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Footprints by Irish_Ginny

Format: Novella
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 38,601
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Fluff, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, McGonagall, Sirius, Lily, James, Tonks, Neville
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, James/Lily, Remus/Tonks, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 08/22/2007
Last Chapter: 07/16/2008
Last Updated: 07/23/2009

All the credit goes to Midori for the amazing banner!

Harry Potter has to go back to Hogwarts after Dumbledore’s death, face the task of destroying the Horcruxes and become the hero of all wizards. That’s a lot for a teenager to handle, especially one about to get a real shock when a duel involving a time-turner sends him a present from the past…or rather, four of them.

Chapter 1: Chapter 1: What Time Is It?
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Chapter 1: What Time Is It?

“You know the rules and complications involved with using a Time-Turner I expect, Ms. Evans?”

“Yes, Professor,” a seventeen year old Lily Evans answered the Head of Gryffindor House and Transfiguration teacher.

“The Ministry decided to grant you one due to your impeccable school record and your appointment of Head Girl to accommodate for your choice in lessons. I trust you will use it correctly, Ms. Evans, and won‘t fail Professor Dumbledore’s faith in you,” Professor McGonagall continued.

“I understand, Professor. Thank you again for doing this for me,” Lily said graciously.

“My pleasure, Lily. Now I’m sure you and Mr. Potter have a lot of work to do this evening so I will let you go,” her Professor dismissed, standing up to indicate Lily should do the same. But Lily hadn’t moved - she was still sitting quite confused in her chair.

“Pardon me?”

“It is customary for the Head Boy and Girl to set out the Prefect duties to hand out tomorrow. Surely Professor Dumbledore explained this in his letter to you?” McGonagall said.

“Well yes, of course I knew that. But why would that mean I have a lot of work to do with James Potter?” Lily wasn’t getting what the Professor was saying here. James Potter? She had as little to do with him as possible, why would she have to work with him?

“Because Mr. Potter is the Head Boy, you knew that of course? You were both meant to meet the Prefects together on the train,” the Professor explained, looking slightly puzzled.

“Oh…um…yeah, right. Sorry, Professor, I just…forgot,” Lily mumbled as she stood up. “Thanks again, Professor.”

She said no more and didn’t wait for a response before turning and taking her leave from the office. Lily remained a calm exterior as she made her way to the sixth floor and her new dorms, but inside it was like someone had set a crowded circus on fire.

Unlike what she had told the Transfiguration teacher, Lily Evans had not forgotten anything about James Potter and him being Head Boy.

Because you couldn’t very well forget something you never knew.

That’s right, Lily had arrived at Hogwarts and not heard a peep about the Head Boy. She had briefed the Prefects herself, made an excuse for the absence of the mysterious Head Boy, and helped get the first years to bed alone, yet never seen him. During all that time she thought there had to be a really good reason for his disappearance. Then again, she also thought “he” would never in a million years be James Potter.

Maybe this was all a joke? Maybe Professor McGonagall had developed a twisted sense of humor over the holidays and was telling her this as a funny way to initiate her to her new post? Lily was more prepared to accept that story than the one she had been told, that was for sure. She would need to see James Potter wearing the badge engraved “Head Boy”, read Dumbledore’s letter offering the job and receive verbal confirmation from the Headmaster himself, only then was she going to believe this.

Now that she thought on it however, Lily hadn’t seen any sign of Potter at all that day, a very unusual happening considering he normally stalked her steps from the moment she stepped through the Platform barrier. In fact, she hadn’t seen or heard anything from any of the four troublesome Marauders. There hadn’t been so much as a squeak from them on the Hogwarts Express and not one of them had graced the Great Hall with their presence during the start of term feast. That could only mean…

Oh he was so dead.

Dead, dead, dead ,dead, dead, dead, DEAD! There was no way James Potter was going to blow her off like that, not to mention his new position if it was in fact true, and expect to remain walking. And Remus! She really couldn’t’t believe that Remus Lupin would miss a Prefect’s meeting like that. Potter was one thing, it was almost expected of him, but the sandy haired Marauder was supposedly more responsible than that.

Her calm walk turned into a gusting march and then transformed to a storming hurricane as she redirected her step towards Gryffindor Tower where she prayed, for the sake of the school, James Potter would be. Students literally jumped out of the way to avoid being trampled on, well aware of the damage her temper could cause when ignited. She hissed the password at the Fat Lady and wasn’t even reprimanded for her tone before the portrait swung open to doom an extremely handsome messy haired boy to his faith.

If anyone has any earplugs, now would be a really good time to use them.


James Potter literally fell off his chair where he’d been lying when he heard his name thundered so loudly around the room without any warning. He rubbed the side of his head that had hit the ground but when he saw the furious Lily standing before him he wished the fall had been a lot harder, hard enough to knock him out. It would definitely be better than facing this. But it had to be done sometime…unfortunately.

“Nice to see you again, Evans,” James said, regaining his footing but leaving any shred of dignity behind him on the carpet. “Good to hear you haven’t had any troubles with your throat over the holidays.”

“Shut it, Potter. Where have you been all day?” Lily demanded.

“Why, did you miss me?” James asked slyly, letting his famous Potter Grin shine through.

“I thought I told you to shut it!” Lily shouted.

“You did, but then you asked me a question so I couldn’t really do both,” James pointed out. He’d never learn, would he?

“Don’t get smart with me, Potter. I’m not in the mood.”

“So I see,” James muttered to himself but Lily heard him anyway; Lily heard everything.

“Why did Professor McGonagall tell me you’re Head Boy?” Lily asked angrily, getting to the point at last.

“Could be because it’s true,” Sirius piped up from the chair behind Lily. Even this wild, mischievous black haired Marauder sank back into his seat with the glare shot at him.

“Do you think I was born yesterday, Black? No one would ever make Potter Head Boy, it’s absurd!” Lily cried.

“Not really, Lily. He’s telling the truth,” Remus Lupin added in quickly to avoid himself the hassle of clearing up the messy heap his friend would soon become.

Lily was dumbstruck. She couldn’t believe it, definitely didn’t want to believe it either, but it seemed like it was the truth. She was the only one making any objections to it or questioning what everyone else accepted as truth. Merlin must really hate her. This just wasn’t fair! What had she done to deserve this type of punishment? A whole year working with Potter? Sharing a dormitory with Potter? Where was the justice is any of that?!

She needed to sit down. James leapt out of his chair straight away when he saw her swaying and let her sit down where he had been. This very rare opportunity of being near Lily Evans and not being under wand-point felt good, but like all good things, it came to a very quick end. Once she recovered from the initial shock of her doomed year, her head snapped up sharply.

“Where were you then on the train? And at the Great Hall?” she demanded. James gulped - he’d been dreading this part of the encounter.

“Eh…well you see, Evans…It’s a little…um…complicated,” James said.

“Don’t bother trying to think up an excuse, Potter, I know damn well what you were up to. But don’t you dare try and go ahead with whatever you spent all day planning because if you do, Merlin help all of you,” she warned them angrily, coming to her feet again so that she stood in front of James, his teenage-boy-height towering over her petite size.

The three Marauders who were present nodded in relieved understanding. They hadn’t been planning anything in actual fact, but Lily had no way of knowing that. She also didn’t have a clue that the reason they weren’t on the train was related to the full moon that blazed in the sky the night before.

“Of course, Evans,” James said.

“Not a problem,” Remus agreed, more relieved than anyone.

“I’ll send Merlin a written contract myself,” Sirius added.

“Ok…right then,” Lily said a little uncertainly; they never usually gave in this easily. “Don’t let it happen again, Potter. If you’re going to be Head Boy this year you need to grow up and mature.”

“That’s pushing the boat now, Evans,” Sirius grinned. “Prongs; mature? Grown up? You‘ve got to be kidding me!”

“I’m not actually, Black. Head Boy is a huge responsibility and Potter has to realize that,” Lily spat.

“Merlin, Evans, relax. Do you have to be such a kill joy?” Sirius complained.

“You wouldn’t have to worry about that if you didn’t get in my way all the time.”

“Not my decision, that part is up to Prongs,” Sirius said.

“And what, you just follow him around like his puppy? I’d rather none of you came anywhere near me!” Lily yelled, her temper flaring up at the boys once again. They could do it at any given moment, quite a talent. Though one best not practiced too often.

“No need to be so hostile, Lilykins. We know you love us really,” Sirius laughed.

Bad mistake.

Lily drew her wand and pointed it at the arrogant Gryffindor. But he was well used to Lily’s temper reactions and drew his own. Sirius had the split second advantage and could have put the Head Girl to her shame right then and there, as he probably would have normally, but the glittering reflection of something in Lily’s hand caught his attention instead.

“What’s in your hand, Evans?” he asked conversationally. Lily tightened her grip on the time-turner but her reflexes were nothing compared to the ones of a Quidditch star and the small golden object flew across the room into Sirius Black’s outstretched hand.

“A time-turner? What are you doing with this, Evans?”

“None of your business, Black!” Lily snapped, not lowering her wand but her eyes were flashing as she watching both James and Sirius admire the golden chain. It was like pouring flammable liquids on the ignited circus that was Lily Evans’ temper and mind.

“Come on, Evans, be civil. We’re only asking an innocent question,” James said, smiling despite the obvious anger he was causing the red haired beauty.

“Ha, nothing involving you is innocent, Potter,” Lily shot back. “Now hand it over, right now.”

“But, Evans, we haven’t had a chance to try it out,” Sirius whined.

“It’s not a toy!”

“Looks like one to me,” James pointed out. It was far too easy to wind Lily up.

“Hand it over, Potter. I won’t ask again.”

“You didn’t ask at all, you just demanded it. You think they would have picked a Head Girl with better manners, wouldn’t you, Prongs?” Sirius asked his best friend, grinning widely.

“Yeah, and one with a bit of a sense of humor might have worked better as well, don’t you think?” James replied, a grin identical to the other Marauder on his own lips.

Lily lifted her wand, pointing it between the two grinning boys. Remus, seeing the danger, moved to stand behind them. There wasn’t a hell of a lot he could really do, but it was better than sitting there and watch his friends get creamed - as entertaining as it would be - it was wrong.

“TARANTALLEGRA!” Lily screamed.

“STUPEFY!” Sirius fired.


“EXPELLIARMUS!” Remus tried to counter.

But surprisingly the four all remained standing and mobile, despite the variety of jinxes that had been sent. One thing that was moving however was the time turner. The small hourglass was spinning in all directions at top speed, showing no signs of stopping.

Uh oh…

Nobody had any idea what happened next or what caused it; but one minute they were standing in a crowded Gryffindor common room and a flash of golden light later and they were standing in an empty one.

“What the hell did you do, Potter?!” Lily roared.

“Me? I didn’t do anything! It was you and Sirius who started all this,” James defended himself. “You two did this.”

“Ha-ha, I made everyone disappear!” Sirius laughed triumphantly. Unlike the rest of them, Sirius found it hilarious and was incredibly amused by the whole situation. “I’m like a Muggle magician!”

“This isn’t funny, Sirius. How do we get them back?” Remus asked. They were going to have a tough time explaining this one…

What they didn’t know however was it hadn’t been the Gryffindors that disappeared, but rather Lily and the Marauders.

And a scream that sounded from behind them made that very clear.


A/N: Not very long, or exciting, but it’s the opening chapter and they’re hard to make interesting. Hope you liked it anyway! Please review and tell me what you thought. I'm trying my pen at something different to my traditional stories so I hope it will be a success = )

Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Welcome to the 90's
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Chapter 2: Welcome To The 90’s

Hermione Granger couldn’t hold in the scream that burst from her when she saw the four strangers standing at the fire, staring up at her. They weren’t students, and definitely not Gryffindor ones despite what their robes read, she knew because she didn’t recognize any of them. So that had to mean…they were from the outside.

Hermione drew her wand sharply and pointed it at the four young-looking Death Eaters. It wouldn’t be first time Voldemort attempted to breach Hogwarts walls with his spies so she couldn’t take any chances, but why hadn’t they attacked yet? It was four on one, she was facing pretty much hopeless odds and yet they just stood there, staring up at her.

“Hermione? Are you alright?” a voice called timidly down the stairs, causing the four strangers and Hermione to start. A few moments later the owner of the voice appeared in the slim, red haired figure of Ginny Weasley.

“What’s going on, Hermione? I heard you scream and…Who are they?” the younger of the girls asked, raising her already drawn wand wearily. But when she spotted a messy haired boy in their midst she immediately lowered it again.

“Why were you screaming? It’s only Harry,” Ginny said, stepping down from behind Hermione and addressing “Harry”.

“I think she’s just a little too tired after the journey yesterday, Harry,” she said quite calmly, but the boy she had spoken to looked more than a little confused.

“Who’s Harry? I’m James,” he introduced.

“Ginny,” Hermione warned. “That’s not Harry, they’re-”

“MERLIN!” Ginny swore and staggered backwards until she collided with a table, gaping between the tall, black haired boy she had spoken with and the red haired girl not far off with green eyes.

All too familiar green eyes.

“Hermione, I think we should go get Harry and Ron from upstairs,” Ginny said slowly.

“No way am I leaving you here, Ginny. They could be Death Eaters or anything.”

“No need for such harsh name calling,” the second black haired boy, this time with grey eyes, called. “Would someone please tell us what in Merlin’s name is going on?”

“Hermione, get Harry and Ron. Now. They need to see this,” Ginny insisted, not taking her eyes from the small group by the fireplace.

“What’s going on down here? We heard screaming,” a new voice entered the room. This time it was the red haired girl on the opposite side of the room turn’s to gasp when she saw the boy standing at the bottom of the second staircase.

“There’s two of him!” she hissed, horrified.

“Bloody Merlin!” The room’s capacity now hit eight people staring wide-eyed at one another with the arrival of another red head, this time a teenage boy who also descended from the stairs.

“Are they who I think they are?” the newest arrival asked in amazement.

“Of course not, Ron,” Hermione snapped. “There’s no way they’re…It’s impossible!”

“We’ve seen weirder things happen than this, it’s not totally impossible,” Ron argued.

“This is different, Ronald. It’s just absurd.”

“You just don’t want to admit it because you couldn’t see it straight away.”

“You’re being stupid now, that’s not true. I did see it but that doesn’t mean it’s true.”

“How is it stupid? Just because you-”

“Bloody hell, Prongs! These two are worse than you and Evans!” one of the fireplace-gang said.

“Potter and I are nothing like that,” the girl of the strange group defended.

Ron turned back to Hermione. “Satisfied now? Enough proof for you yet?”

“Not yet,” Hermione said stubbornly.

“You said you’re not Death Eaters?” Harry addressed them, moving forward. “Then how did you get here?” He felt it would be best to go along with it until they could figure out what was going on. It was either some really sick and twisted joke somebody was playing on him or else a plan by Voldemort gone really bad.

“Because Black, this idiot here, stole my time-turner and messed with it so that we landed here. We don’t even know where here is!” The green eyed girl explained, casting a vicious look at one of the boys with stylish black hair as she said “Black”.

“No, it was you attacking me, Prongs and Moony with your insane temper that got us into this mess, Evans. They don’t even know who we are here, we have to be years behind!” the boy called Black shot.

Prongs…Moony…Black…James…Evans…Potter…This couldn’t mean anything good.

“I think we all need to sit down and figure out what’s going on. But we’ll have to get out of here first before everyone comes back from dinner and catches them,” Harry said.

“But, Harry, what if they really are with…you know,” Hermione said, looking at him meaningfully to get her point across.

“If that’s the case it’s better to have them away from the students anyway. Keep your wands out and I’ll take theirs. Ginny, you go down to dinner,” Harry gave out the orders.

“No way, I’m coming with you for this. If it wasn’t for me Hermione would have toasted them all,” Ginny objected.

Harry didn’t argue again, there was no point just now, he’d have to deal with his issues with Ginny some other time. But as for right now he just turned and took the wands from the four “guests” before they all left the room.

“So how far back into the past are we really? Are you one of my grandparents or something ‘cause we look really alike. We’ve got to be related, don’t we?” the guy who shared Harry’s unruly hair asked as they passed through the, thankfully, empty corridors.

“We’ll talk about it when we get there. We have to move quickly now,” was all Harry would reply, his face remaining expressionless the whole time despite what he knew to be true:

He was currently walking alongside his father at seventeen years of age.

On top of everything else that was going on in the life of Harry Potter, this was the cherry.

As hoped for, they all reached the Head rooms without any trouble at all, the regular students absorbed in their food and the so-called “new” ones too confused to cause a fuss. But once they were safely in the private common room all that changed.

“Alright we’re here now so you have to tell us tell us where the hell we actually are,” the red haired stranger demanded when they were all settled.

“You’re in Hogwarts,” Ron told them but the girl scoffed, sounding very much like Hermione.

“We know that, but what year? How far in the past are we?”

“You’re actually in the future, 1997 to be exact,” Hermione revealed, causing the girl to gasp sharply and clamp her hand over her mouth. But the boy beside her with sandy hair looked more confused than ever.

“But how did you know we were from the past? From all we told you, there could be a chance we were from further ahead than you,” he said quite intelligently.

“Yeah, Moony has a point. Who-” the one who looked like Harry said but Harry himself cut him short.

“You mean Moony as in Remus Lupin, James?”

The four “visitors” stared at Harry in stunned silence.

“How did you…” James trailed off, not knowing whether to be scared or intrigued.

“We know who you are, for definite now since you just confirmed it for us really,” Hermione told them.

“Well if you know so much, who am I?” the other boy with black, but slightly less messy, hair asked.

“Sirius Black,” Ron said promptly, silencing the questioner.

“Which means this is Lily,” Ginny said, indicating to the only other girl in the group.

“What’s my last name?” Lily asked skeptically, hoping to catch them out. But no luck, they knew more about her than Lily knew herself.

“It’s Evans, but after you marry J-” Ginny started but was cut off by Lily exclamation of “I’m married!?” and Harry’s growled warning.

“Don’t tell them anything yet, Ginny. We don’t even know if we can trust them.”

“You think You-Know-Who is trying to kill you using your pa-…people from the past? They haven’t even tried to attack you yet,” Ginny defended herself, trying to make up for her two very near mistakes.

“He could be using them for something else like spying or something,” Harry argued.

“You’re just being over-cautious, their story seems genuine.”

“Being over cautious helps, it saved lives in the past.”

“Yeah, but it can ruin them as well,” Ginny said quietly, looking pained before she turned away from Harry. They weren’t getting into this argument again, not now; there were more pressing matters at hand to deal with.

“Would someone please be kind enough to tell us what’s going on here? Who are you people?” the young, and only, Sirius asked in a raised voice.

“I’m Hermione Granger, this is Ron Weasley and his sister; Ginny,” Hermione introduced and looked across at Harry to see what he would do next.

“I’m Harry Potter,” he said, opting for the truth. If they were sent my Voldemort to kill him, he might as well be polite.

“So we are related then?” James asked excitedly. “How?”

Harry nodded. He might as well tell the truth, he couldn’t tell if they were for real or just impostors if he didn’t say anything after all.

“We are related. I’m your son.”

“Son? Way to go, Prongs! I better be godfather or else you’re dead in the future…or the past…or…oh hell you know what I mean,” Sirius laughed and clapped Harry’s dad on the back.

Harry had to smile, but it was a sad one because he knew the brutal end the future held for these great friends. It was a lot to cope with, added to the fact of Dumbledore’s death, his new journey and missions, he couldn’t believe this was happening as well. What did he ever do to fate to deserve this?

“So who’s the lucky lady? I wouldn’t complain to it being this gorgeous woman here,” James said, winking at Ginny who had to giggle over Harry’s mortified reaction.

Apparently, Harry’s crime against the forces was much greater than he thought because, now, putting all else aside, his father was coming on to his ex-girlfriend? How unbelievably twisted was that!?

This was too much to cope with for Harry.

And evidently so for Lily as well who seemingly agreed with Harry’s thoughts and burst; “This is ridiculous! There’s no way we could have gone into the future, and definitely not one where Potter has a kid. The woman would have to be completely brainless to do something that stupid!”

“Well I wouldn’t call her brainless exactly. In fact, she was the smartest witch of her time as well as being Head Girl according to my godfather,” Harry said, though Lily didn’t seem to catch the hints he was laying down.

James did however. After one hard look at Harry and then at Lily, he let out a huge cheer, leaping to his feet and punching the air triumphantly like he’d won the ultimate prize.

Which, in James’ eyes, he had.

“I did it, I did it! I knew it! I know it, right?” James asked, halting his happy-dance around the room to gain confirmation. But when all four current Hogwarts students nodded, he began bouncing again until he reached Lily and wrapped her up in a bear-hug.

“What do you think you’re doing, Potter? Put be down right now, you arrogant prat!” Lily yelled angrily.

“Calm down, smartest Head Girl of her time. You wouldn’t want us to start arguing in front of our very own son, would you? Imagine what that would do to his moral standings?” James asked slyly, thoroughly enjoying himself.

“Our son? That trip must have rattled your tiny brain, Potter, because there is no way we would ever have a child together,” she stated firmly.

“Take a look at his eyes again and tell me how long ever is. By the looks of him, I’d say it ended about three years after we left.”

Lily did look at Harry, really look this time, purely to shut James up, but ended up doing it to herself. She couldn’t deny he was the image of James, if only a little shorter, but it was when she stared into his deep emerald eyes that she felt sick to her stomach.

They were just like hers.

