When Lily Potter, nee Evans, woke, it was not one of those eyes-blinking, slowly waking from a world of sunshine and butterflies, time-to-face-the-day starts. Rather, it was an immediate eye-popping, absolute certainty that something was wrong. The room was dark, but she knew immediately it was not the room she and James shared in Godric's Hollow. The bed was not lumpy enough, the pillow not feathery enough. There was no lingering scent of sandalwood or soft whirring of the ceiling fan that had that odd little squeak. No, she was not in her bed at home, but she did not know where she was either. The last clear memory she had was of her taking Harry from James to put him to bed. They had been joking and relaxed, or as relaxed as they could be knowing a murdering maniac was hunting their son down. Her breath caught at the memory of The Monster, and she slowly moved her right arm off the bed, looking for a table. Nothing. Trying to tamp down the terror that was beginning to fill her, she moved her left hand and hissed in pain as it connected to a table. She felt around the flat surface. No wand. She held a hand out in front of her as she sat up and opened her mouth to call for her wand when a door opened, flooding the room with light, and she froze.
A young man with blonde hair and a lime green robe appeared in the doorway. Before she could think about what was happening she moved he hand towards the man, "Petrificus totalus." The man froze and fell stiffly to the floor. The woman behind him gasped. "Petrificus totalus," Lily called again, and the purple clad woman fell beside the man. A second woman appeared in the doorway, apparently smarted than her co-workers, she did not enter the room. Instead, she held both hands up to show she had no wand and spoke softly.
"Mrs. Potter, you are safe. You are in St. Mungo's. I am Nurse Kealie. That... is Nurse Angela and Healer Powell, a mediwizard."
"Where is my husband? Where is my son? James!" She called out.
The nurse spoke again, "Mrs. Potter, we need to come check you over. Can we come in?"
Lily wished once more for her wand. She knew pointing a finger just wasn't very intimidating. "No. Where is Albus? Albus Dumbledore."
Ah. A name the nurse recognized. "Professor Dumbledore is on his way. He was notified the second your monitor alerted us your condition had changed." The nurse looked down the hallway, said something quietly to someone in the corridor and turned back to Lily. "He is here now."
Her reassuring smile did not comfort Lily, and, as soon as a man looking like her old headmaster appeared, she held her hand out towards him, palm up. "Stop!"
"Albus" froze in the doorway and noticed the two "bodies." "Been practicing your wandless magic, Lily?" He smiled gently up at her. "I brought your wand. I'm going to slowly reach into my pocket and pull it out." He waited for her nod of approval before slowly using one hand to open his outer robe revealing a pocket. He used his other hand to slowly reach inside and pull out a long familiar stick. He held it up to show her. "Do you want me to-"
"Accio wand," Lily called and the wand flew out of "Albus's" hand. Lily caught it and felt the familiar warmth spread through her. She relaxed for a fraction of a second before movement recalled her attention. She pointed her wand to the group of people in the doorway. She locked eyes with "Albus." "What did you say to me when I told you I was pregnant?"
"Another Potter fish for the Lily pond," he responded immediately.
Lily relaxed for the first time since she woke up. "Albus," she said the name on a sigh.
The old professor crossed the room and wrapped his arms around his old student. "Hush. Hush, Lily pond."
She heard the other lady whisper behind them. "Finite Incantatum. You okay, Angela? Healer Powell?"
"Lily," Albus said softly, "do you remember the attack?" She shook her head. "You've been in a coma. These healers need to look you over. Let them do a scan and then we'll talk."
She nodded, a cold fear filling her, and lay back against the pillow. The Mediwizard ran his wand over her body and nodded to Albus. "Thank you, Mr. Dumbledore." He turned to Lily. "I will be back with your test results. In the mean time, I'll order you a tray. I'm sure you are hungry, or will be soon."
The Healer and nurse headed out of the room, as they left a man appeared in the doorway, haggard and weary-looking. "Lily?"
Lily held her wand, out and the man froze. She studied the almost-familiar face. The brown hair and scarred face were familiar to Lily. "Remus?" He smiled that endearingly familiar smile and took a step towards her but froze when she flicked her wand towards him. "Stop. What is my secret nick-name for you?"
"Moonshine," he answered wistfully.
Lily relaxed and held her arms out to the man. "Remmy."
He rushed over to her and wrapped his arms around her, much as Albus had a few minutes earlier. She buried her head in his shoulder and the tears spilled out. "J-James is dead, isn't he?" She looked up into the face of the man she knew she could trust and saw the answer in his eyes.
"You don't remember the attack?" She shook her head again. "S-Sirius." Remus swallowed harshly. The words stuck in his throat. Still hard to admit after all these years.
