Chapter 21 : The Fidelius Charm
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“Happy birthday!” Sirius shouted as Harry toddled over to him. Harry smiled and instead of walking over to Sirius he stopped by a fair sized box and sat down.
“He knows what’s good for him.” Remus said smiling. James smiled but Lily looked a little annoyed. She’d just had another argument with James over the fidelius charm. Unfortunately she had given in and had said she’d perform the charm as James’ wasn’t so skilled in casting charms. Harry started shaking one of his presents when Remus suddenly took it.
“No Harry, like this.” Remus tore off a strip of paper as Harry watched carefully. He smiled when he saw the corner of his present and started trying to tear the paper away. There was a crack and April appeared in the room holding a small box.
“Sorry I’m late.” She said. She went straight to Lily and hugged her.
“It’s fine.” Lily said.
“Are you ok?” April asked sensing Lily’s anger.
“Yeah. Why where you late?”
“I was being told off by the head auror.” April said. She sounded slightly annoyed at it. “And I don’t fully understand why, I was fully allowed to do what I did.”
“What did you do?” Sirius asked grinning.
“I sort of attacked Jessica Lowe.” April said. Everyone looked at her slightly surprised “But she was tormenting me.”
“What was she saying?” Lily asked.
“Stuff about Sirius.” April said. Sirius looked at April slightly pleased and slightly proud. “Anyway. I got this for Harry.” April put the present on the floor next to Harry. He had a pile of wrapping paper around him now and was staring suspiciously into a small cage with a small owl in it.
“Here Harry.” April said smiling at the young boy. Harry turned and clapped his hands at the extra present. He immediately tore off the paper. April looked amused.
“Remus decided to teach him the easy yet messy way of opening presents.” Lily explained.
“Sorry about that.” Remus said sheepishly. Sirius gasped at Harry’s present.
“A quaffle?” Sirius said. “How the hell did you afford that?” April smiled. The quaffle had cost quite a lot but nothing was too expensive for her godson. She had decided to get Harry a full sized quaffle so at least he could play with it when he was older.
“April, you really shouldn’t have bought that.” James said. April smiled as Harry rolled it around smiling and laughing.
“Well, he is my godson.” April said. Lily smiled and took James’ hand happily. James glanced at her. She was watching Harry happily.
“See, why does Harry need to go outside when we can bring some of the outside inside?” James said to her. Lily gave him a look but started smiling immediately.
* * * *
Dumbledore sat with Lily and James in their living room. Harry was upstairs playing with April.
“I’m very pleased you have decided to finally cast the Fidelius charm.” Dumbledore said, “May I enquire as to who the secret keeper will be?” He asked
“Sirius” Lily said slightly annoyed. Dumbledore smiled.
“You would prefer it be Miss. Marsden?” Lily nodded.
“We decided that it would be a bit risky if she’s an auror. She could die and everything” James said.
“Very sensible thinking. Mr. Black will be a good secret keeper. Do Sirius and April know of your decisions?” Dumbledore asked. Lily nodded.
“We talked to them a few weeks ago about it.” Lily said. It was now late august and Lily was still having doubts on the fidelius charm. She really didn’t like the idea of being stuck in the house.
“Well, the charm is quite complex and requires a small amount of potion. The potion ingredients are on this list here and the instructions for the charm is on this piece of parchment.” Dumbledore handed James two pieces of Parchment. James handed them both to Lily. Her eyes went down the list.
“Dragon tongue?” She said uncertainly.
“I will have Professor Grout bring the potion ingredients over in the next few days, it will take a few days to make as you can see.” Dumbledore said, “The charm itself is nothing that you, Lily, are not capable of. I trust you will be bale to perform it?”
“Any magic at all would be great.” Lily said. Recently she had resorted to the Muggle way of doing things just to have something to do. Magic was too quick at cleaning, cooking and everything else.
“I am afraid that I cannot offer you any clue as to how long you will be staying in hiding. The Longbottoms have been in hiding for a year.” Dumbledore said.
