Chapter Twelve- Full Circle
Lily opened her eyes to find herself alone in the Gryffindor common room.
It was clearly late as the fire in the grate had simmered down to embers and the common room was empty. Lily blinked a few times, confused, before glancing down at her lap, which was laden with textbooks and a half-written essay. As she rubbed her eyes to try to focus, she noticed that they felt puffy and that her head was aching a little. Probably from another late night of homework, she thought. I must have fallen asleep right here in the common room.
But something was nagging at her from the back of her mind, like a dream rapidly disappearing after waking up. After a moment of strained concentration, Lily shook her head as if to clear it and re-read the last paragraph of her essay to see where she had left off before falling asleep.
Half an hour later, Lily had finished her essay and closed up her textbooks. Setting aside her parchment and quill, Lily stretched, stiff from sitting so long in one place, and then sank back into the plushy red fabric of her chair.
With OWLs coming up soon the fifth years had more work than ever; this was not the first time she'd dozed off in mid-assignment. However, while the late hour didn't bother her very much, the throbbing pain in the back of her head was beginning to get on her nerves. So, despite the fact that almost everyone else in the Tower was probably asleep, Lily sat awake in the common room, waiting for the pain in her head to subside.
Lily felt oddly restless as she sat by the dying fire. The common room was almost unbearably quiet, like sudden silence after a very loud noise. She tried to remember what she had been dreaming about. For some reason, she thought it had something to do with her parents. And Albus Dumbledore. And the hospital wing. Lily's hand absently went to her side and she was surprised when there was no pain there. Then, confused, she couldn't think why there should be any pain at all.
She had a sudden urge to see James and her parents, and even Al though she was sure she'd seen him earlier that day. Even as a first year, away from home for the first time, Lily had never wanted to see her parents more than she did right now. The term would be over in a few weeks, but that seemed an eternity away.
More restless than ever, Lily decided to take a walk to clear her head. She put her essay safely away in her bag and pulled on her shoes before making her way through the portrait hole and into the corridor beyond.
Luckily, the Fat Lady was asleep in her frame and Lily avoided a rebuke at her obvious breach of curfew. But being out after curfew was no strange thing for any of the Potter children and they were all familiar enough with the Fat Lady to know she didn't mind them sneaking out half as much as she pretended.
As Lily had expected, the corridors were vacant, lit only by the moonlight shining through the tall windows to her left. Lily doubted any of the professors would be out patrolling at this time of night but still wished she had the Marauders' Map with her. Most likely, it was stowed away in the dingy office of Argus Filch, who didn't know what the map was, but who had confiscated it anyway when he'd caught Al out after hours.
Keen for something to keep her mind occupied, Lily decided a quest to retrieve the Marauders' Map would serve her well. She abruptly changed her course and headed in the direction of Filch's office.
Filch probably won't even notice that the map is missing, she thought.
A few minutes later Lily arrived at Filch's office without even the whisper of someone else in the corridors. She stared for a moment at the simple wooden door labeled Caretaker, drew her wand, whispered, "Alohamora," and the door swung open.
"Lumos," Lily whispered and the small space was suddenly lit with the bright light from her wand. The office clearly reflected Filch's distaste of anything dirty or out of place, with filing cabinets neatly lining the back wall and the papers on his desk stacked in tidy piles. Lily made her way around the desk and began to inspect the cabinets.
When she reached the drawer labeled Confiscated and Highly Dangerous Lily grinned and pulled it open. Something in the drawer began growling and Lily hesitated but caught sight of an old Fanged Frisbee in the back and let out a small sigh of relief. After very little search, she found the Marauders' Map shoved into one of the front corners looking a little rumpled and worse for wear but definitely intact. Indeed, to Lily, parchment nearly forty years old had never looked so good.
Lily pocketed the map in her robes, hid the Fanged Frisbee on the seat of Filch's chair on a whim, and left the office.
On her way back to the common room, Lily took the map from her pocket and thought about how relieved Al would be that it was no longer in the hands of Argus Filch. Smiling, Lily pointed her wand to the parchment and quietly recited, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
Ink immediately began to spiral and swirl to the edges of the map, revealing, as always, the layout of Hogwarts and the location of everyone inside it. As Lily strolled down the hall, she noted without surprise that most of the black dots were bundled in the four common rooms, with a lone dot here or there for the professors. She found herself on first floor, Lily Potter moving along, and then another dot moving nearby caught her eye.
