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Death and Destiny by Nessa Elendil
Chapter 4 : Disturbed Dreams
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 11


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A/N: Sorry it took so long...

"Where am I?" James groaned, placing a hand on his throbbing head. The dark room was empty, cold, and foreboding. Only small bits of light found a way through the filthy window, that didn't lead outside. James realized: this was another room in... what it was, James didn't know, but he had spent the last three months of his life there. Here, he learned his son was dead, and no Death Eater spoke of his wife, which gave him hope that she, at least, was still alive.

He looked out the window, as a sense of deja vou seized him; he didn't want to look, but he had to. He did.

The window showed a dimly lit cell, and there she was, huddled up against the wall, Lily.

James couldn't describe the relief he felt. She was incredibly thin, he could see most of her bones, and her fiery hair lay lank and dirty against her face, but James didn't care; she was alive, and as long as she was, he still had a reason to live, to exist in this hell.

"Lily! Lily!" James yelled out to her, pounding on the window with what strength he had left. "LILY!" She didn't move, she couldn't hear him.

"She can't hear you," a masked figure taunted him. "She can't see you either."

James fell to his knees, still able to see through the window.

The door to Lily's cell creaked open, and knew he didn't want it to. "What's going on?" he demanded. "What are you doing?!"

But, somehow, he already knew.

Lily looked up as a second figure - first to her - masked and cloaked, approached her.

James panicked. "Lily! Lily, no!" He didn't want to look, he had to look away, but he couldn't, somehow, he was kept from even glancing away from that window.

He watched. He watched the Death Eater approach her, force her down.

He heard. He heard her screams, her screams for him.

He cried. He loved her, she didn't deserve this, any of this, and he was helpless to stop it.

"Shouting for Potter won't help you now, Mudblood," the Death Eater told her, snarling.

James listened as well as he could while striving to control his tears as the nameless Death Eater finished what he had to say.

"He's dead."

He saw her eyes, her beautiful emerald green orbs, already filled with the pain and abuse of these last three months, look up. She had died; not her body, but her soul.

"No."

James was back at Grimmauld Place. It was empty and dark, silent, too, except for the sound of someone crying. James followed the sobs; it was Lily. She had her back to him.

"Lily?"

"Why?" she answered.

"Why what?" James asked, slowly approaching her.

"Why did you do it?" Lily's voice was distant, monotone, and echoing.

"Do what?" He had no idea what she meant, and James was beginning to become apprehensive. "Lily?"

She turned around. "Kill him?"

"Lily!"

Her words were unheard, or forgotten, by her husband as he backed away, looking, horrified, at her face... and her eyes. Her eyes belonged to a corpse. She was dead. Truly and utterly dead.

"Lily..." James reached out a hand to touch the cold flesh of her pale face, but found that he couldn't.

"Why?"

"Why?"

He couldn't see them, but he could hear them; the voices of his fellow Marauders. They and wife demanded the question of James in the same, flat tone.

"Why what? I don't understand! Lily, what did I do?! Lily!"

"Why did you kill him?" Her dead, hollow eyes flickered to James for a moment as he stood in silent shock, trying to piece it all together, and then, she vanished.

"Kill... Harry?" James voiced weakly. "No! I'd never, never!" he said to the empty darkness. "Never..."

"Dad?"

Harry... He was right in front of him, with his back turned to his father. James was filled with relief, though, when he realized his voice didn't echo as Lily's had.

"Why?"

"What what?" James asked cautiously, he was beginning to feel panicked. Why would Harry ask that? He wasn't dead...

"Why?" he asked again.

James stepped forward and turned Harry around by his shoulders.

"NO!" James stumbled back, his son's dead, expressionless face and bloody, stabbed torso stared back at him.

"I'd never- Harry... I'd-I'd never..."

"You did."

James looked down at his hands, they were holding the cursed serpent dagger. His bloody hands dropped the knife, and it slowly fell until it clattered upon the unseen floor.

Voldemort's red eyes formed out of the abyss. "Kill him!"

"NOO!"

James bolted up, the sheets falling off his sweaty body. "No." He looked around, and his breathing slowly began to steady with large breaths.

His room in Grimmauld Place, that's where he was. James' mind began piecing everything together. It was a dream, a horrible dream. Harry, Harry was safe, sleeping two doors down, and Lily... Oh, Lily, she was still in that hell. But they weren't dead, he didn't kill them...

