Tears in Heaven
Summary: Lily and James have always been oblivious to how they feel about each other. Now, they're getting a kick in the butt and surprises await them. COLLECTION OF ONE-SHOTS, NONE GO TOGETHER WITH THE LAST ONE.
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling. I think that explains it.
Author's Note: uh, I sort of got the story from a lesson in the Bible. Well, the main part was James, watching down the road, every day. Lily and James sort of have amnesia. They don't remember anything that happened in their life until it sort of shows up.
"You're crazier than a suitcase." That would be my brother.
A rocking chair painted white creaked on a wood front porch of a two story white cottage. The windows were open and the smell of cherry pies just out of the oven wafted leisurely in the warm spring air. The well behind the house looked almost cheery, like it was a real person. A young man stared hard down the dirt road he called his driveway, directing his gaze to where the green, lush pasture began and the dense forest ended. He took his glasses off his nose and wiped them peacefully on his white T-shirt before moving them farther up on the bridge of his nose, each hand clenched on the thin arm rests of his chair. His gaze never wavered. This was his usual day.
He saw a figure walking towards the house from far off, and he squinted through his glasses, but didn't move an inch.
The man he saw had long hair that was usually frazzled, but now it was sleek and shiny, just how he remembered it. His steel eyes were warm and confident, and he strode with that confidence in his gait. He always moved like that.
When the man in the chair could see the man's features from far off, he jumped out of his chair in glee and jumped over the stairs, then started loping toward the other man, who was doing the same toward him. They collided in a strong man hug. They cried out each other's names at the same time, "James!"
"Sirius!" They hugged again, and James pulled back. "You finally made it." He grinned boyishly, wrapped an arm over Sirius' shoulders, and they started walking to the cottage. "We've been waiting for you."
Sirius suddenly stopped moving, and his nose twitched. "Cherry?"
"Just for you." Sirius yelped in delight and bounded up the path, jumped over the stairs and walked right into the house. James grinned as he heard Lily squeal.
"Those pies just came- YOW!" She started to scold, but then Sirius' yowl finished off the sentence. "Never touch a pie when its cooling down, you cod!" He grinned as he heard Lily insult Sirius. He sighed, just like old times.
James guffawed and slowly went up the stairs, walking like an old man, taking his good ole time. After all, you had eternity once you're in Heaven. And James had been in Heaven for fourteen years.
He did this everyday. Listens to Lily tell Sirius sternly not to touch the pies, for he would burn. Each time, though, he didn't listen, and James always heard him howling in pain from his rocking chair on the porch.
He was tired. Always tired, always weary, always sad. Everyone around him was dying, almost everyone he ever loved already had.
James creaked in his chair, watching where lush green pastures began and the dense forest ended. The last person that had come came two years ago, in regular time standards, he guessed.
He twitched his hand through his graying hair and pushed through the trees, but they seemed to be closing in closer to him. So this is Purgatory. He had to escape his demons. The forest reminded him of one he had known when he was younger. But when he looked at his hands, he was younger, if just in body. His heart and mind were wizened with many years passed, and the demon that resided in him made him even older.
He erupted out of the trees and fell into a clear patch that was just grass, surrounded by trees. He looked up at the sky, and a full moon glared down at him. He got ready for the pain, the howling, but it didn't come. He howled at the moon, just for curious pleasure. It didn't sound like a howl at all, but someone screaming, off pitch. He bit it off, and ran into the trees. Okay, so he knew that werewolves and vampires were the dammed, but apparently he was a very good werewolf. "Thank you, God." He mumbled, falling out of the trees, and landing on a plain dirt road.
It was silent, for once, in the small cottage that Sirius had sweetly nicknamed 'the Rabbits' Hole,' and that made Lily and James throw him out of the house for two days. He slept on the porch. But now, the lights were out, and all the lovely three occupants of the cottage were sound asleep. Or, two rather. He was out on the porch again, waiting, watching.
He heard the other man hit the ground from far off, and immediately stood, squinting his eyes to try and see in the darkness. He looked up at the sky, full moon. James looked back down at the man and tilted his head. No, could it be? The man was weak on the day of the full moon, after all. And that was so like… it is! James, just like he did with Sirius, ran off the porch and jumped the steps, loping toward the other man quickly.