Lily stopped and thought that perhaps one of the professors was still out patrolling the castle. When she read the name Pansy Parkinson her brow furrowed.
It was probably one of the younger students in one of the other houses. There weren't all that many students at Hogwarts, but no one knew them all, except maybe the Head Boy and Girl. As Lily continued to stare at the map she saw Pansy Parkinson heading towards the Great Hall, just a few corridors away from Lily was standing.
It didn't take long for Lily to decide to turn around and head back to the Great Hall. Her mother always said she was too curious for her own good, but her dad had always seemed to encourage it.
Besides, Lily thought, this Pansy Parkinson is also breaking curfew. It's not as if she can get me in trouble.
Walking briskly now, but very quietly, Lily made her way towards the Great Hall, wiping the map blank as she went. When she made it to the end of the next corridor, she stopped and peered slowly around the last corner. The hall in front of her was empty, with no sign of any other student. With a little sigh, Lily straightened up and made to turn around when she heard footsteps coming to a stop right behind her.
Lily gasped, spun around, and found herself looking up, not at a student, but at a middle-aged blonde woman with a sickly smile on her face.
In an instant, Lily swung her hands behind her back, one clutching the map, the other her wand.
"And what are you doing here, darling?" Pansy Parkinson asked her in a honeyed voice. "It's very late and you should be in bed."
Lily began to back away, wanting as much distance as possible between herself and Parkinson, but Pansy was coming towards her. Lily didn't say anything.
"What's your name, dear?"
Again, Lily didn't answer Pansy's honeyed question. The next time Pansy spoke her voice was harsher. "What exactly are you doing wandering the corridors at this time of night?" Her threatening form was advancing more quickly now.
Still backing away, Lily said weakly, "I left some homework in the library. I'm leaving- going back to my common room now."
"Well, I'm not so sure you are," Pansy answered quietly. Lily's back hit the stone wall behind her. Her grip on her wand tightened convulsively but she was at a loss as to what to do with it.
"I'm afraid I can't have anyone knowing I was here," Pansy continued and smiled. "And that includes you."
Pansy raised her wand and Lily's eyes widened.
In sudden desperation, Lily threw her arms out to shove the woman away. Pansy let out a surprised grunt before she finished her spell as Lily's hands pushed hard at her shoulders and one closed around a chain that hung around Pansy's neck. It pulled apart as Pansy shoved Lily away.
Lily fell hard on the floor, her hand still clasped around her wand, and the chain she'd torn from Pansy's neck.
"You little brat," Pansy whispered harshly and raised her wand again before she froze, her eyes locked on Lily's hand.
Lily flinched and then turned towards her hand as well. Dangling from the chain was a small shimmering hourglass. A time turner.
Lily began to scoot away from Pansy, still on the floor, but Pansy lunged after her and Lily screamed. With Pansy practically on top of her and the corridor so dark, Lily couldn't see anything. But she felt long fingernails trying to pry open her grip and she pushed with her legs to try to shove Pansy off of her. She dropped the map and tried to push one-handed, but didn't' dare let go of her wand, and therefore the time turner. As a hand gripped at her shoulder and neck, putting pressure on her windpipe, Lily screamed again, this time more hoarse from the weight on her neck.
Trying to aim her wand, Lily's arm flailed against the woman strangling her and one swing flung the time turner and her wand from her grip. It rose into the air above them as Pansy shouted, "NO!"
Pansy leapt off of Lily to try to catch the time turner but it was too dark in the corridor and she flung her arms out in vain. Then it caught a ray of moonlight and the two of them watched as it began to fall to the ground as if in slow motion.
"Okay, stop," Al whispered and watched as Teddy stilled the time turner and held it firmly in his grasp. Al looked around hesitantly. The corridor looked exactly the same as they had left it a few weeks into the future. It was hard to believe that they had traveled back in time at all. But it had to have worked because James was no longer standing in front of them.
They had certainly gone back in time. But how far exactly had they come?
Are we too early? Al wondered. Are we too late?
