For when I see asphodel again
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. I got in to the language of flowers again… Read, review, and enjoy!
Something just didn't sit right. Not on that night. And the thing was, James had known it. He'd known it…but it wasn't as though saying anything about it would've made a difference.
As it stood, he and Lily were living fine with Harry. And Harry… James looked up from his folded hands and watched his one-year-old son play on the carpet with some toys. The father leaned forward on the couch and tousled his messy hair, messy hair that matched James'. Well, at least if the night felt off, nothing seemed to bother Harry. Which was all the better, in James' opinion. If Harry was happy and not crying, then anything was good.
Lily entered the living room from the kitchen and saw James staring. "James? Something wrong?" She glanced at Harry, thinking it had to do with him.
James sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. "Oh, no, nothing… I think my mind's playing tricks on me."
"Why? You didn't seem tired this morning," she answered. She began picking up Harry's toys, which had come to litter the living room floor, and Harry grabbed at them in frustration.
"I dunno… Maybe it's getting late."
Lily snickered softly. "That, coming from a Marauder? What would the boys say?"
James grinned. "Peter would say nothing, Sirius would chide you for calling them 'boys,' and Remus would agree, volunteer to watch Harry, and usher us to go to sleep."
Lily laughed. "You forgot the part where Remus bullies Sirius into babysitting with him."
The wizard stood up from the couch and stretched, the grin on his face wider. "Lils, what bullying? All Moony has to do is look at ol' Padfoot, and the bloody moron is putty in his hands."
"I always did wonder about those two…"
"Well, I always wondered about us," James said. He took a toy out of his wife's hand and wrapped his arms around her, leaning down to peck her lips.
"I know you did," Lily breathed against his chin. "I mean, the whole bloody school did." She chuckled and removed his glasses. "But why don't we save the romancing for after I put Harry to bed?"
"Oh, just leave the little guy amidst his toys—look, he's already tuckered himself out." And the doting parents did look; Harry had curled up while they were chatting, and he was fast asleep.
Lily frowned, unsure. "Oh… I hate having to wake him when he looks like that."
James' pulse quickened. "Then leave him like that. In fact, why don't we all just camp down here tonight? It's November first tomorrow, and basically the first real day of winter…"
She didn't listen to the whine in his voice. "Hush up, James. You'll have a whole life ahead of you to convince me of silly ideas." She collected Harry in her arms, and he tossed and turned until he opened his bleary green eyes and emitted a low cry from the back of his throat. "Oh, no, Harry… Shh…"
He watched the two of them disappear upstairs. A sense of dread made him itchy and antsy, so James decided to concentrate his fidgeting and he finished cleaning up after his son. He'd just put the last toy in the toy bin when he snapped his head up.
Was there someone at the door?
James bit his bottom lip. He didn't like this—not with his off feeling about tonight. No, he didn't like this at all.
James grabbed his wand off the couch as he heard Lily coming downstairs. "James, is someone here?"
"I'm not sure. I'm going to check—"
Just like that, the door blew open, and James had one second to lift his wand halfway up before he met the green light.
It was so simple, so instantaneous. One second, James had seen Lily's beautiful face. The next, James saw the spell coming at him. And even though he hadn't seen the face, he knew it had been him.
And if it had been him, Lily would be joining James. And soon.
James opened his eyes, expecting to see nothing but blackness. Instead, he realized he was in a field of flowers. Other people were there, but they were faint and far off. He knelt down, numb, and touched the flowers. Godric, what were these called again?
He should be seeing Lily soon.
James frowned, knowing that he couldn't do anything. What had happened? Where was Lily? Was Harry safe? He plucked one of the flowers and thought about Potions and Herbology. It wasn't as though he had anything better to do. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly, trying not to cry.
He'd be seeing Lily soon.
They had known Voldemort was after Harry; they had thought their magic would keep them safe…they'd been wrong. James opened his eyes, and he felt all of his fury and he directed it at the bloody flower. What was it?
Lily ought to turn up any minute now.
The flower wasn't a lily, nor was it any other white flower—the names of which James had never bothered to learn, because lilies had been the only flower ever to mean anything to him. So he thought and thought and thought—it helped him not to burst with anger. Why couldn't he have had the chance at least to fight, to try and save his family?
Lily would join him soon.
James thought about the last moments he'd just had with his son and wife. Harry had looked so happy. Lily had looked so gorgeous and content. And James? He must've looked like a mess, feeling that the night was off. And it sure had been.
Lily should arrive in just a bit.
The more James thought about Lily, his Lily, the more frustrated he got with the accursed flower field. One flower, as far as the eye could see—with a dark stem as green as Lily's eyes and a blossom as pale and clear as Lily's white skin. And then it hit him.
Lily would be there soon.
It was the flower that gave joy to the souls of the dead.
Lily was coming.
It was a flower in the—of all things—Lily family, and it was a flower one saw in the afterlife.
Oh, here she was.
And when Lily appeared amongst the asphodel, James knelt to her and kissed her, the tears not coming as his heart jumped for joy and sank in sadness. Because if Lily was here, would he be seeing Harry so soon, as well? That would never sit right with him, not until he could see Harry alive and well.
But he could manage, with Lily by his side.
Well! I thought this would be shorter…but I ran with it. :] Sooo sad, but I had this idea and… Xo And asphodel, in myths, is the field flower that souls of the dead do indeed see in the afterlife. Just all the Lily comparisons with asphodel—I found it chilling. Even more chilling? An asphodel means, in the language of flowers, "I expect letters numerous & heartfelt." But while James & Lils couldn't do that…they did have each other. :')
For another flower-related JamesLily fic by me, check out "Why so serious?" thanks.
Thanks for reading, and please review!