It took longer for him to reach the other man then he thought, but he still reached him, gathered him up in his arms, and blubbered. "Remus!" He cried, and clutched him tighter.
Remus groaned and tried to sit up, but he couldn't, for James was holding him rather tightly. "James?" He asked, confused. When did James show up?
"Yes, yes! Oh, Remus, I can't believe you're here, it's been so boring, and you have no idea. Everyday Sirius burns himself trying to eat the cherry pies that Lily bakes and it got rather boring, to me anyway, after the fifth week. He even nicknamed the house! 'Rabbits' Hole.' Do Lily and me really do it that often? I didn't know we did it that often, really."
Remus nodded his head. James was rambling again. "I wouldn't know James, I've never been to Lily's and yours house before, even when we were alive. And well, I'm sure that would get boring, do the burns heal over everyday? Interesting…" Then he perked up, and asked James with big, round amber eyes, "Does Lily make Key Lime Pie?"
James laughed through his tears, and let Remus down so he could get up and help Remus up. "I didn't love her and marry her just because she can make pies." But then he smiled. "But that is a bonus." And with that, James helped Remus hobble their way to the Rabbits' Hole, where, somehow, there was a fresh, warm, Key Lime Pie sitting on the kitchen table, waiting for them.
Remus gobbled it down, and Lily, who was watching them in the doorway, laughed. "It seems the only reason that you men stay here is for my pies. Really, that's unhealthy." Then she came in and hugged Remus tightly, kissing him on the cheek. "Welcome to the home of James and Lily Evans Potter. Stay here as long as you wish."
He was shivering in the cold, the pouring rain, crying over the last Marauder's body, which was bloody and his bones were showing out of his skin and he was twisted and crumpled beyond measure. Everywhere around him lay dead bodies, but they were all Death Eaters. Remus Lupin was a much more powerful wizard then he had previously thought. He took out all the Death Eaters a mile around, alone.
"Remus! Buddy ole pal ole buddy!" Sirius said, walking into the kitchen with the bottom half of his pajamas on. He cocked his head to one side. "You look," he cocked his head to the other side, "different."
Remus looked up at him with some pie hanging out of his mouth. He wiped it on the back of his hand and Lily tutted in James' arms, but they both grinned at him. "I look seventeen, Sirius. You do as well. And so do James and Lily."
Sirius sat down, looked at what was left of Remus' pie, which was about half, picked it up, and shoved it in his mouth. "Sirius!" Lily screamed getting out of James' arm, took the pie that was sticking out of the monsters mouth, and gave it a hearty tug. It didn't budge. Very slowly, he swallowed, and ate the rest of the pie.
Lily sat down at an unoccupied space in the table, hit her head repeatedly on the table, and said to herself, "I have no idea how I survived watching him eat like that for eight years. And he ate more when we all lived in the apartment together than when he ate at Hogwarts."
"That wasn't my fault!" Sirius said, and looked at her. "Do you have any more pies?"
"No!" She cried out hysterically.
"Sirius," Remus and James started calmly, and James sat at the other unoccupied space at the table. They continued together, "no more pies, you'll get fat."
He looked up at them with his cheeks full. "I have fast metabolism," he said spitting almonds on the boys.
James turned and looked at Lily. "When did we get almonds?" She looked up and said, confused, we have almonds?
"Well," Sirius said, shoving another handful of almonds in his mouth, "you do now!"
He clenched his hand tighter around his wand as he stared hard at Tom Riddle. Death Eaters, he had no idea how all of them didn't die when Remus killed them, surrounded them, cracking their knuckles threatening, and shouting out insults to him to try and distract him. They held his best friend as a prisoner, and he saw her, tied to a tree, stripped down practically naked against the tree, sobbing. She was the only one alive, that he knew of. And he would fight for her. So they dueled. This time it was different thought. They were going to fight to the death.
James looked up at the sky for the first time since Remus shown up. That was two months ago, three full moons had passed, but he didn't change at all. How odd… and the next oddest thing was happening today. It was raining, in Heaven. He had no idea, for it was always very pleasant, the sun shining and the trees whispering. But the sky was dull and black, the thunder rolled but there was no lightening, and it was pouring rain.
