A/N: The idea of this came to me as I was looking through the wallpapers on the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie website. The idea of it, is a concept story. It's AU, because it's going to based on "Life without Voldemort!" I decided to write what I feel life would have been like, had fate stepped in, and caused Voldemort to die before Lily and James were both killed. And so, this story will be about Harry's life, if Voldemort had never entered it. Please, please, please, leave your reviews! If you don‘t like it, let me know, I won‘t continue it. Lol. I haven‘t decided yet whether I‘m going to make this a one-shot of if I‘m going to extend it into a novel length story. That will be up to you guys. Review and tell me what you think. One-shot or Novel Length?
~Godric’s Hollow, October 29th, 1981~
Lily and James Potter sat in their sitting room, nervously awaiting the arrival of Sirius Black. He didn't know the plan yet, or exactly what was going on. Dumbledore had decided that, that was for them to tell him. They looked up at the clock every few minutes. It was 6:30pm, and almost time for baby Harry to get his bath before bed. But tonight, their routine would be interrupted. James stood up suddenly and began to pace, back and fourth across the living room, stopping only to look out the window from time to time. "Where is he Lils? Do you think something's happened? He's late."
She knew Sirius was late, and she too hoped nothing had happened to him. So instead of responding right away she stood up and walked over to James, running her hands down his arms and looking over at Baby Harry, who was sitting on his play-mat playing with the toy snitch Remus had gotten him for his birthday. "James, he'll be here. Don't worry. Something's probably just holding him up. Calm down." Her voice was as soft as velvet, and as soothing to James as a pacifier to a baby.
"Mum! Mum!" gurgled Harry from his play mat, reaching his pudgy arms up towards his mother, a broad smile spreading across his mouth, as his emerald green eyes reflected the light.
Lily walked over to him and lifted him up, to sit Harry on her hip. Leaning towards him to brush her nose against his. "Sirius is going to come see you tonight Harry. You want to see Sirius don't you?" Baby Harry nodded vigorously as Lily asked this of him, and just seemed to glow. Sirius was Harry's favorite person in the whole world, next to his parents of course. "Boom mum, boom" said Harry, causing James to laugh.
Sirius had gotten Harry a toy broomstick for his birthday, and Harry loved to zoom around on that little broom. It only rose about a foot off the ground, but it was perfect for a one-year old little boy. Admittedly the cat didn't find it to be, such a good idea. "Not tonight sport. I know you like that broom, but it's getting too late for it." James said in a mock-stern voice, as he looked over to his son.
"Awe! But why not Pops? There's nothing wrong with a bit of fun before bed! Don't tell me your losing your taste for fun Prongsy ol' boy!" Bellowed Sirius as he stepped out of the emerald green flames erupting to life in the fireplace.
"Well Padfoot, maybe if I didn't have to spend so much time worrying about your furry hide, I'd have a bit more time for fun." James said lifting a brow as he turned, with a broad grin towards his best-friend. "You were supposed to be here half an hour ago Sirius. We've been worried sick. Didn't Dumbledore tell you how important it was?"
Sirius actually had brains enough to look remorseful. "Sorry James. Something held me up-"
Sirius started, but James interrupted him, "And if I hear one thing about Marlaina, I'm gonna shove Harry's toy broom so far up your as-"
"JAMES! You don't want Harry to hear language like that!" Scolded Lily, and all three adults burst into a fit of laughter, while Harry looked from one adult to the other, trying to figure out just what was so funny.
It was Sirius who calmed down first. He swooped down on Lily scooping Harry up into his arms and tossing him up in the air to catch him again. His bark-like laugh ringing out as Harry squealed with delight. “Lils, be a doll would ya and get us all some tea to talk over?” He asked it politely, and as it was his way, Lily just nodded. “I’m gonna run Harry up to his bedroom and grab his broom. He can ride around on it, while we adults take care of the important stuff.”
Lily nodded at this idea and kissed James, “It’s good to see you again Padfoot. We’ve missed you these past two weeks. It’s not the same around here on the weekends without you.” She said it softly, Sirius had been away on Order business the past two weeks, and hadn’t been able to come over. Every weekend they all got together and had dinner. Just a bit of time where they didn’t have to worry about the war. Lily hummed softly as she went about the kitchen fixing tea. Everyone liked her tea best, as she made it the muggle way. She could only hope this would all be over soon. She hated having to live in hiding. She knew the Fidelius Charm was strong, and wouldn’t let anyone see their home, unless Peter, their Secret-Keeper told them where it was. It had been Sirius’ idea to make Peter the Secret-Keeper rather than himself. He’d rationalized that he’d be the expected Secret-Keeper, and that no one would suspect Wormtail.
She hadn’t believed that any of their friends were traitors, and neither had James. Remus Lupin knew where they lived, because Peter had told him, under instruction from Lily and James, even if it was to Sirius’ dismay. He hadn’t wanted Remus to know where they were hidden, and she couldn’t figure out for the life of her, why Remus and Sirius doubted one another, but there was nothing to be done about it until after the next few weeks passed.
