Chapter 1 : An instant
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“Mum! Mum! Mummy!”
Trying his best to be heard the boy strained his voice, tears falling from his eyes in frustration when his voice wasn’t heard. He wasn’t sure what else there was to do but keep moving, and he willed his legs to move just a smidge faster. The boy was sure that he was running faster than he ever had in a race with James, but now was not the time to think of such things. He needed to get his mum.
Feeling desperate he managed to raise his voice to a level that he never had before, his feet finally reaching the familiar backyard. As a figure appeared in the back doorway, and soon emerged the boy stopped in his tracks and waved his hand frantically.
“Albus, what’s wrong?” His mother hurried to meet him, her red hair flying in all directions as she moved. Her eyes were wide, and Albus could tell that she was worried but he didn’t know how to put it into words. There was no way to explain what had happened, what had lead him to run the fastest he had ever run without taking up too much time. He could only manage one word.
His eyes filled with tears as he took off again, this time with his hand in his mothers as he pulled her along. Snapping twigs under his feet and weaving in and out of trees Albus crossed the woods like an expert, his silent mother behind him too stunned to even utter a word. When he glanced back at her she looked so unlike the mother than the boy had come to know, and Albus didn’t dare to sneak another look at her. He had no idea what had happened in the woods since he left, but he knew that it couldn’t be good. It was only going to get worse.
The two finally reached the location that Albus had just come from, his mother letting out a gasp as she saw the scene before her. Her eldest child sat on the edge of the small brook that the children often played in, and sprawled in his lap was a very still little girl. All Ginny could do was look on in horror.
“Mum, you have to help her.” The words fell from James mouth, pulling his mother out of her trance. Without words she was at his side, pulling the girl into her own arms, unsure what was wrong with her, but knowing that it was bad. James’s body didn’t move as his arms were emptied, and he stared at the spot his sister had been in as if she were still there.
As soon as Ginny had her baby girl in her arms, she knew that something was sickly, horribly wrong. Her body was too limp, too cold, and as she pushed away her thick red hair she found her eyes vacant. The woman knew it had to be a joke, a sick, cruel, horrible joke that someone awful had chosen to play on her. All signs only lead to one thing, and there was no way her baby girl was dead.
The world seemed to stop spinning, and it was almost as though time itself had paused for just a moment. James was still clutching his invisible baby sister and Albus was frozen in place, the scene much different than when he had left it. Ginny’s face scrunched up as she reached for her child’s wrist, only to let it fall as she realized that her daughter had no pulse.
In an instant her entire world was shattered.
This morning Lily had been laughing at the table while she ate her pancakes, the sticky syrup managing to make it into her hair. Harry had teased her about being a messy eater before he took off for work, sneaking her a chocolate frog before he left. Only an hour ago the seven year old had begged to be able to go into the woods with her big brothers, her father’s eyes pleading with her. And just like that she was dead, and there were no more memories to be made. Ginny had failed her.
As a mother all she was supposed to do was make sure that her children were taken care of, that she did all she could to protect them and care for them. She promised them each night that nothing bad would ever come to them, not if she could stop it. Now with one of them dead the woman knew that she did more than fail. She was a horrible, awful, person to let this happen to her daughter, to let her eyes off of her long enough for something this awful to happen.
“What happened?” Ginny’s voice was softer than she’d ever remembered it being before, and she glared at her two boys for a moment, struggling to see them as her children. How could they really be her flesh and blood when they had allowed their baby sister to die before their very eyes? Surly if she had been here she could have stopped it; Harry could have stopped it; so why hadn’t James and Albus been able to?
“It was an accident mum, Lily slipped while we were playing...and she went under…” With a shaky voice Albus tried to answer his mother’s question, but his memory of the whole event was hazy. Even though it happened so recently, it all moved to fast to be able to fully understand what happened.
“I pulled her out mum, I did, as fast as I could but she just wouldn’t wake up.” James spoke, his voice cracking as he did so. Glancing down at his hands he wondered if he had been there a moment sooner if it would have been enough, or if he had ignored his mother’s wishes to allow her to tag along and left her behind if she would have been saved.
The two boys searched their mothers face for forgiveness, for a sign that she understood how it had been an accident. The boys wished that they could have done something to help Lily, and hated that they hadn’t been able to. Lily had always looked up to them, and when she needed them most they hadn’t been there. And now all they wanted was for their mother to tell them they she understood.
“You killed my baby.” Ginny muttered under her breath, glancing from child to child horrified. She tried to reason out what happened, and knew it had to have been their fault. After all they were the only ones who were there when it happened, and their actions were the reason that she was now the mother of two, not three. Pulling her baby girl close and smoothing her hair over and over she tried to ignore everything in the world. Standing with her daughter in her hands, Ginny made her way back to the house, not even glancing at her sons.
It didn’t matter how many times the boys tried to convince their mother that they had done all that they could to save Lily. It was too late; there was nothing that they could do to get their sister back.
Lily was gone, and she had taken part of her mother with her.
A/N: The characters don't belong to me, but the plot does. This was written for EmeraldCity's Make Me Cry Challenge. Please leave a review.
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