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James found himself in a room that resembled a classroom at Hogwarts, minus the desks and chairs. He was quite alone, he realized, and he couldn’t see any door to let himself out.

He didn’t know why he was alone. If he was stuck in this room with no way to get out, how was he supposed to find Lily and Harry. He needed a way to find Lily and Harry.

As soon as the thought crossed his mind, a door opened to his left and he hurriedly rushed through it. This room looked strangely like their living room in Godric’s Hollow and, it too, was empty. He let out a sigh of frustration. Where was Lily?

Just like that, Lily popped into existence in the middle of the room, as if she had apparated there. She was wearing her favorite charcoal grey robes, something that she definitely had not had on when Voldemort had entered the house.

James rushed over and pulled her into a bone crushing hug.

“James? Where are we? Why are we alone?” she asked, worry lining her voice. “Where’s Harry? He should have been right behind me.”

Before James could even begin to process that thought, a very familiar voice reached his ears.

“James? Lily? Oh, dears, we hoped we wouldn’t see you here for a long long time!” James’ mum and dad stood in front of them. James immediately let go of Lily to give his parents a hug. He had not seen them in two years and they definitely did not look like they had when they had passed of an unknown magical illness. They looked twenty years younger.

“Mum! Dad!” James exclaimed, letting Lily have a turn at hugging her in laws as well. “What are you doing here? Where are we?”

“We’re here to tell you your options,” his dad explained. “You have two.”

“What are they?” Lily asked timidly. As far as she and James had known, they only had to choose between going back to earth as a ghost or moving on.

“You can either move on with us,” his mum said, “or you can choose to watch over one person on earth until they pass.”

“Where do we go if we move on?” James asked, looking between his mum and dad. He had missed them so much over the years they had gone. However, he thought of Sirius, who would be left by himself now that Peter had betrayed them and Remus was always with the werewolves.

“We don’t know the exact answer,” Mrs. Potter said. “We’ve spent all our time here watching over you. Once you make your decision, we will move on.”

“But what about Harry?” Lily interrupted. “He’s only one! How will he be able to choose?”

“Lily, dear, if Harry were dead, he’d be with you already. When little ones pass they go straight to their parents, or else next relative. If he’s not here already, there’s a good chance he’s still alive.”

“But Voldemort was right there!” Lily exclaimed, obviously frustrated. James felt the same way. As much as he wanted his son to still be alive, he was worried that he was lost somewhere in the afterlife.

“If he’s not here, he’s definitely alive. I don’t know why Voldemort decided to spare him, after all, we know all about the prophecy from watching you all this time,” Mrs. Potter said.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Lily said. “Voldemort killed me. Harry was right behind me in his crib. He had nowhere to go.” Lily stopped and thought a moment. “But if he is alive, I am going right now to watch over him.”

She looked at James with a glint in her eye, as if daring him to argue. James, however, simply looked at his mum and dad.

“When will I get to see you again?” he asked.

“Hopefully not for a very long time. Harry deserves to live a long and healthy life,” Mrs. Potter said, giving her son a hug. They were both teary-eyed.

Lily also stepped in to say farewell to her in-laws.

“We love you very much,” Mrs. Potter said. “Take care of Harry.”

James grabbed Lily’s hand just as she asked, “Where do we go?”

But Mr. and Mrs. Potter were already gone. They were right that they would move on as soon as James made his decision. However, another door opened up on their left as soon as Lily was done asking her question.

James led the way, into a room that looked very similar to the Gryffindor Common Room. The only difference was that there was only one staircase instead of two. Everything else was an exact replica of his and Lily’s favorite spot at Hogwarts.

“Now, how do we get to see Harry?” James wandered aloud. The afterlife immediately gave them an answer. The fireplace melted into a screen-like area. James thought it looked a lot like the television set he had seen when he had visited Lily’s parents’ house.

There he was. Harry was wrapped tightly in a blanket, fast asleep on the lap of a very large man James knew to be Rubeus Hagrid, Gamekeeper at Hogwarts and fellow Order of the Phoenix member.

“Oh no,” Lily whimpered, moving closer to the screen. James’ stomach dropped a little as well. Harry was not securely fasted onto anything, which would have been fine if Hagrid had only been holding him. However, both Harry and Hagrid were seated on top of a flying motorcycle, cruising over the countryside below.

“Isn’t that Sirius’ bike?” Lily asked.

“I think so,” James replied. “Where is Sirius anyway? He’s Harry’s godfather Shouldn’t he be with him?”

“I’m guessing he went after Peter,” Lily hypothesized.

James immediately sank into one of the chairs by the screen with his head in his hands. He looked visibly stressed and on the verge of tears. Lily sat down next to him and put her head on his shoulder.

It was a long while before either of them spoke.

“We should have realized Peter was the spy,” James finally said. “There were signs.”

