A little while ago I was going through my files and I found a half written Epilouge. At the time I was busy with uni, friends and working, but it sat at the back of my mind. About three months ago I let it slip to two of my friends that I used to write. They read my story and I began to send them the epilogue piece by piece. I'm not sure how many of my original readers are still out there, but here is the epilogue a year and a half later. I hope you like it, because I'll say this now, the ending is how you see it.
To my wonderful betas Affia and Alyssa, I'm sorry I lost your email addresses. I hope you read this anyway! Anyone else, please feel free to point out any errors!
Red was a funny sort of colour. It was the symbol for so many things. Red meant blood that was being shed, and would continue to be shed into the future. It showed the anger that simmered below the surface at the injustice of some people in the world. Yet, red wasn't all bad. It was the colour of Gryffindor and bravery and quaffles. It was the colour of the love that people found in one another.
Red was the colour of Lily's hair.
James smiled as he sat outside his home. Currently, red was the colour of the sky. The sun still hovered over the horizon, as though it was unsure of whether it wanted to set or not. For James, it was hard to believe that the sun still set the same way that it did, after everything that had happened under the sky in the last few years. So many things had happened, some wonderful and some absolutely terrible. James didn't know how he would have done it without Lily. She'd been there to hold onto as the world became a dangerous place. No, he thought, she was his world. James continued to sit in silence, as the sun finally skipped below the horizon. Closing his eyes, he knew that he could sit and enjoy the rare peace and quiet forever.
Sirius, however, was not thinking along the same tracks.
"I have a new theory," he chimed, interrupting James' serenity.
James groaned, with those five words he knew all hope of peace had just evaporated. "Are you ever going to give up?" he asked even though he knew the answer.
"Sorry for the inconvenience, James," Sirius retorted, "but if you simply told me the truth I would stop having to tell you my brilliant theories."
Sirius had been coming up with "theories" ever since he and Lily had gotten together. Giving up was simply not in his vocabulary. It was funny how Lily and James never planned on not telling their friends. At first, there had been a mutual agreement to let them keep guessing, simply because it was funny. But over time, the joke had turned into something more. It was an experience that belonged only to them, something that they shared. It was the one secret that they kept from everyone else in the world. So despite the guesses, bribery, threats and theories, James and Lily had never told.
Sirius had never let it go.
To be fair, in the beginning he hadn't been alone. At first, it seemed everyone in the whole school had been throwing around wild and ridiculous theories. Many thought it involved something to do with the fabricated illness "air-borne pie fever". After a few weeks, the buzz had died down and people had stopped asking why. Their friends had, of course, taken an interest for much longer.
"I talked to Alice…" Sirius started.
"And she listened?" James interrupted vaguely.
Sirius ignored him. "She agrees with me, it has something to do with that potion."
In the early days after they had returned to their bodies, Alice and Sirius had been quite a task force. Remus and Peter had joined in too, but never with quite the organisation or pure enthusiasm. In the course of an early discussion, Alice had mentioned that 'Lily' has started acting strangely after she had made the potion. Sirius had of course jumped on the idea, and the two had rushed off to find the book. However, when they went to find the potions book, it was gone. It seemed Lily had never returned it to the library and it had simply disappeared.
The library had no record that the book had ever existed.
This had sparked a mad fury. Alice could only remember what the potion was for, and she had obviously never read the subtext, so they had only a limited amount of information to go on. Initially, Alice, a romantic at heart, was inclined to believe that Lily had drank the potion and ended up next to James. The boys didn't believe it. They didn't think that Lily would have believed James was her soul mate just because a potion told her so. Alice had realised, taking into account Lily's stubbornness, that they had been right.
When Lily and James had laughed off all questioning (or simply started kissing) their friends had begun to develop theories. Some involved the potion, some did not. One involved a visit from their teenage children of the future. James rolled his eyes, whatever the theory, they'd been over it a thousand times.
"Hello?" called Sirius, waving his hand over James face. "Are you listening to me?"
"Yes, although I don't know why," James retorted, rolling his eyes. "You said that you talked to Alice about the potion again?"
Sirius scowled, but ignored James' clear lack of enthusiasm. "Yes I did, and I also told her my new theory." He crossed his arms over his chest. "She agrees with me."
"Was your theory that you should let it go?" James asked, his lips creeping into a smile. "Because I agree too."
Sirius hit his friend on the shoulder. "Listen to me. This is what I think. Lily was making that crazy potion for Alice. You, being an idiot," he nodded his head towards James, "agreed to let her test it out on you. However, you were accidentally poisoned and had only a few weeks to live."
"So your theory involves me being dead?" James asked calmly, taking a sip of his drink.
