The first things I saw when the living room once again came into view were Sirius and James, sitting across from me, blinking and looking around. Then Fred, Nikki and Tonks came into view.
“Remus, thank goodness you’re alright!”
“Jeez guys, scare us to death why don’t you!”
the hell is going on?”
I smiled at Nikki, “Sorry. That wasn’t entirely expected.”
“What happened? One minute, you were talking like usual, the next, you had completely blacked out on us! We didn’t know what to do!” Fred said, “What happened?”
“We-we…we saw Harry.” I managed to say, before the onslaught of tears. They cascaded down my cheeks and into my lap quietly. James quickly came over beside me and took my hand. Sirius sat on my other side and Remus, Tonks, Nikki and Fred crowded around us.
“Hey, Lils, it’s alright.” James murmured, “I know, I know it’s hard, but you just have to have faith in him. He’ll be fine.”
“I know,” I sobbed, “It’s just the way it happens…one minute you’re here, the next you’re there and then you’re right back h-here again.”
“I know, I know,” James replied, stroking my hair. “It’s harsh. The way you can see him for such a short period of time, and you don’t get a goodbye.”
I nodded. “I’m so proud of him.”
James smiled at me, unshed tears making his hazel eyes shine. “Me too.”
“Me three.” Sirius said from beside me. “I am incredibly proud to call him my godson. It was good to see him, though he did look a little bit worse for wear.”
James, Remus and I nodded in agreement, and I frowned. I was shocked to find him looking so beaten and pained. But then again, they were having a battle, in the middle of a war. I really should have expected it, and I new that with anyone else, it wouldn’t have been the hard to see. But with my son, it just felt like I knife through my heart to see him struggling and in so much pain.
“So…you saw Harry?” murmured Tonks slowly, “How is that possible?”
James frowned, “We don’t really know. Usually there is some way to make the dead, not come back, but return in spirit, or…. I don’t know. Tonight, he seemed to have some sort of stone…” the mention of the stone rang a dim bell in my head, but I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly, “last time it was the connection between his wand and Voldemo—”
“Whoa, whoa, hold up there cowboy.” Fred said, “There was a last time?”
We nodded, “It was before Sirius arrived, in Harry’s fourth year. He was fighting Voldemort in that graveyard and their spells connected. Then everyone that Voldemort had killed seemed to come out of the point of connection.” I explained, “It has a proper name, but I can’t remember it for the life of me.”
“That’s not very like you, Lilyflower.” Sirius teased.
I made a face at him.
“So the night in the grave yard was the wands connecting,” Remus said, calculating it in his head, “And tonight there was that stone, whatever it was. How does a stone bring back—”
He was cut off by my gasp of shock. It had finally clicked. “The Resurrection Stone.”
They all looked at me as if I had gone mad. I shifted uncomfortably; I wasn’t used to that look. James and Sirius were, but not me.
“The Resurrection Stone.” I repeated, “It is one of the three Deathly Hallows.” I ticked them off my fingers, “The Cloak of Invisibility, The Resurrection Stone and the Elder Wand.”
“But aren’t they just legends?” Nikki asked.
“Yeah, Lily, they’re not real.” Remus said, “They were written in a children’s story. No one knows if they exist.”
“I know, but how else does it fit? A stone that can bring back the dead? What other explanation do you have?”
Sirius chuckled, “She’s got you there, Moony.”
He ignored Sirius, “I don’t know…” he still sounded unsure.
“Who cares!” Fred burst out, “The fact is that you four saw Harry tonight. What was he doing?”
“He was going to Voldemort.” Sirius said grimly.
“He knew that he had to let Voldemort try to kill him,” I said thickly, “He was in the Forbidden Forest.”
“Wait, Voldemort wasn’t even fighting?” Tonks shouted, jumping up in outrage.
“No, he was waiting for Harry.” Remus answered, grabbing her hand soothingly and pulled her back down to the floor. “From what it sounded like, he had given Harry an hour to turn himself in, and the hour was up when Harry arrived. They almost thought that he hadn’t come.”
