Ever since finishing "Prisoner of Azkaban", I've wondered about Harry's mother. We know so little about her, and I wanted to know more. So, I decided to write it myself, what I think her life might have been like. I had to make up a lot of details, since the stories reveal relatively little about her. I've tried my best to include nothing that would contradict anything we know from the books, but there are probably a few errors. I apologize for any right here. Of course, I don't pretend that this is what actually happened. This is just my little idea. Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for your wonderful, magical stories.
This is Lily, version 2.0. I changed some things, made others longer, and redid a few parts. This story is now compatible with 'Love Is' and 'Without You' and sort-of compatible with the Magical Mischief Makers Series.
Please review this story, and let me know if you like what I've done with it. I'm also thinking of changing one or two of my others, if people appreciate this enough.
[I usually do my notes at the end of my stories, but this one, I think, has a powerful ending, and I don't want to ruin it.]
My name is Lily. See, my older sister is Petunia, and when I was born a few years later, Mum and Dad thought it'd be cute to name their second daughter Lily. Not that they're bad sorts, my parents. Very understanding they were, even when strange stuff would happen. Like when, on my tenth birthday, toward the end of October, my teacher, Miss Hornsby, gave us all huge assignments, only to have the sheets turn blank before her eyes. Somehow, she decided this was my fault, though why, I could not say. All right, so a few weird things had happened, like the time she opened my desk and a frog jumped out. I didn't put a frog in it. I had a tadpole in a cup, but it was gone. And no, no one wanted to believe that a tadpole could become a frog in two hours. Not even me. But it was that summer that really made me appreciate my parents. It was a pleasant day toward the end of July. I came down for breakfast.
"Oh, Lily, would you be so kind as to get the letters?"
"Sure." I walked down the hall and picked it up. "Cool, I got something."
"What is it?"
"Dunno. It – hey, this is weird! It hasn't got a stamp!" I opened the letter at the kitchen table. I read it, then re-read it. "Um. Mum, this – this is weird. It says that I've been accepted at Hogwarts – a school for magic!" She looked at it. "That's it! That's why all those weird things have been happening! It's magic!"
"Lily, magic isn't real."
"It must be, look at this!"
"Probably this is some joke…"
"Look at this." I picked up a second piece of paper. "It gives directions to a pub. Says that we'll learn more there."
"Mum, what could it hurt to try?" So she gave in. She took me, the next day, up and we learn that indeed it was true. So we spent the day shopping, and got details of how to get to the school when we left.
Petunia was being difficult, though. She was afraid her friends would find out and think her strange. Petunia tried very hard to be normal. So she refused to come with us when we went to the station. We said goodbye, with me promising to write, then I wheeled my trunk toward the wall where the platform lay. It really did vanish as I came through, and I stood on a sunny train platform, a red steam engine puffing smoke over the crowd. I got my trunk onto the train and into an empty compartment. I waited with butterflies in my stomach. Two boys came in the door, laughing and joking.
"Mind if we sit here?" asked one.
"Feel free," I said. They sat. The one who had spoken before continued.
"I'm James Potter and this is Sirius Black."
"Lily. Lily Vance."
"Pleased to meet you." We sat in silence for a while. Then I spoke again.
"Are you boys both from wizarding families?" They nodded. "Oh. I was wondering, see, because my parents are- are Muggles, and I was wondering how many students there are here that aren't from wizarding families."
"Oh, there are quite a few muggle-born wizards"
"Not in Slytherin House" said the other boy, Sirius.
"Well, no, but in the other houses, there's lots."
"Oh, good. I've been quite worried."
"You needn't be. Everyone starts at the same level." I looked out the window for a while, watching the pleasant fields give way to harsher forests. James stood up.
"I hope I don't get put in Slytherin," he commented as he marched up and down the compartment. "Or Hufflepuff."
"I do hope I'm in Gryffindor. It sounds like the best," I said. Just then, there was a knock on the door and a woman with a cart came in. We all crowded round and got food. It was a bit unusual, but, oh well, I thought, this is wizard stuff, you know. We conversed on and off that afternoon. It was obvious that Sirius and James were friends already, and I thought that both boys seemed nice. Finally, as it grew dark, we arrived at Hogwarts.
The platform was a bustle of students. Thankfully we didn't have to try to get our luggage ourselves; that would have been a real nightmare.
"Firs' years over here!" called a loud voice. I turned to see a large man standing over the crowd. And I do mean large. He was at least twice as big as any person I'd ever seen. When all of us first years had assembled, he said
"I'm Hagrid, the gamekeeper. You're all to follow me." So we did, down a path to a lake, into little boats, and up to the castle. We were let in by a woman, perhaps of thirty, who was rather stern looking. She led us into a small room.
"I'm Professor McGonagall. In a moment, you'll be led to the Great Hall for sorting into your houses." She added more, but I was so nervous that I didn't hear it. At least other students looked nervous too. Nobody seemed too cheerful. Professor McGonagall lined us up and led us into a Hall. The ceiling was exactly like the outside sky, black and star filled. There were five tables; one with teachers at the head of the room, four with students around the walls. Professor McGonagall brought out a ragged hat, which amazed us by singing. Then she started calling out names.
"Anderson, Jenny," sat on the stool for a moment. She was a dark haired girl whom I thought looked nice, though shy. "Gryffindor," yelled the hat, and she ran off to the proper table.
"Archer, William," the hat considered, then yelled "Hufflepuff!"
"Black, Sirius," was followed by "Gryffindor!" I missed a few, jerking back to
"Lupin, Remus," who was "Gryffindor!" James Potter was now right ahead of me in line. He followed another boy (Peter Pettigrew, for Gryffindor). It took hardly any time to send him to Gryffindor.
I was the second to last student to be called. As I placed the hat on my head, I was well aware of people staring at me.
