This is just something that I thought of typing while trying to piece some loose ends together and reading the books again. Despite my original objective of having only the three Potters' featuring as main characters in the one-shot fic, I continually kept on squeezing Sirius in somewhere…and the story ended up focusing on him. #sigh# I did my best to include him in it and to not shift the story to focus more on him, but that didn't work out, so I found myself retyping this fic at least four times. I hope that the effort was worth it!
Disclaimer: I had, have, and will be having nothing to do with the 'Harry Potter' books; it's all JK Rowling's.
Well…that's about it from me, read on!
Vanquishing the Dark-Lord:
Lily smiled as he Apparated in front of her in the living-room, placing a finger on her lips as he opened his mouth to say something and nodding at the sleeping boy in her arms. He didn't even bother to take off his Wizard robes before flopping down on the armchair in front of her, burying his face in his hands. Lily frowned as she watched him. She didn't need to be a rocket-scientist to know that something was wrong.
"James?" she whispered, worried, "James?" She would have stood up and gone over to him, but the sleeping boy in her arms stopped her from doing so. It had taken her a long time to get the boy to sleep and she didn't want to have him wake up after all her effort. "James – what's wrong?" she asked as she saw her husband shaking. He looked up at her after a minute or so, his usually warm brown eyes looking overly-bright with what Lily knew to be tears. "…James…"
"…I just met Dumbledore, Lily," he said, hoarsely, "And he – " He stopped, taking a few quick breaths.
"James please tell me what's wrong," said Lily, now more worried than ever. James made no effort to wipe the tears from his face.
"Sybill Trelawney met Dumbledore last year…and she – she made him a…a prophecy…" he said, not knowing how he could bear to tell Lily what he had just found out. She had looked so happy with their son in her arms before he sat down and she realized something was wrong. How, how could he tell her that their son…would be – was going to –
"Sybill Trelawney?" queried Lily, her brows furrowed, "Who's she?"
"A Seer," answered James hoarsely, "She's supposed to be Cassandra Trelawney's great-great-granddaughter or something like that." He stopped again, his eyes dull. "She – she made a prophecy, to Dumbledore, when he met her concerning a teaching post at Hogwarts or something like that…"
"A prophecy?" asked Lily sharply, before looking down apologetically as the sleeping boy in her arms stirred, "James, why are you so bothered about a prophecy made last year?" Her face paled ever so slightly as she continued to stare at him, "Unless – was it – about us?" Her certainty that she was wrong about that vanished abruptly as James nodded slowly.
"Yes Lily, it was," he said, looking as weak as Lily was starting to feel. She did not like the way that James refrained from saying anything more, from saying more on the topic. His hesitation in speaking only made her come to one conclusion; that the prophecy wasn't a good one.
"James…what did that prophecy say?" she asked, although a part of her wasn't sure whether she wanted to know that or not.
"It said something about Voldermort and – "
" – Voldermort? What does a prophecy about us have to do with him?" interrupted Lily, long past the time when she used to wince whenever James mentioned the Dark-Lord's name. It had taken her some time to get used to her husband calling him 'Voldermort' but after a while not only had she gotten used to it but she herself started using the name as opposed to 'the Dark-Lord' and 'You-Know-Who.'
" – and, oh Lily, it was about Harry. Our Harry," said James in a rush, unable to hold it off any longer. He unwillingly watched his wife as her face turned a rather alarming shade of white and as she unconsciously clutched the one year old child closer to her. The expression on her face was one of shock, alarm and disbelief mixed together.
"You – you can't be serious…" she said, at last, her eyes practically begging him to tell her that he had been joking, "James, what does Harry have to do with – with Voldermort?"
"Apparently Trelawney had told Dumbledore that the one with the power to 'vanquish the Dark-Lord' would be born towards the end of July," said James, staring at the framed picture of him and his three best-friends that hung on the wall behind Lily, unable to look at the increasing horror in her face, "She said – " He took a deep breath, " – that Voldermort would 'mark this child as his equal' but the child would have – "
" – Mark…mark this child as – his equal?" choked out Lily, apparently unable to bear the news, "What the – what does that mean? How will he-" her voice trailed off, " – No!" James nodded slowly as she let out the sharp cry.
"…But the child is supposed to have powers that Voldermort doesn't," he continued, morosely, "And - oh Lily, don't," he stood up and was next to her on the couch in a flash, throwing an arm around her and pulling her – and the child – to him. Lily leaned her head against his shoulder, trembling. Her almond-shaped green eyes were alarmingly wide, and her face was equally alarmingly white.
"W-what do you mean he is supposed to have powers Voldermort doesn't have?" she asked, so quietly that James had to strain his ears to listen to her despite the fact that he was sitting right next to her, "I mean…they're both Wizards…and, well, apart from the Dark-Arts knowledge, what's else will Harry have that he does not have?"
"I have no idea," admitted James, "But…Dumbledore thinks it may have something to do with a power that Voldermort was and apparently still is wary of. Something to do with love…" He stopped, realizing how stupid it sounded as Lily gazed open mouthed at him, "But that doesn't sound right does it?"
"No, it doesn't," agreed Lily, frowning, "Dumbledore really said that? Then…then maybe he has his own reasons for saying it…" She sighed as James shrugged. "I just can't believe that Harry – hang on, how do we know that the prophecy was made about Harry?" she moved away from James, a determined gleam entering her eyes, "James, there could be many children out there who were born in July, towards the end of July! It can't be Harry – don't you see James?"