“But he was there,” continued James, “He had the Cloak, and he revealed himself just before he dropped the Stone. Then we were back here.”
There was a stunned silence from Tonks, Fred and Nikki.
Tears filled my eyes again as I said, “He was so brave.” James gave me a gentle squeeze.
The others nodded. “It would have been incredibly hard to walk towards your death like he did.” Remus agreed.
“He’d always been brave though.” Fred said, “So courageous and selfless.”
“Too damn selfless for his own good.” Sirius chuckled, “Always putting other people before himself. He never did anything because he wanted to.” He turned to stare at us accusingly, “It’s your fault,” he said to James and me, “It’s the combination of both of you. Lily had always been incredibly selfless, and James is rather noble as well, so the combination of the both creates someone incredibly brave, noble, but also sometimes stupid.”
Immediately we both began to protest.
“Harry’s not stupid! Are you accusing me of being stupid?”
“Why am I only rather noble? I am an incredibly noble person!”
“Don’t you dare say I am stupid, when you were the one who walked into the wall this morning, mister!”
“If I was only rather noble, I wouldn’t be a stag, would I? Stags are very noble creatures.”
“ALRIGHT! I’m sorry I opened my mouth.”
“You should be.” I stated smartly, glaring at him, “You know that your mouth is only good for stuffing huge amount of food in.”
“True.” Sirius admitted nodding, before a wicked smirk came across his face, “That’s not all its good for though, Lily. Why don’t we go upstairs and I can show you what I mean?” he waggled his eyebrows at me.
James and Remus both went to hit him over the head, but I got in there first.
“Ow ow OW!” He howled, rubbing his cheek, while James, Remus and Fred rolled around laughing, “That hurt! Someone so small should not be able to hit that hard.”
I rolled my eyes, and tried to hide my smile. “You are such a baby.”
“Nice hit, Lils.”
“You would have made a great beater.”
“Oh, how I love my wife. She looks like an angel, cooks like a chef, but hits like a wrestler!” James said, hugging me tight. I glared at him, and he immediately moved away, “Please don’t hit me, Lils.”
“Awww, poor Siri,” Nikki murmured, stroking his cheek. “You didn’t deserve that, baby.” He smiled at her and leant in for a kiss as she said, “You deserve a lot worse!” And she slapped him on the other cheek, making an even louder sound then mine, which I didn’t think was humanly possible.
“SHIT!” he screamed, now holding his other cheek.
“That’s for hitting on another, married woman while your girlfriend is in the room, asshole!” Nikki huffed, but she looked rather proud of herself and I was sure I was not the only impressed one in the room.
“I must admit I did deserve that.” Sirius muttered, still cursing as he rubbed his cheek, “But where did you learn to hit like that?”
“Now Siri, that information would come under the very long list of things you don’t know, and never will.” She winked at me, and I grinned at her, then looked at Sirius, who now had one large, noticeable red hand print on each cheek. He looked kind of like a clown.
“Why’d you hit me so hard?” he whined, “You never used to hit that hard at school.”
I shrugged, “Oh well. Now everyone can see that not all girls fall for you charm Siri. Or maybe, some poor girl will see it, and take sympathy on you.”
His eyes lit up. “Yeah! I can pretend I got beaten up.”
“By girls?” Remus snickered, “Ones that only slapped you? C’mon Padfoot, you can do better then that. It just looks like you have had your cheeks attacked by some girl who was armed with a hell load of blusher.”
Sirius opened his mouth for some sort of retaliation when the screen above our heads gave a loud beep!
My breath caught. I was afraid to look up, afraid of what name I might see there. Who could it be this time? Voldemort? Another of Harry’s friends? Or Harry? My stomach gave a nervous twist as I took a deep breath and slowly raised my head to look at the name illuminated in the screen in burning red. I gasped again, but this time it was a happy one.
“YES!” Sirius yelled, loudly and joyfully, jumping to his feet and punching the air with his fist. I grinned and looked back at the screen. The name BELLATRIX LESTRANGE glared back at me.
“I have been avenged! Thank you, whoever killed my wretched cousin!” he yelled to the floor, attempting to yell to earth, “I am forever in your debt!”