"Yes. I mean no!" Sirius flailed his arms. "Let me finish! The potion explains your bizarre behaviour, in particular the singing," he shivered slightly at the memory, "but you didn't mention anything as you didn't want to get her in trouble. Anyway, she found an antidote and gave it to you in time."
James sighed. He's theories were not getting better with age. "That's all well and good, Sirius, but why did she agree to go out with me?"
Sirius paused. It seemed he hadn't actually thought that far through.
"Ahah!" Sirius cried, after a moment's silence. He was obviously improvising. "When she was making the antidote, she felt so guilty, that you convinced her to go out with you."
"See, there's the flaw in your plan," said a voice behind them. James turned to see a heavily pregnant Lily standing behind them. "I wouldn't have felt guilty."
Sirius deflated slightly. "Yeah, you're right. It wasn't my best." He grinned. "Personally, I liked the you-both-were-miraciolously-sent-to-the-future-and-met-your-amazing-children theory. It was quite genius of me." Sirius got off his chair and knelt down beside Lily. "So how's my favourite foetus?" he asked her stomach.
"Great," Lily replied, sliding down so she was sitting next to James.
"How's my mum-to-be?" asked James, placing a kiss on her lips.
Sirius laughed. "Still constipated?" he interrupted, before Lily had a chance to answer.
"James!" Lily hit him on his shoulder. "Is anything a secret?"
James grinned. "Not when it's that entertaining."
Lily just looked to the sky, as though for guidance. "Why am I doing this again?"
"Well," started James. "When a Mummy and a Daddy love each other very much."
"Or if they get bored one particularly cold, autumn day…" Sirius interrupted.
"Oh hush," Lily shushed. "What did I do to deserve you two?"
"Think of it as being served a big bowl of karma," said Sirius with a grin. "Maybe if you told me what the inachis oil was used for, we wouldn't be in this pickle."
"Sirius, you really are…" Lily trailed off, a delirious smile lighting up her face. "Yes, maybe with inachis oil…" she murmured. Her eyes glazed over.
"What was that, Lily?" James asked pleasantly, not really listening. Even after three and a half years together, her kisses still made him giddy.
She didn't answer him. This wasn't exactly uncommon, but after a moment James began to get worried. She was murmuring things under her breath, as though a spell had been cast over her. He looked over to Sirius, who just shrugged. It seemed his best friend was just as clueless as he.
"Lily, what's going on?" he asked her again.
However, before he could ask a third time, Lily seemed to snap out of it. In fact, before he could even comment on her strange behaviour, she leaned over and pulled him towards her. Their lips connected and James no longer bothered to think about why her mood had turned so quickly. She was pregnant after all and entitled to such things. Besides, he loved the smell of her. He wasn't sure, but he thought it must be her shampoo…
The week wore on, and James thought very little about Lily's strange behaviour. Between meetings with the Order, a few minor scuffles with Death Eaters and having to fly out at three am to buy Lily baked potatoes, he hadn't exactly had time to consider what had transpired. To him, everything was completely normal.
He was going to be in for a shock.
One week later, Sirius and James were admitting defeat. Undertaking some work for the Order, they had planned to follow Lestrange all day, but they had lost him by about one o'clock in the afternoon.
"So what's our game plan?" asked Sirius, drinking a chocolate milkshake. After an hour of trying to pick up a trail, they had stopped for a break in a small muggle coffee shop. After staring at the menu for at least ten minutes, both men had decided that coffee sounded too exotic and hence had ordered milkshakes. They were getting some odd looks.
"I don't know," sighed James, running his hand through his hair. On purpose or not, Lestrange had definitely disappeared. "I'm not sure there is much else we can do."
"Yeah," agreed Sirius. "Let's go report everything to Dumbledore."
However, just before they were about to leave James had a look at his watch. An idea had struck him. "Do you mind doing this one alone?" he asked. "Just for once I'd love to surprise Lily with breakfast in bed."
Sirius smiled. "Of course. Just one question."
"What?" asked James, preparing to leave.
"When will you spontaneously come and surprise me with breakfast in bed?"
James laughed. "Maybe when you become exceedingly handsome."
Sirius flipped his hair. "I'm sorry to hear about your eyesight problems. Now, go home to your wife you."
By the time he apparated to his street, James was in a fantastic mood. True, they had lost Lestrange, but James felt as though he deserved a break. For one morning, one blessed morning, he was going to forget about the war. Besides, he was really looking forward to spending some quality time with his wife. Death and destruction could wait for him this time.
"My darling I," he sung the familiar tune to himself as he walked up his garden path. "Can't get enough of your love baby, mmm."
Lily was going to be so surprised to see him. He had thought about sending ahead his patronus, but Lily had been sleeping a lot lately. He didn't want to wake her up if she was.
