus I think, but he looked sick. I think he could use a friend.
But there's also really mean ones! This one boy… I think his name was Potter…oohhh he makes me so mad! He just keeps teasing me! He's so annoying, and he played a prank on me! He turned my hair blue!
I just met him, and I don't like him!
There was another boy, Severus, he was mean too. He called me a 'Mudblood', whatever that means. I think I'll ask my new friend Alice. She's great, and really nice. Not like that Potter or Severus.
Well, It's getting late, so I should head off to bed.
We're back at Hogwarts! Yes! I'm finally away from Petunia!
We used to be so close, but she's so mean now! I think she hates me! Mum and Dad say she's still just jealous. Its okay, I have new friends. At least I'm back here now, and Alice is back too!
The other girls in my dormitory, Sarah and Helen, are kind of snobbish, but nice. But they like to hang around other people, so its usually just me and Alice, as always. Still, there's no one I'd rather have than her as my best friend.
Its good to be back home.
The only problem is Potter is back, as well as Severus. Severus is kind of mean, but Potter just irritates me! He just keeps teasing us, and now he's picking on first years! Ohhh that boy makes me so mad!
He and his friends, Remus (I can't believe he's actually friends with them! He's so quiet!), Sirius (makes sense he and Potter are best friends, they're both equally troublesome), and Peter (Who I think is just their charity case. Their one act of kindness) are calling themselves the Marauders. What a silly name, but it makes sense for such troublemaking boys!
Ah well, Alice is telling me to stop 'scratching that damn quill!' Night.
I can't believe it! Third year already! Wow! Two more years and we'll be taking our O.W.Ls! Hogwarts, A History says that the highest Charms O.W.L. was set by Dumbledore, and only one other wizard, a Tom Riddle, ever tied it! Professor Flitwick and even the Headmaster says I could beat it!
Oh, it would be so great if I could! Alice says that I could do it too, but I think she's just being supportive. I don't blame her! The Headmaster is so great, but he is too lenient with the Marauders! He and Potter (impossibly enough) are on very friendly terms. I'd say it was Potter's money and connections, but the Headmaster is just too nice for that. What he sees in Potter, I'll never know. Don't really want to, either.
Potter thinks he's so great, just cause he got on the Quidditch team last year. They probably were scraping the bottom of the barrel, but he's actually quite good. Not that I'll ever say that aloud. But his meager talent makes his head even bigger!
Alice and Mum say that Potter has a crush on me. I couldn't stop laughing for five whole minutes when my mum said it, I almost wet myself. Potter? Liking me? We hate each other! It's the one thing we agree on! Mum and Alice, strangely enough, both gave me the same response, just looking at me and smiling secretly. I hate it when people keep secrets.
Remus looks sick as ever, poor boy. Potter, Black, and Pettigrew always look weird whenever anyone asks about where he goes. I don't know why. They probably feel different when Remus leaves to visit his mother. I would have thought they would have gone on an all out pranking war on the school, without Remus their to provide reason. But they just disappear.
What's also weird is that I kept seeing them all last year in the library of all places, snooping around for restricted books! They probably just want to make a really dangerous prank.
Here there were a bunch of scratches and ink drops)
Sorry about that, Alice took the quill away. Looks like she's tired of me writing again.
September 1, 1974
Fourth year! We're halfway done! But that's still a long way off.
Unfortunately, Potter is back. I was hoping he fell of his high horse (hopefully literally, and broke something) but alas, he never changes. Except now all the girls in the school are swooning after him! Even Alice commented how nice both Black and Potter looked, but she's got a crush on Frank Longbottom, a Gryffindor, but a year ahead of us. I still can't believe that one, but he is nice and friendly. He hangs out more with the other houses and studies than the Marauders.
And…I shudder to mention it. The Marauders started off this year, as always, with a prank. But this time it was worse! They turned Severus into a peacock! I can't believe how mean they are! Severus hadn't even done anything to them yet!
thinks I'm crazy, standing up for Severus, seeing as how he hates me and calls
me a Mudblood, but I don't care! People are people, they don't deserve (well,
maybe Potter) to be harassed!
Alice also thinks I'm a bit of an idealist.
Still, I'm looking forward to what we can do in Charms tomorrow! I love that class! Sadly, I wish I could say the same for Transfiguration. I just don't get it. And Potter does!
How does he do it! He gets off on natural (supposedly) talent, not studying and getting just as good grades as me, and I keep studying as hard as I can!
HOW THE BLOODY HELL DOES HE DO IT!
I can't believe how irritated he makes me.
He's definitely not studying in the library, that's Remus. But he and the other Marauders are there a lot, always looking for something, looking up things. But I can never find out what!
Still, its probably just more pranking ideas.
Uhoh. Alice has that 'Stop-writing-or-I'll-rip-that-bloody-quill-out-of-your-hands look'. Got to go!