"Sirius was a spy. He gave you up to V-Voldemort." Lily began to shake her head in denial and Remus nodded. "Yes, Lily. Voldemort found out about the Fidelius Charm. Sirius must have-"
"But he couldn't," Lily interrupted. "Sirius wasn't our secret keeper." She looked back and forth between Remus and Albus.
Albus, who had settled in a chair, jumped to his feet. "What?"
"Not your secret keeper?" Remus asked, his voice harsh as if he'd just been told he wasn't a werewolf after all, all those years had merely been an illusion.
"No," Lily shook her head so hard she feared she might make herself dizzy. "No. James- James and Sirius thought the choice was too obvious. Sirius suggested Peter," she added quietly.
"Peter." Remus choked out. He turned to Albus. "That's why Sirius killed him."
Lily looked at Albus, "Peter is dead?"
Albus nodded. "I'd better go get the minister."
Lily watched Albus leave and looked at Remus. "You thought Sirius betrayed us? Everyone did, because we didn't tell anyone. James thought it would be safer. Where is he? Sirius?"
"Azkaban," Remus replied, a tortured look on his face.
"Oh god." Lily gasped. "How long?" Then she looked at Remus, really looked at him and realized how old he looked. She knew his transformations took a lot out of him, but he looked so much older than last time she had seen him. "How long was I in a coma? What year is it, Remus?"
He looked at her and sighed. "1989."
"Eight years!" Lily cried. "That means Harry is- Where is Harry, Remus." She reached up and clutched at Remus's familiar tweed jacket as panic filled her. "Where is my son, if his godfather has been in prison?"
Remus laid a comforting hand over hers. "Albus left him with your sister."
"Petunia!?" Remus had always hated when Lily got upset. She reminded him of a vengeful harpy, and, honestly, it scared him. No wonder she had faced off against Voldemort thrice with barely a scratch to show for it. "He left my child with that magic-hating muggle and her obnoxious husband? They'll put Harry in a closet and hide him away. Deny his magic." She pulled the covers off and made to stand up.
"Lily, No," Remus caught her as her legs gave out under her. He helped her back in bed. "You haven't used your legs in eight years. They'll need time to regain strength. I'm sure the nurses have kept the muscles working, but you'll still have to adjust. Besides, it's the middle of the night. It'll have to wait until tomorrow."
"I'm afraid it will have to wait a little longer, whatever 'it' is." Remus and Lily turned to see the Healer enter the room. "I have your test results, Mrs. Potter." He looked questioningly at Remus.
"He stays," Lily demanded.
The Healer nodded. "Everything looks normal, but we'll need to run some cognitive tests as well as a C.A.D, Core Abilities Diagnostic, to see if your magic has been affected."
"Because being put in a full body bind wasn't test enough," Lily muttered.
The Healer had the grace to blush. "Ahem. I've already scheduled the tests for nine a.m. We will also start you on a muscle strengthening regimen to help. The earliest I will consider releasing you is Friday morning. That's two days, Mrs. Potter."
She sighed. Her own time as a mediwitch had taught her these were necessary steps. She nodded. The Healer smiled in relief and the three turned at the sound of a knock on her door. A nurse walked in with a tray floating beside her. "Mrs. Potter, this is Nurse Angela. She will be your nurse while you are here. You can trust her," the Healer said pointedly.
Lily blushed and nodded to the nurse. "Sorry."
The nurse beamed at her, "It's quite alright, Mrs. Potter. Our fault really. We forgot you were in the war. Shouldn't have startled you like that."
The tray stopped beside Lily's bed and legs unfolded from it to create a stand. The Healer pulled a green vial from his robes and placed it on the table. "The first of your strengthening regimen. Drink it all, eat up, and get some rest. Your testing starts nine a.m. sharp." He turned and left.
Lily looked up at the nurse who smiled warmly. She pulled the silver dome off the plate to present a large bowl of wonderfully smelling soup. "Healer says just something light and simple. Don't want to over do it." She pulled a thimble out of the pocket of her robe and waved her wand over it. The thimble grew, and Nurse Angela lifted the spoon out of the bowl of soup and transferred some of the soup to her "bowl." She then proceeded to drink the soup and smiled at Lily. "See? Perfectly safe."
Tears filled Lily's eyes at the thoughtful gesture. "Thank you."
The nurse nodded and left the room.
Albus returned while she was eating with a tired looking woman in purple ministry robes. Lily recognized her immediately.
"Oh, Madam Minister, I didn't mean to wake you."
She waved away Lily's concerns, "I would have been extremely upset if I hadn't been woken." She reached the hospital bed and took Lily's hand. "You and your family are heroes, Lily. Your sacrifice has saved so many lives. I am sorry for your loss."
"Thank you, Minister," Lily said through the thickness in her throat.
"Now, what is this I hear about Sirius Black being innocent?"
Lily spent nearly an hour with the Minister, telling her story and answering questions. When she began to yawn Remus ushered the Minister and Albus out. He reassured Lily he wouldn't leave her, and she drifted off to sleep.