"Hmm," said a voice in my ear. "Almost done, no need to get sloppy now. Let's see. There's talent, yes, but there's been lots of that tonight. Bravery, yes, stalwart, yes, I think I'll say Gryffindor!" and with relief, I joined the table. The last student,
"Weasley, Bilius" joined us a moment later. Professor Dumbledore stood up.
"Just a few things to say before term starts" he said. "First of all, I'd like to alert students that a Whomping Willow has been planted on the grounds. Beware this tree; if you touch it, it will punch you. Hard. New students, please make note of the fact that there is to be no magic in the corridors. The Forbidden Forest on the grounds is, as always, forbidden, and will everyone please take note that Professor Binns, the History of Magic teacher, has died. [There were smiles at this from several returning students; I thought this rather callous.] However, his ghost has remained and has agreed to take on the post indefinitely." There were some groans at this. I thought it would be interesting, being taught by a ghost. "That's all; let the feast begin!" and all over the golden plates, piles of food appeared. I ate way too much. Finally, the prefects led us away. The door to our House was behind a portrait of a fat lady high in a tower. I was so tired that I fell asleep within minutes.
The next morning, I awoke early. I sat up and stretched. Other girls around me yawned and moaned.
"Jus' five more minushs." I noticed that Jenny, the first girl to be Sorted last night, was looking around eagerly.
"I'm Lily." I introduced myself. We chatted for a moment before heading down the stairs to the common room. From there, we went to breakfast. We got lost on the way, and stumbled into the five boys from our year in Gryffindor.
"Honestly, we need a map" grumbled Bilius."
"One of you should make one then," I said, laughing. James looked up.
"That's a good idea, Lily, I'll have to remember that." We all laughed and headed in a different direction. Finally, we saw the entrance to the Great Hall. Most of the students were already there, but several chairs at each table remained empty. We slid into place at Gryffindor table. Professor McGonagall was walking along, handing out schedules. I looked at mine. Today we had Transfigurations, followed by Charms, and Potions after lunch. Potions, it said, were to be taken with Slytherin House. James was discussing something with the other boys. He leaned toward Jenny and me and said
"Professor McGonagall teaches Transfigurations." I was puzzled. "So if we follow her when she leaves, we won't get lost, right?" I grinned.
"That's brilliant." So we hurried our breakfast, and when McGonagall got up from the head table, we all rose and followed her. Halfway down a corridor, she stopped.
"Would you mind telling me exactly why you are following me?"
"Please, Professor," I said. "We don't want to get lost. So we thought that, since you teach our first class, if we followed you, we'd have no problem."
"I see. And who, may I ask, thought up this idea?"
"I did, Professor," and James stepped out. McGonagall considered him. Then she smiled.
"Well, boy, you certainly have your wits about you. Very well, you may follow me this once. But I suggest you work on learning your way around the castle."
"Yes, Professor," we all chorused.
Transfigurations was exhausting. I enjoyed Charms, though it seemed a bit tricky. After lunch, we headed for the dungeons, where twenty cauldrons were arranged in rows. We all took our places around those on one side of the room. Thirty seconds later, the Slytherins came in, circling the other cauldrons. Professor Hecate was standing in the middle of the room.
"Welcome to Potions," she said, and there was a little smile on her face. I thought at once that I rather liked her. "We'll be making many potions in here over the next few years. I must warn you, some of these can be rather dangerous, and unless you follow my exact instructions, you may be injured. However" she continued, "I think you'll find that Potions are some of the most interesting variety of magic. Now, let's begin." And so we did, learning about different ingredients and how to prepare them.
That night, I was tired but so excited. This was so amazing and wonderful – I didn't think I'd ever have enough of it.
I felt the same way at the end of the year, although I was quite glad to be done with the exams. I'd done well in everything, though I was top only in Charms. James was top in Transfigurations; his friend Remus Lupin was top in Defense Against the Dark Arts. This had seemed a little odd to me. You see – well, it's like this.
Remus had quickly become friends with Sirius, James and Peter. They went everywhere together, and caused no small amount of mischief. But several times, Remus had disappeared for a few days. I was curious about this, just as the boys were. But it was pure chance that I found out the truth.
I was in the library in December, shortly before the Christmas break. I was sitting on the floor in the History section, looking for information for my essay. Then I heard voices from two rows over.
"Remus, why didn't you tell us?" It was Sirius. Remus looked up.
"Because I was afraid when you found out, you'd shun me."
"Remus, we're your friends. It's not your fault that you are what you are." That was James. I looked up, wondering.
"But you – surely you don't want to be friends with a – "
"Remus, you are our friend, first and foremost. The fact that you're a werewolf doesn't change that a bit." I was shocked to here this. Of course, that's what was wrong. Remus was a werewolf. It must have happened when he was fairly young. I was a bit surprised that he was allowed to come to Hogwarts, but squelched that thought firmly. Obviously they wouldn't have let him come if they didn't have a plan for keeping us safe. From then on, I tried to be especially friendly to Remus. I was sure he could use all the friends he could get. And I didn't tell him that I knew about the truth. I didn't wasn't them to know I'd eavesdropped.
So it did seem ironic that Remus was best at what some might consider a subject aimed at destroying people like him.
In the other classes - let's see. Bilius Weasley, a quiet, bookish boy, was the best at History of Magic. And a Slytherin boy, Severus Snape, had top scores in Potions. He was a nasty one, Snape was. He really seemed to dislike Gryffindors, especially James and his gang. Sure, he was good, but, I mean, I came in third in that class. And he wasn't even in the top five for any other class.
Jenny was my best friend. We did everything together. She was from a wizarding family, so she knew a lot of stuff already, but she was very shy. She liked to read instead of talking to people. Sometimes, though, I made her visit with others. After she warmed up a bit, she really started to enjoy being with people. And I enjoyed spending time with her.
