I don't own Harry Potter. Jo Rowling does.
P.S. sorry to anyone who gets a notification, but after someone commented on the confusion of switching scenes, I realized my little line-scene-seperator-thingys didn't load from my word document to Fanfiction! So, I fixed it. Hope it makes it easier to understand. :)
"Padfoot!" James yelled. "Watch out!"
Sirius Black was not paying attention to the Bludger flying straight towards him; instead he was watching Alyssa, his old girlfriend before she had been killed by Death Eaters.
Sirius turned at the last second, only to see the Bludger hit his broomstick. The broom spiraled and Sirius just managed to hang on. James Potter laughed; a laugh that could only be brought on by one thing: being with the Marauders. Well, the true Marauders.
"Moony! How could you hit that Bludger at me?" Sirius screamed, his long black hair flying around him as he attempted to get up.
"You should have been paying attention," calmly replied Remus, a smile on his young, pain-free face.
Sirius growled in irritation but couldn't help a smile as he struggled to get back on his broom. Eventually, Remus took pity on him and went to help. James, still chuckling, looked around. Alyssa was talking with her old roommate at Hogwarts, Marlene McKinnon. They were also Lily's ex dorm mates, but James didn't see her…He looked around some more, hoping to see where his wife was.
She was off a little way, walking and talking with Snape. James tried not to get irritated; after all, you couldn't really hate someone after he risked his life for years trying to protect your son. Even if he is madly in love with your wife, James thought irritably. When Snape had first arrived, James didn't really think anything of it; he had never been friends with Sniv—Snape, and he didn't want to be. But then Snape kept apologizing and Lily forgave him; even James could see how regretful and sincere Snape was, even though it was his fault from the beginning. James did have to admit though, without Snape their son would not be alive. Snape risked everything for Lily, even though she had chosen James over Snape.
James tried not to think about when he and Lily had first arrived. But however often he tried to keep the memories out, it seemed like it had happened only a little while ago. He still remembers the cold fear that entered his body when he realized Voldemort had entered his house; the blood pounding through his body as he stood up, ready to do whatever was necessary to protect Lily and Harry. James can still feel the gut-wrenching betrayal as he had when he realized what Wormtail had done to him, to them; the overwhelming sadness as he realized he wouldn't be able to raise his son with Lily...
James heard the words come out of the snake-man's mouth, saw the green light, and all he remembers thinking was, 'Hopefully Padfoot doesn't make Harry too much of a rebel raising him.' Then he couldn't help but smile at the thought of Sirius Black raising a kid, even though James hated the thought that he wouldn't be able to do it.
James arrived at the big, golden Gate. The Gate glimmered and sparkled like gold, yet somehow James knew it never needed to be polished or cleaned. He looked around; it seemed as though he was on a giant, never ending cloud. He looked past the gates and saw that there were little houses for everyone to live in, along with an area full of trees and flowers. Off in the distance, there was a mini Quidditch pitch; something James couldn't be without, dead or alive. He couldn't help but smile again. This was exactly how he pictured Heaven to look when he was a little 5 year old boy.
Lily still isn't here, James mused. That must be a good thing. If he was going to just kill her as soon as he saw her (like with me), she would have been here by now. Hoping and praying Lily wouldn't follow him, that she would be able to save her and Harry, James waited. But only a few moments after the thought crossed his mind, the voice said "Lily Evans Potter" and James's beautiful redheaded wife appeared next to him with a little 'pop'. Lily looked around and saw James, then broke down into tears. All she could say was, "I tried, James. I tried to get him to stop. I tried, but he wouldn't listen."
James told Lily it wasn't her fault; it wasn't anyone's fault but "that bastard with a snake face." Lily couldn't help but quietly laugh when he said this. So together they waited. They sat and waited for Harry. They don't know how long they did, since Time doesn't exist where they had ended up, but they waited for quite a bit. At first, this made Lily sob even harder; she thought it meant Voldemort was drawing it out, not making it quick and painful. Yet Harry still hadn't arrived. They waited and waited, until James finally said, "We should go through the Gate. We'll hear when he comes." But Harry didn't come.
