Disclaimer: If I were J.K. Rowling, I wouldn't have spent my efforts on finishing this story. I would have put all of my time and energy on Deathly Hallows.
A/N: Thanks to the following reviewers: Dupel, mano, sectumsempra, Mystic.Moonlight817, Marysmary, daydreamin' angel, Isolde Eris, Bridgette Carter, Ilove theLORD, smidget, PrincessKiri14, Phantom of a Rose, Kurinoone, and Lady Potter of Tortall. I know I say this everytime, but I mean it; You are all amazing! Thanks you all so very much for sticking with this story the whole way through!!
Well, I'm back after a month break. The end to this story is finally here! I can not believe it! Working on this story has been so much fun and it seems unreal that I finally finished it. Thank you to all of you who took the time to read this story and thank you to all those who reviewed! Without all of you, I probably wouldn't have been motivated to continue on with this story. So, thanks a billion!
I hope you find the ending adequate. It took me a while to get it straight, but I think I'm happy with the way it turned out. It's been a true pleasure writing this and, once again, thank you for reading it!
Every adventure must come to an end sometime, and here's the ending to James's and Lily's. When we last left off, our favorite Professor McGonagall had oh so nicely interupted Lily's and James's departure.
Have fun reading!
Any color remaining in her cheeks had dropped, leaving Lily pale and shaken. It felt like she had just been smacked in the gut with a thick tree trunk. She could only just feel the eyes of James and Dumbledore on her, as if they were anticipating her next move. In her current emotional state, however, Lily seemed unable to do anything except sit and stare.
The seemingly never ending silence pressed in on Lily, causing her ears to pound unnaturally. Actually, the silence was worse than the news that had just been dropped onto her. "My sister…" she stuttered out, looking from James to Dumbledore like a small lost child.
"Petunia, Vernon, and their son are currently being attended to—mostly for after effects of the shock," Professor Dumbledore explained.
It was lucky, really. Voldemort had picked the exact wrong moment to attack her sister's home. Apparently, they had been out at a local car exhibit when the Death Eaters had struck Privet Drive. Though no one had been hurt, Lily was still extremely shaken. Voldemort had set out to destroy one of her relatives—her own sister for Merlin's sake. It was true that Lily and Petunia had failed to see eye-to-eye after she had received her Hogwarts letter, but Lily still loved her. And she couldn't help but think how this was all her fault.
"I need to see her," Lily said quietly, her voice shaking as it tried to go around the large golf ball that had lodged itself in her throat. She could feel James instantly move in closer towards her, like a shield of protection.
Professor Dumbledore's eyes dropped; he took off his half-moon spectacles and wiped them on the hem of his robes. "I'm afraid that's not possible."
Everything seemed to stop. "What?"
"I don't believe Voldemort actually intended on killing your sister—that would merely have been a bonus to his mission," Dumbledore explained, almost as if he was talking to himself and he'd forgotten that two teenagers were currently standing in front of his desk.
Rage built up inside of Lily. This old man was going to prevent her from seeing her sister who'd just practically been attacked by some lunatics carrying wands! "What do you mean he didn't intend on killing her? He destroyed Petunia's home!"
Any thought of returning to her original time had flown from her mind; in fact, it was hard to believe that just a few moments before she and James had been racing to the Room of Requirement to escape. Meanwhile, the Dursley's house had been rampaged and Voldemort had acted once again. Lily brushed off James's hand as he rested it on her shoulder; she didn't need comforting. She needed to go see her sister. How could she have been so vain as to forget about her own sister this whole time? How could she not have realized that Petunia would have naturally been in danger?
Lily stared at her headmaster, her breaths deep and somewhat painful. Just at the moment where it looked like Dumbledore was about to speak again, the door to his office flew open. Surprised at the sudden noise, Lily whipped her head around to see the new arrival and immediately tears began to form in her eyes for reasons she didn't know.
"What happened to my aunt and uncle," Harry demanded, strutting into the room, his presence demanding one of attention and a need for answers. For a split second, his eyes widened at seeing his teenage parents still here—weren't they supposed to have gone by now?