Thinking of the brilliant breakfast he was about to whip up, he headed around the back of the house. He hoped that she wasn't awake, and pictured her waking up the delicious smell of bacon in the air. He grinned, he was going to be getting major brownie points. It was for this reason that when he did reach their quaint house, he entered very quietly.
Yet something made him pause as soon as he stepped over the threshold. A strange smell, something he vaguely recognised, was coming from the kitchen. For some reason, the smell reminded him of something. Something that was not good. Immediately, his thoughts turned to Lily. Was she safe? Had something happened? Worried, he darted swiftly down the corridor, extracting his wand from his pocket. He was about to burst through the kitchen door when a thought occurred to him.
If something was wrong, and his gut told him something was, bursting in may not be the right path. If Lily, Merlin forbid, was tied up or being help captive, bursting in wands blazing could get her hurt. He swallowed fear. The wrong course of action could get both of them hurt.
Slowly, but surely, he backed out of the house. The kitchen was on the lower floor, looking out into the yard. If he was careful, he could look in the window without being seen. Thinking only of Lily and their unborn child, he made his was around the side of the cottage.
What James saw in the kitchen shocked him.
Lily was not tied up or being tortured as he had feared. In fact, she was in perfect health, standing in front of a potion, her red hair frazzling in the vapours. For a moment James' frantic heart slowed. Lily was fine and it wasn't uncommon for her to get lost in making a potion from time to time.
His relief was short lived. Just as he was about to call out a greeting his eyes caught something on the bench behind his wife. Standing slightly separately from the array of ingredients was a small, grey bottle that sent a chill down his spine. He would recognise it anywhere. It was the potent, highly rare and extremely terrifying inachis oil.
His wife wanted them to switch bodies.
His pregnant wife wanted them to switch bodies.
This could not be good.
Lily considered the potion in front of her. It was bubbling nicely away, exactly how she had remembered it to be from her seventh year of Hogwarts. She let the vapours wash over her, remembering the familiar smell. It smelt like honey and flowers and sweet, sweet revenge.
Lily wasn't sure what had pushed her over the edge. She'd been okay with the morning sickness and the cravings. She'd coped with the kicking, the back aches and the great friendship she had developed with the toilet.
If she really thought about it, it was the waiting that was killing her. From the moment James had found out she was pregnant, she wasn't allowed to do anything that might put her in the slightest of harms way. Lily wanted to be out there, protecting her friends and fighting in the thick of everything. She found it near impossible to sit at home and wait for her loved ones to come home, all the time worrying that they were in danger, or that they simply would return at all. Besides, the way that everybody treated her like a delicate flower that needed to be protected really got on her nerves. That was what was really bothering her.
That and the heartburn.
Yet, it hadn't been until Sirius had mentioned the inachis oil that she had actually thought about doing something about it. With the mention of the magical ingredient, it was as though the missing puzzle pieces had fallen into place. James was always telling her he loved her, right? He'd always promised to do anything she wanted. She was sure he'd be fine with taking control of her body for a little bit, while she went out and fought the Death Eaters.
Well maybe not fine, but once he was in her body she was sure he'd eventually come around to the idea.
She gazed around the room. It hadn't been easy to keep the potion from James' sight. But she wasn't the best witch in her year for nothing. Sighing, she dropped in the bee's wax and the potion bubbled slightly. The sight made her smile. Last time she had seen the potion look like that, she had been thinking about James. To be more precise, thinking about how much of an arrogant toerag that he was.
How times had changed.
A small noise from the garden drew her out of her thoughts. Immediately, she picked up both her wand and the bottle There were enough protective spells around the house that a Death Eater couldn't just burst in through the kitchen door without warning, but it was still better to be safe than sorry.
If it was James, she wanted to dump the oil in the potion before he knew what was going on.
Tentatively, she took a step towards the doorway, moving her hand towards the lid of the bottle.
"Honey," she called out. "Is that you?"
There was a moment of silence and Lily slightly relaxed her guard. There was every possibility that it was just an animal or a gnome in the garden. Or perhaps she had imagined the whole thing. However, just as Lily was about to lower her wand, there was a shocking noise from behind her.
"Nooooooooooo," a voice yelled, as Lily turned around. Her husband had dived through the window, sending glass flying everywhere. Seeing at it wasn't everyday that Lily saw the man she loved diving through the window, for she couldn't do anything but stare in shock.
This was her mistake. In her frozen state, James had enough time to point his wand straight at the bottle of inachis oil and yell, "Expelliarmus!"
However, in the excitement of the moment, James was perhaps a little too enthusiastic. The couple watched as the bottle went soaring across to the other end of the room and landed quite miraculously upright the shelf above the potion.
"ACCIO…" Lily started.
"SILENCIO!" James countered, pointing his wand at Lily before she could do any damage. Her response was a death stare. Lily raised her wand, this time pointed at him. He was in big trouble. The silence wouldn't stop her for long. She was considering which non-verbel curse to use, when James held up his hands.
