Chapter Graphic by Caren at The Dark Arts
James stared at Lily for a moment and then blinked, not believing. He whispered, "W-Why? What happens?"
Lily, crying heavily, whispered, "A prophecy is created and it says that the one to defeat Voldemort is born as the seventh month dies. I give birth to Harry on July 31st, 1980, and Alice and Frank give birth to their son one day before or after, I can't remember. They name him Neville. Someone over hears the prophecy and he tells Voldemort and you and I enter hiding, b-but then - "
Lily broke off, not knowing if she could break the news to James that Peter would betray them. James, amazed, stretched out his hand and covered Lily's. He squeezed it into his grasp and lifted it to his lips, kissing it gently. He reassured her, "It's all right. You can tell me..."
"P-Peter..." Lily whispered, "Peter betrays us. We make him Secret Keeper to our home. Sirius was going to be it, but he suggested Peter because Voldemort would first think of Sirius. Peter tells Voldemort where we are and on Halloween in 1981, Voldemort shows up here a-and h-he kills me and you when he came for Harry."
"B-But what happens to Harry...?" James whispered, still amazed, "You said that he is seventeen in the year you are owling him in..."
"He is seventeen in the year I am owling him." Lily said, squeezing James' hand for comfort, "Voldemort isn't able to kill Harry on Halloween, b-because I was murdered for Harry, because I sacrificed myself for him, Harry lives. Voldemort can't kill him because of what I did for Harry. S-So, the curse backfires and Voldemort changes into this non-human form..."
James, breathless, gasped out, "W-What next?"
"Harry is sent to live with my sister..." Lily whispered, "He didn't even know he is a wizard until he received his owl. Every year at Hogwarts, something with Voldemort happens, and then Voldemort finally came back in Harry's fourth year. Harry watched him come back while he was tied up to a tomb stone and after his friend was murdered..."
"Oh my god..." James whispered, standing up. He folded his arms across his chest and tried to hide his face from his girlfriend as he felt tears rise in his eyes, "O-Our son has to live with Voldemort
after him all the time?"
Lily whispered, rising and standing next to James, "Y-Yes. The prophecy also said that neither can live while the other survives. That means that either Harry has to die dueling Voldemort or Harry has to kill Voldemort..."
"B-but..." James stuttered, crying, "H-He's only seventeen...No! He's not even alive yet! H-How can our son do that?!"
"I don't know..." Lily sobbed, collapsing against James' body. James stroked her hair as they both cried for a moment. Then Lily whispered, "Harry sent me an owl today and he said that he had a nightmare the night I had mine. Ginny, his girlfriend, had one too. We don't know why we all had nightmares. B-But in Ginny's nightmare, Harry - "
"He died, didn't he?" James whispered, holding Lily's head against his chest.
Lily sobbed loudly, "Yes."
Crying heavily, James sniffed and whispered, "Oh my god. H-How can this all happen...?" A moment's silence, and then James spoke quickly, "S-So, your nightmare w-as - "
Lily cut him off and whispered, "The future..."
James pulled away from Lily and held his head in his hands as he paced about their bedroom. He moaned, "Oh my god...No." He spun around to Lily, who was watching him, "Lily, this is so horrible. How can this happen?!"
Lily looked to the floor and whispered after a moment, "The thing is that...I think, since we both know now, I think we change some of it..."
With quivering lips, James nodded and sank down onto his bed. He then stated, "Wait. You never mentioned if we got married or not..."
Lily knew the answer to that. She responded, "I know. I want you
to answer that." she smiled lightly, gravely, "Do
we get married?"
James saw that Lily wanted him to be the one to decide that answer. He thought, Love is always worth dying for...
He loved Lily too much to break things off with her, just so they could live. He would never do that. He was going to propose to her...All he had to do was decide when. He nodded, knowing that his answer would decide their fate, "Yes. We get married."
Lily smiled her first true smile all day. It was as if there had been a queue when both James and Lily stood and strode across the room and to the other. Lily was about to wrap herself around James when soft tapping and hooting came from their window. Both of them jerked their heads towards the sound. Lily blinked, surprised to see Hedwig, Harry's owl, tapping on the window. James asked, furrowing his brow, "Whose owl is that?"
