Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter
AN: Just assume that Lily and the Marauders have read everything up until now
AN: The story starts some way through the actual chapter
She was pointing at the war memorial. As they had passed it, it had transformed. Instead of an obelisk covered in names, there was a statue of three people: a man with untidy hair and glasses, a woman with long hair and a kind, pretty face, and a baby boy sitting in his mother’s arms. Snow lay upon all their heads, like fluffy white caps.
“They remember us,” Lily said a sad smile on her face.
“Course they do!” Sirius exclaimed.
Harry drew closer, gazing up into his parents’ faces. He had never imagined that there would be a statue. . . . How strange it was to see himself represented in stone, a happy baby without a scar on his forehead. . . .
“If I have my way you will always be like that Harry,” said James.
The others nodded in agreement.
“C’mon,” said Harry, when he had looked his fill, and they turned again toward the church. As they crossed the road, he glanced over his shoulder; the statue had turned back into the war memorial.
The singing grew louder as they approached the church. It made Harry’s throat constrict, it reminded him so forcefully of Hogwarts, of Peeves bellowing rude versions of carols from inside suits of armor, of the Great Hall’s twelve Christmas trees, of Dumbledore wearing a bonnet he had won in a cracker, of Ron in a hand-knitted sweater. . . .
“You’ll go back. I know you will,” Remus whispered.
There was a kissing gate at the entrance to the graveyard.
“I didn’t think you liked Hermione that way!” Sirius said trying for a laugh.
Hermione pushed it open as quietly as possible and they edged through it. On either side of the slippery path to the church doors, the snow lay deep and untouched. They moved off through the snow, carving deep trenches behind them as they walked around the building, keeping to the shadows beneath the brilliant windows.
Behind the church, row upon row of snowy tombstones protruded from a blanket of pale blue that was flecked with dazzling red, gold, and green wherever the reflections from the stained glass hit the snow. Keeping his hand closed tightly on the wand in his jacket pocket, Harry moved toward the nearest grave.
“Look at this, it’s an Abbott, could be some long-lost relation of Hannah’s!”
“Keep your voice down,” Hermione begged him.
“No one will hear you. Say whatever you want however loudly you want,” James said wanting his son to be comfortable.
They waded deeper and deeper into the graveyard, gouging dark tracks into the snow behind them, stooping to peer at the words on old headstones, every now and then squinting into the surrounding darkness to make absolutely sure that they were unaccompanied.
Hermione was two rows of tombstones away; he had to wade back to her, his heart positively banging in his chest.
“Is it – ?”
“No, but look!”
“What is she talking about?” Sirius whined.
“If you wait you will see,” Remus said rolling his eyes.
She pointed to the dark stone. Harry stooped down and saw , upon the frozen,lichen-spotted granite, the words Kendra Dumbledore and, a short way down her dates of birth and death, and Her Daughter Ariana. There was also a quotation:
Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
So Rita Skeeter and Muriel had got some of their facts right.
“Don’t agree with those bats!” Lily said sharply.
The Dumbledore Family had indeed lived here, and part of it had died here.
Seeing the grave was worse than hearing about it. Harry could not help thinking that he and Dumbledore both had deep roots in this graveyard, and that Dumbledore ought to have told him so, yet he had never thought to share the connection. They could have visited the place together; for a moment Harry imagined coming here with Dumbledore, of what a bond that would have been, of how much it would have meant to him. But it seemed that to Dumbledore, the fact that their families lay side by side in the same graveyard had been an unimportant coincidence, irrelevant, perhaps, to the job he wanted Harry to do.
“That’s not it. I’m sure he had a strong reason,” Sirius cried in support of his hero.
Hermione was looking at Harry, and he was glad that his face was hidden in shadow. He read the words on the tombstone again. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. He did not understand what these words meant. Surely Dumbledore had chosen them, as the eldest member of the family once his mother had died.
“Are you sure he never mentioned – ?” Hermione began.
“No,” said Harry curtly, then, “let’s keep looking,” and he turned away, wishing he had not seen the stone: He did not want his excited trepidation tainted with resentment.
“Don’t snap at her, it’s not her fault,” Remus said gently.
“Here!” cried Hermione again a few moments later from out of the darkness. “Oh no, sorry! I thought it said Potter.”
She was rubbing at a crumbling, mossy stone, gazing down at it, a little frown on her face.
“Harry, come back a moment.”
He did not want to be sidetracked again, and only grudgingly made his way back through the snow toward her.
“Don’t worry, you’ll find us,” James said in an unusually soft voice.
“Look at this!”The grave was extremely old, weathered so that Harry could hardly make out the name. Hermione showed him the symbol beneath it.
“Harry, that’s the mark in the book!”
He peered at the place she indicated: The stone was so worn that it was hard to make out what was engraved there, though there did seem to be a triangular mark beneath the nearly illegible name.
