Disclaimer- I do not own the Harry Potter series or the characters, all are the property of J. K. Rowlings.
Glances of the Future
Lily Potter took one last look at the Charms corridor before turning into the next one. A flood of students suddenly emptied into the hallways, and Lily knew that classes had just ended. Many students greeted her as she walked by. It was funny; seeing all the little first years she used to know as fifth yearstaking their OWLsthis year. She began walking down towards the Potions dungeon. As Aurors patrolling Hogwarts, they had all been instructed to go down there every so often to check on the classes down there. As she trudged down one of the many long corridors, she heard a small explosion coming from the Potions classroom.
Breaking out into a run, she sprinted around the corner into the last corridor. The Potions door closed ahead of her – someone had gotten there first. She flung it open to see James standing there, facing a class in an uproar of laughter. A huge scorch mark decorated Professor Slughorn's desk, and smoke floated in the air.
". . . and that is precisely why you must never, ever mix porcupine quills with crocodile spleens. Whatever the amount, the chemicals will react very strongly, causing an explosion such as the one you just witnessed," Professor Slughorn was saying.
He flicked his wand, and the scorch mark disappeared. "Now if you will observe this potion over here . . ."
"Did you just get here?" Lily whispered to James. He looked down at her.
"Yeah. The explosion I heard pretty much freaked me out," he whispered back.
Lily smiled. "You scared me as well. I didn't know what kind of thing had just entered the Potions classroom."
James smirked. "Yeah, I'm regular fright, aren't I?"
Lily giggled, and suddenly heard Professor Slughorn say her name.
". . . which Mr. and Mrs. Potter have both taken before, in their Seventh Year."
She looked up to see him grinning at both of them. "I'm sorry?" she said.
The professor gestured at a small black cauldron sitting on a table. Lily recognized the foggy white liquid even before he said the name. "Video Futurum," he announced proudly.
"Ohhh, man," groaned James. The class laughed.
"This potion will allow the drinker to see four of their possible future lives," he began. As he listed the functions and risks, James looked at her in a knowing way, and Lily felt herself blush slightly.
"How much of your future do you get to see?" asked a curly, blonde-haired girl.
"Since the drinker is only asleep for fifteen minutes, it only ends up being a small glance, Miss Flattery. Yes, Mr. Beezeley?"
Is that really Elias Beezely? thought Lily, astonished. When I last saw him, he was a Third Year . . .
"May I ask Mr. Potter a question?"
"Mr. Potter, what was it like to drink the potion?"
James looked surprised, and rather gratified at being addressed. "Well, you feel yourself get very sleepy. When you fall asleep, you view the scene in your own body. You keep your own thoughts, but you also have others that aren't yours. Memories you didn't have before. When a scene is over, everything fades into black, and suddenly you're in the next one."
Many people were taking notes. Professor Slughorn was nodding approvingly.
"Now, may I have two volunteers?"
The class looked up at him, bug-eyed. Some faces were so wide with fright that it was almost funny. Is this what the war is doing to them? Lily thought. Are they so afraid of anything different that they shy away from a simple potion?
"Lily and I will take it again," James announced.
Lily whipped her head around to stare at him. Everyone else looked at him, too.
"Are you sure, Mr. Potter?" asked the professor cautiously.
"Yep. Our shift is over, and we've done it once before. We can do it again, right Lily?" James looked at her, expectantly.
"Umm, yeah," she said slowly.
Professor Slughorn's face beamed. "Brilliant! Step this way, please." His wand flicked, and Lily saw two familiar-looking cots and goblets appear. The class didn't look afraid, anymore. Most of them looked eager, now.
Lily reluctantly sat down on the cot. I don't want to take this again, she thought. I am going to smack James' head when I'm done with this.
Professor Slughorn handed them both a goblet of the potion. James drank his immediately and lay down on his cot.
"You may come up here and observe the potion and Mr. and Mrs. Potter, if you wish. A one-foot essay will be due on Tuesday."
The class groaned. Lily smiled. They had groaned almost exactly like her own Potions class had four years ago.
Just as she was about to drink the potion from her goblet, something snapped and she found herself sprawled on the floor. The potion fanned out across the floor like water from the goblet that had fallen from her hand.