Dumbledore conjured a chair out of nowhere, offering a seat to Harry, but like his parents Harry remained standing. "Their home was attacked—"
At this, Harry's eyes widened and a look of alarm spread throughout his emerald eyes, his forehead creasing in concern. Lily caught Harry's gaze and realized that they really were in the same boat—though both of them had bad experiences with Petunia they were still able to feel concerned for her well-being. "What?"
"Everyone is fine; luckily neither your aunt, uncle nor your cousin were present at the time of the attack," Dumbledore explained, curling his long fingertips together, clasping his hands in front of him.
A look of relief slowly replaced Harry's expression of worry as he sank into the chair Dumbledore had provided for him. "Where are they now?"
"They are in St. Mungo's and are currently being calmed down from the shock of the situation."
Harry nodded and appeared much more calm than Lily felt. This oddly only heightened her own riling emotions. "Sir, I really need to go talk to her!" she pleaded, placing her hands on the edge of her headmaster's desk. She refrained herself from shouting 'Petunia's blaming me for this! I have to set things right!'
Her sister would never let her live this down. It was just like the summer before Lily's third year; her owl had flown into the kitchen and broken her mother's favorite set of china—Petunia, having found a reason to hate Lily even further for being 'a freak', had blamed Lily for all the havoc. Anything that had gone wrong that summer, whether it be the hot water in the shower running out, Lily was blamed. It was stupid really, but Lily always felt the need to redeem herself.
"I can't allow any of you outside of this castle," Dumbledore said, peering rather seriously at the three of them.
Lily wanted to scream at him, to throw a tantrum in order for him to see how much she needed to see Petunia. From beside her, Harry's back straightened against the back of his chair. "It was a trap, wasn't it?" he asked quickly, watching Dumbledore for any sign of recognition.
Confused, Lily turned towards James, who was looking straight ahead of him, his jaw set determinedly. Did both Harry and James know something that she wasn't catching on to? "You mean," James began, "they're trying to lure us out of Hogwarts?"
They? Who were 'they'?
"Precisely. Voldemort knew that if anything were to happen to Harry's aunt or uncle—Miss Evan's sister—then you two would want to step out beyond these walls to make sure that everything was alright with your family." Dumbledore explained, swirling his wand absently around in the silvery mass of thoughts stored in his pensieve.
James glanced at Lily. "Well, what if we transported Petunia here?" he asked, knowing how important it was for Lily to talk to her sister. Lily's heart swelled with gratitude and hope.
Dumbledore frowned. "Well, some disputes fail to heal—Petunia and her husband refuse to step foot into such a magical place as Hogwarts."
Lily matched Dumbledore's expression as she too allowed the corners of her lips to turn downwards. Why was her sister so stubborn? Didn't she too want to see her sister that had returned from the dead?—in a matter of speaking. Her heart sunk, never really quite realizing how much her sister actually hated her. The familiar sensation of tears prickling her eyes stung her eyelids and she hastily wiped the liquid away.
"So, what are we supposed to do?" Harry asked. The sun was setting outside the window, casting an eerie glow onto Harry's mass of black hair.
"For right now," Dumbledore began, stroking Fawkes welcoming head, "stay in the castle. Don't go wandering off unless absolutely necessary." For reasons unbeknownst to Lily, Dumbledore's eyes lingered on Lily and James for a fraction of a second before he stood up gracefully. It was hard to imagine that Dumbledore was an old man at times.
With a small creak, the door to the headmaster's office swung open as Dumbledore waved his wand in a small circular motion. The wizened man then turned his back and gazed out the window that gave a spectacular view of the grounds. Harry and James glanced at each other and then back at Lily, who seemed to be lost in her own thoughts.
"Come on," Harry said, "we should go."
James nodded and touched Lily gently on the arm, causing her to jump at the contact. Her scared eyes turned towards him, and realizing that she really had no other choice, followed the two boys out of the office. Why couldn't Dumbledore just force her sister and the family to move into Hogwarts, where they would be safe and protected? Though, Lily could realize why Petunia would see something wrong with that option. Magic had been the one thing that had always caused trouble for her; it was no wonder Petunia didn't want to even touch Hogwarts with a ten foot pole.