"That's Hedwig..." Lily whispered, "Harry's owl..."
"Oh..." James said softly as Lily crossed the room and opened the window, allowing Hedwig to hop inside. She stuck out her leg automatically, hooting softly. Lily untied it, opening the folded piece of parchment. James asked, "Is it from Harry?"
"Yeah..." Lily answered, lowering herself onto the bed. She began reading and her jaw dropped in amazement after every second, after every word as she read the letter. James whispered, seeing Lily's stunned face, "Could you read it out to me?"
Lily blinked back tears and nodded, clearing her throat. She searched for her voice and then spoke, "Mum," Her voice quivered and she found tears welling in her eyes. She would crumble before the end of the letter; she knew it, "Why must every goddamn horrible thing happen to me? Why me?! What have I ever done to deserve this?! As if things weren't bad enough, these nightmares have been thrown into it. I don't know if you have figured out what happens to me in the battle or not, but I will tell you. Ginny saw my death...She saw Voldemort kill me. We don't know if it was real or not, but we believe it is. Ginny and I are going to see Dumbledore about our nightmares in a day or so. And something else has happened too, Mum...With the battle near and my death certain now, Ginny and I have decided to get m-married. Yeah, pretty scary, huh? I'm getting married...I'm glad we are, but I never imagined it like this. It was supposed to be a romantic evening when only Ginny mattered and we had the whole night to ourselves. It wasn't supposed to be something that came while we were hiding out in Ron's bedroom, and because of the battle. It should never have to be like this...I want to marry Ginny desperately, but this will make things so much harder on her after I am gone. It will be harder for her to move on, and she still has another year of Hogwarts ahead. We don't know when the wedding will be. We've only been engaged for ten hours and I still haven't been able to kiss her the way I want to or whisk her off to her bedroom where we can be alone. T-That fire that I always had for Ginny is gone now..." Lily broke off and she started to cry. James placed his hand over Lily's and squeezed it into his own. He urged Lily to continue even though he was crying now.
Lily continued to read, "I have always kissed Ginny with this want a-and now I feel like it is gone because of the battle. I have no desire to do anything now except spend my last days on this earth wisely and wisely is with Ginny, but when I am with her, I find myself unable to do what I want to. I don't know what to do. How can one single thing inside of me cause my life to end, to make me unable to move, speak, or know every again? How can something as small and delicate as this cause my world to come to an end?! I know I am now spilling my heart out to you, but I can't help it. I need to confess all of this to someone. Usually, I just bottle up my emotions until I'm fuming, but I can't do that. This is all too much. Does Dad know about me? Have you told him? Please, you have to, Lily. I need him to know. Are you going to find a way for him to live? I need to know, so I can understand the meaning of my nightmares. I just fell asleep on my bed and when I woke up I started writing this. I saw him again. I saw Dad. He keeps telling me that I can't fall for some trick, that I mustn’t fall for it or I will die. I can't figure it out. It doesn't make sense. When he came to me, he told me he loved me and he said that I can't fall for it. I don't know what I can't fall for. He looked alive..." Lily's voice broke off as she cried and she whispered out, "He looked alive, but his touch..." James slowly drew his hand away from Lily's, frightened, "...felt like death..."
Lily started sobbing as she put down the letter. She collapsed against James and hugged him to her. She whispered over and over, "He's getting married..."
James, bewildered, stared ahead at nothing, letting Lily cling onto him for dear life. James, his lips quivering, stuttered out repeatedly, "F-Felt like d-death...F-Felt like d-death..."
Lily choked out against him, "J-James, you have to see my dream. It all makes sense now..."
"No." James shook his head, "I won't!"
"James, you must!" Lily sobbed, shaking her head at him. She stood and cupped his narrow face in her hands. She cried out, "I understand what Harry had been trying to tell me! He means that you must find a way to live past Halloween!"
"I can't..." James cried loudly, "I couldn’t! How could I live without you, Lily?! What about you?! Why couldn't you try and live too?!"
