Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, that all belongs to Jo.
AN: I really don't know what compelled me to write this, right in the middle of all my other stories (which have not yet been published because, for some random reason, I can't upload anything!) as well. Oh well, I managed, didn't I. See ya later guys!
Lily stood in the middle of the Gryffindor Common Room feeling as though the whole world had come tumbling onto her shoulders. She stood with the letter in her hand. The letter that had changed everything. Then, without warning, she burst into tears. Everything she had been holding inside her for the past few minutes came pouring out of her and onto the middle of the Common Room floor. Marlene was by her side immediately, with a soothing arm around her. She asked Lily what was wrong but Lily did not respond. Instead she thrust the letter into Marlene's empty hand and allowed her to read it while she continued to cry. When she finished Marlene exclaimed: "Oh Lily! Lily, I'm so sorry! Come on girl, let's get you upstairs." And with that she and Lily disappeared into the seventh year, girls' dormitory. Once they were upstairs Marlene set Lily on her bed and continued what she had been saying downstairs.
"Oh Lily! Your parents! What happened? Who did it?" She knew she should not be asking her best friend these questions right now, but she could not help being curious.
"Y-Y-You-K-Know-W-Who I-I think." Lily gasped between sobs. "I t-think he w-wants to g-get rid of a-all the Mu-Muggle Borns a-and he's st-starting with their f-families."
"Oh Lily, I'm so sorry! Is there-" she was interrupted by a knock on the door. It turned out to be James and his fellow Marauders.
"Marlene? Marlene, is Lily all right? I saw her crying her heart out downstairs and I just wanted to know if-"
"Of course she's not all right, you moron." Marlene snapped.
"What happened?" James asked, more worried about Lily by the fact that he had just been called a moron.
"You don't need to know."
"Ok, then can I come and see-"
"James," Marlene's voice had raised considerably, " you are the last person on earth Lily would like to see right now!" and she slammed the door in his face. James stood there for a minute, taking in what had just happened, what Marlene had said. Was he really the last person Lily would want to see?
"JAMES!" Sirius yelled, jarring him out of his thoughts. He bent down and picked up a piece of parchment that had left on the floor. He tucked it in his pocket, and then followed the guys back to their dormitory-he shared a common room with Lily as Head Boy and Girl this year. Once back in the dormitory, James pulled out the piece of parchment and read it through, then he silently passed it to Sirius, who took it with a bewildered expression and also read it through. It read:
Dear Miss Lily Evans,
The Ministry of Magic are very sorry to inform you that on 25 January at 12:00, Mrs Emilia Evans and Mr Robert Evans, were both found dead in their bedroom. From the lack of injury we assume the Killing Curse has been used and we assure you we are working extremely hard to find the culprit to throw into Azkaban for committing murder. Your Muggle sister has been made aware of what has happened but refuses to speak to you. The Ministry of Magic has allowed your Aunt and Uncle to arrange the funeral, which will be held on 10 February. You are permitted to stay at Hogwarts until graduation after which, special arrangements will have to be made. Again, we are extremely sorry about you loss.
Minister of Magic
"It was You-Know-Who." James stated bluntly, after they had all read it through, "I know it was. People have been saying for ages that he's been bringing down Muggle-Borns via their families. Dad said it was only a matter of time before he started targeting Hogwarts as well."
"But he's been targeting Hogwarts for ages." Remus explained, "Only a few weeks ago, Mary McDonalds family went missing, only to be found later in pieces in her aunt's garden. She's been sent to Azkaban for it, even though it's obvious it was a Death Eater who did it." Peter gave a small shudder, while Sirius just looked horrified.
"That's terrible," he said, as the rest of them gave a nod in agreement, "So he's just targeting Muggle-Borns then. If he carries on like this, the population of them could be wiped out."
"Hmmm." James murmured thoughtfully. "Well guys," he said after a few minutes of silence, "I'm going to go to bed now. See you lot in the morning." He got up and walked downstairs, out the portrait hole and to the Head Common Room, muttered the password (Humbugs) and walked through, only to find someone already sitting on the couch.
