Chapter image by Ann is Luna Lovegood. Thanks MegElemental for checking it over.
It was the early hours of the morning, exactly five minutes past seven, when, on the second floor, the familiar cries rang through the house from the bedroom at the end of the hall.
The black haired man, who was comfortably wrapped up in the thick duvet gave a low grunt and turned over. The woman lying next to him was sprawled out across her side of the bed, her arms and legs bent at different angles and her mouth hanging open as she snored heavily, a stream of her saliva dripping down across her cheek and making a small patch as it landed onto her pillow.
“Lily?” James asked, as he loosened the blanket from around him and stretched his arms and legs, making some of his bones crack as they were pulled apart from one another.
James looked up at the plain, white ceiling, waiting for his wife to answer him, but nothing came from her. James turned over onto his side and peeped over Lily’s back and looked down onto one flawless side of her face, he took a deep breath to begin his retaliation, but Lily who knew him too well, cut smoothly across him.
“It’s your turn,” she mumbled, keeping her eyelids shut- no doubt, trying her best to fall back to sleep.
James smiled at her and as he took in every detail of the woman’s face he let the silence fall between the two of them. The cries could still be heard, but when Lily made no move of getting out of the bed. James sighed he knew it was pointless to start an argument. It was a well known fact that Lily loved her sleep.
“Fine, but you owe me one,” he whispered, sliding out from underneath the duvet and pushing his black-rimmed glasses onto his nose. He grabbed hold of his housecoat from its hanging place on the back of the chair and without another word to his wife he made his way out of the room and down the hall to his son’s room.
“Hey mister,” Lily could hear James say, and Harry giggled his response, before he started on his long and non-understandable ramble, where ‘daddy’ ‘poo poo’ and ‘pee wee’ could be made out. Lily smiled to herself.
“Tell mummy that when we see her,” James replied to his son, his voice getting louder as he came up towards the door of the bedroom.
Lily watched as James came into view just outside on the landing, Harry securely in his arms. Lily smiled and gave her son a wave, Harry laughed and clapped his small hands together.
“Tell mummy what’s wrong,” James said in his ‘baby’-tone of a voice, while taking the blue pacifier out of his son’s mouth
“Poo poo,” Harry said. His first and only two teeth visible on his bottom gum.
“Daddy can do it,” Lily said, glancing at James, who made a disgusted face at her.
“You’re pushing it today missy,” he mumbled, before turning around and continuing on his way downstairs to the kitchen. Harry could still be hard on his little ramble, about ‘boos’ and ‘bold’.
Lily, who knew it was going to be near to impossible to get another minute of sleep rolled onto her back, she knew too well that when James was finished with cleaning Harry and making his breakfast the toddler would be shouting at the top of his voice up the stairs to her, telling her to get out of bed and saying things such as ‘Harry wake,’ and ‘not sleepy time’ and then if she was just too lazy to answer him, he would make his rather long journey up to her room and with all his energy try to pull the blanket off of her, and even if he didn’t get the blanket down onto the ground. Lily couldn’t just ignore her little angel, even now after a year and a half of having him; she was still in awe at how perfect he was in every single way.
Lily swung her feet out from under the blanket, where they landed on the cold wooden floor. She cursed as goose-bumps sprouted up onto her skin and gave herself a mental reminder to tell James to get carpet.
Shivering slightly under her pink, silk nightdress, Lily quickly pulled on her housecoat and made her way downstairs to find James, sitting at the wooden table, in the kitchen, with a spoon-full of porridge in his hand, moving it in circles and zigzags in front of Harry, pretending that it was a 'Snitch' that would finally zoom into his sons open mouth.
Harry laughed every time he caught the ‘snitch’, his mouth bulging with the breakfast.
“I think we have a Quidditch seeker in the making,” James declared, as he stood up from his chair, he wiped his son’s face with a tissue, getting rid of any remains of food that didn’t make into Harry’s mouth, after making sure that his son’s face was once again clean, he walked over to where Lily was standing and dropped the bowl and spoon into the sink before he grabbed Harry’s juice bottle from the counter and handed it over to Harry.
“He’s going to be a famous dragon slayer,” Lily protested as she poured herself a glass of orange juice.
“Yea, and one day you’ll come home to find your son burnt alive by a fifty-foot Fireball,” James said, a smile flashing momentarily on his face.