"B-Because if I live, then Harry dies..." Lily whispered, turning away from James.
James still couldn't believe it. It was too much all at once. He found out that he died in two years and Lily had been conversing with their son for ten months now. Lily would die. He would die. It was all too much. James cried, "What would I do? If I lived past that night, what would I do for the next sixteen years?"
"I don't know..." Lily whispered. She crossed the room, a strong look about her face, and she pulled out their pensive. She turned to James and held out her hand to him, sitting on their bed, "Come with me."
"No..." moaned James, shaking his head violently, "I won't watch you die!"
"I didn't see myself die!" Lily cried out.
"I don't want to see it!"
"I can't, Lily! I just can't!" James moaned, cowering backwards.
Lily had never seen him like this. He had always been brave and fearless, now he was afraid. Lily didn't blame him though. Many people were afraid of death. Only a few were not. Lily, however, was one of those few who were not afraid. She knew she died for a good cause, and, therefore, that made her fearless. James, however, was not. He would loose his wife. He would loose everything for sixteen years, but at least he wouldn't loose his life. That
mattered the most to Lily, despite what James thought.
Lily held out her hand higher, urging, "Please. Just come with me."
James slowly stood up and took Lily's hand. Lily whispered, pressing the tip of her wand to her head and closing her eyes, "It will be hard for me too...”
As she thought out her dream, she pulled the tip away from her head, pulling a long strand of red hair with it. She dropped it into the pensive and watched it swirl around. She prodded it with her wand and turned to her boyfriend, "It will be all right..."
James pursed his lips together, crying softly, and nodded quickly even though he did not believe it. Together, they plunged into the swirling darkness.
They were falling together, falling. They finally landed in a familiar surrounding. It was right under their feet from where they were standing in their bedroom. It was the front living room. James shot Lily a scared look as he saw the dream version of himself and Lily. Lily squeezed his hand.
Why was she being the strong one?! James was supposed to be strong. Good thing Lily was strong for him at the moment. They turned their head towards their clones, who were frantically speaking, tears streaking down their cheeks as loud blasts sounded from the front door.
"No! I can't do this, Lily!" begged James in sobs. Lily grasped her husbands face in her hands, tears threatening her eyes. They cascaded down her cheeks and she jumped as she heard another loud blast against the front door to their mansion. They both shot their heads towards the door, sobbing.
Their wedding rings glinted with the light from the room as Lily yelled through sobs, "Yes! You can! You must!!"
James shook his head, sobbing, "I can't! I can't! You can't die, Lily!"
Lily squeezed her eyes shut and she whispered fiercely, "I am not afraid. As long as I know that Harry will be safe..."
"What about me?!" begged James, sobbing loudly. He flung his arms around his wife and sobbed, "I can't live without you!"
"Yes! You can!" yelled Lily, waking their sleeping son in his play pen. James shook his head, looking down to the floor as he cried. The door was almost down...
It was almost broken...
Harry began to cry louldy. James wrapped his arms around his wife and kissed her, their tears melting against their lips, pressed together so tightly. James kissed her as if he would never hold, touch, or kiss her again. And he wouldn't...
He moaned into her mouth, "I love you..."
"I love you too..." Lily whispered. She cupped his face in her hands, whispering, "Please...You have to. Harry needs you."
"He needs you too though!" James screamed as the door to the mansion burst down. James jerked his head towards the door as Lily shot back, snatching Harry from the crib. She bounded up the stairs.
James sobbed loudly. He was never to see her again...
The real James turned to Lily and cried loudly, the dream James and Voldemort taking no notice in him. Lily took James' hand as James moaned, "I will not see myself die. I will not see myself die."
Lily pulled James up the stairs so he would not see himself die, or see if he survived or not. Because Lily didn't know in her dream, she wouldn't know in the pensive.
James and Lily followed the Lily holding their son into the nursery. They heard James yelling at Voldemort, pride in his voice and then they heard Voldemort send the worst out of the three. Voldemort would now advance on her...
