“Take Harry and run!”
It never ceases to amaze Lily how quickly just one night can go to hell.
She knows she has to go. Knows that James is offering her a chance, though they both know that chance is slim, all but nonexistent. Still, the reality remains: James is making good on his wedding vows.
Lily wants to do just the opposite, though. She wants to stay and fight with James, the way they’ve always done before; everything in her shudders at the idea of turning around and leaving James to die.
She knows, as she reluctantly nods, that James is going to die. That, if by some miracle, she can grab Harry and run, she will never see the man she loves again. But she also knows her son needs her, now. So, eyes heavy with tears, Lily nods and turns. She runs up the stairs as the door crashes open behind her. She tries not to flinch; she fails.
She hasn’t even reached the door to Harry’s room when the glare of green light flashes on the wall opposite of her; the thud of James’ body echoing in the space behind her as her heart sinks just as heavily to her stomach. She shudders, gasping for breath; she wishes she could have a few moments more. To at least be able to say a proper goodbye.
All she can see as she runs into Harry’s room is the first time she met James Potter all those years ago; the first time she called him an “arrogant toe rag” to his face. The first time she yelled at him for picking on Snape. Their first date. The first time she realized she loved him. And, of course, the first time they both realized they were going to be parents together.
Those images whirl throughout her mind as she makes her way to Harry’s crib. Harry, the boy she loves so much. “Shh,” she whispers to him, tears running down her face and fear leaping up in her heart. All she wants now is the safety of her child. The only precious thing in her life left. “I’ve got you sweet boy.”
Which is when the cold hits her, square in the heart. Laughter, a cruel and rotten echo, like a ghost shuddering for breath, unfurls into the room. Creeps closer to her and her child. She pivots on her feet, determined as much as she is afraid. She refuses to give in to the way her heart beats out of time. Not just yet. She’s still a fighter.( cut for length and death )
She awakens to the sound of waves lapping up against sandy shores. Lily opens her eyes, dampness and cold soaking through her clothes from where she lays on her side, apparently washed up on some beach.
“What in the bloody name of Merlin’s beard?” She asks herself, picking herself up from the water’s edge. She shivers, and it takes her a moment to recognize her own wand just beneath her feet. She hurries to pick it up, struck by how wet and cold she feels. Luckily, from the quick glance she makes of the beach, she’s utterly alone. So she casts spells to clean, dry, and warm herself, quick as she can.
She continues studying her new environment, wonders how she got here. Is this heaven? Or did Voldemort banish her to some remote island instead of killing her?
No, that can’t be right, she thinks. Voldemort would only spare her life if she’d stood aside. And Lily knew damn well she was never going to stand aside.
She shivers, cursing beneath her breath. Of bloody course she winds up on a beach in cold weather.
And then it hits her, all at once; the memories from last night. James telling her to take Harry and go, James’ body hitting the floor, throwing herself in front of Harry’s crib, Voldemort, and the flash of green light. Death.
Except she feels very much alive, and she wonders how that can be. It has to be some kind of magic. And maybe, if she’s alive, James is too.
But then, what about Harry? Surely, he must be here too. If some divine force saw fit to save her life, surely it would have spared that of her child as well.
But she stands alone on the sand, head whipping back and forth. Not a crib in sight; no baby crying out, no bright green eyes, same as hers, peering out from beneath a bundle of blankets.
“Harry?” Tears fall, and panic finally settles in. Lily jerks forward, holding her wand out and scanning the beach desperately for any signs of a young baby.