Chapter 1 : Crows + Locusts
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“So what do you say, Harry? Will you become a seeker like your big old dad, or did you inherit your mother’s brains? I hope it’s both. I mean, what is a Potter without his broom?” Little Harry stared at his dad, a small smile on his face. “You are so chubby!” James exclaimed, pulling him out of his cot and spinning him around the room.
Harry smiled. “I mean, look at you! I’ve never met anyone so chubby before.”
Pulling out his wand, he put I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles on. “Gotta teach good music young, don’t I?” James said, dancing around the front room slowly. “This is Mummy and Daddy’s song, Harry. Did you know that? This is the song that was playing when I kissed her for the first time.”
“I can’t believe you remember that.” James stopped spinning and saw Lily leaning against the door frame; a large smile on her face.
“Of course I remember. Your surprise offends me,” James feigned shock. Harry began to cry when he saw his mum. Lily’s eyes softened and she took Harry out of James’s arms. He stopped crying immediately. “Aww, thanks mate. I can feel the love oozing off you,” he laughed.
“Oh, stop it. He just loves his mummy, don’t you?” Harry said nothing. “It’s time for your nap, isn’t it, sweetheart?” Lily fondly kissed her son’s head and began to walk around the room in an attempt to put him to sleep.
“He has your eyes, Lils,” James said as he stared at Harry. “Gosh, I’m a father,” he ran his fingers through his hair as though the reality had only just struck him.
“Yes, you are,” Lily laughed, “And you have been a dad for the past fifteen months.” Harry yawned but fought to stay awake.
“Yeah, but I didn’t fully realize it until now,” he laughed. “Want a cup of tea?” Lily’s tired green eyes shined with the idea of a cup of tea. “Sirius and Remus are coming along soon.”
“Listen, James. I know they want to see Harry again—”
“Of course they do!” James exclaimed, “Sirius is Harry’s godfather and Remus would be if it wasn’t for his ‘furry problem’.”
Lily sighed and rose to her feet; Harry wrapped his small hands around his mother’s neck. “Yes, I know,” she sighed, “but I’m tired, James. I’m so tired; we have a child to take care of, and with the upcoming war we have to be careful.”
“What are you saying?” he asked. James knew exactly what Lily was implying; he just didn’t want to think it.
“You know exactly what I’m saying, James,” Lily replied. She sounded exhausted; James couldn’t blame her. Ever since Harry had been born, they had been so cautious about who knew where they lived. Sure, they had a secret keeper, but with the upcoming war, they had to be careful. Harry had to stay safe.
James was ready to yell—he himself was stressed and tired—but taking a deep breath, he pulled Lily and Harry into a hug. “Lily, I know you’re scared. I don’t blame you, and truth be told, I’m scared too, but we can’t isolate ourselves from everyone we know. Sirius, Remus and Peter would die before betraying us to Voldemort, and so would Marlene and Alice. Trust me; none of our friends would betray us.”
Kissing her forehead, he pried a now-sleeping Harry out of her arms. “I’ll put him to bed.”
Lily finished making the two teas, and James put Harry to bed. When James found Lily, she was hunched on a photo album. James recognized it immediately; it was her family’s album. He sat down next to her and silently put his arm around her. James squeezed her shoulder.
“What if we can’t do it, James?” she asked.
“This,” she said, gesturing to the house. “Raise a family.”
James smiled and took ahold of Lily’s free hand. “Lily, look at me.” She did. “This week has been stressful, I know. Slowly, people we know are dying: Mary, Ophelia and David. Frank and Alice are as close to death as possible, but we are still here, still breathing.”
“I know, but my parents—”
James cut off. “Aren’t you. Both of our parents weren’t exactly parents-of-the-year material. My parents lived in a loveless marriage, and your dad was an alcoholic, but I swear on the Marauders Map that we’ll never make our parents’ mistakes.” James kissed his wife fondly and pulled her to her feet.
“James, what are we doing?” Lily asked, rolling her eyes.
“Pretending like it’s 1978 again,” he replied, turning the music up louder. “Dance with me.”
Pulling Lily closer, they began to dance around the room. Lily closed her eyes and forgot about the war.
When she opened her eyes, it was 1978 again and they were dancing around the Three Broomsticks.
There was not a care in the world. Lily could smell the butterbeer and stale firewhisky. Looking around, she saw Remus dancing with Marlene. As it should be, she thought. Sirius was doing some ridiculous dance in an attempt to impress Amy; Lily knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was tipsy. Alice and Frank were dancing next to James and Lily, and Mary and Reg were drinking butterbeer, laughing at Sirius’ erotic dancing. When Lily opened her eyes, the Three Broomsticks was gone and so was 1978. They were back in 1981, with a war hanging over their heads.
“We’ll get through this, Lils. We always do. We’ll be good parents, and we’ll watch Harry grow old.”
Lily and James sat back onto their sofa, smiling. Lily snuggled closer to James and he cradled her in his arms. “I love you,” she said sleepily.
“I love you too,” James said and within moments, they were asleep. Several hours later, James and
Lily awoke to a trick-or-treater on the door. “Dammit, I forgot about Halloween,” James said after apologizing to the children.
“Is it really Halloween?” he asked, laughing.
Lily nodded sleepily, aroused by the noise. “Yep,” she said, “October thirty-first, 1981.”
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