They went through the gates and saw everyone they had missed while on Earth: James's parents, Lily's parents, Marlene, Alyssa, the Prewetts, everyone. Eventually, they heard a calm, magically magnified voice that could be heard everywhere announce that a very old lady with the name of Margaret Cauty had died in her sleep. At first, James and Lily didn't think anything of it, but then a very young looking woman had come running towards them. She shook their hands and kept saying, "Thank you, thank you. I'm so glad to have seen the world at peace again before I died."
Lily looked at the lady questioningly. "What are you talking about? You just died. How was the world at peace?" she said, assuming the person in front of her was Margaret.
Margaret's jaw dropped as she looked from James to Lily, Lily to James. "But you don't KNOW?" she cried.
"Know what?" asked James, feeling very irritated that he had no idea what this lady was talking about.
"But, your son! He's the Boy-Who-Lived! He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named tried to kill him, but he couldn't! Instead, You-Know-Who disappeared, vanished! He's gone! Your son stopped and defeated You-Know-Who!"
Lily and James stared at each other, Lily's green eyes sparkling with tears.
"Our son?" croaked James.
"Yes, Harry Potter is the Boy-Who-Lived, the reason it's all over!" And with that, the lady ran off with surprising speed, off to find her loved ones.
James couldn't believe it…his son…He then picked Lily up, spun her though the air and kissed her full on the mouth. "Our Harry!" he exclaimed.
And so it continued on. James and Lily had to hear about Harry through people who had died, but no one ever really knew much since he had gone to live with Lily's Muggle sister and brother-in-law for 10 years. Except for the TriWizard Tournament and Harry returning with the body of a dead student and claiming that Voldemort had returned, not very many people had known about Harry's school life.
But one day while Lily and James were reminiscing about all the pranks James pulled on Lily in school, they heard the announcement.
"I was so mad at you!" Lily had exclaimed, "You had turned my hair bright green, said it complimented my eyes, and then proceeded to ask me out!"
James couldn't stop laughing. "Sirius said it would be funny!"
Just as he thought of his old friend and felt the familiar twinge in his stomach, "Sirius Black, 35, murdered, Bellatrix Black Lestrange," could be heard by everyone.
James's jaw dropped; Sirius? Murdered? But…who would take care of Harry? Then another thought entered his mind: Sirius. Here. James took off on a dead sprint, only bothering to shout over his shoulder, "Come on, Lily! Sirius is here!"
James slowed down only when his friend was about 20 yards away. Sirius looked young; about seventeen and just as handsome as he had been their seventh year of Hogwarts. But he also looked sad and a little lost. Slightly irritated too, thought James. Probably because Bellatrix killed him. He's probably mad he didn't finish her off first. He always hated that bitch of a cousin.
James remembered the Marauders pulling a prank on Bellatrix their fifth year. They had changed her robes and hair to be red and gold and she couldn't stop singing 'Gryffindor is the best! Slytherin is for prats! Gryffindor is the best! Slytherin is for prats!' The charms eventually wore off, after about six hours. James couldn't help but laugh at the memory of Bellatrix's face when she realized it was Sirius that had thought of the idea.
The laugh seemed to have reached Sirius, because he suddenly looked up and spotted James. James felt his insides clench, what if Sirius was mad at him? What if Sirius changed after all those years? What if Sirius didn't want to be friends with James after everything?
"James?" said Sirius barely above a whisper.
"Sirius?" said James, his voice cracking.
"PRONGS!" Sirius shouted out, his face breaking into a grin that made his whole face light up.
"PADFOOT!" James shouted back, laughing at his own stupidity and his best mate's expression.
They both ran at each other at the same time, and Sirius practically tackled James. "Prongs! I missed you! Oh God. Life's so boring without you. I can't believe you left me for so long! There was no one to pull pranks or have late night flying motorcycle rides with!" Sirius practically screamed in James's ear. "I missed you, mate…" He said the last sentence at a whisper; James could plainly hear the truth behind the sentence.
James hugged Sirius back. "I know, I know."
Sirius looked up and saw Lily standing back, watching the pair with a smile on her face. "LILY-FLOWER!" Sirius shouted and laughed, holding his arm out for her to come hug him. Lily broke out into a bigger smile and ran to hug Sirius. James joined the hug, happy to finally have his two favorite people in the world together with him again.