September 1, 1975
We're back at Hogwarts! And its O.W.L. year! Alice thinks I'm crazy, but that's okay. And I even got to go on my first prefects meeting (I can't believe it! I'm a prefect! Maybe I'll even be Head Girl… But that's just a dream.), and Remus (Thank Merlin) is my fellow fifth year Gryffindor Prefect. Things are great, I'm back with my friends, and I'm back at Hogwarts.
Unfortunately, so is Potter. After last years horrifying discovery, that Potter indeed has a crush on me, and proceeded to ask me out no less than thirty times in the last year. Of course, I said no to him all thirty times. Not as politely though, as Alice could testify.
Well, I didn't always use words. I never knew how proficient I was at a Tarantallegra Jinx until that moment.
Alice, and, surprisingly, the Marauders, couldn't stop laughing as James kept falling over, hitting his head once. Unfortunately, it didn't deter him or even knock some sense into him!
The day I go out with James Potter is the day I eat my wand.
Alice says that I'll be eating it by the end of seventh year. I told her that I'd rather go out with the giant squid than Potter. She actually had to ask me why!
"Because he's insensitive, mean, harsh, and he picks on those weaker than him!" I yelled.
Alice thinks that I'm denying my "undying love" for James Potter.
I also didn't know how well I could swear at someone (much less my best friend) until that moment. Alice was duly impressed, and decided that for her own personal health, she'd stay out of it.
Unfortunately, it doesn't stop her from keeping me from writing. What's new? Things at Hogwarts never change.
September 1, 1976
Somehow, I was praying and hoping that part of my rant against Potter after the DADA exam actually affected him. It might have, considering he boasted less.
BUT HE STILL TRIED TO ASK ME OUT!
This time, I spoke in his language. I used my Tarantallegra Jinx, which I had gotten quite good at, and sent him tap dancing all the way back to his compartment, past Severus' compartment.
Like Potter, he hasn't changed a bit. He's still just as mean and nasty as ever.
Alice thinks he should be a little nicer, seeing as how I stuck up for him when he was mean to me. But then again, she also thinks I was too harsh with Potter. Maybe I was, but he needs someone to stand up to him. Not one of his stupid fanclub or the Marauders.
But aside from the usual gripes about Potter and Severus (Both of whom almost got into a duel on the Hogwarts Express), and the Marauder's opening prank (this time, they hexed the food at the Slytherin table. I never saw so many people throwing up before. I admit, I felt a tiny bit of guilty and vindictive pleasure at seeing Bellatrix throw up all over her boyfriend, Rodolphus. Those two I definitely don't like. Bellatrix for her mean ways, and Rodolphus for actually liking her), things are getting kind of scary.
Professor Dumbledore looked tired as he mentioned the deaths of two Ravenclaw students I didn't know, Chris Langdon and Katrina Rose. Still, both of them were a year younger than me. I can't believe they're dead! Voldemort (Professor Dumbledore insists we call him that, not You-Know-Who) is evil.
I don't think I've ever seen Professor Dumbledore look so tired before. I don't think I've ever seen him tired before. He's always so youthful and joyous, so happy and helpful. Maybe that's why he and Potter get along so well.
Some people (Bellatrix, Severus, and their cohorts (No way they could be friends in the normal sense) didn't raise their glasses in salute, and I heard the Marauders whisper when they saw this and glare at them. For once, I don't think I'm too upset with them. How could anyone be so heartless!
I almost started crying. That would have been something to see. Lily Evans crying over her diary. Alice would have a fit.
Anyways, its late, and I don't want to sleep with such thoughts on my mind.
September 1, 1977.
Dear Diary (the handwriting looks shakier than before)
Professor Dumbledore is insane. He's completely, wholly, entirely, utterly insane. He must have had too much firewhiskey. That's the only explanation.
There's no way.
Nope. Just pinched myself (that really hurts), and I'm not, unfortunately. This can't be.
It's not right.
It's just not right.
This can't be.
I won't believe it.
I can't believe it.
Dare I even write it?
James Potter… is…Head Boy!
There. I wrote it.
Why is this so bad?
BECAUSE I'M HEAD GIRL, AND I HAVE TO SHARE A TOWER WITH HIM, AND DO PATROLS WITH HIM, AND RUN MEETINGS WITH HIM, THAT'S WHY YOU BLOODY STUPID DIARY! GET IT!
DOES FATE HATE ME! DUMBLEDORE LIKES ME (I think), SO WHY!
Alice says it's not that bad (I looked at her like she was a half-eaten slug that an alien spaceship just dumped out) since Potter stopped asking me out a little before sixth year ended. He didn't even glance at me for most of the prefect meeting!
Not that I wanted him to.
Remus explained to me, when I cornered him, demanding to know what the bloody hell Potter is playing at. He told me Potter gave up. Conceded. Actually gave up on me.
Strangely… I'm insulted. Is it that easy to give up on me?
Why do I care?