"Lily?" he exclaimed, "What are doing here? I thought you'd be with Marlene after what happened to your-" he trailed off when he realised Lily was not even listening to him. "Well, I'm going to bed." He said grumpily and he climbed up the stairs that lead to his bedroom, Lily not even acknowledging that she'd heard him.
Lily sat there for what seemed like a century. She glanced at her watch and saw that it was 12:00. She'd been sitting on the couch for 3 hours! She finally decided to go to bed, deciding that it was no use just sitting around like a sack of potatoes.
She tossed and turned all night, dreaming about the murder of her parents. She woke up cold and shivering, and, deciding she could take it no more, slipped out of bed, and walked blindly to her Co-Head's bedroom.
She quietly opened the door and tiptoed inside, feeling her way towards the lumpy mass on the bed that was James.
"James?" she whispered, nudging him slightly, "James?" She tried again, this time more forcefully. It was only on the fifth attempt that she finally managed to wake him up.
"Wuzzgoinon?" he mumbled sleepily, rubbing his eyes as he did so. "Lily?" he acknowledged, after he put his glasses on. "Whoa, Lily!" he yelled, instinctively pulling the bed sheets up, even though there was no need to, for he was wearing a shirt. "What the hell are you- Lily," he said the last word more softly for he had noticed she had tears in her eyes. "what's wrong?" he finished. He pulled himself upright and gazed into her teary eyes. "Lily, come on you can tell me, here, sit." He said soothingly, making space for her. She gratefully sat down and, without warning; she burst into tears, just as she had done a few hours before. She cried and cried into James's chest while he put an arm around her, rubbing her back.
"Its just," Lily said, her voice muffled, for her face was still buried in James's shirt, "when I was little and I had a bad dream, I was always able to go sleep with my mum and dad, because I had always been scared to sleep alone. And now…"she trailed off and resumed crying. While she was doing this, James was trying to make sense of what was happening. The love of his life was crying her heart out in his bed, all the hate she held for him seemed to have finally disappeared. "With You-Know-Who and everything, I'm really scared that everyone I care about isn't going to make it through this. Marlene, Alice, Mary, Frank, Dorcas… all of them."
"No. Listen Lily; everyone you care about is going to make it through this all. Marlene, Alice, Mary, Frank, Dorcas, Petunia…Snape…" he trailed off, lost in his own thoughts. The sound of Lily's voice, though, brought him back to reality.
"Are you going to make it through?" she asked in a small voice.
"I will if you care about me." He replied quietly, staring deep into her eyes properly for the first time in his life.
"Of course I care about you." She said, just as quietly, and for that moment, their eyes lost in each other's, it seemed that it was just the two of them… that the whole world wasn't there… just the two of them. Then, perhaps, instinctively, James bent down and kissed her. It was sweet, gentle, maybe even slightly hesitant, but for both of them, it was perfect. But almost as soon as it had begun, it was over. For a while, neither of them did anything, but then, almost just as quickly as the kiss, Lily had gotten out of the bed and was standing up, metres from the door.
"Where are you going?" James asked, a hint of hurt in his voice.
"Back to my bedroom."
"But I thought you didn't like to sleep alone."
"I don't but-"
"The stay, honestly, I'm not going to try anything on you."
"Well I-oh alright." Lily sighed, knowing the battle was lost. She climbed back into James's bed, just as he climbed out.
"Now where are you going?" she asked teasingly.
"Bathroom." And with a wink, he disappeared through a door on the left. When he climbed back into bed a few minutes later, Lily was already fast asleep. "I love you Lily." He murmured, pressing his lips to her forehead and wrapping his arms protectively around her waist.
"I love you too James." The voice came unexpectedly from James's chest and he looked down to see Lily smiling up at him. He smiled back at her and leaned down to give her a quick kiss. He then closed his eyes and muttered to her,
"Remember, you're not alone." And for the first time, Lily smiled in her sleep.