Chapter 1 – The Attack
Silas was jerked out of bed by a crash that shook his bedroom floor at three o'clock on Friday morning.
He reached for his wand and whispered, "Lumos."
Light filled the little bedroom and Silas heard other, smaller crashes from below. Silas pulled his trousers and T-shirt on over his pyjamas and tiptoed across the landing.
His father came out of his own room at the same time, fully clothed in his usual black and green robes. His face was pale and his knuckles were white as he clutched his wand tightly. His mother followed, holding her baby protectively in her arms.
There was light enough on the landing. Silas put his wand back in his pocket.
"How many?" his father asked her. Mrs. Potter closed her eyes in concentration. "Eleven," she said finally, the crashes getting even louder.
No one had ever been able to work out how Silas' father had managed to find a true Seer to be his wife. Not many people worried.
"Harry, what'll we do?"
Silas' father thought for a long second, and then put his hand on the banister.
"Take Silas," he said, pain evident in his eyes. "Take the Portkey to Hogwarts now!"
"Aren't you coming, Dad?" asked Silas, his eyes wide.
"The Portkey can only take three, Silas," his father explained, hugging him. "We hadn't counted on James. Look after your mum and your brother for me, won't you?"
And he was gone, down the stairs and out of sight, blending in with the shadows on the walls.
"Come, Silas," said his mother.
Obediently, Silas followed her into the bedroom. She started digging under the bed as the noises from downstairs grew louder, accompanied by muffled yelled curses and screams of Death Eaters.
"Here it is," she said at last, in relief, holding out an old slipper to her son. He touched it with one finger, as his mother leant forward so that baby James could hold it too.
Then, three things happened at the same time. Silas' mother spoke the word to activate the Portkey; there was an extra loud scream from beneath the bedroom floor, and Silas let go of the slipper.
He saw his mother's eyes widen in shock as the Portkey whisked her and her baby to safety.
The house shook. Silas went back onto the landing and put one hand on the banister, like his father had done.
The explosion that followed sent him spinning down the stairs into the back of someone much larger than his father.
The Death Eater toppled forward as Silas rolled clear.
Silas' father stepped over the immobile form of the Death Eater and hauled his son roughly to his feet. "Silas? What are you doing here? Did something go -?"
He pulled Silas to the floor just in time as a beam of red light shot past his ear.
There were five Death Eaters in the Hall, and there were sounds of others coming form the other rooms.
It sounded like Silas' mother would be mourning her family's priceless heirlooms when she came back. She was going to come back.
The Death Eaters advanced, their wands outstretched. Silas ducked as another red beam of light singed his hair. His father stood in front of him, whispering curses in raped succession while keeping his shields erect and strong at the same time.
Silas did his best. On the rare occasion that his curses got through his father's shields to hit a target, they had very little effect. He was only ten years old, after all.
His father soon began to tire. One of his shields shattered with a vibration that sang in every vein.
Silas felt the wall against his back. They were trapped.
"Silas," his father said with gritted teeth. "Grab onto me tight. Don't argue." Silas held onto his father's arm.
The Death Eaters were shouting taunts now, mocking words that could hardly be heard above the hum of curses. "I'm going to apparate," said Mr. Potter quietly, sending one of the black-robed men into the old bureau.
Silas gulped. It took a lot of power and concentration to take another living human with you when you apparated, even only a small one. It was very dangerous, and seldom tried.
"I'm passing the shield to you," his father continued. "Try to hold it."
Slowly, he passed his wand to Silas, who gripped it firmly, trying to ignore the shuddering pressure on his body whenever a curse ht it. How had his father endured this for so long?
"Hold on," his father said, and closed his eyes. Silas began to feel a tug like a very slow Portkey.
One of the Death Eaters stood forward, lifted his wand, and yelled something inaudible. The resulting curse made the shields collapse entirely.
Silas tugged desperately on his father's arm, but he was too far-gone into the multi-person apparition spell to notice.
The Death Eater smiled triumphantly and raised his wand a second time.
Silas had a brief glimpse of his father arching backwards, blood blossoming on the front of his white shirt beneath his robes.
He had only time for shock at his father's dead white face, and confusion at the fact that 'Stupify' shouldn't make you bleed, before Time shattered into a million pieces.
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