A/N: This fiction is a song-fic from the song "Appreciate" by Jonas Brothers… though I did change some of the lyrics… Enjoy your read!

Disclaimer: I do not own the "Harry Potter" characters or world nor do I own the theme behind the song "Appreciate"

Appreciate

August 31, 2026

"Harry, that was Ginny," Ron yelled to the air where Harry was situated on the broom grazing the sky for the oncoming enemy – profoundly the new Dark Lord – Cane Robert Michaels, also known as Narchers.

"What'd she want?" Harry hollered down.

"She said, exact quote, "It's your daughter's birthday and last evening before Hogwarts starts up again. Get home now!"

"Tell her I'll be home in the hour. Explain to her we're trying to stop Narchers from breeching the wards and setting up an attack tomorrow at the Hogwarts Express."

"Will do. By the way, mate, you're cell's ringing." Ron tossed the phone upwards, "Here!" and Harry caught it easily.

" 'Ello?" answered Harry.

"Hey, Har! It's Teddy. Lily really wants you here. James' gotten her most embarrassing baby pictures out and is showing them all to her boyfriend Josh Devons. If Al wasn't here holding her back, I think James would be dead by now. But come on, man, you gotta get here!"

"I'll be there, shortly, Teddy. I'm just trying to stop Narchers from attacking tomorrow."

"Lily just wants her father tonight, Harry."

"I know, bud," Harry replied guiltily.

From a far distance, Harry saw the devilish yellow eyes he'd been waiting for. Apparently, Ron had seen them too, because he was mere feet from reaching Harry's side.

"Then get here, Godfather. She wants to have her special father-daughter dance."

"Teddy, I can't –" but his Godson cut him off.

"For once in your life…" As Teddy talked, Narchers drew closer to Harry and Ron. Sending hexes and curses their way, Narchers blocked all their hexes sent his way. A heart and lung-killing curse was cast towards Harry striking him in the chest, knocking him off his broom. "Forget the enemy and focus your attention on your…" and as Harry began his 110 feet spiraling fall to the ground, he let out a blood-curdling scream. "Harry? Harry! Oh God – HARRY!?"

The connection was lost as Harry's phone burst into a million pieces as it and Harry connected with the ground in a sickening crunch.

There's a man dying on the side of the field,

Won't make it home tonight.

He was battling fierce on his cellular phone,

That's how he lived his life.

While he was hangin' by a thread,

These were the final words he said…

Ron flew down and ran to Harry's side the second Narchers vanished. He gasped and nearly vomited at the sight of his brother, best friend. Blood pooled out beneath Harry's body as blood trickled from his ears and spurted from his mouth with each gasp of breath that came from the man. Gently lifting the man's head onto his lap, Ron ran his fingers soothingly through Harry's unruly, black hair.

"Harry? Harry, look at me."

Without moving his head, the ailing man directed his eyes onto his best friend's wincing as he attempted to draw a deep, shuddering breath.

"You're gonna be fine, mate. You just wait and see." Harry's eyes began fluttering shut, "Don't you do that, mate! You must stay awake so keep your eyes open. I've called for help. Madam Pomfrey should be here any minute now.

My girl turned sweet sixteen today,

She's beautiful, so beautiful.

It might get rough sometimes,

But I hope she keeps her faith (hope she keeps her faith).

I wish I'd grabbed the chance to say to her,

Life is too short so take the time and appreciate…

Weakly taking his first and best friend's hand, Harry swallowed painfully and with a smile of love and pride that only a father could wear in his dying moment, Harry spoke feebly with eyes full of joy and sadness, "My girl turned sweet sixteen today. She's beautiful, so beautiful. It might get rough sometimes, but I hope she keeps her faith. God, I hope she keeps her faith… I wish I'd grabbed the chance to say to her – life is too short so take the time and appreciate…"

Ron cried out in grief as he watched Harry's eyes close, his head roll listlessly against Ron's chest, and went completely limp in his arms.

There's a woman crying on the family room floor,

She got the news tonight.

Now she's trembling outside her daughter's door,

Walks in and holds her tight,

Wondering how and where to start.

Is there a way to shield her heart?

Molly, Arthur, Hermione, George, Neville, Luna, Minerva, and Poppy all stared at Ron in shock at the tragic news he had just reported. Turning their tearful faces to the scene in front of them: James, Albus, and Teddy surrounded a hysterical Ginny as she cried for the loss of her beloved husband. No one dared spoke a word about the three men crying… This loss was deep and unexpected. Ginny tried to stand up on her wobbly legs, nearly collapsing, but she quietly murmured thanks to Teddy who pulled her to a standing position and steadied her.

"Lily… I need to go tell Lily."

"Once you tell her, bring her down here. I think it'd be best if she saw and heard Harry's last words in person through the pensieve," instructed Ron gently.

Ginny nodded her consent in numbness as she made her way to her daughter's room. All attempts to pull herself together – for her daughter's sake – all but failed as Ginny stared down at her trembling hands. Turning the knob, the door opened.

"Hey, mom," Lily replied sweetly, her back towards her mother.

Ginny silently made her way over to Lily and wrapped her arms around her, guiding the both of them to the bed where they sat, and Ginny held her daughter tightly.

"Mom, what's wrong?" Lily's breath hitched as she noticed her mother's swollen, puffy-red eyes. Something bad had happened, that much Lily was certain of.

"Sweetheart, I don't even know where to begin or how to tell you this. I prayed I'd never have to do this… I never wanted you to experience this pain." Taking a deep breath, Ginny stared into the panicked eyes of her daughter, "Your father had a dangerous job. We all knew with the rise of Narchers that something terrible might happen…"

"Mom?" questioned Lily, confused and anxious.

