Above and Beyond

the Visit

JAMES

We have now been here for about 14 years – the weeks and months blurring together as life slowly fell into a routine.

I was lying on the couch, reading Quidditch Weekly (they still have Quidditch magazines! It’s the only way I can follow the sport now) and my darling Lilyflower was in the kitchen making tea when she called over to me.

“James!” She walked into the room holding the two tea cups. “Get your head out of that stupid magaz—” She stopped mid sentence, her eyes rolling into the back of her head and she collapsed on the floor, the cups falling out of her hand and spilling on the carpet around her.

“Lily?” I said, shocked and confused. I was just rising from my seat to go over to her when there was an incredibly bright flash of white light and the next thing I knew, I was standing in an unfamiliar place. My mind seemed to work amazingly fast, and I was able to absorb four things at once.

The first thing I registered was that somehow I was back on earth.

The second thing was that Lily was standing next to me but she was a silvery-blue. Not solid, but more then a ghost. Looking down at myself I realised that I was the same.

The third thing was that I recognized the place, though I had never been there before. I knew the shapes of the stones sticking out of the ground and too quiet, slightly eerie, slightly sad feel in the air. We were in a grave yard.

The fourth and infinitely most important thing I saw was that Harry, my son, was standing right next to me.

All those four things my mind registered within one second, but looking at Harry’s face I realised I could have looked at him forever and it would never make up for all the time we lost. He was obviously a lot bigger then last time I saw him, being fourteen and all, and he was looking rather thin. His hair was a lot longer and it stuck up at the back, just like mine. I also noticed his scar. The perfect lightning shaped, pink scar on the right of his forehead was odd and unfamiliar to me, but I knew that that scar was what people recognized him with. His face looked like mine, though it was smeared with sweat and dirt, and there was a small cut on his cheek. He even had similar glasses to mine on his nose but they were cracked and dirty. He looked haggard and tired, as if he had been through too much in the last few hours.

But it was his eyes that stood out to me. Probably because they were exactly the same as Lily’s and she has the most gorgeous eyes I have ever seen. I absorbed all of this so fast, but looking again, I noticed that they were narrowed in concentration and locked on something I hadn’t cared to look at. But when I did, I couldn’t look away.

Lord Voldemort, standing, living and fighting my son. His red eyes flashed with anger at not having finished Harry sooner. Their wands were connected by a thin beam of white and in the middle was a golden bead of light. Coming out of the bead, was a web-like cover that was sheltering us all. Behind Voldemort, were his followers. His Death Eaters. Some even had their masks off and their hoods down so I could really see their faces. I recognised Goyle, Crabbe, Macnair, Lucius Malfoy (who I had always hated, and the feeling was mutual) and Bellatrix Lestrange. She was Sirius’s cousin and they had always hated each other. I also spotted someone standing at the back, behind the rest. He had his hood up so I could not clearly see his face, but I noticed that he was short and chubby and reminded me hugely of my old buddy Wormtail. But it couldn’t be Peter because he would never be a Death Eater.

Turning my attention back to Harry, who was now looking at me in wonder, I said quietly, so that Voldemort could not hear, “When the connection is broken we can linger for a moment, but only a moment…it will give you some time. Do you understand, Harry?”

He nodded, then another, unfamiliar voice said, “Harry, take my body back will you? Take my body back to my father.” I looked up in time to see a young man nodding to Harry.

“Sweetheart, you’re ready.” Lily said, “Let go…Let go!”

Harry broke the connection and sprinted away, towards something I had no time to see. I swooped, I guess you could call it, with Lily and the others that were there, toward Voldemort, who yelled and tried to bat us away with his hand. Then I couldn’t really see anything anymore, everything was turning white, and before I knew it, I was back in my living room.

Blinking, I looked at Lily whose shocked expression I’m sure was a mirror image of mine. We stared at each other for a long moment, then she started sobbing uncontrollably. I hurried to her side, avoiding the tea that was now almost soaked into the carpet, and wrapped my arms around her, feeling more shocked then anything else, while she sobbed into my chest.

“Oh James,” she muttered, in between sobs, “That was our boy, that was Harry. Fighting Voldemort. He’s only fourteen! He shouldn’t be facing what we did when we had finished school. I just hope he’s okay…”

“I know Lily,” I muttered, “I’m scared for him too. But he got away, I know he did. He escaped Voldemort like we did when we were alive. He’ll be alright. Don’t worry now.”

