Chapter 18 : If Magic Could Change The World
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If Magic Could Change The World
Lily somehow managed to get down to the kitchen, hearing Petunia and Vernon watching T.V. in the living room. Inside, James (shirt still unbuttoned) was trying to find something to eat. Lily rolled her eyes and made two bowls of Captain Crunch, which was something he understood the making and eating of. The two of them sat in silence for a while, before she glared at him out of the corner of her eye.
“Hm?” he asked, chewing.
“You’re an asshole.”
“So’re you, Lils,” James nodded.
Lily raised an eyebrow. “And a dickhead.”
“J-A-M-E-S,” she smiled widely.
He raised an eyebrow, taking another bite of cereal. “Pimple face.”
“Is that the best you can do when I haven’t even got any?” she asked. James shrugged. “Wow, you’re a doofus.”
James shrugged. “I try.”
Lily shook her head, taking another bite of Captain Crunch. All was quiet in the kitchen, before she added, “Horrible snogger.”
“That was below the belt!” James said. “And false.”
She raised her eyebrow. “Below the belt? I don’t kiss people’s non existent extremities.”
James just shook his head, snickering and eating more cereal. “If only you knew.”
Lily shook her head. “I don’t want to know false knowledge.”
“Hah. You were all over me, Lils, I know you felt that. And I know you did it on purpose,” James said.
She smiled innocently, sipping her milk. “Felt what?”
James smiled equally as innocently, leaning closer and whispering in her ear, “Little Potter, of course.”
Lily let out a sound of utter disgust, jumping up and walking away from him. Shaking her head and coughing, she glared and dumped out the rest of her milk. James smiled, and shrugged.
“What? Can’t take the fact that you turned me on and I’m not afraid to admit it?”
She coughed, again, shaking her head. “James, you are utterly repulsive. A bleeding sack of horse manure.”
“Well then it’s sad to know that the famous Lily Evans, who defies all attempts by almost all boys, is turned on by a bleeding sack of horse shit,” James smiled. “Don’t deny it. You wanted me. I know it. You know it. Admit it.”
James smiled at her, not an arrogant smile, but an honest one. She just glared at him, at a loss for what to say. She took a deep breath and summoned his bowl over, emptying it out noisily and ignoring he wasn’t finished.
“What?” she growled.
“Admit it, Lils.”
She slammed the ceramic bowl on the counter, turning to glare at him. “What? What do you want from me, James? An admission in writing? Yes, I will stand here and admit that you... you....”
“Turned you on,” James supplied helpfully.
“That one. And that I kissed you of my own will and design, and furthermore, that I do not regret an instant of any of it. Okay?! Are you bleeding happy, now?!”
James shrugged. “Not really.”
“Not... Not really....” she repeated faintly. She glared at him, then shook her head. “And you wonder why I hate you.” She turned and started walking out, to go up to her room where she could feel used alone.
“Hey!” James jumped up, catching her. “Where’re you going?”
Lily shook him off violently. “To a Potter and Little Potter free area!”
“But- I didn’t mean to make you mad!” James said, grabbing her back.
She glared daggers at him. Seriously, if glares could kill, he’d be a million dust particles floating in the atmosphere. James almost winced, but stood his ground and held her wrist firmly.
“Let go!” she said.
“No,” James shook his head.
“Let me go, you evil cupcake!”
They both stared at each other in complete silence for a moment, blinking and going over those words, before simultaneously bursting in laughter. The two of them sank down and sat on the floor, laughing and shaking their heads.
“Ev-vil cupcake?!” gasped James. “What the hell?”
“I don’t know!” laughed Lily. “It just popped out!”
“Haa, Lily Popped The Insult to me!” James laughed, wiping his eyes.
Lily laughed harder at that, falling over so that she was shaking on his shoulder. The two of them carried on laughing, until the door burst open and Petunia stood there, glowering down.
“What the hell are you freaks laughing at?!” she asked.
They looked at each other, then James made a banshee mating call. Lily, recognizing the joke, immediately started laughing again, as did James. Petunia covered her ears, shaking her head and running out fast as she could. James tried to make the noise again, but was laughing too hard, and it came out like a drowning girl shrieking. Lily wiped the tears from her eyes, and James stumbled up. Reaching down, he grabbed her hand and helped her up. The two of them walked out, smiling and shaking their heads, and went upstairs. Lily went into her room, and James came in and flopped on her bed.
“I’m tired,” he said. “All this joking has exhausted me.”
“But you just ate,” Lily said.