“Oh hell no,” Lily said in quiet disbelief, still looking at Harry who gave a tiny nod of his head that almost seemed apologetic.

“It’s true, you’re my Mum.”

If Lily had been in her right mind she would have questioned after the sorrowful note in Harry’s voice as he said that, and about the troubled, pained look in his eyes. He didn’t seem like an ordinary teenage boy to her, not even one who was a wizard and had his seventeen year old parents appearing in front of him. She knew instinctively there was something wrong, and more to him than first appeared.

But Lily Evans was not in her right mind, in fact she was as far from it as she could possibly get. It wasn’t even in view anymore. First she’d found out James Potter was Head Boy, then she’d gotten in a fight with him and his stupid friends that caused them to shoot twenty years into the future and now she was being told the boy standing in front of her was the son she had with the same James Potter? What next?!

“So are we married before we have you?” James asked excitedly, wanting all the details of his successful conquest.

“We do not have a child, Potter!” Lily roared.

Again that evening, Harry nodded at James who grinned even further and winked at Lily.

This was the best day of his life; he was living his dream!

“We are never getting married!” Lily continued to rave.

This was the worst day of her life; she was living her nightmare.

“We’re already married according to - Harry, wasn’t it?” James said, turning to Harry to be sure he had it right. He did.

“It’s not true!” Lily remained stubborn.

“Just accept it, Evans, and save yourself the hassle, as well as our eardrums,” Sirius commented, his grin almost as wide as James’. “So am I married?” he asked.

“No, you never marry,” Ron answered.

“I don’t think we should say anything else until we talk to the Headmistress. If it turns out they really are who they say then we could have already screwed a few things up,” Hermione interrupted suddenly before any more questions could be asked.

“You’ve a Headmistress now? What happened to Dumbledore?” Remus asked, completely unaware of how deep he had gutted Harry with his question, making the boy feel like he had been stabbed in the heart again.

What had happened to Dumbledore….indeed, he didn’t understand himself.

“You’re right, Hermione. I think it would be best to go now,” Harry agreed deliberately to avoid answering Remus and stood up to lead everyone out of the common room, letting them all pass him at the portrait hole until it came to Ginny at the very end.

“You have to go back to Gryffindor Tower, Ginny,” he said to her when everyone else was out.

“What? Why?” she asked, infuriated by his use of the phrase “have to”.

“I told you I wouldn’t be able to involve you in anything this year, it’s too dangerous. This included.”

“What’s so dangerous about going to the Headmistress office? You afraid she’s going to give me detention?”

“It could be risky if they turn out to be working for Voldemort, you can’t be there,” Harry said firmly, losing his patience.

“You know damn well they’re the real things, Harry, you just don’t want me involved in anything concerning you. I get that much, but it’s the why that I don’t understand.”

“I already told you why; because it’s too dangerous and you could get hurt. I don’t want that to happen, I have to protect you,” he said meaningfully but Ginny wasn’t taking any of it, the same way she never did the hundreds of other times they had this debate.

“You’re going to have to come up with a better excuse than that soon enough when the war comes here and you’re gone off,” she said and turned on her heel, returning as she was told to Gryffindor Tower, Harry watching her sadly as she left.

Harry sighed; he had no idea what to do about her anymore. He had said all those things about wanting to protect her when he believed he wouldn’t be back at Hogwarts again and, although he still meant them, it was becoming increasingly hard to obey them and resist her.

A cough from behind him brought Harry out of his daze to remember he and Ginny had not been alone. When he turned to them he was greeted by four very curious faces and two sympathetic ones, none of which brightening his mood.

“What was all that about?” Lily asked Harry as once more they maneuvered their way through the Hogwarts hallways.

“Pretty simple I think, Evans; Obviously Harry used to date - Ginny’s her name, right? - Ginny and somehow scorned the poor beauty, the same one that James here hit on earlier,” Sirius put bluntly.

“I hit on my own son’s ex-girlfriend? That’s wrong, even for me!” James exclaimed, sounding really disgusted.

“You don’t know he’s your son yet, Potter,” Lily exploded, refusing to give in.

“Look at him, Lily. He’s obviously my son with the great looks he has and his brilliant eyes tell he has your genes too,” James took pleasure in pointing out.

“Don’t call me Lily! And stop complimenting me! And don’t call him our son again! Just shut up all together, Potter,” Lily rambled.

“My wife has a bit of a temper,” James muttered under his breath to Sirius who nodded knowingly.

Harry tried to ignore their talk, completely ignorant to the real story, but the more he heard the harder it became for him to believe they might not be his actual parents brought here by pure chance. They seemed too much like the idea Harry had always had of them in his head for it to be an act.

He hoped.

“So who’s the Headmistress anyway? Would we know her?” the young Remus asked instead, seeing Harry and the other two were avoiding previous questions.

But instead of saying a name, Hermione spoke what must have been a password and led the way up the flight of stairs guarded by the gargoyle to knock on the door that stood at the top.

“Yes? Come in,” granted a voice beyond the wood. The first reaction to the person sitting behind the large desk was a loud gasp from both James and Sirius.



A/N: Did you like it? I was going to keep going with what happened with McGonagall at the end but it just seemed to keep dragging then so I split it up. Hope you like it, please review and tell me! Thanks = )

Chapter 3: Chapter 3: The New Kids In Town
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Chapter 3: New Kids In Town

Professor, or now Headmistress, McGonagall looked up in dismayed shock at a student calling her by such a name. She was the Headmistress of Hogwarts, she must be treated with respect! She was about to tell the perpetrators just this when she looked up and saw who they were, sinking back down into her seat heavily.

“Oh my.”

“Nice to see you too, Professor,” James greeted.

“I see you’re doing well for yourself,” Sirius added, grinning at how stunned his teacher looked. Then again he was used to it, being Sirius Black and all, he always left the ladies speechless!

“Potter…What’s going on here?” the woman asked, glancing around the four faces she knew so well and yet hadn’t seen in so long. Harry and James looked at one another before Harry decided it was him who the Headmistress had addressed.

If this was for real, the whole two Potter’s thing was going to get confusing.

“We’re not really sure. Hermione came downstairs and they were just standing there at the fire,” he explained simply.

“Are they genuine?” was the first question McGonagall asked, thinking much along the same lines as her students that this could very well be a trap.

“As far as we can tell; yes, Professor,” Hermione answered.

“We need to make sure,” the Headmistress said after a few moments. “Mr. Weasley, will you please go and ask the Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor to come up to us?”

Ron nodded in understanding and turned to leave the room, glancing at the four very confused looking new comers.

“While we’re waiting, would someone like to tell me how you managed to get here?” McGonagall asked the four, three of which looked at Lily to be their speaker. She obliged willingly, loving the opportunity to hang the Marauders.

“Well, Professor, I went to find Potter after you gave me the time-turner, in our year that is, but Black here stole it when he saw it,” Lily said.

“I did not steal, I was just looking!” Sirius objected. A Marauder did not steal, it was degrading. They just borrowed without permission with little intent of returning.

“So when he wouldn’t give it back I forced him to but then Potter and Lupin joined in and it sent us here!” Lily continued.

“So you were dwelling in the common room, Ms. Evans?” McGonagall asked.

“Well…no, I…I mean,” Lily flustered. This wasn’t even her own Professor, this one being twenty years on, but Lily still didn’t want to be seen breaking rules. It just wasn’t a natural thing for her.

“That’s exactly what she was doing, Professor,” Sirius quipped in straight away. “Shocking, isn’t it?”

“What were the spells used exactly?”

“Well let me see, I think there was a stunner, a disarmer or two, a Petrificus and, what was did you shoot, Evans?” James asked in a mock sweet voice.

“Tantellegra,” Lily said in a quiet, mortified voice making to two black haired Marauders grin while she blushed.

“That was probably it. A spell such as that one, combined with the others, all of which I assume came into contact with the time-turner, must have caused a malfunction which resulted in bringing you here,” McGonagall explained, solving one of the many mysteries.

But James and Sirius were looking at each other with incredulous stares after “That was probably it” and their faces were nearly splitting with identical grins.

“So you mean this, this whole thing, was all Evans’ fault?!” Sirius exclaimed joyfully.

“It is not! If you hadn’t taken the time-turner off me in the first place, Black, then none of-” Lily stormed, her cheeks now the same color as her hair.

“Ah but, Evans, if you hadn’t cast that specific spell then we would still be in our own time and would never have had to disrupt our son from what I’m sure is his very busy life here in the future,” James took pleasure in saying, only making Lily’s face go from scarlet to crimson, this time in rage.

“He is NOT our son, Potter! Stop calling him that!”

“You told them, Potter? Harry Potter, I mean,” McGonagall demanded.

“Well it was a little obvious, they just figured it out,” Harry said with a shrug. There wasn’t really much he could have done or said now to defend it, it just happened.

“You called for me, Headmistress?”

The whole room, including the usually sleeping portraits on the wall, turned to see the next drama unfold as Ron re-entered the office, now accompanied by an older man who stood struck-dumb in the doorway.

“It’s you, Moony!” James cried, the first to catch on to the obvious resemblance. “It’s the older you, how weird is that?!”

“Man, do you look different twenty years in the future, Moony,” Sirius laughed. “And, wow, you’re a Professor!”

The older Remus Lupin looked around his audience, seemingly totally lost. But that was nothing compared to the completely shocked look on the face of his miniature self who was so stunned that his twenty year older self had walked in.

It’s quite an odd experience I’d imagine, don’t you agree?

“Would someone like to explain what’s going on here?” the Professor Lupin asked nervously.

“It seems that these four appeared in Gryffindor Tower this evening and are claiming to be yourself, your two friends and Lily Evans from your seventh year, Remus,” McGonagall explained in a hurried way.

“But you don’t believe them?” he stated obviously.

“No of course not, not yet. We were hoping you would be able to think up a way to determine the truth since one of them seems to be you after all,” the Headmistress said.

“Hold on, how do we know this isn’t some big joke or trap on your part?” Lily interrupted suspiciously. “You keep doubting us but how do we know we can trust you?”

Professor Lupin looked at McGonagall with one cocked eyebrow. “That would be my first clue about it, right there,” he said, addressing the older woman before turning to the younger one again. “You don’t know, which is why we are going to prove both of us trustworthy,” he explained, taking a good look at each of the four teenagers in turn. “If they’re impostors, it’s still extremely likely they’ll have most of the facts anyway from their source. I doubt He sent in spies without researching his subjects first.”

“Isn’t there something he wouldn’t have known? I mean he couldn’t have known everything about all of you, right?” Harry pointed out, joining the discussion. His Professor nodded, looking intently at his own young version.

“What date were you first bitten by a werewolf?” The seventeen year old Remus turned deathly pale.

“How did you know that? And all of them?” he asked, indicating to Harry, Ron and Hermione, for no one in the room showed any surprise about the creature’s mention.

“Same reason James, Sirius and Lily know; we trusted them with the secret. Not to mention they figured it out for themselves over time.”

She knew?!” James demanded, gesturing wildly at Lily. “How come you never felt the need to mention that fact, Moony? It could have really helped me, in case it bothered you!”

“Oh please, nothing ever could or ever can help you, Potter. And of course I knew, I’m not stupid, it was pretty obvious, especially since you managed to find out,” Lily spat, completely forgetting she was in the presence of a Professor. Or, two technically it seemed.

“The date, Remus?” Lupin pressed, ignoring James and Lily, though it was a little hard to do so. How he’d missed hearing them like that, or even just hearing them at all.

“June 20th, 1966 at five minutes past midnight in Phoenix Park Forest,” the younger sandy haired boy said in quiet preciseness, his head hanging.

The male teacher breathed a sigh, but of relief or sorrow it wasn’t made clear. “They’re real, Minerva. There’s no way anybody would have known that, not even with their source,” he confirmed, patting his younger self rather awkwardly on the back. They talk about giving yourself a pat on the back, well it’s a lot stranger than it sounds.

McGonagall sank back into her seat, her hand coming to her mouth as she stared in genuine awe. “You’re…They’re…It’s really them. They’re back, right here. I don’t believe it, oh Merlin.”

Looks were exchanged: the Headmistress just swore?! Unnatural things were at work here.

“See, Minnie, I knew you really loved us and would miss us when we left,” Sirius said proudly, not letting the truly stunned looks on the faces of the people native to this time bother him. He was Sirius Black, nothing bothered him, whether it was past, present or indeed future.

“What do you mean ‘back’, Professor? Surely we’re around somewhere in this time?” Lily asked, not nearly as satisfied as Sirius was that the discussion was over.

McGonagall looked from Lily to a very pale Harry. “How much do they know?”

“Nothing other than who I am, as in who my parents are,” Harry replied, refusing to look at anyone, especially one of his parents who was trying to make eye contact with him. It was too bizarre, too farfetched.

“You mean they don’t know about your sc-” the Headmistress started to ask but once more Remus Lupin stepped in, sensing the danger.

“I don’t think now is the time to go into all that, Minerva. I think we all need to get something to eat and get some rest, don’t you think? Then we can see where we go from there.”

“But what if they do find out about…certain stuff while they’re here? Could it mess things up for us?” Hermione asked the Professors.

“Honestly, Hermione, I haven’t the slightest clue. I don’t think anyone has ever been put in this situation before, we just have to play it as it comes I suppose.” There was nods all around, but everyone knew this was far from over. It wasn’t as simple as some may think.

“So…about that food you offered? That still happening?” Sirius put in, causing James, Ron and Professor Lupin to laugh.

So Sirius!

“Where are they going to stay?” Hermione questioned.

“We can worry about that later, what about the food?” Sirius persisted. “I’m really hungry you know.”

After they’ve eaten then, where will they spend tonight?”

“I think going back to the Head Dorms would be best for now, keep them away from the other students for tonight at least. We should leave now I think, with your permission of course, Headmistress?” the Defense Professor requested.

“Yes, of course. But I would like to see you and Mr. Potter, Harry Potter that is, later on if possible.”

Both Professor Lupin and Harry nodded in consent before the eight of them left the office, James and Sirius laughing and joking like nothing unusual had just happened.

It was only when they had all left and Professor McGonagall was once again left alone in her office did she turn and look at the newest addition to the collection of the Headmasters and mistresses on the wall.

“Oh, Albus, is this what you left him to face? I hope there’s a reason for it all,” she said softly as a tear trickled down her cheek for the resting wizard.

Or did some things just have no reason at all?


“So what are we like in the future?” Remus asked.

“Am I a good godfather? I’m sure I am!” Sirius said proudly.

“Am I definitely married to Evans?” James demanded.

Since Harry had come back from his meeting with Professors McGonagall and Lupin, declaring they were allowed reveal all, the question river hadn’t stopped it’s flow. The Professors had agreed that since a major part of the future had already been revealed and nothing appeared to have changed, nothing else could really be considered a danger. However, the problem of getting the three Marauders and Lily back to their own time safely wasn’t as easily solved, both adults saying they needed time to figure it out.

Until then, it looked like they were here to stay…at least for a little while.

“What’s going on in here?” Ahh, another question! Harry thought he was going to go insane if he was asked another one. But this didn’t come from any of the “new kids”, but instead surprisingly from Ginny.

“Ginny? What are you doing here? How did you even get in?” Harry demanded, carefully avoiding eye contact.

“I came to visit Hermione, she gave me the password a while ago. Is there something wrong with that? Or am I forbidden to visit my friends now too because it might be dangerous to walk up a flight of stairs?” Ginny spat harshly.

Ok, so obviously Ginny wasn’t coping well with Harry’s return either and was still fuming over their earlier argument. Harry wondered why she came here if she was still angry at him, knowing there was a very good chance he would be there too. But when he really looked at Ginny, he saw the red rings around her eyes that explained nearly too much and tightened the knot in his stomach.

“Ahh, it’s Ginny! Looks like you and your son have the same taste in women, Prongs,” Sirius observed, glancing between the seething Ginny and distressed Harry. “And the same luck too by the looks of things.”

“I’m guessing there’s something going on here?” Remus asked not knowing the magnitude of his question, also looking between Harry and Ginny as everyone else was doing. Harry chanced a look up at Ginny at the question, this time catching her eyes that seemed too dark these days, before lowering his own to the ground.

“No, there’s nothing,” he said quietly. He knew he’d hurt Ginny greatly with those few small words, he’d hurt himself even deeper, but he believed he was saving her in the long run. He had to believe something after all.

“So, Harry, about me and Evans? What happened between us? Do you have any siblings?” James pressed to break the awkward silence that was developing. Or maybe he was just dying to know more about marrying Lily. It was hard to tell with him.

Harry had been ignoring nearly all the questions sent at him since the arrival, at the beginning because he was sure they weren’t real, but now that he knew they were he had a different reason.

It was painful. Meeting his parents had always been something Harry had dreamed of, but now that he really had the chance of seeing them in the flesh, the hurt it caused was unbelievable. And now he was meant to explain to them all about what had happened to them, to him? Maybe it was the recent death of Dumbledore, or his preoccupation with Voldemort and now Ginny, but this really didn’t seem like something he could handle.

“Harry, are you alright?” Lily asked, surprisingly only speaking for the first time since leaving the Headmistress’s office that day.

Bang, answer found. It was that that made Harry so suddenly change his mind. That, of all the questions, was the one to wake him up because it was the first caring thing to come from the mouth of his actual mother. Not Ron’s mum, not a Professor or anyone else, but his own real mum.

On the other end of the scale, it was pretty clear Lily Evans wasn’t thrilled about the idea of having a son with James Potter, and Harry knew it would take a long time before she would accept it. But this was a chance to finally get to know and talk to his parents, even if they were his own age, even with the Voldemort threat, and even though it was only temporary. Did any of it really matter? Should he just seize the chance and go for it, snatching at the opportunity like a Snitch, instead of always hiding behind a wall?


“Yeah, you’re alright? Or “yeah”, I really marry Evans? Specifics would be good here,” James said. Merlin, was he determined. Surprisingly, mostly for himself, Harry laughed.


“YES!” James roared, causing a sense of déjà vu for everyone by repeating his earlier action and bounding from his seat, punching the air with a stream of triumph.

Although this news had already been released, Lily still didn’t want to hear about it and screamed the total opposite: “NO!”

“No getting away from it, Lily! You know he’s telling the truth now,” James said gleefully.

“I told you not to call me Lily, Potter.”

“Well it doesn’t seem right for me to call my wife by her last name now does it? And an incorrect one at that, according to the timeline.”

“If you call me Potter I swear I really will murder you. It’s not true and there’s nothing you can do or say to make me believe it,” Lily said stubbornly.

Harry was strongly reminded of Ginny, the other head-strong, red haired beauty in the room.

“I’m sure I’ll think of something, but suit yourself. You’ll come around eventually, darling, you always do. So, Harry, how did this happen?” James went on eagerly, for the first time putting very little pass on Lily’s reaction to him.

“Yeah, what curse did he have her under? Did she lose a bet or something?” Sirius laughed, trying to rile Lily up again but she was now tactfully ignoring all conversation that centered around her and Potter as a couple.

“No, nothing like that. You got together in seventh year, were married a year later and then I was born on the 31st of July 1980,” Harry said. It felt extremely weird to be explaining to your own parents how and when you came into existence. Isn’t it usually the other way around?

“Wow, all that in the space of three years? You work fast, Prongs!” Sirius said, laughing at James who grinned on proudly.

“Yeah, it only took him seven years to get her in the first place, he had to make up some of that time,” Remus added in, but nothing was going to phase James at this moment. He was too busy daydreaming.

“So how many siblings do you have? I bet me and Mrs. Potter have tons!” James asked, none of his enthusiasm ebbing.

This time however Harry shook his head, casing James to look faintly disappointed. “No, you only had me.”

“Well he’s a great one to have! You used up all your good genes the first time around, Prongs,” Sirius grinned and then asked; “So, are there any little Sirius’ running around this castle?”

Again, Harry shook his head in the negative effect. “No, you didn’t have any children, neither has Remus so far.”

“Don’t look so down, Padfoot. There’s still the chance we’ll be able to have kids later. Except Moony of course because he’s stuck up here in this women-less castle for nine months a year,” James joked.

But how strange it was that reality was almost the reverse of his statement.

“Well…that’s not really how it works out,” Hermione put in nervously, trying to look encouragingly at Harry who was pointedly avoiding her.

Please don’t tell me we’re teaching here as well? What the hell was wrong with us?!” Sirius burst.

“That’s not it either,” Hermione said cautiously. She didn’t want to be the one to break it to them, it had only been a few hours but she, and she assumed the others, were already feeling close to these four people.

“Well what is it then?” James asked suspiciously. He was beginning to dislike where this was going.

This was it, he had to tell them. McGonagall had said to tell them anything they wanted to know, and the reason Sirius would never marry or James would never have more kids had to be explained. They needed to know, right?

“You’re both Aurors, you said you wouldn’t have any more children because of the war.”

Wrong. Harry couldn’t do it, he just wasn’t able to bring himself to tell his parents and his godfather that they were dead in this time. He wanted the chance to really get to know his Mum and Dad for real, and Harry had a small suspicion that knowing they were going to die before they were twenty-two might change them a little. He wasn’t able to crush them like that, not now.

“War? There’s still a war going on?” Remus asked, surprised. “You mean it hasn’t ended yet?”

“Well it did, it was stopped for thirteen years really, but it started up again three years ago,” Ron told him.

“What do you mean it stopped? How does a war just go on a break? Did someone hit the pause button or something?” Lily asked, coming back into the conversation now that a topic she at least believed in was being discussed.