They’d gotten a tip-off from... Well, from the last person they had ever expected to help the Order. For a long time, he’d been a known Death Eater. But, for some reason unknown to them, he had turned spy for Dumbledore and begun helping the Order. This was his ultimate test. Lily and James didn’t really believe what he had told Dumbledore. But, alas, they would follow Dumbledore no matter what, and if he was right... Well, then their traitor had been found, and perhaps, they would be able to rid the world finally, of Lord Voldemort.
Lily couldn’t help but be torn in two. Half of her wanted this Death-Eater, turned Spy to be telling the truth, because she had grown up so close to him. They’d lived right around the corner from one another. He’d been the first person from the Wizarding World she’d met after she got her letter from Hogwarts. He’d told her all about magic, and the Wizarding World. They had only stopped being friends when he’d called her... he’d called her a... Mudblood! One of the nastiest things you could call someone. It was a name used for Witches and Wizards born of non-magical blood, or Muggle-born.
However, the other half of her wanted him to be wrong, wanted to find out he was lying and that it was just another ploy from the Dark Lord, but she couldn’t, for the life of her, no matter how smart she was, figure out how he could be lying, or what good would come from lying about such a thing. If he was right however, it would name one of James’ best friends, and someone she’d come to see as a friend as well, as a traitor, ready to sell her and James out to Lord Voldemort.
Severus Snape had gone to Dumbledore, to inform him, that Voldemort had reason to believe that baby Harry would grow to become a threat to him, and that none other than, Peter Pettigrew, their Secret-Keeper, was working for the Dark Lord. Snape had told Dumbledore that Peter Pettigrew had told Lord Voldemort where Lily and James lived. She couldn’t see how he could be lying, because how else would he have known that Peter had been their Secret-Keeper? Everyone thought that it was Sirius. They’d only changed it at the last minute, and the only people who knew the truth were, James, Lily, Sirius, and of course, Peter. Snape had also told Dumbledore that Voldemort planned on coming to Godric’s Hollow to kill Harry on the night of Halloween.
Lily soon made her way back into the sitting room, with a silver tray holding three tea-cups, a kettle full of the chamomile tea everyone loved so much, and a warm bottle for Harry, to find Sirius and James sitting, deep in discussion about the latest Quidditch match, and Harry zooming after the cat on his toy broomstick. It was a sight that she would never in her life forget. It was one she was used to seeing, and probably one of the sights that made her the happiest.
"Boom, boom!" Squealed baby Harry as he zipped around the sitting room. Lily moved to set the tray down on the coffee table in front of Sirius and James, before taking a seat in her favorite rocking chair. It was the chair she used every night to rock Harry to sleep. She looked to James and it was as if the two were silently communicating because James soon nodded his head and turned towards Sirius.
"Alright, Padfoot... We've been given some... pretty horrible news from Dumbledore-" James began, he was about to explain everything to Sirius, about the possible traitor, and the plan to keep Harry safe. But Sirius interrupted him.
"Who died? Someone we knew?" Sirius' mind instantly jumped to the idea of a death, if Dumbledore had horrible news. But surely he'd have told the entire Order, not just James and Lily. Unless perhaps it was Lily's muggle relatives... He couldn't remember their names. Lily's sister and her husband didn't talk to Lily if they could prevent it. He and James both knew how much it tore Lily up, even though she valiantly brushed it off as nothing.
"No. Nobody has died that we're aware of Padfoot. But, someone might. Look, Dumbledore got news from someone... Well, someone we don't really trust, but it's hard not to believe him Sirius. You need to understand that first and foremost." James paused and looked over to Harry, and Sirius saw that light flash into James' eyes. That worry for his son, that had instant anger coursing through Sirius' blood.
"Who's threatening Harry?" He asked in such an outburst that Harry almost fell off the toy broom, and he started crying.
"Shh. Sirius, you've scared Harry. Calm down." It was Lily's soothing voice that spoke, as she stood again, and moved to gather Harry into her arms. By the time she returned to the rocking chair, with Harry laying in her lap, he was once more making happy, albeit sleepy sounds. Harry yawned hugely, rubbing his chubby fists against his eyes as he lay his head on his mum's chest. "He's sleepy. We'll pass on his bath tonight, and give him one when he wakes in the morning." The part that surprised Sirius most about Lily's last statement was that, instead of looking at James, she had looked at him. "Go on James."
James nodded and pushed his hands through his hair, effectively tousling it more. Just as he used to do when he was younger, when he tried to show-off for the girls. Now it had become a nervous habit. One Lily still found a tad-bit endearing. "Alright, as I was saying. Okay, Sirius, the best way to get this out, is to get it over quickly. Apparently You-Know-Who has some reason to believe that when Harry grows up he is going to be a threat to him, and so, He wants to kill Harry." James' voice was strained as he looked to his wife, and his son. If he had his way Lily would be getting tucked away with Harry at Sirius’ as well, nice and safe. But James knew all too well that she'd have none of that. She'd already said so, quite adamantly when he'd suggested it, and he wasn't keen to suggest it again, because he knew her temper would probably drive her to throw large, heavy objects at his head.
"But, what's the problem James? Why does it matter that he wants Harry dead? He can't get to him. You-Know-Who has no idea where you guys are, and he'll never find out." Sirius supplied, as if explaining the obvious.