A flashback of the sick images from his dreams, and James suddenly felt nauseous. He checked the clock. It was just after three in the morning, but he decided to go down to the kitchen to find something that would keep him from reentering his nightmare. James couldn't brew a Dreamless Sleep Potion the way felt, and wasn't up to waking someone to explain why he needed it, even Sirius. He grabbed the bathrobe Sirius had lent him and headed out the door.

Willing to think of anything besides what he had just witnessed, James let his mind wander to his son and their past few days together.

Nothing made James happier than seeing Harry smile, seeing him happy. Harry was more than he ever could have asked for, and they had grown closer than James ever could have dreamed. All of the precious father/son moments they had shared were forever preserved in his memory so that no number of dementors could ever take them away.

He could never kill Harry... Don't think about that...Instead, he silently cursed Snape for ruining the first of such moments in fourteen years, especially since he wasn't even supposed to be there. Apparently, there was supposed to be a regular Order meeting, but word had gone ahead that the meeting should be restricted to the Advance Guard, those living at Grimmauld Place, and Dumbledore, although McGonagall, of course, had been present as well. Dumbledore agreed to this because he thought it best that, for the time being, the least amount of people knew James was still alive as possible, so as not to egg Voldemort on to doing something to really kill him. Snape, it seemed, was the only one not to get the message. At least James had the satisfaction of seeing Snape's "anger" when he learned that his high-class, top-priority report was going to have to be given to Dumbledore outside of the Order at a later time because of his long dead archenemy's return from the grave.

James knew he was ready to kill that son-of-a when he first saw him, had it not been for their shouts that woke the portrait of Sirius' mum, and that, in turn, roused the house to the two wizards ready to blow the other to oblivion (James with Harry's wand), and, of course, if Harry hadn't been standing in the way trying to stop it.

During the meeting that took place shortly afterwards, James had added his name to the mental list of those who were currently unhappy with the Headmaster. James had been perfectly willing to go to the Ministry of Magic, clear his best mate's name, make certain that his son never had to go back to Lily's sorry excuse for a sister, and testify that Voldemort was back, but Dumbledore still said that the fewer people who knew James was alive the better, and that as long as Cornelius Fudge was Minister of Magic, he would turn a blind eye and deaf ear to any and all evidence supporting anything Dumbledore had been saying, and would do everything in his power to keep everyone else in the Wizarding World doing the same.

The short list James had found consisted of the Marauders, for various reasons, individual and otherwise, of their own and all the reasons of the each other, Harry for constantly being kept out of the loop when he deserved, probably more than anyone, to know what was going on, and the pink-haired Auror, Tonks, who sided with the Marauders on their reasons of discontent, probably because two were her family and one was her lover.

While the meeting was taking place, James had observed Tonks give her input and discreetly shown dissatisfaction at the outcome, Remus grin and bear it, Sirius continually biting his tongue to keep from lashing out, and every once in a short while kick his cousin underneath the table to keep Jasmine from cussing Dumbledore out. Even at Hogwarts, he was the only one who could tell the exact moment before his cousin would cuss someone out before it happened.

By the time James was told of the "weapon" prophecy that he hadn't before known existed and was forbidden to tell Harry of it, James came to the conclusion that Dumbledore would've kept Harry from knowing he was alive if possible. So James, when asked about how he could have survived, said he didn't know and left it at that. (He really didn't know) And when the subject of Lily arose, James just looked down at the table in front of him and didn't make a sound, hoping to give the impression that he either didn't know, or knew she was gone. And it worked. But then, if Dumbledore had organized a mission to get her out, Lily would've been dead before they even got close, and James knew it. All he had left to do was tell the Marauders and Harry, but he wasn't going to do that until he had a plan that he could pull off on his won. The feeling that told him Lily was in trouble hadn't returned, so James knew there was still time, and he wasn't going to have everyone think he had only returned to seek help for Lily, not caring about anything else until she was safe. That wasn't the case, James cared about Harry more than he did Lily, if that was possible, but his instincts told him that was what was for the best, so that was what he was going to do.

James got to the bottom of the stairs and had to use the wall for support. While he had been gaining his strength back, that didn't stop the occasional feeling of fatigue, and he was still having trouble eating properly.

James made his way to the kitchen and noticed a light on from under the door. Who else would be up at this crazy hour? James thought. He shrugged, tied his bathrobe, which was beginning to come undone, a bit tighter, and walked into the kitchen.

"Harry? What are you doing up so late?"

A/N: More for explanation than entertainment, I know. But still please review.




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