"Truce! Lily wait!" he pleaded. He wasn't an idiot, He knew her facial expressions all too well. "You don't want to hex me. Particularly when you know I can't hex you back."
Lily raised her eyebrows. So he was going to play the innocent husband role was he? He wasn't exactly innocent seven months ago. Still fuming, she reluctantly lowered her wand. Her moment of surprise was gone anyway, so she would have to develop a new plan.
"Lily," he asked, as though talking to a wild animal who was about to attack. "What the bloody hell are you doing?"
"What does it look like I'm doing?" she asked in a huff. It was his stupid fault that she was the size of a small country and he was going to suffer the consequences. It was time that men everywhere learnt their lesson. Instantly she began scheming. Was there a way that she could get to the bottle and drop it into the potion before he got away? She couldn't believe that she had been caught before she could carry out her plan. It was all James Potters fault. The annoying, arrogant…
"I can see you looking over at that bottle," James interjected her insulting thoughts. "There is no way I'm letting you get me up the duff!"
"Wow, I wonder what it feels like to have no choice!" Lily argued. She chose to ignore the fact that she had been happy to have a child. "You stupid men and your happy go lucky attitudes!"
"But Lily," he pleaded his face falling. One look at his face and she knew she had gone too far. "I thought you wanted kids."
Lily shook her head. "I'm sorry I didn't mean that. I do want children, but I don't want to be pregnant anymore."
James raised his eyebrows. "So you are suggesting," he asked, as calmly as though he was discussing the weather, "that I become pregnant instead?"
"Why not?" Lily asked. "Male seahorses do."
There was a moment of silence, while James processed this, before he exploded. "Lily you do realise that that is insane! You are seven and a half months pregnant!"
"And?" Lily asked again.
"What if we don't switch back within a month?" James demanded. "What if I have to, and I have to you know…" he dropped his voice to a whisper, as though even speaking the words would cause harm, "give birth."
"So it's okay for me to go through childbirth," Lily asked, her hands on her hips, "but for you it's not?" Men are so hypocritical.
"Well… yes," he summarised, with a half apologetic smile. "Common Lily, it's worse than every man's worst fear. We're just not made to have children."
"But you would be in my body!" One look at James' face and Lily knew that that line of argument was not going to work. She was losing ground and decided to take a different tactic. "Don't you love me," she asked, batting her eyelashes. Hey it had worked before. "How bout you take this one, and I'll take the next one?"
James did not look convinced. "It won't work," he nodded towards the potion. "Our souls have reached an understanding."
"Looks like they reached an un-understanding when you did this to me!" She gestured at her stomach.
Lily took a step towards him "How about YOU," she poked him in the chest, "deal with the morning sickness and YOU" she poked him a little bit harder, "deal with the kicking and YOU," she pushed him down onto a seat, "deal with the needing to go and pee twenty-six times a night!"
"I would but…"
"But what James?" Lily said in a mocking voice. "Too busy running around with Sirius saving the world?"
"Lily, I just can't do it."
"Why?" Lily looked down at him, a slightly mad look in her eye. "Do you want me to suffer?"
"No! I want to protect you!" James burst out. "I can't stand the thought of you being out there, facing Death Eaters. It used to worry me so much, but at least I was there beside you. Now that you're pregnant, well I didn't realise that I could worry for someone else. I want both of you to be safe in the house as long as possible. I need to know that you are both safe."
All at once she knew that the whole plan crazy. How could she punish James when he felt the same way that she did? "James, I love you so much. Can you forgive me?"
"Of course," James replied with a smile. "Look at the size of you! If I didn't forgive you, you would beat me up!"
Lily laughed and was about to respond, but before she could reply James had already gotten to his feet at cut her off with a kiss. In fact, he had gotten up so quickly, that his chair had fallen to the ground with a bang. Enveloped in their passionate kiss, the couple didn't notice that the chair had slid into the shelf and caused the little bottle to topple over. Yet, fallen it over it had and drop by drop the liquid was dripping into the potion.
The potion fizzed…
The potion began to turn red…
So that's it guys. Don't ask me what happened, as I've left it open so you can decide :)
Thank you so much for reading this epilouge, I hoped you liked it. If you have just read my story, I hope you liked it. If you've been with me from the begining, thanks for sticking around for so long! Please leave me a review.
What does the future hold? This is probably my last piece of fanfiction, although I don't believe in saying never. I'm planning on travelling in Novemeber, so I do promise a blog. Whatever I write next, orignal, fanfiction or blog I will leave a link somwhere. Thanks all of you for being so supportive.
I am also updating this on Mugglenet, which is the orignal place of this story.
Love you all :)