I hope this package can find you well. I apologise for detaining this in my office for quite some time, but now I can return it to you. It's rightfully yours.
This diary came into my attention during one of the raids on Mundungus Fletcher's many hideouts. There had been reports of him attempting to sell cursed items to unsuspecting wealthy Muggles to try and make a fortune out of them. This item was among the many things I had seized from his stack of stolen artefacts from Sirius' house—well, yours—at Twelve Grimmauld Place.
Don't worry, it has already been checked and cleared of all enchantments. I can safely give this diary to you, and it's just in time as a present, too.
Happy Birthday, Harry!
P.S. Please send my regards and well wishes to Ginny, and congratulations on your third child. I hope you two can bring baby Lily Luna around to visit Molly. She'll be overjoyed.
At Professor Dumbledore's request—well, it was technically an order—James and I had to abandon our old house in London, and we moved to Godric's Hollow. I remembered that it was a cold, snowy night when we Apparated at the village, after taking a roundabout route to throw off anyone who might be tailing us. The place was dead quiet; even James didn't like the eerie silence as he dragged me towards the cottage a short walk away from the cemetery.
Just as Professor Dumbledore had said, it was a humble house—two stories high with a nice slanted roof like our previous home. The house was clean and scarcely furnished; it felt as if someone would come around periodically, but they wouldn't stay here for long. I recalled someone in the Order said that the Headmaster had lived here in his youth, though she didn't go on to tell me why Professor Dumbledore never told us about his past before he became a teacher at Hogwarts. Dumbledore struck me as a very mysterious person: full of wisdom, sometimes stern, other times like a loving grandfather. It felt as if he had been through a rich, dramatic life to gain such enlightenment, such deep insight into the dark times we were living in now.
"Lily," James breathed, looking at me with those shining eyes that I loved (and hated at the same time, because it usually meant something I didn't want to hear or do). "This is brilliant. I love this house. Since we'll be living here from now on, let's do our best to make it feel like home."
"James," I could only sigh at my husband, who was already examining the grandfather clock in the living room like an excited little boy exploring the wonders in his secret base. "We still need to thank the professor properly for lending this house to us."
"I know." James rolled his eyes at me. "But we won't be able to see him often. He's getting busier especially now that Voldie has gone after us, three times to boot. The Lestranges are going after the Longbottoms. We're being targeted left and right. Dumbledore is concerned about information leaks. We can thank him later if we can all survive through this, after this war is over."
I knew a losing battle when I saw one.
I could never leave house decorations to James. Sure, he had matured splendidly after we started dating in our seventh year, and I knew that he was a man with a heart of gold, but sometimes I couldn't help feeling wary about his old habit of turning even the most mundane things in life into a stupid prank. Sometimes they were really hilarious, like the time Sirius used the joke shampoo James had sent him on his birthday and he visited us with a rainbow Afro, but other times they felt… wrong. I don't know.
"James," I almost had a shock of my life when I woke up the next day to see the horror my husband had done to our living room. "Stop, this is getting out of hand."
"What do you mean?" James pouted, gesturing his attempt to turn the room into an indoor Quidditch pitch. "We can't go out like we used to now. With the Fidelius Charm already in place, we're literally imprisoned in our house until who-knows-when."
"But…" I glanced around at the state of the living room, exasperated. "You can't fly a broom in the house. You know that, don't you?"
"This isn't for me," James paused his handiwork and turned around to face me. "This is for our future." His eyes travelled down to my middle.
I didn't know if I should be angry at his crazy antics with the room, or be happy at the suggestion we should consider having a child together.
"It'd be great if we can have enough kids to form a Quidditch team!"
Okay, now I should be angry at this Quidditch idiot. This needs to stop.
They always say that women are fickle beings. We are more emotional than men are, and our feelings burn more passionately than men could.
But I digress.
Our baby had been growing steadily well in my womb—I'm five months pregnant now—and I had been spending most of my time knitting clothes for this little one by hand. I refused to use magic even though I knew it'd be much faster. I felt a better sense of accomplishment if I could do this the hard way.
But coming back to my sentiment about the saying, how could I get emotional when there was someone else far more excited than I was?