I laughed with everyone else. I felt lighter, happier, all because of the only good news we had had all night. One of the Death Eaters was dead. Not only a Death Eater, the woman that Sirius had hated all his life. The one who killed him. The one who had almost killed me, the year after we had left Hogwarts. One of Voldemort’s most loyal servants, was dead.
“I’ll get the Firewhiskey!” Sirius yelled as he disappeared from the room. We all looked at each other, grinning like madmen. Tonks looked especially happy.
“I had never liked her.” She said, “She was my aunty, but she was complete bitch who treated me like dirt, because I was the outcome of her sister’s marriage to a muggle-born. Plus she killed me. Good riddance, I say.”
Sirius came running back in then, carrying about 10 bottles of Firewhiskey.
I frowned, “Sirius, we are not going to drink all that.”
“Sure we are. It’s for celebratory purposes.”
I just scowled at him, and he ignored me, handing out bottles to everyone else. When he got back to me, he held out the bottle. I shook my head.
“C’mon Lils, live a little. You love Firewhiskey.” Sirius said, forcing the bottle into my hands.
“Well…okay, but only a little, you know what happens when I have too much.”
He laughed, and nudged Remus, “Sure do. Remember that Moony? That wild party in seventh year, when our darling Lilyflower had a wee bit too much Firewhiskey and gave us all a drunken table dance!” he sighed wistfully, “That was a fun night.”
I blushed, “That only happened once, and it will never happen again.”
“Awww, Lilyyyy! You have to admit, you had fun. I’m sure Prongs would love for you to give him another lap dance.”
James blushed slightly, and hit Sirius on the back of the head as I felt the heat in my cheeks rise further from the memory. “Sirius, I woke up the next day in your dormitory, which was scarring enough, not to mention the splitting headache.”
The three Marauders looked at me, offended, “What was so wrong about our dorm?” James asked.
Sirius snorted, “It wasn’t your dorm in seventh year, remember Jamesie? You had abandoned us for the Heads Tower.” James nodded. “But really,” Sirius said, turning back to me, “What was so wrong with our room? Was it just to Sirius for you?” No one laughed, though he looked around at us expectantly, “Oh come on!” he huffed, disappointed at the reaction to his lame joke, “Wow, tough room.”
“So what was so bad about it?” James persisted, ignoring Sirius.
“Gee, let me think. There was rotting food in the corner, clothes all over that floor and textbooks everywhere!”
“That’s not that bad, Lils.” Remus said, “You should have seen it when—”
“Sirius had a girl with him, in his bed! Without clothes.”
“Excuse me?” Nikki said glaring at Sirius with her hands on her hips, “You had a what in your what without WHAT?”
He backed away, “Please don’t hit me again, Nik. It was after we broke up for that tiny amount of time, I was depressed that you dumped me and I got drunk and-and…I didn’t mean to! Please forgive me!” he dropped to his knees dramatically.
She frowned at him, then looked at me, “Was it when we were broken up?”
“Yes it was. That very night, in fact.”
She thought about it for a minute, “That’s okay then, I suppose. I do believe I slept with Chase Davis that night anyway.”
“You WHAT?” Sirius yelled, looking murderous.
“Siri, calm down. I was depressed and drunk too. And it makes us even. Let’s just pretend it never happened, okay?”
“Hmm, oh alright.” He said, kissing her, but it was not exactly what you would call closed-mouth.
“Alright!” Fred yelled, “Can you too not show such mushy affection in the presence of this poor, lonely, yet completely good-looking bachelor?”
They broke apart as we all laughed. “Hey, Weasley, that reminds me.” Sirius said, “seeing as you are single you could go out and—”
But there was another beep that echoed across the room, and again, butterflies bombarded my stomach. What if last time was just lucky? What if it was someone we cared for again? I locked eyes with Tonks, who was looking just as nervous as I was. At the same time, we looked up at the screen, and screamed.
LORD VOLDEMORT was shining down at us in blood red. There was a beat of silence, then the cheers started.
“HE DID IT! HE DID IT!”