James walked back over and stood beside Lily.
“Excuse you. If he played seeker for England he could get bludgered alive right in front of thousands of people, and anyway I think it would be more heroic if he died facing a dragon,” Lily said, smiling at how ridiculous this conversation was sounding, she put her glass to her lips and took a sip of her Orange Juice.
“Oh so now you’re planning my
son’s death,” James said turning around to face Harry, “Hear that son, you’re barely two and your own mother is planning how you’re going to die,” James teased.
“Oi!” Lily shouted thumping James playfully in the arm, “I’m not planning his death, I’m just saying. If it did happen,” she said, and the two of them smiled at each other.
“I love it when you get all flustered,” James said. Lily looked towards him, his eyes sinking deeply into hers; he smiled as he leaned in towards her and they kissed.
The two of them abruptly broke apart from the sudden yell and they turned to see Sirius storm across the kitchen and pick his smiling godson up out of the highchair.
“You’ll scar him for life by getting ‘jiggy-jiggy’ right in front of him,” Sirius said, before, with Harry still in his arms he walked back out of the kitchen, “Its OK, I saved you,” the man could be heard saying.
James and Lily both just stood there, stunned into silence at the sudden appearance of Sirius Black.
“Jiggy-jiggy?” Lily asked looking completely baffled. James smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t know. It’s Sirius,” he said as if this could explain the stupid expression.
Lily shook her head, a huge smile on her face. She turned around and grabbed a pacifier from the small bag before she walked out of the kitchen and into the sitting room, where the sound of Sirius’s voice could be heard. .
As the two of them stepped into the room, they came face-to-face with the scene of a fully-grown man sitting crossed-legged on the floor, playing with small miniature goblins, Harry sitting comfortably in between his legs.
Lily sat down on the sofa, curling her legs underneath her. James sat down beside her, a small smile just barely noticeable on his face as he watched his best mate play with his son.
Harry looked up from his gazing of his toys, “mama,” he said untangling himself from Sirius’s legs and running over to Lily.
Lily picked her son up in her hands and gave him a hug, which was only one of the hundreds he got every single day. His little arms wrapped loosely around her neck as he hugged her back.
“Did you have a good night’s sleep?” Lily asked looking into her son’s sparkling blue eyes.
“Boos… me scared… me-me went ahhhh!!” Harry said screaming the last part.
“Did you kill them?” Lily asked balling her fist into the air.
“Yea… me went yawww!” and Lily watched as he started moving his tiny arms wildly as if attacking invisible people.
The three grown-ups laughed in unison and Harry who knew he had all their attention clambered down off the sofa and ran towards Sirius, head-butting his godfather full force in the stomach.
“Ow!” Sirius puffed, falling backwards Harry toppling on top of his chest “OK, OK, you’ve killed me,” Sirius said trying his best to get control of the toddler, whose cheeks were now bright red.
“Harry, settle down,” James said standing up to his tall height; he swiftly strolled over and scooped up his son into his arms before walking back to the sofa. He sat down and placed a pacifier into Harry’s mouth. Harry fell silent and cuddled up against his daddy’s chest.
“Can I bring him out today?” Sirius asked, as he stood up from the ground and brushed down the front of his clothes.
“Yea, sure,” Lily said, watching James whisper something into Harry’s ear.
“You be good, okay?” Lily said, putting the small black coat on her son, who nodded his head while watching Lily’s hands zip the jacket closed.
“Give me your soother,” Lily said holding out her hand, Harry took the pacifier out of his mouth and placed it onto his mum’s open palm, before pecking a wet kiss on her lips.
“See you later,” Lily said. Harry smiled before running out into the hall where Sirius was waiting beside the flaming fire.
“We’ll be back in an hour or two, okay?” Sirius shouted into her.
“Okay,” Lily replied, as she sat down onto one of the kitchen chairs, she at in the silence for a few second, just before two hands came from behind, and gently squeezed her shoulders.
“We have a free house,” James whispered into her ear.
Lily looked towards the clock on the wall, and sighed. “It’s just barely nine hours since the last time,” Lily whispered, even though there was no-one in the house to overhear them.
“So,” James replied. Lily bent her neck to look up at him.
