A/N: I took some artistic license in this one - the reality is that Lily probably would not have gone trick-or-treating in her childhood, growing up in Britain in the 1960s. But let's pretend that she would have, just for the purpose of this story.

Disclaimer: I don't own James or Lily (sob).

Happy (not) Halloween.

You know how this is going to end. Badly, that is. You know that you'll get to the end of this story, and find that, on their last Halloween, they die. But Halloween wasn't always a bad thing in James and Lily's lives. Sometimes, it was actually pretty good.

Lily – 1960

On her first Halloween, Lily Evans didn't know how to walk yet. She was getting close, though – really, really close. Petunia had taken to staring at her and saying, "Walk! Walk!" Lily would make annoyed noises back at her.

But her inability to walk didn't stop her parents from dressing her up so that she could go Trick-or-Treating with Petunia. She was dressed as an angel, with a flowing white dress, and a little golden halo secured into her shock of red hair. She looked happy to be dressed up, as she rode in the wagon, her dad pulling her along.

Petunia was a princess. She went up to every house to ring the doorbell and she ate so much candy that they ended up going home only twenty minutes after they'd left the house.

James – 1961

On his second Halloween, James Potter went to his grandmother's house. He wasn't dressed up – the wizards didn't do that yet – but he did get to eat lots of sweets, and everyone spent most of the night raving about how adorable he was. James' grandmother was already rather old, because his parents were rather old, but James didn't know that she would die in less than five years. He just liked eating candy and telling people very proudly that his name was James Potter and his dad was an "Auwar."

Lily – 1962

By her third Halloween, Lily Evans' older sister Petunia had started school, and had a gaggle of friends that she wanted to Trick-or-Treat with. So Petunia and her friends ran around collecting candy, and Lily walked with her parents and the other adults as they discussed politics and teachers and schools, not that Lily understood any of that. Her mom let her eat some candy, though they'd learned from Petunia not to let her eat too much.

"Daddy," she whispered in her dad's ear while he was carrying her home.

"Yes, Lils?"

"Ha'oween fun."

James – 1963

On his fourth Halloween, James Potter was three, so he was allowed to go play with the other children at his grandmother's party without supervision. They played a game that James didn't really understand, and he ended up on the floor crying. But it was all better when someone brought him some chocolate.

Chocolate was one of James' favorite things. (And in future years, it would be even more important to him.)

Lily – 1964

By her fifth Halloween, Lily Evans had started school, so she no longer had to follow her older sister around. She now had her own friends, and she had a lot of fun with them. Lily and Petunia decided to wear the same outfit that year, though – they were both ballerinas. They took some very nice pictures together before they went with their separate friends.

There was one picture in particular where Petunia was putting on Lily's slipper. The girls hadn't known that their father was taking a picture at that moment. It was one of those pictures that Lily would find about fifteen years later, and it would make her wonder how things had ended up so badly between them.

James – 1965

By his sixth Halloween, James Potter's grandmother had passed away. But the party had to go on – so James' mother offered to host it. James spent the morning of Halloween being bustled around, told to go clean his room, and help his mother carry that, and make sure that the plates were all perfectly straight.

"Can't the house elves just do it?"

James' mother looked at him with a frown. "Of course not. You have arms. Go do it."

A few months later, James' mother got rid of all of the house elves except one – Hilly, the one who had raised James, and the one who would remain with them well into the war.

Lily – 1966

On her seventh Halloween, Lily Evans decided to be Marilyn Monroe, in a little blonde wig and a long, glittery dress. A lot of people didn't recognize her, because they expected her to have that shock of red hair. This annoyed Lily a little bit, and she reacted to anyone that didn't recognize her with quite a bit of sass.

James – 1967

On his eighth Halloween, James Potter's mother hosted Halloween once again. All of his cousins and his family friends came. Granted, most of his parents' friends had kids that were a lot older than him, but some of them had grandchildren that were around his age. And there was lots, and lots of candy.

A little boy named Peter Pettigrew was also there – his father had known James' father somehow, though Peter's father had passed. He wasn't really that little, actually. He was the same age as James. But he was a lot shorter, especially since James had always been tall for his age. The boy seemed to be fascinated with him, so James had a lot of fun walking around, with the boy following him and practically kissing the ground he walked on. It made James feel really powerful. But it was kind of nice when he left so James could relax.

So that was the day when James met the boy who would betray him.

Lily – 1968

On her ninth Halloween, Lily Evans had convinced her parents that they didn't need to come with her trick-or-treating anymore. She was just going to go with one of her friends parents. That would be fine. So both Petunia and Lily went out on their own, practically.

