#12 Grimald place was noisy. Laughter, along with the shrieks of Mrs. Black and Mrs. Weasley could be heard all day long. Fred and George were out doing their pranks and even Hermione, who usually disapproved, had joined in. Mrs. Weasley had cooked everyone's favorite dishes and all the fear and worry of Voldemort had been forgotten. Mr. Weasley had come back from St. Mungo's a few days ago fully recovered and the gloomy house, for the first time, was looking cheerful.
Currently Harry, Hermione, and the four youngest Weasley children and were lazily talking in the sitting room.
"Why did Dumbledore tell us to stay here again?" Ron asked yawning and sprawled out on the couch.
Everyone was full and the atmosphere was a pleasant one. They were waiting for Dumbledore to return from Hogwarts. There had been a message, delivered by Fawks which had resulting in a few broken objects because Mrs. Weaslely and Hermione had both dropped what they were holding due to the sudden flames that had erupted in the kitchen, telling them he had important news to tell them.
"He didn't, just that he had something to share with us. But maybe he found out more information on you-know-who." Ginny said who was swapping chocolate frog cards with the twins. "No, I don't want this, whoever this is. I already have four of him at home." she added to Fred who had passed her a card.
"But they just had a meeting." Harry said lazily flipping through a magazine that had been left behind.
"I know! All the lemon drop factories in the world have shut down." Ron said dramatically. Hermione and Ginny laughed.
A few minutes later Mrs. Black's shrieks went off and they heard people entering the kitchen. Grumbling slightly at the prospect of having to move, they got up and went down. Apparently it wasn't the Headmaster but Professors McGonagall and Snape who had entered.
"Do you know when Albus will return?" Molly was asking as they shuffled in.
"No, he just told us to meet him here." McGonagall said sitting down. Snape just leaned against the wall in the shadows away from everyone. He was in his usual black teaching robes and looking as imposing as ever. Sirius and Remus were still in the seats they had sat when they had eaten dinner earlier but the number of empty fire-whiskey bottles in front of them had increased. Arthur was sitting near the head of the table drinking the tea that Molly had served.
"Does anyone else want some tea?" Molly called.
Once everyone was settled the soft murmur of conversation grew. But before long Mrs. Blacks screams could be heard once again and everyone looked up expectantly. The kitchen door opened and Dumbledore walked in, in all his violet robe glory. Unlike Professor Snape who never changed his attire whatever the occasion, Dumbledore looked exceptionally festive with gold and silver stars twinkling on this violet robes . There was a person behind him. He or she, probably a she due to her height, was wearing long moss green robes and her hood hid her face.
"Who's that?" Sirius asked rather harshly eyeing the newcomer with suspicion in his brown eyes.
"Yes, I'll get to that in a minute." Dumbledore smiled, gesturing to the woman to come closer to the table. She walked over hesitantly, never raising her head or saying a word but her breathing became heavier and she trembled visibly. Mrs. Weasley, sensing her distraught said in her concerned mother voice, "Albus, the poor girl's shaking. Have her get comfortable first."
Albus Dumbledore chuckled. "I think we need to get to the urgent matter before hand, Molly. But afterwards I have no objections to have her settle down." He cleared his throat. "Well, I called you tonight to introduce this lovely young lady to you. It will come as a shock to all of you but think showing you will be quicker and easier than explaining. So if you will." He said turning to her.
With pale shaking hands she slowly lowered her hood. Long reddish brown hair fell out of it. Her lips were quivering and her eyes still cast downward as if afraid to see what was before her. Everyone gasped. Someone managed to choke out 'Lily'.
Everyone was speechless as they stared at the woman whom they thought was dead for 14 years. Harry was the first to regain his voice. "Mum?" he said faintly.
Lily's green eyes snapped onto him. Her face lit up and she looked relieved as she ran to her son and hugged him as though her life depended on it.
"Oh Harry, sweetheart." her eyes filled with tears. "You're safe. Oh thank God." Harry also hugged his mother tightly. The scene was surreal and was almost veiled with a soft glow as if some magical power were flowing around them.
"Albus, how?" Lupin asked stunned. His eyes were still on the embracing pair. Lily hand was circling Harry's back reassuringly.
"I'm afraid I do not know." Dumbledore answered somewhat gravely. "Lily wished to tell everyone at once."
Everyone was watching the mother and son. Some of them even had tears in their eyes. After a moment Lily looked up and smiled, "Molly, Arthur" she said in a quiet voice. They stood up to hug her and rest of the order followed. Harry was being squashed between people because he did not let go of his mother.
"Professor, can't breathe." Lily choked out when Professor McGonagall had hugged her. Minerva let go and smiled tearfully. "I can't believe it." Her former head of house whispered stroking her hair.
Lily nodded smiling, with her hand still on Harry's shoulder, as the children were introduced by Mrs. Weasley. "I'm not sure if you remember them but this is Fred and George." Lily laughed, "Of course I remember your children Molly. They're a lot older than when I last saw them but let me see, you must be Ron and Ginny. And what's your name?" she added gently to Hermione.
