My stories for the houses competition year 2 @redroseaurora
Delight, departed: realms of passing

Delight, departed: Realms of Passing

House: Gryffindor

Year: Prefect 1 Stand In

Category: Themed (Prefect 1's second themed)

Prompt: Cookies

Words: 2301

This could be in the same Universe as my themed, if you wanted it to be so.

Warning: mentions of poison, suicide and people dying.

Thank you to my mum and sister for editing!

Death was a funny thing. People hardly ever thought of it, or what might happen when you do die: it never occurred to people. But no one would ever know, would they? Once you're dead, you're dead: there is no way of telling the living what happens. People don't even know if you can take things with you, such as your wedding ring or a tin full of cookies.

After defeating Voldemort and ending the war, Harry got thinking about life and death, and he came up with this strange idea: when he died, could he take something with him? Because of this idea, Harry decided when he died, he would take a tin of cookies with him. If he could take the cookies into the afterlife, he could offer them to his parents, Sirius, Remus and everyone else he hoped would be waiting for him in the next world.

That prospect excited Harry, and it meant he was looking forward to the day he died. Yes, it would be sad that he had died, but it would be a happy day for him: he would finally be able to catch up with a whole heap of people, and be able to meet his parents! However, he was determined to take something with him, and, since everyone liked them, why not cookies?

Unfortunately, or fortunately, (depending on how you looked at it) it was a very long time before Harry got to test his idea out. In fact, he nearly forgot about the cookies he was going to take with him. However, he did remember about baking them before his time came.

This meant that when he died he was holding a box of cookies. His living family and the nurses at St'Mungos all thought it was weird, but since it was his last wish and people respected last wishes, they didn't question it.

As Harry felt his hour draw near, he took his cookies that had been on the table next to him before that, laid down on his hospital bed and closed his eyes. There wasn't that much more to dying. When the time came, he just felt his spirit slip out of his body. Painless, quick; it had everything going for it. Harry didn't really notice he'd died until what he was lying on changed to something much harder.

When Harry opened his eyes, he saw, -much to his excitement- he still had his cookies, and he was at a place that looked like King's Cross Station! The colours were different, the roof was higher, less people were about and there was one train that was gold colour, instead of rusty red or grey.

"Where do you think I need to go?" Harry asked himself, getting up and rattling his tin of cookies.

Something told him he should hop on the train. So, Harry did: why not? Hopefully it would take him to a more interesting place. He got on the train and sat in one of the compartments. Just before the train headed off, another person boarded the train. She joined Harry in his compartment as the train started off.

"How did you die?" the bronze-haired woman asked after sitting down for a while.

"Old age: you?" Harry asked. It was a very odd topic, but on the other hand, how many things were there to talk about when you were dead? And how you died, suddenly become very important.

"I poisoned myself," the woman dead-panned.

"Oh. I'm Harry: you?" Harry asked changing the subject.

"Merry. Are you going to catch up with your family now you're dead? That's the norm' for people who die of old age, cancer, and things like that," Merry asked.

"Yes: it will be a family catch up. I never met my parents in the living world, so it's very exciting," Harry said.

"I did, but I wouldn't have minded if I hadn't: they were not very nice," Merry said looking out the window. They were passing lots of clouds.

"Oh, sorry," Harry said. Then he opened the tin of cookies he had, and offered them to Merry. "Would you like a cookie? I brought them to share with my family, but you may share some."
"Okay, thanks," Merry said smiling as she took a cookie.

"Cookies are the best, aren't they?" Harry said, closing the tin.

"Yes, they are. Haven't met a single person who doesn't like cookies," Merry said. Then she asked, "Have you died before?"
"Not that I am aware of," Harry admitted.

"I have. This is my second life I've just ended," Merry said.

"What happens next, then?" Harry asked.

"We go to Heaven and spend some time there until god summons us. Then we will go onto our next life. We won't remember dying until we die again," Merry said.

"Ah; so that's what happens," Harry said, nodding understandingly.

He and Merry talked a little more. About family, about what happens next and a bit more. About then, the train slowed down, and they noticed they were going through some gold gates.

"Nearly there. You got on first, so when the train stops, you'll be getting off. I have a bit further to go," Merry said.

"Okay," Harry nodded.

When the train stopped, Harry stood up. "See you, Merry: hopefully we will catch up another time," Harry said.

"Yes, hopefully. Have fun meeting your family!" Merry said. Then Harry left the train.

As he stepped off the train, he saw two people standing on the platform. One was a woman with red-hair, and the other was a man with messy black-hair; much like Harry's hair in his youth. Harry looked at them, trying to work out where he had seen them. He had seen them before, as they looked familiar, but he couldn't place them.

"I wonder where I go now? Merry didn't mention that," Harry whispered to himself. Then he had an idea! "I'll ask those people," he decided. Harry walked over to the man and the woman.

"Um excuse me," Harry asked them.

"Yes?" the woman responded.

"Where do I go now? This is my first time in the afterlife," Harry asked.

"Don't worry; you are not the first: many ask us that question. That is why we're here: we heard a train coming and since we live next door, we decided to pop round," the woman said.

"That's nice. I'm Harry Potter. I suppose my surname doesn't mean anything now, does it?" Harry guessed.

"Harry?" the man asked.

"Yes: lots of people are called Harry, though," Harry said, giving the man a strange look. He was being very weird.

"It's you!" the woman said happily.

"What are you guys on about?!" Harry asked, confused and annoyed. Confused about what they were on about, and annoyed they were going on about nothing related to Harry.

"Don't you remember us?"

"No; should I?" Harry asked, starting to feel really confused.