As Lily clung Harry to her chest, she cried, looking for somewhere to go. She was shaking and Harry was wailing against her. She placed Harry in his crib as Voldemort entered the room. He snickered at her and hissed out, "Stand aside!"
The last thing they heard before being pulled out of the mist was Lily yelling loudly, "No! Please! Take me!"
James and Lily fell backwards as they left Lily's dream. James didn't bother with steadying himself. He let his body fall against the floor. As he landed on his bum, he pulled his knees up to his chest and buried his head in between them. In only a few simple minutes, his world had been flipped upside down.
He knew he should at least try to be strong, but he found no will power in that matter. He knew that tomorrow his eyes would be red and puffy and his cheeks blotchy, but he didn't care. He couldn't hold himself together. He crumbled into tiny pieces as he cried loudly...
Harry sat in Ron's room in the dark of the night. He had just owled his mother. The rest of the Burrow was sound asleep in their bed. Ron snored heavily next to Harry in his own bed as Harry sat on his, his arms lying limp on his knees, his hands loose at the wrists. He looked about the room as if he had never seen it before. He sat there in his boxers, having no clue what to do, what to think, how to act.
He hadn't even said goodnight to Ginny. He was furious with himself that he was being so secluded, but he couldn't help it. His mother probably wouldn't owl him back, and he didn't mind. He just felt better now that he had let his emotions loose to someone.
Harry turned his head as he heard the door to Ron's room creak open. He could only see the outline of the woman's delicate figure, leaning against the door frame, but he knew it was Ginny. Through the hazy moonlight, she tilted her head to the side and whispered, "I thought you were asleep..."
"I can't." he sighed, trying to decide whether to stand up or not.
Leaving her post at the door, she closed it softly and walked to Harry. She walked up behind him and began massaging his bare shoulders. Harry leaned his head back, closing his eyes against the tears, and he sighed in relaxation. For the first time all day, he felt right
. He knew this was where he needed to be. With Ginny...
He leaned his head back further, feeling it touch her stomach. He moaned as her thumbs pressed into his shoulder blades, "I love you, Gin. I love you so much."
She smiled into the darkness, leaning over him, "I love you too, Harry."
"I'm so sorry I've been like this." Harry shook his head, angry with himself, "I just can't get the truth past."
"Harry," Ginny sighed, "Don't worry about it. I understand. Things are very difficult for you right now."
He tried to smile, "Thank you."
As she still leaned over her fiancée, he placed his hand at the back of her neck and pulled her head down to his, kissing her deeply. He moaned into her mouth, "You have no idea how much you mean to me..."
As Harry's tongue played with her lips, she whispered, "I want this moment to last forever..."
"Oh god," he moaned, pulling her under him, "Me too..."
Ginny wiggled out from under him, not wanting to do such things when her brother was asleep five feet away from them. She shoved Harry off of her, despite his protests and grabbed his hand, whispering, "Come on. Come to my room..."
Trying to stop his laughter, he let Ginny pull him from Ron's room and they quickly scurried down the hall, holding hands. Ginny slammed the door shut to her room the second they both entered and she grabbed Harry's shoulders fiercely, not minding if the slam of the door woke anyone. She pulled his body up against hers, making him back her up against the wall. Harry braced his hands on the wall as Ginny pulled him tighter to her, kissing her fiercely.
She ran her hands all over him. She dug her nails into his back as he pulled her away from the wall, making her fall against her bed. She quickly settled herself as Harry climbed on top of her, pressing his weight down on her. He slipped his hands under her shirt, pulling it immediately above her head. She shuddered as she felt Harry's chest press against hers, both bare.
Harry tried to push out all other thoughts, leaving only the ones of Ginny inside his mind. He didn't think about the battle as her bare chest pressed against his. He didn't think of his death as their legs quickly entwined, caressing the other. He didn't think about his mother, struggling with Harry's own problems. Nor did he think of his father and his nightmare...
It was only Ginny...
It was only Ginny, his fiancé that mattered when she moaned into the air as he looped his thumb through the elastic of her pajama bottoms. It was only Ginny who told him to make love to her as he kissed her neck...
That dark abyss that lay ahead for him didn't matter one bit...