James and Lily looked around themselves in complete confusion. Questions raced through their minds. Where were they? What had happened? Why weren't they dead? More importantly, where was Harry? The last thing they could remember was Voldemort crashing through the door, coming for Harry. They looked at each other and pulled closer, still trying to figure out where they were.
Suddenly a crash was heard, coming from a floor above them. They went towards the sound, eager to receive some kind of clue as to where they were. Lily and James entered a room with a huge staircase leading to the floor above, but before they could start to climb it they heard a girl shouting.
"Christopher, you little brat! Give me back my diary!"
"Never," a boy, who James and Lily suspected to be Christopher, shouted back, "if you want it you'll have to catch me first!"
"Oh, I'll get you…you just wait!" the girl shouted once again.
James and Lily glanced at each other and thought about whether or not they should go upstairs or just stay put. But, before they could make a decision, hurried footsteps were heard on the staircase and moments after a red-haired boy with lots of freckles came crashing down the stairs. He didn't stop before them; actually, he didn't even seem to notice that they were there. Instead he just ran past them into an adjacent room. Moments later, a young girl in her mid-teens came dashing after him. She too had red hair, but not the same bright shade as the boy; it was a darker, richer colour – almost the same as copper. Her hair was long and fell in corkscrew curls around her face, which James noted, looked quite agreeable. Like the boy had done moments before, the girl ran right past James and Lily without paying any attention to them at all.
"Do you think they see us? I mean we should be dead. Could we be ghosts?" Lily asked her husband.
"If we were ghosts then surely they would see us. Truth is, I don't know what is going on, Evans." James responded, taking Lily's hand and walking towards the room the boy and girl had run into.
Once there, they could see that the girl had caught up with the boy, who couldn't be anyone but her younger brother. He was desperately trying to get out of her grip, but for a girl she seemed quite strong and she had very little problem with wringing the diary out of his hands.
"Ouch, that hurts, sis!" The boy complained at the girl's harsh treatment.
"It wouldn't if you hadn't taken my diary in the first place!" She shouted at him with obvious fury. Lily and James looked at each other and couldn't help smiling. James then let go of Lily and walked up to the fighting siblings.
Even when he stood right next to them, they didn't know he was there. James realized that whatever he and Lily were, they were undoubtedly dead. A surge of pain shot though him as he thought of Harry. With both he and Lily gone, there wouldn't have been anyone to protect him. Voldemort would, without doubt, have killed him.
"What is going on here?" A woman had entered the room and was now standing in front of the siblings with her arms crossed over her chest. The woman was obviously their mother. She had hair as red as the little boy, and freckles across her nose and cheeks. James couldn't help but think that she was quite pretty, even though she was several years older than he was, and he realized that what he had found agreeable in the girl's face was also present in her mother's.
"Well, are either of you going to answer me?" she said calmly, letting her eyes wander between her children. James saw the girl stuff her diary behind her back before answering.
"Nothing!" she said, trying to look as innocent as possible.
"Lily Alicia Potter! Do not lie to me!"
James started and stared at the woman. Potter, the girl's name was Lily Potter. He looked at his wife, who looked just as startled as he was. He turned his eyes back to the girl, studying her more closely this time. She did look quite a lot like her mother, but there were other traits as well, traits that reminded him of Evans. And he finally saw her eyes. They were big, almond shaped and…green. James had only seen two people in his life that had eyes like that, his wife and his son. Could Harry have somehow survived Voldemort? Could this girl be his daughter? He looked at the other people in the room. If the girl truly was Harry's daughter, than the woman standing in front of him would be his wife, and the boy would be Harry's son.
"We were just…" the girl began, but one look from her mother told her that it was no use even trying. "I was just trying to get my diary back," she then said, showing the woman what she had in her hand.
"Christopher! You took your sister's diary? How could you?" The boy named Christopher scraped his foot on the floor while staring down.
"Sorry, I thought it would be funny," he said quietly.
"Well, I can assure you that your sister did not find it fun. A girl your sister's age needs a little privacy, and she needs her diary to be left alone."
The boy almost looked like he felt worse now as his mother lowered her voice and talked calmly to him. James watched him more intently now. His hair was bright red like his mother's, but also untidy like his own. Simply by looking at it, James knew that the boy's present efforts to flatten it were useless.
James wasn't the only one who looked at the boy. His mother also watched him for a while, until she was satisfied that he had learnt his lesson. She turned towards her daughter, stretched out her hand and demanded the diary. Surprised the girl handed it to her. With a slight smile, she looked at it, then pulled out her wand and tapped it lightly while mumbling something. A beautiful silver lock appeared on the book, and the woman handed it back to the girl.
"There! Now no one will be able to open it but you," she said with a smile.
"Wow, mum, that's neat!" the girl said, clearly impressed with her mother's magical ability. Then she looked closer at the lock and asked, "How do I open it? There's no key hole." Her mother gave her another smile and then took the diary from her again.
"Like this," she said and pulled her hand over the lock before she handed it back to her daughter. The girl followed her mother's example and the book flung open. With a huge smile on her face, she leapt forward and gave her mother a hug.
"Thanks mum," she then said before she added. "Can I go?"
"Yes, you can go," her mother said smiling back at her. As she turned to go, the boy tried to go after her. He, however, was stopped by his mother's hand on his shoulder.
"I said Lily could go, not you, Christopher."
"Don't but mum me! I wasn't the one to take my sister's diary."
"But I said I was sorry…"
"Well, I still don't think it would be such a bad idea for you to give Winky and Dobby a hand in the kitchen tomorrow. And I will check in to make sure that you don't just sit around and let them do all the work." Christopher groaned as she said that, but the look on his mother's face clearly stated that there was no need to argue.
"Now go and get ready. It's Julie's birthday today and you know we're going to the Burrow later this afternoon," she added with a smile. Christopher broke into a grin, then quickly turned, ran out of the room and headed upstairs.
When Ginny had left and James and Lily were once again alone, they couldn't even speak from astonishment. Harry was alive. He had to be. This was his house and his family, his children even.
"How long have we been dead?" Lily's voice cut the silence like a knife.
"I don't know, but obviously long enough for Harry to get married and have children." James responded with a grin. "He made it Evans, he survived!" He ran up to her, took her into his arms and spun her around.
Lily laughed. "You do realize that we, at the age of 22, are grandparents? That is if these children are Harry's?" she asked with a smile.
"Of course they are Harry's. You heard what that woman – his wife – called the girl! Lily! Lily Alicia Potter, wasn't that it? And she had eyes like yours and Harry's…" James couldn't stop talking. The relief of knowing that his little boy somehow survived Lord Voldemort was almost too much for him. It took Lily kissing him to make him stop.
"All I meant was that we don't know if we are those children's grandparents, great grandparents or great great grandparents…" Lily said laughingly.
"Ok, ok, I get it! But it still means that Harry lived! He lived, Evans. We died, but he lived." Tears had started to fill his eyes as he held her close to him. He didn't know how he could be dead and feel all this at the same time, but he didn't care either. His little boy, their son, was ok. He had lived.