"Your father and Uncle Ron were tracking him down tonight when he attacked them with unknown curses. Your father was struck tonight, sweetheart, while on his broom and –"

"NO! NO, don't you say it, mom. Don't you say it!" Lily screamed out, trembling, as tears threatened to pour from her eyes.

The family in the room downstairs felt their hearts collapse as they heard the heart-wrenching screams coming from the teenage girl upstairs.

"Your father was killed tonight. I am so sorry, baby."

Anger flashed in the child's eyes, "No… No, I don't believe you. You're a fuckin' LIAR!" Lily darted out of her room and stomped her way into the family room, followed by Ginny, as she made her way to her uncle. "Who gives you the right to make up such wicked lies about my father?"

Empathy coursed through Ron's veins, "I'm not lying, Lils."

A slap rang throughout the room as the occupants stared on in shock… Lily had just slapped Ron.

Sighing and running a hand across his exhausted face, Ron continued, "Look into the pensieve, Lily. We will all see this, but I placed the last memory I have of your father's final moments in there. Lily, the only person he was thinking about was you… his little girl."

Silence filled the room as the memory came into play.

My girl turned sweet sixteen today,

She's beautiful, so beautiful.

It might get rough sometimes,

But I hope she keeps her faith (hope she keeps her faith).

I wish I'd grabbed the chance to say to her,

Life is too short so take the time and appreciate…

Lily watched as her father weakly took her uncle's hand and with ragged breaths spoke about her. She could see the love in her daddy's eyes. As the memory ended, tears of grief ran freely down her cheeks as she collapsed to the ground in her mother's arms.

"Shh, baby. It'll be okay. You'll see… Your daddy loved you so very much."

"Yeah, Lils, you were dad's pride and joy," James stated as tears brimmed in his eyes.

"You were daddy's little girl. I mean, he took you flying a week before he took me and I'm two years older than you!" joked Albus, attempting to lighten the mood in the room.

"It's my fault Harry died. If he hadn't been on the phone with me, he'd have been concentrating souly on Narchers."

Ron sighed, knowing this was hard on Teddy. "This is in no way your fault, Teddy Lupin. It was Harry's choice to work later. It was no one's fault but Narchers' that Harry died tonight."

"Don't worry, Lily. We will avenge your father's death. That I can promise you," spoke Teddy sincerely.

"Don't do anything foolish, Ted-Ted. I can't lose you, too," whispered the broken-hearted girl.

Anybody loving will,

Get hurt along the way.

Don't be afraid to open up,

And use the time before it fades.

Show your love today…

Everyone went into the kitchen allowing Teddy, James, Albus, and Lily to have some personal time.

"Daddy died on my birthday. I had this day planned out for years in my head. This was NOT a part of it." Lily concluded bitterly.

"Tell us how you'd imagined it…" offered James.

"Yeah, go on," supported Albus.

"I am all ears," stated Teddy.

Lily nodded and sighed, "Well, you see, I pictured all of us together here at home playing a game of Quidditch and going into Diagon Alley for my last minute school supplies. Then, in the evening, the whole gang was here for a huge sweet sixteen celebration dinner. Then after present opening and cake, daddy and I would… we'd – well, we'd have our…" Tears welled up in the young girl's eyes disabling her to continue her fantasy.

"You would have your father-daughter sweet sixteen dance," James finished his sister's thought.

"Yes!" Lily cried into Albus' chest as he held her tight.

The room suddenly got a random chill that wouldn't fade and the teenagers stared in shock at the figure standing right in front of them.

"Mom… everyone! Get in her NOW!" shouted James, his eyes never leaving the figure.

My girl turned sweet sixteen today,

She's beautiful, so beautiful.

It might get rough sometimes,

But I hope she keeps her faith (hope she keeps her faith).

I wish I'd grabbed the chance to say to her,

Life is too short so take the time and appreciate…

Everyone in the family room stared in shock as Harry took his daughter's hands in his and led her to the center of the room where music began playing.

"Daddy?"

"Hey, baby. Happy Sweet Sixteen, my little phoenix. I'm so sorry I can't be here for you now. Times will be rough for a while, but the pain will fade away and I'll become a memory in your heart rather than heartache. When I died, I had something I truly regretted…"

Lily sniffed as she fought to stay strong in front of her father.

"I never did tell you this: But you don't realize how short life truly is in your teenage years. But life goes by quickly and you've got to learn to appreciate everything you've been blessed with." Stroking her cheek affectionately, Harry stated, "I don't have much longer, but let's have our special dance, all right, baby girl?"

Lily nodded as she leaned in close to her father.

"Please don't put on a front, Lils, let everything out."

Lily obeyed and as she laid her head on Harry's chest, she broke down and cried. As the song ended, Harry tilted Lily's chin up and wiped away her tears.

"I have to go now, but remember what I told you, Lily – Life is too short so take the time and appreciate. I love you, baby girl."

"I love you, too, daddy."

Lily smiled as her father smiled back and then vanished. Lily couldn't help but feel a weight had been lifted off of her shoulders.

Life is too short so take the time and appreciate…

"Lily, honey? Are you all right?" Ginny asked her daughter cautiously after regaining composure after having just seen her husband's spirit.

Lily smiled, "I'm all right, mom. We'll all be all right. Daddy was right. We need to practice his advice."

"Which is?" pressed Ginny in a gentle tone.

"Appreciation. Life is too short and we should appreciate the things we've been blessed with more often than we do…"

A/N: Well, what did you think? Let me know in your REVIEW! I love reviews; they are so inspiring. I will respond back personally to all who review! Thanks, Stacey.