"Take Harry and go! It's him. Go! Run!"
"James!" Lily screamed as she sat up, tears streaming down her face.
Strong arms wrapped around her, "Lily, it's okay," the soothing voice enveloped her. "It's Remus. I'm here."
She collapsed in his arms, tears streaming down her face. "James tried to stop him. He tried to save Harry. We were in the living room and James was doing that little smoke trick Harry always loved and getting ready for bed." She gasped against the familiar tweed jacket. "The door flew open and there he was. James told me to take Harry while he went for his wand. I tried to barricade us in Harry's room, but it didn't hold him off. I don't know why he didn't just kill me. He gave me a choice." She looked up at Remus, "He told me if I let him kill my son he would spare me." She laughed harshly. "As if I would just step aside and let someone kill my child. I refused. Three times. He asked me three times to let him kill my child. And then he cursed me. I was ready to die. I saw the green light coming and I was ready, Remus. But then I was surrounded by a blue light and it pushed the Avada curse away from us. That's the last thing I remember."
"Wild Magic," Remus whispered in awe. "James's death, his sacrifice to protect your child, and your own willingness to die for Harry as well. All that love must have called to Harry's Wild Magic. It's rare..."
"But Wild Magic is so hard to contain once it's called forth," Lily fretted, remembering the dire warnings of Flitwick and a long retired Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher about calling forth the innate magic at the core of all people without knowledge and training. "How will Harry have managed all these years?"
"Perhaps, because it was pulled from him, rather than summoned, he has been able to keep it in check," Remus reassured her hopefully.
She nodded, hoping he was right. Petunia's jealousy of Lily had turned to hatred of magic over the years. How could a young child cope with that? She had to get better and get to her Harry.
"The cognitive tests and C.A.D. came back with good results. Keep taking the strengthening potions, and, if you can walk the hall tomorrow, I will release you," the Healer told Lily the following afternoon.
"Perhaps, if you hadn't insisted I be wheeled everywhere I could have worked on my leg strength," Lily told the Healer.
"You have always been a terrible patient, my Lily pad."
Lily brightened at the sound of Albus's voice. "Albus." She hugged the old wizard. "Where have you been? I thought you'd be back this morning."
"Had things to take care of, didn't I? Not every day a war hero wakes up from an eight year nap."
Lily blushed. "Oh, I hope they aren't making a big deal out of it."
"No. No. We've been able to keep a lid on it for the most part. Of course, we will have to eventually let the cat out of the bag, as they say," Albus said. "But that's not why I'm here," his blue eyes took on that all-too-familiar twinkle. "I have a surprise for you."
As if on cue, three people entered her room. Remus walked in first, crossing straight over to her and giving her a hard hug. He pulled back and moved out of the way to reveal the Minister of Magic, looking much more awake than she had the night before. She nodded to Lily and stepped aside. Behind her stood a tall, black haired man. A black beard covered his face, which was thin and gaunt-looking, the clothes he wore were obviously borrowed as they hung loosely on his too-thin frame. It was only the pain that filled the once joyful eyes that allowed Lily to recognize the man she once knew as the happy-go-lucky Sirius Black.
"Sirius," she whispered.
It was all the encouragement he needed. He tore across the room and wrapped his arms around Lily. "Oh, Lils. I am so sorry. So, so sorry," his tortured voice ripped at her heart. "Can you ever forgive me? You must hate me. So sorry, Lily. So sorry. All my fault. God, Lily, I swear, if I'd known-"
Lily pulled back and grabbed Sirius's shoulders, "Look at me, Sirius." She waited until his tear-filled eyes focused on her. "None of us could have known. We- we can't dwell on that now. It's all about Harry now."
Sirius straightened and looked around the hospital room. "Harry? Is he here?"
"No. Albus put him with my sister," she shot a baleful glare at the man. "But, we will go get him as soon as I get out of here and take him home."
"Home?" Lily looked over at Remus who was shaking his head sadly. "Your place in Godric's Hollow was destroyed, Lily. You'll have to find a new place," he added apologetically.
"Grimmauld," Sirius nearly shouted. "Mother passed away a few years ago. I'm the last Black, so it's mine. We'll probably have to clean it up a bit, but you and Harry are more than welcome to stay there. You too, Remus. It's got a basement for-" Sirius caught himself, remembering the Minister of Magic was still there, "your furry little problem." His lips lifted in an almost-smile.
Remus smiled back at his old friend and turned to Lily. "There. Sirius and I will go check it out this afternoon and we'll be back-"
"Tonight." She knew her eyes were begging, but she did not think she was ready to be alone just yet.
Remus nodded, "Yes. Tonight. And we'll take you home tomorrow and get the house all cleaned up. And Saturday we'll bring Harry home."