"I thought you guys had left," Harry accused, marching ahead of the two of them as if they'd done something to tick him off.
"Well, we were…until we got interrupted," James explained as they stepped out into the corridors of the school. Everything was quiet; like the school had been deserted. Everyone was most likely in the Great Hall having dinner.
Harry sighed. "Yeah, well, Malfoy's probably back in the room now. You two should have just gone."
"McGonagall cornered us," James fought back, not liking how Harry was talking to them. It was like he was accusing them of what had happened.
"So?" Harry countered. "She wouldn't have even been able to give you a detention for disobeying her! You would have been twenty years away from here."
Lily, who had been quiet up until this point, stepped in front of the two bickering boys. "Will you two stop?" James and Harry did, in fact, cease their bickering. "What's done is done! We can't go back and change it!" she yelled, tears gathering in the corners of her eyes. Bloody emotions.
Despite what she had said, she surprisingly agreed with Harry. They should have just left. All of these problems shouldn't be her problems to deal with! She and James didn't belong here! They were meant to be back in their own time, with their friends, where Petunia was childless and hadn't even been threatened by the most evil Wizard of the century.
There was a silence as Lily glared hard at each of them, a few tears leaking from her eyes. Harry and James gaped, unable to stop her, as Lily spun on her heel without another word and drifted off down the hall. The whole thing had happened so suddenly that they didn't even have the sense to call her back. Instead, they simply watched her silently as Lily began sprinting up the stairs and around the corner until she was out of their line of sight.
Each feeling responsible for reducing the red head to tears, the two boys hung their heads ashamedly. "I should go find her," James mumbled, glancing at Harry.
"I have a hunch," James replied, the tension evaporating between the two.
Harry nodded, fully understanding what James meant and where he was planning on looking for Lily. "Right."
"Well…see you, Harry." For a brief second, James clapped Harry on the back.
"Tell her I said bye," Harry stated.
James took an intake of breath, filling his lungs to their fullest capacity. He stood, looking apprehensively at where the door to the Room or Requirement should be. Was it empty? What would he find if he could get in? Would Lily still be there? He began to panic. What if Lily had found her way back, but James couldn't. What would he do? James breathed deeply again. Well, there was only one way to find out.
Thinking hard of an empty classroom—a quiet place to think—James stalked past the blank piece of wall three times. He desperately hoped that that's what Lily had thought of if she'd come up here, like James's assumed she had. After he'd finished, James realized that sometime during the process he'd clamped his eyes shut. Trying to control his nerves, James slowly opened his eyes.
The door was there. His heart jumped sharply at the sight of it and he hurriedly ran forwards and wrenched open the door, like if he waited a second longer it would disappear. So, Malfoy hadn't come back! What luck! A greater and much stronger feeling of relief flooded his mind as he next landed his gaze on a familiar head of red hair. "Lily!" He cried, shutting the door and literally pouncing on Lily.
Her hand was clamped tightly around the necklace that James had given her as she stared ahead of her silently. She didn't even respond to him as he hugged her. "This is so wrong!" she whispered, her voice coming out in choked sobs.
Confused, James released his hold on her and he stumbled backwards. "Wha…?"
Lily waved her arms around. "This! This whole thing it messed up. Voldemort going after my sister, Voldemort coming after us! We even had a kid for Merlin's sake!"
Lily hadn't given an outburst like this for quite some time. Actually, up until this point, James had thought they'd gotten over all the surprises of the future and had learned to live with them. "Lily…" he stepped closer towards her, and he saw her nervously tugging on the delicate chain around her neck. She seemed drawn between allowing him to touch her and walking away. At first, he didn't understand her hesitancy, and then it struck him.
They were in the Room of Requirement; not standing outside it, looking at it longingly, but actually in it. They were closer to home than they had been for the past few months. They were that much closer to being thrust back to the time where they hated each other—well, when Lily hated him and he was hopelessly chasing after her.
