Disclaimer: I own nothing! All J.K. Rowling!
When the train pulled into the platform at King's Cross Station Lily ran to find Patrick and her trunk. She didn't mean to talk to James for so long. It made her feel better to know she wasn't the only one who expected things to be different.
Lily was surprised that her Mum and Dad were both waiting for them. Ginny hugged Lily as soon as she got close. James was still talking to a few of his friends. He would be graduating from Hogwarts as soon as he got his NEWTS marks. Harry took Lily home by side-apparation while James and Ginny apparated separately.
Harry knew this next few weeks were going to be hard on them. The trial for Goyle was coming up. It had originally been pushed back so the ministry could change the sentencing based on Albus's condition. It was hard to find evidence that Albus's death was because of the poison Goyle had given him. Many healers believed that this would have happened either way.
James was unpacking his Hogwarts trunk when he heard his mother screaming downstairs. He bolted down the stairs as fast as possible and cautiously entered the kitchen. His father looked angry beyond belief. His mother on the other hand seemed to be silently fuming.
"Sweetheart, I'm sure it's just a mix up. They'll find him eventually." Harry comforted.
Ginny shook her head. This was just unbelievable. "What's wrong?" James wondered. Lily was standing beside him.
Ginny stormed out of the kitchen apparently upset. "The ministry lost your brother." She muttered before slamming the door.
Harry felt like hexing something. How does a body just go missing? It isn't like Albus could have just walked away. "What do you mean lost?" Lily questioned.
"Apparently there was a disturbance in the shift change at St. Mungo's. Al's body was accounted before the shift ended, then it disappeared after the change." Harry explained.
James and Lily exchanged confused glances. Albus had been buried in the Godric's Hollow Cemetery after the funeral. Why would the ministry have his body at St. Mungo's? "Wait I thought Al was buried?" James was so confused.
"Your mother and I didn't want to upset you. They exhumed Albus a few weeks ago. Goyle's defense is bringing in to question whether Albus's death was because of the poison alone or just a result of the cruciatus curse." Harry and Ginny had both decided it was best to leave James and Lily out of the trial. Now it was impossible.
James felt like punching something. He couldn't believe that git was going to such lengths to save his skin. Merlin only knows what sort of tests they were performing on Albus. Can't they just leave him alone?
Lily wanted to vomit. The idea of them digging Albus up was enough to make her scream. No wonder their mum had been so upset. Not only had they defiled Albus's grave they had lost him.
The following days skated by on thin ice. It seemed like everyone was grumpy about something. Lily was angry at her mother for denying her boyfriend a visit. James was nervous about his NEWTS marks. Harry was working day and night to find Albus's body. Ginny had buried herself in house chores since Rita Skeeter's latest fiasco. That dumb beetle actually had readers of the prophet believing that death eaters had turned Albus Inferi.
Harry could not believe clueless the ministry could be. He felt like throwing something. Without a body how could the ministry prove anything? "Dad?" Lily asked interrupting Harry's thoughts.
"I'm sorry I snapped at you earlier. I was just angry at the ministry." Harry apologized.
"No. I shouldn't have asked something so big after what's happened. Do you think they'll find him before the trial?" Lily wondered.
Harry shook his head. "They are fairly certain that it was the poison that is responsible. Right now Albus has become their last priority."
Lily's stomach did a summersault. "But after the trial, they'll start the search again?"
He shrugged, "I want to think so. However, there are more pressing matters now. Like putting Goyle in Azkaban."
"Will they order him to be kissed?" Lily inquired.
Harry thought carefully before he spoke. A part of him really wanted Goyle to suffer that fate. "We should know by mid-week." He stood up to kiss her forehead.
"Being here is hard without him." Lily admitted.
Harry nodded, "I know. I still find myself accidently talking to him. It's like he's gone away to school."
Lily wiped her tears away with her sleeve. "Al would want us to talk about him."
It had been almost a year since the day Albus had passed away. Geoffrey Goyle was sentence to life in Azkaban prison. The family was thankful that the ministry recovered Albus's body after the trial. It felt as if Albus was finally safe.
"I can't believe it's been a year." James commented looking at the gravestone.
"A very hard year. I thought your Mum was going to hex someone when we announced the engagement." Georgia laughed.
James agreed, "Yeah, you could have chose better timing to drop that bombshell."
"Well at least we don't have to sneak around anymore, and you still got your dream job. Al would have wanted that." Georgia said.
Over the course of the year James could feel himself drifting. He felt disconnected from life. It was almost like a piece of him had been ripped away. That's when James discovered why Lily felt so connected to Patrick Avery. He reminded her of Al in some way. It had taken the Potter's months to finally breath freely. James and Teddy were happily working under Harry in the Auror Department. Kreacher was still inhabiting Albus's old room. Scorpius and Rose were still dating, despite Ron's anger. Georgia and James started being more civil after the trial was finished. It was only then that James realized they're connection. Talking with Georgia was like breathing, because she was in the same pain as he was. Georgia knew Albus better than anyone, but in a different way than James.
"Don't you think Al would be a little angry at us?" James pondered.
Georgia sighed, "You know, I really don't think he would. I think that as long as we're happy he would be too."
James nodded before kissing her. A year ago the idea of him being with a Slytherin, much less Goyle would have made him sick. It was only now that he realized what his brother had made possible.
A/N: So sorry for the long update period! I am thinking of expanding on this last year. Let me know what you think!