I guess you could say that my life has not turned out at all like I planned. As a young girl I thought I knew exactly what would make me happy. I was going to be a schoolteacher, marry a kind of guy who matched my temperament, have a beautiful baby girl, and live out my life I peace. Looking back I can’t help but laugh at the twists that fate has surprised me with. For starters my dream of becoming a school teacher was shattered when I found out that I was a witch. My husband was always the center of attention during school, exactly the opposite of me, and our first child was a son. The only thing funnier than these crazy turns my life has taken is the fact that I have never been happier.
Despite my happiness, however, my life has certainly had its share of hardships. My husband and I have been the targets of three attacks against our lives by the most feared dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. And now we have been forced into hiding because this dark wizard has marked my son, my baby, for death because he is the only one who can defeat him. So recently our mentor and friend, Albus Dumbledore, advised us to place ourselves under the protection of the Fidelus Charm. Now the only person outside of our family who knows where we are is James’ friend Peter. I know that these measures are necessary to ensure the safety of my family, but it does get lonely.
So here I am, sitting at home with my husband and my son on Halloween night. I can hear the children on the street out trick-or-treating. Meanwhile my little Harry is sleeping on the floor. He was exhausted from riding the little toy broomstick his godfather bought for him all around the house. James and I were snuggled on the couch with our mugs of tea, watching him. From the outside we must have looked like an ordinary family. Who would have guessed that we were hiding for our lives?
“I’m so tired of this James,” I said finally, “I wish that we could just go back to normal.”
“And by normal you mean a witch and a wizard raising a son who will be sent off to be trained in the magical arts?” asked James, jokingly.
“You know what I meant,” I retorted, crossly.
“I’m only joking Lils,” James responded gently, “I was just trying to lighten the mood.”
“I’m sorry,” I sighed, “I shouldn’t snap at you. I guess it’s just because you’re here and are willing to take it.”
“See,” said James, “There’s the silver lining, you get to have me around all the time.”
“Well, I guess as long as I get to see your face all day, who really cares that an evil murderer is after us?” I laughed.
“I knew you’d see it my way,” James whispered, leaning in for the kiss.
“Um, James,” I said, stopping him when his face was about an inch from mine, “Maybe we shouldn’t do this in front of the baby. He just woke up.”
“Fine,” said James, pulling back with a quick little peck and turning around, “You sure have rotten timing young man.”
“Come on Harry,” I said, extending my arms, “Come to mummy.” Harry, still sleepy eyed and disoriented, stumbled over to me and crawled into my lap.
“How was your nap,” I asked, “Are you all ready to stay up all night now?”
“Probably,” said James, “Come here Harry, and we’ll see if we can’t wear you out.” With that he scooped him up and began to toss him in the air while Harry squealed with delight.
“Be careful,” I warned, half reproachful and half amused. Suddenly I saw James’ face turn from laughter to terror in a split second.
“James—“ I started, but he cut me off.”
“Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off!”
Without pausing to think I grabbed Harry from his arms and stumbled towards to stairs. I stopped at the bottom and turned back. “James, I—“
“I love you too,” he said, our eyes meeting for a split second. A lot of unspoken feeling passed through that look, as if we knew this might be the last time we ever looked into each other’s eyes.
I ran up the stairs and shut the door to the bedroom. I didn’t bother to lock it; locks wouldn’t do any good now. Holding Harry close I realized that I had left my wand downstairs. We had been betrayed, and I was defenseless. Holding my breath I listened to the noise downstairs. I heard the indistinct sounds of a struggle, a high, cold, cruel laugh, and then, without warning, the dreaded words, “Avada Kedavra.”
“Nooooo!” I screamed. I put Harry in his crib and shielded him with my body. James was dead and I knew I was next, but I wasn’t going to let him touch my son. I heard him on the stairs. I was ready.
“Give me the child!” he demanded.
“Never!” I said.
“Give me the child now!” he said again.
“Not Harry, not Harry, please no Harry!”
“Stand aside, you silly girl…stand aside, now…”
“Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead— Not Harry! Please…have mercy…have mercy…” But I knew there would be no mercy, so I watched horrified as Voldemort turned on me and my son.
They say that the moment before you die, you see your life flash before your eyes. I didn’t see my whole life, but I did see certain things and remember certain feelings…
I was standing, staring at a reflection in the mirror of a woman in the most beautiful white dress, hardly daring to believe that I was looking at myself. This was the day I had imagined all my life and now it was here. I closed my eyes and relished the moment.
“You know, Lil,” said a voice from behind me, “I had a dirty comment all ready to make, but somehow seeing you in that dress…it just doesn’t seem right. You look, well, you look beautiful, Lily.”
I turned around, smiling, to greet James’s best man, Sirius. “Well aren’t you the charmer, Mr. Black.”
“I try,” he replied, “Now, I feel obligated to ask, are you getting cold feet? Because just in case I filled the motorcycle with gas this morning.”