“We’ll enjoy it less if we do it too many times in the space of twenty four hours,” Lily said. James leaned down to her.
“Does it look like I care,” he whispered just before he roughly kissed her, and with that one kiss- Lily felt alive, as if a thousand bolts of lightning were running through her body, and this was the one reason she despised James Potter- because she was completely his…
It was the following day and Lily was in the kitchen, trying to brew up a potion. Harry stood beside her, his hand tugging on her trousers.
“Okay,” she said, stepping away from her son, who lost his grip on her trousers, she twisted the tap on and let the water run over the small green fruit.
“Here you go,” Lily said turning around and bending down to her son, she handed over the small green grape to him.
Harry smiled at her as he took the grape he giggled with happiness, his head being wobbled from side-to-side. He turned around and trotted off towards the opened front door.
Lily couldn’t help but smile. She had the most adorable son a mother could ever wish for.
She dried her wet hands with the tea-towel before turning to face the small black bubbling cauldron on the counter.
“What did you get?” Lily heard her husband ask Harry from the front garden.
She twisted a strand of her red hair around her finger and tucked it securely behind her ear before she continued to stir the potion, she began to hum a song to herself while she intently watched the liquid in the cauldron turn a pale sky-blue color, but her concentration was ruined when something warm and soft nuzzled the side of her neck.
“You’re supposed to be outside minding your son,” she said her neck automatically bending side-ways, as the warm sensation ran down her spine. She couldn’t stop the smile which spread across her face.
“What? I can’t give you a kiss now?” James whispered seductively into Lily’s ear and he bit her shoulder blade ever-so softly. Lily twisted around to face him.
“I’m trying-,” but Lily couldn’t finish her sentence as James’s lips roughly met hers and they kissed.
“Go and mind your son,” she puffed, when she finally prized herself away from James’s soft and warm lips.
“You’re way too paranoid,” James whispered his warm breath brushing Lily’s hair off her face. “He can’t get into danger in the ten seconds I’ve been here,” he said and a cocky smile shot across those stupid lips of his.
Lily looked up at him and laughed at how idiotic he still was after eight years of being together. But before they could say another word to one another, a gush of wind met their ears.
They watched as pure terror took over the love which was just on their faces.
“Harry,” Lily whispered, her heart jumping up into her throat.
Without another thought, she pushed James away and sprinted out of the kitchen, her cloak billowing out behind her as she ran towards the door her feet echoing against the wooden floor. She shouldered the slightly ajar door before toppling outside. She steadied herself, her breaths coming out in puffs. She could see her one-year-old son standing in the middle of the large path, not moving, just standing there, his head turned in the other direction.
“Harry?!” Lily screamed her lungs aching for oxygen, Harry did not respond to her voice.
Lily jumped down the flight of steps which led to the front door of their house, James right at her heels. She ran around the water fountain before falling painfully onto her knees in front of her child.
Her son’s head was bent and from what she could see, his eyes looked like they were closed. She grabbed hold of his tiny shoulders and shook him slightly.
Lily was waiting for him to look up and scream ‘Boo!’ but to her horror his little body just collapsed against her chest.
“James!!” she screamed in terror.
Her husband fell down beside her, and he lifted Harry out of her hands. He fumbled for a moment inside his jumper before pulling out his wand and shakily muttering an incantation.
Lily’s heart soared as Harry coughed, but just a split second later blood spilled horribly out of his mouth and dribbled over his chin and down onto his blue jumper. She let out a mournful howl and she started to cry, but without even a glance towards Lily, James stood up from the ground, with Harry still in his arms and he ran towards the house.
“Help! Help!” James yelled as he and Lily ran though the corridors of St Mungos.
They pushed their way through the crowd of people who were gathered in front of the reception desk.
“What’s the matter?” the young woman asked politely from behind the counter.
“There’s something wrong with my son!’ James puffed, the receptionist’s eyes quickly swept over the tiny form in James’s arm before yelling at the top of voice about an emergency. Two healers came jogging out from one of the neighbouring rooms.
Lily stared at the scene in front of her. Her body felt numb. It felt surreal, as if she was just having a really bad nightmare and, any second now, she would wake up.
One of the healers took Harry out of James’s arms, while the other explained something to the near-to-hysteria James.
“Where are they taking him?” Lily croaked, not liking the fact that another woman was holding her son. But when no-one answered her, she felt her temper rapidly rising.