They did run in too each other at one point, and exchanged a few pieces of candy, because Petunia didn't like nuts and Lily didn't like lollipops.

James – 1969

By his tenth Halloween, James Potter was ready to go to Hogwarts. Sure, he may have only been nine, but that was close enough, wasn't it? His parents had told nostalgic stories of their Halloweens at Hogwarts, and James couldn't wait to experience the same thing. So he spent most of the night moping. At least the next year, he'd be reassured by the fact that there was only a year left.

That Peter kid was there again, but James was too upset to notice him.

But while James was off doing this, in the living room, the conversation had taken a dark turn from last year, when the topic had been music and houses and children. This year, strange things had begun to happen, though nobody could have foreseen how horrible they would soon become.

Lily – 1970

On her eleventh Halloween, Lily Evans dressed up as a witch. She put on a long black cloak, painted her face green, and slapped a pointy black hat on her head. She even drew in a wart.

In a few short months, Lily would find out a couple major things. One would be that this was not what witches looked like. Another would be that she herself was a witch.

Ah, the irony.

James – 1971

On his twelfth Halloween, James Potter found out that all of those rumors circulating the Hogwarts Halloween were true. Even James, who had grown up in a magical household, had to admit that the sight of the Great Hall when he arrived for breakfast that morning was breathtaking. He hadn't even known that pumpkins could be that big.

"Peter, my good friend," James said.

Peter had a huge pumpkin pasty shoved in his mouth, but he still looked at James in interest.

"Today feels like a good day to pull a prank." It was something in the air, James reckoned. "And perhaps to make a new friend, too. But the question is… which one?"

For the past month, they'd been attempting to befriend the other boys in their dorm: Sirius and Remus. But neither seem very open to friendship. Sirius had seemed nice and funny on the train ride, but he'd withdrawn once he'd been sorted into Gryffindor. And that Remus kid… he was just really quiet. James was sure he was hiding something.

Peter finished chewing and then said, "Don't you remember? Remus went home to visit his mom last night. She's sick again."

"Right… I suppose it'll have to be Black then."

And befriend Black they did. By the end of the Halloween Feast (another breathtaking sight), they'd formed the basis of a friendship that all three claimed would never, ever come to an end.

Clearly, that wasn't true.

Lily – 1972

On her thirteenth Halloween, Lily Evans spent a lot of time reflecting. Halloween seemed to be a good time for reflecting, really. Perhaps because it was so magical, and her life was so magical, so it felt right.

Every day at Hogwarts was an adventure. As much as she would never admit it, there were still some mornings where Lily woke up convinced that everything had been a dream – including Hogwarts, and her friends, and her classes, and her life – and that she'd been home with her parents and Petunia.

But it never happened. It was all real. It really was.

Another thing about Halloween was that the wizards really did go all out. They celebrated almost as much as the muggles did. The food was delicious, the decorations were spectacular, and the spirit was nearly unrivaled.

Yes, sometimes Lily did miss her life back home. But on days like Halloween, she knew that she would never give up the wizarding world for her old one.

James – 1973

On his fourteenth Halloween, James Potter spent the night in detention, extremely disappointed. They'd had an amazing prank planned out for that year, and they'd been caught by McGonagall in the first stages of it. Nobody even was aware of the complete extent of its awesomeness. It bloody sucked.

But James tried to push those thoughts aside as he scrubbed medals in the trophy room. He wondered where his other friends were – maybe one of them was filing papers. The other could be in the Green House, though he couldn't imagine that many of the professors would want to be running detentions on a night like this.

Not on Halloween.

Lily – 1974

It was her fifteenth Halloween, and Lily Evans had just arrived at the Great Hall for dinner when James Potter came up to her.

That boy annoyed her to no end. He was funny, she had to admit, but he didn't do any work, he broke all the rules, and still the teachers all seemed to love him. Sometimes Lily suspected that McGonagall liked Potter more than she did Lily. Lily knew that these were stupid things to be mad at someone for, but she couldn't help it. He just annoyed her.

And then he has the nerve to come up to her and ask how she did on the Transfiguration test, fully knowing that Transfiguration was her worst subject.

"I don't believe that's any of your business, Potter." Lily turned to sit down.

Potter exchanged looks with his posse, the members of which were, of course, standing right behind him. They followed him everywhere. "Come on, Lily, I just wanted to talk to you."

"What about?" she asked, her voice rising louder than she'd intended.

This started to attract some glances.

"Well, I was wondering if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with me."