I continued to try to calm her and rock her until she quietened. I had to admit I was beginning to feel a lot better knowing that I have at least one of the people I love safe in my arms.

“James,” Lily murmured after her sobs had faded, “Is that what we died for? We sacrificed our lives to protect our son, only for him to have to face Voldemort alone, without our support or help. What if—”

“No, no, no, of course not Lilyflower.” I disagreed quickly “We died to save him thirteen years ago. We are the reason he was even alive today.” I said, trying to sound like I was confident in what I was saying and that I knew what I was talking about. “Our sacrifice was definitely for the better. It will work out somehow.” But even as I said the words I frowned, not exactly knowing if this will work out.

I could only hope.

……………………………………………………

Over the next three days, Lily and I thought about our experience on earth a lot. Lily went down to the library and read about the connection between Voldemort’s wand and Harry’s. She discovered that it can happen and it has happened before, but it is incredibly rare. Apparently, only two really talented and powerful wizards can accomplish it. That made me feel a little better. If Harry was a powerful and talented wizard now, at fourteen, I could only imagine what he would be like when he was older. I knew he could beat Voldemort. That thought alone made me feel more confident.

We tried not to think about it as much as possible, so we distracted ourselves with useless and boring activities. For example, my Lilyflower dragged me along for grocery shopping. I hate shopping, but Lily dragged me along so there I was sitting on a wooden bench on the far wall of the shop waiting for Lily to choose what brand of tissues to get, like it was a really hard decision.

My mind was just starting to wander, when I heard a woman’s voice from the isle next to me. “Cedric!” she scolded, “I know you just arrived a few days ago but stop moping at the floor! It’s not going to be any help to you! Talk to someone about what happened that night for Merlin’s sake!” she was still muttering when she walked out of the isle and I could get a good look at the boy following her. He was tall and well-built with blondish hair and he looked kind of familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. The expression on his face was sad. He was wallowing.

I watched as he went up to the woman and muttered something quietly. She sighed and nodded and he began to walk over to the bench I was sitting on. For one moment I thought he was coming over to talk to me but then I realised that he had barely looked up from the floor the entire time so he couldn’t have seen me.

He sat down heavily at the other end of the bench and continued to stare at the blue and white tiles on the floor. I watched him curiously for a minute. Poor guy, I thought, he only arrived a couple of days ago. Maybe I should talk to him. I thought about it for another minute before I moved slightly closer to him and said, “Y’know, dwelling on it isn’t going to help. Trust me, I would know.”

He looked up, startled then said, “I wasn’t dwell…you’re James Potter.”

By now I was completely used to random people recognising me that I simply said, “Yes I am.” I hesitated, then added, “You know, you should talk to someone about it. It does help.”

“I suppose I should,” he sighed, then looked at me hopefully, “could I talk to you about it?” Before I could react he added hastily, “Only because it involves you. Well, it involves your son actually.”

“You knew Harry?” I asked, my interest immediately captured, he nodded then I added “And of course you can talk to me. Can you come over tonight? My wife and I always love to hear more about Harry.” Then I remembered my manners, “Sorry, what was your name?”

“Oh it’s Cedric.” He answered, “Cedric Diggory.”

That’s why he looked familiar. “You’re a Diggory!” I exclaimed, surprised. “Amos’s son?” I guessed.

He nodded, looking sad again. Oops, he didn’t need a reminder of family. I tried to distract him, “So come round about 6ish and—”

“James, we can go now, I’m done—oh, hello there!” Lily said, spotting Cedric.

Being the man I was, I stood and introduced them, hoping Lily didn’t do what I did and mention—

“Diggory? Amos’s son?” Lily asked. Too late.

“Yes” Cedric answered as he stood, sadness still etched onto his features, which Lily seemed to notice. Her green eyes widened and she bit her lip in regret. Again, I stepped in.

“Lily, can Cedric come over tonight?” I asked. When she looked hesitant (she hated entertaining) I quickly added, “It has something to do with Harry.”

“Of course.” She said immediately, and I smothered my amused smile. Bingo! One mention of Harry, and Lily would do anything.

Cedric left, agreeing to see us at 6. And Lily and I went home eagerly awaiting Cedric’s story. But I definitely would not have been that excited if I knew that, although it involved Harry, Cedric’s story was not a happy one.


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