“WHERE THE hug ARE THEY TAKING MY BABY!!” she screamed, her voice bellowing around the room.
Most or all of the visitors looked her way and so did James, and for the first time since they became a couple ‘her’ James was ‘crying’- big wet tears were running smoothly down his cheeks.
“Please tell me he's going to be OK?” Lily sobbed.
Even James, the man who never cried was breaking down. Her last reassurance that everything was going to turn out all right was crying in front of her very eyes. He walked over to her, without saying a word of comfort, and they both wrapped their arms around each other and cried, their tears making wet patches on the front of the other one’s clothing.
“It’s just a nightmare,” Lily mumbled into James’s chest. Her teeth were clenched tightly together, as if that would help take away some of the fright and worry that was swimming around inside her.
James did not reply- he was trying to control his own tears and emotions.
The two of them sat huddled together in the waiting area. James absentmindedly rubbing Lily’s back. Lily was bent over, rocking backwards and forwards, her head in her hands and her face a ghostly white.
All of the people who walked in or out of the waiting room looked towards the couple.
Lily completely hated a heavily pregnant red haired woman who was happily bouncing a small identical red-haired boy on her two knees, while talking about ‘birdies’ and ‘meows’ to him.
Lily and James just sat there as people walked in and out and healers walked, with clip-boards in their hands, called out people’s names.
James was on the verge of just walking up and thumping the woman behind the reception desk, for keeping her overly polite attitude while his world was crashing around him.
They watched as a young healer walked out and stood just in front of the reception desk. She glanced down at her clip-board before looking back up.
“James and Lily Potter,” she announced to the room at large.
Lily sprang up from her seat so fast it looked like she had sat on a box of needles.
“Yes,” Lily said.
The healer glanced at Lily and then at James.
“Come with me,” she said, starting to walk away from them.
James took hold of Lily’s hand and they silently followed the healer through the many corridors, but to each of their confusion, she did not lead them to a patient’s room, with beds and flowers, but to a dimly-lit room with large puffy armchairs and one sofa.
“Please sit down,” the healer said as they stepped into the room and she clicked the door shut behind her.
Lily and James sat obediently down onto the sofa, James not letting go of Lily’s hand, which was now starting to feel numb.
Lily watched the girl’s every movement as she walked towards the chair and sat down, placing the clipboard on top of her knees.
“Harry was deliberately cursed by someone,” she said slowly, looking at the two parents. “I won’t go into detail of what happened but…,” she paused and took a deep breath. Lily and James were both on the edge of the chair, listening to her every word.
“We’re sorry… We tried everything…,” she took a deep breath...“Your son’s dead,”
Lily’s lungs felt like they were caving in on her, she felt dizzy as her head got unnaturally light.
“Your son’s dead,” was repeating over and over in her head.
She shook her head.
“No,” it came out as a tiny whisper. “I want to see my son!” she ordered, not believing one single word the healer had just told her, but when the healer made no move towards the door, she just sat there, the last piece of hope Lily had left was blown out like a candle in a storm, she broke down in tears. James wrapped his arms around her shoulders.
The healer nodded her head once before leaving the two of them alone in the room.
Lily could feel the shuddering breaths of her husband from beside her and it hit her, she would never see her Harry ever again.
Lily didn’t know that someone could feel so much pain from hearing those three words, if she could, she would rip her heart out from her chest, as to stop the physical ache flooding through her body, but she knew she would never be able to get rid of them.
They sat there hugging each other and crying their hearts out for what felt like years when a healer finally walked back into them.
“Do you want to see him?” she asked and the two of them both looked towards her.
Everything seemed strangely different as they followed the woman. Lily clung onto James’s arm as if her whole life depended on it.
“Here,” the healer said softly, stopping just outside one of the rooms.
Lily looked at James; tears still ran down his face, she took a deep breath before she stepped into the room, still holding onto James’s hand.
The four walls of the room were painted a plain cream colour. The room at first glance looked empty but then Lily’s eyes were drawn to the white curtains at the side of the room. She walked over them, everything around her feeling fake and too bright for her eyes. She pulled the hangings back, not wanting to see what was behind them, but she needed a little reassurance that it wasn’t just a terrible nightmare and that it was really happening…