I shot him a look, and he grinned. “I was just checking. I feel that since I am walking you down the aisle, it is my duty to have a getaway car ready. Or I guess bike in this case.”
“No cold feet here. I have been ready for this day for quite some time. I do want to thank you though, Sirius, for agreeing to walk me down the aisle.”
“It is an honor, Lily,” he said, without a trace of sarcasm, “I am sorry, however, that you family couldn’t be here. But, it is for their own safety, they would be sitting ducks at a high profile magical event like this.”
“It’s alright really, though,” I responded, “Because in a way my family is here. James is my family. And you are my family, and Remus, and Peter, and the entire Order.”
“Until the day we die,” said Sirius, extending his arm to me, “Now, Miss Evans, let’s go get you hitched.”
The walk down the aisle was a blur. Vaguely I saw lots of smiling faces in the congregation and heaping arrangements of brightly colored flowers. I was focused mainly on not tripping over my own feet when I glanced up briefly and caught the eye of my groom, waiting at the end of the aisle. Then everything around me seemed to fade into the background. My eyes locked on James and I didn’t look away.
When we reached the altar, Sirius gave me a kiss on the cheek and James a firm handshake. “You look after her now, you hear?” he said gruffly. The two men embraced briefly and I could have sworn I saw a tear or two being shed.
James took my arm and led me to the priest. “Lily,” he breathed, softly, “You are breathtaking. How did I get this lucky?”
“I assumed it was a love potion,” I teased gently, “We both got lucky. You’re my one in a million James.”
His eyes twinkled as he gave my hand a little squeeze. “Well then, shall we go spend the rest of our lives together?”
“Lily, I’m home,” James called as he tossed his cloak onto the couch, “I hope you made something good tonight. Not like that bean salad you tried to kill me with last night.”
I was sitting at the kitchen table, staring at the little muggle stick that was in my hand, not registering what I was seeing. I barely even heard James and his comments from the living room.
“Um, Lily,” James said, walking into the kitchen, “I was only joking, the salad was fine, great actually. Let’s have it again tonight.”
I looked up at him. “I’m pregnant, James. We are going to have a baby.”
He stared at me for a minute in shock. Then in one quick motion he had crossed the kitchen floor and grabbed me into a tight embrace. When we broke apart his eyes were bright with tears. “A baby?”
“Yes, a baby.”
“You just made me pretty damn happy Lil,” he said, pulling me in for another hug. But he quickly pulled back, saying, “Oops, I don’t want to squish the baby.”
“I think you’re alright,” I laughed, “James, you know this baby is going to be a lot of work, right? I’m talking sleepless nights and hundreds of diaper changes.”
“Yeah, I know. Come on Lil, you know I signed up for the good and the bad. I mean I always hoped we would be the only couple in the world to never have any bad ever, but oh well. A few sleepless nights is nothing in exchange for a baby of our own.”
“You’re right,” I smiled, “And you promise to help with the diapers?”
“Only if it’s a boy,” James smirked, “Otherwise I do not intend to do a thing.”
“James!” I rebuked, shoving him lightly. He responded by grabbing me around the waist and swinging me over his shoulder. Any resistance was futile as he carried me off towards the bedroom.
“Somehow I thought that magic would make childbirth painless, but I guess I was wrong.”
“Yes, James,” I murmured, chuckling, resting my head against his shoulder, “You were a real trooper.”
“I know I was,” he said, “My hand might never be the same, you were squeezing it so hard. I might have circulation problems for life. But I suppose that I should also give you credit. You were a superstar today, babe.”
“It’s true,” I said, “I was. He was worth everything. Look at him James. He is perfect.”
“He looks like a Potter,” said James, “He already looks like he has the making of a Quidditch player.”
“I’m sure and Sirius will have him whipped into shape by the time he makes it to Hogwarts,” I said, laughing.
“That we will,” James said, “Give him to me for a while Lily, you get some sleep.”
I handed my precious baby Harry to James and lay back in my bed. As my eyes closed I saw James holding Harry so that they were looking right into each other’s eyes. “Hello little man,” he whispered, “Daddy loves you very much. You will always be my baby, but I can’t wait to see the man you grow up to be.”
As I drifted off to sleep, I saw James lean over and plant a soft kiss on our son’s forehead. I smiled.
Then the visions cleared…
I was left staring in to a pair of merciless, red, snakelike eyes. Voldemort raised his wand and pointed it directly at my heart. I knew the words he was about to say before he said them.
“Avada Kedavra,” he shouted.
In the time it took for the jet of green light to hit my body, I realized something. I realized that what I had remembered at the moment of death was not my shopping list, my job, or my bank account, because those things were not important in the end. What were important were the people I loved and why I loved them.
I heard a rushing sound, and was blinded by green light. I caught one last glimpse of the world I was leaving behind. I saw Voldemort turn his wand on my son, but I knew he would be safe. I had given him all I had. I had given him my life, but more importantly, I had given him my love.