But it was Lily who responded, "You see Sirius, that's where you're wrong. Dumbledore's informant is Severus Snape. He has turned spy on You-Know-Who, and is now working for the Order." Sirius looked outraged, that they could believe such a man. That Dumbledore could be so easily fooled by Snivellus. "I didn't want to believe it either Sirius" Lily added hastily seeing Sirius' reaction. "However, the evidence is undeniable. I've tried, with all of my might to think of a way, a reason, this could be a lie. As a mother, I don't want to believe that You-Know-Who has put a death sentence on my one-year old son... For any reason." She shuddered at the mere thought of it.
"But you see Padfoot," James picked up, "Snape gave Dumbledore evidence that he couldn't have known, unless he was telling the truth. It was the evidence that almost made Dumbledore incapable of believing Snivellus. Because, he... Like everyone else, thought you were our Secret-Keeper. Somehow, Snape had known that Peter was our Secret-Keeper. He informed Dumbledore that You-Know-Who wanted Harry dead, and that Peter Pettigrew betrayed us to You-Know-Who. Told him where we are hidden. You-Know-Who is planning to attack on Halloween. This is where you come in."
Sirius’ jaw hung slightly open as he looked from first Lily then to James and back. He was flabbergasted at what he just heard. But he could not deny it either. There was just absolutely no possible way Snivellus could have figured out that Peter Pettigrew had become Secret-Keeper in place of himself, unless Wormtail really had betrayed the Potters to You-Know-Who. He'd kill him! He also knew he owed Remus an apology. It hadn't been Moony at all... The traitor had been the unsuspected, and sneaky little Wormtail all along. They'd all been fooled. Who would have thought that, little old wormy, could ever have betrayed them? Certainly none of them had thought such a thing.
As if on cue, the fire in the grate, snapping merrily, roared once more into life and turned emerald green, they were all a bit surprised to see Albus Dumbledore unfolding himself from the flames. He stopped on the rug and began to dust off his robes, before looking to the room at large. His pointed wizard hat a bit askew on his head, as his twinkling blue eyes looked out from his half-moon spectacles. "I gather you have informed young Sirius of everything?"
"No, we haven't told him of the plan yet." Answered Lily as she looked down to Harry, who was now sound asleep in her lap, drooling a bit onto her blouse, but still angelic in sleep.
"Then, would any of you be object to myself informing him of our plan?" Asked Dumbledore as he soon took a seat in the rocking chair opposite Lily. James and Sirius sat on the sofa between Lily and Dumbledore, who each sat in a rocking chair at opposite ends of the sofa, facing one another. Everyone shook their heads to say that they didn’t mind him filling in the rest. “Good, good. As I have some information to add. Firstly, I have known for a good while now that Voldemort has been taking steps to make sure the he, was incapable of dying.” Lily held up her hand to gesture for Dumbledore to hold that thought.
She stood up and walked Harry up to his room, lying him in his crib to sleep until Sirius was ready to leave. When she returned to the sitting room it was just as quiet as when she’d left. “Then, how are we to kill him Dumbledore?” She asked softly, sitting down once more, she waved her wand and first, a fourth cup came soaring out of the kitchen. She sat it down with the other three, and waved her wand over the now cool kettle to instantly reheat the tea. She began filling the cups with tea as Dumbledore continued.
“Well, you see.. Have any of you three ever heard of something called Horcruxes?” He waited as Lily handed out the cups of tea. Taking his, he sipped from it, still watching the other three over the rim of the cup. He, too, was one of the many that adored Lily’s chamomile tea.
Lily sipped from her own mug before tilting her head towards Dumbledore. James and Sirius had both shaken their heads in response to Dumbledore’s question, but Lily hadn’t responded just yet. “Well, actually. I have heard of them, yes. I don’t know much about them, but I have a general idea of what they are.”
Dumbledore looked surprised, and his brows furrowed in thought. “How did you learn of them Lily? As far as I am aware there have not been any books on Horcruxes left in the library, regular or restricted for some time now. And, what exactly do you know of them?”
Lily flushed a bit, and took another sip of her tea. “Well, I didn’t learn of them out of any book. I learned of them from Severus Snape. Everyone in this sitting room knows that him and I were friends once. The Summer before I started at Hogwarts we were talking, and he told me what he knew about them. All he could really tell me however, was that Horcruxes were extremely dark magic. Also, that they were...” Lily paused trying to think of the best way of explaining it. “A way of storing a piece of one’s soul. However, if that is the case Dumbledore... Then wouldn’t the soul have to be split, and therefore, if the soul were in two different places... Such as in a horcruxe and in the body of the person who’s soul has been split... Wouldn’t that mean to kill the body, you’d have to kill the piece of soul held in the horcruxe first? Or, if you did not do so, the person who’d made the horcruxe, could continue to live, albeit without a body?”
Most of everything she’d said after explaining what she knew, had been questions. Lily’s own guesses at what would happen if a horcruxe was made. Dumbledore would have been hard-pressed to hide his pride and his surprise in Lily however. “I am very impressed Lily. You have, as muggles say, hit the nail on the head. I could not have said what horcruxes were any better myself. Most of what you said was speculation on your part, but correct speculation all the same. If I were still your teacher I’d give you 25 points for that.” Dumbledore said with a chuckle, and a shake of his head. “You really are the brightest which of your age Lily.”
