“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.”
- G.K. Chesterston
Lily was, once again, sitting at a table surrounded by charms texts. She was now five months pregnant and beginning to show.
Although the portable healing charms, which she had managed to create the previous month, worked well against common jinxes and hexes, they were almost useless against unforgivables.
Over the past few months, the death eaters had been shameless in their use of these more severe curses and it had become a major obstacle for the anti-Voldemort movement. Thus, Lily was now spending almost all of her time studying the unforgivables in an attempt to overcome this problem.
Lily had made some progress in portable charms for the Cruciatus curse. She had recently tried them on Sirius, as he was always active in the field. He had told her that they absorb most of the pain. She knew they still needed more work though. Sirius was made of strong stuff, and she was almost certain that he had exaggerated their effectiveness to encourage her.
When in came to the Avada Kedavra curse, Lily felt hopeless. She knew nothing had ever worked against that curse, but she had to try. People were dying, and now that she could no longer fight because of her condition, she felt she had to try and protect those who could.
She tapped her pen idly on her cheek as she considered her notes. She needed a new approach. Healing charms just don’t work on the dead. Thus, she immersed herself in the one of the particularly old texts Dumbledore had given her on protective magic. She had previously avoided it because they were very difficult to read; mostly written in an Old English she didn’t really understand.
Discouraged, Lily looked out the window of Sirius’ flat and sighed. Several months had passed since James’ disappearance. She clung to the hope that by some miracle he was still alive, slightly encouraged by the fact that his body hadn’t been found yet.
She had moved into Sirius’ flat soon after discovering her pregnancy, following a very narrow escape from death eaters in her own apartment. Sirius’ flat was safer, as he had installed numerous wards and made it unplottable. She guessed that his obsession with these wards had something to do with the way he had been raised, although she had never asked.
Although Lily had intended on finding another flat, Sirius had argued against it. He insisted that she shouldn’t be alone right now, particularly in her condition, as the death eaters were becoming bolder. She had agreed to stay at least until her child was born; her son, as she had recently discovered.
Suddenly, Sirius arrived at the flat, several hours earlier than usual. His missions for both the auror office and the Order had increased to the point where he usually only came home to sleep. He only arrived early when something particularly bad had happened.
Lily felt a rush of anxiety as she asked “What happened?”
There was a deep gash on the side of Sirius’ face, and his grey eyes were tired and lined with dark circles. He ignored her question and walked over to the liquor cabinet. He poured himself some Firewhisky, and drank it in one, his hand shaking as he poured himself another.
Lily spoke more forcibly “Sirius! What happened? Is it James?” her earlier fears suddenly magnified by Sirius’ current state.
He shook his head quickly and looked straight at her. “No. It’s not James...it’s the Prewetts.” Lily’s eyes widened “The Prewetts? Not the twins?”
“Yea,” Sirius nodded “the twins along with Gideon’s daughter.”
Lily led Sirius to the couch where he promptly sat with his head in his hands. “News hit the auror office that Gideon’s daughter had been killed by death eaters. So he and his brother left the auror office right away. It was a trap and they...well...” His voice broke.
“Lily, I don’t really want to talk about what happened today o.k.?”
She nodded understandingly and whispered a healing charm for the gash on his cheek. He then put his arms around her and they just held eachother, just enjoying the comfort of having someone else there. They did this a lot when they were alone, but they refrained from doing it in front of anyone else. There were already disturbing rumors about her and Sirius “shacking up”, and their relationship was not one that could easily be understood by others.
Although, Lily was still slightly annoyed by his rash behavior, she had really learned to appreciate Sirius over the past few months. He was impulsive and rebellious, but he was also caring and loyal, and she knew she could trust him with her life. He was also very protective of her and she couldn’t help but like it. With the war raging on, Sirius and the thought of her child were her only sources of comfort.
They broke apart when a phoenix came in from the back window. Sirius quickly untied the note from its leg and read it aloud.
Dear Sirius and Lily,
There’s an urgent meeting in five minutes. The attached portkey has been modified to account for Lily’s pregnancy. Not all members are invited. Speak of this to no one. Please destroy this message immediately.
With a quick look at Sirius to make sure he had read it, Lily whispered “Incendio”.
They held the paperclip that had been attached and waited for the portkey to activate without another word. Sirius put his arms around Lily protectively, despite Dumbledore’s assurance that the portkey had been modified. They were both surprised by the completely gentle and almost soothing effects of the paperclip once it had activated.
