Chapter 14 : Oracle Dream
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Spinner’s End, Yorkshire:
Lily sat in front of her vanity, vigorously brushing her hair, making her auburn strands shimmer like burnished copper. She always brushed out her hair before she went to sleep every night, otherwise she ended up with a rat’s nest of tangles. She knew there was a potion you could put on your hair to prevent tangles, but Lily preferred to simply brush her hair, the motion was soothing and familiar, and at heart she was an old-fashioned girl.
After brushing her hair out, she got into her pajamas and curled up in bed. It was a little earlier than she usually went to sleep, about eleven o’clock, but she was oddly weary, even though she hadn’t done anything strenuous except go jogging in the park with Petunia. She had just received a letter from Severus four days ago, and was happy that his summer was going well. She just wished she could share it with him. She closed her eyes, remembering the last time she had kissed him goodbye, and she smiled. Sev, I miss you so much. But in another few weeks, I’ll be seeing you. Funny, but this is the first time that a few weeks seem like an eternity. She read a few pages of her new paperback book, then she felt her eyes beginning to close and she quickly set the book down and snuggled down into the covers. In moments, she was asleep.
At first, she slept deeply, without dreams. Then, all at once, she was walking with Severus, hand in hand down a dark twisty road. Regulus was next to Severus, on his opposite side, and there was a terrible feeling of dread and anticipation in the air. Lily shivered with cold, and Severus wrapped his arm about her, even though the night was mild. It was not the weather that caused her to shiver. It was what waited for them at their destination.
Something dark and dangerous dwelled beyond the dark road, and though all three knew of it, they did not alter their course even slightly.
Abruptly, Lily halted, and stiffened, her large emerald eyes going flat and focused on something intangible.
Severus peered at her worriedly. “Lily, what is it? What do you See?” For he recognized the signs, this was how his little oracle got just before she had a vision.
She opened her mouth and said, quietly and forcefully, “Three together shall walk the paths of night, for only by infiltrating the heart of darkness can the dark be defeated. Be swift, be cunning, and be steadfast and you shall never be destroyed. Trust in yourselves and each other and the dark will not triumph. Fail and the dark shall destroy all.”
She shuddered violently, then began repeating the prophecy again.
“Three together shall walk the paths of night . . .”
With a sharp cry, Lily jerked awake, trembling and gasping, her mind full of the prophecy she had dreamt. Write it down, I must write it down. She groped for the pad and pencil she usually kept on her nightstand and began to scribble rapidly.
She had just finished writing the last word when Petunia tapped on the door and entered.
“Lily? You all right? I heard you yell.” Her sister was dressed in one of her silky pajama sets, a royal blue color that went well with her blond hair.
“I’m fine, Tuney. I just had . . .a dream,” Lily answered, her eyes still vague and sleep-filled.
Petunia came forward and sat on the edge of her sister’s bed, concern written all over her face. “Was it . . .one of those dreams?” she asked cautiously.
She knew of her sister’s ability to prophecy in dreams, and though she was distrustful of magic in general, Lily’s Sight was accepted by her, because it was a talent that non-wizards could possess. Lily’s first vision had occurred when she was six, and had Seen her grandfather drop dead of a heart attack mowing his lawn. The little girl had been hysterical, and insisted they go over to Grandy’s house and when Polly and Petunia had done so, they had found him on the lawn, near death. But because of Lily’s vision, he did not die that day, they managed to get him to a hospital in time. He died six years later, peacefully in his sleep, and that his granddaughter did not See.
Slowly, Lily nodded. “I dreamed about me and Sev and Sev’s best friend Reg.” She lifted the tablet with the prophecy upon it and thrust it at Petunia. “That’s what I remember about it.”
Petunia read it over twice then she set it down on the bed and asked, “But what does it mean? What is the darkness that threatens everything and who are the three this refers to?”
“I . . .don’t know for sure, because prophecy is always vague, but. . .I think it might be me, Sev, and Reg. I was with them in my dream. But the rest . . .the darkness might refer to that psycho dark wizard I told you about.”
“The one who wants to rule the world, or some other thing like that?” Petunia snorted derisively.
“That one. He calls himself Lord . . .V-Voldemort,” Lily made herself say the name. “And his name is so feared no one speaks it aloud much. I think that he and his followers are the darkness of the prophecy.”
Petunia looked skeptical, nibbling on her lower lip. “And you think the three are you, Reg and Sev? That you’re supposed to walk down some path at night and fight some crazy dark wizard?”
“Something like that, yes.”
“Lily, that’s insane! You’re fifteen, how can you fight some nutcase and his organization of evil? Who do you think you are, Superwoman?”
“No, but . . .it felt so real, Tuney! The dream, I mean! I was frightened and cold, yet I was filled with determination and a purpose. And so were Sev and Reg. If I am meant to do this . . .then I shall.”
“How can you tell?”