"What if we counted wrong," Al asked awkwardly. "How are we supposed to know when we are?"
Teddy looked as uncertain as Al felt and it did nothing to alleviate his worries. They didn't know exactly when Lily had disappeared and they didn't know exactly how far they had come. In his eagerness to anything and everything to save Lily, it had not occurred to Al that the plan could be at all flawed. For the first time, doubts were entering Al's mind and he shuddered.
"We can't be too far off the mark," Teddy said quietly, but not as confident as Al would have liked.
"A lot can go wrong in over five hundred turns," he replied dryly. Teddy's face darkened in frustration.
"I suppose we should just have a look around then," he offered in a level voice. "Keep an eye out for anything suspicious."
Al nodded and shrugged off the Invisibility Cloak. For a moment it looked as though he was alone, but then Teddy emerged from the invisible folds and pocketed the Cloak.
"Wands out?" Al suggested with a sidelong glance at Teddy, who nodded and drew his own.
"We should each go in one direction, I think," Teddy said. "I'll head this way, and you can go the other." He nodded to indicate what he meant and Al swallowed. Teddy put a hand on his shoulder and whispered, "Lily's here somewhere, Al. She's here. Let's go make sure it stays that way."
With the thought of Lily actually in the castle with them, Al's confidence in what they were doing returned full-force. He was brimming now with a determination to save his little sister from whatever had happened to her. And he would do whatever it took.
"Well, let's get a move on then. We're wasting time."
Teddy offered a quick grin, his hair blending to its usual teal, before turning and heading off down the far corridor. Al raised his wand and set off in the opposite direction. He made his way slowly down the hall, eyes peeled for anything that looked out of place or dangerous. With only a rough idea of where Lily had disappeared, he didn't know exactly what he should be looking for.
Slow minutes passed as Al searched the familiar halls for anything out of place. Once or twice he thought he heard footsteps in the distance but when he stopped and strained his ears, they were gone. He assumed it must have been Teddy. Al didn't want to stray too far from the Great Hall and doubled back to retrace his steps, each time with a sigh of frustration.
And then Lily screamed.
Al recognized his sister immediately. He had heard her scream often enough at him and James to know what it sounded like, but his heart sped up at the note of fear that had filled the corridor a second ago.
Hand gripping his wand more tightly, Al broke into a run, sprinting in the direction of the scream. His feet pounded on the stone floor of the corridor and his breathing hitched in his throat as he forced himself to go as fast as possible. Al darted around the next corner and then he saw them.
His legs slowed of their own accord at the sight of his sister, his first sight of her in weeks. She was struggling under the weight of the woman attacking her. As he sped up, aiming his wand, Lily screamed again, this time as if through pressure against her throat.
As Al prepared to stun Lily's attacker, who he could only assume was Pansy Parkinson, a bright glimmer of glass caught his eye and Pansy's shout of, "NO!" distracted him. He saw it, the time turner, hurtling into the air and the falling again, falling towards Lily, and in an instant Al imagined his sister disappearing before his very eyes while he stood there and did nothing but instead he aimed his wand and shouted, "ACCIO!"
Everything froze for a moment in Al's mind as he held his breath. He felt cool glass slip into his waiting hand and he stood, shocked, unable to even breathe a sigh of relief.
Al heard a wand clatter on the floor and he shook his head as if to clear it. His gaze sought out his sister, who was staring back at him, wide-eyed and clearly frightened and Al had never been happier to see her.
There was little time for relief however, as Pansy had recovered quickly and now had her wand pointed at Al's chest. He froze, wand in one hand, time turner in the other, and stood silently as he watched Parkinson's manic expression.
"Give me the time turner," she ordered him, a slightly crazed wavering in her voice. Al made no move to do as she said and Pansy became visibly more flustered. "GIVE it to me!" she shouted and Al flinched. He took a step away from her and she moved her wand to his head.
"Another Potter," she spat, eyeing him up and down. "You look just like your father." Her tone clearly indicated that this was in no way a positive thing. Still, Al did nothing.
With a glance over Pansy's shoulder, Al saw Lily searching frantically on the ground and he realized that it must have been her wand that he had heard clattering onto the floor before. He turned his attention back to Parkinson again and sought around for some way to keep her distracted.
