Disclaimer: I don't own them. 'Nuff said.
Pairings: SS/JP, eventually SB/HP way on down the road
Warnings: AU. Slash. Character death. Angst. MPreg.
Summary: What if Harry's parents had really survived the night that Harry defeated Voldemort? What if Sirius Black had really been their Secret Keeper, and they had been betrayed by Peter anyway?
Notes: I've been working on this for a while, but since I've gotten sick, this has been on the back burner until I was well enough to look over this. This chapter is not beta'd, as my sister no longer has a computer. Please let me know what you think… 'cept flames, seeing as I've been in and out of hospital for the last two months with pneumonia. Don't depress the sick person.
James' fixed eyes watched as the green light sped towards his son. He struggled against his invisible bonds in the hopes that he could protect his son against the killing curse that Lily had already tried and failed, having fallen to the curse by shielding the little boy in her arms.
Time suddenly slowed down, and he remembered everything that had taken place up to this point.
Voldemort had burst into the house with a strange burst of magic. Taken off-guard, James had still been reaching for his wand when the self-proclaimed Dark Lord had bound him with a dark curse. If it had been Petrificus Totalis, he would have been able to at least free his hand to grab his wand. Voldemort had stood over him, taunting James that he would have to watch his wife and son be killed 'just for fun.' Slytherin's heir had gloated that Lily didn't *have* to die, but it would make James' death all the more sweet knowing the torture Voldemort could dole out. Lily had defended Harry as best she could when Voldemort had started with the small child, trying to escape out the back, only to be met by a dementedly smiling Pettigrew. She had finally been cornered in the living room, right in James' line of sight.
Time shifted back to normal for a second before it seemed to expand as the green light wrapped around Harry, engulfing him for a moment. Then it swirled counterclockwise for the briefest of moments before the curse rapidly rebounded to its caster. The magic swirled once more before seeping into Voldemort's skin. As it sank deeper, his skin started to turn to ash. A scream erupted from Voldemort as time resumed its normal pace. As it did, James was released from his bond, and he sped over to Harry. Picking up the child, he saw that his forehead was bloody and his green eyes were starting to tear up.
All of a sudden, the house began to shake. James looked towards where Voldemort was standing in time to see his body turn completely to dust and the scream died as a black mist rose through the ceiling. Wherever it touched the ceiling, it fell to the floor, exposing first the second floor and then the sky to James' gaze. He knew then that the house was going to collapse, so he juggled Harry enough so that he could levitate Lily's body and ran.
Outside there was a pathetic wailing as he rested Lily on the ground. Twirling around, he whipped out a body bind at Pettigrew, who hadn't even realized James was outside. James glared at his 'friend' before Harry's whimpering caught his attention. The little boy was wiping at his forehead, his pudgy child fingers smeared with blood.
"Oh, Harry," James whispered, his voice sad as he heard the house fall apart in front of him. He soothed Harry, preferring to watch him rather than the destruction of his family's home.
A pop sounded next to him, signaling someone had apparated.
The man in question turned with a trembling smile at the dark-haired man standing beside him. "Severus?"
"What happened?" Severus asked, lifting a hand to Harry's face. "Is he okay? Are you okay?"
James shrugged, still a bit disoriented by what happened. Now that Severus - his husband and lifemate - was here, though, he could stop thinking for a little while.
"Dumbledore's on his way," Severus commented as he looked around, his eyes landing on the still, red-haired form. A wordless sound escaped him before he could stop it. Severus looked up at James, whose face was beginning to show the first signs of shock. In James' arms, Harry sat sniffling, but he was waving his arms at Severus.
"Up, Da?" Harry's voice was a little teary, but still expectant.
Severus sighed and reached over, plucking the child out of the arms holding him. Harry's little arms crept around his neck as the boy buried his face in the hollow of Severus' throat. The man tucked the child deeper into his arms, even as James leaned over. The taller man wrapped an arm around him, and the three of them waited together for Dumbledore and his posse.
James tiredly wiped one hand over his eyes. The past week had been hectic trying to straighten everything out and make sure everyone was safe and sound. Including him.
