MOMENTS: A HARRY POTTER FAN-FICTION STORY
By Danika Cooper
Word Count: 961
Rating: PG-13 for peril and violence
Summary: The legendary night of Voldemort’s attack from the POV of Lily and James.
It was a rare, quiet moment.
The fire crackled and the logs shifted in the grate, the only sound in the room besides the periodic rustle of pages turning as Lily thumbed through a book of Charms. James lay with his head pillowed comfortably in her lap, and she was absentmindedly running her fingers through his tousled dark locks as she read. He held Harry’s toy broomstick, a gift from Sirius, across his lap, turning it over and over in his well-practiced hands as he stared moodily around the deceptively cozy and comfortable room. Every so often, he would let out a frustrated, resigned sigh, a behavior Lily was steadfastly attempting to ignore. However, the distraction eventually proved too great; Lily marked her page with her thumb and glanced down at her husband’s gloomy countenance.
“Out with it,” she demanded, tapping his forehead.
Her husband did not answer her at once, but gnawed his lower lip for a moment whilst he gathered his thoughts.
“I feel so bloody useless, Lil, stuck here while our friends risk their necks on our behalf,” he said finally, lifting his glasses to massage his temples between his thumb and forefinger.
“Oh, James…” Lily’s voice bespoke her sympathy for her husband’s restlessness; she let the book drop to the arm of the couch, forgotten. “We would do the same for any of them.”
“I know,” James said, rolling to a sitting position so that he could look his wife in the eye. “But it’s maddening; no one knows how long this might go on—or if it will ever end.”
“It will end,” Lily said determinedly, her brow furrowing as though she could bring about the end of the war by sheer force of will. “You’ll see.”
James smiled tiredly and slung an arm over his wife’s shoulders. “Of course it will.”
Just as the hopeful words left his lips, a sound not unlike crackling thunder rumbled through the house, and the photos on the wall rattled in their frames. Warmth slithered from the house into the darkness of the night, and the lights flickered. James was on his feet in an instant, snatching his wand from where it lay on the coffee table.
“Was that…?” She didn’t need to finish the question; she recognized the signs of the rapidly disintegrating Fidelius Charm. She scrambled between the couch cushions for her own wand, clutching it for dear life once her trembling fingers found purchase.
James turned back to look at her, wild-eyed, the blood draining from his face. “Peter,” he whispered, his voice cracking painfully.
Tears sprang to Lily’s eyes, and she gave an involuntary shudder. She did not care to think about the circumstances under which one of their oldest and dearest friends might have been persuaded to divulge their whereabouts. Imperius? Cruciatus? He was surely dead by now.
“Lil,” her husband’s voice tore her from her thoughts, and she started. “There’s no time; we have to get out of here.”
He was right; they had moments, at best.
“How? The wards… we can’t Floo, or Disapparate…” Panic welled up within her as she realized how easily their own precautions might be their undoing.
James took her by the shoulders and gave her a little shake. “Go and get Harry; you’ll have to run beyond the wards and Disapparate from there. I’ll be right behind you.”
The grim set of his face and the sense of finality in his voice made Lily’s blood run cold.
“Without you?” she whispered. Her mind was reeling.
“I’ll try to buy you some time,” he answered softly.
He pulled her into a tight embrace, crushing his mouth to hers in a brief, rough kiss. Then, as a series of sharp cracks sounded outside, heralding the arrival of several Death Eaters, he thrust her away from him, propelling her in the direction of Harry’s bedroom.
“Go!” he cried, springing towards the door with his wand at the ready.
Lily ran. Behind her she heard the sound of glass shattering and men shouting, and eerily unhinged female laughter. She saw flashes of red and green as curses flew through the air.
She had to get to Harry; she had to get him out of here. She flew down the hallway and flung herself into his bedroom, where her son still lay peacefully sleeping in his cot. Swiftly and silently she gathered him into her arms, inhaling his sweet baby scent as she did so. He gave a startled cry as a series of loud bangs sounded in the hallway, his eyes flying open. Lily cast about her for some means of escape; the sudden silence of the house filled her heart with cold, creeping dread.
James was gone.
He was coming.
She looked down into the emerald depths of her son’s eyes as tears fell from her own. In her mind, she visited a series of moments that would never be. Harry delightedly reading his Hogwart’s Acceptance Letter. Harry anxiously waving goodbye as he boarded the Hogwarts Express for the first time. Harry hoisted upon the shoulders of his teammates as he led the Gryffindor Quidditch team to victory. Harry beaming with pride at Hogwarts’ graduation ceremonies. Harry’s face lit with love on his wedding day.
Lily shook herself suddenly, resolutely. Harry would have those moments. She turned and set him back down in his cot, whispering, “Harry, mummy loves you,” as the Dark Lord slipped quietly into the room.
“Stand aside, girl,” he ordered.
Lily stood for a moment with her back to the door, taking a white-knuckled grip on her wand as she looked into the trusting face of her small son. She would make her last moments count, for his sake. She turned to meet her fate.