It was a pretty cold morning, and Petunia was complaining. But that was nothing new.
“This day is just so freezing, Lily. You know I usually wouldn’t say it, but could you magic up some sun?”
I laughed and walked outside. The air seemed to dance and swirl –everything felt clean and clear and perfect. My bridesmaid dress ruffled in the slight breeze, and I began to imagine that it was my wedding dress. And this was my wedding…
“Oh, Lily…” I heard a voice say. I spun around to see James trudging up the driveway, his eyes sparkling with joy. “You look gorgeous.”
I giggled and skipped into his arms for a hug.
“That dress is amazing! And your hair – you look incredible!”
The dress was pretty stunning. Three layers of light blue tulle hang delicately in a shimmering skirt down to my feet, and the bodice was embroidered in sparkling shades of purple and green. My hair had been pinned into a thousand loose curls at the back of my head, with a few escaping and fluttering on my cheeks. James brushed one back now as he kissed me.
“I can’t wait until you’re my beautiful bride,” he whispered, and I blushed. I was only 18 after all. It felt so odd to know I was engaged as well…
“LILY!” I heard Petunia scream. “WHERE ARE YOU?! WHERE IS MY BOUQUET?”
I quickly grabbed the flowers off a white table which had been placed in the garden (we were having the wedding at home) and rushed inside, blowing a kiss to James – to my fiancé.
Inside, Petunia was dressed in a dress the shape of an iced cake. It was fluffy, blindingly white and a little bit overwhelming. She looked stressed, excited, highly strung and yet beautiful. Our mother had twisted her hair into an intricate bun made up of several tiny braids. It was a typically Petunia-esque style, and I smiled at my big sister. Despite our rough relationship, and Petunia’s intense personality, and was very proud of her, and quite sad to see her go. Weddings were always emotional. And once again I was caught up in imagining my impending ceremony.
In what seemed like seconds later I was walking down the aisle to the very Muggle tune of Pachelbel’s Cannon. And then I stood by Petunia as she and Vernon said their vows, looked into each other’s eyes, and kissed. I fought back tears of my own as I noticed my mother sobbing in the front row. I knew that her tears were even more plentiful because she knew how soon she’d be losing her other daughter as well. I sighed. I loved James and wanted nothing more than to be with him forever, but I was beginning to realise how much our decision would affect everyone else.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Mr and Mrs Vernon Dursley!”
The audience clapped and cheered, and I heard someone from Vernon’s drill company wolf whistle. And then…
Green lights were flying around the garden. People were screaming. Petunia and Vernon were running, hand-in-hand, in the opposite direction. And there was one though in my mind.
Death Eaters. I need to find James.
“Get out of the way!”
“Someone do something!”
Everyone was shouting. I scrambled around, trying to remember where I’d put my wand. Why was this happening now, the one time I was unprepared for a fight? The one time everything felt right and calm and happy and perfect…
I spun around to see my mother and father, in the arms of several shrouded figures.
“No! Please, no!” I began to say. But I was too late. As I watched, the Death Eaters shouted their curses and the bodies of my parents twitched like they’d been shocked, and fell lifeless to the ground. One of the Death Eaters spun towards me, and his hood feel back a bit from his face. I gasped in a painful breath as I saw an expression not of anger and cruelty, but of pleading remorse. A twisted, emotional expression framed by a mess of greasy, black hair…
In the same instant I saw him, I felt James beside me, grabbing my arm. We twisted together and, with a crack, disappeared into the tight suction of disapparation. The last thing I saw was the already dead body of my mother being kicked and trampled by a pack of seething, evil bodies. And blood. So much blood.
That was the moment I left my old life behind. Forever.
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