The three reuniting friends were walking away from the huge, golden Gate when James said, "Man, I can't believe your bitch of a cousin was the one who killed you!"
"I know. I hope Moony will get her back with his 'furry little problem'", he half-jokingly said with a smirk and an exaggerated wink.
"Can you imagine Bellatrix having to tell Voldemort she's now a werewolf?" James said.
Sirius let out a bark-like laugh. James couldn't help but laugh either. They both knew Moony would never wish for someone else to become a werewolf, let alone do it himself. But it was still funny for them to think of ways to mess with a Slytherin, almost as if they were back in their 4th year of Hogwarts.
Sirius told the Potters everything he knew about Harry and what he had done, from when "that rat of a 'friend' betrayed us all" to when Sirius had fallen through the veil. James Potter had never felt prouder of anything or anyone in his life and all he could say was, "Coolest. Son. EVER."
After Sirius had died, things had gotten easier for James. He still missed Moony and Harry more than anything, but it got easier now that he had his best mate back. Lily was able to hang out with her friends, without having to feel guilty about leaving James alone. James and Sirius also couldn't help but pull a prank or two. Just because they were dead, doesn't mean they couldn't have some fun!
Soon, more and more people were joining James, Sirius, Lily, and the others. The worst shock was when the calm and clear voice said "Albus Dumbledore, 116, killed, Severus Snape." Through their shock, the three managed to head over to see Dumbledore, but apparently everyone else wanted to see Dumbledore too. After what felt like forever to James, he got to see Dumbledore.
He was still Dumbledore, although he was much younger than James had ever seen him. Dumbledore saw the three adults standing together and said, "Hello James, Lily, and Sirius." He gave them all a brief grandfatherly hug, something they had not gotten very often from their old headmaster. The once old man proceeded to say, "Harry misses you all so much. But he is growing into a fine, fine boy. He looks just like you, James," inclining his head to the man with the messy black hair. "But he still has your eyes, Lily, exactly your eyes. Something almost everyone feels the need to tell him," he chuckled. Lily had a proud smile on her face, but James noticed that her eyes also watered at the same time.
"And he still misses his godfather," he said with a sad smile towards Sirius. "Your absence has greatly affected him this year. Yet, it has made him stronger, more determined."
Sirius gave a forced smile. To James, it looked like Sirius was feeling…guilt?
Dumbledore had then taken the three adults on a walk and told them everything. He told them about Tom Marvolo Riddle, the Horcruxes, Severus Snape and his loyalties, and Harry and his journey, past and present. James's head was spinning. After everything Harry had been through, he had to die? But…he had come so far. Yet it was the end? And as much as James hated missing everything in Harry's life, he still wanted Harry to have a life! He wanted Harry to get married, have kids, and grow old! He wanted Harry to have the life that James never got to finish…the life he gave up for Harry. It seemed like a load of rubbish!
With a turn of his head, James noticed Lily and Sirius must have been thinking the same things.
Dumbledore must have understood all of their feelings, for he very seriously said, "I wouldn't worry too much if I was you; Harry's a brave boy— man. He'll do the right thing. And sometimes, that can make all the difference."
Everyone then noticed that a little blonde girl was standing off to the side. She impatiently said, "Come on, Albus!"
Albus Dumbledore had a twinkle in his eyes and laughed as he said, "Coming, Ariana."
After that, deaths had become more common, less of a shock. But one death was still a giant shock to Lily: Severus Snape's.
Lily had gone to find Snape, but James stayed back; he figured she needed to talk to him first. That and he didn't really want to see or talk to Snape. Sirius agreed. From what Lily later told James, Snape apologized over a hundred times. He said that he's made the biggest mistakes of his life involving her and he'd do anything to change it. Lily forgave him.
James smiled wryly when Lily told him this. Of course Lily forgave him. That's something Lily would do, for anyone, James thought. And that's one of the reasons why I love her.
James did eventually have to face Snape though. Surprisingly, Snape even apologized to James. When Snape opened his mouth, directing whatever he was going to say to James, James was expecting a harsh sounding, "Potter".
