I got up early Saturday morning. After all the classes I had missed this week, I would be needing the entire weekend to catch up. Alright, that was true, but it wasn't the real reason. McGonagall had told me on Friday that maybe, maybe, my parents would be able to write me today. Although I was dreading what was in their letter (I had no idea what had happened before the Aurors had finally arrived), I really wanted, needed, to hear from them; before then, I couldn't be completely sure that they were okay.
No owls arrived during breakfast (though I must say that I was gone again before the mass came in), and still no owls while I was studying in the library. Although I couldn't really say 'studying', because I couldn't concentrate. After a while, I was done copying Remus' notes (I didn't exactly need to be extremely concentrated while I did that, because I didn't really need to think… or something like that), and I hadn't done anything about my homework yet. I couldn't make myself walk around the library in search for books, or read on various pieces of parchment what we were supposed to do.
"Lily," a voice suddenly said, causing me to jump up from my chair. It was Severus, and the look on his face couldn't mean anything good. "I heard about your parents. I'm so, so sorry."
I eyed him wearily. "Sorry, because you told some Death Eaters that I wasn't so keen on joining them? And then they attacked my family? In that case, Severus, I really don't want your pity."
He looked absolutely shocked. "Lily… how could you possibly think that? I really didn't want for this to happen to you… to your family. I didn't tell anyone about our… chat. Your family being attacked isn't my fault, Lily, I swear…"
"But don't you think it's a little suspicious that Death Eaters specifically attack my family, not even twenty-four hours after you tried to get me to become one of them? Severus, you have to admit that it's strange."
He sighed, staring at the ground. "Of course I realise that, Lily. But – if you must know – they were already planning on attacking your family. So – I wasn't supposed to find out, and I thought – if I could convince you to join them, that they wouldn't attack your family."
"You knew?" I asked, not believing what I had just heard. "You knew they would attack my parents and sister and you didn't tell me?"
"Lily," he said, squirming under my gaze, "they would kill me if they found out. And they would find out, trust me. I didn't really mean to turn you into a Death Eater, I – it would probably have been for the better. They would have left your parents alone."
I let out a dry laugh. "No, I don't think so, Severus. Knowing them and their evil ways, they would have let me attack my family myself, as some sort of test."
"Oh. Right." He seemed to have no clue what to say now.
"But do you believe it?" I asked him. Noticing his confusion, I added, "Do you believe that there's a better future ahead of you if you join You-Know-Who?"
He shrugged. "I don't know, Lily, I honestly don't. He has some great plans, he wants to change the world, but I'm not sure if it's – right, you know?"
"But you're already supporting him, aren't you? How else would you have known about – you know."
He shifted a little on his feet. "Well – let's not talk about that, alright?"
"And you're ready to spend the remainder of your life in Azkaban, when they manage to bring him down? Severus – "
"What are you talking about, Lily? Azkaban? When they bring him down? I don't think that'll even happen, to be honest, Lily. Who told you that?" Yes, he had changed into the enthusiastic potential supporter of You-Know-Who again. I just shrugged, and that seemed to be enough. "It was Potter and his friends, wasn't it? Why are you even talking to them?"
"I don't know," I answered. "Well, I needed to ask Remus something and before I knew it, I was in the middle of their conversation."
"I knew it," Severus said coldly. "I knew it the moment they cornered me, right before I came here."
"What did they do to you now?" I asked, even though I already knew the answer. And maybe they were right this once… I quickly suppressed that thought; what kind of friend was I?
"The regular," he replied. "Some odd hex, but I'm fine, I guess. Well, Lily, it's been a pleasure, but I need to go." Before I knew it, he was gone, out of the library. This was definitely strange. He was being too secretive for my liking. For how long would we be able to stay friends this way?
I decided against trying to study some more, and I went to the owlery, to see if my parents' letter had arrived there. Upon arriving there, an owl immediately flew towards me, dropped a letter at my feet and flew away, without hitting me in any way, fortunately. I grabbed the envelope (my name was on it, so I assumed that it really was mine) and ran back to the Gryffindor tower. Sitting on my bed, I hastily tore open the envelope, pulled out two sheets of paper (well, my parents, being Muggles and all, find writing on parchment a little odd, to put it lightly) and started to read.
How are you holding up? We were so glad to find out that you were alright! Hopefully, you weren't too shocked when you heard what happened to us – we promise you that we are absolutely fine. We didn't know what was going on at first; we were fast asleep and suddenly, there was yelling outside. When we looked, there were some people battling with their wands, so we supposed that they were wizards. So remember, Lily, we weren't harmed in any way. After those criminals were chased away, we were immediately taken away (Petunia isn't very happy about that). We even had to go to some sort of wizarding hospital, and we were checked there to be sure there wasn't anything wrong with us, and they asked us all sorts of questions. We can't tell you where we are now; the next time you'll come home, a Ministry official is going to pick you up and take you here.
Lily, we know you probably were very worried about us, but you don't have to be. We're very protected now, we're safe. Don't be scared, Lily, but be brave and happy; you deserve it.
Lots of love, Mum and Dad
At the end of the letter, I noticed tears flowing down my cheeks. They really were alright. It wasn't just a cruel joke. I was so incredibly glad that they hadn't suffered some sort of cruel torture at the hands of the Death Eaters. We had all been so lucky, it was almost unbelievable.
I then remembered the other sheet of paper in the envelope. It was a rather short note, and although it wasn't signed, I noticed Petunia's handwriting at once.
Freak – what have you done now? I knew that your absurdness would one day get back to us. I really hate you.
If possible, I cried even harder about this short note than I had cried when I read my parents' letter. But I could have expected Petunia to hate me even more after this. She hated me more and more every year when I came home, without me having to do anything, so this attack must have done quite some damage. But even though she always kept insulting me, I found myself unable to hate her back.
Sighing, I got up from my bed. I felt strangely reassured now, even though it was still a horrible thing to think about. So I might as well go back to the library. Over the past two days there hadn't been any deaths anymore, so the horrible week had to be over soon. Everyone seemed to be cheering up again, if only a little (all the deaths were still terrible, of course), and other gossip roamed the hallways. There was, for me at least, only one other thing needed before the awful week would officially come to an end, although I wasn't going to like it.
Walking towards the library, I stopped when I heard someone call out to me. "Evans!" I turned around, knowing what was coming, and indeed, James Potter was approaching me with large steps and I crossed my arms across my chest.
"What now, Potter?" I asked, wanting to roll my eyes but not really doing that.
He grinned at me with what should probably be a swoon-worthy grin, but I wasn't affected. He ruffled his hair with his hand and grinned some more. "Want to go to Hogsmeade with me next weekend?"
"I don't think so, Potter," I said tiredly and continued my way into the library. Yep, everything was back to normal again.
A/N: So, what did you think? It's the end of the story, hopefully you liked it! Please review!