James and Sirius sat in shock at what they had just heard, but James couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride in his wife at that moment. He had never heard of them, and could understand why Lily had never told him what she knew about horcruxes. They were terrible bits of dark magic, that he wouldn’t have wanted to know about, until now... Now that it was so important to know about them. “But, are you saying that You-Know-Who has made a horcruxe Dumbledore? If that is the case, than how are we to kill him?” James asked eagerly. Curious as to just what they would do about this sudden problem.
“No, James. He has not made a horcruxe, but several. Voldemort has made five horcruxes.” James, Lily, and Sirius all gasped at this and Lily pressed a hand to her chest. “I know, it’s horrible. I can only speculate on the condition of Voldemort’s soul at this point. I think, perhaps, that Voldemort is planning to make one more horcruxe. I believe, that he is planning on making that horcruxe with Harry’s death. You see, for him, to make six horcruxes, he would be splitting his soul into seven pieces. As you all know, seven is a very magical number, and I think, he would see that as a way of making himself more powerful.” James, Lily, and Sirius were a perfect audience, listening raptly to what Dumbledore was saying, and hardly ever interrupting unless they did not have a choice.
“I have spent the last year and a half hunting down the five pieces of Voldemort’s soul that I have assumed he’d made. I’ve been lucky to come across memories that allowed me to make guesses at what items he used to turn into the horcruxes. Luckily for me, up until now I have been correct in my guesses. His horcruxes at this point have been, Salazaar Slytherin’s Locket, Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup, Rowena Ravenclaw’s Lost Diadem, an interesting Diary, that I think was intended for something other than just holding a piece of his soul, and lastly, a ring belonging to a man named Marvolo Gaunt. Voldemort’s Grandfather.” Dumbledore explained, and he couldn’t help but smile at their reactions to finding out that such ancient treasures had been used to create such horrible things.
“But, doesn’t that mean, Dumbledore... You’ve had to destroy the horcruxes? If you’ve found them... Meaning those heirlooms of the Hogwarts Founders have been destroyed?” Lily was shocked at the idea of such valuable pieces of history having to be destroyed.
“Yes, Lily. Regretfully I have had to destroy them. However, I have indeed tracked down, and destroyed all five horcruxes. So, Voldemort should be able to be killed. I’m not saying that it will be a simple task. Like that of hunting down and destroying his horcruxes, it was not an easy task, but it can be done.” Dumbledore turned to face Sirius directly now. “You, Sirius... Surprised me. I find, that your decision to make Peter Pettigrew the Secret-Keeper in your place, was a very wise decision. The logic behind the decision was... brilliant. However, the choice of Peter Pettigrew seems to have been the downfall. I also believe, that the choice of not telling anyone, other than those involved was an admirable decision. I almost refused to believe Severus Snape, as I was under the impression that it was you, Sirius, that was Secret-Keeper, and so, I saw Severus’ information as impossible. Until, that is, I spoke with James and Lily.”
“That’s all fine and good Dumbledore, and I appreciate your praise... But, if it hadn’t been for Snape, I might have gotten James and Lily, and even Harry killed... I never could have forgiven myself if something happened to them. “ Sirius argued. Still trying to figure out how Wormtail had pulled the wool over their eyes like he did.
“Fate had decided differently.” Dumbledore said with finality, before delving more into the plan. “I am to understand however, that you and Remus Lupin doubted one another. If I am correct you doubted him, because Voldemort was recruiting werewolves correct?”
Sirius looked down at his hands and flushed scarlet, clearly embarrassed that he had suspected Lupin. “Yes. I should have never doubted him. I should have realized that I knew him better than that, and that just because he is a werewolf, didn’t mean he would be like the rest of them. I’ve been friends with him for so long now, and all it took was word that You-Know-Who was recruiting werewolves to turn me against him. Well, that and Peter’s....” He paused and looked up at Dumbledore, who was smiling benignly. Realization had just hit Sirius, as Dumbledore had expected it to. “That worm. He encouraged my doubt of Remus, and probably Remus’ of me. He kept suggesting that Remus would turn. ‘Sirius, I’m worried... what if.. well, what if Remus joins the other werewolves and turns against us?’ He would say. He knew I was already having my doubts about Remus and he fed them.”
Again Dumbledore nodded, “You are, of course, correct Sirius, and if I am correct Peter did the same to Remus. Remus already had reason to doubt you. After all, it had been your idea to prank Severus into going into the Whomping Willow that night. And, because of your prank, Severus was able to find out that Remus was a werewolf. Remus saw that as a betrayal of trust and friendship.”
“Yeah, I know. I still feel guilty about that. I never should have revealed his secret to anyone. Especially Snivellus.” Sirius said, taking a sip of his tea to cover the shame on his face.
