Chapter 8 : Emotional Overdrive
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“Like I said … insecurities,” Severus told Lily in an exasperated tone of voice. The two of them were walking to the Great Hall together for breakfast on Valentine’s Day and Lily was telling Severus about James’s theory that he was in love with her.
“So that thing last year about saving Harry never happened?” Lily questioned him. Severus turned to face her.
“No, it did. I did save Harry for your benefit just like Potter said,” he grimaced. “But I’m afraid he may have misunderstood why I did it.” Lily watched him carefully.
“Why did you do it?” she asked shrewdly. He stared at her for a moment.
“At the time,” he began, “the last time I had ever spoken to you was fifteen years before that when we were sixteen and you were accusing me of wanting to be a Death Eater and saying that you never wanted to speak to me again.” Lily bit her lip nervously but said nothing. Severus continued. “I lost my best friend that night … the only real friend I ever really had as I soon figured out. I guess, saving Harry was my way of trying to prove to you that I’m different now than how I was back then. I was a stupid kid then and I’d like to think I’m a much smarter man now.” Lily sighed and smiled at him.
“Mission accomplished,” she said quietly, squeezing his arm gently. They turned and continued to walk on in companiable silence for a while. Severus shook his head.
“Potter really needs to chill, though,” he said. “I mean, it must be hard for you to be right in the middle of two guys who can’t stand each other.” Lily nodded.
“It is,” she agreed. “I mean, James knows he can’t exactly tell me who to be friends with but he’s just living with the discomfort,” she explained.
“Why can’t he tell you who to be friends with?” Severus wanted to know. “The Potter I know would have done exactly that!”
“He can’t do that because I’d kick his butt in the worst way and he knows it!” Lily replied viciously. Severus laughed out loud.
“Ah, the good old days,” he sighed nostalgically. Lily chuckled. “Seriously, what happened, Lily? You used to hate him and now …” Severus trailed off unable and unwilling to describe how she was with James now. Lily shrugged.
“People change, Sev,” she offered simply. “I know you know that because it’s what you’ve been trying to get me to believe about you, and I do.” She looked at him solemnly. Severus just looked back, unable to respond to the truth of that statement.
* * * * * * * * *
The first thing Lily saw when she arrived in the Great Hall with Severus was the simultaneously revolted and appalled look on Harry’s face. A moment later, she realized why he looked like that. The entire hall looked like the inside of a full bottle of pepto bismol. There was pink everywhere. Pink streamers hung from the ceiling and wound their way around the walls and pink, heart-shaped confetti floated gently down from the ceiling.
“What the hell is this?” Severus asked with a disgusted expression on his face. He and Lily looked at each other.
“Lockhart,” they said in unison. But they were even more horrified when Lockhart stood up and announced to the students that grumpy-looking dwarves were going to be delivering valentine cards for people all day.
“They’ll disrupt all our lessons,” Lily said, horrified. Meanwhile, at the Gryffindor table, Ginny arrived with a big smile on her face, happier than Morgan had seen her in a very long time. Morgan groaned.
“Oh please, don’t tell me you actually like these decorations,” Morgan told her, allowing her disgust to colour her voice. Ginny’s smile faded.
“Hell, no! It clashes with my hair!” she said in indignation.
“We wouldn’t want that,” Morgan smirked sarcastically. Ginny laughed and punched Morgan playfully on the arm.
“Seriously though, what’s made you so happy all of a sudden?” Morgan asked her friend. Ginny sat at the table next to her and poured herself some pumpkin juice. “No, wait! Let me guess!” Morgan continued, before the redhead could reply. She tapped her chin thoughtfully, thinking.
“Your parents won the one point two million Galleon lottery!” she guessed. Ginny rolled her eyes.
“I wish!” she sighed.
“Okay … you got top marks in that Transfiguration essay?” Morgan suggested.
“Nope,” Ginny answered.
“I know!” Morgan gasped. “Harry finally declared his total undying love for you!” Morgan teased her friend.
“Shhhh!” Ginny hushed the other girl, blushing furiously and looking around to make sure no one had heard her. Morgan laughed as she watched Ginny return to pouring milk over her cereal.
“What is it, then?” Morgan wanted to know.
“Let’s just say, I don’t think I’m going to be sleepwalking anymore,” Ginny revealed.
“Ginny! That’s great!” Morgan said, delighted. “So, what was it? How did you manage to stop? What was making you sleepwalk in the first place?”