Harry glared at his friends for opening this can of worms. It kind of fit into the list entitled “Don’t Go There” along with his parent’s deaths. But he knew he had to explain now since they were going to be sticking around for a while and would certainly find out. Not to mention, he really didn’t have a cover story for this one.

But how could he explain without revealing the real faith of two of the new foursome?

“Voldemort lost all his power about sixteen years ago,” Harry said blandly.

“You said his name! Are you mad!?” Sirius cried.

“How? I mean, nobody in our time could get rid of him, not even Dumbledore,” Remus said, cutting across his friend.

“It wasn’t as simple or straight forward as hitting him with a spell, it was much more complicated than that. He tried to kill me when I was a year old but couldn’t because…someone…made a sacrifice to protect me.” Harry couldn’t stop his eyes from flickering towards Lily as he said this. Thankfully nothing had been given away because she just stared at him in awe.

“You survived an attack by him? When you were only one?” she asked in wonderment.

“That’s why they call him the Boy-Who-Lived,” Ginny said, also looking across the room at the boy in question despite her feelings. She may be quite resentful towards him at that very moment, but no amount of negative feelings could ever stop the amazed respect that flowed when his story was told.

“And the Chosen One. He’s meant to be the only one able to beat You-Know-Who. It’s true too, he’s done a load of stuff against the Dark Arts and everything,” Ron went on proudly, not shy about boasting over his friend’s triumphs.

“Like what?” The question came from Sirius.

“Well let’s see, in first year he stopped You-Know-Who getting the Philosopher’s Stone.”

“And he saved me from Him in second year after killing a Basilisk with Gryffindor’s sword,” Ginny continued.

“He also got rid of a hundred Dementors that were trying to Kiss him in our third year,” Hermione added.

“And when he got entered in the Tri-Wizard Tournament in fourth year, he won after fighting You-Know-Who in a graveyard where he got all his power back,” Ron revealed casually.

“Not to mention he took on the Death Eaters and You-Know-Who himself in the Ministry two years ago,” Hermione concluded. Harry felt like he was at a meeting where his teachers told his parents how good he was, it was the oddest thing he’d ever experienced.

Nobody mentioned last year’s adventures. They were still buried, the right time hadn’t been reached where they were ready to re-open those wounds.

“W-o-w,” Sirius said in slow shock. “Merlin, that’s a lot of achievements, mate.”

“See, Lily? You can’t tell me you aren’t proud to know he’s your son now after hearing all that,” James said to the beautiful red haired girl across from him and although she wasn’t being entirely cold to Harry just now, she still wasn’t ready to admit any such thing just yet.

“I’m as amazed as you are, Potter, but there’s no way he’s your son, especially now after hearing everything he’s done.” She was lying of course. It was fairly obvious that Harry was James’ son, the resemblance was uncanny. So the only way to get herself out of this mess was to find a way to prove she wasn’t related to him in any way…but part of her didn’t want that to be true either.

“Ouch, Evans, no need to be so icy,” James said but Lily only scoffed. If he was anybody else other than James Potter, he would have recognized his mission as a lost cause long ago. But, being James Potter, that just made it all the more interesting.

“I must say, you’ve got a damn cool son, Prongs. Must be my influence,” Sirius said lightly to clear the air. “So, Harry, have you any plans for getting rid of Him?”

“Yeah, have you? We’ll be happy to help you if we’re still around, son,” James volunteered, winking at Lily on his last word.

So much for that air clearing theory.

“Oh…um…no, nothing yet,” Harry stumbled, caught off guard. He supposed he could tell them about the Horcruxes and let them help him since they probably weren’t going to remember anything anyway, in fact he was really considering doing just that. But not now, not while Ginny was here. Including the time-travelled version of his parents and their friends was one thing, but Ginny had a whole new list of rules attached.

And they were rules he just couldn’t break.

“Well that’s ok, all the more time to spend with us and tell us all about you,” Sirius said happily, nearly bouncing on his chair as he cast a not so secret glance a Ginny.

“I think he’ll be running looking for You-Know-Who if you keep saying things like that, Padfoot,” Remus laughed, letting the room tension finally ease.

“So, Harry, do you play Quidditch?” James asked his seventeen year old son eagerly.

And they were off.

The only two not contributing anything at all to the conversation were the two red haired females, who were both engaged in the same activity of watching Harry and, although they were for completely separate reasons, were thinking along the same lines:

What was he really hiding?


“Who are they?”

“I never knew Potter had a brother!”

“Do you think they have girlfriends?”

Harry’s teeth were on edge by lunchtime the next day with the constant rumors and whispers that followed him around the castle like persistent puppies. He’d known focusing on lessons his first day back this year would be difficult, but this was just getting ridiculous!

“Such pretty little future creatures, aren’t they, Prongs?” Sirius said as a group of three sixth year girls walked past, flashing radiant smiles at James, Sirius and Remus. Some things would never change, no matter what the year.

“Can’t say I really noticed, Padfoot. The past still captivates me, there isn’t much room left up here to acknowledge any more,” James said, looking ahead to where Lily walked beside Hermione, tapping his temple with his index finger.

“Admitting to your tiny brain capacity, Potter? It’s about time,” Lily called back without looking or even missing a beat in her pace. She always knew when James was talking about her…it usually happened when he opened his mouth.

“Nope, just that there’s nothing else worth occupying the vast space in my mind except you, Lily,” James countered with ease, making her scoff indignantly ahead of him.

Harry allowed the small smile slip across his face that had been struggling with his muscles as he walked into the Great Hall with Ron, Hermione, James, Sirius, Remus and Lily. Much of the same bickering and sly commenting had gone on all morning, and Harry enjoyed watching every moment of it. As well as it just being funny, it provided him with an entertaining distraction from the long list of things he should be thinking about.

“Hey, Ginny,” Hermione greeted the female Weasley as they took their seats at the Gryffindor table, Harry’s stomach twisting only slightly as he sat down on the seat farthest from her. Enter item one from the list. No one said keeping a distance from Ginny was going to be easy, but nobody seemed to be inclined to help with the matter either.

“Hey, Hermione. Hello, everyone,” Ginny greeted calmly, smiling cheerfully at them all in turn, her lips only showing a small strain when she reached Harry at last, but her eyes were soft and they rested on his a beat longer than the others. A good sign? Or one destined to cause a lot more trouble than first appeared?

“So, what do we do next in this exciting future?” Sirius asked, shoveling food on to his plate while grinning like he was part of a big game.

“You can stop referring to it as that, you’ll give yourself away,” Hermione snapped at him, her eyes watching four approaching figures. Even with the hundreds of rumors going around, the idea these four “visitors” were from the past hadn’t come to anyone, and it was intended to stay that way.

“Hey, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny.” This greeting was offered by Seamus Finnegan who came with Dean Thomas and Padma and Parvati Patil to take the four seats beside them.

Was it just Harry’s imagination or were there a lot more people sitting around him than usual? He had grown used to the respectful and fearful distance the students kept from him, but now they seemed to be crowding him. Why?

“Who are your new friends, Harry?” Parvati asked, looking shyly at Sirius who was shooting her a smile the leaked charm.

Of course, that’s why. He should have guessed.

“Well, I am Sirius,” the black haired teenager announced grandly, taking no caution to disguise his name. At least he hadn’t seen reason to give his surname or pandemonium would have ensued. “This is James and Remus is there beside him.”

“I’m Parvati, this is Padma, and they’re Dean and Seamus,” Parvati introduced, pointing to each in turn.

“And who are you?” Dean asked, directing his question towards Lily, the only remaining non-introduced member of the group, who was in the seat beside him. James did not like this guy’s tone and had a pretty strong feeling the seating arrangements were not accidental.

“She’s Lily,” he growled by way of introduction, making his feelings towards this future big-shot painfully clear by his tone. But the Gryffindor boy seemed to take no notice.

“Nice to meet you, Lily. Where are you from?”

“Eh…Ireland,” was the first country to come to the honor student’s mind. But maybe not the smartest…

“Really? How come you were never here before? I’m sure I’d have remembered seeing you.”

“It’s a complicated story, Dean,” Harry said coldly. He hadn’t much time for Dean over the last year or so after the whole thing with Ginny and he had no interest in letting him near his mother.

“I’d like to hear it sometime,” Dean said, smiling at Lily who smiled back, if a little late. Maybe it was the low growl coming from opposite her that caused the stretch in her lips, or maybe it was just her automatic reaction to go against everything Potter wanted? She didn’t really know, nor did she particularly care. She’d show him for introducing her. She had a voice of her own…and she was going to let him know that.

“Maybe I’ll tell you,” Lily replied, her eyes dancing as the growling stopped suddenly to be replaced by a stunned silence.

Don’t mess with Lily Evans…past, present or future.


A/N: Wow, it’s been a long time hasn’t it? I’m really really sorry about it school has just been hectic since I got back and I’ve hardly had a moment to myself let alone hours to write!

I’m also sorry that this chapter is so bad! It’s choppy, hardly makes any sense and didn’t have much happen in it so I’m really sorry. But I’ll try make it up to you some how…hopefully soon. I hope things will settle down in school and give me a chance to keep writing but until then…PLEASE REVIEW!

And thanks for reading…and also for sticking around even though I just up and left for two months! I’m sorry!


Chapter 4: Chapter 4: The Way It Is
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Chapter 4: The Way It Is

“Lily! You cannot be serious?!” James exclaimed as he followed her exiting the Great Hall.

“’Course she’s not, I’m Sirius!” James didn’t even stop to acknowledge the over-used joke but kept up with Lily who was trying to lose him.

Whether in her own time or twenty years on, she was learning it was still as impossible.

“You should at least let the poor chap down easy, you tend to be blunt in your rejection, Lils,” James continued.

“Well, maybe I am serious and don’t have any intention of rejecting him,” Lily said as calmly as she could manage between the feeling of disgust she was experiencing at the topic (she would never consider dating Dean for a moment, but Potter didn’t need to be filled in on that just now) and aggravation of his frequent use of her forename. It just bugged her.

However, she could allow for a satisfied smile when she realized James was trailing behind her, stalled in utter shock at her response. This made her feel good; he needed a healthy dose of surprise and bruising to his ego every now and then. It was good for the soul.

Lily had actually thought she’d escaped him when she’d made it all the way to the classroom and even through the door without a peep from James. But she was wrong, so wrong. Damn that false sense of security!

“What do you mean you don’t think you’ll reject him?” he demanded, taking the seat next to hers without formality or permission.

“It means, Potter, I could very well take up his offer,” Lily said evenly. James did not look impressed, in fact that was an understatement and it was his grumpy expression that made her add; “Not that you’d know much about that concept.”

James cast a look at her and resumed his arrogant structure before answering; “I’m well educated in that field except for your contribution, Evans. Although, all the evidence tells us I study pretty quickly in the coming years.” They both looked at Harry as he said this and James felt that familiar prickle of success in taking the upper hand.

But one wave from the entering Dean Thomas at Lily and the tables were spun back in her favour once more.

They were going to be very dizzy tables by the end of the day with all this turning.

Even when Professor Lupin came in and began his lesson, James persisted with his argument.

“He’s twenty years younger than you! Ever hear the term ‘cradle snatching’?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of minding your own business?” Lily snapped back.

“Frequently. But this is my business as it concerns my future wife considering taking up the infatuation of a guy the same age as her own son. It’s sick, Evans.”

STOP referring to me as your wife and Harry as our son. The poor kid obviously has a lot to deal with so yo-”

“Yeah, like his mother dating his friend. That’s got to be a traumatic childhood right there,” James quipped in and Lily’s temper rose above that danger zone peak. Luckily, Professor Remus Lupin chose now to intervene as voices were being raised and attention attracting.

“Excuse me, but is there something wrong?” he asked in his “teacher” voice, trying to keep a leash on his amusement in front of the regular students.

“Nothing at all, sir. Just some marital issues, you know yourself, but we’re working on them. Please, continue,” James said as innocently and calmly as though he was commenting on something as natural as the weather.

Lily was livid.

Oh yeah, one point to Potter!


Harry watched his parents walking ahead of him with growing amusement. He knew he shouldn't really be letting himself get drawn in because of the uncountable dangers involved, but it was hard not to when he witnessed how they reacted with one another. It was hilarious, no other way around it.

What wasn't hilarious, however, was Dean Thomas sticking his nose in where it didn't belong, and certainly where it wasn't wanted. This was the year his parents were supposed to get together, no matter what time they were in, and there was no way Harry was going to jeopardize his own existence for the guy who loved getting in the way of destined couples.

"No wonder he's friends with Seamus; they're both the exact same," Harry thought bitterly as he watched the subject in question exit the Hall with Ginny and offer to escort her down to her Potions class, an offer which she accepted with a smile after a tiny glance at Harry.

Harry couldn't contain the bitterness he felt at the exchange and wanted to smash the Irish boy's face into the bloody dungeon for having the cheek to even look at Ginny, an expression that didn't go unnoticed by Hermione

"If you're so jealous of anyone who goes near Ginny, Harry, why don't you just apologise to her? It would be far easier on the rest of us you know," she said calmly.

Harry scowled. "What makes you think I'm jealous? I'm not.”

Ron let out a bark of laughter as they went on walking. "Well, mate, let's just say if looks could kill, all You-Know-Who needs to do is go near Ginny and we'd never have to worry about him again."

Needless to say, the thought of Voldemort being anywhere near Ginny did not lighten Harry's mood and he once again sunk beneath his guarded pit of emotion.

"Regardless of who Ginny talks to or is interested in, it doesn't change why she needs to be away from me. In fact, it's probably better for her to be with someone else, it could be safer." Harry didn't believe a word that came out of his mouth, and even as he said it he began devising ways to keep Ginny safe from Voldemort, away from Death Eaters and any teenage boy with eyes, ears, hands or lips. Easy!

"So you're telling me if she starts dating Finnegan, you wouldn't want to haul him to the Astronomy Tower and fire him out the window?" Ron asked in an amused tone. He hadn't bought Harry's speech either.

Harry only shook his head. "No, I'm saying if Ginny chose to go out with him, you would throw him out the Astronomy Tower window. I just wouldn't stop you."

Ron laughed again and Hermione shook her head with a smile as they walked into the Defence classroom and took their seats close to the back.

How normal it all seemed, Harry thought, but the reality of it all was the farthest thing from normality anyone could ask for.

Harry had developed the talent lately of blocking out the noise and chatter from his surroundings, enabling him to focus on the hundreds of thoughts swarming around his head. Now was such a time to apply his new gift as he sat down.

As was usual, Ginny and defeating Voldemort were automatically the two key thoughts at the head of the list, no matter how much he tried to ignore either one of them, both battling to gain the podium prize of most important. And so once more, Harry, knowing there was little else that he could focus on, settled in to judge another bout of arguments.

Four months on and there was still no winner.

He knew this constant thinking of Ginny was doing no good what so ever. After all, one of the reasons he broke things off with her was so that her face and his feelings for her wouldn’t always be on show at the front of his mind, creating an easy target for Voldemort. But they were there and he was powerless to banish them. Every time he saw her face, heard her name, caught a glimpse of her scarlet hair or a whiff of her flowery scent, or even when he walked through corridors he'd been with her, his feelings for her rose like a volcano, weakening his determination every time it happened, and there was nothing he could do to push it away. Not thinking of Ginny was like trying to block out Dumbledore's memory, forget about Voldemort and the Horcruxes, or ignore his parents. It just couldn't be done. They were all connected to him by deeps bonds made with un-cuttable ropes.

While thinking of his parents and the dilemma that faced him now with them, Harry's internal doze was woken by the sound of Lily's rising tones. The two new teenagers were sitting a few rows in front of Harry, Ron and Hermione, but Harry could hear every word of what Lily was saying. The mere mention of Harry as her son and James her husband in the full classroom made Harry's heart miss several beats.

Did discretion mean nothing to the people of the past?

Thankfully, the lesson was due to be an interesting one and people only really heard the end of what Lily was saying. Harry prayed no one would put the dots together and get the full picture.
He glared up at his Professor, who was obviously laughing happily to himself, as a way of warning him they needed stopping before too much was said.

Voldemort had spies everywhere, and if word got out that the teenage version of Harry Potter's parents were currently in Hogwarts, the war would take on an earlier date for the first march than intended.

Nothing could be taken for granted. Harry needed to be very careful and, while glaring at the
young James and Lily throughout the remainder of the class, decided they needed to become aware of that fact.

"Family love; it's a marvellous thing," Harry thought with a wry smile as he stared at James and Lily like he was the parent, Lily shot daggers from her eyes at James, and Happy as Larry James just winked at Lily.

The Potter's were simply odd.


Ginny Weasley had to restrain her hand with amazing force to keep from cursing Seamus to the other side of the castle. Anywhere that wasn’t near her.

Needless to say, the relationship for the day hadn’t gone too well.

It wasn’t that he was being annoying or pushy or any of the normal things that would wreck Ginny’s head this much, but…it was just…

She didn’t know.

Seamus was a great guy; funny, charming, talkative and all the rest. She’d always gotten on well with him before, so where exactly was the problem?

Well…she possibly knew the answer to that, getting the impression the problem had glasses and a lightning bolt scar, but was nowhere near ready to admit it. She was trying to disentangle herself from the web known as Harry Potter…and constantly letting him control every aspect of her life was not the right way of going about that. She knew that much at least, but knowing still didn’t solve the problem.

“That bloody idiot, who does he think he is to act like this anyway?!” Ginny muttered to herself as she trudged through the empty hallways to Gryffindor Tower during dinner time.

She didn’t have much of an appetite.

Nor much of an attention span either by the looks of things when she walked straight into another student standing just metres away from the Fat Lady’s portrait.

”Please don’t let it be Seamus…or Harry! For Merlin’s sake, anything but that. I’ll take on a Basilisk at this minute before that!” Ginny thought frantically before chancing an upwards glance. She let out a surprised, but none the less relieved, sigh.

It was Lily.

“Oh, hey, Lily. What are you doing out here?”

The older red haired girl looked confused for a moment. “Oh…um, it’s Ginny, right?” The other girl nodded. “Well…I was going to go into the common room but I…I don’t know the password,” Lily admitted.

“Oh, right then,” Ginny nodded in understanding and spoke the password that gave entrance to the Gryffindor common room for the two girls. As they settled into the chairs, a silence fell between them as they both thought about the strangeness of the situation. However, Ginny was relieved to discover, it was not an uncomfortable one.

“So…why aren’t you down at dinner?” she asked Lily, suddenly feeling the need to talk to the older girl.

“I badly needed to get away from Potter; he’s been driving me nuts all day with this whole married thing. What about you? Aren’t you hungry?” Lily inquired. Lily found herself very interested in this young, beautiful girl and was looking forward to getting to know her better and hopefully, learn something about Harry and her own future in the mean time.

“Not very, for pretty much the same reason as you said. Just a different Potter,” Ginny confided quietly.

“If you don’t mind me asking, what’s going on with you and Harry? It’s pretty obvious something big went down between the two of you,” Lily asked before she could stop herself.

Ginny looked up at Lily, half amused and half torn. Here was this wonderful woman sitting across from her, asking her about the life of the future, and the only way she was able to learn anything about her son’s life was due to a silly magical mishap. Tragic and strange all in the one.

The amusing part was; she was the same age as her son and still sounding like a teenage gossip girl while maternal instincts came into play at the same time.

“I guess I’m not too good at hiding it, am I?” Ginny laughed to ease her own tension at the topic.

“Well…Harry’s not really much better if that helps. He always looks so tormented when you’re around and when you’re not he gets really defensive if you’re mentioned.” Lily decided being honest was the best approach with Ginny. She wasn’t into the whole double-standard thing when talking to someone. Lily was genuinely interested in everything that was going on, with Harry’s life and everyone else’s in this time. After all they were part of her life as well if everything was true. Plus; she already felt close to and cared for this girl.

Ginny’s eyes looked pained. “He does? I didn’t know that, he just seemed to be tired of having me around all the time or something.”

This time it was Lily who gave a small laugh. “Ok, I know I haven’t been around here very long but from what I can see, I don’t think Harry could ever tire of you.”

Ginny fell silent as she let what Lily said wash over her. How she desperately wanted to believe that, to have Harry confirm it and to live it out as truth. But yet, the practical side of her that spared little consideration for her fragile heart, told her that was never going to happen. Harry Potter had moved on, he’d decided on what he had to do, despite what Lily thought, and she had to stop this ridiculous fantasizing and accept it.

However, once Lily had asked again the reason for her falling out with Harry, Ginny couldn’t stop her heart from cracking open widely to reveal everything that had ever happened between herself and Harry in a tidal wave of grief and emotion.

Lily listened intently with unmasked curiosity as part of her son was revealed to her. Her own heart was breaking with sympathy as Ginny told her of her school girl crush, how it grew when he saved her, to it being crushed by his infatuation with Cho Chang and soaring with happiness at the memory of the Quidditch Final celebrations and the weeks that followed.

But Lily was expecting a harsh turn to come that resulted in the current state of the once happy couple, and when it did it still gutted her with sadness and regret. Both girls shed a tear as Ginny recollected over Dumbledore’s death and funeral and she told Harry’s Mum about the final encounter between herself and the Boy-Who-Lived.

“He told me what he had to go and do was too dangerous and he couldn’t risk getting me hurt. He said he realised it was just him who could do this and he had to do it alone because he couldn’t risk anymore lives at his expense,” Ginny finished solemnly, remembering the encounter which such detail it was like it had been only a few days ago, not months.