“All the same. What is done, is done, and can not be undone. However, Peter also encouraged Remus’ doubt. I believe his statement was along the lines of ‘Sirius has betrayed you once Remus, why should we believe he won’t do so again. His whole family was Slytherin, his own brother a Death Eater... Who says he hasn’t followed in their lead after all?” So, as you can see, he played to your faults to Remus, as much as played to Remus’ to you. Remus of course, would not have believed a word of it, if he hadn’t already had reason to doubt you. Peter was very clever in the way he went about his betrayal. Never once did he show even a hint to James or Lily that he was betraying them. Only to you and Remus did he work on. He knew, that James would never doubt his friends, and that if one of his friends tried to make him doubt the others, he would... Begin to doubt that friend. Though, you Sirius, doubted Remus, you never tried to get James to doubt him. Therefore, James never doubted you.”
It made a lot more sense when Dumbledore explained it. Matter of fact, it made Sirius feel a bit better. He didn’t feel as guilty about making Peter Secret-Keeper, though the idea of what could have happened would forever haunt him. However, he also did not feel as guilty about doubting Remus, now that he realized that his doubt had been encouraged and coaxed like a dying fire.
“Sirius, now, for the part you will be playing in this. We are going to have you take baby Harry with you, when you leave here tonight. Take him to your place at Grimmauld Place. Keep him there safely until I give you word that it is safe and all is clear. Do you understand?” Sirius nodded, but swallowed hard. The idea of having Harry didn’t bother him, but what of James and Lily? “James and Lily will be remaining here in Godric’s Hollow. They want, and I can understand why, the chance to take down Voldemort. He will not be expecting them, so it will be a surprise. However, I will also be here to help. The three of us will ambush, and hopefully destroy Voldemort. Then I will send word to you, in the form of a Phoenix Patronus, to let you know all is well. Do you understand?” Dumbledore leaned back in his chair and once more sipped from the tea, obviously savoring the taste.
Sirius nodded, “Yes, I understand, but... “ He stopped himself, he knew it was pointless to argue. He wanted to be there, but then who would take care of Harry? It would be a full moon on Halloween. “Just,” He directed his words to Lily and James, “Be careful. I mean it. Lily, do you have his things ready? Don’t forget his broom and snitch. Harry wouldn’t be happy without them.” There was concern in his voice, and etched on his face. Sirius was afraid that this would be the last time he’d ever see James and Lily. “It’s a good thing Harry comes to stay with me from time to time, or I’d never have a room set up for him in time.” He added, with his bark-like laugh. Trying to lighten the mood in the room, and lift his own worry a bit.
Lily nodded to answer Sirius’ question. “I’ll get Harry’s things and we’ll go ahead and send them over to your place. Thank you Sirius, I can’t tell you how much it means to me, that you are doing this for us.” She walked over to him, and gave him a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be right back.” Lily walked through the house, first going to the storage closet to get the over-night bag that they always used for Harry. It was large enough to put enough stuff for a week into it, including diapers and clothing, and all the necessities. Harry loved it because it was deep crimson, with golden snitches and brooms all over it. She filled it with Harry’s clothes and some diapers, and everything baby Harry would need. Sirius already had baby soap and shampoo, and the like at his house. It was a regular occurrence that Harry would go for the weekend to Sirius’ house. She did however, add extra bottles and sippy cups. Then, she went back into the living room and grabbed his play-mat, folding it up, and setting the over-night bag on top of it, along with Harry’s toy broom and snitch. “I think, that’s everything except for Harry.” She said with a laugh, and Dumbledore waved his wand and all the things disappeared.
“They are now at your place Sirius, in Harry’s room.” He smiled to the three in the room and tipped his hat, “I shall be going now. I will see you at 6pm sharp on Halloween.” Dumbledore turned around and tossed a pinch of floo powder into the grate, and then disappeared himself into the green flames. Most likely, back to Hogwarts.
Lily headed up stairs to get Harry, giving James and Sirius a few moments to talk. “Look, I hate this Sirius, as much as you do. I know you’d rather be here fighting, but we need you to take care of Harry. It will be too dangerous for him here. We will be fine. I wish I could send Lily with you as well... I can’t let anything happen to her. But she won’t have it, of course. She’s too stubborn for that. She has to protect our son, just as fiercely as I do. You’ll hear from us in a couple days time. Promise.”
Sirius nodded his head, keeping it bowed a bit. “You better keep alive... Or I’ll bring you back just to kill ya again James. You’re my best-mate and I can’t imagine life without ya.” It was getting sentimental but right now he didn’t care, and he hugged James. “Take care mate.” He said just as Lily came back down the stairs. Harry was awake again, and a bit grumpy about being woken, but that was okay. Sirius knew plenty of ways to calm him back to sleep. Lily kissed Harry, and hugged him, before handing him to his father. James did the same, and while James said his good-byes to Harry, Sirius gave Lily a hug. “You keep James here safe for me, alright?” Lily nodded and kissed his cheek, tears sparkling in her emerald green eyes.
“I’ll do my best Sirius, you know that. Thank you for watching over Harry. I can’t thank you enough.” She took Harry from James, who also had tears in his eyes, and handed him to Sirius. Both James and Lily were terrified that they would never see Harry or Sirius again. Sirius was afraid as well, afraid that James and Lily would die at Voldemort’s hands.