So I was a bit wistful at leaving Hogwarts for the summer. I mean, we weren't allowed to use magic on the holidays – some stupid 'decree for the reasonable restriction of underage wizardry'. Reasonable? Ha! But I was eager to see Mum and Dad again. I had gone home for Christmas, but not Easter, as I had so much to do. Petunia I wasn't looking forward to seeing at all. So I hardly enjoyed the train ride back. "Oh, well," I thought to myself. "Maybe I can persuade Dad to get me a broom." For first years were not allowed to have their own, but seconds years were, and I, having come from a Muggle family, didn't have one. Jenny tried to cheer me up.
"Aren't you looking forward to seeing your family again?" She asked.
"Yes – well, not my sister."
"Why don't you like her?"
"It's not that. She – well, she isn't just a Muggle, she's proud to be one. She looks down at me because I'm not what she thinks of as normal. And she ahs no imagination."
"And she's your sister?"
"Yeah. At least, I don't think she was adopted." And we both went off into hysterics. Jenny had a mischievous look in her eye.
"You know, Lily, you might have some fun with her if you pretended that you were allowed to use magic this summer," she said.
"How about – see the Chocolate Frogs?"
"Well, if you use some sleight of hand, you can pretend to turn, oh, I don't know, a handkerchief or something, into the frog."
"Hmmm. Just might work. Thanks, Jenny."
"And be sure to write to me."
"Oh, I will, but I don't have an owl, you know."
"Well, I'll us ours, and you can send your answer back with him." Then we pulled into the station. The gate guard let us through a few at a time. I was almost the last. I spotted my parents.
"She refused to come."
"Come on, you can tell us all about it on the way home."
"...And so, you can be very proud of me. I did really well."
"That's wonderful, Lily dear."
"Dad, I was wondering?"
"Well, I'll be back at school by my birthday, right?"
"So, I was thinking, there's something I'd really like, and maybe I could get it as an early present when we go to buy my books?"
"What is it?"
"Well, you see, I'd really like my own broom."
"I see. And do the other children have them?"
"Oh, everyone who isn't a first year. Why, if I didn't have a broom, they'd laugh at me. Some of them. And if I do have on, maybe I can practice and get on the Quidditch team!"
"Oh, it's a great sport. There's fourteen players, and four balls, and everyone flies around and – oh, it's great."
"Well, we'll see. But it's a distinct possibility."
"Oh, thank you, Dad!" When we got home there was a note from Petunia:
Gone out with Marge and Vernon. Be back by ten.
"Who are Marge and Vernon?"
"Some friends of hers. I believe Marge is a girl at her school and Vernon's her brother."
"Oh." It didn't seem that important.
The summer wasn't bad after all. It was a nice break from all that studying, and I did fool Petunia, who seemed most upset at my use of 'magic'. Mum and Dad took me to Diagon Alley toward the end of August. There we got my new spell books and a broom. It was a Silver Arrow, a very nice model, trim and sleek, not top of the line, but not bad either. And it wasn't very expensive. I met Jenny there and introduced her to my parents. We all ate lunch together in the Leaky Cauldron before heading home. All the same, I was glad when September First rolled around and it was time to go back to Hogwarts.
On the train, excitement was high. All of us second years were comparing broom models. James was explaining that he'd gotten a good broom because he'd be asked to try out for Quidditch by the Captain of the Gryffindor team.
"He's seen me fly, and thinks I'd make a good Seeker," he said jubilantly. He was also ecstatic about something, but I didn't know what. He wouldn't let anyone look in his trunk.
This year when we got off the train, we went with the rest of the school in carriages, rather than in the boats. Looking at the first years, I wondered if I had been that scared last year. Some of them looked green as they waited to be sorted. Yawning, I hurried along the now-familiar corridors, through the portrait hole, and up the stairs to bed.
One year at Hogwarts is pretty much like another. James did make the Quidditch team, and they won the cup. I led in Charms again. When the new subject lists were passed around, I signed up for Arithmancy and Care of Magical Creatures. Many of the kids in my year signed up for Muggle Studies, but I, of course, didn't need that. Divination I felt was a bit foggy, and I wasn't interested in Ancient Runes. I worked very hard at my studies. I was determined to be the best that I could be. Because, I thought, that'd show Petunia.
My third year was punctuated by a few mysteries. For one thing, I knew that James, Sirius, Remus and Peter were plotting something. But what, I didn't know. They seemed to vanish almost at will. And sinister whispers began floating around, of a Dark wizard, stronger and more evil than any other. In fact, he was so feared by most wizards that they refused to speak his name, instead calling him 'You-Know-Who' or 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named' or something like that. Perhaps it had to do with my Muggle-born status, but I didn't see much to fear of a name. But the only ones in Gryffindor who agreed with me on that were James, Sirius, Jenny and Remus. Even Peter was too terrified to say 'Voldemort'. But, as most wizards feared to hear the name as well, I too called him by a euphemism when others were around.
My new classes were great. Arithmancy was just wonderful, though very hard. Of all my year, only Jenny and Remus were taking it from Gryffindor. More popular was Care of Magical Creatures. Nearly all the students at Hogwarts took that. I found it fun, though was not able to do as well as usual in that. There Sirius Black was tops. I was glad that Severus Snape was in neither of my classes. He was growing more sour every year. He seemed to especially hate James, but the hatred was spread to every Gryffindor. When Gryffindor won the House cup for the third year in a row, I thought Snape might explode with fury.
The biggest event of the fourth year was the death of my father. He'd had cancer for some time, and finally, in the summer, he just died. I was grieved deeply by this. So was Petunia. She had been planning to get married that year, but after Father's death, she decided to wait six months. [In case you were wondering, Petunia's five and a half years older than I am.]
It was in the fifth year that I found myself confronted with a real dilemma. I enjoyed Charms a lot, and, when Professor Flitwick mentioned a Charm in passing, I always looked it up. One day it was the Magic Mirror Charm, which makes an ordinary mirror function to show you what is going on somewhere else. Now, I knew that, strictly speaking, I probably shouldn't do such a thing, but…so I enchanted my small hand mirror to show me what I wished to see. For a whim, I made it so that it would only respond to rhymes. Then I cast about for something to test it on. Finally, I decided to see what James was doing. It was late, but I knew he wouldn't have gone to bed yet. For a moment, I thought the spell had gone wrong, for it showed me the entrance hall and nothing else. But then the doors opened, and shut again, and the view was of outside. It progressed toward the Whomping Willow. Then, suddenly, James, Sirius, and Peter appeared from nowhere. James was folding something up.