But instead he heard a regretful voice start to say, "Potter…I'm sorry. For everything. It's my fault-all my fault…" Snape's voice caught in his throat, and it appeared that he again realized what exactly he had done.
All James could think was, 'Sni—Snape…is apologizing…to me?' Out of the corners of his black eyes, Snape looked at Lily, who was expectantly looking at James for his response. Snape's eyes filled with remorse, loss, and…love? It then hit James like a Bludger to the head; Snape loved Lily more than anything else. He loved her enough to risk his life and to apologize to the man he probably hated more than anything.
James couldn't help but feel angry at this revelation and want to hex Snape, even though he didn't have his wand. He had after all been in love with Lily for four years before she had finally gone out with him! And even though he annoyed and irritated her, he had NEVER called her a…you-know-what! James was the one who married her and protected her, the one who died for her and the kid they had together! Although at the thought of Harry, James remembered all the things Snape had done to help him. Snape stopped Quirrell from getting the Philosopher's Stone and killing Harry in his first Quidditch game; agreed to become a triple spy when Voldemort returned; joined the Order of the Phoenix to bring down Voldemort; and attempted to make sure Sirius was safe at Grimmauld Place to stop Harry from going to the Ministry of Magic (even though his attempt failed). Snape continued to risk his life being a spy for Dumbledore and had probably done so much more for Harry that James had not heard of.
So as much as James disliked the greasy haired man in front of him, he knew Snape was one of the bravest men ever (even though he just did it for Lily) and that he owed his son's life to him.
"Er, I forgive you, Snape. We forgive you. Thank you, though. For Harry. Thanks…er, Severus. And…I'm sorry…for everything," said James.
Snape looked up in shock and gratitude.
From the look Lily was giving him, James knew that was exactly what she wanted.
Much to James's relief, however, Lily and Snape did not become best friends as they had been when school started. They would talk and visit occasionally, but Snape mostly kept to himself, occasionally hanging out with his mother or Regulus Black, who Sirius was shocked (but secretly very happy) to see up Here, instead of down There.
Things only got more bittersweet from then on.
An announcement eventually came that said Fred Weasley was also murdered. Lily and James knew he was friends with Harry, and Sirius knew Fred, so they all went to see him at the Gate. But only a moment later when they had started walking back with Fred, they heard "Remus Lupin, 37, murdered, Antonin Dolohov."
"Remus?" all three of the friends said at the same time. Fred continued on to find his grandparents, but the others ran off towards the Gate. Standing there, like so many others, was Remus Lupin, looking sad, lonely, and confused.
"MOONY!" Sirius and James shouted, causing Remus to look up in shock, until a huge smile graced his face. They ran to each other, just as Sirius and James had ran to one another those many moments ago; running as if they couldn't run fast enough, jumping and hugging as if they would never get another moment too. Lily eventually joined in the group hug, laughing along as she saw the three mischievous 11 year old boys in the faces of the three men.
Everything was going well, until a small 'pop' occurred behind them and, "Nymphadora Tonks Lupin, 26, murdered, Bellatrix Lestrange," rang out loud. Remus had a horrible expression on his face, one that might suggest this announcement caused him physical pain. James wasn't too sure why, until he saw Moony turn and run towards a very sad, yet pretty, young woman with short, spiky bubblegum pink hair and passionately kiss her. Nymphadora Tonks Lupin…that was Remus's wife! James, Sirius, and Lily just stared in shock for a short moment (having never seen Remus with anyone because of his 'furry little problem'), until Sirius let out a wolf whistle that seemed to bring everyone back to their senses.
Remus pulled back blushing, but still looking as happy as he had looked when it was the four Marauders at school with no war, Voldemort, or death hanging over their heads. James suddenly noticed that Remus no longer had any scars on his body, gray in his hair, or lines on his face. He was normal. He wasn't a werewolf or an outcast; he was just Remus John Lupin; Marauder, friend, husband, great wizard. James would never admit it out loud for fear of sounding like a little girl, but he felt his heart swell three sizes as he realized this.
"Er, guys, this is Tonks, my wife. Dora, this is James Potter, my best mate, and his wife, Lily, Harry's parents. And you know Sirius," Remus said.
