A/N: So...this story was finished. I know. I marked it as complete, I told you there was no more.

But then a certain reviewer gave me an idea for an epilogue. And though it's taken me a while to get around to doing it, here it is.

So all credit for the idea should go to Ansy Pansy aka Panz. I just wrote it out.

Hope you enjoy. (I did. I miss this story.)

(J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L)

31st December 1978, 11:30pm

Soft falling snow settled on the invisibility cloak that enclosed their bodies, and it covered the tracks they were leaving across the lawn, erasing all sign that anybody was there. She supposed it was a good thing that the snowfall was heavy enough that no-one would notice the way some flakes seemed to stop and melt in mid-air, when they were in fact, landing on them.

James' cloak had protected them against many things during their time at Hogwarts – nosy friends, ex-friends with grudges, teachers on rounds – but she'd never dreamed back at the start of summer when they'd boarded the train home for the last time that she'd be back under it so soon. Or in such familiar circumstances.

'This is the dumbest idea that you've had for a while.' Even though they were the only people in sight – who else would be sneaking around the grounds of a boarding school in a snowstorm on New Year's Eve? - she felt the need to whisper. Perhaps it was the familiarity of being under the cloak, or maybe the strange reverence snow always seemed to inspire in people.

'This is a fantastic idea.' James answered confidently, not bothering to keep his voice down. But then, he'd always been bolder, able to get away with far too much out of sheer nerve. 'One of my better ones, in fact.'

'It's New Year's Eve, and we just left Fabian and Gideon's party early to apparate to Hogsmeade, sneak to the Shrieking Shack, crawl through that bloody tunnel and then do some more sneaking on Hogwarts' grounds.' Lily grumbled. 'Merlin only knows what sort of defences Hogwarts has got against uninvited intruders. We're probably going to die.'

'I'm forced to point out that you agreed to this.'

'I'd had four glasses of wine.' Lily protested. 'You know what I'm like when they give me wine. I get all…compliant.'

'That is why they give it to you sweetheart.' James answered almost absently. 'I'm pretty sure it amuses Sirius to hear you get all sweet and agreeable.'

Lily socked him in the ribs. 'I'm always sweet and agreeable.'

'Of course you are darling.' Never let it be said that James didn't have an instinct for self-preservation. 'Anyway, I wouldn't worry. There isn't a doubt in my mind that we wouldn't have been able to get into the grounds if Dumbledore wasn't happy for us to be here.'

'Really?' She knew she sounded dubious, but batty as he could be, she couldn't imagine that he'd approve of former students sneaking back into the grounds. Then again, this was James, and no-one had a healthier appreciation for James' ability at sneaking around than the headmaster, and very few people had greater understanding of exactly how far the old wizard's patience could be pushed.

'Really.' James assured, just as they reached the main entrance.

'Er, shouldn't we go for a less well-frequented entrance?' Lily asked, but James simply shook his head.

'Boldness is our friend here. Most of the time, people see what they expect to see. They don't think anyone will be here, so they won't notice us.'

'If you don't think Filch is paranoid enough to be patrolling around the school looking for troublemakers even on New Year's Eve…'

Lily's voice trailed off warningly, but James' response was a confident, 'Bugger Filch' as he led her inside.

They were halfway to the kitchens when soft footsteps sounded in the corridor, and James span Lily into the wall and flattened himself against her, making them as small as possible.

Dumbledore strolled down the hallway at his usual unhurried pace, and as he drew level with them he smiled and spoke quietly.

'A Happy New Year to you both.'

James snorted - and didn't quite manage to muffle it, not that it mattered now - and Lily's mouth had dropped open, although whether she was baffled by Dumbledore's ability to sense them somehow or by his lack of concern about their sneaking into the castle she wasn't sure.

James tugged her in the direction of the kitchen door, and they walked there silently, the cloak still pulled over their heads for some reason.

They'd barely managed to get through the portrait when a clock began to chime the hour from somewhere above them, and James grinned and pushed Lily gently up against the wall, one hand lifting to play with her hair.

'I'm not sure this was entirely necessary.' Lily couldn't hold back the smile though, at the sight of her husband in the first room she'd ever kissed him in, on the anniversary of that same kiss.

James' lips met hers gently, just at the final chime echoed through the school. 'Yes, it was. I've never kissed Mrs Potter in this room before.'

(J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L)

31st December 1979, 11:40pm

'You know, at some point you're going to get bored with this idea, and I'm going to get to enjoy an entire New Year's party.' Lily's head span as her husband tugged her gently through the small crowd of their friends, who these days seemed to almost exclusively be members of the Order of the Phoenix.

'You can't enjoy this one, you aren't drinking.' Her husband didn't even turn back to look at her, just continued to navigate his way out of the room, pulling Lily along in his wake. She caught sight of Sirius out of the corner of her eye, and he smirked and raised his – perpetually full – glass in salute as she disappeared out of the door.

If there was one area of Hogwarts Lily was not acquainted with, it was the teacher's quarters; not one single thing about it looked familiar. Of course they hadn't even walked through it to get to Dumbledore's little shindig, they'd simply flooed in directly, and she couldn't think of a single instance that would have required her presence there as a Hogwarts pupil.

