Just a little ficlet. Enjoy.
Alyx turned and glared at Bob. "You're doing it again!"
"Yes dear, I know," he replied, staring dreamily at his screen.
Alyx scowled, she knew that tone of voice, he was surfing the net again, looking at something he shouldn't. She ran over to see what he was surfing, sure it was going to be porn. Instead she found him staring lustily at a photo of a chocolate donut.
"Yer sick. You do know that don't you?" she muttered.
"Just give them the words and let me go back to my fantasy," Bob replied.
Alyx turned, fuming. "We don't own anything! It all belongs to JKR who lost her ability to write a decent story after book five. And why do I have to give the words?"
"That is so unfair," she said, then she stormed off the stage.
Bob smiled and widened the image of the donut to reveal the naked girl kneeling, offering the donut up on a platter.
Bob turned to the readers and grinned. "If you are impressed with this, you ought to see what she does with the croissant."
First, there was a green light, followed by pain; wave upon wave of pain that washed through him. Then came lights, millions of flashing lights, as if the universe were exploding in front of his eyes. There were sounds of every kind; screams, moans, cries of fear and of passion.
Through it all, he experienced a falling sensation, and he plummeted for what felt like an eternity. All in all, he thought, it was a most distasteful and disagreeable experience.
The lights and sounds receded as he plummeted, replaced by an obscuring gray mist and a pervasive light that seemed to be the same shade in every direction he looked. This continued for so long he was beginning to wonder if that last curse had affected his sight and hearing.
As suddenly as it had begun, it stopped. Startled, he was surprised to discover that once again he could feel his body. He could feel his feet and, as usual, they were cold. His hand twitched and he wondered if he still had his wand somewhere on him.
Summoning his strength, he opened his eyes and a drab gray room swam into view. It was a singularly unimpressive room, but it wasn't what he expected. He thought he'd be in the Hogwarts Infirmary, though if he were truthful with himself, he hadn't really expected to wake up anywhere.
To call the room drab would have been an understatement. It was remarkable only in its boring sameness. There was no door, no bed, no chairs. Only four walls, a floor and ceiling made from the same gray material and, in the center of the room, a gray pedestal.
He stood and looked down at himself. He wore a plain white smock that was glaringly bright in the plain gray room. Under the smock, he was as naked as the day he was born.
Looking at the pedestal in the center of the room he was surprised to see that the top contained a small indentation filled with a clear fluid.
"Hello? Can anyone hear me?" he called. His voice sounded hollow and forced, as if he lacked the breath to make himself heard.
"HELLO!" he shouted.
The silence that followed was oppressive.
Stymied, he walked over to the pedestal, but the closer he came to it, the more uneasy he felt. What ever was in that liquid, he didn't like it at all.
"What would Hermione Granger do in a time like this?" he asked himself. Even he had been awed by the girl's prodigious intellect.
"Aha!" he mumbled, then he turned and started to systematically tap the walls, trying to find a hollow spot, maybe a hidden door.
He tapped and tapped, and then tapped some more. He had no idea how long he was at it when it occurred to him that he wasn't hungry or thirsty. The sameness of the room and it's lighting made it difficult to even guess the time of day.
Confused, he started again, tapping on the walls. It was a mind numbing task and one that he discovered he was unable to complete without forgetting which wall he started on. And that meant he had to start all over again.
Occasionally, as if to distract him even more, he'd glance at the pedestal with the liquid that made him uneasy. He could almost feel it mocking him.
"That won't help you, you know," said a somewhat familiar voice.
He turned toward the sound and stared in shock. Seeing a figure, he shook his head slightly, then began to move backwards slowly, step by step, until his back was pressed firmly against the wall behind him. Wide eyed, he slid down the wall until he was seated on the floor.
The woman stood before him, wore a beautiful white dress, her red tresses spilled down her back in luxurious waves. She had an aura of pure white light about her body and an expression of contentment that bordered on sublime.
"Lily Potter?" he gasped.
She smiled at him. "I see you remember me. It is good to see you again, old friend."
He struggled to his feet. "Where am I? And how did you get here?"
"Haven't you figured it out yet? Merlin! And I used to think you were smart." Shaking her head, she sighed. "Albus Dumbledore, you died at the hands of your Potions Master," she said softly.
When he simply stared at her, she began to chuckle. "You're dead Albus. This is the place where all souls go to wait until they are ready to be judged."
Dumbledore blinked at her stupidly. "So I'm supposed to just sit and wait around here until someone comes to get me?"
Lily shook her head. "Oh, no. You're supposed to use your lifesieve so you can be ready to answer questions at the appropriate time."
Dumbledore's brow crinkled in confusion. "Lifesieve?"
Lily folded her arms across her chest and nodded towards the pedestal. "You mean you haven't started looking at your life and the impact you've had on others?"
He shook his head. No one had told him what he was supposed to do. "I have been staying away from that thing," he said, pointing at the lifesieve. "It makes me feel uneasy."
Lily frowned, walked over to the pedestal and waved a hand. Suddenly one wall wavered and he could see himself sitting at the head table in the Great Hall waiting for a new batch of first year students to be sorted.