Sirius took Harry into his arms, and cradled him to his chest. “Shh, Harry... We’ll be at my house soon and you can go right back to sleep.” He whispered soothingly and waved good-bye to James and Lily. Then he too took a pinch of floo powder and tossed it into the flames. When he stepped inside, he cried out ‘Number 12 Grimmauld Place” and there was a knot in his throat. James and Lily heard it in his tone of voice, and both frowned as he spun out of sight.
~Godric’s Hollow, October 31st, 1981~
He was walking through the town square of Godric’s Hollow. A feeling of elation filling him with a greedy joy. He knew, that tonight he would end the only possible threat to himself. Harry Potter would die at his hand. His dark cloak flowed down to drag on the ground, and the hood was pulled up over his once handsome face. Splitting his soul had taken it’s toll on his looks, but he didn’t care. What did it matter how he looked? He was the most powerful wizard to ever live. Many would call him arrogant, but he wouldn’t hear a word of it. How was it arrogance when it was the truth? A little child ran by and stopped directly in front of him. “Nice costume sir.” Ah.. yes, it was the muggle holiday of Halloween. He smirked and as the light was cast across his face the boy screamed and ran off to find his mother.
A single twitch of his wand, two words, and the boy would never make it to his mother. But why? That would be a pointless death. His thoughts were taken up instead, by the one-year old boy he’d end tonight. He walked with purpose through the square quickly, but not quickly enough that he seemed to be in any rush. It was more of a quick, yet casual gait that carried him down the final street that would lead him, inevitably to the house he sought. As he approached he could see them now, through the window. Thanks to Wormtail he was no longer blocked from seeing them.
There they were, playing with their young son. Wands tucked away, under the false impression of safety that had been woven around them. It would be easy, far too easy. He almost wished there would be more of a challenge. Just, almost.
However, what Voldemort wasn’t aware of, was that the image he saw through the window of the two story cottage, was nothing more than a cleverly placed charm by Albus Dumbledore. What he couldn’t see however, was so much different than the image Voldemort was being allowed to see.
James and Lily stood in the entrance hall, wands gripped and at the ready. They had received the message from Dumbledore. Dumbledore was hidden outside of the house, and the moment he’d seen Voldemort approaching he’d sent a Phoenix Patronus in to James and Lily, so that they knew Voldemort was coming. Now they waited to see that flash of light that would tell them he was coming through the door.
Voldemort walked up to the door, completely oblivious to what was about to happen. He lifted his wand and pointed it at the keyhole, "Alohamora!" his high pitched cruel voice whispered, and a white light flashed from his wand, and the lock on the door clicked. As he swung the door inwards Lily shot a charm at him, that missed his face by inches and James tried to stupefy him, but both missed. Even though he was caught by surprise, Voldemort was still very fast, and a very powerful wizard. He cast nonverbally, making it harder for James and Lily.
The curse that hit James in the chest sliced his chest open from shoulder to hip, but it wasn’t a fatal hit. Though blood fell from the wound, James had jumped away from the curse, causing it to be nothing more than a shallow-scratch. Lily was shooting curses rapidly at Voldemort from a little ways down the hall. Some hit their mark but they didn’t seem to have much effect on Voldemort. James was trying his hardest to keep Voldemort’s attention off of Lily. He didn’t want anything to happen to Lily. Another curse flew from Voldemort’s wand and hit James squarely in the face. His glasses were blown off and he hit the wall with a sickening thud. Whatever the curse had been, it had toppled James out of the fight. Lily screeched “JAMES!!!” and ran over to him, and right as Voldemort was about to curse her, Dumbledore stepped up behind him, and the two began a silent duel.
Lily was torn. She needed to take care of her husband, but she wanted to help Dumbledore. The battle raging between Voldemort and Dumbledore awed her completely. She checked James’ pulse and sighed a breath of relief to note he was alive, but his pulse was weak, and his breath shallow. She worked at closing up the wounds to his chest, and knew that the rest would have to be left to St. Mungo’s. She was learning to be a healer, but she wasn’t anywhere near through with her training yet.
Once she’d done what she could for James, she stood up and turned towards Voldemort. “Oi! You hurt my husband you ass. You wanted to kill my son. Now you'll pay!” Her curses went flying and what happened next, not even Dumbledore had foreseen. Voldemort spun on his heel and looked directly at Lily.
“You stupid, stupid, little mudblood!” He spat out the words as if they weren’t worthy of his lips. As he rose his wand, she rose hers. She used a blasting jinx, but it missed as Voldemort side-stepped the flying jet of light, and she couldn’t help but freeze when he uttered his next curse. “Avada Kadavra!” He hissed and Lily moved to jump out of the way of the flying curse but it still clipped her in the shoulder, and she crumpled to the ground, but not before one last curse flew from her wand. A bright golden light hit Voldemort squarely in the chest, and caused his body to fly through the air at least forty feet. His body smashed into a tree, but he never felt the impact. He had been dead before he hit the tree. The golden curse that had hit him, had ended his life.
Dumbledore rushed to Lily, only to find that she was indeed breathing. She had somehow not gotten the worst of the killing curse. Somehow, it’s miss, even though it scraped her shoulder, had not killed her. It only caused her to pass out. He moved then to also check James. When he was reassured that both James and Lily were alive, he took them both to St. Mungo’s Hospital where they could be healed.