"You wouldn't dare risk hitting this," he said with a jerk of the time turner. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he watched her wand aimed between his eyes. But he kept talking. "Soon, they'll notice what's happened. How you attacked Terry Boot in the Department of Mysteries, modified his memory, and stole a time turner. And you'll never get your hands on another one. What exactly were you trying to do anyway?"
Pansy's expression folded into complete shock for just an instant before she masked it again. "I'm setting things right," she said confidently as she took another step towards Al. He held the time tuner tighter and moved it into the path of her wand. Pansy seemed unperturbed by this and continued approaching, a glint in her eyes. "I'm making sure you will never have existed and your pathetic father dies at the hands of the greatest wizard to have ever lived."
"Albus Dumbledore was the greatest wizard to have ever lived," Al retorted.
Pansy laughed. The sound grated on Al's ears. "Just like your father," she sneered. "But not for long."
Al thought he heard running footsteps coming towards them.
Teddy must have heard, he thought. They had been making an awful lot of noise. But before this thought could cause him very much relief, Pansy swung her wand down in an arc and his abdomen exploded with pain.
Lily was almost in tears as she searched frantically for her wand. She didn't know where Al had come from but he had arrived just in time. And now he was staring down the end of Pansy Parkinson's wand and she couldn't do anything to help and where was her damn wand?
Al screamed and Lily' head flew up in time to see him falling backwards onto the floor. Without thinking, she darted up and ran towards Parkinson, frantic to stop her. With no wand, Lily did the only thing she could think of and threw her weight at Pansy, grabbing her in a running tackle and the two of them fell to the ground beside Al. Lily threw her hands out to brace herself from the fall and they slid in blood that was pouring from Al's side.
Lily didn't register the pain in her knees or wrists from the fall. She was staring as the red now staining her hands and listening to Al's pained groan beside her. Pansy was already on her feet again and before Lily knew it, she was flung against the wall, her head colliding swiftly with the stone. She tried to yell, but the impact had knocked the wind from her. She stared, frozen, at Al's bloodied form while Pansy Parkinson approached him and then heard running footsteps from the far end of the corridor.
Suddenly, Teddy was there and Lily neither knew nor cared why. He couldn't be here, he was supposed to be out of the country, but Lily didn't care because he was here now.
In a flash of red, Pansy's wand was ripped from her grasp and flew down the corridor towards Teddy, who stood with a fierce expression on his face. Pansy whipped around with a frustrated shriek to see who had deprived her of her wand but as she was now weaponless, she did nothing to retaliate.
There was silence for a moment and then Al groaned again in pain, his hands still clutching his wand and the time turner but also clutching at the bloody wound now ripped into his abdomen. Lily pushed herself onto all fours, her head giving a violent throb, and started to make her way over to her brother.
Teddy approached the three of them, his wand still trained on Parkinson, whose expression was quickly falling into a confused sort of dispair. Lily was sure she hadn't meant to encounter anyone tonight.
Lily nearly collapsed halfway to Al and she felt naucious and dizzy. When she managed to pull herself up again and finally reached Al, she looked down at his face, which was pale and sweaty. Al smiled when he saw her. Lily didn't know what to do.
"Teddy," she said in a wavering voice, ignoring Pansy's presence, "we have to get Al to the hospital wing."
Teddy nodded, but his eyes didn't leave Parkinson's face. He didn't say anything, merely pulled back his fist and slugged her under the chin. Pansy let out a surprised grunt before collapsing to the floor beside Lily and a moment later, Teddy stunned her and she fell unconscious.
Al chuckled weakly before grimacing
"Teddy, the hospital wing," Lily said again, her own head swimming painfully.
"There's one more thing we have to do," he told her, and bent down on Al's other side. Gently, Teddy pried the now bloody hourglass from Al's hand and the three of them looked at it for a moment. Then, with a complicated wave of his wand, Teddy vanished the time turner.
Lily's head throbbed again, and she thought dimly that she must have hit it pretty hard on the wall because Al and Teddy were starting to fade from her vision. She watched as Teddy's hand reached out to her, a concerned expression on his face, but when Lily tried to grab it she went through him. It was like passing through a ghost, but without the unpleasant chill. A moment later, Teddy and Al were nowhere to be seen and Lily fainted.