At this thought, he stopped in his tracks and stood, staring at her. "I'm sorry…" he said quietly, almost inaudibly. It was the first thing he could think of saying.
Tears began trailing down her cheeks, leaving salty lines behind. "I just—" she broke off, staring down at the small emerald pendant hanging on the necklace. With sad eyes, she looked back up at him. "I just wish none of this had happened. I wish we hadn't ended up here. We made things so much worse! I really wish we could just go back."
The words were the pure truth, and James couldn't help but agree. They had been living in almost a kind of dream world; an alternate universe. It was time to wake up to reality. "I know," he agreed. If he could get Lily Evans to befriend him in the future, why couldn't he do the same thing in the past? He was determined to.
And then, breaking his chain of thoughts, the dim lights in the room went out, dousing the Room of Requirement in nothing but darkness. James was just about to step forward to face the unknown when he felt the floor begin to spin. Quite suddenly, it occurred to him what was happening, and then his heart dropped as the floor opened up and dropped him at an alarming rate.
Flashes of memories began flying around him as he fell. He didn't remember falling for this long when the room had first time-traveled him and Lily. At the thought of Lily's name, James's immediately began thinking of a good way to ask her out to Hogsmeade for the next weekend trip; the mistletoe idea hadn't gone over so well. Wait, Dumbledore had cancelled trips to the village, hadn't he? No, that was absurd. And hadn't he already succeeded at getting a date with Lily? James hastily raked his brain for answers, but as soon as he grasped a memory it slipped away.
And then, when he felt like pulling his hair out because he was so frustrated he couldn't think straight, he crashed with a thud. His glasses slipped off of his nose and he heard them skid across the ground. What in the world had just happened? The last thing he remembered, he'd been fighting with Lily and she'd threatened to hex him into the future…
Tenderly, he stood up, and then stupidly realized he couldn't see without his glasses. In a blur, he saw something that resembled a body approach him, something red sitting on top of where he guessed the person's head was.
"Lost something, Potter?"
James couldn't help but grin as he felt a familiar pair of round rimmed glasses being shoved into his hands. "Thanks for caring, Evans," he retorted, placing his glasses back onto his face. "What the hell did you do?" he asked, referring to the rude fall he'd just experienced. "Attempted to blast me into the future? Nice try, love."
Lily screamed with agitation, placing her hands on her hips and tapping her foot impatiently on the floor of the empty classroom they were standing it. "I did not! You must have done it!"
Smirking now, James crossed his arms casually across his chest. "Why would I have done that?"
"You're seriously asking that question?" she said sarcastically, her hands shaking out of pure irritation. "May I remind you that I had to spend the whole day fighting off a piece of charmed mistletoe?"
James chuckled, rubbing a hand through his messy hair. "That was classic!"
He knew that he was annoying her, but that's what he did best. How else would he get her attention? "You're so immature," she stated, glaring at him incredulously, amazed that a sixteen year old boy could be so childish. "Can't you just leave me alone for once?" Lily asked, stalking towards the door and wrenching it open. She'd had had enough; he had pushed her to her limit.
"You're asking for the unthinkable, Evans," James replied smugly, wanting to push her just a bit more.
Lily spun around, her face livid. As he looked at her, he couldn't help but notice a rather pretty looking necklace hanging from her neck. There was a simple, yet elegant, tear shaped emerald on it. James swore she'd never worn it before. Had some guy given it to her? Did she somehow gain a boyfriend in the past twenty-four hours?
"Nice necklace," he said somewhat questioningly, motioning towards her chest. He hoped she would give him answers so if a guy had given it to her James and his faithful Marauders could go pummel the guts out of the guy.
For a second, she seemed enraged that his eyes were anywhere near her chest level, but then her eyes softened. She quickly became confused. "Necklace? What? I wasn't wearing—" she looked down and screamed—"Is this some sort of tracking device you put on me, Potter?"
"What? I did no such thing!" James fought back to her absurdity, approaching her. He reached out to touch the necklace and for some reason she didn't draw away. Maybe it was because she was so shocked that he had even dared to touch her, or maybe the fall had addled her brain—but, for whatever reason, she simply stood there and didn't try to run away or even hit him. Gently, he placed the pendant in the palm of his hand. As he touched it, a tingling sensation spread down his fingertips and Lily shivered. He looked at her.