But he was still out on the porch. "Why is it raining?" He asked himself under his breath, before getting up and walking into the house. He went past the kitchen, where Remus, Sirius and Lily were all pondering over the meaning of life (Sirius thought it was sex and chocolate) and climbed the spiral stairs to the second floor, then walked to the end of the hall to his and Lily's bedroom. It was chaotically organized, and he knew where everything was. He slunk toward Lily's dresser, opened the top drawer, dug through all the lingerie, and found a small mirror. He smiled happily, shut the drawer carefully, and then fled out of the house and to the well.
Cautiously, he leaned over the well backward, and then looked in the mirror, trying to find the picture he needed to see. What was in the well showed the future, and it was magic that people, muggles, long ago had some how discovered. And it was the only magic that worked in Heaven, and he needed to know why God was crying.
The rain was messing with the picture in the well, and James had to really squint to see what was in the well. A boy, he saw a boy. And the boy was surrounded by at least fifty men, all in black. And the boy was standing right in front of a man, who for James even in Heaven could feel the evil that radiated off him.
"You can't kill me, Tom!" The boy shouted, and James almost fell into the well in shock. He couldn't hear the boy in reality, but he heard the boy's voice and his words inside his head. The voice sounded exactly like his. Curious…
"I can, Potter, and I will. You'll die exactly like your father did. Protecting." He spat it out, and James started shaking in terror he knew that wasn't all his own. "Its Pathetic. Just like your dammed father. Should we kill the boy first, my good gentlemen, or make him cry, making him watch us harm his pretty little mudblood?" There were grunts that echoed in his head, and James had to admit, what would seem like mindless goons on their own sounded like an army of trained killers. James shivered, and it wasn't because of the rain.
"Girl! Girl! Girl!" The black cloaked people started chanting, stomping their feet with it.
"Peter!" The man shouted, and a short man scurried forward. "Get the girl," he growled. The boy started to run forward, but the man flicked his wand at him, and the boy was instantly encased in ropes and was flat on his back. He was screaming, desperately, and the girl's scream mixed with his while she was being brought forward, seven men carrying her, holding her up in places that no one should be allowed to touch without her permission.
"Hm…" The man said scratching his chin with a long white finger. "Who should go first?" The men all around them howled, screaming their own names and pointing fingers. "I know!" He said, hushing them all. "Malfoy, Lucius!" He barked, and the tall man slid forward with an odd grace.
"Thank you master," he said, bowing low and kissing the hems of the mans feet, before pulling the hood of his robe back, reveling ice blonde hair and even lighter blue eyes. He grinned maniacally at the girl, who was magiked onto a platform; her legs and arms attached to chains. She cried harder, and the boy, still on the ground, was screaming his outrage, but his threats and insults and pleads were going unheeded.
"Please!" The boy called, trying to get up. "I'll do anything, just let her go!"
Voldemort looked over at the boy, his thin lips going back into a grin that showed his hideous teeth. He was about to say something, when Lucius, in his moment, called, "bring your mother back, boy! She must have been a much better fuck then this, mudblood. But she was one too!" He laughed, uproariously. "Your father must have had the time of his life each time they had their intimate relations." He sneered the last words. He looked back to the girl, talking to Harry, but seemed to tell the group what he wanted more than anything. "Feel that flesh writhe beneath my hands," he said, tracing the girls curves. "The scream of our ecstasy, or mine rather, as we peaked," moving himself lower, until his head was between the girls legs, his fingers tracing her inner thighs. "The fire she would create in my veins whenever we would kiss…" he trailed off, biting the girl's thighs, making her scream louder.
"Don't indulge your fantasies in Hermione, and don't tell me what you wanted to do with my mother." Harry spat, breaking the spell on his ropes, and charging to Lucius. He punched the man in the jaw, making him fly of the girl and the platform, falling headfirst off it, and Harry heard the satisfaction of the neck breaking. "My parents, my Lily and James and Remus and Sirius and Hagrid and Dumbledore were better than all of you could ever think or dream of being!"
James stared, horrified. Who was this boy? "I'm better than all those muggle loving fools would ever be, Potter, so don't tell me I'm not."