An unfamiliar feeling swept through Lily's body, strong and painful. She couldn't identify it as she stared back at Potter. "I… no, no, thank you."

Potter looked astonished as Lily sat down. "No?"


Potter walked away, completely dumbfounded, and Lily turned to her food, hoping to avoid James Potter maybe for the rest of her life.

But he would continue to ask her out, and he would continue to get rejected, and the rejections and the fights would continue to get louder. And that little pang of disappointment that he felt when Lily turned him down would grow to be this horrible ache that would sometimes still be there, even when she wasn't rejecting him – even when she wasn't there. And soon enough, in his head, James would begin to call this feeling, this strange feeling that he felt towards her, love.

But Lily's confession that she felt the same way would not come soon.

James – 1975

On his sixteenth Halloween, James asked Lily out twice.

After the second time, Sirius grabbed his arm. "Come on, mate, this is getting ridiculous."

James ripped his arm away. "I know it is, I know." He leaned his head against the stone wall. "I just can't help it. Every time I see her…"

"I know, Prongs, I know. But… maybe Remus is right. Maybe she'll never say yes unless you start asking."

"Padfoot, I'm not sure that sentence made any sense. But you're right. I do need to stop asking." The vision of green eyes and red hair flashed in his mind. "Maybe I'll stop next week."

Sirius shook his head as James jogged off towards the Great Hall.

Lily – 1976

On her seventeenth Halloween, Lily Evans couldn't feel that joy that she usually felt on Halloween.

Less than a week before, the school had received word that most of Amelia Bones' family had been murdered by the Death Eaters. The only survivors were Amelia and her younger brother Dane.

Amelia Bones was a Ravenclaw, and a year older than Lily, but Lily knew her, and her family's was one of the first deaths that really affected Hogwarts.

And people had begun to panic.

Lily wasn't scared. Not really. She knew her life was at risk, and would be for a while, but she wasn't panicking. She would be safe at Hogwarts. But she couldn't help but feel horrible for Amelia and Dane – they hadn't even come back to school yet.

So she smiled, and laughed, and enjoyed the feast, but she kept Amelia and her family on her mind.

James – 1977

On his eighteenth Halloween, James Potter was hit with another "last."

They'd already had the last September 1st – the last time waiting for the Hogwarts Express with trunks filled with books and clothes, the last time saying goodbye to his parents for nearly the rest of the year, the last time being reunited with his classmates.

But Halloween was another important last.

James didn't let on, but he was actually a very sentimental person. And Halloween had always been one of his favorite days at Hogwarts. So the last Halloween at Hogwarts was a little bittersweet.

He hadn't even had the appetite to go down to breakfast that morning, which left him in position, in front of the fireplace, when Lily Evans walked down the staircase, late as always.

"What's up, Potter?"

James shrugged. "Not hungry."

She pulled her hair into a smooth ponytail as she sat down on the couch next to his chair. "You didn't get much sleep last night either, did you? I knew nobody was going to."

James nodded, although it wasn't actually true. A store in Hogsmeade had been broken into the night before, and there were rumors of Death Eater involvement. Some claimed they'd even seen the Dark Mark, but that was probably a complete fib. Still, the close proximity to Hogwarts had some on edge. James hadn't really been worried about it, but apparently Lily had.

James wished he could have been there to comfort her somehow, but… he pushed the thought out of his mind so he could concentrate on the conversation with her.

"Potter… you, you are scared aren't you? I know you don't let on much, but…"

He swallowed hard, thinking of his father, who'd very nearly gotten killed a week ago on an invasion. "Not for myself," he whispered.

"I wasn't either, for a while. All summer, nothing bothered me. B-But then I got back to school, and people started asking me how scared I was, and when if I thought I was going to be targeted and…" Lily shivered. "They got to me."

"Evans…" There were a million things that James wanted to say: that he wouldn't let her get hurt, that he would nearly die if she got hurt, that he would personally murder anyone who even touched her.

"But I worry about you, too, James," she said, as though she could read his mind.

And it struck him that it might have been the first time she'd ever called him James.

Lily – 1978

On her nineteenth Halloween, Lily Evans… well, actually it was Lily Potter now. There was a little party at James and Lily's flat, though. There'd been a long Order meeting during the day, where Dumbledore went through all of their plans for the last two months of the year, and Lily invited all of the Order members who'd been there over to their flat afterward.

That included Remus and Sirius, Peter, Frank and Alice, Marlene McKinnon, Gideon and Fabian, and Tom and Viviane. There were a bunch of people missing – Dumbledore, mainly because he had to be at Hogwarts – some that were on missions – some that had other jobs that required them to be there – some that had simply been busy.