Her voice was rather breathless, James noticed, as she said, "What are you doing?"
James dropped the necklace, letting it fall back down around her neck. It hung there ominously, like it was beckoning James towards it. He had never seen this thing in his life, yet it felt like he had. For some reason, he got the feeling that the necklace was safe and there would be no need to threaten whoever had given it to her. "It looks nice on you, Lily."
She watched him carefully, her cheeks oddly flushed. "Thanks, James."
Both of them froze simultaneously.
What was that?
They had just referred to each other as 'James' and 'Lily'. What happened to the last name basis relationship? They stared at each other, both of their eyes widened with disbelief at their uncommon civility towards each other. Something had happened; James must have finally done something right, but he had no clue what he had done. He had touched her necklace; was that some sort of sign for a truce?
"Uh…" Lily cast her eyes down to observe the mysterious necklace, breaking their eye contact. "I better…I mean—I have to go."
She opened the door and stepped out; however, she stopped in the threshold of the door and looked back at James. Her gaze wasn't hostile or annoyed; for once it was indifferent, even slightly shocked. Well, that made two of them.
As he watched Lily turn around hesitantly and then walk away, James couldn't help but allow a large grin to spread across his face. Even though he didn't have a clue as to what had just happened, he was more happy than he could ever remember being.
Girls really were confusing.
Sighing deeply, Harry peered at the empty bed beside him—the bed that James would have been occupying if he were here. He knew they were gone; he didn't know how he knew but he did. It was like there had been some sort of connection between the three of them and it had just been cut off, like a lousy telephone connection. Sadness swept throughout Harry's heart; is this what he had felt like when his parents had been killed in front of his eyes? Harry didn't know; he'd only been a baby then.
The moonlight filtered through the small window between his bed and James's empty one. As he followed the path of the light, Harry's eyes landed on something glittering on James's bedside table. For a second, he simply stared at it, but then his curiosity of what it was overwhelmed him.
Quietly, Harry threw his legs over the side of his bed and walked the few feet to his dad's nightstand. Ron snored suddenly, but Harry ignored it as he reached out and picked up the mysterious object. He wanted to cry and smile all at once. It was picture of his mum and his dad at their wedding; the very same picture that Remus had given to Lily who had given it to James.
Oddly, as he watched the moving photograph, Harry was reassured that his parents hadn't truly left him. They belonged back in their time; if they didn't, well, then Harry most likely wouldn't be here now. Clasping the picture frame in his sweaty hand, Harry walked back to his bed and propped the picture up on the table beside his own bed.
Somewhere, he knew that James and Lily were currently back to their old lives, perhaps arguing. Hopefully James would take the hint that being cocky and showing off hadn't been working for him. Wherever they were at this present moment, Harry hoped that, despite the fact they wouldn't be able to remember anything from their trip to the future, his parents would somehow remember that they could love each other.
Looking back at the picture, Harry smiled. Not even the thought of Voldemort out in the open, or the thought of what type of evil Malfoy could be conjuring up in the Room of Requirement, could hinder Harry's hope for his parents' future. With that thought, Harry fell asleep, wondering happily the reaction Voldemort was going to have after he realized that his plans had, once again, been thwarted.
Annnnd, that's a WRAP! Oh. My. Gosh. It's over!
Alright, just so that none of you think having Petunia's house being attacked was pointless, I'm going to explain. That part was actually crucial to how James and Lily returned back to their time. If you recall, in order to activate the Room of Requirement, the person must wish for something 'subconsciously'. The attack on her sister's home sort of awakened Lily and caused her to wish none of this had happened. By wishing for something so naturally, the room was activated and thus sent her and James back to their time. Phew, what an explanation. Hopefully, that didn't just confuse you all more, because it sure did mess with my brain.
Anyways, thank you so much for reading!!! I hope you all enjoyed it, and a great way to let me know your thoughts is by clicking that little review button down there.
Until next time,