It wasn’t until James and Lily were being cared for that he sent his Patronus to Sirius. Sirius was pacing across the kitchen in Grimmauld Place. What had been intended as his dinner now lay cold on the table. He’d put Harry to bed, and then waited... every minute seeming like an hour, every hour like an eternity without word. He was half-crazy with worry for James and Lily. What would he do if they died? He wished Remus could be there, but it was a full-moon. He wished... Hell he just wished anyone could be there to take his mind off of his worry. But, he supposed that wasn’t going to happen. As he turned around to make another round of the kitchen he saw the Phoenix Patronus land in the center of the table and he froze. Afraid of what it would say, afraid that it bore bad news, afraid even, that he was imagining it.
However, the Phoenix opened up it’s mouth and spoke in Dumbledore’s calm voice. “Lily and James are in St. Mungo’s. They should be alright. Do not come tonight. Wait until tomorrow, let Harry sleep. Voldemort is dead. Lily killed him. I will be by when I know more of James and Lily’s condition. I implore you to wait there.” As soon as it had appeared the Phoenix disappeared, once again leaving Sirius alone in his kitchen. They were alive... He sighed in relief and fell into his chair, but they were in St. Mungo’s, that meant they were injured. Would they be alright? You-Know-Who was dead! Lily, the woman he’d come to see as a sister... She’d finished him. He was amazed, and so proud of her, but praying to Merlin that it didn’t cost her, her life.
~Godric’s Hollow, November, 23rd 1981~
It was late November, and Autumn had already started to shift to the cold that would be winter. A light dusting of snow already spread across the ground, and framed the edge of the windows. A fire was ablaze in the fireplace, keeping the cozy two-story cottage nice and warm. The only thing keeping James from spending all of his time in St. Mungo's lately, was baby Harry. Harry needed him there. So, James sat in Lily's favorite rocking chair, Harry cradled to his chest, rocking as he watched his son fall asleep. He couldn't help but smile, his son brought him so much joy, and yet, it didn't seem to be enough to light his eyes. It was not that Harry didn't make him happy, it was, instead, that his happiness was shadowed with fear and worry. He was scared to death that Harry would never see his mother awake again, scared that he would lose Lily. She had been in St. Mungo's for nearly a month now, and she hadn't woken up since that killing curse had clipped her shoulder. Even the healers were beginning to think that, even though she had survived the curse, because it had only just brushed her shoulder, that she would never wake up. The healers were thinking that the effect of the curse was a permanent comatose state. He couldn't think about it.
James shook his head vigorously, as he stood up and carried Harry up to his room. When he laid Harry in his crib, James took a look around the bedroom, his hands resting on the crib-railing. The Nursery had been painted a light blue, with clouds on the walls. It had been Lily's idea to paint the nursery like this. She had been so adamant about doing it the muggle way, and they had. He laughed quietly as he remembered how she'd looked. Very pregnant, her red hair tied up into a ponytail, with strands falling around her face from their hard work, wearing battered muggle cover-alls, and what she had called a paint-mask on her face. She'd explained that the thin muggle-device protected the mouth and nose from inhaling the fumes of the paint. He'd tried to explain that a simple bubble-head charm would have gotten the same effect, but she wouldn't hear of it. The room had been completely painted, and Lily seemed to be wearing as much of the paint as the walls. It had been so cute, and so funny at the same time, watching Lily, his Lily laugh as she looked with pride at the nursery they'd painted together. He had to admit, there was something special about having done the work themselves, with their own hands rather than with wands. So, he could understand why she'd been so adamant about it. Granted the room did have it’s share of magic too. The walls were enchanted, very much like the ceiling in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. The ceiling would always show the sky outside, no matter the weather, but that wasn’t the only magic. The walls had been enchanted as well. Snitches would play hide-and-seek behind the clouds for Harry’s amusement, and players on broomsticks would zoom in and out of sight as well. That had been James’ touch, when Lily had figured out how to charm the ceiling.
James backed out of the room as tears slipped from beneath his glasses. As he walked back into the sitting room, he reclaimed the rocking chair and stared into the flames in the grate. Between Sirius, Remus, and himself, they had been taking turns watching over Lily. James would visit during the daytime hours with Harry, and then Remus would be there in the afternoon, and Sirius would spend the night, having the most open schedule of the three. Remus of course couldn't be there during the full moon, so when it had come Sirius and James had taken turns at home with Harry while the other had taken Remus' shift. They didn't want to leave Lily alone... Not at all. Especially right now. She would be a prime target in her comatose state. News had reached the order a week ago. Sad news indeed. Bellatrix, her husband Rudolphus, and Rabastan Lestrange had been arrested and sentenced to life in Azkaban along with Barty Crouch Jr. for the torture of Alice and Frank Longbottom. They had tortured the Longbottoms into insanity and both were now in a permanent ward in St. Mungo's. It had been a last resort from the four Death Eaters, refusing to believe that their Master was dead. James refused to dwell on it, but he knew that the healers were talking about putting Lily on the same ward with the Longbottoms.
