Lilies for Lily
By Rebecca J. Strickland
Harry’s Occlumency lessons resumed with the Potions Master at the beginning of the school term. As much as he hated Snape for everything that had transpired last year, Harry hated himself more. He vowed that Voldemort would never again use him to hurt others. He was unprepared for tonight’s exercise and without warning the professor plunged into Harry’s deepest memories, dredging up one he didn’t even know existed.
His mum was pacing back and forth in the kitchen, glancing up at the clock on the wall. With a ‘pop’ his dad apperated into the room. Harry saw himself gurgle happily at his father from a high chair, and Lily embraced James tightly. "You prat! You’re so late. I was worried."
"Sorry, Lils. I didn’t mean to upset you. There was something I had to take care of." James Potter handed her the bouquet he’d been hiding behind his back. The flowers were beautiful with fragile petals and emitting a soft glow. "Happy anniversary, dear heart."
"Moon lilies," his mum breathed. "Jamie, they’re gorgeous. My favourite. But they aren’t worth it. With Lord Voldemort . . ."
"Lily, I said I’m sorry. Still, I can’t help but be optimistic. Peter agreed to switch as Secret Keeper, and the danger will be over soon. We’ll be safe."
"I don’t know, James. I just have a bad feeling about it all, and it’s Harry I’m concerned about. What if something happens to us? To Sirius?"
His dad shook his head. "Voldemort can’t possibly get the best of all the Marauders. But even if the worst case scenario actually happened, Harry would go to one of the Order members."
Lily Potter nodded thoughtfully. "True. I’d trust any of them with my life."
"As would I. Even Snivellus." An impish grin appeared on James’ face. "Relax Lils. Albus may be cracked, but it’s not like he’d give Harry to your sister and that Dooley fellow."
His mum shuddered. "Dursley. God forbid. There is not a worse place I can think of for our son." A fierce light entered her gaze. "They’d probably try and beat the magic out of him or some other ridiculous nonsense. Petunia always thought I was a freak."
Realizing his mistake, James made an obvious bid to change the subject. "You know, when the Order of the Phoenix defeats the Dark Lord, I think it will be time for the Marauders to pay a visit to the Dursleys and pull a prank of epic proportions."
Lily giggled in delight. "Maybe we could turn Vernon and that unfortunate nephew of mine into matching swine!"
An unholy gleam lit James’ eyes. "I’ve always thought Petunia would be make a great horse."
The kitchen rang with laughter and Lily set her flowers on the table and pulled Harry into her arms. "Time for bed, my sweet boy." Infant Harry hugged her and this close to her he could smell the lavender in her hair. His parents brought him into his room and his mother kissed his smooth forehead. James gave him a grin and gently ruffled his hair, whispering "Goodnight, Prongs Jr."
Lily tried to smother her smile. "Don’t get him started, James."
His father gave an attempt at an innocent ‘what?’ look and closed the nursery door behind him quietly.
The memory was fading and Harry fought to hold on to the familial warmth it represented. Remembering the happy life he had before the Dursleys hurt worse than the Cruciatus, and yet he knew it would now be his most cherished recollection. At least that would be useful for a Patronus. As he mulled the inevitability of facing death once more, the young man felt a presence stirring… Snape was still there, in his mind! Furious, he ‘pushed’ as hard as he could and flung the Potions Master out of his consciousness. Without a word, Harry got up off the floor and headed for the door. Before he could leave, the silken menace of Snape’s voice reached him. "Potter."
He glared at black eyes that gave away nothing. "Yes?"
"As I’m sure you’re aware, moon lilies grow in the heart of the Forbidden Forest." With that, the professor stalked out of the office, robes flaring behind him like bat wings. The boy was gobsmacked. Who would have ever thought that the greasy git of Hogwarts would aid Harry Potter in any way, let alone encourage him to ‘flaunt the rules’?
Midnight found Harry sneaking into the Forbidden Forest. Picking his way through the dense woods, he avoided the centaurs by keeping on his invisibility cloak while keeping a wary eye out for any of Aragog’s kin. Actually, with the exception of the Whomping Willow, the trees here were kind of nice in a creepy sort of way. There was no fog tonight and the waning moon provided enough light to find his way, not that any of this eased his nerves at all.
Harry finally reached the centre of the forest and found a patch of moon lilies swaying merrily in an unseen breeze. Their faint glow beckoned to him, and the young wizard stepped forward and gently picked the prettiest one. Heart beating madly, he escaped the Forbidden Forest and ran up to the Gryffindor dormitory.
The next morning was Saturday and Harry was up far earlier than usual for a weekend. He met his DADA professor and surrogate godfather, Remus Lupin, by the double doors of the Great Hall. With an apologetic look, the werewolf brought out a portkey. A sharp tug on his navel and the Boy-Who-Lived was outside the gates of Godric Memorial Cemetery. Harry followed Remus to his parents’ final resting place. The two stood silently in front of the Potters’ graves, each lost in thought. Finally Harry placed the moon lily down, murmuring quietly, "For you, mum." The teen then glanced at his father’s marker and gave Remus a slight smirk. "Hey Moony, do you think you can teach me to transfigure someone into a pig?"