Title: Gamble

Characters: Lily Potter, Molly Weasley and Fred Weasley. No pairing.

Summary: Lily Potter takes a gamble, to remain forever twenty-one.

Notes: Just a little look on the Battle of Hogwarts from Lily's point of view, focussing on the relationships between Molly and Harry, and Molly and Fred. A bit disjointed. A happy, fluffy ending. Enjoy!

Lily Potter looked down on the scene, the judge proving the Muggle mother guilty of neglect. She left her child in his time of need, left him to fight for himself. The woman was locked away, and Lily watched the key be thrown aside. How was she so different?

She had watched, silent, safe, as her son grew up. He was seventeen now, the age she was when she started dating the broken man (boy, really) that was standing beside her. Harry was out fighting for his life.

Even half way through a war, Lily and James's lives could never compare to their son's. The only difference was that he survived through it. Harry Potter: the Boy Who Lived.

Molly Weasley had cared for him, made right the wrongs done to him by Lily's sister. She had patched up every scratch and scrape on his heart with jumpers and birthday cakes and love.

Lily Potter watched with bright, green eyes and her white dress and porcelain skin as another woman, with an apron and kind brown eyes and laughter lines, loved her son.

She had a debt to pay to Molly Weasley.

Molly wore her red hair up in a messy bun, whereas Lily's was loose and carefree around her shoulders. Mrs Weasley kissed her husband sweetly when he got home from work and hit him with a spatula, and Mrs Potter played teenager and snogged her husband under willow trees when both just wanted to grow up.

Molly Prewett was growing with love and care, and Lily Evans was forever twenty-one.

Lily cried when the Battle of Hogwarts started, not just for Harry, her son, but for Molly, who had everything to lose.

She watched as Fred, darling Fred who passed on the Marauder's Map to Harry, to whom it belonged, who made everyone laugh, who had so much life, who had a family, a future, a mother... died.

She saw him stumble out from the ground, seeming to crawl out. He looked to be about the same age as Lily, with red hair and flushed cheeks and flawless skin that glowed with the light of heaven. She wondered if Molly ever called him an angel. She doubted it, and found it ironic.

Lily wondered what Fred saw. A woman (a girl, really, because what kind of age is twenty-one?) with Weasley red hair and Avada Kedavra eyes and Harry's Potter smile.

So she took a gamble, to remain forever twenty-one.

She opened her arms, and, even though Fred had never known Lily, even though she was his age and yet his little brother's best friend's mother, even though they were both strangers in their own right, he ran into them like a mother comforting her child.

"I thought I'd meet Uncle Fabian and Uncle Gideon," Fred whispered, and though his hair was red and his eyes were brown, Lily reckoned that it was her time to do her part.

"Couldn't let them have all the fun, now, could I?" She smoothed his hair, and Lily Potter's debt was paid.