They've got an Invisibility Cloak, I realized. But what on earth were they doing? Then, suddenly, instead of the three boys, I saw a rat, a dog and a stag. The willow suddenly stopped moving, and they disappeared down a tunnel. I blanked the mirror and thought. Obviously, they were all Animagi. But, that sort of magic was supposed to be carefully watched, and I was sure they hadn't cleared it with anyone. But a few mysteries were now solved. Of course, they must by joining Remus. For it was the full moon, and I had discovered that Remus was hidden in a house outside Hogsmeade, accessed by a tunnel under the Whomping Willow. And their nicknames. For a few months now, they'd been going around calling themselves Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Why was now obvious. But what should I do? Should I tell Professor Dumbledore? After some consideration, I decided that, no, I should not. First of all, what they were doing was now not a danger. Werewolves are no threat to other animals. And it was obvious why Remus had been so happy recently. What true friends they were, I thought. And I rolled over and went back to sleep.
It was just after Halloween, sixth year, that disaster struck. One evening, I was in the library, when history seemed to repeat itself. Severus Snape had come in, accompanied by Peter Pettigrew, who looked terrified. Sirius Black stormed in a moment later. I was hidden by piles of books.
"Well, Sirius, why is your friend hiding under the Whomping Willow?" Snape asked.
"Why don't you go see for yourself?" Sirius growled.
"There's a knot on the tree. If you press it with a long stick, the tree will go quiet and you can get under."
"Very well, I will. And Peter, I might advise you to find better friends." Snape walked put. I sat horrified. Then I jumped up.
"Sirius, you can't do that! You have to stop him! He'll die!"
"Serves him right. Come on, Peter, let's get out of here." And they walked off. I was scared. What should I do? I couldn't stop Snape alone, and it would take too long to convince a teacher. I whipped out my mirror and commanded it to show me James. There he was, in the Forbidden Forest, a stag. I almost cursed. Well, if that's the way it had to be… I opened the window. I'd discovered that you could get onto the lawn from the Library windows if you were careful. Then I ran, as fast as I could, toward the forest. When I reached the edge, I took out my wand and did a quick Findus Charm. It hovered like a ball of light for a moment, then headed off into the forest. I ran as fast as I could. Then, in a clearing, I glimpsed him. Well, it was the stag, but I knew it. He turned for flight. "James!" I shouted. Suddnely, it was he. He crossed to me.
"How did you know?"
"No time for that. James, Sirius told Severus how to get under the Willow! He's going after Remus, and Sirius won't stop him."
"I've got to stop him! Can you get out of the forest?"
"Don't worry about me! I'll be fine. Just go!" and he turned and ran, becoming the stag once again. I headed out of the forest more slowly, and was halfway across the lawn when Professor McGonagall collared me.
"Lily! I'd never have thought it of you! Come on, you're going to see Dumbledore." Halfway there, we met James, Severus, and Sirius, all being led by Hagrid.
"Found 'em near the Willow," he growled. "They won' tell me what's goin' on, so I'm bringin' 'em to Dumbledore."
"Very well. I have a feeling that Lily here may be messed up in this too." Silently we marched toward Dumbledore's office. Snape wore a smug expression on his narrow face. Sirius was looking very ashamed. James showed no expression. I was sure that my face radiated fear to all around me. When McGonagall and Hagrid had finished explaining where they'd found us, Dumbledore asked them to leave. He looked at us, somberly.
"So," he said. "Who wants to begin?" Snape spoke up first.
"Professor, they – they tried to kill me."
"Sirius told me how – how to get into the tunnel under the Whomping Willow. He didn't mention that there was a werewolf under it!"
"Mr. Snape, why exactly were you under the Willow anyway? It was put their for the safety of the students here."
"I –I wanted to see where it was Lupin went every month."
"That was very foolish. Mr. Black, why did you tell Mr. Snape this information? First of all, you should not have known it. Second, I assume you knew what Mr. Lupin undergoes."
"Well, sir, he – he was asking – and I knew, that is, Remus told us about the knot, and, well, I realize now that I shouldn't have e done it."
"Mr. Potter? What is your part in this?"
"I just tried to stop Snape, sir."
"He did more than that," Sirius said. "He went after him, down that tunnel, knowing exactly what was down there. And he pulled Severus out."
"Is this true?" Both boys nodded.
"Miss Vance, what was your part in all this?"
"Well, sir, I heard Sirius tell Snape – and I knew about Remus. So I couldn't just let him go down there, and so I went and found James."
"I was down by the lake, sir."
"I see. Well, it seems to me that some of you have been very foolish tonight. Mr. Black and Mr. Snape, you will both receive detentions. And you are forbidden from all trips to Hogsmeade this term." They nodded. "Go. And if you mention anything that went on tonight to anyone, you will both be in even more trouble. Mr. Snape, you may not tell anyone that Mr. Lupin is a werewolf." When they left, he turned to James and I. "Miss Vance, it seems clear to me that you have no share of the blame in this matter. Mr. Potter, what you did was very brave. Twenty points to Gryffindor for your actions. And, also, neither of you are to mention this night's events to anyone. You may go now." I was so relieved not to be in trouble that I hardly noticed where we were going. About halfway to Gryffindor Tower, James pulled me into a deserted classroom.
"Lily, I wanted to thank you."
"For your courage, for one thing. That was very brave of you, to come looking for me in the Forbidden Forest. And also, for not mentioning where you found me and in what form."
"James, I've know about you and Sirius and Peter for almost a year now." His jaw dropped. "Don't worry, I haven't told anyone. It was only by chance that I discovered it, anyway. And I don't think I'm brave."