James had stopped doing crazy things around the house ever since I was three months pregnant; instead, he was completely spoiling me by not letting me do any housework at all, and just focus on making sure our boy would grow up healthily inside me until the time comes for him to greet the world. Of course, I didn't comply at first, and I was right not to.
James was the last person I'd ever imagine who had any experience with housework.
Well, after months of practice (and taunting from Sirius whenever he came to visit us), James was so good now that he could put me, the supposed housewife, out of my job, but the first time he tried to clean the house was a disaster that I never wanted to remember.
It took us two weeks to replace every piece of furniture at home after he attempted to charm a mop to wash the floor. The mop washed literally everything—including the walls and ceilings—and almost choked us to death with bubbles in our faces. Everything smelled like lavender for at least a whole month, enough for me to hate anything lavender for a long time.
I still hate the smell of lavender, even now.
Today was a big day for James and I. Our first child, Harry, was safely born… after twenty painful hours of trying to push this stubborn little one out to meet the world.
"He looks just like me," James said, stroking the baby's cheeks. Our son giggled at the touch. That made me jealous.
"Hey," I breathed, still feeling weak from the delivery. "The mother… is always the first… to see and touch her child."
"Lily, please." James rolled his eyes at me. "He's our child. We will both take care of him together. Or are you actually jealous because Harry is a mini-replica of me?"
"I… am… not."
"He has your eyes, though," James went on, placing Harry next to my pillow. "The same lovely green eyes as yours."
When Harry's small green eyes met with my bigger ones, I couldn't help cracking a smile.
It was supposed to be a joyous day today—it was Harry's first birthday—but the situation outside our haven was grimmer than we had originally thought.
"I'm sorry, James, Lily," Sirius said, watching little Harry flying around the house on the toy broomstick—his present for our boy. "Both Voldemort and the Ministry are closing in on me, and Dumbledore suggested I should go into hiding also. This is probably the last time I can visit you two."
"We're alright, Sirius," James said, patting his best friend's back. "You should take care of yourself. As long as you're safe, we'll be safe, too."
"About that…" It was the first time I saw Sirius this hesitant. He always gave me the impression that he had a lot of self-confidence, with almost the same level of troublesome ego as James.
"I've suggested to Dumbledore to change the Secret Keeper," Sirius began, looking up at the ceiling. He seemed rather weary, as if he hadn't gotten a wink for days. "Voldemort and his Death Eaters know that I'm your butt buddy, James, and they know that I'm the person you trust most. If I continue to be your Secret Keeper, I will put your family in danger." He then turned his attention to Harry, who just fell off the toy broom and rolled around on the sofa. "For the sake of his future, I'll do whatever it takes to keep you two alive."
James sighed, flipping the back of his hair with a hand. Old habits really don't die. "But who would you suggest, then? Remus is out of the question with his werewolf thing and all… Don't tell me you want Peter to be our Secret Keeper?"
"Bingo." Sirius gave James a thumbs-up, then his grin faltered when James wasn't smiling back. "Look, I know what you're thinking, and that is exactly what Voldemort and his cronies are thinking also."
"Well, the thing is, Peter isn't nicknamed 'Wormtail' without a reason. With that skittish personality of his, he won't agree to be our Secret Keeper. He'd rather save his own skin first."
I couldn't believe my ears. "How can you say that about your friend?"
"I'm merely stating the facts," James replied, raising his eyebrows at me. "And you know that I'm right."
"I will convince him," Sirius said, standing up. "Just like I have promised you, I will do whatever it takes to keep you all alive. This is the least I can do as your bestest friend, and Harry's godfather."
I feel scared. I feel like my heart would stop any moment, but I know I can't fall yet.
I hug Harry closer to my chest.
The moment Voldemort has stepped into our house, we already know the worst had happened. Peter sold us out—Peter was the mole in the Order. He had been working as Voldemort's spy all along.
But it's too late to regret. I can only open my mouth in a silent scream when I hear a loud thud downstairs. James has fallen.
Voldemort is coming for us—for me, and for our precious son.
I know that I won't live another day to watch my child grow up, to send him to Hogwarts… to do so many other things I have dreamed of doing as a family.
This is the last time I can say this to you.
I love you, Harry. Be strong like Mum and Dad.
I love you.
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