“What does he mean he can’t risk anymore lives? Surely no one died because of him?” Lily asked after a few moments silence, letting it sink it.

Ginny froze, unsure of what to say. She couldn’t say anything about her own faith or else Harry would kill her himself. But then how could she explain? “Well no, nobody died because of him, Harry just blames himself for all the people that get killed during the war. Especially people like Cedric Diggory who he saw die in front of him. It’s terrible, but because he survived Voldemort’s attack and now has to kill him, he feels like every death is his fault.”

“Is he always like that?”

“Like what? Noble and stupid?” Ginny asked with a small laugh and Lily nodded. “Yep, always. It’s just the way he is, probably because of the life he’s had. I wish he wasn’t so serious about it at times, but then I suppose he wouldn’t be Harry Potter if he wasn’t remarkably stubborn,” Ginny said, her fondness for the young man seeping into her voice.

“Ha, that reminds me of someone! Except for the serious part of it,” Lily laughed. “But, is there nothing me and J-…his dad could do to help him? He seems to have a really tough life. Can’t we do anything?”

“From what I know, I’d say Harry gets his stubbornness from both his parents,” Ginny quipped in, ignoring the last part of what Lily said. She couldn’t go near that topic, it was out of bounds.

Lily blanched with a groan. “Oh, Merlin! You don’t buy into that whole me and Potter thing as well, do you?”

“You mean you really don’t believe it?! You’ve got to see the resemblance between you and Harry,” Ginny said. “And there’s no denying he’s related to James, they’re nearly identical.”

Lily looked doubtful. “Well…I mean…I suppose our eyes are similar but that could just be a fluke, right?” she asked hopefully but Ginny shook her head, half smiling

“Nope, no fluke.”

Again, Lily was silent until she burst suddenly; “But Potter?! That’s just ridiculous! I mean…we’re nothing alike. I can’t stand him or anything he does and he’s not capable of holding a genuine feeling for anything other than his broomstick!” she ranted, unable to contain the frustration that always bubbled forth every time she mentioned James Potter.

Ginny’s grin grew a little wider; she much preferred this topic of conversation. “You should give him a chance, talk to him. You might realise there’s something about him that you missed.”

Lily cast a shrewd eye at the younger girl. “And you should talk to Harry, tell him you love him and give him a chance. Show him he might have missed something in you.”

There was silence before Ginny said with a grin; “How about we both just stay quiet for now?”

“Works for me!” Lily laughed.

After that, the two girls just spoke about normal things…or at least things that didn’t revolve around their apparent or non-existent love of Potters. Lily wanted to know everything she could about Harry and the future that was evolving, hoping to get Ginny to reveal something about her own role it in but she was tight lipped on that subject, while Ginny was wildly interested in learning all she could about Harry’s parents.

One thing that was made quite plain however was that Sirius had actually been right;

Both Potter men had fallen for very similar women.


Meanwhile, down at dinner, news had been announced about more attacks and several tragic deaths, including the loss of the well-known Auror; Kingsley Shacklebolt.

Harry decided the time had come were he needed to act.



A/N: Hey, everyone! Sorry I haven’t updated this or any other of my stories in a few weeks but it has been a very hard few weeks for myself and my family so I hope I’m forgiven for taking so long, there really was nothing I could do and I was in no state to write anything.

I know it wasn’t exactly the most interesting chapter in the world and definitely not my best but hopefully you'll allow some lean-way for that considering my circumstances but it's just moving things on and upwards in a slow-ish pace. Sorry if that’s frustrating.

Thanks for reading and please review, it would be really nice to hear from everyone again after so long!
Irish_Ginny = )

Chapter 5: Chapter 5: If Only
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Chapter 5: If Only

“I can’t believe you have a date! It’s just twisted, Sirius. You do realize she’s about twenty years younger than you?” Remus exclaimed, sounding mildly revolted.

“Pure technicality, Moony. She’s twenty years younger than me of this time. But me right now is only a year older than her, nothing so disgusting about that, Moony. You need to relax, mate,” Sirius shrugged off. The girl was gorgeous and already head over heels for him; why would he turn her away?

Remus muttered something about “No morals” but dropped the argument. Really, where was the point? Over six years being his friend had taught Remus when to concede with Sirius and his dating habits was one of those. It was like trying to talk James off Lily; it was simply never going to happen.

“He mightn’t get a chance to take her to Hogsmeade anyway,” Hermione admitted as everyone tucked into their dinner.

“Why not?” James sounded surprised and amused all at once. “He may not be a patch on me, but I doubt she’s going to cancel on him.”

Hermione shook her head. “No, it’s just with all the attacks and everything, it’ll be a miracle if there’s any visits at all this year.”

James, ignoring the sinister aspect of Hermione’s comment, turned eagerly to Lily. “Come on, Evans, it might be the last Hogsmeade visit we ever get to go on! You’ve got to let me take you, for old time’s sake.”

“”Old time’s sake”? Potter, we never went to Hogsmeade together ever! And were you even listening? There might not be any anyway,” Lily replied.

“Exactly, this is out last opportunity because we mightn’t get back to our time for it. Don’t you see? This is our last chance! And, mark my words, if you don’t say yes this time you’ll always regret it,” James argued.

“You know, you could always agree. If it doesn’t happen, then you don’t have to go, Evans, and it’ll keep Prongs quiet until then,” Sirius offered, willing Lily to say yes for his own peace of mind…not to mention amusement.

But, like Sirius having a reasonable dating ritual, or James ignoring Lily; Lily saying yes to James seemed like a very very long shot.

“But if I said yes and the trip wasn’t cancelled then I’d be stuck with Potter for a whole day. I’m not about to risk that so I’m going to stick with my usual answer of; Not a chance, Potter,”

James shook his head. “You’ve no adventure in you, Evans. You always choose the same things. Are you afraid of the change it would mean if you said yes? Or are you afraid of falling for me like you are already deep down?”

“Neither actually. I’m more afraid of losing my sanity if I went anywhere with you that wasn’t absolutely necessary,” Lily explained with ease.

“But you came to the future with me! If that hasn’t made you lose your marbles nothing about me possibly could,” James challenged.

Everyone in the group watched the exchange with amusement and no one could stop their grins when Lily spoke, her tone final. “I don’t know about that. And, before you say anything, I’m not about to risk it and find out.”

James looked thoroughly disgruntled. “Fine, but this isn’t over.”

Lily raised her eyebrow in a stern challenge. “Isn’t it?”

“Nope, not by a long shot.” James’ grin was sly.

Harry let himself smile as he watched his parents glower at one another from opposite sides of the table. He felt he should be worried that it was technically their seventh year and they weren’t showing many signs of warming to one another, but he really just couldn’t. Aside from the fact he had a million other things to worry about, he felt he wouldn’t really exist if their deadline expired and right now, even though he’d be pretty happy not to be Harry Potter just now, he was feeling pretty much alive.

Just then Headmistress McGonagall stood up from her seat, looking very grave, and a shadow seemed to fall over the Hall. Harry was beginning to expect that this was to become a tradition, as not one dinner time had passed as yet where someone hadn’t broken news about more attacks.

Obviously, today would be no different Harry decided as everyone inwardly prayed that this time wouldn’t bring news from their own family or loved ones. But not everyone was always so lucky as to escape.

“Silence please,” McGonagall called unnecessarily as all students were instantly silent the moment she rose. “The Ministry has just delivered word about another series of attacks by Death Eaters on a village just beyond Hogsmeade. A lot of damage was done to the town and the surrounding areas,” she explained but Harry knew she was stalling, not wanting to reveal the casualty list that had come with this news.

“We are very sorry to inform you that a former student of the school was killed in the attack, along with thirteen others all of whom were Volunteers to the war effort. Please, bow your heads for Oliver Wood and all those who lost their lives defending us all,” she finished quietly, revealing the name in an almost whisper, though everyone heard it like it had been shouted, and a tear trickled down her face as she reseated herself.

The Great Hall of Hogwarts castle sat with grieving stillness as they mourned the loss of people they knew well or maybe even never heard of. Anyone below fourth year didn’t feel the blow caused by the death of Oliver Woods, but the senior students definitely felt its impact.

Harry in particular. He had been very close to Oliver during their three years together on the Gryffindor Team as Seeker and Captain; he’d been the one to show him how to play Quidditch in the first place as well as someone to look up to as one of the best Keepers to ever pass through Hogwarts.

Now he was gone too. Lost to the struggle against Voldemort. The seemingly never ending string of attacks and loses, his name now attached to a long list of people just like him; brave, loyal strong. Would there be anyone like that left in the world when this was over. Would it ever be over?

Harry knew the answer to that; it could end if he chose to end it. He needed to make a decision.

When Harry looked up he found himself staring at the sad faces of Ron and Hermione. One glance around the Hall mirrored several hundred similar expressions. He turned his gaze back to his friends, nodding to them once before standing and exiting the Hall. It didn’t take long for Ron and Hermione to follow him. They knew what he meant;

It was time for action.


“Too much time is passing,” Harry commented as he paced in front of the Head rooms’ fire. “I need to do something and soon or-“

“You mean; we need to do something,” Ron interrupted firmly. Harry looked at him with a mixture of frustration and gratitude but Ron didn’t budge.

“He’s right; we,” Hermione agreed, making it two against one as always was the case with this subject. “But what can we do? We haven’t been sitting waiting for nothing; we don’t have any new leads to go on that we didn’t have before.”

That was the most aggravating part of the whole thing. Harry knew what needed to be done and where he had to go. But he hadn’t the slightest notion on how to get there.

“There has to be something that can give us clues. I mean Dumbledore didn’t just randomly guess where the last two were hidden,” Harry said, though he was beginning to think he wouldn’t be surprised if that had really been the case.

“But the one you destroyed was found by chance, Harry,” Hermione pointed out. “Maybe you have to wait for the clues to come to you first?”

Harry was pondering this but Ron cut off his train of thought by saying; “Well, right now I think we might have more immediate problems at hand.” The Weasley boy was pointing at the open Marauder’s Map, almost constantly under surveillance by Harry on the table lately, and more significantly at the names of said Marauders themselves walking towards the Head Dorms.

Ron and Hermione both looked up enquiringly at Harry. “What are you going to tell them?” Ron asked.

All Harry could do was shrug. He really didn’t know what would be the right thing to do. On the one hand, it thrilled him to think of going through all this with a form of his parents and role-models with him. And yet, the other part felt like it would be torn to shreds when he realized he could share all this with them just to have them lost again at the end. He tried to keep in his mind all the time that this was only temporary. They weren’t going to be here forever, they were already gone from his life, so how could he allow himself to depend on them?

“I think you should at least tell them what you intend on doing. Then they can decide what they want to do for themselves and you won’t have to feel responsible for it. You never know, they could be of some real benefit, Harry. Maybe that’s why they showed up now of all times,” Hermione suggested.

But, before any more discussion could be voiced, three of the visitors from the past, minus the vibrantly noticeable Lily, came into the room with Sirius storming at the front.

“What the hell was that?! That sudden walking out during dinner?! I like to know about games in advance…so that I can complain about missing desert,” he gave out, flopping into an armchair like he was at home.

Harry, trying to avoid the pressing topic at the moment, decided to address the missing factor. “Where’s Lily?”

Of course, it was James who gave a prompt answer. “She went to Gryffindor Tower with Ginny and then she said she was going out with that idiot she was talking to the other day,” James explained, his voice bitter but with a note of triumph.

Remus rolled his eyes and said. “She’ll be here in a minute really. She was only winding you up, Prongs, no need to worry,” he laughed.

“Who’s worried? He wasn’t going to get anywhere near her tonight. He suddenly became very….tied up in a few things,” James grinned.

“What did you do to hi, exactly?” Somehow, Harry felt himself lacking all sympathy for Dean Thomas, and was nearly grinning along with his seventeen year old father.

“Nothing really. I just happened o hear him boasting about going to ask Lily out so I accidentally knocked him into a broom cupboard where my wand slipped causing him to get tied up and the door to lock. Tragic accident really, I hope the poor unfortunate fellow is alright,” James said. Needless to say, he didn’t sound like he was the least bit sorry, and was most likely wishing Dean was far from alright. He sounded more like a little kid who had gotten away with eating sweets when he wasn’t meant to.

“You are aware that Lily will murder you if she ever finds this out,” Remus pointed out casually.

“It’s all in the ‘if’, Moony. I don’t really intend on letting her discovery my involvement in his standing her up and simply be there for her to cry on, as I should be,” James said.

“You mean you left him tied up in a closet? You know as Head Girl I’m meant to report these types of things,” Hermione reprimanded, but her smile was barely concealed.

Sirius scoffed. “You wouldn’t dare! It would draw unnecessary attention to our presence here, not that everyone doesn’t already know. But there’s no need to go screaming it around the caste, and you know that this type of so called ‘bad’ publicity will only cause you trouble.”

He sounded like he was very convinced in his own argument.

“Plus, if you want to get technical on this, I’m also currently a Head Boy and so you have no power over me!” James said. All he was missing was adding an evil ”Mwah ha ha ha ha” in at the end.

“Not to mention the fact you love what Prongs here did and don’t really care at all,” Sirius added and everyone gave a little laugh, despite the previous subdued atmosphere.

Remus, however, was used to his friend’s antics and was determined not to let them side track the others. “So what’s going on, really? Why did you get up and leave after McGonagall made that announcement?”

Harry had come to a very sudden decision in that moment; he would tell them like Hermione had suggested. But how to start? “We….We had some things to think on, to work out,” he offered vaguely.

“What kind of things?” James asked skeptically.

“Wel-“ Harry was about to say more but he received a nudge in the side from Ron and a very blatant head movement towards the Map on the table. More dots were moving in their direction and Harry struggled to suppress a loud groan.

It was Lily….with Ginny.

“Well what?” Sirius demanded, not putting too much on Harry’s obvious change in track of thought.

“It’s complicated, now isn’t a good time to explain,” Hermione said sadly, knowing immediately that once Ginny was added to the picture Harry would shrink away again.

The Marauders didn’t look impressed. In fact, that was a gross understatement. James most of all had been thrilled when the prospect of learning more about Harry’s strange life had presented itself and how it was once more cancelled. What was doing it now?

“Is he always this afraid?” Sirius muttered angrily. He hadn’t been here too long, but he was already getting frustrated by the something huge obviously happening that he didn’t know about. “Does he always run away from things? Or is that just a new habit he’s picked up since we got here?”

Harry made no response as he stood from his seat and moved towards the window. The grounds were their usual stunning magnificence. In any season, whether it be spring, summer, winter or the current autumn, the beauty always remained there. Nothing seemed to tarnish or dull them, nothing stole away from the brilliance, and nothing had ruined them.

Yet. Harry wasn’t backing that they too wouldn’t get away from the destroying force of Voldemort. It seemed no one or nothing could so far….even Hogwarts it seemed.

Harry didn’t hear the precise time the portrait hole opened, he was too wrapped up inside his own little bubble of thought to pay attention. He was quickly running out of preparation time and there was a lot of decisions left to make.

He would tell his parents, Remus and Sirius. That much he had decided and chose to act on, with the help of Ron and Hermione, and there was no time left for a change of heart. Though, if he didn’t say something about it soon, his original doubts and worries might just over-write his newfound logic.

But, as was usual for Harry lately, it was Ginny who presented a problem. What was new? He was frightened to see that his usual strict stubbornness on this topic was waning ever so slightly in the favour of truth and so allowing him to entertain the idea of telling her and letting her be with him.


The dark haired teenager turned around to see everyone in the room watching him intently. It was Lily who had called him with, Harry was somewhat surprised and warmed to find, concern written across her face.

He’d obviously zoned out in his thoughts a lot longer than he thought.

“So? Are you going to tell us what’s going on? Or do you need another nap?” Sirius asked jokingly, but Harry was well aware that the joke didn’t lie in letting the subject drop.

He sighed. He couldn’t do it, not now. “It doesn’t matter anymore.” He wanted to gauge out his own eyes after they flittered automatically towards Ginny and saw her face drop instantly the moment the words left his mouth.

“You mean, it matter so much you can’t say it in front of me? Is that right?” she asked in a venom sweet voice. Her voice betrayed none of the anger or hurt that had begun to bubble inside her again. No matter how much she tried to steer herself clear of these types of scenes and emotions, they always just sprang at her suddenly and she had to struggle to stall the natural reaction.

“It’s not like that, Ginny,” Harry said quietly, controlled.

“What is it then? Explain it to me because I don’t understand,” Ginny said, her voice soft like falling snow.

“I already have. We’ve been through this so many times before,” he replied calmly.

“Remind me again,” she persisted stubbornly.

Harry looked up, into her eyes now and saw the exact same pain he was feeling coming to the surface and sighed. This was exactly what he was trying to save her from. Why couldn’t she see that and stop fighting him? He was beginning to realize he might lose one of them if they kept on like this and he couldn’t afford that.

“Are we going to keep at this forever?”

Her answer was quiet but resilient; she nodded. “Until you come up with a real answer.”

Harry sighed for a third time, this one with a little more frustration. “I’m not going to change my mind about this, Ginny. You can forget that. It’s too dangerous, there’s too much at risk, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon either.”

“Where exactly is the danger coming from, Harry? Where is the harm in letting me hear what’s going on? What’s so dangerous about being informed? I thought it would actually be smarter that way because I would be prepared for what’s going to happen instead of going in blind. Unless you expect You-Know-Who to jump out from behind the sofa in camouflage and kill me for hearing something, I don’t think it’s as dangerous as you’re making it out to be,” she said, her recently soft tones rising with Harry’s frustration.

He agreed. He despised himself for it, but there was a small part of him that was thinking; ”She’s right about that. Where could the harm be in letting her stay around me?”. But he was, under no circumstances, going to admit to his momentary lack of sense, his few seconds of thinking what it would be like to have Ginny around him any time he wanted again, and definitely not the feeling of happiness it gave him despite the obvious danger. No, he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t risk it. He wouldn’t.

And so it would continue on. At this stage, both had already very nearly forgotten about their own audience of five. They may not be a couple anymore, but the pure energy that shot through them was enough for anyone to tell the feelings had never changed.

“It isn’t as simple as that. I don’t get why you can’t grasp that, Ginny!” Harry said, shaking his head as if at a loss why someone could be so oblivious.

“What don’t you make it that simple?” Ginny fired back. “It can be done you know. It’s not like I’m going off to the midst of the war, Harry. I’m sitting in Hogwarts with my friends, talking about what’s going on out there like a hundred other people. Why do you need to make everything so dramatic?”

“Because I’m not like any of the other people here, Ginny. Our roles in all this, what we have to do, are completely different. They stay here in safety and hide away from the danger like they are meant to, and I have to go looking for it. Entirely different circumstances.

“Anyone here would willingly go with you to wherever it is you’re going to help you and to stop all this. Everyone wants to help you and even out the mountain you put between yourself and the rest of the blood world. And they’d do it without all the whining and drama! Why can’t you just open your eyes for a tiny second to see exactly what’s going on around you instead of blocking it out all the time?”

Harry looked at her, ignoring her last question as if she hadn’t spoken it. “Why do you want to choose my path so bad when you have the option of the better one?”

“I’m not asking to go to war with you, Harry. I’m not saying I want to go out and fight You-Know-Who with you. I just want to be included, just a little bit! Instead of this facing this cold wall every time I try to so much as say hello to you! I want to help, not just for you but for my family and friends who are out there right now in the real danger. You don’t have any right to stop me but you keep trying!”

“I do have a right to because I won’t put you in danger just so things can be the way they used to. Nothing is the same anymore, Ginny, you have to deal with that,” Harry said. “We can’t keep doing this every time the war is mentioned. There’s too much involved already, I will not let you get dragged in as well.”

Ginny’s eyes were hard. “Why? Just answer me that; why?”

“Because I don’t think you’d be able to handle it, alright?! How are you meant to cope with it, with everything you’d find out and the danger you’d be put in when you can’t even say the name of the person we’re dealing with?” Harry was grasping at loose straws now. The more she spoke, the more they argued, the more torn he became inside between keeping her safe and keeping her with him. It shouldn’t be this hard, of that much he was certain.

Ginny’s face was ice cold as she took a step towards him so that she was standing directly in front of him, mere inches away, glaring up into his face. “Voldemort,” she said clearly. “Happy now? Is that your only excuse? Does that change your mind?”

Harry tried to stay very controlled as he breathed in, trying not to breath in her scent at the same time. He hadn’t been this close to Ginny in a few months…it was almost torture to close his eyes and take a step back, a step that seemed to signify a permanent end between them. He shook his head; No.

The red haired girl hung her head. She hadn’t been expecting a different answer, but it didn’t stop her feeling crushed when he turned from her again. “Didn’t think so.”

“I think Harry’s right, he’s only trying to protect Ginny.” Both Harry and Ginny were momentarily stunned at the statement. This was the first time someone had gotten involved in their arguments. Usually they were alone when they brought it up, or if Ron and Hermione were there they knew to stay quiet. But this time James Potter felt they needed some outside input.

“I mean, if it were me in your shoes, Harry, I’d do the exact same thing. What do you think, Padfoot?” James was turning it into a talk-show topic.

Harry was grateful that someone else thought he was doing the right thing. It made it that little bit easier to deal with the hurt it caused him by knowing his father would have made the same decision.

He waited for Ginny to make an outburst or argument in return to stand up for herself like she usually did. But she didn’t say a word.