When Poppy had been checking him over, they had found that James was pregnant again. Two months pregnant, a dangerous fact to go unnoticed when it was a male pregnancy. James had thought the Fidelus Charm had caused his sickness, since both Lily and Harry had been sick as well. Those two hadn't been as sick as James, but they had thought that he had a severe reaction to the suppressing feeling of the charm. After all, they hadn't had access to a mediwitch, and James didn't want to go to a Muggle doctor because it could raise uncomfortable questions if they discovered he'd had a child. Plus, it hadn't been like when he was carrying Harry. Then, James had morning sickness two weeks in, and they hadn't performed the charm until a week before Halloween. What scared him the most was that for the first month, before it was discovered there was a leak in Dumbledore's circle, he and Sirius had been testing new charms - counter-charms, really - to help fight against Voldemort.
Poppy wouldn't get the results of the full mediscan she had performed, to let them know if everything that had happened hadn't affected the baby. Severus hadn't been able to perform the needed tests, though, so she had sent the tests off to St. Mungo's, where the news had leaked to the public.
No, Severus had been locked in a cell, thanks to Barty Crouch. The Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement had arrested him as soon as Crouch had apparated to Godric's Hollow on Halloween. Between James and Dumbledore, they had gotten Severus a much fairer trial than Crouch would have gotten him. Severus shouldn't have even had to go through such a circus, but because he wore the Dark Mark, he had been automatically labeled as a follower of You-Know-Who and wasn't to be trusted around James and more specifically Harry, who was dubbed The-Boy-Who-Lived. The outcome had been as James had hoped - those in the room had seen that he had performed duties under the guidance of Albus Dumbledore for the side of Light, and had been exonerated of all charges.
Now, James' husband was watching over their son, Harry, as Poppy gave him his final check-up. The nurse had wanted to keep Harry for observation, in case there were any side affects of his being hit with the killing curse. As no one had ever survived it before him, Poppy had wanted to make sure that he was 100% fine.
James himself was watching over his best friend. Sirius Black had been the Secret Keeper and had kept them safe even under torture. James and Sirius had figured that even though he would be the obvious choice, Sirius would take the job and then go into hiding. Pettigrew's one redeeming quality through this entire thing had been his telling Voldemort about the house that James had dreamt about during their seventh year. The Dark Lord had followed that lead, leaving Sirius under strict orders for no one to touch him until Voldemort got back. Sirius had suffered greatly under the Cruciatus curse, but had been lucid enough to lay James' fear to rest that no permanent damage had been done.
Beside him sat Remus. The other man had shown up November first, his body still shaking from his transformation the night before. James was thankful he'd had Remus to lean on while Severus had been in custody. As much as he liked to be independent, too much had happened for James to handle by himself. There was no way he would have been able to deal with Severus' trial, taking care of Harry, learning of his pregnancy, and arranging Lily's funeral, since he knew Petunia wouldn't want anything to do with her sister. Remus had been kind enough to handle the latter with Professors McGonagall and Flitwick, while James had been under Poppy's care.
Basically, it came down to James trying to fully understand everything that had happened up to this point.
He and Lily had gone under the Fidelis Charm to protect James and Harry. Severus hadn't been able to join them due to the spying he was doing for Dumbledore, and so had stayed at Hogwarts under the guise of being apprenticed to Professor Jenson before his retirement, for Severus' protection. Lily had been by James' side since they were six, and had put up with many - okay, most people - believing that she was James' wife and mother to his son, so had been the most likely candidate for staying with James. The red head had been a true friend, uniting the group together once more after Severus and Sirius' incident at the Shrieking Shack. Lily had taken care of Harry when he was first born, when James had been so sick and Severus was taking care of him. She had been, with Sirius, James' best man at his wedding to Severus.
She had been the sister James had never had when they had grown up next door to each other. James' mother had married a Muggle-born man when he was five, and they had moved into a new neighborhood a year later when his new stepfather was transferred. He and Lily had become fast friends, and together they had battled Petunia and her friends once they had gone to Hogwarts.
James had almost cried when he had gotten his letter because Lily couldn't go. It had been a joyous occasion when her Hogwarts letter arrived. September first had rolled around and James' stepfather - though most people had never realized or known about it - had driven the two excited eleven year olds to Kings Cross where they met up with Sirius Black. From there, the group of three had grown to one of six.