"Um, Hermione Granger." she said in quiet voice that was laced with awe and nervousness. It was quite understandable, she was speaking to the woman who was the Harry Potter's mother. The one who had valiantly thrown her own life away to save her son's.
"Well, it's very nice to meet all of you." Lily said kindly. She almost said something but was interrupted by Sirius's loud voice. He was looking around him and saying, "Where's James?" Remus was also looking around the room.
Dumbledore said softly, "I'm afraid James is not with us."
"What?" Sirius said a little angrily "But Lily's here! Lily! Damn it, how did you get back?"
But Lily was completely oblivious to his shouts and after the many hugs she was looking around the room. Her expression was almost unreadable. It wavered between worry, anticipation, and longing. "Where's…" she started to say but her eyes fell on the spot where Severus Snape stood, almost hidden by the darkness.
"Severus" she breathed. Snape came slowly out of the shadows. They stood still looking at each other. Snape's face was motionless but his black eyes were filled with one thousand emotions. No one spoke. Everyone was looking from one to the other, almost as if they were worried that they would start hexing each other. The atmosphere of a happy yet shocking surprise had changed. Everything else around them seemed to stop moving as the seconds trickled on. If someone had dropped a needle, the sound would be clearly heard as if through a microphone. Almost in slow motion Lily detached herself from Harry never taking her eyes off the tall Slytherin man. But the next second she ran to him and jumped into his arms. She buried her face in his robes and everyone could hear her crying. His arms slowly made its way around Lily's slighter frame but more surprisingly Snape's eyes were also moist with tears.
"Lily, I missed you." He said quietly and wrapped his arms around Lily tightly. Lily started crying harder. To say that everyone was shocked was an understatement. Harry's mouth was hanging open and Minerva looked surprised as well was slightly angry. Suddenly someone shouted, "Take your hands off her Snivillus!" It was Sirius.
Snape ignored him. Putting his hand under her chin he lifted her gaze to his and whispered "It worked?" Lily nodded and reached up to kiss him. Everyone gasped. Sirius angrily pulled out his wand and shot a spell at Snape who nearly toppled over by the force of it.
"Keep your slimy hands off her Snape" Sirius sneered.
Lily spun around to face him, anger in her eyes.
"You never grow-up do you?" she spat at him.
"What'd I do?" He said but before neither of them could say a word Dumbledore cut in "Lily, we, including myself, would like an explanation."
Lily glanced at Snape and then at Harry and then at the rest of the table before replying "Yes, headmaster." She took Snape's hand as though for support and opened her mouth but again Sirius cut in, "What's with you and Snivillus?"
Lily glared at him and said coldly, "My return has everything to do with Severus."
Lily turned her green eyes from Sirius to the rest of the order. She came closer to the table, still never letting go of Severus's hand.
"How I came back is a little complicated but I guess it all started with the prophecy." She began.
"Yeah, but what does it have to do with Snivily?" Sirius seemed to be hiding his sadness and disappointment of James not coming back by being angry.
Lily's eyes flashed with anger again, but it was Dumbledore that said "Sirius, if you continue to act childishly I am going to have to ask you to leave." Sirius grunted looking annoyed.
"As I was saying, it's complicated." Lily said then turning to Harry her eyes softened. "I know you're confused and maybe even angry. I'll explain best I can." then whispered to the man beside her "Is that all right?"
He looked at her for a moment before nodding slowly and saying "I haven't told him anything yet."
She smiled softly "I'm sure you thought it was for the best." and facing everybody she started, "Severus and I first met when we were 7 years old, at a park near our house."
Harry who had been looking at his mother in shock found his voice, "What?"
"Please Harry, let me explain." She said and looking at Dumbledore she addressed him "Headmaster, I think you were right to bring the pensive. It would be much easier and a lot more convincing. May I use it?"
Dumbledore chuckled and enlarged the object he had taken out from his robes. He gave it to Lily, who took out her memories and placed them in the basin. "Severus, help me?" she asked.
"Are you sure about this Lily? You do understand the risks?" Severus asked in a low voice.
Lily nodded. "I think we should tell them everything. The headmaster told me the Dark Lord is back. I don't want things to end up like the last time."
"Alright" Severus replied and for the first time he gave a small smile. Lily's face relaxed slightly and she smiled back. "He's old enough to understand."
Severus nodded and started adding his memories. They added memory after memory prodding the surface of the basin with their wands and after a while they both stepped back. Everyone was eagerly looking into the contents but once in a while they stole a glance at Severus and Lily.
Lily walked around to where Harry was sitting and kneeled in front of him. She smiled and said, "Look how much you've grown, Harry." She was slightly tearful again. Gripping both his hands in hers she said "This is our story before and through the war. There are many things that will shock you, I'm sure. We'll both answer any questions that you may have later." She paused then said, "Since the memories are mostly about the three of us, would you like to view them before we show the others?"
Harry shook his head slowly and said, "I don't mind the rest of them going in with me."
Lily nodded then said pointing at the pensive "Alright then sweetie, go ahead."
Harry went first into the pensive, the rest of the order followed.