Harry wouldn’t look at her, he felt ashamed to, but if he had he would have known the reason she wasn’t reacting to the Marauder’s discussions was because she wasn’t listening. She was looking at Lily, seemingly having a silent discussion with the older girl who also hadn’t said a word a loud. She had nothing to tell Ginny this time.

“Well, I suppose I should go now and let you talk about whatever’s going on,” Ginny said finally in a quiet voice, but Harry heard it as if she was screaming at him again. It stung a lot more than any of the things she said while shouting.

The room was silent as the Portrait Hole behind Ginny. A small part of Harry wanted to race after her and bring her back, but he knew he couldn’t.

If things were different, he might have. If Dumbledore wasn’t gone, if his real parents were alive, if he’d never been the Boy-Who-Lived maybe then he could have run after her.

If only.


Chapter 6: Chapter 6: The Little Things
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Chapter 6: The Little Things

Since her arrival in the future a week ago, Lily Evans hadn’t been able to get a full night’s sleep. One could hardly blame her – being shot twenty years from your present time and learning at seventeen that you were going to marry and have a child with the one person who drove you insane wasn’t really the recipe for a peaceful sleep.

Lying awake on her bed in the room she shared with Hermione, the one that should be her own if only she was still in her own time, and thought about all she’d learnt since she’d arrived here.

First there was Potter (wasn’t there always Potter involved when things weren’t going right for Lily?). The thought that kept her awake most often, and indeed gave her nightmares if she managed to drift off, was marrying James Potter. What had happened to her in her seventh year? What could possibly posses her to ever want to go near him, let alone date and eventually marry him? From where she sat he was still the arrogant immature prat he’d always been around her, and it didn’t look like he was going to go through a personality change any time soon. Stupid Potter, she thought, he always ruins everything. Even marriage and having kids! Couldn’t he ever just leave her alone?!

Then of course there was Harry - the mysterious young man who was supposedly her son…and Potter’s. Pushing away that last nauseating thought, she considered Harry; so secretive, so serious, so…sad. She knew that Dumbledore had died a few months ago and he had been very close to him, she knew he had to go fight Voldemort and kill him, and she knew very well he was having a rough time with Ginny. But there was something else, something more that he wasn’t telling any of them. Something that obviously involved her and the others, something about the way he looked at them. But what the hell was it?!

Harry Potter…son of James and Lily Potter.

The idea made Lily feel like screaming…or throwing up. Either would have been quite satisfying in Lily’s opinion, or both if necessary. But, since Hermione was fast asleep across from her and she didn’t think the brown haired girl would like such a rude awakening, she refrained from those actions. Instead, she put on her nightgown (part of the clothing packages Professor McGonagall had given her) and moved quietly to the common room where she spotted a messy haired boy sitting in front of the fire.

For a second she thought it was James, and she was ready to turn right back around and wait out the morning in her bed instead of suffering his company, but it was the other Potter lost in thought at the fireplace. (James couldn’t ever be lost in thought, Lily told herself, he didn’t have the brain power to stay focused that long). She didn’t really have any reason to hide from Harry, he hadn’t destroyed her fantasies about her future husband after all, so she walked silently over the where he sat on the sofa.

“Can I sit down?” she asked, causing him to jump up and turn around quickly at the unexpected request.

“Oh,” he said after catching sight of her, sitting himself back down at one end of the sofa. “Yeah, sure.”

Taking a seat beside him at the opposite end of the couch, she looked up at his face. He looked torn between something, probably whether to stay with her or run somewhere, but he was pointedly avoiding her gaze. Silence stretched on and Lily realized he wasn’t going to break it first. It must be pretty bizarre for him as well, to find his seventeen year old parents intruding on his life so, not wanting to pass up this rare opportunity to talk to him, Lily spoke first.

“Are you ok?” she asked him.

“Yeah,” Harry answered, looking over at her, “You just startled me a little.”

Lily smiled. “Sorry about that. I couldn’t sleep so I got up - maybe finish a bit of homework or something. I didn’t think anyone would be up.” Harry smiled to himself as she spoke, saying something that sounded like ”Hermione”. “What were you doing up anyway?”

Harry, turning to look at the fire once more, stalled a moment before saying; “Couldn’t sleep either.”

Taking in the fact he was still in his uniform and the purple circles under his eyes Lily gathered Harry hadn’t even made the trip to his bed. Lily knew she wasn’t going to get a more detailed reason than that and so she let it drop. Instead she thought it better to steer the conversation a lighter direction or she feared Harry would close off again.

“So…do you have any plans for today? At a more reasonable hour that is?” Today was Saturday.

Harry’s lips spread into a smile…it was odd seeing a smile on a face so like that of James Potter and not wanting to slap it. “I think we’re going to play Quidditch after breakfast. Da-…James and Sirius were pretty excited about my broom; they want to try it out.”

Lily made a face. Quidditch; great. Even twenty years out of her own time and that bloody sport was still haunting her! Then Harry mentioned James, very nearly calling him Dad, and she made an even bigger face. Harry laughed softly.

“You still can’t stand him.” The way Harry said it it wasn’t a question, but more an amused statement.

“No! Come on he’s just so…he…he’s Potter! Nothing else to be said for it,” Lily grumbled. “You have to know how he is…so arrogant…so full of himself…so reckless…so…just Potter!”

Harry was still grinning. “You won’t always find him that way.”

Lily made another face. “Is there any chance we got divorced or something? After I realize he’s been force feeding me a love potion?” she asked hopefully.

Harry shook his head. “No, from what I know you’re both extremely happy together. And I don’t think Dad would feed you a love potion…not for that long anyway.”

Dad – there was that word again. It wasn’t so bad on its own…But when put in the same sentence as James Potter it should carry a warning sign. No wonder Harry seemed to be such a troubled child – how could he not be with a father like Potter?

“And…And I’m definitely your mother? It wasn’t…it wasn’t a different Evans?” she asked as a last resort.

Harry smile held something of a sad note in it this time Lily saw. “The only other Evans is Aunt Petunia and she definitely isn’t my mother.”

“You know my sister?” Lily asked curiously. Her sister had made it quite clear the summer after her wedding that she never wanted to see Lily again. So what had changed to make her take an interest in her sister’s son? “How?”

Harry nodded, his answer coming just a moment too late. “You had to leave me with her for a while. She…She didn’t like me very much,” he explained. Lily knew exactly why her sister didn’t like Harry…it was because he was a wizard. Petunia Evans, now Dursley, hated anything unnatural and magic definitely fell into that category.

“We must have been pretty desperate,” Lily observed while Harry nodded again. “How did she treat you?”

“I’m alive, that’s about much as I can say,” he said with a wry smile. “They were a little busy with Dudley to put much pass on me. I was too much hassle.”

“Dudley? She has a son?” Lily asked, more bewildered than shocked. Why? Where was the point? Her sister hardly showed compassion for anything, how could she raise a human being? “You mean to tell me there’s a little version of my sister and that giant walrus of a husband running around somewhere? That had to be the weirdest image ever.”

Harry let out a full on laugh. “Well…Dudley is far from little! But definitely a sight you wouldn’t usually see.”

“Bet Petunia acts like he’s Merlin gift to earth,” Lily laughed along. “I do pity the poor kid though, with parents like that he’ll never have a life.”

“I wouldn’t pity Dudley too much. He’s a gift from hell more than anything,” Harry admitted. Lily didn’t like the way Harry regarded his cousin, which must mean her nephew mustn’t have been a friend of his. Indignation swelled inside her immediately at the thought of someone mistreating her son, especially a relation.

Silence fell between them again, neither one speaking for a few minutes. It was an odd silence, Lily thought, like they were much more comfortable with one another than people usually would be who had only known each other a week. Well, she supposed that did make a little bit of sense…what with him living inside a form of herself for nine months and all.

“Does it bother you?” she asked eventually. “All that stuff about The-Boy-Who-Lived and the Chosen One?”

Harry gave her another odd look before staring into the depths of the fire again. “Yes.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Lily asked after a pause.

Harry looked up at her, holding eye contact with her properly for the first time, and she was surprised to see a look of such deep sadness in his eyes, far more than anything she’d seen before. She wanted to reach over and hug him, ask him what was wrong, but they were interrupted by a loud noise coming from the portrait hole.

“Watch it, Padfoot! Me first!” Lily groaned loudly; she knew that voice, it constantly haunted her. What were the odds she could disappear back into her room before they made it into the common room?

“Good morning, my dear family!”

Zilch by the looks of things. James Potter, quickly followed through the entrance hole by his two famous comrades Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, had appeared in the Head common room. It took all Lily’s self control not to groan aloud, but she did sink back in her chair in a defeated sort of fashion.

“Don’t start, Potter,” she growled.

“A little touchy in the mornings,” Sirius observed. “You’ll have to remember to stay out of her way before lunch when you live together, Prongs.”

Lily actually did let out a growl like groan this time. “Don’t start that nonsense now! It’s far too early!” She could stay up to all hours and talk the night away…but James Potter and his friends could drain her energy faster than running a continuous marathon…and she was already weary from her lack of sleep.

“Somebody has issues with mornings,” James said knowingly to Harry who gave a small chuckle.

“Why don’t you go back to beddy-byes, Evans. I think you need some more sleep,” Sirius said, his innocent suggestion suddenly taking his usual mischievous lilt. “That is if you think you’ll be able to sleep without James there, we kind of need him. You understand, right?”

“We can always play later!” James quipped, winking at Lily who drew him the dirtiest look she could muster.

“The only way I’d be asleep with Potter was if I was dead.” Sirius snorted and muttered something that sounded like “Harry” but Lily chose to ignore him. Easier said than done at times though with Sirius.

“So…Quidditch anyone?” Remus asked. Like two puppies who had been called with bones, James and Sirius immediately lit up with excitement. Even Harry seemed to brighten at the prospect.

Must be something great about that sport, Lily thought. “What? You’re going out to fly this early in the morning?”

“Nonsense, Evans,” Sirius scoffed, sounding like what she said was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. (He obviously didn’t listen to some of the things he at times). “First we’re going to eat breakfast, then we’re going to fly. Can’t fly on an empty stomach, we wouldn’t want to fall off and get hurt.”

“Pity,” Lily mumbled and James shot her a tragic look. He wasn’t as offended as he made himself look…she’d said a lot worse to him.

“Are you coming to watch? Hermione will be there,” Harry asked.

“Don’t waste your breath, Harry. It’s a struggle to get Evans to go to a house match, let alone a non-official game,” James told Harry, shaking his head like he wondered why anyone would do such a mad thing to themselves.

Lily, purely to go against anything James Potter said, turned to Harry and shrugged. “Maybe I will come down for a while. Is Ginny going too? She told me she plays.”

“I…I don’t think-,” Harry said in a low voice, lowering his head in what looked like shame. Lily felt guilty; he’d been feeling alright until she’d mentioned Ginny. But she really wanted to get to the bottom of whatever was going on between them. Maybe she would get to see a bit more about them while they played? At the minute, it was grating on her nerves…almost as much as Potter and that’s saying something!

“Let her play!” Sirius interrupted Harry. “We need a sixth anyway, and this can just make it interesting!”

Harry looked like playing with Ginny would be anything but interesting, to Lily, but it seemed decided by the others she should be their sixth player. Only James looked a little doubtful…probably because he didn’t want to lose to a girl. Couldn’t have anything to do with Harry’s feelings, that was too heart-felt for James.

“Or you could ask Dean? He also told me he played for Gryffindor. He was pretty good too from what I was heard,” she said in a sweet conversational tone. She had wanted to punch Dean for yammering on about his Quidditch skills the last time he’d cornered her, but now it seemed the headache she had endured was paying off. The look on Potter’s face! Go Lily!

“We’ll go with Ginny. Thanks for the suggestion though, Evans,” James said tightly, scowling at her. Lily just kept on smiling sweetly – how she loved to get revenge on James.

In one fluid movement, Lily stood up and walked around the back of the sofa towards the Head Girl’s room. Stopping at the door she turned back to the four boys and said; “I should go get dressed then. See you at breakfast!”

Before closing the door she heard Sirius say; “What possessed you, Prongs? Just tell me what!”

“If you can’t see, I can’t help you, Padfoot.” Lily could hear the smug tone in his voice and felt her annoyance at him build again. She slammed the door.

Stupid Potter.


“So are you excited, Evans?” James questioned as Lily as she and Hermione took seats at the Gryffindor table for breakfast. He was grinning so widely Lily had to wonder whether he’d been hit with a Cheering Charm.

“No,” she answered as she buttered herself some toast. She was deeply regretting her decision to go to watch them play Quidditch. James seemed to be taking it as a sign she was warming up to him and was talking to her far more than she wanted.

“Why not? This was your idea after all,” James reminded her.

“Momentary lapse of good judgment, Potter.” This had not been a good idea. Forget proving Potter wrong, this was just going to be torture. She didn’t deserve that.

“On the contrary, Evans, I think it was your finest moment! And that’s saying since you are so fine all the time!” James said, winking with overflowing arrogance. On top of all his other faults, Lily thought, - and there were lots of them in her opinion – he was cheesy as well. Just great. What did she do to get saddled with him?!

“Can it, Potter. Can’ you act like you’re not an insufferable git for just one minute?”

“Why would I do that? Don’t forget; you fall for my wonderful charm and personality! I can’t risk that by acting different!” James said, grinning more widely than before that the smile spread all the way across his face.

Lily scoffed. How could she forget? She’d need an Obliviate Charm to get away from that fact…or she could just kill Potter. Hmm…the last one sounded quite good.

“Where are the others?” Hermione asked suddenly, probably trying to save James’ skin before he said much more. She’d always struck Lily as a smart girl – this proved it.

“Sirius and Remus are gone to get Ginny from Gryffindor Tower. Remus felt Sirius needed to be supervised in case he caused some sort of mayhem which was probably a good idea. And Ron and Harry are gone to get the Quidditch balls. They’re meeting us on the pitch,” James explained as he ate.

“Why didn’t you go with them?” Lily grumbled.

“I thought it would be nice to wait for you wonderful ladies! Couldn’t have you getting lost on your first trip to the Quidditch pitch, Evans. That would be a disaster. Plus, I didn’t want to leave poor Hermione in your sole company. The poor girl mightn’t be able to handle it.”

“How considerate of you,” Lily retorted, taking a sip of orange juice from her goblet.

“I mean it, Evans, I’m only looking out for her. You’re a little hard to handle when you don’t know you very well. You may not be aware of this, but you can come on a little strong tempered,” James said, his eyes dancing.

“No, Potter, that’s just with you.”

“Oh, so it’s a good thing then?”

“How do you figure that?” Lily asked in a restrained voice. He was frustratingly persistent.

“Well, I don’t see you marrying anyone else around here other than me, so that’s two things that are ’just me’. Therefore, there must be a connection!”

“That’s enough! Alright, now listen here, Potter!” Lily stormed, James smiling on sweetly, but Hermione interrupted here by pointing down to the door of the Great Hall were Sirius and Remus were entering, a confused looking Ginny between them.

“Look, they’re here! Poor Ginny, she doesn’t look too happy,” Hermione said as they came closer. Looking up at them Lily felt a little guilty for her involving Ginny in their game without consulting her. Now that she saw Ginny’s expression, and remembering Harry’s, she felt quite bad.

But someone has to involve her, Lily tried to convince herself. It’s for the best in the end.

“Good morning, everyone!” Sirius greeted happily as he reached the part of the table where they sat but he didn’t take a seat himself. Instead he asked; “Everyone ready to go? Come on! You eat so slowly!”

“Easy for you to say, Black,” Lily said. “You don’t eat food, you inhale it. Some of us have to do it the usual way.”

“You’ve had fifteen minutes!” Sirius complained.

“You can wait a little longer. Ginny still has to eat something,” Lily pointed out, offering some toast to Ginny who took it gratefully, still looking confused. What exactly had Black said to her when he’d dragged her from Gryffindor Tower?

“She can eat on the way. She can’t be too full anyway it’ll just make flying more difficult,” Sirius insisted, taking the toast from Ginny’s hand and eating it himself, grinning happily. He could never be too full it seemed.

Taking another slice of toast off Lily, careful to move away from Sirius as she ate it this time, Ginny asked; “Where are we going anyway? What’s the ’big surprise’?”

Lily rolled her eyes; the Marauders were always so dramatic.

“They want you to play Quidditch with them,” Lily told her. Sirius looked gob-smacked.

“You ruined it, Evans!” he complained, looking like a disappointed puppy. “I had a big build up all prepared! Now it’s wasted! How could you?” Hermione and Ginny laughed beside Lily.

“Only you could make Quidditch sound boring, Evans,” James sighed in mock exasperation. “So how about it, Ginny? Ready to play?”

Ginny glanced over at Hermione, who shrugged in reply, before looking at Lily. Lily tried to smile encouragingly at the girl, aware that Potter was watching her smugly.

”Do it for Harry and Ginny. Just ignore Potter,” she chanted to herself. She could make this sacrifice for the greater good. She knew James would take it into his head that she was doing this for him and nothing would convince him otherwise. Was this really worth her suffering seeing that smug arrogant smile every day from now on when it wasn’t even guaranteed to work?

“It sounds like fun,” Lily said, determinedly not looking at James but she could almost feel his satisfied smirk burning at whole in the back of her head. Stupid Potter, he knew nothing.

“Ok then,” Ginny said, smiling at everyone though she still looked a little doubtful to Lily. Obviously she had taken note of Harry’s absence at the breakfast table. “I’ll just go get my broom then.”

Once more, Sirius beamed happily. “No need! It’s right here!” Looking over at Remus he continued to grin as his friend produced a broom for them all to see.

“How did you get that without Ginny knowing? You can’t go into the girl’s dormitory,” Hermione questioned.

’Can’t’,” Sirius scoffed. “The Marauders can do anything!” Lily rolled her eyes again; that line got pretty old after listening to it for six years. Although she had to admit some of the things they managed to pull off were quite impressive, she never asked for the details. That would mean admitting that they were good, and she’d rather insult a Hippogriff than let them know that. They needed someone to bruise their enormous egos every now and then.

“Can we go then? Harry and Ron will start without us if we don’t get a move on,” James asked, standing up from his place and heading towards the door. Why did he bother asking when he never waited for an answer, Lily wondered as she followed with Hermione and Ginny.

This was going to be…fun? Somehow, Lily doubted it.


A/N: Not the world’s most remarkable chapter I know, but it’s more to open Lily’s side of the story as the whole thing was in her point of view. The story will get on soon all this is just really building it up and trying to form the story…sorry if it’s not too exciting to read right now.

Please review, and I’m really sorry for making everyone wait so long.

Chapter 7: Chapter 7: The Name Of The Game
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Chapter 7: The Name Of The Game

“So this is what we call a broomstick, Evans. You sit on it like this,” James smirked, throwing his leg over his broomstick in an exaggerated fashion when they reached the field, “and then you kick off from the ground to rise into the air. We call it flying! Amazing, isn’t it? Did you follow that? We can go over it again if you’d like.”

Lily glared at him before stalking away in the direction of the stands with Hermione without responding. James kept grinning however; it was just so easy to annoy Lily and it never got old. He never got tired of the satisfactory amusement he got from getting on Lily Evans’ nerves. The girl needed to see the funny side of life every now and then.

“Prongs? Earth to Prongsie? Come back to us!” James turned his gaze away from Lily’s retreating back and looked around to see Sirius standing behind him, smirking openly. “Ah, so you are on this planet. I feared the worst there for a minute; I thought you’d been abducted to Lily World again. Try not to scare me like that!” his friend said sarcastically.

James rolled his eyes, still smiling happily to himself, and looked about automatically to see where Lily had gone to, a habit he had developed over the last six years. She had moved off the pitch and was now settling herself in a seat beside Hermione looking very disgruntled. Despite knowing he would definitely pay for this, he had to notice how good she looked even when mad. Hell, Evans always looked good to him! James couldn’t feel too bad for annoying Lily though, it was just the way things were between them. And since she never made the effort, why should he stop enjoying himself?

Not that he’d complain if a few things changed between them…like their dating status for instance.

“You know, Prongs, I think it might be illegal to stare at someone like that,” Sirius pointed out, dragging James back down to the pitch instead of up in the stands daydreaming about Lily.

“You can guarantee Lily knows all the wizarding stalker laws so I’d be careful, Prongs,” Remus added, smiling himself. “She could probably have you arrested or something.”

But Sirius shook his head. “Nah that would mean someone else getting to torture him. I get the feeling Evans likes to commit her own murders.”

James kept his arrogant grin in place. “Personal prison with Lily? I think I could live with that!”

“Harry, I never knew how strange your dad was.” James turned around and grinned at a very amused looking Harry, Ron and Ginny who’d obviously been listening to them.

“Thank you, I appreciate the compliment!” James beamed.

“So are we gonna play?” Ginny asked them.

“Sure thing,” Sirius said, but he turned eagerly to Harry. “But before we pick teams; can I try the Firebolt, Harry?” He was almost jumping with anticipation and James saw Harry grinning himself for the first time that morning. James wasn’t as pleased though. He’d never heard of a Firebolt before he’d come here, didn’t even know about the Nimbus brand, but they sounded amazing! And his son had one! Couldn’t get prouder than that! Which meant he should get first try, only fair after all.

“No way, I want a go first! Can I, Harry, son?”

“Wait your turn, Prongs!” Sirius argued.

“He’s my son, I should get to share with him first!”

“Don’t use that ‘son’ line, that’s cheating! I’m his godfather!”