James, on the other hand, led her unerringly along hallways, down stairs and around corners, until she felt obliged to query his apparent knowledge.

'How, precisely, do you know your way around the teacher's living quarters, Potter?'

'Well, Potter,' James threw her a smirk over his shoulder, 'I'm sure you recall a little project called the Marauders Map? You didn't think we did it in half measures did you?'

Lily groaned. 'You snuck around the teacher's quarters so that you could make your bloody map? Do you know what they would have done if you'd got caught?'

'Same thing that would have happened if we'd been caught doing half the stuff we got up to at school. Detentions, suspensions, expulsions.' James waved his free hand vaguely, his pace never slowing. 'Lily my darling, if we'd stopped to worry about that sort of thing, we'd never have achieved anything.'

'You know, if you had applied the entirety of your considerable brain power to actual studying, you would probably have been one of the highest graded students to ever pass through this school. As if your marks weren't good enough anyway. Smartarse.'

James pulled a face. 'And that would have been boring and mundane. We wanted to do things a little differently.' He stopped them both, and Lily suddenly realised that they'd arrived at the portrait that closed the entrance to the kitchens. 'And don't you agree that you like that about me, huh Mrs Potter? My…inimitability?'

Lily smiled at him, one hand lifting up to smooth over his collar. 'You're an arse.'

'I'm your arse.'

'That too.'

'If it makes you feel any better, I didn't actually do any of the sneaking around in the teacher's quarters. Pete did it.'

'Oh, fantastic.'

James stretched out a hand, and as she'd seen him do so many times before, tickled the pear. The door swung open, and he gestured her through ahead of him.

'Every New Year's Eve we come down here, and every time something's different than last year, have you noticed that?'

Lily lifted one eyebrow. 'Is this a variation on the "a lot can change in a year" theme James?'

'Yes, that is in fact exactly what I was trying to say.' He frowned. 'I don't know why I phrased it so badly.'

'Deep in thought, perhaps?'

He laughed. 'Yeah, a little. But think about it, first time we come down here for New Year, we're barely friends. Next year we're dating. Year after, married. This year…there's three of us.'

His hand settled on her still completely flat belly, and she smiled up at him. The now-familiar bell chimed from high above them, and he leaned down to kiss her gently.

'Happy New Year to you.' Then he bent over to plant a kiss firmly on her stomach. 'And to you, young lady.'

'It's a boy.' Lily said softly.

'Says you.'

(J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L)

31st December 1980, 11:50pm

Lily watched her husband affectionately, admiring the way their son's hair matched his so perfectly as James crouched down with him secured tightly in his arms. Harry's little hands were reaching for the tapestry hanging on the wall, but James was expertly manoeuvring him clear of it, even as he talked about the scene stitched on it.

'See this witch here? That's Cassandra Vablatsky. She's a seer. You're not going to be one of those, because they're silly, and almost always wrong. And that's because divination is silly, you understand Harry? Prophecies and things like that are nonsense. And we're going to make sure that when you grow up, no-one's going to interfere in your life because of some silly prophecy. Not ever again.'

Her smile faltered a little, but picked up again almost immediately. Sometimes it was easy to forget that they spent most of their time shut up in their little house because they had to; Harry kept them so busy that they could almost ignore the war that raged on, the casualty lists on the wireless, the unnatural storms that raged through the night.

But sometimes they remembered that they were effectively prisoners of the conflict. That they didn't step outside of their front door because there wasn't a death eater in the country that wouldn't kill for the opportunity to get their hands on their son. Their Harry.

Tonight was a rare escape. The chance to floo directly - securely - to Hogwarts from their home, to spend a few hours with friends. Though Lily had a sneaking suspicion that Dumbledore knew all about their tradition and had found a way to enable it. He knew better than anyone that sometimes people's spirits needed a boost.

'James?' He looked up at her, and she smiled gently. 'Two minutes.'

'Right.' He straightened back up and looked back at his son, barely five months old and the light of his life. 'Sorry son. We'll look more later. I need to kiss your mother now. This is a tradition, and traditions are important.'

They walked the last few yards down the corridor and entered the kitchen. Once again they barely got through the door before the clock chimed the New Year, and James turned his head to kiss his wife, their son pressed between them, safe.

'I love you. And Harry.' He murmured the words in her ear, and though they were familiar, they never stopped being thrilling.

'I love you too. We're going to be okay aren't we?' 'Of course we are sweetheart.'

(J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L)

31st December 1981, 11.59pm

The house elves had long gone, and only one person was left in the kitchen at Hogwarts. The fires were out, and only the faintest flickering light emitted from the few candles left burning on the tables.

From somewhere in the upper reaches of the school a clock began to chime the hour, and the lone figure counted each mournful toll.













And a new year began. 1982. And for many, this New Year was the dawn of a brave new world, a symbolic fresh start, the beginning of the rebuilding.

But for the first time in five years, there was no kiss in the Hogwarts kitchen to ring in the New Year.

And the thought had tears falling from bright blue eyes, as Albus Dumbledore mourned James and Lily Potter. As he remembered messy hair and green eyes and matching grins.

As he watched the candle in front of him burn down to a stub, and pondered the thought that some lights simply burned too bright for this mundane world to keep them alight.

(J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L) (J&L)