As much as I hate to admit it (And trust me Diary, I do), I think its because I was flattered that the most sought after boy in school (Alice's words, not mine) chased after me for six years. Sure, it was annoying, and the death glares every member of his fanclub sent me were scary, but it was flattering.
And now Potter has stopped asking me out, and he even tried (which caused many a jaw to drop) to be civil with Severus, who nodded slowly, seemingly completely disgusted, but nodded.
And then, when I asked him about it, he simply said people change. I simply looked at him, and he looked like he was about to give that damnable smirk, but he simply shook his head and left, but he stopped before he exited the compartment. He looked at me, square in the eye (were his eyes always so brown?), and said, "And Lily, call me James."
I looked at him in shock.
Again, he resisted his normal smirk and smiled. "If we are going to work together, its best if we drop the surnames. So just call me James, Lily. We don't have to be friends, but we should try to be civil and do our jobs."
I couldn't move, so I simply tried nodding. He again resisted the smirk, and left.
Did I drop into an alternate dimension? Potter calling me Lily? Asking me to call him… James? (I'll admit, he says my name in a different way than anyone else.)
To make things even weirder, Remus and Sirius are barely on speaking terms. Like I wrote earlier, they weren't even speaking to each other for part of sixth year (that same time when Potter stopped asking me out). Something big must have happened to break the Marauder's bond.
Even James was glaring at Sirius for that time! And they're like brothers! (Closer than Sirius and his actual brother, it seems) And Severus… well… he was… I'd say ready to kill, but that wasn't enough.
Aside from the weirdness, (I still can't believe P-James is Head Boy) the Headmaster looked more tired than ever, announcing that Hogsmeade visits will be overseen by Aurors. We lost several more people that year, including the Prewett brothers, who I knew when I was a first year and they were seventh year Gryffindors. They were some of the few Gryffindors that were killed that I knew.
James (Still feel weird) and I went to see Professor Dumbledore after he sent for us after the Feast. He and James were closer than I thought, with the Headmaster actually using his first name!
I couldn't dream of him doing that for me.
He told us that the Aurors would look to us to lead the student body from danger. He told us that he chose us as the best ones in line for the job. When he looked us in the eye (his eyes are so piercing, it feels like he knows everything. Maybe he does.) and asked us if we could handle it, James answered first.
"Of course, Professor. Me and Lily can take care of this. You just handle Voldemort." James said firmly, his eyes blazing with conviction.
Maybe people do change.
Harry Potter shut the diary of his long dead mother, smiling to himself. People did change. For the better, and for the worse.
"Harry! Unless you want me to try and cook dinner, I'd advise you to get in the kitchen!"
Unfortunately, his wife's kitchen talents did not change for the better, but got worse. Smiling to himself, remembering just how much they had both gone through to find each other, lose each other, then gain each other again, and smiling at the fact that people did change for the better.
Otherwise, he never would have noticed Ginny Weasley and married her.
"Coming dear." Harry said, smiling, firm in the already strong knowledge that his parents were in love. And so was he.
His parents had made it through some tough times, getting angry and to the point of loathing each other, but they found each other in the end.
He had lost Ginny once due to a betrayal of insane magnitude, that cost him three years of his life and a year of sanity (if his life ever had any of that) to the hellhole Azakaban. He never thought he'd be free for a while. But he got through that, and got out, and thought about his old friends, his old love, and thought he now only held hate for people he would hopefully never see again.
But he found his wife and the friends who betrayed him again. He thought he should have hated them, but they were young. When he looked into their eyes, beginning for forgiveness they didn't deserve, he thought back to his father's advice. "Sometimes forgiveness is given, even if it isn't earned."
And somehow, he found that hatred couldn't stand up to how sorry they truly were. How could he hurt them when they were already in pain? Could he separate himself without losing himself to hatred?
He couldn't. If he never saw their pain, their willingness to accept whatever decision he made, he would have lost himself to his own hatred.
It had been a long time, they had been different then. He had been different, lost, confused, hurting, and even with Ginny's help and his friend's support it had been almost unbearable after Sirius' death. He had distanced himself, and paid the price for his isolation.
He wouldn't pay a price like that again.
He found them, and forgave them, because people change. They didn't deserve it maybe, but forgiveness was a gift, not a reward.
Ginny had made sure to treasure that gift, as did all of his friends.
His bond with them had been broken, and remade, just like the phoenix statue that took a prominent place on his mantle, reminding him every day that what was broken, can be remade even more beautifully than before.
His relationship with Ginny was a prime example.
And now, Harry Potter walked out of the past, and back into the present, and back to the woman he loved, lost, and loved again.
AN: And there we go. I'm pretty sure this is the last outtake I'm going to make for RWYS, but you never know. This was also to try and appease those who thought that I forgave all of Harry's old friends too fast. I actually came up with James' advice on the fly. I think its actually pretty good. Thanks for reading and please review, and I hope to have the last chapter of RWYS out soon!