And now it was four.
Lily was gone, and her betrayer, Peter Pettigrew, aka Wormtail, would go on trial later today. His trial had been delayed due to the anti-transformation charms needed on his chains, cell, the courtroom, and various other objects in case he tried to escape in his animagus form. James would be there with Severus to give testimony, since Sirius was still deep in a healing sleep, and Remus couldn't because he was a werewolf.
The students had all left for the Christmas holiday now that the threat of Voldemort no longer hung over their heads, leaving a few teachers to stay at the school. Those who had remained had invited their spouses to join them. James had arrived, looking a little green to the gills this early in the morning. Severus had been awed, though, by the glow his husband gave off. James and pregnancy seemed to agree with each other, even as he slowly walked into Hogwarts, Harry carefully walking beside him. The green eyed little boy grinned as he saw his 'Papa,' a name that Severus had been christened and made him cringe. He was going to try to get his son to call him either Father or Patri, a nickname he had called the uncle who had raised him until he was seven.
Patri, his mother's brother, had taken him to Greece to live until his father decided it was time for Severus to learn the family traditions. Severus hadn't wanted to go, but had ended up under his father's thumb anyway, and had never seen his Patri again. Still, Severus wanted to honor the man who had shaped many of his emotions with giving the name to his son and the baby on the way.
He had big plans for this baby, as well as the ones already laid out for Harry. Severus would have to wait until late May or early June to find out whether the baby was a girl or another boy.
Harry was taking a nap on the rug in front of the fire, his little arm wrapped around the unicorn doll Lily had gotten him for his birthday. Severus and James were lying on the sofa, James' back against Severus' chest, their legs entwined together. The three had come down to Severus' rooms for a rest before dinner. They would need it for tomorrow, since Dumbledore had planned a grand feast for Christmas.
Sirius and Remus would be arriving soon. The doctors at St. Mungo's had wanted to make sure that Sirius was fully fit after all the torture he had suffered over Halloween, especially since Frank and Anne Longbottom had been sent to the hospital a month after Sirius, and had shown no signs of recovery that Sirius had. Remus would pick the other man up and the two would then floo to Hogwarts. Together, the four of them were going to work on the relationship that Wormtail had worked to destroy. It turned out that he had tricked Sirius into leading Severus to the tunnel that led to the Shrieking Shack. At the time it had been meant as a joke, but he had found that the reactions had helped him as he leaned more and more towards the darker side of magic.
For now, though, Severus was content just sitting there, one of his hands in James' and resting on his stomach. James' stomach had just a hint of the shape it would grow to be. It had been hard keeping away from James and Harry while he spied on Voldemort, since he had missed a large portion of his son's young life, and it had only been luck that he'd been there when Harry had been born.
He mentally snorted when he remembered the astonishment that had abounded when Harry's eyes had turned green a week after he and James had come home from hospital. Genetics had demanded Harry have dark brown or black like his Severus' own, but somehow Harry and Lily had bonded. A small part of their magic had been exchanged, granting Harry Lily's green eyes. With it, she hadn't become a third parent like Dumbledore had suggested, but over time her place in Harry's life had, for all purposes, shown she was an aunt.
Dumbledore had suggested, however, that Lily had granted Harry a Gift, much like a godparent would at the christening ceremony witches and wizards had used hundreds of years ago. The two had instinctively twined their magic for a brief moment, and so James had Severus had appointed Lily as Godmother legally, instead of Sirius as Godfather like James had originally planned.
It had worked out well when a leak had been discovered, and Lily had consented to posing as James' wife to protect his true family. Not many had known that it was Severus that James had been married to; the entire wedding part of the festivities had been open only to a select few, while the dinner had been open to all. It had worked to their advantage that Severus had been summoned before most people realized he had been there, and he had been able to state that James Potter had gotten married. Voldemort hadn't been immune to the belief that he had married Lily Evans, and Severus had been spared. Severus had been better protected from Voldemort while he was so close to the man. Lily's ruse would also protect the little family of three from the more intolerant of wizarding society, like many of the 'purebloods' who had joined the Death Eaters.
