This is, in the end, the story of the Marauders.
Of four friends whom even destiny cannot tear apart.
I prefer to think of this story as what might have been. As we know, Harry Potter's defeat of Lord Voldemort in 1981 bought the Wizarding world time—but it also destroyed 6 lives, one of which was Harry's own. And in the end, his victory was short-lived because Voldemort would return in 1995, and the Wizarding world proved to have wasted the reprieve that it was granted. Harry's victory, it turns out, hurt him far more than it ever helped anyone else.
On October 31, 1981, James and Lily Potter died, forever breaking a friendship that wasn't meant to die. Sirius Black was indirectly responsible for this; he would forever blame himself due to his choice to not be their Secret Keeper. Peter Pettigrew's betrayal led directly to their deaths, and he turned into a miserable and lonely man who hid as a rat for 12 years. Remus Lupin was left alone, without the truth, and denied access to the boy whom could have helped him—and whom he could have also helped. Harry Potter grew up alone and unloved, destined, it seemed, to always be on his own.
When Sirius Black died in June of 1996, he was a bitter and anguished man, completely unlike the wizard that the Marauders had once known. Remus Lupin, too, would change, and live the rest of his life wondering what he could have done to make things different. Peter Pettigrew would possibly be the loneliest of them all, having given up everything in the pursuit of power.
And then there was Harry, left alone with a burden he should never have had to bear.
J.K. Rowling's world is a dark one. By entering it, we must mourn for four men who had everything—and lost everything. Their friendship was unbreakable, yet somewhere along the way it was broken beyond repair, and they would all suffer for it. So would their children and those in the generation to follow. In this friendship, though, lies the key to all that has been—and all that might have been.
'Promises Unbroken' and 'Promises Remembered' are a tribute to this friendship. They show that while the world might not have been better off if the Dark Lord remained undefeated, four very special men would have survived—and would have done incredible things.
Thank you for reading, and please go below for a preview of 'Promises Remembered.'
The Sequel to Promises Unbroken
The last line of defense.
"James? James? Goddamn it, Prongs, talk to me!"
"Do you think he'll live?" Some witch he didn't know asked the question, but he could hardly care. An angry swipe of his hand cleared the blood out of his eyes.
He shook James again. This couldn't be happening. "C'mon mate, wake up," he pleaded. "Don't do this to me!"
"Do you think there's any chance?" the witch pestered him. They were deep in the underground tunnels beneath the Ministry, and dust was everywhere. The lift had landed hard, and he'd barely managed to drag his friend free of the rubble. She hadn't been much help. "There's a lot of blood here, you know."
He ignored her. "James?"
"You could just try to revive him, you know."
"D'you think I didn't already try that?" he demanded angrily. "If I thought that would work, I'd be doing it over and over again!"
"Well, there's no need to snap at m—"
"Unless you're a healer, shut up!" he snarled. "I've got better things to do than listen to your useless prattling!" Anxiously, he turned to his friend again. He'd tried every spell he knew to wake his friend up, and it worried him to no end that James still wasn't moving. "C'mon James…wake up. We've got to get out of here before Death Eaters show up—"
The witch screamed and he was on his feet quickly, wand in hand and searching for threats. "What is it?"
"What?" Immediately he dropped to his knees again, letting go of his wand and not caring where it went. But James was indeed stirring. "James? James, can you hear me?"
"That's it, James," he said desperately. "Wake up."
His friend's eyes flickered open. "I'd rather wake up to Lily's face," James mumbled. "You're ugly."
"Sorry. Lily's not here right now." And I don't know where she is.
"That's okay," James whispered. "Where are we?"
"Under the Ministry," he answered. "But we've got to go before the Death Eaters catch up to us." His heart was racing. They'd been here too long. "D'you think you can move yet?"
"No." James' voice was very quiet.
"What?" He'd been looking around for avenues of escape, but his head whipped around to face his friend again.
"Small problem, Peter. I can't feel my legs."
Remus' head was spinning, and he clung to it tightly with both hands, fearful that it might explode. He could feel the Font working within him, now, and it was horrible feeling of power—
Four figures standing alone on the grass, the wind whipping at their robes. They were exhausted, bloody, and beaten, but they had to go on. They weren't finished.
A long white hand emerging from dark robes.
A wand in that hand, pointed outwards, and someone was screaming.
The storm was gathering, yet the four figures strode forward. Alone, they could never survive. Together, they had a chance.
"The choice has been made. The world has changed and the choice has been made."
Lightning crashed outside. Or was it in his vision? Remus could not tell, and could only helplessly watch as images assaulted his mind. The Font was throbbing within him.
She turned to face a wizard she didn't know. Immediately, though, he looked familiar. He had shoulder-length black hair and a goatee, both of which were meticulously trimmed and cared for. His eyes were a crystal shade of blue and were piercing, almost, in their intensity, but somehow gave off the image of hiding something in their depths. But it was his features that she recognized the most. The precise angle of the cheekbones and the slightly bumped nose were classic Black.
"Yes?" she asked warily.
"Your mother is Andromeda Tonks?" he asked.
"What business is it of yours?" she demanded. Tonks was having enough problems without adding this stranger to the mix. She'd just received her acceptance into the accelerated Auror training program, and had loads to study, not to mention the fact that her experiences with her mother's bigoted and pureblood fanatics of a family hadn't ever been good. So she stared at him, certain that she knew exactly what he was, and not liking it one bit.
It didn't help matters that his features reminded her very strongly of her Aunt Narcissa, who was a horrid and prejudiced woman if she'd ever met one. Her father's relatives, Muggles or not, were a much better group of people. Even if they were a bit strange, at least they weren't pureblooded maniacs. Tonks scowled as he raised his hands in mock surrender.
"I was just asking," he said easily.
"And why is that?" Tonks challenged him. "Wanting to check if I'm the half-blood in the perfect Black nest? Well, for your information, I am, and I'm damn well proud of it."
"Actually, I was wondering if your mother was Andromeda Black," the wizard replied. "Because if so, that makes us cousins." He smiled slightly, holding out his right hand. "I'm Sirius Black."
If Tonks could have died from embarrassment at that moment, she would gladly have done so. Open mouth, insert foot, she thought acidly. Why couldn't I have just tripped over something?