“I’m his dad!”



“I bought it for him! He wouldn’t have it without me,” Sirius pointed out, looking smug and reached towards Harry. James jumped between them though, putting a hand on the broom before Sirius got a chance.

“Is it true?” James asked Harry, who looked more than a little uncomfortable at his question. Why hadn’t he given it to him? He was his dad after all, what was this all about?

“Well…yeah. Sirius got it for me at Christmas in my third year,” Harry admitted. Why did he look so sad, James wondered. As far as he’d noticed Harry always looked a little gloomy around them, but why? It wasn’t like they were boring! The Marauders were nothing if not brilliantly exciting…if he did say so himself.

“Woo, go me! One for the Padster!” Sirius cheered, looking thoroughly delighted in himself. James fought off a sulk; why hadn’t he bought the best broom available for his son? Why did his godfather get to do it? Seemed quite odd from his perspective…But maybe Lily hadn’t let him buy it for their son? The thought actually amused him; it involved the two of them, him and Lily Evans, together after all. He couldn’t be annoyed by that!

“Well if that is the case then you would have already tried it out when buying it for him,” James said logically, only short of sticking his tongue out at Sirius in victory. “So therefore it should be my turn now!”

James was halfway through swinging his leg over the broom when Sirius grabbed hold of his ankle…causing him to remain standing quite unsteadily on his left foot. Like he really needed both feet on the ground; balancing on two feet was so overrated anyway…

“Maybe. But there’s also the chance that the experience of riding the Firebolt now makes me decide to buy it for Harry when we get to that future time,” Sirius said, James and everyone else, including Sirius himself, looking a little confused at his words. “Anyway, what I mean is if this is the time I decide whether to buy it for Harry or not I really should get first go or else there might not be any Firebolt at all. And that would be devastating, right, Harry?” Sirius winked at Harry who was smiling amusedly at James and the over-confident sly Sirius Black. Damn him! James was so close to winning this argument! No matter, he could beat him. He usually did. He was James Potter after all, and James Potter was fabulous (no matter what the time era!). He was about to charge in with another argument in his favour when Ron interrupted them again.

“How about whoever is on the winning team gets first try?” he said reasonably.

Oh yeah! There was no way Sirius could beat him at Quidditch! He hoped the Firebolt was ready because it was almost his. One Quidditch game away and he would be soaring around the pitch on it laughing at Sirius.

It was so much fun to beat your best friend after all! It just made competition all the more entertaining as he and Sirius had discovered long ago. Who had the most detentions, who came up with the best pranks, who had the most dates…their list of rivalries went on forever.

“Deal!” James agreed enthusiastically. “I get Harry and Ginny on my team!”

“No way,” Sirius complained loudly. “I want Harry at least!”

Remus sighed. “Oh great, here we go again.”

“Are they always like this?” James heard Ginny ask as he continued listing the rules behind the “First come, first served” clause to Sirius.

“These two? Constantly. They never give up, they have to make a competition out of everything. It takes about half an hour just to decide who gets to use the bathroom first in the morning,” Remus said and James could see the others grinning and laughing.

“So this is going to be a long morning, then?” Ron asked. “I should have had more breakfast.”

“Here, here!” Sirius called, stopping halfway through his rant about “talent distribution” to agree. James laughed; you could nearly always distract Sirius with food…or a girl. Whichever happened to be more handily available at the time.

“Let’s get this game started then!” James yelled, taking advantage of Sirius’ distraction. “Harry, Ginny, over here to discuss tactics!”

“Hey, now wait just one minute, Potter!” Sirius called but Remus put a hand on his shoulder.

“Just let it go, Padfoot.”

James laughed as he heard Sirius growl and mutter; “Fine then. But Merlin save you if we lose, Moony.”

This was going to be fun!


“Stupid, Padfoot,” James muttered to himself as he strolled down the stairs towards the common room later that night. Very later that night. He should be sound asleep by now!…if only his bloody friend could only sleep soundlessly.

Walking into the deserted common room he thought back through the day he’d just had, smiling broadly at the funnier parts. He couldn’t think which had been the bigger highlight; winning and rubbing it in Sirius’ face as he flew around the stadium on the Firebolt, or Lily trying, and failing miserably, to mount a broom for the first time. Ahh, that was a moment he would remember forever. It seemed strange that he could love someone who couldn’t even do the thing he enjoyed most…but then again she had looked adorable when the broom took off and she shrieked in surprise before tumbling to the ground about two foot below her.

Oh the memories.

James collapsed restlessly onto the sofa in front of the now extinguished fire and looked around the common room. It didn’t seem real that twenty years before now he would have been sitting here in his own time…well maybe not exactly now, he would have been sleeping normally. But you get the picture.

Not much really seemed to have changed here…and yet everything was different when he really thought about it. Not that he was keen on thinking over it too much, that would just spoil all the fun. It was obvious, even to him who was trying to ignore it, that there was more at work here that anyone let on. Stuff that was a hell of a lot darker than he’d faced himself so far.

But for now, he was perfectly happy just to day dream about the life he would have with the Lily Evans when he got to live it for himself. Life was good…

Thinking about his bride, his wife, his life partner (phrases he would never tire of mentioning around Lily he was pretty sure) he sat up. Well, since he wasn’t going to go asleep, he might as well go on a walk. And sure if he was really lucky, something known to happen every now and then, maybe Lily would be out for one too.

You know midnight was quite a common time for going on an out of the blue walk. And he hadn’t let Lily’s darkening circles under her eyes escape his notice either; she hadn’t been sleeping properly by the looks of things.

Moving quickly, this new prospect giving him an extra burst of energy, he left the common room through the portrait hall and entered the empty corridors - which would hopefully remain that way as he didn’t have the usual helping hand of the invisibility cloak. Although he had a long record of detentions, he didn’t feel like adding the prize of future punishments to the list just now. Maybe later mind, but not right now.

However, while he was lucky on the one hand that the halls remained empty of teachers and professors, it also lacked Lily. Darn it, dragging himself out here and she didn’t even have the decency to be there to bump in to.

Maybe the game had tired her out, she had seemed to be very focused on something…that wasn’t him he was sorry to say. But she did look distracted most of the day (one tended to notice these things about the people they’d watched almost minutely all day long for six years or there abouts) so she was bound to be tired.

…Or bound to be sitting up awake in the Head common room.

Yes, that was it! Grinning he made his way towards the Head rooms through the various hidden passageways and tunnels he’d committed to memory, paying little thought to the warning sirens blazing in his head telling him just how happy Lily would be to deal with him in the middle of the night. She could hardly stay calm in his presence during the daylight hours, he didn’t really want to dwell on how she’d react to him while sleep deprived.

Oh well, it was a risk worth taking in his opinion!

Moving swiftly, with impressive pace for someone with barely twenty minutes sleep, he wove in and out of the corridors unnoticed, thank Merlin, until he eventually stood outside the portrait for the Head common room.

He still couldn’t believe that he actually got to spend a year in this dorm. How in Merlin’s name had be become Head Boy? Maybe Sirius was right; maybe Dumbledore had made a be to see how long the castle would last with him in charge.

He’d have to ask how that actually turned out…He was entitled to some of the winnings!

But not right now. He had different plans for just now.

The large golden phoenix that guarded the entrance was staring at him with wide eyes, obviously not asleep himself, waiting rather patiently for James to speak the password.

“Can’t sleep either, mate?” James asked the bird conversationally, the magnificent creature shaking his head from side to side before looking over his shoulder. Was he trying to tell him something?

“Someone keeping you up?” he asked excitedly, looking even happier when the gold and scarlet bird let out a note of affirmation. Oh yeah, go James! Moving as close to the portrait as he could, he strained his ears to hear what was going on inside. Maybe Lily wasn’t having a very happy sleepless night, judging by the fact she was keeping the portrait guard awake. But there was no yelling, no angry shouts…no screaming from her torture victims. None of the usual stuff.

In fact, he was ready to believe there was no one awake in the whole place until he snatched a fragment of speech said in a feminine voice, most decidedly Lily’s (getting whiplash every time that voice spoke kind of committed it to memory with force).

“Does your scar hurt, Harry?”

Hmm…so Harry was up to? Well that kind of demolished his original plans of sweeping Lily off her feet (he didn’t like to see his parents at that type of thing, he wasn’t going to subject his own son to that just now). But it could still be interesting.

Finally giving the beautiful phoenix the password, James stood back to let it swing forward and scrambled through the opening revealed behind it. Inside he saw Harry and Lily sitting on the sofa opposite the fire, both in their pyjamas yet not looking very tired.

Well that made one of them. But he could pretend for a while.

The two had swung around when he’d come in, alarm so clear on both faces James had to hold in his laughter…he knew it could probably be very likely that someone came after Harry often enough to make him expect attacks, a thought that was quite an amusement-killer. Trying to act like waltzing into the Head dorms in the middle of the night was no big deal, he smiled.

“Hello, all. What are you two talking about?” James asked, taking a seat casually on one of the two available armchairs beside the sofa…the one nearest to Lily coincidentally. Does that surprise you? If so, you need to pay better attention!

“Nothing you’d be interested in, Potter,” Lily quipped abruptly, quickly recovering from her fearful thought of someone coming inside.

James raised an eyebrow. Oh really? “How can you be so sure, Evans? I have many interests that may surprise you.”

Lily rolled her eyes at him. “Yeah right, Potter. You’re only ever remotely interested in anything if it can fly or is fawning all over you like some brainless idiot.”

James smiled brightly. “You’re quite mistaken there, Evans. On the contrary, I’m very interested in you. And, as has been demonstrated today, you have the flying ability of a penguin,” he said, remembering the hilarious attempt Lily made at Harry’s encouragement to mount a broom, “and don’t show any humanly intelligible signs of fawning all over me…unfortunately,” he continued, adding the last bit under his breath but well aware she could still hear him.

He really hoped penguins couldn’t fly…he might just look a teeny bit stupid if it turned out they did. His clever sentence would be ruined then, and James didn’t like to have things ruined. Especially the things that made him look smart, which were pretty few and far between.

“What are you even doing here, Potter?” Lily asked, suddenly sounding very tired.

“Actually, Lily darling, I think the question that needs to be addressed here is why I wasn’t here earlier,” James countered, frowning from her to Harry and back in a play-along-that-I’m-serious voice. “I’m very disappointed that you didn’t invite me to this little family get together. I’m wounded! If you’d told me about it I would have been here long ago.”

“Oh joy,” James heard Lily mumble and a smile flickered across Harry’s face. Well, James wasn’t going to let this minor fact of being disowned by his own wife and son keep him down. It was easily dealt with; force his company on them! Apparently it was a very successful method for securing said wife in the past, who said it wouldn’t be as effective now?

“Not to worry, Lily dear, I’m here now,” James reassured, earning him a roll of the eyes by the red haired girl. Didn’t those eyes ever get tired? Rolling constantly like that must be some sort of slave labour. He hoped they’d go on strike soon, earn themselves some rights!

“So, great game today, Harry!” James complimented for the hundredth time since the previous morning, beaming proudly at the other boy who even managed a grin in return.

“Thanks,” Harry replied, looking genuinely pleased at the compliment, however many times it had been repeated. Ahh, just like his dad!

It was quite shocking when silence feel between the three of them then. Sure, it was late at night, but James Potter was still in the room. That wasn’t usual a characteristic of a quiet room.

Breaking the awkward hush (you know, not wanting anyone to get the wrong idea that he was going soft or something. Psh, don’t even think like that!) James said; “So what were you talking about earlier? Fascinating and all as that fire is, I doubt that’s what has you both up at this hour.”

“Wow, observant, Potter. Didn’t know you had the ability in you,” Lily said sarcastically.

“Not to worry, Evans. We have plenty of time to improve your knowledge of me during our marriage,” James said in an offhand manner, giggling on the inside at the outburst she was trying to hold back. Holding steady on his track though, James continued; “So what was so interesting that has you both up?”

Again, it was Lily who did the talking, after glancing hurriedly at Harry. What were they hiding, James wondered? But before he could ask, Lily spoke. “Nothing specific. Just…general things.”

“Well I’m very interested in things that are going on now, even the general stuff,” James said, successfully cutting off the legs of Lily’s attempt to hoodwink him. He was handsome, not stupid!

Lily gave a tired sigh. “If you really have to know, we were talking about Harry’s scar.” James was quite surprised she’d actually given into him so easily, that was definitely something for the history books! She must be falling for him…or else she was just really interested in Harry’s story. Nah, had to be the first one.

But when James glanced over at Harry the look he found on his face was clearly not happy his mother had relented and returned to the topic. Not that he could blame him - James doubted very much telling people how you cut your head open was a bunch of laughs. But he also had to admit that he was curious about it himself. Harry had only mentioned his scar once really, the first day they were here. Secret things always caught James’ attention.

“Yeah, what’s with that? You said Voldemort gave it to you?” James asked curiously and all Harry did was nod. “But why’d he come after you in the first place?” He didn’t bother pretending like he thought it was an accident. Lily might call him dense at times but he did have a bit more cop on than to think Harry had just stumbled into Voldemort’s way.

Harry looked very uneasy again, as he usually did whenever anyone asked him about his confrontations with Voldemort James had noticed. “Well…he was after you and Mum.”

“Why?” Lily asked evenly.

“I suppose it was because how powerful you both were, and how much you were against the Dark side. You were Aurors and members of the Order so he wanted to get rid of the people who would cause problems for him, I guess,” Harry said, refusing to look at either of them

“What’s the Order?” James and Lily asked keenly. James understood his own enthusiasm for this subject, it was cool knowing you’d ticked off some great powerful wizard, but he was a bit surprised Lily wasn’t completely shocked by the revelation that Voldemort had been after them. Strange woman that. He really wished she’d pick one personality and stick to it. Having to work with her dozen different characters involved more bloody study than the NEWT’s did!

“It’s like a secret society,” Harry explained. “It was set up during the first war as a resistance against Voldemort. Dumbledore founded it.”

James didn’t say anything, neither did Lily. All she did was nod in understanding, her lips turned down in a sad frown. He still didn’t believe it himself; Dumbledore was really dead? You didn’t just accept those type of things.

“So he came after us when he found out we were part of the resistance?” James went on. “What happened then?”

“Well, Dumbledore suggested you go into hiding, and-” Harry was saying but James cut him off, unable to hold in his vexation.

Hiding?! Why did he made us hide? We could have fought him!” he burst.

“I suppose he didn’t want to risk it,” Harry said, shifting a little in his seat. James’ eyes narrowed suspiciously; what was really going on here? But before he could demand a real answer, Lily spoke firmly.

“Of course he didn’t, and I’m pretty sure I would have agreed with him. What if we’d fought and got killed, James? Do you want Harry to grow up without his parents because you wanted to act the hero?!” Lily said powerfully.

There was no doubt about it; Harry definitely looked paler now. He had started visibly when Lily spoke, and though he was trying to settle his expression James had caught the flash of panic that had run across it. Wow, we must be wonderful parents if he is so terrified of us dying, James thought with pride. But clearly this conversation was hitting a lot of nerves Harry couldn’t handle. So James, being ever the hero as Lily had pointed out he enjoyed doing, decided to sacrifice himself to his wife on his son’s behalf.

“Wow, Flower. Admitting to us as his parents and calling me James all in the one rant? You must be falling pretty hard. Don’t worry though, I won’t let you hit the ground when you finally get there,” he said, his arrogant grin in place and winked at her. Oh yes, she was effectively distracted. James could almost see the anger rising up through her body until it reached her mouth so she could voice it.

“Merlin, Potter, can’t you take anything seriously?! Does everything always have to focus around you and your giant ego?” she fumed. James still smiled; just like always. Those five minutes had been nice, talking like they actually got along, but now the truth was returning. Sad, but fun too. Plus Harry looked relieved to see his mother distracted. She must be torturing him all the time trying to force information out of him. Poor chap, he knew what that felt like!

“Well it wasn’t just about me this time. It was about us! Which is far better in my opinion, and I know you‘ll be able to admit you like it too soon enough. It‘s not a good idea to hold in your feelings about me like that, Lils. It has a tendency to come off as anger which isn‘t very pleasant.”

“You’re ridiculous, Potter. Absolutely unbelievable!” Lily cried, “I’m going to bed. I listen to enough of your rubbish during the day time, there’s no way I’m going to put up with it at night.”

With that she really did stand up and stalk towards her room without so much as a goodnight to her son. After the door had slammed behind her (most likely rousing Hermione nicely) James turned to Harry who was trying to hide a smile.

“Don’t worry. You get use to her tantrums after a few years,” he reassured and Harry grinned back. He was about to say more when he heard a muttered yelling coming from the other side of the Head Girl’s door. James glanced from the door to Harry before both burst out laughing.

Oh yes, one big happy family. That was the Potters alright…


Chapter 8: Chapter 8: Walk With Me
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Chapter 8: Walk With Me

If it hadn’t been obvious for the past seventeen years, Harry Potter led a very strange life.

But this year took the biscuit, in fact it took the whole blooming pack. It was his own life and he could hardly keep up with everything that was going on. How was anybody else meant to?

But in true Harry Potter fashion, he was trying desperately to get a grip of it.

Now, if any of us had our dead parents suddenly appear in our common room the same age as us, we might get sent to a mental home or something. It can’t be an easy thing to deal with, and that was only one of many difficulties surrounding Harry at the minute.

Next was Voldemort, who was never far from he top of Harry’s list of conundrums. Every day the problem was growing to reach colossal heights, yet Harry could find nothing to help. It was eating him inside.

Another factor gnawing away at him was, you guessed it, Ginny. Nothing had changed there either, which he hoped to keep that way because he knew right well that anything new that occurred there would not be in the best interests he had for Ginny.

How many seventeen year old boys can you name who’s thoughts are focused around a mental all-conquering stalker wizard, a one in a million girl he had to ignore for fear of killing her, and utterly strange parents of his own age waltzing around the castle? If you can name someone with even one of these matches, give me a call. I’ll send over the mental asylum helpers straight away.

“Harry, mate? Are you ok?” Ron’s voice broke through the gloom surrounding Harry to yank him back, somewhat ungracefully, to reality.

Harry looked up at his friends and blinked, as though he had been roused just as he was dozing off (a strong possibility since he hadn’t been sleeping great at night time…and it was hard to tell the difference between waking and sleeping anymore, as the same thoughts haunted both consciousnesses).

“Oh, yeah, it’s just a little stuffy in here,” Harry said, not wanting to reveal where his thoughts were lying once more, knowing they would start to talk about it again if he did. Though they probably had a fair idea as it was; you didn’t need a brain like Merlin’s to figure it out.

Ron and Hermione looked around the room in confusion at the blazing fire and students sitting in huddles still wrapped up in their jumpers. They obviously didn’t feel this stuffiness. Sure it wasn’t winter just yet, but it sure as hell wasn’t summer either.

“Ok, why don’t we go for a walk then?” Hermione suggested diplomatically.

“But I thought we had to finish our homework and then work on the…” Ron trailed off meaningfully, as Hermione shot him one of her Mrs. Weasley looks that said “Zip it, you”.

“We can leave homework for now, a walk will be good. It will do us all some good to get a bit of fresh air,” Hermione said, sounding more like a mother every minute, and stood up in the process to show she meant what she said.

“Leave homework unfinished? I bet this lasts five minutes before she has some sort of break-down,” Ron predicted to Harry as they both got to their feet anyway to join their female friend.

Harry smiled, already feeling good about getting out of the crowded common room. He should never have agreed to go there, he much preferred the quiet of the Head rooms. “I’d give it ten. She seems to be calming down lately. She only freaks about doing homework now a week before it’s due,” he added it.

Both boys laughed a little as they pictured Hermione’s many freak-outs over the years, and Hermione herself couldn’t even get properly annoyed because Harry was finally showing that he had some real human left in him.

“So where is everybody?” Ron asked as they left the castle doors behind them. By “everybody” he meant Lily and the Marauders.

“Well, Remus said he really wanted to talk to Professor Lupin, so the others probably went with him. And I’d guess Lily is either with Ginny or in the library,” Hermione informed.

“She sounds like you, Hermione,” Ron laughed. “She’s not even in her own time and she’s living in the library. How does it feel to have some competition?”

“Well I think it’s great that she wants to keep up with her N.E.W.T’s. It can’t be easy with everything that’s going on,” Hermione sympathised. Hell, she belonged in this time where all this stuff happened quite regularly and she found it nearly impossible to keep everything balanced and afloat.

“Do you reckon Lupin and McGonagall will find a way to send them back soon?” Ron asked.

Harry shrugged, not really wanting to dwell on this subject. He knew they’d have to leave some day, they couldn’t stay here forever, he just wasn’t sure how he’s react when that day came. “Probably. They can’t just let them stay here indefinitely. I’m fairly sure that would screw up my whole existing thing.”

“Yeah, beside I think McGonagall is going crazy with them around again. I always thought no one could cause as much hassle as Fred and George, but Merlin these guys are nuts!” Ron laughed, admiration not annoyance in his tone, and Harry and Hermione had to join in.

“It’ll definitely be a lot quieter when they’re gone,” Hermione said, but then her expression sobered a little. “I’m really going to miss them when they have to go.”

Harry only nodded his agreement. “Miss them” was an understatement in his view. Sure they were absolutely crazy at times, but they were his family. A family of which very little now remained with him. It just wasn’t fair. He didn’t want to say goodbye again, to lose them for a second time seemed unbearable.

