‘Siiilllyyy!’ echoed down the stairs. Harry had yet to manage to pronounce Sirius, and as such, his godfather was known as “Silly”. Sirius had been mortified and had taught him to say “Padfoot”, but though Harry knew the word, he still used “Silly” far more. ‘Mooeeeeyyy!’ Harry shouted hopefully. Peter seemed terrified of the one-year old and trembled every time he so much as touched him. Harry didn’t call for Peter nearly as much as the other two.
James pulled back with a chuckle. ‘He must’ve heard them talking.’ Lily smiled. When Remus and Sirius were over, all Harry had to do was call their names and they’d come running. Clearly Harry had decided that he’d rather play with his parents’ friends than sleep. And then it went quiet and stayed that way for long enough that Lily hoped he might have dozed off. And then, ‘Daaadd!’ echoed through the cottage, shortly followed by ‘Muummm!’
‘And you say he’s not a monster,’ James said fondly.
Lily smiled. ‘I’ve got him.’
‘No, love, I’ll do it,’ James said.
‘You just don’t want to do the dishes,’ Lily said, grinning. She could hear James laughing as he ran up the stairs. ‘And don’t wind him up – he needs to go back to sleep!’ she called after him. She retreated to the sink, waving her wand once to fill it, and again to make the cloth scrub everything.
She set her wand down on the table in the kitchen, right beside James' mirror - despite being a witch, some things, like putting plates away, were just easier to do the muggle way. Tufty wandered in, mewled and nuzzled her elbow. She scratched him behind the ears and he sat down by the kettle to watch her work. She'd just closed the cabinet when she heard a giggle and James’ deeper laugh coming from the sitting room.
Lily pushed the door open brushing her long hair out of her face. She smiled at Harry, whose face lit up. and at James who was conjuring little colourful clouds for his son to grab at. James swore it was for the fun of it, but Lily knew he was training him; she hadn’t missed that Harry only reached for the golden clouds.
‘I thought I said not to wind him up,’ she said, laughing at both guilty faces.
‘Sorry, Mum,’ James said, scooping their son off the ground. Harry squealed in delight, giggling as his father deposited him in his mother’s arms. ‘See you in the morning, kiddo,’ James said, mussing the tuft of black hair on the boy’s head. ‘Love you.’
‘Wuvvu,’ Harry said, peeking out from behind a chunk of Lily’s hair.
James kissed her. ‘I’ll join you in a moment,' he said stretching as he threw his wand down onto the couch, 'I'm just going to lock up.'
She smiled, shifting Harry's weight onto her other hip. James smiled back, hazel eyes dancing. ‘I'll see you soon,' she said.
* * *
We all know what happens next and I'm not going anywhere near it - J.K. Rowling did it far too well.
* * *
Six months, 115615 words and sixty chapters later, "White Flags" is officially over.
Originally, Chapter 59 had an extra few paragraphs and it was the end of the story. Last night, when I was posting it, I couldn't do it; I could not end it there, so I erased the last part and ended with Dumbledore heading back to Hogwarts. I lay awake last night for almost an hour, trying to decide how to end "White Flags" properly, and then it came to me.
I spent this morning writing Chapter 60 and all I can say is I'm so glad I did. I'm much happier with the ending now, and hopefully, you, my wonderful readers, liked it too - most of you have probably noticed the last few paragraphs are what Voldemort is seeing through the Potters' front room in Chapter 17 "Bathilda's Secret" in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Here at the end, I would just like to say that I have had so much fun writing this story and I absolutely loved reading all of your brilliant reviews as I published each new chapter. It was a win-win situation, really.
Lastly, lots of readers have asked whether I'll write another story. The answer: probably, but not until later this year or early 2013 - I've just started Year 12 and I want to do well, so I'll be focusing on my school-work for the next nine months.
If anyone has any questions about "White Flags" or about writing in general - I've received a few, lately - I'll be happy to answer them - just post them in a review, send a message to my account through the HPFF messaging system, or alternatively, you can use my email address which is posted on my account display page. (UPDATED: I've also set up a blog, so feel free to have a look there:http://marauderlover7.blogspot.com.au/ )
Most of all, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for sticking with "White Flags" for this long. You know who you are, and if you reviewed along the way, I know who you are and I can make my thanks a little more personal.
(In alphabetical order), thank you to:
AlexFan, AlyssaBlack, Amicus, awkwardhugs.
Bellatrixtonks, Bk/BK, BreeTate/BreeT/NightSpell202, Brielle.
ClawBabe, cnewk, Conor, Corleone.
daisyketurah, Deena S., Dobs12, DracoGirl1, Dr Seuss.
Genevive, GinzPotter, Grace, Greenpotter0429, ginny_16.
H4NA, h_gpotter, Hammy, HarryPLoveStory, harrypotterfan98, harrysiriuspotter256, HartOfARebel, HermioneGinger, Hedwig_forever, Hippogriff lover, hpluver, happy person, hplover41594.
i freakin love malfoy, Inez, Issi, I(heart)Padfoot.
Jennie, jplove4evs, Jill.
L_J_L, Leslie, lily, LilyGinnyBella, LittleEllehammer, lilyaubretiapotter.
MARAUDERGIRL, Marauder_Weasley, Maraudress, Michael Winges, Miss_potter, Mollie, ms4aisa, Mysterious.
padfootandprongs25, Paige_Weasley, Polyjuice_Pixies, potterlove, prongspotter123, Pzi_Black, parseltongue witch.
Rae Simmons, Ravenrage, rorpiusgirl, Red M, roms.
Sam, silverunicorn, siriuslycharmed, SiriusPotterhead, Skyler315, sophia, sophie,
spraguehp, StaceTheNifflerGirl4/StaceInSpace/Spacey Stacey!, storywriter, Shae Gryff.
TeilaWeasley11, THAT FUNNY PEEVES, The Stag And Doe xx, the brave gryffindor/Priss the unicorn.
10PointsFromSlytherin, 19 whitehorse.
Thank you again for all your support through "White Flags", it means more to me than I can put into words (though I've tried anyway).
Until next time,