"Not brave?" he laughed. "Lily, you're a tiger. You're a tiger, Lily." We both smiled at that. "And I'm glad to have a friend like you."
"So am I," I said.
I didn't tell anyone about what had happened that night, not even Jenny. I didn't think she knew that Remus was a werewolf. She and I hung out with the boys quite a bit. Sometimes they dragged us into trouble with them, but they were always good at helping us get back out of it too.
It was two weeks before Christmas, and Hogwarts was being deserted. Most of the students would be boarding the train this morning for the holiday. Even Jenny was going home, but I was to stay at Hogwarts, because mother was visiting Petunia and her husband. She'd asked if I wanted to come, but I said no thank you and was remaining behind. After breakfast, I headed up to the common room. It was empty, but I heard someone coming down the stairs from the boys' dormitories. It was James. He stopped short.
"Are you staying here?"
"Yes. I didn't know you were."
"Yeah. My dad has some conference in South America and I couldn't come along."
"Oh." Just then, Professor McGonagall poked her head in through the door.
"There you two are! Look, if you'd like, you can spend the day in Hogsmeade."
"Great!" I ran upstairs to get my cloak and hood. James was waiting downstairs.
"Would you like to spend the day with me? Hogsmeade isn't as much fun alone."
"Sure." So we went, trudging through the snow to the village. As we entered the outskirts, I picked up a handful of snow and threw it. It landed on the back of James' head.
"Hey!" He lobbed one back. In a moment, the air was full of flying snowballs.
"All right, all right, I surrender." I said. We headed to the Three Broomsticks.
"What'll it be today?" asked Madame Rosmerta, the barmaid.
"Two butterbeers," said James. When they came, they warmed us right up. The whole room was cozy and warm, very Christmas-y. After the drink, we went over to the candy store, where I bought a few different things. Then I went over to the post office, to arrange to send Mother a Christmas card and some peppermint Sprudge, which she was quite fond of. Then I went over to the wizarding supply store. I wanted to get some more magic pencils for the picture I was working on. It was quite a nice day and I was very tired when we got back for tea. There were only a few students staying on, but Hogwarts was at its most lovely, with trees and snowflakes and decorations everywhere.
On Christmas day, I awoke to find a few packages at the foot of my bed. Mother had sent me some money and a nice outfit. Jenny had given me a musical ball that played tunes when opened. I put on the dress mother had sent and went down for breakfast. Christmas dinner was the biggest feast I'd ever seen. When I went upstairs and sank into a chair in the common room I felt that I couldn't eat another bite. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the ball Jenny had sent me. It began to play, softly, blending with the snow outside and the fireplace fire. Then, as the music grew, I stood and, almost without thinking, began to dance. My eyes were closed as I was swept into the joy of the song. Then, suddenly, I was no longer dancing along. I opened my eyes and saw James grinning. I grinned back and, as the music grew grander, danced more firmly. I hardly realized when we slowed down.
"You dance very well," James said.
"Oh. Thank you." I meant to say more, but I looked into his eyes, and couldn't. We were dancing closer now. He nodded his head.
"Why, it's mistletoe." He laughed and kissed me. My head seemed to spin faster than when I'd been dancing the hardest. As the music ended, we fell back from one another.
"Well, I – I think I'd better go to bed. Merry Christmas, James."
"Merry Christmas, Lily."
When term started a few days after New Year's, Jenny commented that I was not myself.
"Did something happen over Christmas?"
"Oh, well." I glanced around the room, which was deserted. "Look, Jenny, don't tell anyone, all right?" She nodded. "I – I think I'm in love with James Potter."
"Oh, is that all?" She looked at me. "Lily, that's as old as the hills. I've known you were in love with James for years."
"It's obvious. The way you look at him, the way you act when you're around him. All the classic symptoms."
"Jenny, such diagnoses are very off-putting."
"Oh, all right. But try not to brood do much, all right? Are you getting enough chocolate?"
"Yes, Nurse." Jenny sniffed.
But in the rest of the term, it became a running joke that James and I were 'going together'. I suppose we were. We'd do things together, and Christmas was not the last time he kissed me. But it was with a heavier heart than usual that I watched the holidays approach. I am afraid that I didn't take my duties as prefect as seriously that year as the one before, but then, neither did James. I was very glad that the O.W.L.s were last year and the N.E.W.T.s the next. I waved as I left the platform.
"I'll write loads!"
Mum noticed I was a bit melancholy over the next few weeks. Finally, one evening, she put down her knitting and looked at me.
"Lily, you have been not at all yourself this summer. Is something the matter?"
"Well, Mum," I said, choosing my words carefully, "I just miss my friends, that's all." But she wasn't deceived.
"It's more than that, young lady."
"Oh, Mum, I – I don't know. I feel so strange inside. Exultant, yet sad. Like I've found something I was looking for all my life, but lost it for a time."
"Lily," she said, looking at me strangely, "are you – in love?"
"I think so, Mum."
"Well, Lily," she said, "I know that you are a very wise girl. But I want you to remember that all your magic is no substitute for common sense. Be careful about giving your heart to anyone."
"Mother, it's just that I've never know anyone like him. And I want to spend all my life with him."
"Lily, everyone feels like that at some point. But if that's all a relationship is based on, it will fail. There must be more than that."
"There is, Mum. There is." Just then, there came a rap on the window. I opened it and an owl flew in, dropped a letter in my hand, and flew out. It was from James.
Dear Tiger Lily,
Dad's taking Sirius and me up to Diagon Alley next week. He has a conference in London on Thursday and is going to let us do our shopping. Want to come along? We'd pick you up at your house around ten, shop, have dinner, and Dad would bring us back around eleven.
I hope your mother will let you. It'd be great fun. Let me know as soon as you can.
I looked at Mother.
"Mum, can I please? James and Sirius are two of my best friends."
"I suppose so. What'll you need this year?"
"A few books, and some new robes. Mine just won't cut it."
"All right. I'll give you some extra money so you can get yourself something special. A nice dress, maybe."
"Thanks, Mum." I went upstairs to write to James.
Thursday morning I woke early. Mother gave me the money when the Potter's car honked from the road.
James' dad let us off in front of the Leaky Cauldron. James and Sirius were carrying bags.
"What's in those?" I asked.
"Suits," said James. "We got reservations at a nice restaurant. You said you were planning to get a fancy dress or I'd've told you to bring one, too."
We bought our books and had lunch. Then the boys left me in front of a seamstress' shop. I walked in. An old woman in black silk came out from behind a counter.
"Can I help you?"
"Please, I need new robes for Hogwarts. And I'd like to get a nice dress. Something like that, maybe," I said, pointing to an elaborate blue velvet gown. But the old woman shook her head.
"No, no, deary. That would be all wrong for you. You see, that dress is for a certain type of girl, one who has a certain worldly-wise aura. You, my dear, need something simple, plain. Now, if you'll put yourself in Leah's hands, you'll find that you've become the most gorgeous girl around." She hummed and measured. "Tell you what. If you come back in two hours, I'll have all your things ready."
"The dress – will I be able to wear it tonight?"
"Certainly. I'll even show you how to best wear your hair with it." I thanked her and walked out to join the boys. We finished our shopping and returned to Madame Leah's. James and Sirius accompanied me in. Madame Leah swept me off to a back room.
"Hear are your robes," she said, giving me a bag. "Now, slip this one, and let's get to work." The dress she handed me was a simple white gown. I put it on. "Now, let's see. That for the hair," touching it with her wand. I could feel it do something, but there was no mirror. "And this, and let's see, a lily or two, lily for Lily." She laughed a bit. "Now, turn around and look at yourself." I could hardly recognize myself. The gown made me look taller and more slender than I truly was. My hair, instead of being braided as usual, was swept up onto my head, with two white lilies at the top.
"I – I can't believe it."
"Go on out there. See what your young man thinks, which ever one he is." I walked out. I heard gasps from both boys. James spoke.
"Lily – you're gorgeous!" I smiled. We hurried up the street to the Leaky Cauldron, where the boys changed into their suits, then out to where Mr. Potter had parked.
They hadn't been exaggerating. They'd made reservations at the Fourth Owl, the nicest wizard restaurant in Britain. After an excellent meal, the orchestra started up. James looked at me.
"Shall we dance?"
"That would be lovely." I was, I must admit, pleased to hear several 'oohs' and 'ahhs' from people as we passed.
It was almost midnight when we got home. I hurried in.
"Sorry, Mum, I – Mum?" For she was slumped over in her chair. James, who had come in with me, bent over her.
"Lily- I'm sorry. She's gone."
Heart attack, the hospital said. I hadn't known that she had a bad heart. I hadn't known about Father's cancer, either. The funeral was small and simple. Petunia and her husband were there, of course. Petunia didn't even speak to me. However, as I was underage, I'd have to spend the rest of my summer with her. The Dursleys sold off the house as soon as they could. I kept a few mementos of my parents, but most of it was gotten rid of.
I was very glad to return to school that fall. I'd received notice that I'd made Head Girl. I was glad, but nothing really seemed to help the loss that I felt. I had never really talked to Mother. She'd done so much for me, and I had simply taken it for granted. I pushed myself into my studies even harder. I did not want to have to live on my sister's hospitality for any length of time after school was over.
The most memorable class that year was Defense Against the Dark Arts. One class in particular I remembered.
We'd just finished doing research into counter-curses. Remus was querying Professor Savus on them.
"But several curses can't be stopped by any of these counter-curses."
"How could you stop a curse like that?"
"Well, for the most powerful curses, only an equally powerful counter-curse will work."
"Well, most of them wouldn't work very well for self-defense." He laughed slightly. "But the most powerful counter-curse there is, is love. If you love someone enough to die to save them, then by your death, and love, you will save them." We sat shivering for a moment at his words. "All right, let's turn to page 478…"
James was there for me all that year. He and I both knew that we loved each other; there seemed no need to talk about it. Toward the end of the year, as I began to cheer up and move on, I realized that we'd have to discuss our relationship soon.
It was late April, and the first flowers were just beginning to bloom. I was studying outside in the warm evening. Suddenly, a flower fell into my lap. I looked up. James was sitting on his broom a few feet above my head. He came down and jumped off his broom.
"Hello, Lily," he said.
"I thought you were practicing Quidditch."
"In a few minutes. I thought there was something I ought to do first."
"Oh? Drop flowers on me?"
"No, ask you to marry me." I stared at him.
"You're not serious, are you?"
"No, I'm Sirius," said Sirius, sticking his head out of the bushes.
"And I'm Remus," said Remus as he, too appeared.
"And I'm Jenny," she said as she finished out the trio.
"I told you guys to go away," said James crossly. "Where's Peter?"
"Oh, he decided you meant it about flaying us if we showed up," Sirius said with a grin on his face. "Anyway, we decided we just had to heckle you."
"Padfoot, I am going to kill you."
"What, and me the best friend you've got, Prongs old boy? Besides, you'll never get another Beater in time for the big game."
"All right, I'll kill you later. Now please go away."
"Not until Lily says yes." Remus said stubbornly.
"And what if I say no?"
"Oh, come on Lily, I know that you won't say no," Jenny said. "Not after the way you've been mooning over James for years."
"Jenny! I'm going to kill you for that."
"She moons over Prongs?" asked Sirius in an interested tone of voice. "We should compare notes and see who's worse. Personally, sometimes James gets so-"
"Will you all shut up?" James bellowed. "This is not very romantic."
"It was hardly romantic in the first place, but I'll say yes anyway," I said.
"Well, I did think of – wait, what did you say?"
"I said yes, James," I repeated, and kissed him. He looked like Sirius had just hit him with a Bludger instead of the other team.
"Um, you three leave now," he said. They laughed, but they left. He looked at me, and I smiled at him. " Lily, I love you so much. I can't even say how much I love you."
"And I love you, James. Forever and always I will love you, that's a promise." He kissed me, and then we just stood there for a minute.
"I think I'm the luckiest person in the world, Lily," he said. "And I'd stay here all night with you if I could, but I have to go to practice now."
"That's all right, I have homework to finish anyway," I said, and turned quickly toward the school. I looked back, briefly, and blew him a kiss. He grinned at me, and turned himself.
I didn't walk up the corridors – I flew. I felt like I was queen of the world. I was so happy, that I didn't even notice where I was going. I turned the corner and ran into Snape, who was just standing there, holding a cup
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Severus, I wasn't looking where I was going." I smiled with the joy that filled me. I could help but say, "I'm so happy! James has asked me to wed him!" Snape didn't say anything, and I, feeling foolish, hurried along the corridor to Gryffindor tower.
I lay awake for hours that night, dreaming of how I would marry James, of the life we would have together, the children we'd raise.
"Is it really wonderful?" asked Jenny.
"What?" I asked her.
"Being in love, and having that person love you like you and James."
"Well, I guess it's hard to explain unless it happens to you. But yes, it is wonderful. Why?"
"Because I think I've fallen in love too."
"Really? Who is it?" I could see her smile in a sheepish kind of way.
"I know. We're very opposite, aren't we? I mean, he's so sure of everything, and I'm so hesitant, he's outgoing and I'm shy,"
"He has no common sense and you have plenty… I think you two are perfect for each other. Has he said anything to you?"
"No, not really, but we do like to spend time together, you know."
"Yes. I hope that the two of you do get together." I smiled, thinking of how happy I was. Now I wanted all my friends to be equally happy. "By the way, when James and I get married, will you be bridesmaid?"
"Sure." She didn't speak again that night, and I slowly drifted off to sleep.
Then we graduated, I returned to the Dursleys, but knew it wouldn't be for long. They weren't happy about it either. I had to stay with them, as Petunia was my only living relative. But they made it obvious that they were only putting up with me because they had to. I spent the summer bored out of my wits. Early in September, I got a letter from James.
Good news! I've got a job, and have located what looks like the perfect house for us. Can you get away this weekend? Find some excuse. We'll look at the house and make wedding plans. I'll meet you at the Leaky Cauldron Saturday morning unless I hear otherwise.
All my Love, James.
I told Petunia that I wanted to go shopping in London that weekend.
"I'll stay the night and come back Sunday evening," I said. She didn't much like this, but there was really nothing she could do. So Saturday, bright and early, I took the train up to London. James was there waiting for me.
"It's so good to see you again. I've missed you."
"I've missed you, too. I can't stand the waiting."
"Come on, the house is a ways away." So we got on another train. We got off at a small village called Godric's Hollow. I'd heard of it; there were more than a few wizards who lived here. It was named for Godric Gryffindor, one of the founders of Hogwarts. James had located a medium-sized house near the outskirts of the village. We looked it over.
"I like it, James. I think we could be happy here."
"I'm glad to hear that. I'll see to the purchase on Monday, first thing. Now, we need to plan for the wedding."
"Yes. Let's see. I want it as soon as possible."
"I was thinking October."
"Hmmm. How about the last weekend? That Saturday's my birthday. Legally, I can't marry until then without permission."
"All right. Saturday of your birthday then. I've asked Sirius to be best man, of course."
"I'll write to Jenny. I want her for bridesmaid."
"And – let's ask Professor Dumbledore to officiate."
"It needn't be large – just a few friends. Will Remus be able to attend?"
"Let's see – yes, he will."
"You know, your sister is going to make trouble."
"True. I don't care, though. I'll send all my things over to our house before I leave Petunia's."
"Have you a suitable dress?"
"Yes. I'll wear that one I had made a year ago. I only wore it once, and it's quite lovely."
"I'll take care of all the other details."
"Oh, my, it's late. I need to get back to the Leaky Cauldron."
"All right, darling."
"Write to me lots."
"And you to me."
And I Apparated back so that he wouldn't see my tears.
If I thought the summer had gone slowly, it was nothing to the next six weeks. Finally, it was the night before my birthday. I'd already packed and moved most of my things surreptitiously. Now I had only what I'd need for the next day. I didn't sleep that night. As soon as the sky was tinted pink I arose. I ate and then returned to my room. When I went back downstairs, I was dressed in my wedding dress, a silvery cape on my back. I had my hair done in the way Madame Leah had showed me. In my hand I carried my wand. Petunia and Vernon were in the living room.
"Where do you think you're going?' Vernon barked as I reached the front door.
"Oh, Petunia, I forgot to tell you. I'm leaving now."
"What? You can't do that."
"Actually, dear sister, as you have obviously forgotten, it is my eighteenth birthday and I am an adult. And you really can't stop me."
"Where are you going?"
"To a wedding."
"Well, if you leave this house looking like that, we aren't letting you back in," growled Vernon.
"Oh, you needn't worry. You see, it's my wedding I'm going to."
"You- you're getting married?"
"Yes, Petunia. Just remember when you next see me that I'll be Lily Potter." And I opened the door. I stepped through it and Apparated to Diagon Alley. Once there, I looked around.
There was Jenny, waiting for me.
"It's over here," she said as she steered me into a meet little building. "We thought this'd be nice. My, you look lovely, Lily."
"Thank you, Jenny dear."
"Come on. Almost everything is ready." She steered me inside.
When I gave my vows to James, and he gave his to me, I thought my heart would burst for joy. I thought that this day was the best of my life. And it was, but each day afterwards was just as wonderful. We lived, if not 'happily ever after' at lest as close to it as possible. And yet, through our happiness, we still knew that trouble was coming.
Voldemort was getting worse. He was attacking and killing many wizards, and many others were on his side. It was hard to know who to trust. And nothing could stop Voldemort. We were involved in trying to stop Voldemort. In fact, we were in pretty tight with Dumbledore, who was, it was whispered, the only person Voldemort was afraid of.
Then we found out that I was pregnant. Jenny was over that day. We were talking about the plans that she and Sirius had for their wedding – they'd gotten engaged at our wedding, apparently, and would be married in a year or two. They didn't seem to be rushed at all, not like James and I. I told her, over tea, about my suspicions that I might be pregnant, and she suggested that we do a spell to find out. Well, I was. Then James came in and asked what we were so excited about.
"We're going to have a baby," I said. His jaw just about hit the floor.
"Yes, we are!"
"Oh, Lily, that's wonderful!"
All our friends were as delighted as we were to hear the news. For the next seven months we were so excited and happy thinking about our baby coming that we hardly worried about Voldemort or his cohorts. And our son was born.
Harry, we named him. He was a beautiful baby. He looked quite a bit like James, but he had green eyes like mine. We asked Sirius and Jenny to stand as godparents for him, and arranged that should anything happen to us, they would take care of him. Everything Harry did filled James and I with delight; the way he learned to crawl, and started to say 'mama' and 'dada' when he saw us. He was our pride and joy. And until after his first birthday, all seemed quiet.
Then Dumbledore came to us one night.
"Professor, it's nice to see you."
"It is indeed nice to see the two of you, but I am afraid that this is not a pleasure visit. I have some bad news for you."
"What kind of bad news, sir?"
"The worst. I'm afraid my spies report that Voldemort is after the two of you." I gasped and went pale. James looked at Dumbledore.
"I don't know. But I assure you that he is after you."
"What can we do?" I asked. I had an urge to grab Harry and flee to Africa or somewhere where we could hide.
"It's hard to hide from a powerful wizard like Voldemort."
"There must be something we can do," James said determinedly.
"Yes, there is, if there is someone that you can trust with your life. It's called the Fidelius Charm. It's incredibly complicated, but it involves hiding a secret inside a single person. As long as that person doesn't reveal the secret, you will be safe." James considered it.
"That's what we'll do. I'll ask Sirius. There's no one in the world that I trust more." Dumbledore looked uncomfortable.
"I myself would be willing to take on the role. Your secret would be safe with me."
"It'll be safe with Sirius. He can hide so well that Voldemort will never find him." True, I didn't think that Voldemort would ever suspect a dog of holding the secret that he sought. Dumbledore still looked unhappy.
"James, I know you trust Sirius. It's just that someone on our side has been giving Voldemort information for a year now. I think it's someone close to the two of you, but I don't know who."
"It's not Sirius," James insisted. "I've known him since I was a child! I can trust him with anything." And Dumbledore gave in.
"James, of course I'm willing to be your Secret-Keeper. But I do have an idea. Voldemort is sure to get hold of this plan, right?" We nodded. "Well, if we let everyone think that I'm the Secret-Keeper, he'll come after me. But even if he finds me, I won't know the secret."
"Then who will be Secret-Keeper? Remus?"
"No. I don't know why, but I think – I have a suspicion – that Remus might be the spy."
"Then who is it, James? You? Me? Lily? I don't think so! Someone is a traitor, and I can't clear Remus of suspicion. We don't dare use him. Besides, Voldemort will never think we'd use Peter."
"You're right, because Peter would crack as soon as Voldemort showed up! Peter may be my friend, but I have no illusions about his strength, Sirius."
"Nor do I, but it's not strength that will win here. No matter how strong I am, James, you know what Voldemort's methods are. I'd rather die than betray you, but I don't know that I'd be able to. What we need here is a bluff. Voldemort will never even think that we'd use Peter, so he won't be looked for! A bluff is what will win us this round. Besides," he said, his voice dropping, "If something should happen to the two of you, you'd want me to be able to look out for Harry." James sighed.
"I suppose you're right, Sirius. But I don't like it."
"All right, we'll do the Charm as soon as Peter gets here. I'll get him now. But don't tell anyone, not even Dumbledore." He strode of, got on his motorcycle, and took off.
James paced the floor while he was away. I, too, was nervous. What if something went wrong? I really didn't think that Remus was the spy. Who could it be? Peter, a voice whispered in my ear, but I dismissed that as ridiculous.
Well, look at it the other way. James trusted Sirius with his life. Who do I trust that much? Sirius, yes, and I would trust Jenny too. She hadn't been told about the plan at all, because her father was ill and I didn't want to worry her farther. But I decided that whatever Sirius said, I had to do something myself to safeguard the plan.
It was only a week later, a dark and stormy night, that there came a knock on the door. James went to get it. Then, suddenly,
"Lily! It's him! Run, get Harry! I'll hold him off." I was terrified, but ran up the stairs to the room. It was Peter, said a voice in my head. I must protect Harry.
As I reached Harry's bed, the door crashed open behind me. Voldemort stood, hooded and malevolent. I was terrified, but more for my son than myself. I could see past Voldemort, down the hall and the stairs, to where James' body lay. I could tell instantly that he was dead.
"No!" I screamed, and launched myself at the evil figure in the door. He shoved me down to the floor. I struggled up again.
"Stand aside and I will spare your life," he said, raising his wand high and striding toward Harry's crib.
"No! Please, not Harry!"
"Stand aside, silly girl!"
"No! Please, have mercy. Not Harry! Take me, take me instead!" He motioned with his wand, and I flew across the room. I knew I couldn't stop him, but I threw the hardest thing I could against him. He brushed it off like a fly. He turned toward me, and laughed, a high, cold bone-chilling laugh. One hand rose above his head for the killing blow.
But, you see, this was what I'd been waiting for. I'd remembered something that we'd learned years ago.
If you love someone enough to die for him, that love will save him. I couldn't remember the exact words; but that wasn't the important thing. Because, as Voldemort loosed the curse, I knew that, even in dying, I'd won.
I'd saved Harry.
And that was enough for me.
Goodbye, Harry. I'll be with you…always.
Always and forever, I'll love you.