"Oh, oh, I am so sorry, Lily," said Professor Slughorn anxiously. He restored the cot leg with a flick of his wand and picked up the now-empty goblet. "I must not have been concentrating properly when I Conjured the cot. I am so sorry, very sorry."
Lily reassured him that it was fine, she was alright, and sat down on the cot again. Professor Slughorn refilled her goblet and handed it to her.
"Mr. Potter has been asleep for a couple minutes, now, Professor," said the curly-haired blonde.
"Quite alright, Miss Flattery, are you taking notes? You will need observations to write your essay."
Lily drank the potion and lay down. Why did I let James pull me into this again? she grumbled to herself. It's what happened last time. I didn't stand up for myself and look where it got me. Ohhh, I am going to smack his head when I get him alone. Smack it. Smack it hard . . .
She was trudging down the streets of the village of Hogsmeade. It was raining. She was carrying an umbrella, but with all her bundles shifting around in her arms, she couldn't hold it straight very well. She finally reached her tiny apartment and set her bundles down on the counter.
Feeling tired, damp, and very stressed out; she flopped down on the dingy couch in her so-called living room. She always felt stressed out nowadays, ever since she and James got divorced.
Divorced? What? thought Lily in a panic. The thought faded away in a couple moments, and she remembered.
She had divorced James after only four months of marriage. She had been fiery-tempered and always wanting her way. He had been stubborn and often angry. Both of them had wanted the top spot. Being together hadn't worked – marriage is a partnership, and they had not been acting like partners.
The thought made her feel incredibly sad. True, she could lord over her small place all she wanted, now, but she missed James. She missed his smile, and feeling his presence, and the way he ruffled his hair and his warm laugh and the feel of his arms around her, holding her close . . .
Feeling terrible, she turned onto her side and stared at the window. All of the rain pelting against it didn't make it any less dirty. Oh, how I miss him, Lily thought mournfully. A tear fell down her face, then another. Why did I have to act like such an idiot? Why, oh why did I ever let him go? She closed her eyes – feeling alone.
Like she was standing in the middle of a desert – alone.
The room faded.
She was sitting on a chair outside of a room in St. Mungo's, anxiously twisting a fleece hat in her hands. She was waiting . . . for something. She looked around. The Emergency Ward, she thought in awe. She saw two figures in white walk by pushing someone on a stretcher. The person was battered and bloody. Arthur Jetolski, she thought automatically. One of our good friends, and a very experienced Auror. He took a team of Aurors on a raid tonight, and they were ambushed. It was a trap. She looked down at the hat. It was a dark forest green, with a small embroidered snitch on it. It was one of her favorites. Whenever she woreit, she wore the snitch off to the side. James liked this hat, too.
Oh my gosh – James! she thought, panicked. That's why she was here. James . . .
A nurse in white came out of a door on her left. She shook her head sorrowfully.
Lily let out a sob and rushed past her into the room. James was lying on a bed. He was terribly pale and had bandages on him in several places. His eyes were closed, and he was breathing slowly.
Lily knelt down next to his bed. One more look at his face, and she burst into tears, burying her head in the covers of his bed. She felt a hand on her head.
"Lily," James said softly.
"No, James, no," she sobbed. "Please don't go, James, don't leave me . . ."
"Lily," he said again, stroking her hair. Still crying, she looked up at him. He had turned his head and opened his eyes to look at her. He looked tired, and resigned. Like he knew he was dying.
"Lily, my one and only love. I need you to be strong for me. Promise me you won't give up fighting. Always fight, my heart."
"I promise, James," Lily cried. Tears ran down her face onto his hand, which was cupping her cheek, now.
James closed his eyes, and with an effort, opened them again. "And promise me something else, Lily. Promise me that you will find someone else. Someone else to love you like I do."
"No!" Lily wailed. She grabbed his wrist. "No, James, no! I can't! Please, please don't leave me. You can't leave me like this . . ." she trailed off, sobbing hard.
"Lily." His voice was firm, though a whisper. She looked at him. "You must promise me. I can't let you live the rest of your life by yourself. Promise me, love."
She took a few shuddering breaths, then buried her head in his bed again. "I promise, James." Her whole frame shook with her tears.
His hand stroked her hair again. "I love you, my Lily. I will always love you." All of a sudden, his hand was still.