"We're you're parents! Lily and James!" Lily (the woman) said.

"Oh! That's why you like so familiar!" Harry said, nodding. Then he said with a warm smile, "It's so nice to meet you at last."
"And you, Harry," James (the man) said. Lily couldn't hold back any longer: she grabbed James and Harry and they all had a hug.

When they broke, Harry said, "Wow: that's what a parent's embrace feels like then?"
"Yes, it is. Come on; Sirius, Remus and Tonks will be so happy to see you," James said.

"They're here too?" Harry asked, looking for confirmation.

"Where else?" Lily said laughing. Then they left the platform via the station.

As they walked the apparently, short walk; Harry said showing his tin, "I brought these cookies to share with you all. I felt as though I should, it being like a family gathering and all."
"That is real sweet, Harry! And what a great idea!" Lily said beaming.

"Thanks," Harry said blushing. It was a very small idea, and it seemed a bit ridiculous getting such warm praise for it, but Harry secretly enjoyed it.

James then started talking about all the fun they were going to get up to. Harry suspected James would have mentioned mischief and pranks too, if it weren't for the fact Lily was right there. Harry might not know a great deal about his parent's time at Hogwarts, but he knew enough to know Lily wasn't a fan of pranks.

Harry didn't mind pranks as long as they were harmless. But, if he had had to admit it, right at the moment, he wouldn't care what he did, as long as he got to spend sometime with his father and mother. He didn't have any current plans except for getting to know them well before God called upon him. And so far, that was proving to be very promising.

As they reached where Lily and James's lived now, Harry looked around to take in the styles and colours. It was all very simple, and the colours were bright. Everything was in shining gold or white. It was a very bright sight, but a very nice one too.

Lily and James then lead Harry into their house. They're house was very nice inside: very homely, very warm; and nice natural colours. As they walked more into the house, Harry noticed a strong burning smell.

"It smells like someone's been burning things," Harry said. He couldn't help but comment on it.

"Yes! Sirius! Have you been cooking again?!" called Lily suspiciously.

"No!" the voice of Sirius called back. Then there was a loud noise from the kitchen which suggested someone had dropped a pot on the ground.

As they walked into the kitchen, Harry, James and Lily saw Sirius and Remus quickly packing pots away and trying to hide something very burnt. Harry suspected it was supposed to be a cake, but it didn't end very well. Luckily, Harry had brought some cookies.

"If your going to lie, can you at least do a better job of it?" Lily huffed annoyedly.

"We were not expecting you to be home so soon," Sirius quickly said.

"What were you making?" James asked curious.

"A cake; but genius here wanted to make it without reading instructions," Remus said rolling his eyes.

"What's the fun in that?!" Sirius said.

"Oh dear," James said shaking his head.

"We brought Harry!" Lily said pushing Harry in front.

"Harry?" questioned Sirius and Remus. Then they rushed forward and hugged Harry. Lily and James quickly joined in.

When they broke, Sirius joked, "Finally decided to join us, Harry?"
"Yep, finally. I brought some cookies to celebrate this reunion," Harry said pushing the tin of cookies he had brought forward.

"Nice. Smart thinking, Harry," Remus said nodding.

"Thank you. Where is Tonks?" Harry asked.

"She's on her way. She should be here any minute," Remus said.

"Can't wait to see her again. I've been looking forward to seeing you all, or finally meeting you all, for a while, now. It's been such a long time," Harry said, his voice shaking quite a lot.

"We have, too," Lily said.

"Yes; it's finally the time we can get to know you, Harry," James nodded.

"You'll have great fun! These guys are great," Sirius said, putting a hand on Lily and James's shoulder.

"I can't wait," Harry said honestly. He had wanted to get to know his parents for such a long time now, and it was finally time.

He has finally gotten to meet them, and now he was going to get to know them. It was to be one of the best times he will have ever had; in eternity. Then adding Sirius and Remus into the mix, it was like a big family get together. Admittedly, it might be long after when most people might expect one, (in other words; they would expect it to be in the world of living) but Harry didn't mind. As long as he got to know them, it would be fine.

"Shall we sit down?" Lily asked.

"Sounds good. And it shouldn't smell in there," Remus said holding his nose. Harry did have to agree: the smell of burnt cake was not very nice.

"Hold on," Lily said. She pulled out her wand and flicked it towards the source of the offending smell. She vanished it, and the smell was still around, but it was not as strong.

"Nice idea," Harry nodded.

"Thanks: thank you very much," Lily said as they moved into the next room.

After sitting down, Harry placed the tin in the centre of the table. It was not open yet, as they were waiting for Tonks. Can't share cookies until everyone is there!

"I wonder how much longer Tonks is going to be?" James asked.

"You just say that because you want to get into the cookies," Harry said grinning.

"Can't even deny it," James muttered darkly. Everyone else laughed.

Then they heard the sound of the door opening, then shutting. They turned as they heard footsteps come their way. Seconds later, Tonks appeared.

"Watcha, Harry!" Tonks cried upon seeing Harry. Harry stood up and gave her a hug.

"Nice to see you again, Tonks," Harry said. He had missed Tonks: she was always the life of the party!

"You too, Harry. How have you been?" Tonks asked as they broke their hug.

"I've been well. Sit down and I'll tell you all about it," Harry said.

Remus quickly stood up and offered Tonks his seat, and then he got a new one for himself from the next room. When everyone was seated, Harry opened the tin and they started eating the cookies while Harry started sharing what had happened since they left the living plain. Laughter soon followed, and Harry couldn't help but think:
'I'm glad to be here.'

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