“Thank Merlin, it’s over!!”
James and Sirius both shot up and started doing the Marauders victory dance, and after a moment, Remus joined in. Then they started chanting, in rhythm with the steps, “GO HARRY! GO HARRY! ITS OVER! ITS OVER!”
Tonks and Fred laughed at them, and I burst into tears. I couldn’t help it. James noticed and stopped dancing, coming over to me, “Lils, why are you crying?”
“Because I’m so happy!” I sobbed, laughing through the tears. James laughed with me and pulled me into his arms tightly. “I’m so proud of him.” I muttered against James’s shirt.
He grinned down at me, and then kissed me passionately, “Me too, Lils, me too. I knew he could do it. It’s the Potter blood. We can do anything.”
I laughed again and rolled my eyes, breaking out of my husband’s embrace to give Nikki and Tonks a hug.
Then there was a bang, out in the street. We all ran to the window, to see fireworks erupting and people flooding out of their houses and into the street. Sirius grinned at us.
“Well, I think it’s time for my wild party. Don’t you?”
James lay me down on the bed, and I groaned. “That has got to have been the longest night of my life.”
James plopped down heavily beside me, “The longest night of you afterlife you mean.” He grinned at me, and I couldn’t contain a small laugh.
Then I sighed, “Can you really believe it’s all over? I mean, now Voldemort’s gone, its going to be so quiet. The war is over.”
“I know,” James agreed quietly, “And our son was the one to end it, and save the Wizarding World.”
“Yeah.” I smiled at James and he smiled back, and I knew we were both thinking about Harry and how proud we were of him. I just hoped he knew that. I hoped that he knew how much we loved him.
“Its going to be rather boring now, isn’t it?” James said, after a long, comfortable silence.
“I really hope so.” I said, before adding after a thought, “Of course, now Sirius is going to joke around more then ever I suppose. He’s going to be too happy.”
James chuckled quietly, “Yes, I guess it’s not going to be too boring with Sirius around. It never is.”
“And now Fred is added into the mix,” I sighed, “It’s nice that Sirius said Fred could have his house. I do think it is about time that he and Nikki officially moved in together don’t you? But still, with them both together,” I groaned, “It’s going to be a nightmare!”
“Hey now, don’t forget me and Moony, now Lilyflower. We are Marauders you know, we do have lots of mischief left over from school and many tricks up our sleeves. In fact,” he mused, “the spot is now open for a fourth Marauder. Maybe we should induct Fred….” He thought for a moment, “Nah, we are good with three.”
I rolled my eyes at him, “You are so easily distracted.”
“Yeah, I am, but you’re not! Once you are thinking about something, it’s impossible to get you to do anything else!”
“And is that a bad thing?”
He thought for a second. “Not really,” he finally decided. “But it’s only good for certain things.”
I frowned at him, “Like what?”
“Hmm…like this.” then he leaned in and kissed me. Damn it! Why did I have to marry such a good kisser? It takes all my self control to stop it. Maybe I don’t want to stop this time, I thought as James wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer and I let my fingers knot themselves in his hair.
But I knew I was tired, I knew that all I wanted to do was sleep. James ran his fingers down my spine lightly, and I gave a small shiver of pleasure. But still…no. No. I’m tired. I don’t want to do this. Not tonight.
I sighed and reluctantly pulled away. He blinked at me, confused.
“No.” I said, “Not now. I’m tired. I just want to sleep.”
He pouted, disappointed, and the expression was so adorable that I couldn’t help but kiss him lightly on the lips.
“James, you proved your point. But I know you’re tired as well. Let’s just sleep.”
“Fine.” He grumbled, pulling off his glasses and putting them on the bedside table. We couldn’t be bothered to get changed, so James just pulled the blanket over us as I switched out the lights. I felt his arms wrap around me, pulling him close to him and I snuggled into his chest, feeling so loved and safe.
He kissed the top of my head, “Night, love.”
“Good night James.”
Then I closed my eyes and almost instantly fell asleep. Completely happy and without a single worry in my head. It was the first time in sixteen years.