Harry grinned haphazardly trying to hold off all the goons and protect the girl and have a seemingly casual conversation with Voldemort. He was holding up well. He finally zapped half the Death Eaters with that wretched Unforgivable and all the others backed away as Voldemort stepped forward. Then the picture hazed, and all he heard from it was screams.
James jumped back from the well and felt the mirror in his hand crash in the grass. And very slowly, he leaned forward over the well, and cried, mixing his tears with God's.
He was tired, he was crying, and he was looking for Hermione. She wasn't there, and he had no idea where she was. He didn't know how he showed up here, or even why, but he were stuck in these damn woods and didn't know how to get out. So he kept moving in the one direction that his heartstrings were beckoning him to. He fell after tripping over some brambles, and kept falling. In fact, he felt that he was going to fall forever, for it seemed that way. He rolled past a bunch of dirt roads, and he saw people walking on them, but he didn't stop, until he just… did. He suddenly stopped rolling and came to a halt, and he tumbled out onto the dirt road. It was the dead of night, and a crescent moon hung in the sky.
For one night in the past sixteen years, James Potter was not out on his porch. He was fast asleep in his bed with his wife. Who, he was happy to say, smelled like freshly baked pies. He really had no idea why that, in the past sixteen years, she had the urge to make all of the Marauders pies. He never questioned it, no he wouldn't. If it was her hobby, then, hell, he should be proud that she makes good pies!
Okay, why was he fighting with himself about Lily's obsession with making pies? He would have none of that. But, he was already awake, so why not go to his porch. Just to look? He slowly tried to ease Lily out of his grasp. As soon as he was about to tiptoe out of their room, she rolled over, her eyes wide. "You will not leave our bed tonight. You're always leaving; you never spend the whole night, if you spend the night at all. What are you waiting for out there?"
He said it to her very softly, "the Inevitable." He kissed her cheek, and left reluctantly. She watched him go, threw a little hissy fit, but snatched up his pillow, breathed in his scent, and then held it to her chest before nodding off.
Harry staggered up to the house, the only one he could see that was in sight. It was a very nice house, he reckoned with himself. It stood out against the blackness of the night. He tripped, stumbling up the stairs, and collapsed into the rocking chair near the door, facing the forest he escaped out of. And that was when he slept.
James opened the screen door wide and shut it quietly. Remus slept on the couch in the quaint living room right next to the porch, and Sirius slept in the bedroom on the other side of the hall from his and Lily. He walked silently, but then stopped, and stood stock-still. A mop of black hair was leaning against the back of his rocking chair, and the person was breathing deeply. Good, he's alive. James immediately smacked himself in the forehead. Of course he's alive, he's in Heaven.
He slowly moved forward so he was right in front of the boy, and knelt down, staring at him hard. He looked exactly like James, though the boy's nose a little bit shorter. But other than that, they could have been twins. That was, until the boy opened his eyes. He stared right into James, shocked. Okay, big difference. James, hazel or a color like toffee, was staring into the boys, the deepest and darkest emerald like…Lily's.
"Hello," the boy said calmly. "Am I sitting on your porch? I'm sorry. I just needed a place to sleep. I was very tired. I'll just be going-?"
James cut him off, as the boy was about to get up. He grabbed his arm and sat him back down in the rocking chair. "No, that's all right. I'm sure you can stay here." James stuck out his hand and grinned. "I'm James, by the way. James Potter."
The boy almost fainted. But he stuck out his hand for James to shake. "Well, if you're James Potter, than I must be Harry James Potter. Your son." James grabbed him around the shoulders, and hugged him tight.
"Welcome home, my boy." He told him, and Harry smiled into James shoulder weakly.
"Is mum here?"
"Lily? Yes, she's upstairs sleeping."
"Sirius?" Harry breathed out.
"On the couch in the room right behind you." Harry cried fitfully into James' shoulder, and James rocked him.
"You would have been the greatest father in the world." Harry sobbed out. James smiled watery.
"Lily would have been the better parent. I would of flung you on a broomstick at age two and sailed around the world."
"I wish you did," Harry mumbled.
Remus stumbled out onto the porch, rubbing his eyes with his fists. "What's all the fuss out- Harry!" He cried out loudly, and fell to his knees, and hugged both James and Harry.