“No, stop that,” he told himself. “There is no point dwelling on that. There are other things to think about.”

As if reading those other things from his mind, Ron asked; “Are you going to let them help in the You-Know-Who thing? You know, if they’re still here?”

The “You-Know-Who Thing”. Wow, Ron had a way of making the worst imaginable things sound like a piece of cake, didn’t he? Harry almost laughed.

“Might as well. It couldn’t hurt, could it?” he said and caught Hermione’s dubious expression almost instantly. “What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing,” Hermione answered immediately. “It’s just…well…I was just wondering why the same thing couldn’t be applied to a different case.” There was no need to specify which case she was talking about, there was only one other.

But Hermione instantly wished she hadn’t said a thing because Harry’s features turned to stone on the spot. She wouldn’t be able to change his mind so easily she knew, but she felt it needed the odd try now and again. After all, he didn’t have to listen to Ginny beg for ways she could help.He didn’t have to hear how hurt the girl was by the ways he was treating her. He barely had to see any of it, except when he chose to.

He was seriously underestimating this girl and Hermione didn’t know how to make him see it.

“That’s different,” was all Harry said before falling silent. Hermione sighed in defeat, knowing she’d lost yet again.

She wondered if anyone would ever win and get through to him.

But she’d have to drop it for the time being, it was getting no where and neither was any of the other stuff they needed to get sorted.

“What are going to do, Harry?” Ron asked after the intensity of Harry’s anger began to dwindle. “I mean, I know what we have to do, but how are we going to manage it? It’s been three months since you and Dumbledore found the last…umm…thing, and well we haven’t come much further since then.”

Harry gave a sigh and pulled his mind away from Ginny Weasley so it could agree with her brother. He was right of course. They had to act, no more stalling.

And he knew now where the most logical place to start would be…it was just plucking up the courage to go that was holding him back.

How was he meant to have a face-off with the darkest wizard to ever set foot on the planet when the thoughts of a gentle old Headmaster scared the living daylights out of him? Some Chosen One he was turning out to be.

“I think we need to look in Dumbledore’s office,” Harry said slowly, not looking at either of his friends. But he knew by the dead silence that followed that he’d shook them.

“Are you sure you want to do that, Harry?” Hermione asked gently. It was a good idea, sure, better than anything they’d come up with so far, but what would be the cost of Harry opening up all those wounds again?

“There’s no choice, is there?” Harry said blandly, still not looking at his friends but out at the remarkably still lake. “Besides, it’s the best way. Dumbledore spent ages trying to track down the Horcruxes, he must have a method for it or something. We have to at least look.”

Both Ron and Hermione nodded their agreement, if a little wearily, but Harry was still watching the water, away in a little world of his own again.

“Do you think McGonagall would let us?” Ron asked, trying to drag Harry back to earth.

“Look, is that Lily over there?” Hermione said suddenly, pointing to a lone figure sitting beneath a large oak tree a little ways in front of them. “I wonder what she’s doing out here by herself.”

“I bet James had something to do with it,” Ron said, laughing to himself at the many memories of Harry’s parents. Having them around certainly brightened up the recently dreary castle. It was hard to focus on the impending doom when you were watching Lily chase James around the Head common room with a rubber chicken. Don’t ask, he wasn’t even sure what had happened himself. The pair were quite simply odd.

Harry looked up ahead where Hermione pointed and sure enough there was Lily Evans, pen poised in hand and racing across the page as she jotted down some unknown account. A diary maybe? It could be. Harry had never really pictured his Mum as the type to keep a diary before, but then again he never really had anything to base his assumptions on before now.

He was still having difficulty with the concept that that woman sitting there was his mother and he knew very well that Lily herself wasn’t having much better luck. In fact, the only one that seemed to be taking the whole thing in their stride, Harry mused, was James. The revelation that he actually succeeded in getting what he wanted hadn’t scared or confused him, but rather given him a new bigger (if you can imagine that) air of confidence. A frightening thought I can assure you.

“Hi, Lily,” Hermione greeted when they were close enough. “What are you doing out here?”

Lily looked up, surprise and horror written clearly across her face (fear of the greeting coming from the Marauders, Harry guessed) that only settled when her brain registered the faces of the new arrivals as Harry’s, Ron’s and Hermione’s.

“Oh, hey,” Lily greeted in return. “I thought maybe you were Potter and Black. They haven’t left me alone all day.”

“How did you manage to get out here without them?” Ron asked with a grin on his face that always appeared when the mischief making boys were mentioned.

Lily gave a shrug. “Haven’t a clue, actually. I think Remus might have distracted them. Probably showed them something shiny, that’s been known to keep them entertained for at least half an hour in the past.”

The trio laughed at the image.

“How long have you been out here?” Harry asked, feeling his mood lifting considerably compared to the dark pit it had been moments ago.

“About that long. I’m expecting them to jump out from a tree or appear from under that damn invisibility cloak any minute now. That’s why you guys startled me,” Lily explained, casting a dubious glance around her to make sure they couldn’t sneak up on her.

Ron laughed out loud and Hermione gave a giggle before saying; “Well, we’ll go and try keep them away for another while. I’m sure we can find loads of shiny things. C’mon, Ron. Coming, Harry?”

Harry shook his head at the offer. “No thanks. I think I’ll just walk around for another while.”

Hermione nodded in understanding, said goodbye to Lily and, catching a hold of Ron’s arm, started her march back towards the castle.

“Mind if I join you?” Lily asked. “It’s a little less dangerous if I’m not by myself.”

Harry looked down at his Mum as she got to her feet and laughed, knowing the “danger” she meant was James Potter. “No problem. You’re probably right, though he seems to enjoy catching you with me too. He likes the whole family thing, I think.”

Lily grimaced. “Am I seriously meant to put up with him for the rest of my life? It’s still not too late to tell me it’s a joke, you know.” She looked up hopefully.

Harry laughed again and gave a smile of apology. “’Fraid it’s no joke.”

Lily pouted, trying not to let her real horror show. She wanted to be nice to Harry, and showing how sick she felt at the thought of having him didn’t really give those sentiments. “That’s what I was afraid of.”

“You mentioned the Invisibility Cloak,” Harry said suddenly with curiosity. “How did you find out about that?” He couldn’t see the Marauders sharing one of their major secrets openly with anyone.

On the other hand, he wouldn’t put it past his father either to use it as a way to impress Lily.

His red haired mother scoffed loudly. “Those idiots didn’t make it very difficult to discover. For all his research into me, Potter seemed to miss how I usually stay up late to read…and the fact that I’m neither deaf nor blind,” she explained, breaking off to muter about how stupid the guys could be. Harry waited with amused patience for her rant to end.

“Anyway, one night they came barging into the common room after everyone but me was in bed, making enough bloody noise to wake the whole damn castle. They were probably celebrating being able to find their own way back to the common room all by themselves for the first time or something, I never really bothered to ask. So, I looked up to tell them to shut the hell up, my book as really good and they were ruining it, but they weren’t there. Then next second they were, just appeared out of nowhere in front of the fire. After that they had to tell me it was the cloak. Though, I did get some fun out of annoying Potter for a change,” she finished with a mischievously evil grin.

Harry wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when she’d finished. There were times, usually at the parts where she was raving about the Marauders, that she’d been speaking so fast he’d barely understood, but in that one story he’d learned so much more about his Mum’s life that he felt a painful grip on his heart.

How could he keep doing this? Well the how he didn’t know, but he would definitely keep it up he knew for sure. He wanted to…no, more than that, he needed to. He felt a hunger inside him now that had been set loose at the first glimpse of his parents that was now ravished for every speck of information it could ear up in the time he had.

“I bet Dad was happy you were paying some attention to him thought,” Harry said.

“Well he did seem to be too happy about it at times, considering he was in danger of breaking the “Marauder Code of Honour” or whatever it is they keep talking about,” Lily said with a grimace as though talking about the Marauders caused a bad taste in her mouth.

Silence fell between the boy and his mother as they continued to circle the grounds.

“So tell me about me as a Mum. Am I a good one?” Lily asked eventually, reluctant and curious about the subject all in the one. She liked the idea of being a mother, and Harry was a great kid who she could find herself loving and being proud of. It was just the fact that he was so obviously James Potter’s son that as so off-putting.

Harry stared off into the distance, trying not to let his pain show as he answered; “You’re the best.”

“Really?” Lily seemed cheered. “I’m not one of those horribly narky mothers who doesn’t let you do anything?” she asked with a smile. She had an odd feeling she didn’t get much say in what Harry did at times, and not because he just didn’t listen to her or something. No, because he had no say in most of it himself.

Harry smiled, but he couldn’t keep himself from letting a sad slant slip into it. “No, you just don’t like me to get hurt.”

If only she knew the measures she’d go to to keep him alive, the things she did for him. He felt, not for the first time since she’d arrives, a blazing need to warn her of that Halloween night when her life would end pitifully early. But he curtailed it as he had before. He couldn’t tell her not to save him. Merlin only knew the consequences it would cause.

But the feeling of guilt wouldn’t be washed away so easily.

“Which probably happens a lot anyway, given some of the things you’ve done, right?” Lily said with a kind smile. She was quiet for a minute as a frown creased her brow. “I still don’t understand all that though.”

“What?” Harry asked puzzled as they walked on.

“Why Voldemort is so interested in you. Why you’re the one who has to fight him. I know you explained it a little, but it feels like you’re leaving something out,” she mused almost to herself. But then she looked up and held Harry’s gaze. “Something important.”

Harry had to force himself to breath as his seventeen year old mother stared at him. There were plenty of important things he was holding back on he wanted to say. But could she know what they were? Could he tell her?

Well, he knew the one thing he definitely couldn’t reveal to her, it was fairly obvious. But could he answer her question about why Voldemort was so keen to dispose of him? If he edited the tale about the prophecy to leave out the part were Voldemort killed her and his Dad, were would the harm be?

Nowhere, he hoped because he had a burning desire to talk to his mother about everything that was happening to him and why, to pour his heart out to the one woman who would understand. And he wasn’t sure it would stay blazing safely for much longer.

Why was it so complicated to do something as easy as talk to his own mother, no matter the odd state of circumstances that had brought her here? Couldn’t anything ever go simply for Harry Potter?

“There was a prophecy,” he began heavily. “The Divination teacher who works here now made it. It said that a child would be born at the end of July who would be the one with the power to kill Voldemort.”

“And he…Voldemort…he found out?” Lily asked unsteadily. She never put a whole lot of pass on Divination usually as a subject, but she knew the business of prophecies wasn’t to be taken quite so lightly.

Harry nodded and Lily listened absorbedly as he recounted the tale of Snape overhearing half the prophecy and passing it on to his master, herself and James hiding with Harry when they became targets, feeling a pang of sadness at the faith of her old friends Frank and Alice, and finally the attack.

“Your Secret Keeper gave you away to Voldemort and he found us. But when he tried to kill me so the prophecy wouldn’t come true his spell rebounded on him and he lost all his powers. He vanished until three years ago,” Harry finished, vastly editing the end of the tale.

“Do you know who our Secret Keeper was?” Lily asked after a few minutes. She wasn’t sure how to react to the story Harry had just told her, she’d have to do a lot of thinking about it later. Part of her wanted to cry at the sorrow of the tale and hug Harry tightly to her. But she also wanted to scream in fury and hunt down Snape, Voldemort and every other bastard who dared to hurt her son.

Her maternal instincts were developing rapidly.

Harry kept his eyes trained away from Lily, as they had been for the last while, and shook his head. “No, I was never told.”

He wanted so badly to tell her about Peter, more badly than ever now that he had finally let down some of the walls between them. But now that he had, he wanted them all to vanish. He wanted to save his Mum from her horribly early death and be able to be close to her without it constantly hanging over his head.

But he couldn’t, and so he wouldn’t.

Lily just nodded slowly. She was about to suggest they find out so when she went back o her time she would choose someone different, but she stopped herself just in time as she saw the tortured yet resolved look on Harry’s features. She couldn’t interfere she knew now. She couldn’t change anything that was to happen, or already had for her son. This was his path to follow now, and all she could do was stick by him as he went down it.

She was shocked to find tears pricking her eyes and struggled to hold them back. Was it just the water in her own eyes or did tears seem to be swimming in Harry’s also?

Maybe they’d had enough of this for now? She’d certainly been given enough to think on for a while, until there next “meeting”.

“Do me and your father really love each other?” Lily wasn’t stupid, she saw the way Harry looked at her and James longingly and with such tortured happiness. Was she hurting him so much by her apparent hatred of James? She didn’t wan to be the one to be causing Harry any more pain, but she couldn’t see how she could grow fond enough of James to take it away.

Harry smiled sadly again as he wiped his threatening tears away before Lily saw them and grew suspicious. Crying was stupid, it would change nothing he told himself. This was the way it had to be.

“Yes. You were the happiest couple in history. Everybody says so,” he said.

Lily missed or didn’t pay much notice to the reference to the past as she was deep in thought again. Happy? Really truly happy as Mrs. James Potter? Could it happen? How could it happen?

Maybe this wasn’t a good road to be taking either? She liked it better to be talking about Harry’s life instead of her questionable role in it.

“Are you really going to do it?” she asked instead, changing topic again as her brain reeled with all the new information. “I mean, are you going to go with what the prophecy says? Do you want to be the Chosen One and search for a way to kill him?”

Did he want to? Nobody had ever bothered to ask him that before.

But he couldn’t delude himself into thinking it was a question of want. He didn’t have that luxury. “I don’t have a choice. I’m the only one who can do it, I can’t just sit back and ignore it because it’s not the way I’d choose for things to be.”

Lily paused for a minute and said quietly; “That sounds like a lonely way to live.”

Not hard. Not heroic. Not brave. Lonely. How did this woman, this girl really, who had known him only a few short days manage to pick out the one word he would use to describe his life?

“If I’m alone no one can get hurt because of me,” he muttered defensibly. He wasn’t sure he liked having someone who could read him so easily.

Lily wanted to answer; “Or so you can’t be hurt by them”, but knew Harry would just shut down instantly if she did. She’d been here long enough to know that. So instead she took it a different ay and said; “Is that why you don’t want anyone to help you? Because you don’t want to feel responsible if me, or Ron, or Hermione…Or Ginny to get hurt?”

Harry was ready to argue in response as he usually did o those who brought this up with him, but he couldn’t bring himself to feel annoyed at Lily. He just nodded.

“Why? Because you love them?” she pressed softly.

“Because I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s death!” he quipped angrily almost without thought. His heart froze mid-beat. Had he just given himself away?

“Anyone else?” Lily whispered, pausing for a moment that made Harry unable to breath. What if she found out? What would happen if she knew about her and James? And Sirius?

He saw Lily’s eyes ignite in understanding, like a light had been turned on in her head to let her see all the pieces of the puzzle at long last.

Well, they were pieces of one puzzle, just not the one Harry feared most.

“That’s how he died, isn’t it?” Lily breathed. “Dumbledore died when you were out looking for a Horcrux.” She didn’t phrase it as a question, she knew she’d got it right. No wonder he was so closed off about it, Lily thought.

Harry was stunned when she spoke, almost wishing she had guessed what he’d been dreading. This wasn’t much better. Dumbledore’s death was still all too fresh in his mind. As was all the guilt of it.

But he guessed he had to tell the truth. She would find out, he knew that right well. If she could a big secret out of the Marauders, what hope did the Boy-Who-Lived have against her?

“Not exactly. We were out trying to get a Horcrux, but the castle was under attack by Death Eaters when we got back. Dumbledore was already weak from fighting the curse on the Horcrux and he…he used his last bit of strength to save me,” Harry chocked out, emotionless until the end. He could see again the spell connecting with that brilliant man and his body tumbling backwards to the ground. He couldn’t look at his mother as he explained how the Headmaster’s move to protect him had cost him his life.

Not the first to do so, Harry thought bitterly. He really doubted whether the world was better off with him at the expense of so many great witches and wizards.

Lily felt another wave of sympathy for the teenage boy. He had so much to deal with (some of the worst parts she didn’t even know) and he wasn’t making it any easier on himself.

“You can’t blame yourself for that, Harry. I know Dumbledore wouldn’t,” Lily began slowly. “And you can’t just lock yourself away from the world either. You need to have a life, with friends and family…and maybe someone to love.” Lily Evans wasn’t very subtle under pressure.

Harry sighed, for once not thrilled about having a motherly pep-talk. “You mean Ginny.” It hadn’t escaped his notice how much time his Mum and his ex-girlfriend spent together. Nothing about Ginny escaped him.

Lily shrugged. “She does love you, Harry. And you can’t tell me this arrangement the two of you have is working for you either. I know I can’t tell you what to do, but it wouldn’t kill you to let some happiness into your life. They won’t always end like Dumbledore, Harry. And whether they’re by your side or not, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and all the rest of them will be involved in this war one way or another. I’m sure you’d much rather have happy memories of them than just knowing you’d shut them out because you were afraid. Just give it some thought, please?”

Harry didn’t know what he could say so he just nodded. It was still dangerous, still stupid to think about…so why did it feel less so when Lily said it? Was it because she’d hit the nail on the head by how much he regretted never having time with his parents? Or because he was desperate for his mother to be in his life that he trusted her so completely?

“I’ll try,” he said so quietly Lily barely caught it. But she did, and she gave a little smile that the answer hadn’t been wholly negative. She also couldn’t help feeling a glow of pride that her first attempt at talking to Harry about this had been somewhat successful.

Maybe she could really grow up to be the mother of this astonishing boy?

Silence fell more thickly between the two this time, both given so much to think about by the other. Lily looked over at Harry intently. Despite everything he had revealed to her this evening, she couldn’t shake the suspicion that there was something more. A piece of the puzzle her instincts told her he was holding back, the thing to tie it all together.

But what?

Before she could break their growing silence to ask, it was done for her by a loud yell erupting behind them.

“Hey, Harry, Evans! Fancy meeting you two down here! What a coincidence!”

Lily groaned loudly and resisted the urge to bolt immediately to safety for fear of hurting Harry’s feelings. But she couldn’t suppress her annoyance. Nothing with the Marauders was ever a coincidence.

“Yeah right, Potter. Have you been following us?” she asked suspiciously. She wouldn’t put it past him and Black, she was fairly sure he’d done it before…and she did not like the look of those smug grins.

“My dear Flower Petal, you insult me! I would never do such a sneaking thing as that!” James proclaimed as though he was highly affronted. Lily gave a snort of disgust and Harry tried to hide a smile. “We just thought it would be a lovely evening for a little healthy stroll around the grounds before bed. Didn’t we, lads?”

Sirius and Remus, who were standing on either side of James, nodded firmly.

“Can we join you?” Sirius asked politely, but Lily knew that wouldn’t last long.

There was no way she was sticking around for this.

“Join all you want, I’m going to bed. See you later, Harry,” Lily said quickly, already feeling she’d been with them too long, and strode off towards the castle.

“Hey, don’t we get a goodbye, Evans?” Sirius called after her.

Lily didn’t turn or make a comment, just kept up her pace towards the massive double doors. She did feel guilty about leaving Harry so abruptly, even more so for leaving him in the company of the Marauders, but she was sure he’d forgive her.

Besides, his birth might have been put in serious jeopardy if she stayed any longer. Can’t be born if his father was killed by his mother when he was seventeen now could he?

“Merlin help me,” she prayed anyway as she reached the safety of Hogwarts Entrance Hall and went inside.

Back down at the lake, Harry Potter still stood with the three Marauders after his mother entered the castle.

“You know something, Harry,” James said. “If you weren’t my son, and she wasn’t your mother, I’d have to punch you for being out here with her.”

“he’s always been a little over-protective of her, even though he has no reason what so ever,” Remus said as Harry laughed.

“I have a reason! She’s my wife! She has no business going off gallivanting with strange young men. It’s my job to protect her,” James objected.

“She wasn’t your wife when you broke David Scott’s nose a year ago for smiling at her,” Sirius laughed.

“He wasn’t just smiling, he had other intentions. I was just informing him they were inappropriate before he had a chance to do anything,” James defended, muttering to himself about stupid big-nosed prats trying to hustle in on his territory.

Harry, Sirius and Remus all laughed. What else could they do? Plus, it was funny.

“What are you doing down here anyway? Are you really out for a “healthy walk”?” Harry asked, not fooled for a moment by his Dad’s pathetic attempt to hood-wink Lily.

Sirius laughed again. “What do you think, Harry? Prongs here saw Lily-Fair down here under the tree when we were heading back to the common room - how he actually spots hr is beyond me, his Lily-radar is quite freaky at times. Anyway, he tried to make a run for it down to er…surprise her, but Ron and Hermione held us up. Poor Prongs started to get very paranoid that his Lily princess was down here meeting some random knight-boy,” Sirius laughed evilly. Harry was fairly sure his godfather hadn’t been too good about helping to rid James of those fears.

“So what was she doing down here with you anyway? What were you two talking about?” James asked curiously of his son.

Harry, not wanting to do a double-take of the conversation about the darker points of his life right now, shrugged. “Nothing much. Just, you know, general things.”

But James Potter was not one to be so easily led astray and satisfies. “Ok, more to the point, did she mention me at all in these general discussions?”

Harry grinned. “Once or twice,” he said honestly, not thinking of the hours of torture he’s just subjected his mother to with one small statement.

James looked ecstatic, almost like he was hearing again for the first time about marrying her. “Oh yeah! I knew it!”