“Um …” Ginny began nervously, looking shifty. “I … don’t really want to talk about it,” she said, avoiding Morgan’s gaze. Morgan raised her hands as though in surrender.
“Okay, that’s fine,” she said hurriedly. There was a pause. “But you’re okay now, right?” Ginny nodded.
“Yeah, I think it’ll be okay now.” Ginny smiled.
"Good," said Morgan, putting an arm around the girl.
* * * * * * * * *
Harry had been telling his friends about the strange diary he had found in the girls’ bathroom after someone had tried to flush it down the toilet, when Lily arrived at her first year History of Magic class, to find a crush of students in the hallway outside. As she approached, she saw Harry grab a book from Draco Malfoy, who seemed to be laughing uproariously. And he wasn’t the only one. Pretty much all the students in the corridor were laughing.
“What’s going on here?” she asked when she arrived. “Get to your classes, the bell’s about to ring.” The crowd broke up pretty quickly after that. But Lily noticed that Ginny Weasley ran into class, a mortified expression on her bright red face.
“That was embarrassing,” Morgan muttered as she passed Lily, grimacing at Harry as she did so. Lily walked into the class after her.
'“Okay, settle down, and take out your homework assignments to hand in.” She looked over at where Morgan and Ginny were seated. Ginny had her face buried in her hands on the desk and Morgan was patting her back and grimacing. She caught her mother’s eye and rolled her own eyes as Lily began to take up the assignments. Lily raised her eyebrows enquiringly at her daughter.
“Tell you later,” Morgan mouthed.
* * * * * * * * *
That night, James and Lily sat in the living room with some drinks watching Morgan making bracelets for herself and Ginny while Harry sat poring through a book in an armchair on the opposite side of the room.
“He said that he was just trying to make you see that he was different so you’d be his friend again?” James was saying.
“More or less,” Lily replied, sipping her cocoa. She had just told James about her conversation with Severus.
“And you believed that?” James said incredulously. Lily narrowed her eyes at him.
“James,” she warned.
“I’m sorry, Lils. I guess I just can’t believe that you think he just wants to be your friend after I told you about last year,” James explained. Lily sighed heavily.
“I told you, James. Sev says you misunderstood what he was doing and why.”
“And what’s with you calling him ‘Sev’?” James added.
“What’s wrong with that?” Lily asked, confused. “It’s a nickname.” James scoffed.
“Sounds more like a pet name, an endearment, even,” he said suspiciously.
“James,” Lily sighed in exasperation.
“You don’t have a ‘nickname’ for me,” James continued heatedly.
“Sure I do, I have lots,” Lily replied flippantly.
“Like what?” James wanted to know.
“Fathead, jerk, bully, remember those? Take your pick, I got more.” Lily stared at him and he stared back.
“So wait,” Harry interrupted the silence. “You actually think Professor Snape loves Mum?” He had heard the entire conversation and was horrified at what his father seemed to be thinking.
“Do you see?” Lily told James. “Would you please not put ideas into his head, you know how he tends to overreact.” James raised his hands.
“Alright, sorry,” he said. Harry shook his head and went back to his book. James and Lily sat in silence for a while. Then James reached out and wrapped a lock of his wife’s dark red hair around his finger. He had kind of started to be suspicious of her there for a moment, and he could see it had upset her. He smiled tentatively at her.
“Love you,” he said softly. Lily put down her now empty mug and wrapped her arms around her husband.
“I know,” she sighed into his neck. “I love you, too.”
“You want a refill?” James asked, spotting her empty mug.
“Sure,” Lily smiled. He took the mug and left.
“Hey Morgan,” Lily began after she had watched James leave. “How’s Ginny?” Morgan had told her mother about what had transpired in the hall after class that day. Apparently, it involved Harry getting a valentine and Malfoy insinuating that Ginny had sent it. Morgan started to laugh as James re-entered with refilled mugs.
“Really, really embarrassed,” she replied.
“Who’s embarrassed?” James asked.
“Ginny,” Lily replied.
“What’s Ginny have to be embarrassed about?” Harry asked curiously. Morgan and Lily gaped at Harry in disbelief.
“He can’t be serious?” Morgan asked her mother. Lily sighed and raised her eyes to the heavens. “Boys are very simple creatures, Morgan,” she explained to her daughter. “It often takes them a while to clue in."
“No kidding!” she said, shocked at how clueless her brother was.
“The valentine, Harry,” Lily reminded her son gently.