“Yeah . . . it could be. . . .”
Hermione lit her wand and pointed it at the name on the headstone.
“It says Ig – Ignotus, I think. . . .”
“Peverell?” Remus asked sounding surprised.
“Why do you think that?” Lily asked raising an eyebrow.
“Well,” Remus said slowly, “Many people believe that the Deathly Hallows are about the Peverell brothers. I’m a bit of a geek about it,” Remus finished sheepishly.
“Really? We never would've guessed,” Sirius said, his voice thick with sarcasm.
“I’m going to keep looking for my parents, all right?” Harry told her, a slight edge to his voice, and he set off again, leaving her crouched beside the old grave.
Every now and then he recognized a surname that, like Abbott, he had met at Hogwarts. Sometimes there were several generations of the same Wizarding family represented in the graveyard.
“Godric’s Hollow is full of Wizarding history,” Lily said, a smile on her face.
Harry could tell from the dates that it had either died out, or the current members had moved away from Godric’s Hollow. Deeper and deeper amongst the graves he went, and every time he reached a new headstone he felt a little lurch of apprehension and anticipation.
The darkness and the silence seemed to become, all of a sudden, much deeper. Harry looked around, worried, thinking of dementors,
“Don’t think about them! It's Christmas!” Sirius cried.
“I doubt he can help what he’s thinking about Padfoot,” Remus said in his ‘are you stupid’ voice which he seemed to use often in front of Sirius.
Lily and James smiled at their banter.
then realized that the carols had finished, that the chatter and flurry of churchgoers were fading away as they made their way back into the square. Somebody inside the church had just turned off the lights.
Then Hermione’s voice came out of the blackness for the third time, sharp and clear from a few yards away.
“Harry, they’re here . . . right here.”
And he knew by her tone that it was his mother and father this time. He moved toward her, feeling as if something heavy were pressing on his chest, the same sensation he had had right after Dumbledore had died, a grief that had actually weighed on his heart and lungs.
“Don’t worry about it Harry. It’s just us,” Lily said frowning at the thought that she was causing her son worry.
The headstone was only two rows behind Kendra and Ariana. It was made of white marble, just like Dumbledore’s tomb, and this made it easy to read, as it seemed to shine in the dark. Harry did not need to kneel or even approach very close to it to make out the words engraved upon it.
JAMES POTTER LILY POTTER
BORN 27 MARCH 1960 BORN 30 JANUARY 1960
DIED 31 OCTOBER 1981 DIED 31 OCTOBER 1981
“So young,” Remus sadly commented.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
“What is a Death Eater phrase doing on our tombstone?” James said irritated.
Harry read the words slowly, as though he would have only one chance to take in their meaning, and he read the last of them aloud.
“’The last enemy that shall be defeated is death’ . . .” A horrible thought came to him, and with a kind of panic. “Isn’t that a Death Eater idea? Why is that there?”
The others laughed. “Like father, like son.”
“It doesn’t mean defeating death in the way the Death Eaters mean it, Harry,” said Hermione, her voice gentle. “It means . . . you know . . . living beyond death. Living after death.”
But they were not living, thought Harry. They were gone.
“We’ll always be with you,” James said firmly.
The empty words could not disguise the fact that his parents’ moldering remains lay beneath snow and stone, indifferent, unknowing. And tears came before he could stop them, boiling hot then instantly freezing on his face, and what was the point in wiping them off or pretending?
“Aye, there’s nothing wrong with shedding a few tears,” Sirius said.
“Wow, that sounded almost wise. Harry must be rubbing off on you,” Remus said smirking.
“Ha, ha, ha,” Sirius said rolling his eyes.
He let them fall, his lips pressed hard together, looking down at the thick snow hiding from his eyes the place where the last of Lily and James lay, bones now, surely, or dust,not knowing or caring that their living son stood so near, his heart still beating, alive because of their sacrifice and close to wishing, at this moment, that he was sleeping under the snow with them.
Hermione had taken his hand again and was gripping it tightly. He could not look at her, but returned the pressure, now taking deep, sharp gulps of the night air, trying to steady himself, trying to regain control. He should have brought something to give them,and he had not thought of it, and every plant in the graveyard was leafless and frozen.
“You never have to worry about that,” Lily said kindly.
But Hermione raised her wand, moved it in a circle through the air, and a wreath of Christmas Roses bloomed before them. Harry caught it and laid it on his parents’ grave.
“Thank you,” Sirius mouthed, the fact that his best friend was dead in this grim future hitting him.
As soon as he stood up he wanted to leave. He did not think he could stand another moment there. He put his arm around Hermione’s shoulders, and she put hers around his waist, and they turned in silence and walked away through the snow, past Dumbledore's mother and sister, back toward the dark church and the out-of-sight kissingate.
“Like brother and sister,” Lily said smiling.