Lily shrugged. “I don’t know, Tuney. It’s hard to describe. I can choose not to listen to the prophecy or to do what it says. Such is the freedom of an oracle to choose. But if I choose wrong, then I have to live with the consequences.” She looked down at her hands, tracing the forget-me-not pattern on the coverlet. “I’ve never dreamed an oracle dream about more than one person before. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”
“Maybe the dream was meant for them and not you?” Petunia speculated, hoping desperately for Lily to say yes. She was suddenly seized with terror, not for herself, but for her little sister.
“No . . .it was clearly meant for all of us,” Lily disagreed, feeling the certainty lodge deep inside of her. “I would not have seen the three of us that way if it were not meant for the three of us together. But I’m scared, Tuney,” she admitted softly. “If it’s a true vision, then we have this huge responsibility to defeat one of the most powerful dark wizards ever. How can I do that? I’m not even out of school yet.”
“You don’t have to, Lil,” Petunia said swiftly, gripping her sister’s hand. “Forget about this weird vision or whatever. You’re a kid, you shouldn’t be worrying about saving the world.”
Lily gave her sister a sad smile. “I know. But . . .I am. If I don’t do what the prophecy says, then he’ll win, and the wizarding world—my world, Sev’s world—will be destroyed by him. How can I permit that?”
“Lily, you could die, for heaven’s sake!” hissed her sister, longing to take the younger Evans and shake her.
“No, not if all of us stick together. Three together shall walk the paths of night . . . Be swift, be cunning, and be steadfast and you shall never be destroyed. Trust in yourselves and each other and the dark will not triumph.” Lily recited quietly.
“Yeah, but what about the last line—Fail and the dark shall destroy all? That implies that you could make a mistake or . . .or something and then . . .”
“Yes. There is always that possibility. No prophecy is written in stone, Petunia. Even the great oracles at Delphi did not predict true one hundred percent. Prophecy is meant as a guide, a warning, a glimpse into the future, it isn’t an absolute unless you make it one.”
“Then you don’t need to act on this, Lily.”
Lily’s hand covered her sister’s. “But look what will happen if I don’t. I can’t risk it, Tuney. We can’t have that bastard win. He’s as bad as Hitler, or Stalin, or Mussolini ever was.”
“Then why can’t some of your adult wizards handle him?” Petunia demanded hoarsely. “Why the bloody hell does it have to be you three kids?”
“Maybe because we have skills the others don’t. Or because we’re willing and they aren’t. I don’t know, Tuney. I wish I hadn’t ever dreamed this. I don’t want to do this,” Lily cried. “But I also don’t want to bear the burden of allowing a megalomaniac to take over wizarding Britain if I can prevent it. Besides, what I saw might not come to pass for quite some time. Maybe a year or two.”
“What are you going to do in the meantime, Lily? Learn how to take out some dark wizards?” Petunia asked sarcastically.
“If need be,” her sister replied. “Tuney, please. Don’t make this hard for me. I can’t tell any of this to Mum and Dad, you know they would never understand.”
“I’m not sure I understand,” Petunia sighed. “Is there no other way for you to fulfill this prophecy?”
“I don’t believe so. I have to be involved in it, and there’s no way around that. But maybe I won’t need to confront Voldemort directly. Maybe that part of the prophecy can be fulfilled by someone else. But whatever I have to do, I’m glad that at least one member of my family knows the truth.”
“You’re nuts, Lily Anne Evans! Absolutely nuts!” Petunia growled, her eyes misting. “I don’t know why I’m agreeing to this . . .I should just tell Mum and Dad and let them deal with you. . . .But I won’t. I’ll keep your secret, little sister. Just promise me one thing.”
“That you’ll let me know if you’re about to do something dangerous . . .because I don’t want some hokey wizard showing up to tell me that you’ve . . .gotten yourself killed. I want to at least be forewarned.”
“That’s fair. I promise, Tuney.” Then she threw her arms about her sister and hugged her. “I love you, Tuney-Rooney.”
Petunia giggled at the old nickname, which was one their mother used to call her as baby. She held Lily close. “Love you too, Lily-bug.”
They remained that way for several long moments, drawing strength and comfort from each other, until Lily yawned and said she was going to go back to sleep, and Petunia released her.
Petunia turned and looked at her sister, and asked, “So are you going to write to Sev about this?”
“No. It’s not something I can trust to a letter, even wizard post,” Lily said. “Don’t ask me why, but this prophecy must be kept as secret as possible. If anyone from You-Know-Who’s camp found out about it . . .they would try to kill us. So . . .I have to wait to tell him. When we get back to school, I’ll tell him then and Regulus too.”
“Okay. Suit yourself.” Petunia said. “Good night, Lil.” She left her little sister then and returned to her own room, where she tossed and turned until dawn and wished there were something she could do to change Lily’s mind. But she knew her sister, and when Lily was fixed on something, she was stubborn as a rock, and would not give in. All Petunia could do was pray that she would be safe and hope that Voldy-whoever committed suicide before Lily and her friends had to face him. It was too bad really that Petunia didn’t know where he lived, for she would have liked to run the bastard over with her father’s car. Not even a wizard would survive that, she’d wager.
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