Lily woke slowly, pulling the heavily layered linen covers closer to her body in an attempt to hold in the warmth. The pillow beneath her head was a bit lumpy but otherwise comfortable and she buried her face deeper into it. She kept her eyes closed hoping that she would drift back into sleep. She couldn't remember what she had been dreaming about, which was strange, but it didn't worry her. Lily's sleepy mind was more concerned with the light tick tick tick sounding near her right ear.
For a moment, Lily couldn't place the sound, but she soon identified it as the soft tick of the second hand on her watch. Her mother had given her that watch and Lily kept obsessively good care of it. Al and James always made fun of her but she would still strap it carefully onto her wrist in the morning and she was careful not to bang it or scratch it on anything during the day. And every night she would take it off and place it carefully on the nightstand beside her bed. She never went to sleep with it on.
And yet, here she was, drifting between being awake and asleep and it was clearly strapped to her wrist, ticking away.
Lily opened her eyes as this thought occurred to her but immediately shut them again due to a bright white glare that had flashed at her eyes. Taking more care to shield her eyes from the light, she rolled onto her back and lifted her arm over her face causing the muscles in her shoulder to twinge painfully. She winced slightly. Lily slowly peeked through her eyelids and found her surroundings to be made up of a starchy white- the ceiling, the walls- all lit with the bright, near-afternoon sun. Lily's mind was still foggy with sleep and she furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
Why was she in the hospital wing?
As Lily lay there, contemplating her sore muscles and her presence in the hospital wing, Madame Pomfrey bustled into the ward from her office and made her way swiftly to Lily's beside.
"Up at last I see, Potter. I thought you were going to sleep the whole day away." The stern tone of the matron didn't fool Lily though. She offered her best smile to Madame Pomfrey before inquiring as to why exactly she was in the hospital wing at all.
"We were hoping you could tell us," Madame Pomfrey answered mysteriously. "I'll just go inform the headmistress that you're awake. She's been eager to speak with you."
Lily's brow furrowed as she watched Madame Pomfrey stroll confidently out of the hospital wing. She thought back to the night before and had the feeling that something terrible had happened. And then she remembered.
Pansy Parkinson. Time turner. Albus. Blood. Teddy.
Lily gasped as the night before came flooding back to her. She had been out after hours and encountered Pansy Parkinson, a blonde woman with a sickening smile. She had tried to erase Lily's memory. But Al had shown up. And Teddy. And Al had been hurt, and there had been blood everywhere.
Lily looked frantically around the hospital wing to find Al but the rest of the beds were vacant. There had been so much blood. Perhaps they had taken him to St. Mungo's?
"Ms. Potter, I'm glad to see you're awake."
Headmistress McGonagall strode into the hospital wing with Madame Pomfrey at her side. The matron returned to her office while McGonagall took a seat next to Lily's bed.
"How are you feeling?"
Lily shrugged. "Fine, I suppose. A little sore. Where's Al?"
McGonagall's eyes narrowed slightly. "I would hope he is in class," she said. "Though Madame Pomfrey tells me he's already been to visit you once this morning, after breakfast."
"So he's all right then?" Lily responded hopefully.
The headmistress paused visibly. "Is there any reason he wouldn't be?"
Lily blinked. "He was hurt! There was blood everywhere and I kept telling Teddy that we had to get him to the hospital…" Lily trailed off, watching McGonagall's perplexed expression.
"Teddy Lupin?" she asked. Lily nodded hesitantly, feeling distinctly wrong-footed.
"What else do you remember about last night, Ms. Potter?"
Lily thought back, trying to dredge up as many details as possible. "I was out after hours," she began, not meeting Professor McGonagall's eyes. "And then I ran into a woman, near the Great Hall." She was careful to leave out the name, not wanting any questions about the map. But McGonagall seemed to know to whom she was referring.
"Yes, Pansy Parkinson. She's been handed into Auror custody."
Lily nodded and continued. "She had a time turner with her." McGonagall's eyebrows rose. "And she tried to erase my memory. But then Al showed up and he got hurt but then Teddy was there and he stunned Pansy Parkinson and vanished the time turner and then…"
Lily suddenly recalled the strange sensation of her hand passing through Teddy's. "And then I think I fainted," she finished somewhat lamely.
