A special thank you to Gaby-Black, who edited this.
A special thank you to Gaby-Black, who edited this.James and Lily Potter are lying in their bed, their hands entwined. 'Lily...' James suddenly whispers. 'Yes?' she mutters, half sleeping. 'I have to ask you one thing.' James pauses and looks at his wife. 'Don't die.' 'Everybody dies,' Lily replies, smiling. James sighs. 'Yes, but... don't die before me. Please. If you leave me I would... wouldn't... I...' Lily realises that he has tears in his eyes. 'James,' she says seriously, 'I promise you that I'll die after you'.
And two years and one month later, Lily kept her promise.
Molly Weasley is at St. Mungo's and she is looking at Alice and Frank Longbottom. 'Alice... Frank... I'm Molly,' she says. They don't seem to recognize her. 'Molly. Molly Weasley. Molly Prewett. Fabian and Gideon's sister. You know me. You...' 'Molly,' Arthur says, grasping her elbow gently, 'They can't recognise you. It's no use trying.' She nods, wiping away a tear from her cheek. 'Arthur, it's so horrible!', she says, crying 'But I'll get revenge for them. I promise I will'.
And sixteen years later, Molly kept her promise.
'Bi-iii-l,' Ginny says. 'Yes?' Bill asks looking at his five-year-old sister with a smile. 'I've decided something important tonight,' she says. 'Really? What?' he asks, sipping his coffee.'I'll marry Harry Potter.'Bill laughs, spitting his coffee. 'Bill! It's serious!' she protests. 'I'm going to marry the Boy-Who-Lived! The one you told me about!' 'Yes, sorry,' Bill says, trying to be serious.'I'll marry him. I promise,' she declares.
And seventeen years later, Ginny kept her promise.
James and Sirius are staring at the newborn Harry. 'He is perfect, Prongs,' Sirius whispers.'Yes, he is,' James answers. They stand in silence for a moment, looking at the small boy. 'Sirius...' James starts.Sirius immediately cuts him off and says, 'James, I'll do anything to protect him. Anything. And giving my life is included.' Sirius pauses, his grey eyes more solemn than ever.
And fifteen years later, Sirius kept his promise.
Neville is running up a staircase when he suddenly hears his name. He looks down and recognises a familiar face. 'Hannah!' he shouts. 'Neville, where are you going?' 'There is a group of Death Eaters on the fifth floor and I...'Hannah nods. 'Don't get harmed. Be careful,' she says. 'What? I can't hear you' he screams. 'Come back to me!' she says more loudly, blushing. 'I promise,' he says, beaming.
And fourteen hours later, Neville kept his promise.
James, Sirius and Lily are sitting in the Potters' living room. James is rocking one-year-old Harry in his arms. 'Listen,' James says to the little boy, 'Now I think it's time you and I have a serious talk.' Harry gurgles and James laughs.'You're going to have loads and loads of girls. Because you look like me.'From the other chair Lily snorts. 'That's a men's talk, Lily. Anyway, Harry, you're going to have loads and loads of girls. And eventually, you'll marry one. A red-haired one, I'd suggest.' Lily smiles 'And you're going to have kids, aren't you? Well, the first boy you get should be named James, just like your dad.' 'What?' Sirius says. 'He should name him Sirius, just like his godfather.' 'Don't you reckon that a father is a bit more important than a godfather?' James asks, his eye-brows raised. 'No, I don't' Sirius says. 'What about he calls him James Sirius?' Lily says, smirking. 'That would be fine,' Sirius says.'Well, Harry, promise that you'll call your first son James Sirius. Promise.' Harry emits a sound that might sound like 'promise' and they all laugh.
And twenty-three years later, Harry kept his promise.
Seventeen-year-old James and Remus are sitting in the common room. Lily has just left and Remus looks at the grin on James' face. 'Sometimes I'm jealous of you,' Remus mutters. James looks at him, startled. 'Not for Lily,' Remus immediately says, 'but for what the two of you have. For your love. I have never had anything like that. I never will.' Remus looks very sad as he says this. 'Listen, Moony,' James says. 'You'll find a girl. A fantastic one. And you'll fall desperately in love with each other. And you'll be very, very, very happy.' Remus smiles.'I hope so.''Remus,' James says, looking into his friend's eyes, 'I promise.'
And eighteen years later, James kept his promise.
Ron Weasley is in his tent and he can't sleep. He looks around the tent, trying to spot in the darkness the figure of Hermione who is sleeping quite close to him. Even though he can't see her he imagines her brown hair spread around the pillow, her relaxed face, her half-closed lips. 'One day,' he thinks, 'I'll kiss her. I'll tell her that I love her. I promise I will'.
And five months and four days later, Ron kept his promise.
Thirteen-year-old Luna Lovegood is nervously glancing at Albus Dumbledore. He has found her crying in a toilet half an hour ago and now they're sitting in his office, making small talk. 'Miss Lovegood,' Dumbledore suddenly says with a very serious voice. 'Yes?' Luna asks. 'One day you will find a person who will not tease you. Who will believe in the same things you do. Who you will share your life with. Who you will love even more than you love Nargles.' 'Really?' Luna asks. 'I promise,' Dumbledore solemnly says.
And fifteen years later, Dumbledore kept his promise.
Severus Snape looks towards the Table of Gryffindor, especially at a first-year who has just been Sorted. He snorts. Little Harry Potter looks incredibly like his father but, and Severus' heart beats faster as he notices this, he has his mother's eyes. 'Lily,' he thinks, 'I'll protect your child. I'll do anything I can to protect him. I'll die for him, if it is needed. I promise'.
And six years later, Severus kept his promise.
In the aftermath of the battle people meet and hug. They cry and they laugh, they whisper, joy and grief mingle in their eyes, they kiss, they dance, they sing. But the question they all ask when they meet their loved ones is the same. 'Are we going to be alright again? Are we going to be happy again?' They look at each other through smiles and tears. 'Yes. Yes. I promise.'
And, sooner or later, they all kept their promises.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep