Chapter 17: Libraries with Lily
Once the initial shock of a monster being set loose in Hogwarts dawned on all of us. The freaking out began.
"How could a monster be set loose in Hogwarts?" I exclaimed as I paced around the room. Everyone jumped at my sudden outburst.
No one had an answer for me.
I was mad, enraged, livid, and I wanted to march right up to Dumbledore and tell him just how I was feeling. Needless to say, I couldn't. So I just sat in my never ending fury and listened to the scene that was being displayed before us.
I felt the edgy eyes looking towards me, afraid that I may have another outburst again.
I huffed and puffed as Dumbledore took Harry, Ron and Hermione to some office. Judging by the amount of pretentious photos of himself on the walls, I knew it was Lockhart's.
Other teachers filed in after the kids and everyone sat in the room tensely.
I looked around the room I was sitting in and noticed that it was a very similar situation to what was going on down there. But I kept my observations to myself.
When Dumbledore spoke I leaned in towards the portal to make sure I didn't miss a single word he was saying.
He announced that Mrs Norris had been petrified and that Harry was innocent of this kind of dark magic.
Lily huffed from where she was seated. "Well I could have told them that. My son is not evil!" she declared ferociously.
Everyone nodded and hummed in agreement.
Lockhart then spoke up about how he could have stopped it. And he would begin working on a restorative potion made by Mandrakes.
Fabian cracked his knuckles. "Oh how I want to punch that bloke in the face."
Again everyone nodded in agreement.
Silence stilled over our room again as Filch accused Harry of petrifying his cat. Snape chimed in claiming that the kids weren't at the feast. To which they quickly explained the Deathday Party they had attended for Sir Nick. After proving Snape wrong and not getting any further punishment, the three kids were dismissed to go up to their dorms.
"Oh I have had it with this." Lily said as she shot sparks out of her wand that evaporated the portal. "This is absolutely ludicrous! How could they think Harry did this?"
She sat back and sighed. I caught her eye and gave her a look. One that tried to convey the look of being tired of all this nonsense.
She appeared to understand and nodded her head slowly. "I know." she mouthed to me.
Everyone left shortly after the portals were all gone for good. With a final hug to Marlene as she walked out and apparated, I shut the door for the final time.
"Well that party went nothing like how we planned it to go." Lily said sitting down on the couch.
I flopped down next to her and ran a hand though my hair.
I looked at her and chuckled, "You mean, you didn't intend on everyone breaking down and stalking our loved ones all night?"
Lily smiled at me with the look of exhaustion in her eyes.
"It was supposed to be happy." she said finally.
"I know, love. And one day, maybe it will be a happy deathday party. But for now, watching everyone we love still be alive and well...it's harder to be happy. I don't know about you but I miss being alive. I miss being able to ruffle Harry's hair. You know the last time I actually touched him was over a decade ago?"
Lily nodded. "Exactly ten years ago to this day. Right up there." Lily said gesturing to the nursery upstairs.
I nodded slowly and closed my eyes. I was more tired than I had thought. I felt Lily lean on my chest and let out a deep sigh.
Tomorrow will be easier. I thought to myself as I slipped into a deep sleep.
I woke up the next morning feeling particularly groggy and my head felt stuffed with cotton. I began to sort through basic thoughts. Today was the first of November.
Right, Lily and I had that party last night. I thought. We all cried together and remembered all our alive loved ones.
Then I jumped out of bed upon remembering the monster that was inside Hogwarts. And Harry. Harry. Was he safe still?
I scrambled to find my glasses and my wand. Lily was still fast asleep so I darted out to another room so that I wouldn't wake her. I put my glasses on quickly as I muttered the words "Show Me Harry Potter."
My vision was still fuzzy as I tried to make out the images in the portal. My head was cleared of the grogginess that I had earlier.
"Oh Merlin. Why is everything so blurry? Is there some spell on the castle? Is he dead or something?" I asked no one in particular.
I heard a chuckle behind me and spun wildly. Lily was awake and had brought the blanket from our bedroom out with her, draped around her shoulders.
"Come here." she sighed.
I walked towards her and she took my glasses off of my face.
"Hey!" I protested.
"James." she said in a caring voice but hiding a giggle. "First off you have them on upside down."
I frowned...how had I not noticed that?
"And second, they're filthy." she said with what sounded like a smirk on her face. I couldn't tell though. I was blind without my glasses.
Lily returned my glasses to their resting spot on my face and my world cleared in a sharp focus.
I smiled sheepishly "Heh. Thanks Lils."
She waved it off and turned to more pressing matters. "How is Harry?"
I opened my mouth the speak when I realized that the conclusions that I had jumped to earlier were probably just due to the fact I couldn't see.
Lily took my silence as a clear, I-have-no-idea.
She brushed past me swiftly, the blanket flowing like a cape behind her.
I turned on the spot and looked at the portal.
Harry was eating breakfast in the hall.
I let out a deep breath that I hadn't realized I was holding.
"Oh thank Merlin" Lily sighed, sinking onto the couch.
I stood behind the couch and pressed a kiss on the top of her head.
"He's alright love. You can relax now." I said soothingly.
"I don't think I'll relax until he's out of harm's way. For good." she confessed.
I smiled to myself. "I know. Me neither."
Lily simply hummed in agreement.
"I'll make some breakfast for you. Just keep me updated on what's happening." I said.
Lily chuckled. "You say that as if watching our son is some sort of reality show on the telly."
I paused in the middle of putting the kettle on the stove.
"Oh sorry James," Lily started. "It's a –"
"No wait!" I called out. "I think I know what you're talking about."
I heard Lily laugh quietly.
I thought back to my years in Muggle Studies. The telly was like a wizard picture. It moved, but for longer and with constant sound. A reality show though. I wasn't too sure what that was.
"A reality show is a show that follows certain characters around and shows you their life" Lily called out.
I sighed. "Well how was I supposed to know that?"
She just laughed at me and I returned to making breakfast.
My abilities in the kitchen were extremely limited. But I managed to make some tea and toast with the usual spreadings on it.
I brought a plate out for Lily, and one for myself as well. She took it happily as I sat on the couch next to her.
We sat and watched Harry go through his day, especially watching for every small detail of the slightest chance of a monster looking around the corner.
Several hours of observing and worrying later, Lily stood up.
"I've had enough of this!" she declared.
I was beyond confused. "Er – what?'
"Come on. Get dressed. We're going to go do some research."
I groaned and felt as if I were back in my seventh year. Lily constantly nagging me to go to the library with her. Not that I ever said no. But I hated the library.
But either way I still would do whatever she wanted me to do, so I reluctantly got up and dressed myself.
As we prepared to apparate I asked Lily, "Will you tell me why we are going there at least?"
Lily looked at me pointedly and shook her head, "You'll see."
I sighed, "Yes alright. Let's go."
Lily grabbed my hand and we apparated together. The closest library to us was run by an old couple who had actually owned a small library in their lives. But in heaven they were granted a huge library with countless books.
It was one of Lily's favorite places to go. I didn't mind going, but libraries always just made me sad. When I had been alive they were the place I'd watch Lily for hours in. They were the place where pranks were planned with the Marauders. A library was the place where Sirius and I went to figure out Remus was a werewolf. And the place we learned how to become Animagi.
Similar to any other school setting, libraries reminded me of my friends. It was bittersweet.
But Lily knew this about me and tried to keep me entertained as she did her research. Which I had to admire her for that, she was an impressive multi-tasker.
She took my hand and led me inside the massive building. The smell of old books immediately flooded my nose.
Lily smiled next to me while I crinkled my nose.
The old woman who lived her smiled at us from behind the desk.
"Hello Lily! Hello James!" she called out cheerfully. "Anything I can help you with today?"
Lily smiled and walked over to her. "Hello Rachel. You look lovely as always."
The old woman smiled bashfully. "Thank you dear."
Lily smiled still but her voice changed tones to a more serious one. "Could you point me in the direction of your books about the magical world?"
Rachel smiled and pointed to the left.
"Over there dearie. But you need to go down quite far. You'll know when you're there though. Once the books start flying." she said sounding delighted.
Lily thanked her and returned over to where I was still standing.
She urged me along and I followed.
"I wonder how odd it is for them to live here now. I mean, they were muggles their whole lives. And now they have a half magical library."
I thought about that for a moment. "It must have been a weird transition but they don't really seem to mind."
Lily nodded her head in agreement.
We walked for a little while longer until we reached the shelves where several books were simply floating in the shelves.
"Aha!" Lily said as she turned down an aisle.
I looked around for a moment and decided to just look at some of the titles on the shelves. Lily wouldn't want me to help anyway. I had no bloody idea what we were doing.
I heard her footsteps tracing up and down the aisles and heard her murmuring to herself words that ran together. I chuckled and ran my finger along the spines of the old books.
I was no doubt in an aisle with older magic. You could tell from the gold embellishments on the spines. I read the titles as I went, taking my time to look out for familiar authors as well.
A Tale of the Dragon Ages, A Guide to Enchanting Cups, The Basics of Breeding, Pureblood or Mutt?, Potions Throughout the Ages, Horcruxes, The Wind of the – I stopped reading the titles and backtracked a few books.
Horcruxes. I remembered talking about them with Lily a while ago. I picked up the book and sat down in the aisle.
I brushed the dust off the book and opened up to the first page. The spine was stiff and it let out a cough of dust from the pages when I opened it.
I looked at the table of contents, Introduction, What is a Horcrux, Why make a Horcrux?, Is this the best choice for you?, Choosing an Object to Contain Your Soul, Splitting your Soul...the chart went on.
I decided to open up to the first page and read. I'd skip around a bit but I needed the basics of understanding.
Horcruxes are a piece of magic that is generally frowned upon by other witches and wizards. But there is in fact nothing wrong with the actual product. Many believe that it is a barbaric and cowardly thing to do though, to split one's soul to achieve immortality. This book will help you choose if a Horcrux is the right path to immortality for you. And if you do choose to split your soul, a detailed step by step instruction list is included for you.
I stopped reading and turned back to the table of contents. I remembered Lily telling me that she thought Voldemort had split his soul. I wondered if this book could help me figure out if he had, and if so, how to kill him in the end.
I flipped through the pages until I found what I was looking for. Killing Someone with a Horcrux
I smiled cruelly and began devouring the page with my eyes. Although a Horcrux allows the witch or wizard not to be killed. There are still ways he or she may die. If another person were to find your Horcrux and destroy it and then go after you. You would be able to die at that point. This is why it is so important to hide your Horcrux well and never let anyone know of your secret. Even with hiding your secret well, after making several Horcruxes your appearance may alter. So beware. (You begin to stop looking human. Your eyes may turn either black or red. Also it is rumored that the nose begins to look like that of a snake, although this is just the lure of Abetha Triut who has five Horcruxes. the most in history. See page 182 for more.) If more than one Horcrux is made there are less chances of someone finding all of them and destroying them all, giving you a better chance at immortality. However, splitting your soul is very dangerous. Once you split it more than once the chances of accidental splitting are more and more likely. You must take extreme caution when making your Horcruxes, make sure that no other living being is around when you do so. If they are the piece of your soul will cling to an alive being before an inanimate object. If this happens this creates a live Horcrux. The being with the piece of you inside itself will be able to see your emotions and may or may not be able to see through your own eyes. However, you would be easily able to see out their eyes and feel their emotions too. But humans and animals are risky Horcruxes. They can be killed or die at any time, it is highly unadvised. An inanimate object cannot be killed with just any spell. The piece of your soul protects the object to prevent any damage that would happen over time, also it prevents rusting. An object that contains a piece of your soul in it will not be able to be destroyed easily. However there are still ways to destroy them. The piece of soul needs the container to keep it in existence. Once the container is destroyed, the piece of soul is lost. Unlike the soul from your corporeal body, where if your body was destroyed your soul would remain intact. If you do have a Horcrux, you will feel if it has been lost. However the creation of several Horcruxes will make it so you can feel it less and less until you would not feel it at all. So beware all makers of 3 or more Horcruxes. This is highly unadvised and very dangerous. All known methods of destroying a Horcrux are just as deadly as the magic needed to create one. Basilisk venom and Fiendfyre are the two known methods of destroying a Horcrux. But both are extremely dangerous and lethal. Also if the Horcrux has been made a living being such as a person or animal, killing the container would also kill the Horcrux inside...
"James?" Lily called.
I was jolted from the book and skimmed the page quickly, there was no other valuable information on that page. So I shut the book and returned it to it's place on the shelf. I walked my way over to Lily piecing the information together as I went along.
When I found Lily she asked me to get a book for her, it was avoiding her magic and up too high for her to reach. I got the book with barely any trouble and then followed Lily to a table.
"Do you have paper?" I asked her, wanting to remember everything I just read.
Lily handed me a few sheets and a quill and I began scribbling as much as I could about what I remembered.
I made sure to remember both ways of destroying them and then some of the other information. I sat back when I was satisfied with my memory's recall of the book and I watched Lily read and skim with a look of intense concentration.
She was so passionate about her love of learning, I looked at the book she was reading but she noticed and looked up with me with a glare.
"Sorry, I forgot. No reading over your shoulder." I said quickly as if I were back in my seventh year with her.
The only difference was that she stopped glaring and smiled before looking back down at her book.
I continued to think about Lily and how much I loved her. And Harry too. I loved him so much, and now there was a monster in Hogwarts and Voldemort was still after him.
I thought about the night that Lily and I died. How Voldemort had murdered me and Lily so easily and yet could not kill Harry. I felt the deep paternal desire that I wished I had my wand that night. I could have fought him off. Maybe even killed him.
I stopped my thoughts in their tracks. No, I couldn't have killed him. He had at least one Horcrux I knew of. I brought myself back to that night, something that I have been trying not to do for years, but I brought myself back to that night so that I could reexamine the situation. He was standing before me. I was staring into his eyes but before I could truly see, the me who was there was shouting to Lily to run, and spinning to see her face one last time. I was angry. I couldn't turn in this memory. By the next time I saw his face his mouth was already still and green flashed over my vision. And the memory was over.
I was so frustrated, I needed to be able to examine him more thoroughly.
"I'll be back in a bit." I said to Lily softly as I got up from the table.
She heard me and picked her head up, "Where are you going?"
"To do my own research." I said smiling. I kissed the top of her head and walked off in the direction of the front desk.
When I got there, it was no longer Rachel there, but Josh. Her husband.
"Hey Josh," I said walking up and shaking his hand.
"Oh hello James! Lily doing research?" he asked all too knowingly.
I smiled, "As always. But I'm also trying to figure something out. Do you think you could help me out?"
He smiled and said, "I'll do my best."
"Do you know if there's a place where you can go see how you died. Not your own memory of it though. A place where I can observe?"
Josh scratched his head for a moment and said, "Yes. The Death Halls."
I made a face and said, "Attractive name."
He laughed and continued, "It's a record of every single death. Ever. They can allow you to relive it, and they help people deal with those horrible deaths too. Like being murdered brutally, those people fed to animals and all that creepy stuff. But I'm sure you won't be going there for that. But yes. You'll be able to relive your death there."
"Awesome." I said. "If Lily comes looking for me, tell her I'll be back really soon, don't tell her where I'm going though, she'll only worry."
He nodded and made the motion of zipping his lips.
I quickly ran out the door and apparated to Death Halls.
The building was a bleak grey color. Appropriate for it's name. It was cold in there too. The doors opened to a small vestibule. It was grey everywhere and there was a small desk and a door on the other side. A lady sat in the desk, typing away on her computer. I cleared my throat and she looked up and smiled.
"How may I help you?" she asked as kindly as she could.
I was about to speak when the doors opened behind me, a lady was brought in, carried by a man in grey. She was screaming and crying. She looked so young, I wondered what was wrong. The man took her right through the doors and into the single door on the other side, when the door shut there was silence again.
I worried about her instantly. What were they doing to her? She needed help! I was about to ask what the hell that was when the front doors opened again.
Another man came into the vestibule and handed a folder to the lady sitting at the desk.
"Her name is Marissa Yosdith. Murdered by some man, he chopped her to pieces. Tortured terribly. She just got here, me and Adam were waiting for her in the mist. Brought her right here. She'll be here a while until she realizes she's okay now though. She's a mess. Can't blame her though." he said to the girl behind the desk.
"Alright. Thank you so much." she said taking the folder. "I'm so sorry about that sir. We have a help center for brutal murders here in the D-Halls."
I nodded my head as relief flooded over me. I hadn't realized how worried I had been about the woman.
"Right. Well I was told I could come here to watch my death as an observer?"
She smiled, "Yes you can. Name please?"
I stepped up to the desk. "James Potter."
She typed on her computer and said, "Ah yes. Joint death with Lily Evans?"
I nodded my head slowly. "Yes, my wife."
She nodded, "Would you like to view her death as well?"
I was unprepared for this question. "Uh sure." I stammered out.
"Alrighty, we're all set then." she said smiling at me. "Roger?" she called to the man in grey who had told her about the murdered girl.
"Could you take James down to see his death? I can't leave the desk and Jen isn't here."
He shrugged. "Sure follow me James."
He took me through the door on the other side of the room and I was shocked to find myself in a bright hallway that seemed to never end.
"This hallway actually never ends." he told me confirming my suspicion. "Extension charms as far as the eye can see."
"Wow." was all I said.
"Right, so I'm going to guess you're a wizard?" he asked seeing how unfazed I was at the mention of charms.
"Guilty as charged." I said as I pulled out my wand.
He laughed and then asked me, "So James? What's your last name?"
"Potter." I said automatically.
He walked over to the side of the hall and pushed some keys. The hallway rushed around us and soon we were standing next to a door that said, James Potter 31 October 1981.
"Go ahead in. You can push the green button when you're ready." he told me.
I opened the white door and walked inside a completely white room. On the wall was a glowing green button. I closed my eyes for a moment. When I opened them next I pressed the green button and watched the scene transform around me.
It was like being in a pensieve only more clear. My memory of my death was so chaotic I could never quite understand it. But here, it was like I was just observing.
There was a crack and Lily started to run upstairs. Voldemort came through our door and met me. I stared him down, burning his gruesome image into my mind. His eyes were the darkest black tinted with blood red seeping into them from around the pupil. His skin was so pale and you could see the veins of blood running through his skin. His nose was like a snake's, slits where nostrils usually were. His mouth barely moved as he whispered the curse and raised his wand. The me in the memory crumpled to the floor. Voldemort stepped over my body. It looked, at first, like he had tripped. But then I was able to see him steady himself on the wall as he began climbing the stairs. I ran up before he could get there and saw Lily crouching by the crib murmuring words of love to Harry. But before long Voldemort burst into the room. Lily now stood between him and Harry. He asked her to stand aside. She refused and he murmured the same curse used on me. Lily screamed and crumpled to the floor. Voldemort staggered back again. Then he turned onto Harry who wasn't crying. Such a brave boy. He said the same curse and green flashed. But the curse didn't kill Harry. In fact, his forehead was slashed open with the scar of a lightning bolt but it was Voldemort who looked hurt. He screamed in agony and apparated away. But a something was left, something that was only there for about a second. It had whirled around the room before sinking into Harry. Then, and only then, did Harry start crying.
Suddenly I was back in the white room. I came out dazed and confused. I had a lot of thinking to do about this.
The man was still waiting outside. "Ready to go Mr Potter?"
I nodded my head and the hallway zoomed by again.
"By the way," he said. "I had no idea you were the James Potter, wow. Your son. You just watched. Wow."
And that seemed to be all he was able to say.
I nodded my head and thanked him before walking out the door again. I passed through the other doors to the outside world and apparated back to the library.
I managed to find my way back to Lily and I wrote in detail everything I had found out. Especially that last bit. It confused me the most of all.
Lily and I sat in the library for several more hours, both trying to decipher everything in our head.
It was clear to me now, from his appearance to his state after committing Lily and my murders that Voldemort definitely had a high number of Horcruxes. How many I couldn't be sure thought. I looked at my notes and thought back to the part I had read that said "Once you split it more than once the chances of accidental splitting are more and more likely. You must take extreme caution when making your Horcruxes, make sure that no other living being is around when you do so. If they are the piece of your soul will cling to an alive being before an inanimate object. If this happens this creates a live Horcrux." I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that Voldemort had pushed his soul too far. And that when he tried to kill Harry, it was just too much, and instead he split his soul yet again and then he left and the piece of soul was left behind. I cringed when I thought back to being in the room. All signs were pointing to it, but I didn't want to admit my son was a Horcrux.
"James!" Lily exclaimed practically jumping from her seat.
I pushed all the Horcrux thoughts out of my mind and sat up in my seat. "What?"
"The Chamber of Secrets. The legend is that when the four founders made the school, Slytherin wanted it to be only purebloods. But the other three said no and he got really angry and left the school. But before he left he built the Chamber and locked inside a horrible monster. Only his heir can unlock and open the monster, and it will kill every muggle-born in the school creating a generation of only pureblood wizards."
"But this is just a legend right?" I asked nervously.
"Well I thought it was too," she stared before pulling out different sheets and books. "But there were rumors a while ago about the Chamber before the Dark Times started. About fifty years ago, and someone died."
I felt my eyes bug out of my head.
"So you think it exists?"
Lily frowned, "I think it may. But only time will tell."
I stuck my head in my hands. This was horrible news.
"It's okay hun." she said grabbing my hand. "What were you so into researching today?"
I saw right through her calm exterior and knew I couldn't worry her any more.
"Oh not much. Just the founding of Quidditch." I said with a boyish smile.
Lily looked at me and gave me the I-don't-believe-you look, but she didn't press for details. She probably didn't want any more bad news either.
I smiled and grabbed her hand, "Let's go home."
She nodded and we apparated home.
I opened the portal when we got home as Lily made tea. It seemed that the kids figured out about the Chamber of Secrets today too. They were planning on making Polyjuice Potion to do some investigating.
Lily sat down and sighed, "They're in for more trouble aren't they."
I nodded my head. "Yes I believe they are."