And it was all a big group hug and it was one of the first days in Heaven that someone cried that wasn't God.
And then came Lily. She didn't realize that there were three men on her porch hugging and crying. So she ran out of the porch, tripped over the closest leg, Remus', and fell right into the middle of the huddle. And there she landed face to face with Harry. "Mum!" He cried, his eyes shining, and unraveled his arms from James and Remus and wrapped them tightly around Lily. She hugged back, smiling and crying looking at James and Remus, who were crying and holding each other.
"Come on! What's the deal, I'm trying to sleep in there! Who died?" Sirius asked, walking toward them in a daze.
Harry looked up at him and stood up, smiling uncertainly. "I did."
Sirius' eyes watered as he looked at Harry. "You grew," he finally choked out.
"Yeah, eighteen and nothing to show for it. Makes you want to cry, doesn't it?"
"You shouldn't have died Harry!" Sirius burst out, sitting heavily in the old, white rocking chair, putting his head in his hands.
"He was gone, Sirius! I killed him just before he killed me. It was over, we both died."
"What… what about everyone else?" Sirius said, looking up.
A stray tear fell down Harry's cheek and fell to the ground. "There was no one else. Everyone was gone. Everyone is gone. And…" He sniffed and sunk to his knees. "Hermione died right before I did. I watched her fall, Voldemort killed her, and I just stared at her body, and the anger about how many that I loved died, and my love exploding in my heart, telling me I can bring her to a better place, I'll meet her there. I said the spell a scant half-second before Voldemort did. And I fell; watching him hit the ground in a cloud of black dust. And I knew, that he was going to Hell to be ripped limb by limb by the hounds of Hell, and I… I would be sent to Purgatory, hoping for Heaven. She isn't here!" He wailed.
They all cried for him. And, especially the girl they were crying for.
She came five days after Harry arrived, telling him shyly that she had to visit her parents before she visited his. He grabbed her hand from where she stood right in front of the steps of porch, and led her through the cottage to introduce her to James and Lily, and reintroduce the very handsome looking seventeen year olds that are Remus and Sirius.
James and Lily talked with her politely, while Remus and Sirius ran to her and swept her off her feet and hugged her tight. Sirius, spontaneously, gave her a fat wet kiss on the mouth, leaving her blushing and hiding slightly behind Harry. Remus, being the ever gallant boy he was, smiled and kissed her on the cheek.
"Hermione, Mum and Dad. Mum and Dad, Hermione."
Lily chuckled as she wrapped an arm around Hermione's shoulder like an old friend. "So this is the gal that Harry talks about every second and Sirius and Remus moan about in their dreams, eh?" All the boys blushed, and James bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud.
Hermione held up her front. "Apparently I am." Then she looked at the boys, smiled shyly, but winked roguishly.
"Ah well," Sirius said, straightening his shoulders to make them look broader, "if Harry ever gonna treat you bad, you can come on over to best friend Padfoot."
"Or me!" Remus said, standing up and wrapping an arm around Hermione's waist. "Thing is though, if ya need to talk, you gotta come to me, because if you go to Padfoot there," He said, jabbing his thumb over in Sirius' direction, "he might wanna do more than talking, if you know what I mean."
"Okay!" Harry said defensively, taking Hermione's hand and pulling her tighter to him. "I think we'll just go and I can have the awkward introductions with Hermione's parents now!"
Lily unwrapped her arm from Hermione's shoulders, and said. "Okay, you can always talk to me or Remus or James. And Harry, well, you know what you can do with Harry." Harry and Hermione both blushed crimson. "Just… don't see Sirius alone, kay? He'll be a little vixen."
"Hey!" Sirius said, stomping his foot with a pout on his face.
"Right…" Harry trailed off. "Bye Da, Mum, Remus and Sirius." And then he grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her out of the house, letting the door swing shut just before they erupt in laughter.
Five months later, Harry and Hermione built themselves a little cottage that was right next to the Rabbits' Hole.
James didn't need to sit out on the porch anymore. The Inevitable already arrived.
A rocking chair painted white rocked on a wood front porch of a two-story cottage. It rocked on its own.