James leaned back in the rocking chair, closing his hazel eyes as he wiped the unwanted tears from beneath his glasses. He had shed so many tears in fear of losing Lily. He needed her, and it was as simple as that. There was a soft rap on his door and he stood up to answer it, his hand on his wand in his pocket as he checked who it was, but there was no need, as it was Remus. He pulled open the door and tried to smile, but failed. "Hey Moony."
Remus frowned at the site of James. "Prongs, I hate to break it to you, but you look like hell. I know you haven't been sleeping, or eating much. You eat enough to put on a show... But it's not enough. You're starting to look like me at the peak of... my furry little problem. Something needs to be done, and you need to get some rest." He said it bluntly, but it was the truth. Him and Sirius had both begun to worry for James, almost as much as they worried for Lily. He was wasting away in front of their eyes. Remus stepped in and shut the door, but both of them spun around quickly as they heard the tell-tale sign of someone stumbling out of the fire.
Sirius all but fell out of the emerald green flames. His dark eyes wild, his hair a tussled mess. The site of him scared Remus, but not nearly as much as it scared James. James’ heart had stopped, Sirius had been with Lily. “Lily?” James whispered and stumbled forward grabbing hold of the front of Sirius’ robes.
“Prongs, cool it! You don’t need to strangle me with my own robes.” Sirius muttered and James stepped back muttering an apology. He was loosing it. “Actually, I do have news of Lily, and you need to get your ass through that grate and to St. Mungo’s, I’ll stay here with Harry. Lily wants to see you.” He said with a beaming smile, and James almost fainted with relief. Lily was awake. Lily would be alright!
James hugged Sirius as tightly as he could manage, and Remus even joined in, as the three celebrated their happiness that Lily was awake. James ran upstairs to the bathroom to straighten up the best he could manage without going all out and taking a shower. Once he was downstairs again he grabbed a pinch of floo powder and threw it into the flames, spinning out of sight until he reached St. Mungo’s, where he burst into a flat out run to Lily’s room.
Lily was laying in bed, her hair a tangled mass of red around her head, her arms weak and laying on the bed beside her, but she smiled at the sight of James. James ran over to her and gave her a hug and a kiss, muttering so much that she only caught clips of what he was trying to say. She knew she’d heard for sure “I love you.” and “You’re alive, you’re okay, thank Merlin” but that was about the gist of it.
“James...” her voice was a soft hoarse whisper from lack of use, and it snapped him to his senses, he sat down on the edge of the bed and took her hand in his. “How is Harry?”
Of course it would be her first question. How’s Harry. He’d asked the same thing when he’d woken up. Not to mention the first time he’d seen Sirius. “He’s great Lils. Looking forward to seeing his Mum again.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to her forehead, while using his free hand to brush back her hair.
“I’m glad... that you are alright, and Harry. I’m glad to be awake. Inside... my head hasn’t been the nicest place to be.” She said it with a laugh in her voice, because inside her head had been full of horrible dreams. Nightmares that Voldemort had still lived, and that he’d found and killed Harry and Sirius, finished of James. Everything. It had been so horrible. She yawned, surprising herself. But then again she had heard in her training that being in coma wasn’t like sleeping, and that when you woke up again you were pretty exhausted.
“You get some rest Lily. Sirius is with Harry, and I’ll stay here with you tonight.” James whispered shifting so that he could lay down on the bed with her. The bed was so small that he had to cast a charm to make it grow in size. “I love you” he whispered as she started to doze off, she mumbled something along the lines of “I’d like that, I love you too” before she was sound asleep. He hadn’t realized how long it had been since he’d had a good nights sleep until now. Soon James was fast asleep with Lily as well.
Lily was released from the hospital one week later. Perfectly healthy, but under strict orders to restrain from any strenuous activity for a while.
~Godric’s Hollow, December 25th, 1985~
Everyone sat around the Christmas Tree in their pajamas. Five year old Harry bouncing in James’ lap, eager to get his hands on his presents. Sirius was to James’ right, and Remus to James’ left. Lily sat closest to the tree sorting out the gifts. Harry had the largest pile, of course, but the four adults had rather large piles of gifts too. Once all the gifts were passed out, Lily reached into the front pocket of her robe and extracted a small package. “I almost forgot this one.” She said with a coy smile as she put it on the very top of James’ pile of gifts.
They all tore into their gifts, and James deliberately left the small package from Lily for last. Once all the gifts were open, she laughed and urged him to open. All attention then turned to him, as no one else had any more presents to open, and suddenly James wished he’d opened it first. However, he started to unwrap it, and what he found caused his jaw to drop. There was a small, hand-knitted baby’s bonnet inside the box, and he stuttered over his words. “Lils... does this m..mean wh..what I think it does?” He watched as tears sprang into her eyes and she nodded her head.
Lily watched James’ reaction, and as he spoke she nodded her head, shifting to give him a kiss. “Yes, James... We’re having another baby.” whoops and catcalls went up from Remus and Sirius, and James and Lily both started laughing while Harry played with a toy train set he had gotten for Christmas. “Happy Christmas Everyone” laughed Lily, and it was sure to be the Happiest Christmas they had seen since the beginning of the war.
Write a Review Life Without Lord Voldemort: Prologue