“Oh god!” Harry remembered, burying his face in his hands. Morgan giggled.
“You and Ginny could have both fried eggs on your faces,” she told him.
“What are you talking about?” James asked. “What valentine?”
“Harry received a singing valentine today in front of everyone at school,” Lily told him.
“Yeah, and then Draco Malfoy told Ginny how he didn’t think that Harry liked her valentine,” Morgan added mischievously.
“Well, that’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” Harry said. “It would have been different if she had actually been the one who sent the valentine, but …” he shrugged and trailed off. His family stared at him, saying nothing. Harry looked around at them all.
“What?” he asked. They continued to stare. He didn’t understand why they were all staring at him but then the gears in his brain started turning. “She didn’t actually …” he trailed off again and looked around. His mother and sister were still staring. He looked at his father. He nodded at him and made a circular gesture with his hand. Then it clunked into place.
"Oh god! Please tell me you're joking!" he said in a slightly panicked voice. The others couldn't help cracking up at the expression on Harry's face.
* * * * * * * *
Harry sat alone in his room later, once more flipping through the empty diary that belonged to T.M. Riddle. Morgan knocked and came in to return a quill that she had borrowed from him.
“What is that book anyway?” she asked. “You were flipping through it downstairs, but I don’t recognize it,” she told him. She came closer and her eyes widened in shock. “Hey, is that Ginny’s diary?” she said indignantly.
“No,” Harry replied, confused. “Why on earth would I have Ginny’s diary?"
“I was about to ask you the same thing.” Morgan told hm.
“How would I have even gotten her diary in the first place?” Harry asked out loud.
“You tell me,” Morgan said suspiciously. Harry turned to face her fully.
“Morgan, this is not Ginny’s diary. She keeps it in your dorm, right?” Harry said.
“Yeah,” Morgan agreed.
“Well, the stairs to the girls’ dorms has an enchantment on it, remember? Boys can’t get in.”
“Sorry,” Morgan apologized. She shook her head. “But it looks exactly like Ginny’s diary.”
“Maybe so,” Harry said, “but this one belongs to a guy called T.M. Riddle and it’s blank. He never wrote in it.”
“Then what are you doing with it?” Morgan wanted to know.
“Trying to figure out why someone tried to flush it down the toilet,” Harry revealed.
“Seriously?” she said, pulling a chair to sit down next to him at his desk. Harry had the diary open on one of the blank pages. “Maybe you should try writing something,” Morgan suggested. Harry dipped his quill into the bottle of ink. He paused.
“What should I write?” he asked.
“I don’t know, try your name,” Morgan suggested. “Here, I’ll write my name too.” She grabbed the quill she’d just returned and loaded it with ink. As she finished, she gasped.
“What?” Harry asked, looking at the pages of the diary.
“Some ink fell off your quill and it disappeared after it hit the page,” Morgan told him in shock. Harry looked back at the page. It was just as blank as before.
“Are you sure?” he asked his sister.
“I swear,” Morgan said vehemently.” At the same time, they turned and began to write on their pages. Harry wrote: My name is Harry Potter on his page and Morgan wrote: My name is Morgan Potter on her page. As fast as they’d written these words, the words vanished. A little window suddenly appeared in the middle of the diary as they silently watched. It seemed to have a tiny picture in it.
“What is that?” Harry asked.
“I don’t know,” Morgan replied, “I can’t make it out.” They both leaned forward towards the little window and as they did, the window seemed to grow bigger, and bigger, and bigger …
* * * * * * * * *
Harry and Morgan sat around the Gryffindor table talking to the others the next morning telling them what had happened with the diary the night before.
“Next thing we knew Riddle was accusing Hagrid of being the heir of Slytherin and then – boom! We were back in Harry’s room again.” Morgan was saying. Hermione gasped.
“Yeah, and Riddle looked quite a bit like Morgan if she had been a sixteen year old boy,” Harry said in sidetracked fascination.
“No he didn’t,” Morgan said.
“Yes, he did. Your faces looked the same except his was, you know, older,” Harry told her. Morgan rolled her eyes.
“But it cannot be Hagrid,” Zora insisted, getting back to the point. Storm and Ron gulped and Neville looked worried.
Harry didn’t have a lot of time to worry about this new development. No one had been attacked since Justin and Nick, and people were getting more hopeful. The Easter holidays came and the second years had to choose their new subjects for third year. After that, Quidditch was back on as the Gryffindors would be playing against Hufflepuff next.