She jerked her head up, and his hand fell limply off her head. His eyes were closed, and his chest no longer moved. She took one horrified look at him, and then let out a wail to rival any banshee.
The room faded.
She was at the Ministry of Magic, writing up a report at a desk. For several minutes, Lily just concentrated on what she was writing. It was a report about the various trials that were to be held this week. One person was a serial killer that they had finally caught. Another was someone who had been selling hats to Muggles – hats that screamed and flashed bright colors and wouldn't come off of their heads. A troublemaker that couldn't stop "having fun".
Lily sealed the report and handed it to her owl. "Minister of Magic," she said. It hooted and flew off. She looked at her watch. The face read 7:15. "Chute, I'm late again," she said to herself, and began to walk to the Entrance Hall.
As she walked, her hand unconsciously drifted to her stomach, and she patted the small bump that was her second child. She was happy, of course, but also doubtful. Can James and I handle another one? she asked herself. She walked out into the Entrance Hall.
"See you tomorrow, Lily," called Melma Patterson, from the Welcome Desk.
"Bye," Lily called back. She walked to the Fountain of Magical Brethren and gazed for a moment at the statues. Then, she focused on a place in her head and turned on the spot.
She was facing a small white house deep in the village of Hogsmeade. She walked briskly up the three small steps to the door and knocked. A sign on the door read Mrs. Daerlin's Daycare – no dogs allowed!
After a moment, a middle-aged woman with gray threads in her brown hair opened the door.
"Hello, Cecelia. Sorry I'm late," Lily said.
The woman gave a weak smiled and held the door open for her. Lily walked in and went right to the living room.
A tiny, black-haired boy was sitting on a couch next to a taller brunette girl watching Winnie-the-Pooh on a small television.
"Hey Harry, time to go," Lily said. The little boy looked at her. "Mommy!" he said smilingly, and began to laboriously put on his shoes. As soon as Harry had finished, Lily turned and said, "Monday at seven?"
Cecelia, who had followed her into the living room,nodded.
"Okay, then!" Lily said brightly. She took a small bag of Floo powder from her pocket and tossed a pinch on the fire. The flames roared green.
Lily stepped in, saying loudly, "Potter residence, Godric Hollow!" Then she was spinning and spinning . . .
. . . and she tumbled out onto the large rug she had placed next to her fireplace. She got up and walked over to the kitchen counter, placing the bag of Floo powder next to James' work papers. She turned to see the flames again turn green, and Harry tumbled out onto the rug. Lily knelt and held out her arms. "Hey, Harry!"
The little boy's face now beamed in a heartwarming smile. "Mommy!" he cried, and ran to her. Lily smiled as she hugged her son.
Harry pulled away to look at her. "Mommy, I werned a willy fun game of cawds today!"
"You learned a really fun game of cards?" asked Lily. "What one?"
"It's . . . it's . . ." Harry scrunched up his nose, thinking. Then his eyes went wide and he smiled again. "It's Go Fish!"
Lily smiled widely. "That's great, honey! Did you like it?"
"Yeah, it was willy fun. Can we pway it tonight?"
Lily looked at the clock. "No, we have to eat dinner and then go to bed."
Harry pouted. "But Mommy, that's what we awways do."
Lily got up and walked into the kitchen. "Yes I know, Harry. We're just a busy family, that's why."
The night passed in the same way it always did. Lily quickly cooked something easy for dinner, and then Harry went to bed. After a while, so did Lily. James still wasn't home. More often than not, he wasn't home when she was awake. He often worked late.
Lily sighed. I don't know him as well as I used to, she thought mournfully.
It was true. They were always rushing, always working. The most they saw of each other was on the weekends, and that wasn't much. Harry went to daycare Monday through Friday, and Lily regretted it. It was nights like these that she hated; lying awake wishing she had been the one to teach him Go Fish, that she had been there when he climbed his first tree, that she had been the one to comfort him all those days when he was teething. But she hadn't been – she had been working.
Lily's heart ached with a terrible realization-
She was a horrible mother.
The room faded.
Lily was walking down the path of a park near her home. James was walking on her right with an arm around her waist. Four kids were running and playing around them as they walked. Lily looked at each one.
