Those Last Words
The shout was like an explosion in a thick forest. I stood momentarily stunned, clutching the bowl tightly in my hands.
He looked at me defiantly, stubbornly, and for some strange reason I felt like crying. Swallowing hard, I gave him the sternest look I could muster, before scooping some sliced bananas onto his plate. Ignoring his whimpers, I stalked out of the room.
"Lily," his voice was gentle and reassuring, "I should think you're overreacting."
I sighed and adjusted myself so that I was seated more comfortably on the beanbag chair. "Maybe," I said. "It's just that... he's never shouted at me before."
"Oh, Lily!" My husband let out a laugh, and I heard the note of incredulity in his laughter. "He's barely one, for Goodness's sake! He didn't mean anything by it!" He paused, then asked in a rather tentative voice, "It's not that time of the month, is it, dear?"
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. Men! Any problem could simply be attributed to one root cause – three small but powerful alphabets. However, I was beginning to feel that he was right. I was probably overreacting. All toddlers shout at their mothers. Why was I getting all upset over it?
Trying not to feel too silly, I stood up and stretched. "I'll just go and check on Harry," I told him.
James stood up too, and slung an arm around my shoulders. "I'll go with you," He said, and I smiled.
Chaos, yells, an evil, cackling laughter. As soon as I heard James shout, I knew something was wrong. He was here.
How could he have found out? I thought desperately, as I dashed into Harry's room. My wand was somewhere in the kitchen, where I had been baking, but it was far too late for me to get it. Peter couldn't have – he couldn't –
I heard the high-pitched voice, the two dreaded words. There was an unnatural silence downstairs now, and I stifled a sob. I didn't want to believe it, but James was dead. It was just Harry and me left.
It seemed hopeless, it did. But as I reached Harry's cot, I knew that I would do no matter what it took to save my son. Even if it cost me my life.
I heard him coming up the stairs, the bastard who had just killed my husband. "It's going to be alright, sweetie," I whispered to Harry, who was looking confused and disoriented by the noises from below. I smiled at him, and gave him a hug. It could be the last time I ever held him. I stifled yet another sob.
He seemed to glide, not walk, and I felt myself stiffen as he neared. Strangely enough, though, I felt no fear, but a rush of determination filled me, and I stood myself right in front of the cot, hands spread out.
Upon seeing us, he gave a scornful laugh and made a waving gesture. Before I knew it, I was pleading.
His eyes hardened. He was telling me to move away. I wasn't his target – Harry was. Why? He's just a child! I continued pleading, though deep inside I knew he wasn't going to listen to me, that it was all futile...
"NO! Ma ma, no!"
The same cry again, but this time I felt not shock, but a strange happiness, as I heard Harry's cries. He continued shouting the same word over again, even as Voldermort raised his wand, shouted the two dreaded words –