But Remus, who was grinning too, turned to Harry and asked; “What exactly was she saying about him?” He wasn’t deluded enough to imagine some of the things James was picturing. His friend faltered in his celebrations momentarily.

“Well, she was telling me how she found out about the Invisibility Cloak, and how she got her revenge trying to get you to tell her.” He didn’t think he needed to mention the other time Lily had brought James up in conversation, it would just cause an unnecessary headache for her later.

James grimaced at the memory. “She’s one determined woman when she sets her mind to it.” That week was the only time James didn’t want to be around Lily, and she had made it her job to be near him as much as possible. How someone could be so extraordinarily persistent was beyond him! (Needless to say, he never thought to think of himself).It was a nightmare.

Especially because, in the end, he’d lost and had to give in. And James Potter was not a good loser.

“Now you know how she feels every single day of her life when you’re following her around like a puppy,” Remus laughed.

“I do not follow her like a puppy. That makes me sound so…girly,” James protested, defending his manhood.

“Yeah, Moony, he’s not like a puppy…at least the dog would have more sense. Plus, we dogs are much cuter,” Sirius tittered.

“Hey! When did this become pick-on-James evening?” Harry’s dad objected. “I thought we were talking about Lily?”

“No, Prongs, you were talking about her. As usual. We, however, decided to move on to more important matters,” Sirius told him, his mocking smile still firmly set in his lips. It never seemed to leave them, Harry noticed.

“Like why Harry was out here in the first place,” Remus suggested, looking at Harry curiously to drag him back from his humorous musings.

“I was just out for a walk with Ron and Hermione,” he answered truthfully.

“To talk about something that couldn’t be risked being overheard?” Remus pressed. Harry sighed. The young Remus Lupin was just as observantly all-knowing as his older replica. It wasn’t such a good thing all the time when the power was used against him.

But Harry nodded in any case, having reached his quota for lying and half-truths for the night. “You could say that.”

“Is that what you were talking to Evans about too?” James questioned.

Again, all Harry could do was nod. “A little bit, yeah.”

Sirius looked outraged. “Oh what, do we’re the only ones not being filled in on this new super-secret information? Why are you keeping us in the dark now, mister? Are we not good enough for you? Huh?”

Harry wanted to laugh at Sirius calling him “mister” but the repeat of this dreaded conversation for the third time in one night was really killing his good mood vibes.

“I’m not keeping you in the dark about anything. There’s nothing new going on.”

“Nothing at all? You have no plans yet?” James asked after a pause, sounding surprisingly sympathetic.

Harry looked up at his father, or soon-to-be anyway, and paused only a moment before answering honestly; “Well, we’ve decided to start by looking in Dumbledore’s office for anything that might help.”

The three Marauders glanced at each other apprehensively as though seeking to remind themselves of the sensitive subject they were entering.

It was James who spoke first in the end. “Sounds good to me. Let us know when you’re going, we could help.”

“Yeah, Dumbledore is sure to have a hell of a lot of junk to go through. Besides, three extra heads are sure to be helpful,” Sirius said.

“Well, more like two extra heads,” Remus said with a grin, “since Padfoot really doesn’t count as having a fully functioning brain.”

Sirius gave a loud theatrical sob. “Why must you keep questioning my intelligence, Moony? It hurts me deep!” Sirius cried, sounding as though he had been emotionally and mentally crushed.

But the other Marauders, in their own true Maraudering fashion, didn’t buy a word of it. They both broke out in snorting laughter.

“I’m not questioning your intelligence, Padfoot,” Remus said, trying to keep a straight face. “I’m just pointing out you lack of it.”

James and Remus, now joined by Harry, broke into another gale of laughter as they walked on, Sirius pouting along beside them.

Harry just thought they’d been successfully put off track and he was safe when James turned to him again, his face serious.

“I mean it though, Harry. We’ll help you with this. Anything you find out, or anything we can do just tell us.”

Harry smiled at his Dad, more grateful for the offer than he could really show. He couldn’t tell them just how much he’d wished over the years that he could have his Dad by his side to get through this with. And now he had. He couldn’t convey this to James, however, without giving away the fact that he didn’t have a father in this time. All he could find to say was; “Thanks, James.”

As an after thought, he added; “You know, Lily might like you a bit more if you acted more like this around her.”

Harry was hoping his Dad would keep up his mature stance and agree with him, or say he wanted to make Lily see the best in him…or something relatively along those lines. What he actually got was nowhere near the mark.

“You mean she already likes me a little?!” James Potter exclaimed, grinning gleefully.

Sirius and Remus groaned as though a baby they had spent hours trying to get to sleep had just woken up again.

“That’s not what he’s saying, Prongs,” Sirius said, hanging his head like he was wondering what he’d ever done to deserve this torture.

“Yes it is. Harry said Lily might like me a bit more if I acted more seriously. So, if that would make her like me more, then she obviously likes me a little already!” James explained triumphantly.

Remus shook his head. “You really don’t get the point he’s trying to make, Prongs.”

But James’ spirits were not to be dampened by “real meanings”. He grinned on. “Of course I do, Moony. You seem to be the one missing the point. Can’t you see how wonderful this is? It’s such a massive break-through! She never liked me at all before, but now she’s admitted to Harry that she does! It’s all so perfect!”

He was like a dog with a bone; he’s seen the value of it and there was no way he was dropping it.

Harry cringed at the nightmare he had just made of his mother’s life. Any chance James wouldn’t mention it to her?

But Sirius, obviously not bothering to even try correct his friend, wasn’t following Harry’s wishes.

“Well then, why don’t we go up to the common room now and tell her how you know all about her love for you?” he suggested mischievously.

“You’re right, Padfoot” Let’s go,” James agreed instantly, grinning like a maniac. If Harry hadn’t been here the whole time he would have thought someone had put a spell on James to make him act like this. But no, this was just his regular reaction to Lily. Lucky for everyone else…

“Off we go!” Sirius encouraged as the two of them took off at a brisk walk towards the castle, Remus and Harry following on quickly behind them in an attempt to keep up.

“Why did Sirius do that? He knows Lily will kill him,” Harry said.

Remus smiled and gave a shrug. “Who knows why Sirius does anything? He gets a laugh out of watching James and Lily fight I guess…and it’s one of the few occasions he doesn’t have to listen to him talk about her for a while.”

Harry groaned, already picturing how his mother would react. “Any chance we can stop him?”

“Not a hope,” Remus answered promptly, grinning broadly now. “Should be interesting though.”

The smile was infectious and Harry couldn’t stop himself grinning as he followed his crazy Dad and godfather through the huge wooden doors and into the Entrance Hall.

But the face he encountered when he stepped inside made it slide from his lips.

It was Ginny.

Remus, glancing quickly at Harry to make sure he hadn’t done a runner or anything, turned to the red haired girl in their path. “Hey, Ginny.”

“Hey, Remus. Hi, Harry,” Ginny said, smiling politely.

Avoiding catching her eye, Harry said quietly; “Hi, Ginny.”

Sensing the tension, Remus decided to intervene. “Are you going to the common room, Ginny? You don’t want to miss the hassle those two are going to cause poor Lily.”

Ginny smiled again and shook her head. “Actually, I was just heading out for a walk before I went to bed. Maybe Lily sensed the trouble coming though and decided to get rid of all the witnesses. She’s the one who suggested I get some air.”

Remus nodded and cast a glance up the stairs at his friends’ retreating backs with a grin. He didn’t want to miss the fun. “Alright then, enjoy yourself. ‘Night, Ginny.”

“Goodnight, Remus. ‘Night, Harry.”

Harry then made a split second decision that he wasn’t sure he’d regret or not. He knew Ginny coming down here now for a walk was no coincidence - she had pretty much just hung his mother. But something twigged in him that maybe he should give his mother’s advice a shot.

Maybe it would pay off.

“Mind if I join you, Ginny?”

Ginny and Remus (obviously distracted from the drama unfolding upstairs by this new top-priority episode) turned to stare at him in surprise. At least he could still turn on the shock every now and then, he hadn’t lost it. Harry tried to remain calm as they looked at him in wonder and refrain from saying “Never mind, I’ll just head to bed”. It was Ginny who recovered first.

“I don’t mind,” she said, not entirely sure what else she could say. Surprised was not enough to describe how she felt right now. But on top of that there was something more. Was it fear or excitement? Good or bad?

Guess she’d just have to wait and see.

“Ok then, I’ll see you both later,” Remus said, before making his way up the staircase. He too was a little stunned by Harry’s unsuspected act of warmth towards Ginny, and it took all his non-Marauder will power to walk away and not follow them. He was happy for Harry, and a little proud that he was doing the right thing.

This was proving to be an interesting night.

Meanwhile, Harry caught up with Ginny as the two of them headed out towards the grounds. Neither of them said anything as they strolled towards the lake and Harry began to regret his rather hasty decision. What was the point of doing this, he wondered? Other than to torture himself by being so close to her, he couldn’t see where his fleeting logic had come from.

He chanced a glance at her, hoping she wouldn’t notice. She was staring at the grass under her feet, her long red hair blowing slightly in the night breeze, and a little frown creasing her forehead and pouting her lips. She didn’t look happy. And it was his fault.

He would say something, talk to her. Take Lily’s advice and not shut her out. Yes, he could do that. This “walk and talk” thing had worked pretty well over-all during the rest of the night, it would be the same now. Yes, he would do it.

But when he looked at her again his new resolve faded. What if Lily was wrong? What if letting Ginny back into his life wasn’t for the best? He couldn’t picture her getting hurt, or dying and never getting to see that beautiful face again. It was just too horrible. No, he couldn’t risk that.

“It wouldn’t kill you to let some happiness into your life…you’ve much rather have happy memories of them than just knowing you shut them off”. Lily’s pep-talk from earlier came back to him and he made his mind up. He wasn’t sure if he was right or wrong, but he didn’t want something to happen to Ginny (even if he took every measure to prevent it) and have nothing to remember her by, like what had happened with his parents. Especially because he had a choice this time.

What he was going to say stumped him though. Fortunately for him he didn’t have to worry over coming up with a neutral topic that would not lead to awkwardness. Ginny came to rescue a moment later, either by seeing the confusion on his face or her own determination not to waste this time.

“So what was the “drama” Remus was talking about?” she asked.

Harry permitted himself a smile - he’d almost forgotten about the chaos James was sure to be causing right about now. “Well, James kind of got the impression that Lily likes him into his head. He’s off to tell her about it.”

“How on earth did he get that idea?” Ginny asked, a tiny smile on her lips.

“He…He may have picked it up from something I said,” Harry admitted.

“What did you say?” Ginny’s smile was growing now, letting herself loosen the caution that had surrounded her at Harry’s request to go on the walk with her. Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as she thought…

“I said that maybe Lily would like him a bit more if he was more serious around her. Unfortunately he focused on the “bit more” part instead of the serious part. After that he ran off claiming Lily was already in love with him,” Harry explained, grinning widely.

Ginny’s laugh echoed around the grounds, making Harry’s heart stop momentarily. It had been so long since he’d heard it.

“Sounds like James alright. Poor Lily!” she laughed, shaking her head.

“Yeah, she’ll probably curse him or something,” Harry said.

“Makes you wonder how they’re ever going to get married when they’re like this now.”

Harry nodded. He’d been wondering the same thing. This was the year James and Lily were meant to get together. But so far Lily was showing no signs of warming to her future boyfriend/husband. It was beginning to look like Sirius’s theory of Lily being put under a spell might just pan out.

“Has anyone found a way for them to go home yet?” Ginny asked attentively, not sure how much she could ask, if anything, before Harry told her to stop. But she was pleasantly surprised when he answered her.

“Not yet as far as I know. McGonagall and Professor Lupin are meant to be working on it but they haven’t come up with anything yet.”

Ginny nodded, then dared to push her luck enough to ask; “So what are they going to do while they’re here? Are they going to help you?”

Harry fought against a sigh, not wanting to make Ginny angry. He supposed now he had been reaching a bit too far to hope that this topic wouldn’t come up.

“I guess so.”

Ginny nodded her head again and looked down at the ground moving away under her feet. She wanted to scream and yell that it wasn’t fair she was the only one being left in the dark, but she didn’t. She wouldn’t let Harry see her like that anymore, she vowed. No matter how strongly she felt or how much she was hurt, she could be calm, in control. She’d let him see she was capable of dealing with anything by coping with this, by acting mature and not like a baby.

“Why can’t I then?” she asked quietly but firmly, glancing up at him. He wasn’t looking at her.

“It’s so dangerous, Ginny. I just don’t want you to be hurt,” Harry said, pleading with her to understand and let it go.

But Ginny’s new mature attack strategy didn’t involve letting go of anything.

“I know, Harry. I know how dangerous the war is, I’m not an idiot. But there’s still a chance I could get hurt even if you leave me here and ignore me,” she said calmly, unknowingly echoing Lily’s same sentiment from not too long before. “I just don’t want to be left in the dark all the time.”

Harry took a deep breath. “I don’t like doing this to you, Ginny,” he said sadly. “But there’s no other choice.”

Ginny couldn’t help it and mumbled; “There could be if you really wanted one.”

Harry sighed. “It’s not as easy as wanting to, Ginny, you know that. I’d have things different if I could, believe me. I don’t want to be the Chosen One, I don’t want to leave you or bring anyone with me. But that’s just the way it is.”

Ginny wanted to cry and yell at the same time. Why did he have to keep saying he was leaving her? The Harry she knew was already gone and had been since Dumbledore’s funeral…but this Harry was making it sound like her one was never coming back. Like she couldn’t have him back when this was all over. That couldn’t be though, Ginny was adamant. She wanted him back.

But as Harry had just pointed out; you didn’t always get what you wanted.

“So you’re really going to do it?” she asked to try distract herself. “You’re going to track Him down? Kill Him?”

That was twice in one night Ginny had sounded like Lily, and Harry wasn’t sure it was a good thing. He couldn’t compete with two of them battering with about it. If this kept up he might actually start agreeing with them, and he definitely couldn’t afford that.

He wasn’t too happy she kept asking about this but he guessed it was to be expected. Maybe Lily was right that completely shutting Ginny out wasn’t the way to go…But neither would be to suddenly start telling her everything. There had to be a safe road…but Ginny was making it shockingly difficult to find.

“Yes,” he said heavily. “I have to.”

Ginny paused for a moment, trying to judge how far she was pushing him, before she asked; “Can…Can you talk about what you’re going to do?”

Harry stalled, not wanting to give anything away or squash all hopes of talking to Ginny ever again. “I’m not sure what to do at the minute,” he said with hesitant truth. “But if I did, I don’t think it would be safe to talk about it.”

There was that word again; safe. Her safety, that was all that mattered. He didn’t seem to care how much he hurt her himself once no one else could. What sort of messed up twisted logic was that?!

Ginny took a deep breath, trying to calm herself before her emotional temper destroyed everything. Damn red hair, you couldn’t trust it!

“Why did you come out here with me, Harry?” she asked, pausing in her tracks to look up at his face.

Harry stopped too, looking confused. “What do you mean?”

“Why did you bother coming out here with me if you’re not going to talk to me? Is it jus another mind-game you’re playing or something? Because I think we’ve been doing enough of them lately.”

“No, it was nothing like that. I’m not playing games with you, Ginny.”

“Then why?”

Harry sighed, finally looking down at her face, her brown eyes immediately capturing him in their enchantment. Oh how much he’d give to just stay looking into them forever and forget everything else. But, of course, that was impossible.

“I just wanted to talk to you again. I don’t want to cut you completely out of my life anymore, Gin,” he told her.

“But then why won’t you-” she started but Harry cut her off.

“I can’ tell you about the Voldemort stuff for the same reason I always couldn’t; it’s too risky for you. But cutting you out all the time when we came back to Hogwarts was impossible. You were everything,” Harry said, blinking a small smile at her. “I thought maybe we could compromise.”

Ginny stared up at him, now towering a fair few inches over her. She didn’t know what to say. How exactly could she respond to that? In a way it was just what she wanted, but at the same time it was all wrong. She was fairly certain this compromise would be void of any romantic action and he’d already stated her involvement in his heroic war duties was non-existent. So where exactly did that leave her? Was she just going to be something he picked up and put down every now and then to keep his guilt at bay? She wasn’t sure she’d even be stretched to be called a friend because friends weren’t left out of such huge vital chapters of their lives.

“What made you change your mind?” she asked, trying to keep the vibration of her hammering heart out of her voice.

Harry glanced up at the windows that belonged to Gryffindor Tower and sighed. “I just had some sense knocked into me.”

Ginny followed his gaze and the meaning behind his words clicked into place. Lily. He’d talked to Lily, it was the only viable explanation. He hadn’t listened to Hermione, or Ron…or her. It made sense that the one to get him to see straight was his mother, and she was glad that he’d been given the opportunity for it to happen.

But she couldn’t help but feel a little gutted that he hadn’t discovered it himself out of his feelings for her. What were his feelings for her now anyway? She wasn’t sure anymore. He seemed to be changing them on a daily basis.

“Gin? Are you ok?” Harry asked worriedly, reaching out his hand cautiously to touch her shoulder. At the contact, his first with her in many months, it felt likes sparks had shot up his arm. He withdrew his hand swiftly. He couldn’t go that far, not now.

Ginny looked up again, drawing herself back to earth, realising she must have zoned out. Harry was looking at her with concern but his eyes were guarded.

Looks like that romance question was answered.

“So what’s going to happen, Harry? You’re going to say hello to me in the hall and sit at the same table for breakfast, is that it?” she asked, turning again towards the water.

“What are you talking about, Ginny?” Harry asked, genuinely confused.

“I’m talking about what I’m meant to do, Harry. What’s going to happen to me. I don’t want to be a tiny piece of your life that you’re just holding on to for an odd friendly chat. I don’t want to be with you one minute and shut out the next when something more important comes along. I definitely don’t want to be left to wonder about what’s happening, to be left by myself and know nothing. I don’t want to be used like that, Harry. I won’t be,” Ginny said. Her voice was steady but her whole body shook.

Harry was silenced by shock and confusion. He had finally admitted he couldn’t go on without Ginny in his life, and now she was saying…well, he wasn’t sure what she was saying.

“I can’t just flicker into your life, Harry. I can’t live like that. I’m not just going to sit on the sidelines while you go off, worry myself sick and then smile nicely whenever you look my way. I can’t do it.”

“I’m not asking you to do that, Ginny. I just…” Harry trailed off, not knowing himself anymore what he was trying to do. Whatever he did he couldn’t seem to get it right.

“You’re just what, Harry?” Ginny asked bitingly, turning her blazing eyes back to him. “Don’t say you’re trying to protect me because I’m really getting tired of that line.”

He had wanted to keep things civil between them tonight, to get through a conversation with her without it turning into a shouting match. But his efforts seemed to be in vain. His temper was bubbling.

“But I am trying to protect you! Merlin, Ginny, why can’t you see that? You have no idea how hard all this is for me, and you sure as hell aren’t making it any easier for me,” Harry burst.

Ginny glared up at him. “You’ve no idea how hard this is on me, Harry. None! And what’s worse is you don’t seem to care either. I know what you have to do, Harry, I get it, ok. But you’re the one who’s making everything harder for yourself. If you’d just let me in, let someone get inside that thick head of yours to help you, it would be a hell of a lot easier for everyone.”

“I’m not here to make things easy for anyone. I’m here to kill Voldemort and I won’t let anyone get killed in the process just because I wanted someone to talk to! Definitely not you!” Harry shouted in return.

Ginny glared into those emerald eyes she loved so much, her fury and devastation at having yet another argument with Harry flowing through her. “No one’s going to die, Harry. Not unless you drive them to do it themselves with your pig-headed stubbornness!”

Harry didn’t respond. The couple stood there, breathing heavily from their argument yet never breaking the eye contact between them. The amount of energy buzzing in the air was colossal. If it could be harnessed into a spell then Voldemort would be dead as a doornail in a flash, along with all his wishy-washy Death Eaters.

Needless to say however, it would not take a detective to figure out the cause of all the hassle was a little four letter word that could tear the world apart and put it back together all in the one.

These two were just at the tearing stage.

Ginny was the first to look away this time, unable to stay dry-eyed after looking at him for so long. “We should go back. It’s late,” she said simply before setting off in front of him, directly avoiding his gaze now.

Harry sighed and shook his head, trying to rid himself of the circus of frustration, love, fury and pure adoration that were causing havoc in his mind as he watched Ginny go ahead of him.

“Just walk it off, Harry,” he told himself. “Just walk it off.”


Hey everyone! Long time no see I know, I hold my hand up for that one it’s all my fault. I’ve been drawing a complete blank on all my stories for the last while and it got me so annoyed that I just gave up trying to write them (really really sorry about that!). But I’m back now, hope you all won’t boycott me now or something ‘cause of how terrible I’ve been!

I’m on holidays in France at the minute (amazing place I tell you) and I’m writing with a vengeance. So I wrote this nice long chapter for you all as an apology…sorry it isn’t the best or most interesting in the world. This is a difficult story to write; it’s putting a world we know really well with a world we know a lot about and trying to get them to blend. Complicated stuff, which is why it will probably be full of chapters like this that just seem to waffle. Sorry about that, but there is a point behind all my ramblings I promise you!

Anyway, as I said, I’ve been writing a lot during my holidays so there will be plenty of updates coming on the old stories and even a few new ones emerging. Hope you’ll read them and tell me what you think! Thanks again if you’re reading this for sticking around!

See you again soon, guarantee it! Love Irish_Ginny = )