Before either James or Lily had time to say 'Hello' to Tonks, a bluish light appeared next to them and before they knew it, James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus felt a jerk behind their navel, and they were in the Forbidden Forest.
After Harry killed and defeated Voldemort, the number of deaths went down drastically. In the 90something years on Earth that had passed from that moment, to when Moony, Padfoot, and Prongs were playing Quidditch, there had been only about 2 murders; both from revengeful Death Eaters that earned a lifetime in Azkaban.
James looked around now, and saw all of his friends and family. He saw Moony and Padfoot laughing, trying and failing to get Padfoot back on his broom. He looked at Moony and saw his young, happy, unscarred face who was no longer werewolf Moony; he was just Marauder Moony. Sirius, with his smiling gray eyes and shaggy black hair that gracefully fell in his face, would never look like someone that spent twelve years in Azkaban, lived life as a dog on the run for a couple years, and was locked in a dusty old house for another year. James saw Fred and George Weasley joking around, like usual. Through his hazel eyes, he saw his parents talking to Professor McGonagall; they had always gotten along well back on Earth.
He could make out Lily laughing lightly at something Snape had said, while Marlene and Alyssa were a little ways away from Snape and Lily, gasping for breath as they laughed at something Alyssa had said. There was Neville Longbottom, talking with his parents, Alice and Frank. When Neville had died and appeared at the Gate, he saw his parents, sane, normal, and beautiful, and broke down in tears. They had been inseparable for quite some time, as they had not gotten the chance to know each other on Earth; just like how Harry had not gotten to know his parents.
Hagrid and Charlie were off talking again; they had talked often since Charlie arrived, mostly about dragons. James saw Ginny and Tonks talking and looking like they were having a good time. James and Lily met Ginny not too long ago. From what they had heard and saw with their own eyes, they could not have picked a better wife for their son. Harry…To James, it seemed that Harry was the only one who wasn't there that James almost needed to be there.
James knew he should be glad for this; by this point, Harry should be well into his 90s. But yet, he couldn't help but miss his son. He wanted to play Quidditch with his son and see if he was really as good as everyone said he was (although James didn't doubt it). James wanted to hear Harry tell him about his years at Hogwarts, and to laugh at all of the mischievous doings Harry had gotten into his years there, and James his. James wanted to plan a prank on Padfoot with Harry, and do something fun with his son.
As James Potter looked around, he smiled. Almost everyone was there, happy and smiling. Life was—er, the afterlife was good, thought James. But yet…
"Harry Potter, 102, old age," said the composed voice over the intercom. Everyone seemed to have frozen.
Bill and Fleur stopped snogging; Hermione and Ron stopped bickering over nothing besides the fact that that's what they do. (Lily and James also agreed that Ron and Hermione were perhaps the most loyal and perfect friends for Harry.) Mrs. Weasley stopped midsentence in half-heartedly reprimanding the twins; Percy stopped bragging to his wife, Audrey. "Mad-Eye" Moody and the Prewett brothers stopped their conversation, not even able to remember what they were talking about. Mr. Weasley and Mr. and Mrs. Evans looked around in shock, forgetting all about their conversation on how "aeroplanes" work. The Dumbledores looked around from where they were all sitting; Albus Dumbledore looking the most affected by the announcement.
"James!" a voice yelled. "James," shouted Lily, "It's Harry!"
James sped towards the ground, wishing his broom would go faster. It wasn't until James's feet hit the ground that the same thought seemed to have struck everybody else: Harry Potter is at the Gate.
James and Lily ran, faster than they had ever ran before, with all their friends and family behind them and strangers in front of them. James ran, off to truly meet his son for the first time.
Author's Note: This is my very first fanfiction! I think it turned out pretty well (at least for a first timer), but I feel like there's more I can do to it. Agree or disagree? Love it or hate it? Review and tell me! Any type of criticism is good for me. :)
P.S. seriously, all you have to do is hit 'Review Story' and then say "good", "bad", "amazing", sucktastic!". I'm not all that picky.
Edit: I went through and changed just a few things. Mostly stuff I left out (like Lily's name being announced) and some words were switched around. It's not necessary to reread it, though! I am, however, SO ecstatic/thankful about the positive feedback I've gotten on this!
P.P.S. I am currently a beta. :)