Prologue

September 1981

Lily wasn't sure what to do. She hadn't spoken to her closest friend for four years, yet here she was, stood in her kitchen, reading a note from him that was practically begging to see her that day. In an hour no less. She glanced over at Harry who was happily making a mess of his breakfast, giggling to himself in his highchair, her eyes rested on the sleeping form of James on the sofa. She couldn't very well leave Harry unattended while his father got some much needed rest, and she couldn't call upon the Marauders, they'd ask too many questions. She had to take him wih her.

She sighed softly, tucking a fallen strand of auburn hair behind her ear, shoving Severus' note in her pocket and smiled at Harry. "I'm pretty sure, young man, that you're supposed to eat it, not play with it." she chastised, though her tone was gentle.

The young child just looked up at his mother with her eyes, though everything else was his father, and he giggled innocently.

"Right. Come on you. Quietly so Dada can still sleep. Let's get you cleaned up, we're going to get some fresh air." Lily said, picking her son up and swung him up in the air, catching the child in her arms as he let out a squeal of delight and e clung to her as he settled back in her arms. Lily looked over at James, who only shifted, groaned in his sleep, but didn't wake up. She walked through the living room and up the stairs to the nursery to pick out a fresh change of clothes and then walked through to the bathroom to clean him up.

Deciding she wasn't going to be gone for long, she reentered the nursery with a clean, freshly dressed Harry on her hip and she picked up his favourite cuddly dog toy from his cot. It had been a present from Padfoot, and Harry had barely let it go ever since.

The boy clutched the animal's ear tightly in his fingers as he was carried back down the stairs. "Dada!" He spoke, pointing at the still sleeping James.

Lily wrote a quick note for James saying she'd just taken Harry for a walk and would be back soon. "Yes Harry, Dada's sleeping. He's been very busy at work so we have to be quiet okay?"

Harry, as young as he was, seemed to understand and with the finger he had pointing at his dad, pulled it back to him and pressed it firmly to his lips in a shushing motion.

Lily smiled and nodded. "Good boy Harry." She cooed, pressing a kiss to his messy head of hair. She then walked out to the hallway, putting a coat on the child and put her own cloak around herself, pulling her hood up to hide her hair. Moments later she quickly exited the house, making her way through the tiny village of Godric's Hollow.

The village where she grew up wasn't far from Godric's Hollow, easily within walking distance. Severus had asked her to meet him at the park where they used to play, and walking was safer than Apparating, especially with Harry.

It took Lily half an hour to reach the familiar town she grew up in. She took a quiet moment to take in her surroundings. The houses still looked the same. The shops. The trees. The streets. Just as Harry had begun to fuss about his mother standing still, she started moving again. The playground came into view. Her street just to the left of her, dark and dingy Spinner's End just at the right. Clutching Harry tighter to her she walked on, looking around her as though expecting the scary drunk that was Severus' father to come out screaming at her, just as he had done once before, when the friends were just thirteen years old. She spotted a dark figure by the trees, she could tell by the stance that it was Severus.

Harry searched his new surroundings with bright green eyes, the dog's ear still clutched tightly in his hand.

Severus looked up as he heard footsteps, and he froze. She still looked the same as she had done on their final day at Hogwarts, the only difference was, that seventeen year old Lily Evans, was not married, and she did not have a child, who, from what he could see, was the double of James Potter. He was only jolted from his thoughts when he heard her speak.

"Severus?"

He looked at her again. "Lily." He spoke in a gentle tone that had been alien to him for so long. It was a tone he had only ever reserved for her.

"Why did you ask to see me?" she asked.

He wondered why she was even there. After the biggest mistake of his life, she had wanted nothing more to do with him. "Because I believe you to be in danger." he spoke after a while. "I know after all that was said, I don't deserve your forgiveness, but if I can do just one thing, it's this."

"What are you talking about?" Lily asked, wanting to know what he meant by danger, the fierce protectiveness in her taking control. She didn't need to ask who was after her family, she knew damn well who. And she would do anything to make sure her son was safe.

"You know I'm... trusted." He flinched at the fleeting look of disgust on her face as he spoke. "There is information that the Dark Lord will come for you and your family Lily. I don't know exactly when-"

"Of course he will come for us Severus! Dumbledore told us of the prophecy!" Lily snapped. "Two children born as the seventh month dies and he gets Alice and Frank tortured into insanity! My friends!"

"So who does it leave?!" Severus snapped back, effectively shutting the woman up, yet he couldn't bring himself to smirk in satisfaction as she paled and ever so slightly tightened her hold on the boy. "Please Lily." he added in a softer tone.

"What do you suggest?" Lily asked after a moment, keeping her composure in check. It wouldn't do too well to burst into tears over the safety of her child.

"I'm not going to tell you to run again, it's not fair on the child to uproot him. But don't trust your secret keeper." Severus told her. He had an uneasy feeling around Pettigrew. The boy was too... quiet.

Lily looked confused.

"Don't trust your secret keeper. And take this." He handed her three vials.

Lily recognised the colour. "Draught of Living Death?" she queried, checking the vials and pocketing them.

"I've put a few charms on the potion. It will have the desired effect, make you appear dead, but the Dark Lord wants to be sure that when he kills you you are dead. If you and your family drink this, it will have a delayed response, if he hits you with the killing curse, it will activate the potion and he will believe you to be dead. But you must not tell anybody."

"But what about James? I can't keep anything from him." Lily told him and gently bounced Harry in her arms as he started fussing, and kicking his legs to be let down. "Not yet, Harry." she softly spoke.

Harry wasn't impressed by this and let out another cry and tried to get his mother to put him down.

"Just tell him you're searching for a way to keep your family safe. If he knws you as I do, he knows you're stubborn and will stop at nothing."

Lily gave a small smile. Oh she missed her best friend... especially this concerned side to him. He was willing to do this for her despite what James and his friends had done to him, despite what he had said to her.

"Right... Well I'd better go..." Lily said softly, turning away, causing Harry to look upon him over his mother's shoulder.

"I have one thing to ask of you." He spoke, looking into James's face with Lily's eyes.

Lily turned back around to face him.

"Please be safe. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, take it and run with it. Do not wait for something to happen."

"I will."

Severus watched as Lily turned on her heel once more and walked across the playground, toward where her parents lived, presumably to take her son to see his grandparents.