Chapter 21

October 31, 1981

James pulled me close to him again. "Remind me why it took so long to realize how perfect you are for me?"

I just smiled up at him, hugging him closer to me.

"Is Harry asleep?" He asked after a few moments.

"I just put him to bed. But he's probably watching his broomstick mobile." I answered. Our little Harry already showed the beginnings of an amazing Quidditch player. His favorite pastime was riding the miniature broomstick Sirius had gotten for him. A mother was allowed her dreams, over and beyond the normal, for her son. Sometimes I dreamt that Harry would be an amazing professional Quidditch player; sometimes I dreamt he would change the world.

"I'm going to go get him. I'd like to play with him a bit before he goes to sleep." James said a bit sadly. I didn't question his mood. He placed his wand on the table by the door and went upstairs to get Harry. We both knew what our fate would be if Dumbledore couldn't figure out a way to beat Voldemort. I was kind of glad that James was stuck here. We could get in as much bonding time with our son as possible. We could be together now for as long as possible, we didn't know what the future held for us.

"Let's fly around some. Does that sound like fun, Harry?" I could hear James talking to our son as they made their way down the stairs into the front room. I heard Harry's giggle in response.

I sat over by the small fireplace and watched as James set Harry down on the small broomstick. Harry took off like a flash, zooming from room to room. James sat on the floor with such pride in his eyes. It was hard to believe that our son was only a few months past one year old.

"So, Dumbledore and I were discussing the charm he placed over our place last week." James said from his seat on the floor.

"I'm still not sure that Peter was the best person." I said quietly. This was a cause of a heated argument between James and me. James was the type of person who trusted his friends completely. As much as I wanted to trust Peter, there was just something off about him. I had always wondered about him and never understood how he had made it into Gryffindor. If it had been any other of the Marauder's, I wouldn't have made a fuss.

"I trust Dumbledore. If he thinks Peter is trustworthy then I do too. Sirius thinks it's a good idea too." James said confidently. "And Dumbledore's pleased with the charm. It appears that not a single Death Eater has come anywhere near this town, let alone our house in the last week."

I nodded. "That's good." I was still worried but I had gotten used to that feeling. I hadn't left the house in a very long time. My only correspondence was through letters, and I had been writing to Sirius and Alice almost daily now. Alice and Frank were in hiding as well. They wanted to protect little Neville from the prophecy just as much as we wanted to protect Harry.

"I sent Sirius that picture of Harry zooming around on his broom today." I told James, trying to move on to a more positive subject. Something wasn't right and I didn't want to dwell on the bad feelings that coursed through my body.

"I'll bet he loved that. He misses seeing Harry." James responded as he moved from his seat on the floor to lounging on the sofa. Harry zoomed passed on his broom.

"You're doing great Harry!" James praised.

I watched as he disappeared around the corner, then I looked back at James.

"When will this be over?" I whispered. It took all my control to keep the tears back. I just wanted it to be over. I was sick of waiting for the inevitable. I was sick of being inside this house.

"Oh Lily." James whispered back, moving from his spot on the couch to where I sat on the floor. He wrapped his arms around me and I leaned into his warm chest. "I wish I could tell you it would be over soon. I wish I could tell you that we'd be able to live happily ever after and watch as Harry grew up and became a man. I wish I could sit on the porch in a rocking chair with you at the ripe old age of one hundred and watch the fireflies dance in the moonlight. I want that so badly, Lily." He whispered into my ear.

I shivered and he squeezed me tighter to him. "James." I whispered back.

"Lily, beautiful Lily. There isn't a moment of us together that I'd ever change. What happens is what is meant to happen. We can't change it. We've done the very best that we can and look," He pointed to Harry as he zoomed past yet again on his broom. "We have a beautiful son to show for it."

I sighed, as much as James's words warmed me and did chase away the ominous feelings, I still felt uneasy. But, I swallowed those fears and smiled up at James. "I think it is time to put Harry down. If we don't he'll sleep in and as much as we don't really have a schedule to keep, I'd like to keep him on a normal one. It's the least I can do for the moment."

James stood and pulled me up. "Why don't you go put him down and I'll get some wine out of the pantry. We can have a glass and relax a bit tonight."

I went up on my tip toes and pressed a quick kiss to his lips. "I love you." I whispered as I turned and plucked Harry off his broom as he zoomed past.

"As I love you." James responded as the broomstick paused in midair for a moment before it crashed to the ground. It sounded like the entire house was caving in and it took a moment for me to realize that someone had broken through the front door at the very same moment. Black fabric poured in the front door and I felt the sticky breeze from the humid night pour in behind it.

"Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off -" James yelled. I remembered at that moment that James's wand was resting on the table, far away from his reach. I knew there was no way I'd ever see him alive again. At that same moment, I turned with Harry tucked safely in my arms and fled up the small staircase.

I tried to block out the sounds from downstairs but James's scream would forever be etched in my mind for as long as I lived.

I ran into Harry's small bedroom and placed him in his crib.

"I love you. With everything that I am." I whispered to him. "I'll protect you. Don't be scared."

I could hear Him coming up the stairs and I held my breath as he passed the door. I exhaled a bit as he moved past but then the footsteps paused. The door burst open.

"Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!" I begged, praying that this man, this "Lord" would have mercy on us. It was all I could do. I planted myself directly in front of Harry, my arms spread wide as if to protect him from any harm.

"Stand aside you silly girl … stand aside now." His cold voice demanded harshly.

I couldn't hear James moving below and I could feel the ragged pain as if a knife tore through me. The loss of James was staggering. There wasn't anything like it in the world. It didn't compare to my parents, it didn't compare to losing Marlene. I looked directly into the red eyes of the man who had taken them all from me.

"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead - " I begged again. He could take me. I'd be with James and my parents again. Just not Harry, not Harry.

"Not Harry! Please … have mercy … have mercy… "


A/N That's all people. Not possible to write more. Sorry it took so long. My town kind of flooded yesterday... natural disaster and all. If you see anything on the new about Ames, Iowa and the floods of 2010 think of me. :-p Fun times! Review? Thanks for following my story for so long!