Earlier Severus had brought up the subject of who they would choose as the baby's godparent, and if they should elect one for Harry now that Lily was gone. James had been surprisingly calm about the whole thing until they had stated discussing the possibility of asking one of the professors. James had laughingly suggested Trelawney, which Severus thought he did purely to get a rise out of him, when the laughter had turned to tears.
Severus had held James as he mourned his almost-sister. He knew that the two had been friends long before they had gone to Hogwarts, so the separation from his friend hit as hard as when his mother and stepfather had been killed in an attack at Diagon Alley. Lily had been James' last link to his parents, and now she was gone, too.
Ah, Harry was awake, then.
Severus opened his eyes to find Harry standing carefully up next to the sofa, his green eyes still sleepy. The little boy was still a little wobbly on his feet, and usually crawled if he had to go a long distance. Harry could walk on his own, and had a fairly big vocabulary for being only fifteen months old.
In front of him, James stirred, turning to pick Harry up onto the sofa and set him on their legs.
"Paddy? Moony?" Harry's voice seemed loud in the quiet room, but Severus knew it wasn't loud at all.
James ran a finger down Harry's cheek. "They'll be here soon, baby," James said in a quiet voice. He ran his ringer across Harry's chin before running it down to the back of his neck where the little boy was ticklish. Harry's giggles filled the air as he squirmed to get away from James.
"Daddy, stop!" Harry finally got out between giggles.
"Aw, how sweet!" came a voice from the doorway.
"Paddy!" Harry cried as he crawled out of James' lax fingers and toddled over to the figure standing just behind Dumbledore, who was in the doorway.
"Harry," exclaimed Sirius as he caught the little boy just before he tripped. "Wow. Walking and everything," he commented, carrying the little boy into the room.
"Sirius, you're not supposed to be lifting anything heavy," Remus chided as he smiled at the picture James and Severus had made, even as they scrambled to stand upright.
"How could Harry be heavy, Moony?"
Remus tousled Harry's hair before going over to James to give him a hug. "Congratulations!"
James smiled at his friend. "Don't tell anyone tonight. We wanted to tell everyone else tomorrow."
Severus nodded in agreement before he plucked Harry from Sirius' arms. "Just the three of you and Poppy know. The Daily Prophet may have printed an article or two about James' 'supposed' pregnancy, but since the idiots can't find their way out of a paper bag, only the gullible believed them. We want to keep this as quiet as possible for as long as we can, to keep Harry and the new baby safe."
Dumbledore nodded. "Are you going to announce the other thing tomorrow, then?"
Severus and James exchanged a look. "We might as well," the potions master finally said.
"What?" Sirius asked.
James sighed before explaining. "I'm going into 'hiding' for the time being. Severus is going to stay here and teach during the week. He'll come home every other weekend, but because he is the new Head of Slytherin House, he may be needed here. Most people won't connect us, protecting us even better."
"Head of the snake house?" Sirius couldn't resist the jab. Knowing that Peter had deliberately misled all of them since fifth year wasn't the same as knowing everything that had gone on before them knowing what Wormtail had done. He and Snape had traded insults since they had found after Sirius had awoken, but Sirius had tolerated him before that for James' sake. He could still remember James hiding behind the bed curtains because he wasn't sure how his friend would react to James like Sirius' enemy. Sirius had felt so bad about that that he had laid off the Snape jokes for quite a while, and never in front of James. Kind of.
Which didn't stop Sirius from making cracks against Slytherins in general. That was a habit Sirius wasn't about to break. Not even for James' sake.
A smirk played on Snape's lips for a second. "What's that story about a thorn in a lion's paw again?"
Sirius sneered. He hated when Snape did that. Stupid fable anyway.
"So when is Harry's playmate joining you?" he asked, poking the little boy gently in the arm. Harry laughed and tried to grab his hand, but Sirius kept pulling it back too quickly for him to catch it. The green-eyed boy hadn't even noticed his 'Paddy' was talking about him.
"Sometime in late May," James answered. He smiled at his friends. "Let's say we go up to the Great Hall, shall we?"