"The lifesieve is a record of your life, and so much more. Each of us are judged on how we affected the lives of those around us. How did that one little interaction with so and so affect their lives, or how a particular decision affected those around you," she said, then she turned away from the pedestal to look at him. "You see, how we lived our lives is the only criteria which defines our ultimate destination. The lifesieve allows us to see what has passed, what is happening and what will be, It's all here in the record of Albus Dumbledore, the great Light Wizard."
"The lifesieve will show us what is happening?" he asked eagerly.
"Show me, please." Despite his uneasiness, he moved closer to the lifesieve.
"Show me Hogwarts of today," Lily said in a clear, firm voice.
The wall shimmered and Dumbledore gasped and staggered to one side. The castle was in ruins, no lights lit the interior.
"What happened?" he exclaimed.
Lily looked at him for a moment, her expression unreadable. "This is a result of your actions, Albus. Do you not recognize your handiwork?"
"My handiwork? I never wanted this to happen!"
Lily turned back to the lifesieve. "Nevertheless, it's all here, Albus. The reasons for it and how it came to pass are for you to discover. You must be diligent and observe what has come and what will come, before you can understand how your decisions made this possible."
"B-b-but how much time has passed since I arrived here?"
"It has been twenty years since your death. Time has no meaning in this place. A whole lifetime can go by in the blink of an eye," she replied, then she turned back to the lifesieve again. "Show me the death of Albus Dumbledore."
The wall shimmered and he could see himself on the top of the astronomy tower. He watched in horrid fascination as his lifeless body plummeted the hundred meters to the ground. Then Harry appeared and ran down the tower.
Lily raised her hand and the playback stopped.
"Study your life, Albus. Simply ask the lifesieve for what you want to see and it will show it. Become an observer. You must know what you have done and how you impacted others before you can be judged."
Lily stepped away from the life of Dumbledore and he stared at her. "But what about the next great adventure?" he stammered.
She patted him on the shoulder and smiled gently at him. "It's out there, waiting for you, when you're ready."
She stepped back again. "I must go, Albus. There are others like yourself waiting for guidance and I must help them before I can return home."
With that, she faded from sight.
Dumbledore stumbled up to the lifesieve. "Show me Hogwarts of today," he said in a wavering voice.
Once again, the image of the ruined castle swam into view against the wall. He couldn't help but notice the graveyard where the Quidditch pitch once stood. Without asking, the lifesieve zoomed to that location, giving him a better view of the tombstones. He choked back a sob seeing markers for Minerva, Hagrid, Madam Pomfrey, Susan Bones, Ginny Weasley, Molly Weasley and Harry Potter.
"NNOOOOOO!!!!!" he wailed.
Lily paused in front of the door and her beautiful white dress shimmered and changed into jeans and a Grateful Dead t-shirt. Much more comfortable, she then pushed the door open and entered the small home.
"Hello, love," James said, looking up from his book.
"How'd it go?" asked Sirius.
She grinned. "Perfectly. He'll spend the rest of eternity reviewing those false memories and judging himself." She scowled. "But I still say he got off too easy."
James shook his head. "I don't think so, Lils. Of all the punishments that could have been handed down, to realize everything he worked and plotted for had failed is the worst possible thing Dumbledore could suffer through. We all make our own hell, after all. We simply embellished his with a few false memories and an altered Lifesieve."
Lily looked uncertain, but sighed in resignation. Glancing around, she noticed something missing. "Where's little Lily?"
James grinned. Putting his book down, he stood and took his wife's hand. "Come, let me show you." He led her over to their own lifesieve. "Show us St. Mungos delivery room from yesterday."
One wall shimmered and Lily gasped.
Harry stepped out of the delivery room. He looked older, more mature and care worn, but at the same time, jubilant. In his arms was a small bundle in a pink blanket. He looked at his friends and family. Hermione was there with Ron, Ginny stood near Neville, and the twins stood near Luna.
Harry walked to Hermione. "Would you like to meet your goddaughter, Lily Hermione Potter?" he asked her softly, offering her the baby.
"She's got blond hair, just like her mama," Sirius observed.
"Oh, Harry she's beautiful," Hermione said, trying to blink back tears. She took the offered infant with trembling hands.
Lily wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled at the sight. "Are the others alright with this?"
Sirius barked a laugh. "Are you kidding? Jamie, Siri and Ronnie are all claiming they're going to be next! It took James and I nearly an hour to get them all into bed last night. They were so excited for their sister."
The new souls destined to be Harry's children had waited impatiently for this day. They had argued endlessly over who would be first, refusing to believe the order of their birth would be up to Harry himself.
James waved a hand and the image slowly faded away. "Funny, I never thought he'd marry her."
Lily smiled and sniffled. "As long as he was happy, I didn't care who he married."
James placed an arm around her shoulders. "That's all that matters. He's finally safe and happy."
She nodded happily and turned in his arms to give him a lingering kiss. Her son was happy and the people who had tried to ruin his life were paying for their crimes. That was all that mattered to her.