One afternoon, Harry arrived back from Quidditch practice to find that his bedclothes had been pulled off his bed and the contents of his trunk had been strewn across the floor. The place had been trashed. Even worse, when he went to pack everything away, he realized that Riddle’s diary was missing. Someone had taken it.
* * * * * * * * *
Lily was making her way towards the Quidditch pitch from her office when a student ran right smack into her. She grabbed the girl around her shoulders to prevent both of them from toppling to the floor.
“No running in the corridors,” she reminded the girl. When she looked down, she realized that it was Hermione.
“Hermione?” she said, surprised. Hermione was not usually one to break the rules. “Where’s the fire?” she asked.
“Sorry, Professor,” Hermione gasped, looking up at her. “It’s just, Harry and Morgan were saying something about that voice they keep hearing, and I’ve just been in the library and I’ve figured out something really important!” Lily laughed at the girl’s exuberance. Deciding to humor her for the moment, she crossed her arms over her chest.
“About what?” she asked.
“About everything! Harry and Morgan, Slytherin’s monster, everything!” Hermione said, gesticulating wildly as she spoke. Lily stared at her skeptically.
“Look! It’s all here!” Hermione said, shoving the papers she was carrying at her teacher. Lily rifled through them, reading what seemed to be a page from a book. As she read, her eyes grew wider and wider until finally she gaped at Hermione in shock.
“Well done, Hermione, I can’t believe you figured it out, fifty points to Gryffindor, I daresay.” Hermione beamed.
“We have to go to Dumbledore, but he’ll never believe me,” Hermione said.
“I’ll go with you,” Lily told her. “I’m a teacher, if I back you up, he’ll definitely believe you. We’ll take this too,” she said brandishing the article she’d torn from the book.
* * * * * * * * *
James sat in the stands with Sirius and Remus, waiting for the match to start.
“I wonder where Lily’s got to?” James wondered aloud. Sirius shrugged.
“She probably just got held up by a student or something,” he suggested as they watched the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs fly out onto the pitch.
“As long as it’s not Snape holding her up,” James said darkly. Remus chuckled.
“Definitely not, Snape’s right over there,” Remus said, pointing. He and Sirius continued to chuckle as James turned to watch Harry mounting his broomstick. Madam Hooch was on the point of starting the match when Professor McGonagall came striding forward with a megaphone.
“This match has been cancelled! All students please return to your house dormitories! Your heads of house will give you more information!” she shouted into the megaphone. The men shared a concerned look.
“What happened?” Sirius wanted to know.
“I don’t know,” Remus replied. “Let’s go ask.” They arrived on the Quidditch pitch where McGonagall was having a heated argument with the captain of the Gryffindor team. She spotted them and started over just as Harry landed next to them. James spotted Morgan talking to the Quidditch captain and remembered that the boy’s name was Oliver and that Morgan apparently had a crush on him. His eyes instantly narrowed as he tried to spot something inappropriate in the way he was interacting with her. His attention was distracted however, as McGonagall reached them.
“James, good. I was going to come and look for you, next,” she said.
“What’s going on?” Sirius asked. “Why was the match cancelled?” She looked solemnly at James and Harry standing beside him just as Morgan came up.
“There’s been another double attack,” she revealed. Harry and Morgan glanced at each other.
* * * * * * * * *
Professor McGonagall led everyone into the hospital wing and they stared in shock at what they saw. Hermione lay petrified on the closest bed.
“Hermione,” Storm said in shock. James watched as the children gathered glumly around their friend’s bed. Then Madam Pomfrey pushed back the curtains around the next bed and James’s heart sank like a stone. Lily was lying petrified on the bed.
“No,” he groaned. Everyone looked around to see what was wrong. Harry and Morgan turned and saw what their father was looking at. Silence reigned for a moment then Morgan let out a tiny whimper and clutched at her father’s leg. Professor McGonagall held up a small, round compact.
“This was found with them. Do you recognize it?” James swallowed a lump in his throat that felt like it kept getting bigger.
“It’s Lily’s,” he croaked. He sank into a nearby chair. Harry walked over to the bed and stared at his petrified mother.
“Mum?” he whispered, his voice cracking with emotion as Morgan began to cry into her father’s shirt.
Please review! I'd like to hear feedback on how you think the story's going so far. I know where I want to go with the story now so hopefully I'll have another chappie ready soon. Feel free to nag me, though. Haha!