McGonagall's expression was vaguely surprised and as Lily thought about it she supposed her story didn't really make very much sense. The two of them sat in silence for a few moments. A sudden buzz of conversation in the halls signaled the end of class and a moment later, Lily looked over to see Al sticking his head into the hospital wing.
"Lily!" he said cheerfully. "You're awake!"
Madame Pomfrey appeared from her office at the sound of visitors but McGonagall nodded her okay and the matron went to bustling about the ward, tiding up potion cabinets and bedside tables.
Lily watched as Al approached, looking healthy and upbeat and not at all as though he'd suffered from any sort of severe blood loss the night before. She furrowed her brow in confusion.
"Mr. Potter, I'm glad you could join us," McGonagall said as Al pulled up another chair beside Lily. "Your sister has been quite concerned about you."
Lily was still staring at her brother, half expecting him to fall over at any moment. "You're all right?" she asked, despite all signs that he was absolutely fine.
Al nodded, looking curiously between his sister and his headmistress. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Because I saw you covered in blood last night!" Lily burst out in frustration. "Right after you saved me from Pansy Parkinson! You were collapsed on the ground, bleeding everywhere and–"
"Ms. Potter, that's enough," McGonagall cut in with a glance at Al, who'd gone pale but merely looked confused. Her head started to hurt from her own shouting and Lily recalled that she had banged it against the wall last night.
"Lily…" he began. "Lily I didn't leave the dorm last night. They told me this morning that you were in the hospital wing. I don't know what…" he trailed off, looking worried for her sanity.
"But you were there," she implored him. He merely shook his head. "You and Teddy. You were both there."
"Teddy's still out of the country," Al replied. "Lily I wasn't there, I promise."
Over the next half an hour, McGonagall, Al, and Madame Pomfrey came to the conclusion that Lily's hit to the head had jumbled her memory of the night, and with no other logical explanation Lily was forced to believe them. She had hit her head, she remembered. But she had been trying to get Pansy Parkinson away from Albus, hadn't she?
Eventually, Headmistress McGonagall left and Madame Pomfrey went back to her work but Al stuck around being done with classes for the day. They didn't talk about what had happened that night, Lily frustrated at her memory and Al worried for his sister. About an hour after that, her parents arrived, along with James, and even Teddy, who had Apparated back upon hearing the news. The Potter family sat in the hospital wing, chatting and laughing and reminiscing about all of her father's trips there in his Hogwarts days.
"And don't worry, Lily," her father said a little later, "Pansy Parkinson confessed under veritaserum that she had stolen a time turner and attempted to use it illegally. She's going to prison. It was lucky you were there."
"And that you have such a mean right hook," James said. Lily raised an eyebrow at him. "I saw her when they brought her in. She had a nasty bruise on her jaw."
Lily just sat there, confused. She didn't remember punching anyone. Teddy just laughed.
Because of her head injury, Madame Pomfrey insisted that Lily stay for one more night, at which Lily shared a grimace with her dad. He rolled his eyes but then sobered quickly when Madame Pomfrey turned on him with a fierce expression. Lily laughed.
Eventually, her parents left with hugs and kisses and Teddy and her brothers with just hugs. Lily was sad to see them go but reminded herself that term would be over soon and she would be home for the summer. She drifted off to sleep in the hospital wing, dreaming about greasy-haired potions professors, long-bearded wizards, a battle at Hogwarts, and a young couple that looked quite a lot like her parents.
AN- Well, the last one. We're all done, folks. I'd love to know what you all think of the ending, or the story as a whole! Really, any comments at all are well appreciated!
And one last huge thanks to my beta, ellaminnowpea (registered with FFN betalisting), is in order, without whom this would be of much lesser quality and probably never have been finished. THANK YOU.
By suggestion of FantasyFanatic613 here is an explanation of the title of the story in case anyone had questions-
The phrase "world enough, and time" is from a poem by Andrew Marvell- To His Coy Mistress. The poem itself is not particularly relevant, but the spirit behind that particular part of the poem is, I think, quiet fitting. The idea is that if one had all the time they could want and the world could provide, they could do anything they wanted. And considering that time is used more than once in the story to obtain a goal, I thought it made for a nice title.