Chapter 9 : A shock
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Lily followed Professor McGonagall down the hallway, in the direction of the Headmaster’s office.
“Why does Professor Dumbledore wish to see me?” she asked curiously.
McGonagall did not look at her, but replied, “I cannot tell you now. He will tell you himself when we arrive.”
Lily began to feel very nervous as they approached the entrance to Dumbledore’s office.
“Pumpkin Pasties!” cried Professor McGonagall. Lily watched as the stone gargoyles sprang to life and a spiral staircase appeared. She had never been inside the Headmaster’s office before, so her visit here now gave her a great sense of foreboding.
Together, McGonagall and Lily ascended the staircase and walked into the office.
Lily looked around to find that Dumbledore was seated behind his enormous desk, frowning slightly at the contents upon it. He looked up as Lily and McGonagall entered.
“Ah, Miss Evans, how are you?” asked Dumbledore.
“Fine, thanks, and you?” she asked back nervously.
Dumbledore paused. “Well, Miss Evans, I regret to tell you that I have some bad news. Please take a seat.” He gestured to an armchair in front of his desk.
Lily walked slowly to the chair and sat down. “What’s wrong?” she asked, in a voice that was more high-pitched than usual.
Professor McGonagall took the seat next to her, as Dumbledore addressed Lily.
“This letter has just arrived from your mother,” said Dumbledore. He picked up a piece of parchment from his desk and held it in the air.
“It is a letter to you,” he continued, “Which she instructed me to give you in private, here in my office.”
Lily’s heart was pounding in her chest.
Dumbledore held the note out to her, but she did not move to take it. He stood up and placed the note in her lap.
After a few moments, she gingerly picked up the parchment and unfolded it. Dumbledore turned his back to her and walked to the edge of his office, closely examining the contents of one of his bookshelves.
My dear Lily,
I wish I didn’t have to bring you such sad news. I can hardly bear it myself. I wish I could be there to tell you in person, but due to the circumstances I need to be at home taking care of things right now.
Lily, your father has passed away.
I know this may come as a large huge shock to you, but as you know we are both elderly for having such a young child. He passed away peacefully during a nap this morning. He was in no pain and I am grateful to say, suffered in no way beforehand.
Your father was a great man and a great husband, and it breaks my heart that he is gone. I don’t know how I will bear it, but I will be strong for you. I have made arrangements for you to travel home tomorrow. The funeral will be this weekend.
I love you so much. Know that your father loved you too. Stay strong.
Lily stared at the piece of parchment in front of her for minutes, not quite comprehending what she had read. She read the letter again, and slowly the message began to sink in.
She had known that her father was elderly, even by wizarding standards, but she had never thought he’d be gone so soon. He wouldn’t be there to pick her up from Kings Cross at the end of the year, he wouldn’t be there on her potential wedding day, and she would never see him again. Her mind raced as the pain of it all began to hit her.
Be strong, she whispered to herself. But it was no use. Streams of silent water began to run down her face. The parchment floated out of her hands and onto the floor as her hands began to shake. Professor Dumbledore walked over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. This was her breaking point.
Suddenly a large wail erupted from her, and she sank out of her chair and onto the floor. She clutched her stomach as her chest constricted. Sobbing uncontrollably, she found it hard to breathe. Her cries were endless and her pain increased as the minutes went by.
Professor McGonagall got up from her chair and crouched on the floor beside her. She placed a gentle arm around Lily’s heaving shoulders.
“Lily, it’s all right. It’s all right,” she repeated in a kind voice, but Lily’s sobs only multiplied.
“Is there anything I can do? Anything I can bring you? Chocolate, or tea or,-anything?” McGonagall cried.
Lily wailed further.
“There must be something that can be done, Albus!” cried McGonagall, looking up at Dumbledore with fear and pity in her eyes.
Dumbledore swooped down to them. “Lily,” he whispered, “Is there anyone we can bring you?”
Images and faces flashed through Lily’s mind.
“James,” she gasped, “Bring James.”
Professor McGonagall swept from the room. It felt like she had been gone for hours, when finally she appeared in the doorway, followed by a breathless James.
His face was flushed and it was very apparent that he had been running to the office. He sprinted across the room to Lily, where he slid to a stop and threw his arms around her.
Lily buried her head in his shoulder and sobbed as he held tightly to her. He pulled her into her lap and stroked her hair as she cried. “It’s okay, Lily. It’ll be okay,” he whispered over and over.
A/N: Hello lovely readers! I know this chapter is very short, and is also much more dark and emotional than my normal writing, but I felt it was necessary for this to happen in this story! The next (and final) chapter will be longer and will posted immediately after this one to compensate for how short this chapter was. Then you will finally know who Lily choses in my tale.
Also, I did verify that Dumbledore was Headmaster while Lily was at school, in case you had any doubts. And although JKR doesn't describe Harry's grandparent's death in detail, they do die before he was born, so I thought why not have it be during the course of my story? :)
Leave a review please!! And thanks for reading! xx
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