Lily and Sirius suddenly found themselves standing in the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts. Alice and Frank Longbottom were already sitting in two of the four chairs across from Dumbledore’s desk. When everyone was seated, Dumbledore spoke.
“What I have to say never leaves this room. I believe we have finally come across information that will help us win this war.” He paused for a moment and looked at the four who stood silent, eyes wide, eagerly awaiting what he was going to say next. Hope already rose in Lily’s chest at those last words.
“I have recently heard a prophecy. Now I usually don’t get concerned with prophecies, but this one is extremely important. When someone acts on a prophecy, they set it in motion.” Dumbledore ignored the many confused glances and continued. “ Lord Voldemort knows of this prophecy, or at least part of it, and I have information that leads me to believe that he will act on it. It may effect both your families.”
Sirius interjected “What’s the prophecy and why does it concern us?” It was the question that was on everyone’s mind. Dumbledore immediately removed a long silvery strand from his mind and showed them.
When the prophecy finished, Lily found herself staring at the place where Trelawney’s head had been long after it was gone. Her chest was pounding and both her hands were holding her stomach protectively. Her child was due at the end of July. Did that mean...? What did that mean?
It was Frank who spoke the question for her, suddenly breaking the eerie silence of the room. He and Alice wore a similar expression of concern. “Dumbledore, are you saying that one of OUR children is the one in the prophecy?”
“Yes.” Dumbledore responded simply.
A slew of frantic thoughts swam in Lily’s mind as her fears were confirmed. Sirius gently put his arms around her and she leaned into him instinctively. He held her as he looked straight into Dumbledore’s eyes. There was a flicker of anger in his voice as he spoke. “Enough vagueness Dumbledore. What does all this mean?”
Dumbledore nodded understandingly and explained “It means that one of your children will have the power to defeat Voldemort once and for all. It could mean either boy. Voldemort only knows of the part foretelling the birth. He plans on killing one or both of them. He does not know that attacking one of the children may cause him to “mark them as his equal”.”
Everyone in the room seemed to have a hard time accepting what they’d just heard. Frank held Alice tightly as she cried, Sirius looked angry, and Lily’s face was blank from shock. Her son, James’ son was already a target for Voldemort. The mere idea crushed her.
Then there was that part of the prophecy that kept resonating in her mind “neither shall live while the other survives”. How was a child expected to defeat the most powerful dark lord of the wizarding world? And the prophecy went both ways; if the child didn’t defeat Voldemort then he would kill them. Lily began hoping desperately that it wasn’t her son, just as she was sure that Alice was feeling the same. No sane mother could possibly want this for their child.
Dumbledore’s blue eyes shimmered sympathetically. “I have sources currently trying to find out which child will be targeted...it may well be both...” he said gravely.“As such, your whereabouts must, for now, be kept secret. Alice and Frank, I have prepared a safe place for you both that I will direct you to after this meeting. Sirius, and I right in assuming that you already have very strong wards in place where you live?”
Sirius nodded confidently.
“Good, you and Lily can stay there”
Sirius stood up suddenly and protested “But what about the war? Both the Ministry and the Order are short enough on aurors as it is! You can’t expect us all to just go into hiding while our friends are dying!”
Dumbledore met his gaze and said seriously “Sirius, you may do whatever you please. You were invited here tonight because of the concern you have shown towards Lily and her child in James’ absence. But listen carefully; you CANNOT go back and forth to where Lily is hiding. It’s too dangerous. Either you stay in hiding with her at your home or you will have to part ways. I have other arrangements ready for her should that suit you better.”
Sirius looked for a moment as though he was going to lash out, but instead nodded, clearly defeated. He would not leave Lily alone and Dumbledore knew it.
Sirius and Lily took the modified portkey back to the flat. Lily instantly began to make tea. It had become a habit for her and Sirius to sit together drinking tea, particularly after receiving grave news. She and Sirius would usually sit at the table in silence, both lost in their own thoughts, simply seeking comfort in the company.
Lily was still shaken up by the news, but felt more determined than ever to make progress in her work on unforgivables. She returned to the old text she had been reading earlier and continued taking notes. Sirius watched her attentively, concern still evident on his face.
She kept reading until she came across a particular passage she finally felt she completely understood.
The most powerful of protective magics are bound in love.
Lily found herself reading these words over and over again.
AN: I'm working really hard on improving my characterization skills. I just started writting fanfiction and could use some advice. Please Review.