“But they’ve still been allowed out sometimes.” Lily said jealously.
“Yes, that is true. But they still need to perform their jobs as aurors. The ministry is reluctant to let them go.” Dumbledore said. “Which reminds me. Could you please tell April to refrain from telling the world you have a baby.” Lily looked confused, “Apparently she was telling Jessica Lowe.” Dumbledore told them.
“But Voldemort already knows so why try and hide it?” Lily mumbled. James looked at her surprised.
“Well, I must leave now. Remus should be getting back from his assignment and he needs to tell me everything he knows.” Dumbledore gave Lily and James a smile. “You are very brave. Do not give up.” He said before apparating.
“Do not give up?” Lily asked frustratedly.
“Lily.” James warned.
“I’m sorry but it’s just I am reaching the end of my fuse. I just want to feel the wind on my face, the sun on my skin. Don’t you find it difficult that you can’t leave?” Lily asked. James nodded, he was growing very impatient as well. Merlin knew how Lily managed it.
“Well, lets get started on that charm.” James said. Lily looked at it hesitantly.
“Not now.” Lily said. “Once we’ve made the potion.” James nodded and gave Lily a kiss as Harry’s small fluffy owl zoomed into the room followed by April.
“Come here you stupid-” April followed the owl. James stuck his hand out and caught the small owl.
“Ha, it’s just like a furry snitch.” James said amused. April took the owl and carefully held it in her hands.
“Thanks.” April said. “No you’re going back into your cage.” April wandered out of the room muttering angrily at the owl. James smiled and Lily shook her head.
“I think she takes the whole Godmother thing a bit seriously.” James said.
“She just wants to help.” Lily said. “But can we not do this spell until we’re completely ready.” James sighed.
“Will you ever be completely ready to go into hiding?” James asked Lily.
“No.” Lily confessed quietly. James pulled her into a hug and held her tightly. Lily let the parchments fall to the ground and she put her arms around James.
* * * *
“They have finally chosen their secret keeper my lord.” Peter said bowing down to Voldemort. Voldemort breathed slowly and stared at Peter for a while before nodding.
“Stand up.” Voldemort said to Peter. Peter stood up. Voldemort couldn’t help thinking what a poor excuse of a man Peter was. Always clinging onto whatever benefit him the most. Whether it was the most popular kids in school, the Marauders, or the most powerful dark wizard in the world. Peter always chose the winning side.
“Yes sir.” Peter said quickly standing up. “Well, Jessica has done well and apparently she was attacked by Marsden, her small spell worked wonders for her and us by intoxicating Black but the rest, Peter, is up to you. We cannot have too much happiness for the side of good. It will also cause a few problems in the Potter household and the longer they delay the fidelius charm the better.”
“But why don’t you attack now?” Peter asked.
“That cursed charm that Dumbledore put on their house. It’s nearly impossible to break but we are near to finishing it.” Voldemort said. A silence stretched in the room between Peter and Voldemort. Peter knew that Lily was highly hesitant about using the charm and James was just anxious. Peter thought of any way of postponing the charm. Nothing that happened to April would effect anything but if something happened to Sirius or if Lily’s thoughts were brought to a different level then maybe they could be postponed.
“Of, course, you could always kill Sirius, forcing the Potters to find a new secret keeper.” Peter said, thinking out loud. Voldemort looked at him with his piercing gaze then he smiled.
“There is still use for you Pettigrew.” Voldemort said, “Now to test your knowledge of your friends. If Sirius was to die who would be the substitute?”
“Probably Remus because there’s a chance that April could die as an auror and if she dies then the charm doesn’t work but then Remus is a werewolf so probably me.” Peter said. Voldemort nodded.
“Fine. I will have Jessica stop her mission and you are to take over. Be warned that my deatheaters will be attacking Black so try not to get in the way. Try and convince the Potters that you should be the one to be secret keeper.” Voldemort said. “Can you do this?”
“Yes my lord” Peter said.
“Good, now go!” Voldemort ordered.
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