Harry. He was ten. He'd be going to Hogwarts next year. At the moment, he was fighting imaginary enemies (usually in the form of whatever tree or bush they were passing) with a stick. His hair fluttered with every stabbing and slashing motion he made.
Rose, or Rosie as everyone called her, was wandering aimlessly off to James' right, picking every dandelion she saw. She had just had her eighth birthday, and was proudly wearing a new princess tiara in her hair. Her red, curly head bobbed around, going up and down as she picked flowers.
Lorena was right behind Harry, fighting with a smaller stick. She didn't look anything like James or Lily, with her straight brown hair and blue eyes. She looks like Petunia, Lily thought sadly. And she'll never get to meet her aunt. Harry and Lorena played well together. They always had.She was six years old.
"Daddy!" said an exited voice up above them. Both James and Lily looked up. A little boy was lying on a branch right over their heads. He had curly red hair like Lily's but James' hazel eyes – down to the mischievous sparkle they were often wont to hold.
James smiled up at him and let go of Lily's waist. "Hey Lukey, cummere!" He held up his arms just as the four-year-old boy dropped into them, giggling. James threw him up into the air.
"Mommy, look at me!" shrieked the little boy. He laughed hysterically as James threw him up again and again. Pretty soon, James and Lily were laughing, too. Then Luke squiggled to get down, so James let him go and he ran off towards his brother, still laughing.
Someone tapped Lily's elbow. She turned and looked down into the smiling face of her daughter Rosie.
Rosie held up her bouquet of dandelions. "Here Mommy. There is eleventeen of them." She had James' eyes, too.
"Eleventeen?" Lily asked with a smile.
"Yep!" said the little girl happily. "I am going to go pick more now." She marched off happily, her tiara perched lopsidedly on her curls.
Lily looked down at the flowers in her hand. Some were sort of squished and others were rather wilted. James' hand came into view and selected the biggest and best-looking one. He tucked it behind her right ear. Lily looked at him and clicked her tongue.
"Goodness me. Didn't you know that flowers go behind the left ear for married women?" she asked, switching the flower.
"My apologies, fair lady," he teased her. He looked up at their children running around as they walked. "Look at them, Lily. They're beautiful. They're ours. It's . . . it's so wonderful," he trailed off.
Lily smiled up at him. "I know, James," she said. "And we get to see them grow up."
James stopped walking, smiling down at her. Putting his hands on her upper arms, he leaned down and kissed her. Then he drew her into a tight embrace. Lily buried her head in his chest. It truly is wonderful, she thought. We have four beautiful children and a whole lifetime ahead of us.
"Mommy and Daddy, come on!" called Lorena from up ahead. James turned and started walking again, keeping his arm around Lily's waist. Lily laid her head on his shoulder, feeling perfectly content.
The room faded.
Lily opened her eyes and sat up. Professor Slughorn was lecturing the students on what Lily recognized as the ingredients of Video Futurum. The curly-haired blonde saw her sit up.
"Professor, Mrs. Potter is awake!" she cried. Professor Slughorn turned around.
"Wonderful!" he said, beaming. "Now, would you care to share your experience?"
Lily's head was whirling – exactly like last time. "No," she said slowly, "but I will tell you that what I saw was different than last time. The potion had . . . adjusted, to my marriage to James."
Every head bent to take notes, and Professor Slughorn nodded approvingly. Then he started.
"Oh, I nearly forgot." He handed her a white piece of paper from his desk.
"This came while you two were asleep. James woke before you, so he has already left."
Lily took it, thanking him. Saying good-bye to the class, she left the classroom and began walking slowly down the corridor, reading the note as she did so.
James & Lily-
A victim of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named appeared in the Ministry not 20 min. ago. He told us the hideout of several Death Eaters. Come as soon as you can – I'm taking a team to try and capture them.
Lily stopped dead in her tracks.
The Jetolski Raid. An ambush. Death.
James had already left.
Lily immediately sprinted at top speed down the corridor, the note clenched in her hand. No, no, no, James. Please don't leave.
She passed students in the hallways who stared after her in puzzlement. Panicked thoughts ran through her head. I have to get outside Hogwarts. I have to Apparate to the Ministry.
If she did not reach James before he left, he would die. Tears began to pour down her face.
Oh, James . . .