He grinned over at her. “I don’t run off food.”
Rolling her eyes and getting the picture, Lily shook her head. “Not gonna happen.”
“Not even a teensy-?”
James sighed. “What if I steal one.”
“I’ll scream rape.”
“As if they’d bother their lazy asses to get up here,” James said dryly.
Lily sat on her bay window. “True.”
James checked the clock, seeing they had almost three hours to go until the funeral. Shrugging, he said,
“Can you help me with this potion for Slughorne’s class?”
Three hours later found James and Lily in the car, again, once again with Petunia and Vernon. Again. The ride was silent to the cemetery, and James knew that Lily was getting sadder with each second that ticked by. He reached over and gently patted her hand, but she pulled it away, staring out the window. James sighed as they entered the memorial park.
There were a load of people there, lined up in cars, all surrounding two black hearses. Eight tall men stood in black suits by the cars, just pulling the now closed caskets out of them. As they stopped and got out, some crying people came over to hug and kiss them. James wisely pulled Lily over to the seating area near the graves, over which were metal platforms, hiding the view of the six foot drop.
Lily sat stiffly, a lone tear trickling down her cheek. James reached and wiped it off as the pallbearers set the caskets on the platforms. There was a hush in the chill February afternoon as the same minister from before stepped forward and began to read from his bible. Everyone was silent, save for some sniffs and snuffles of tears, Petunia almost having to hide a smug smile.
James cast her a long glare, seeing how hard Lily was restraining herself. As the minister snapped his bible shut, he scattered ashes on both the caskets. Lily immediately stood, and James noticed for the first time that she had an assortment of flowers in her hands. She shakily stepped forward, separating them into two clumps.
In one hand, she set atop her mother’s casket one white lily, one purple petunia, one yellow daisy, and one deep red hibiscus. James, of course, knew what all those were for. With the other hand, she set atop her father’s casket one single, white rose. She stepped back, fingers tracing along the polished wood just as they had the day before. She sighed and briskly turned, walking away. James stood along with everyone else, but lost her in the crowd. As it thinned, people going up to touch the caskets or add their own flowers, James could see her figure walking through a courtyard of sectioned off graves, in the distance. He slowly made his way that way as she kicked aside snow and sat in the grass, staring at the ground in front of her. The sounds of voices faded as he walked, replaced by crunching pebbles of the road.
James walked through the grass over to the courtyard, and stood behind her. Lily was staring at two old graves, laid there years before. The white stone had faded and was crumbling at the edges, and the grass was a little higher here. She didn’t look up at him. There was a pause.
“You know... It’s hard to deal with watching your parents be laid in the ground... But somehow, I never forgave myself for watching my siblings die like that,” Lily said softly.
“It wasn’t your fault,” James said. “That disease is horrible.”
“I know, but somehow I always thought that it was my fault that they got it instead of me,” Lily shrugged. “The doctors said that they wouldn’t live past a year old... I suppose I got my hopes up too high after that...”
James crouched next to her, gently laying a hand on her shoulder. “We all do stuff like that, it’s human nature...”
Lily nodded. “They’re why I wanted to be a doctor. A Healer, you know... Because when I had to watch my sister die right in front of my eyes in her own bed, right as my mum was calling the ambulance... I knew... I wanted to find cures for things like leukemia...”
James smiled softly. “I bet you could, you’d do anything you set your mind to, Lils.”
She sighed. “When I got that letter to Hogwarts saying I was a witch, that I could do magic... All I could think of was them. Daisy and Pirro. Dying like that with no cure. When I was little, I always played the If There Was Magic I Would game. I’d make people happy. I’d stop war and hunger and famine and disease. All I could think of was how endless of opportunities there are in the magical world. How many... great things... you can do with it.”
She turned to look up at him, and her tears started rolling.
“How many lives... it could change forever. I only thought of how magic could change the world for good, not bad. How with one word and a wave of a wand, everything would be different. But I never thought of how it could change one life. How it could affect one family, one person. Magic doesn’t change the world, James, it changes people. It makes things so they can never go back... And only now am I realizing how wrong yet right I was.”
James wiped the tear off her cheek, and hugged her. Lily hugged him, and he stood, bringing her up to her feet. He smoothed back her hair, feeling a surge of hate for Voldemort with every heartbeat, and she sighed.
“If magic could change the world, James....” she whispered. “I’d stop Voldemort from ever coming to power.”
“If magic could change the world, Lily,” James said softly, “I’d stop it from ever making you cry, again.”
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