“Like what? Peter was always there for us. He was a groomsman in our wedding, he was at the hospital when Harry was born, he always took up jobs for the Order. He had everyone fooled,” Lily said. “I’m not worried about Peter. He’s a lying, conniving, scumbag. However, this happened. We’re dead.”

She said it with finality. James looked straight at her. “But we’re still together.”

“As we always will be,” Lily answered, taking James’ hand. “But we can’t worry about Peter. Our son is off to who knows where and Sirius…well, Sirius is going to be in a lot of trouble.”

“What? Why?” James asked incredulously.

“Nobody knows we switched Secret Keepers. Even Dumbledore believes Sirius was our Secret Keeper. Everyone’s going to think he sold us to Voldemort,” Lily explained.

“Well once Peter is caught, Sirius will be fine,” James said, ignoring Lily’s look. “Peter’s still out there…probably with a Dark Mark on his forearm. It won’t be hard to prove him guilty.”

Lily simply looked at her husband, unsure of his assurance.

“Sirius doesn’t have a Dark Mark,” James finished.

“I hope you’re right,” Lily whispered, watching as Hagrid began to descend. He was heading towards a neighborhood that had very neat hedges, perfectly trimmed lawns and neat houses placed meticulously side by side. It looked like a plain muggle town.

As Hagrid aimed for landing, James noticed that there were two other figures on the ground. He could not mistake either of them, as he had spent the last ten years either at Hogwarts or in the Order with them. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall stood in the middle of the darkened drive, looking up expectantly at the arriving motorbike.

“Wait...that’s where Petunia lives,” Lily muttered, her eyes wide. She grabbed James’ arm.

“Why would they take him there?” James asked. Petunia and Vernon Dursley were anything but kind to Lily and James.

Dumbledore greeted Hagrid. “And where did you get that motorcycle?

Borrow it, Professor Dumbledore, sir,” Hagrid boasted. “Young Sirius Black lent it to me…

“I knew it belonged to Sirius! He must have been at the house,” Lily said, but James just continued to stare at the screen. He was waiting for any more news of Sirius, but Hagrid only continued to explain that their house was in ruins.

As Dumbledore and McGonagall examined Harry, Lily seemed to notice something.

“What is that?” she muttered. She leaned forward to touch the screen. As soon as she touched it, she was sucked through. James saw her standing right by Harry, looking intently at their son.

He did not hesitate to touch the screen either. The feeling of falling into the scene reminded him of a Pensieve.

“What are you looking at?” James asked Lily curiously. Nobody around them took notice to the couple.

Yes, he’ll have that scar forever,” Professor Dumbledore explained. James finally saw what everybody was looking at. Upon Harry’s head was a thin, lightning bolt-shaped scar.

He waited for Dumbledore to explain what the scar was, but his old professor did not say anything else about the topic. James already hated being dead. He didn’t know what was going on. Worse, he couldn’t even ask what was going on.

Dumbledore grabbed Harry from Hagrid’s arms just as the half-giant began to sob. Lily and James followed him as he laid Harry on the porch of the Dursley’s residence. He placed a letter in Harry’s blanket and both he, Hagrid and McGonagall were gone within a minute.

“Do you think we can read it?” Lily asked. She looked at James tentatively and he shrugged.

“Might as well try,” James said as he leaned forward. To his amazement, he picked the letter up with ease. He unfolded it carefully and read aloud.

Dear Petunia Dursley,

I am sure that having young Harry show up on your doorstep this morning was the last thing you expected. Last evening, Lily and James Potter were murdered by Lord Voldemort. Their son, Harry, survived. As you are Harry’s only living relatives, I am requesting that you take care of him like your own son from here on.

I know that you and Lily never saw eye to eye when it came to our world; however, I also know that even though the two of you never got the chance to reconcile, you both loved each other very much despite your differences. Your chance to show Lily your love has come in the form of Harry. Family is the strongest form of love, Petunia. Remember that.

I do not wish to see you again, but if Harry is thrown out of your home, I will be back to convince you otherwise.

Sincerely,
Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore


James tucked the letter back into Harry’s blanket. He noticed that he could touch Harry, so he faintly outlined the lightning bolt scar with his finger. Lily noticed that James was able to touch Harry. She immediately reached below the toddler to pick him up. When she applied force to lift him, her hands went straight through the child.

That was it. Lily sat on the ground, curled up in a ball and cried.

“Harry, I’m sorry,” she whimpered. “Mum wishes she could change the world.”

The problem was…the world was already changed.

Lily and James sat on that porch until daybreak. Lily continued to cry in intervals, and although James felt just as miserable, he couldn’t shed a tear. He was shocked. Sirius was missing. Peter was a liar. Harry was forced to live with Lily’s horrid sister.

When Petunia opened the door to put the milk out and screamed like a child, James would have thought it was funny had it been any other day.

But the world had changed. Lily and he watched helplessly as their son was carried into a world that didn’t want him.



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Author's Note: Anything in italics (except the letter) was written by JK Rowling.

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