There was quite a bit of alcohol served (Lily and James were eighteen), but other than that, the night was pretty uneventful. Lily spoke quite a bit to Alice Longbottom, who was nine years her senior, but who was super nice and had millions of stories about her years being an Auror.

It was nice to get to hang out with all of these people outside of Order meetings and battlefields.

James – 1979

On his twentieth Halloween, James and Lily Potter spent the day trying to forget that there was a war going on. This was not an easy feat, James had discovered the past couple days. People have been attempting it for all of time, but it takes a really good distraction.

They'd been trying to forget about it ever since James had gotten out of the hospital. They'd been fighting with the Order when James had been hit by an unknown curse that had landed him in St. Mungo's for almost two and a half months, while the Healers tried to figure out what it was and how to get rid of it. Lily had spent almost every waking moment at his bedside, and other time fighting for the Order. It pained her to be out fighting without him, but she had a duty.

A month ago, they'd finally lifted the curse, and he'd undergone a quite speedy recovery. He was home, nearly 100% better, but they knew that they'd soon be called in for another battle.

So they enjoyed every moment that they had together.

Lily – 1980

On her twenty-first Halloween, Lily Potter woke up her son with a cheerful, "Happy three months birthday, darling!"

Sirius Black arrived later, saying the same thing, but louder. "Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween? Where's Prongs? Are you dressing him up this year?"

"Yes, every time since I've last seen you. He's in the shower. And, no, if James wants to dress up, he can dress himself up. I have enough to worry about." And Sirius' scowl, Lily continued, "Of course I'm dressing him up! He's going to be an owl."

Sirius smiled. "That's cute. Alright, well, tell Prongs I stopped by, but I have an Order meeting to get to."

"Dumbledore didn't send us a message." Lily frowned, glancing at the window as though to make sure that there wasn't an owl waiting there.

Sirius shrugged. "Remus and I got one."

"Maybe he just wanted to give us Halloween off to spend with Harry. Alright, Padfoot, be gone."

Sirius stooped to plant a kiss on Lily's cheek. "Stay safe, love." He pecked Harry, too. "And make sure my godson is on a healthy diet. He's going to be a Quidditch player someday. Also, I want pictures."

(Harry was quite adorable as an owl, by the way.)

James – 1981

His twenty-second Halloween started out very normal. James woke up, read the paper, complained about how bored he was. That was typical for every day. Then he played with Harry for a while, changed Harry's diaper, and put him down for a nap. Then he discussed all the horrible things that were going on with Lily while they tidied up the house a bit. They didn't like discussing things while Harry was awake, even if he couldn't understand them.

Sirius came by early, while Harry was still napping, to tell them that he probably wouldn't be able to get back later that night. It had just been a full moon the night before and Remus wasn't feeling too well. James wished he could have been there to help, but Sirius had it covered, he knew.

After some more daily routine, they took out some candy and other sweets. They couldn't take Harry trick-or-treating because it was too dangerous, but that didn't mean they couldn't eat their hearts out. Harry had a big lollipop, even though Lily didn't like lollipops. Apparently Harry did.

The candy left them so stuffed that they simply collapsed onto the couch after eating it. The three of them cuddled up in silence for a while.

James broke it by saying, "You know, maybe we could live like this for a little while. I mean, it isn't too bad. I still get to see all of my favorite people."

"Yes, Remus, Sirius, and Peter can visit."

"I actually was talking about you, but if you're in that kind of mood," James rubbed her hair softly. "But what I meant is… it's almost a little peaceful."

Lily snorted. "Almost... only not at all."

"Oh, stop being such a downer, Evans."

They both looked at each other in shock for a moment, and some memory seemed to pass between their eyes. Then they both laughed, and Harry laughed, too. He began to crawl down the couch because he was so happy.

"I do love you," Lily whispered in her husband's ear.

"And I do love you, also."

"So I suppose we can be happy like this for a little while."

There was silence for a moment.

"But soon enough, Harry will have to go to school," Lily pointed out.

James sighed. "Maybe he'd be safer there," James said. "But can we please stop talking about this?"

"There's not much else to talk about, James."

"See, this is why Sirius is my favorite person. He also has too many things to talk about," James mocked lightly.

Lily smacked him lightly on the chest. "I did get a letter from Alice before."

"Oh yeah, what did it say?"

Lily took a deep breath. "Well, Neville's getting really big. He's walking, too, but he's not quite as talkative as Harry, and she's worried – what was that?"


Well, you know how that ended.

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