"Lily, there's no – "
" – No, wait, surely there's someone else who was born in – oh, Alice's son…James, Alice's son was born around the same time too!" James felt bad about the relief that was making its way into his wife's face and voice. When Dumbledore had told him about the Prophecy, he had said the same thing; that there had to be at least a handful of children that had been born around that time. Dumbledore had told him about Frank and Alice Longbottom's son, Neville, and that had made him feel relieved. Dumbledore had said, however, that both families were at risk, although he himself had admitted that he had a feeling that it was Harry who would be chosen, not Neville.
" – But – Frank's son! His son was born around the same time – Dumbledore, it might even be him," exclaimed the bespectacled, messy-haired young-man, looking strangely relieved. The elderly wizard seated across him stared at him with what resembled great sorrow in his bright blue eyes.
"Yes, Neville Longbottom was born around the same time and thus the prophecy can just as well be referring to him," he said, quietly, "But…I have reason to believe that Voldermort will not choose Neville to mark as his equal."
"But – how can you – you don't know – "
" – James, you are speaking out of disbelief and I do not blame you for doing that," interrupted Dumbledore, his voice strangely calm, "But you forget that I knew Voldermort, when he was a boy at Hogwarts. I tend to think that I somewhat know his mentality. I may not understand it as he does, but that is not the point here." Dumbledore sighed heavily. "Neville is a Pureblood, whereas Harry is not – "
" – I don't really think that that matters Dumbledore," said James, coldly.
"Of course it doesn't, but to him it matters a great deal. There are many reasons as to why I say this James, and I do not think it wise to waste time in telling you this now. I will only tell you this; I wish, with all the power that resides in me, that my assumption is wrong, but I feel that the prophecy might be…interpreted, as concerning Harry. We do not know when Voldermort will attack, which is why we need to make haste," said Dumbledore, "And – "
" – But, you said that…that Voldermort would risk losing his powers if he tried to attack the boy the prophecy spoke of. Would he really want to attack him then?"
" – I…have reason to believe that Voldermort knows only the beginning of the Prophecy. The, er, eavesdropper who was listening to what Sybill was saying only managed to hear the beginning before he was, ah, thrown off the premises," said Dumbledore, looking a little uneasy, "I want you to go and tell Lily about everything, James. You don't have time to waste. The three of you will have to go into hiding using the Fidelius Charm; that way Voldermort will never be able to find you until we can think of a solution to this," he paused. "The Longbottoms will have to go into hiding as well, though separately."
"The Fidelius Charm? But, Dumbledore…that's – " James Potter stopped. " – But that will need a Secret-Keeper and – "
" – I am willing to be the Secret-Keeper James, something tells me that that would be the best course," said Dumbledore, hurriedly. James stared at him for a full minute before shaking his head. He was being serious. Dumbledore was being dead serious when he said that Voldermort would come after Harry.
"No, you don't have to," he said, "Sirius can be the Secret-Keeper." He wondered why Dumbledore was suddenly frowning.
"I understand why you choose him James, but in this situation, considering what this concerns…don't you think that a safer measure – "
" – I would place my son's life in Sirius' hands any day Dumbledore. I can trust him," intervened James.
"James, listen to me, I understand that Sirius is your best-friend…but you must be aware of the problems that could occur," said Dumbledore, frowning, "Voldermort is not foolish, James. Once he learns that you are hiding using the Fidelius Charm, he will immediately go after Sirius – it is no hidden fact that the pair of you are as close as brothers. And if he does do that Sirius will be forced to – "
" – Sirius will not be forced to do anything Dumbledore. He would never betray me," interrupted James.
"James you do not understand, this is not a question of loyalty, it's a question of life or death," Dumbledore stopped, seeing the stubborn scowl on the younger man's face, "James, you know that there's a spy amongst you. A spy who has been passing information to Voldermort for some time now…" James nodded.
"Yes, I know that," he said, scowling at the prospect, "But if you are thinking that the spy's Sirius –"
" – James, I am merely – "
" – you're wrong, Dumbledore. He would never go against me, against us," finished James, firmly. Dumbledore stared hard at him for a moment or two before sighing, sounding tired.
"If that is indeed what you feel, then so be it," he said, although his eyes still showed traces of worry in them, "But I insist on you leaving as soon as possible and telling Lily everything. The Fidelius Charm must be activated soon…"
End of flashback
"Dumbledore's sending them into hiding as well Lily," said James, snapping out of his thoughts and realizing that Lily was looking expectantly at him for an answer.
"As well? Then – then we -?"
"Yes, Lily…I am afraid that we must go into hiding. If, and I mean if this prophecy is correct, we do not know when Voldermort will attack us," said James, his heart sinking as he realized the gravity of what was going to happen during the next couple of months…and even years. Lily seemed to realize it as well, as her face fell. She leaned against him again, clutching the small child so hard that he stirred uncomfortably, his mouth curled in an adorable pout of discontent.
"James?" James didn't like the way Lily's voice shook.
"You said that Voldermort would mark the – the child as his equal…" said Lily slowly, "Do you, I mean, did that Sybill Trelawney tell Dumbledore what would…happen to the child…?" James closed his eyes tightly as he tightened his hold on his wife. He had been expecting her to ask him that, and had been dreading the answer he had to give her.
"…'Either must die at the hand of the other, for…neither can live…while the other survives'," he said, quoting the last lines of the prophecy. The silence that surrounded them after he spoke was deafening as neither attempted to speak. Lily's somewhat muffled sob was what broke it.
"Why?" she whispered, tears running down her cheeks as she stared at the sleeping child in her arms, "Why did it have to be – to be Harry?" She lifted the child, not caring whether she woke him up or not, and held him to her chest, sobbing.
"I don't know…I really don't," said James, stroking Lily's dark red hair comfortingly, "But…I won't give my son up without a fight."
"Neither will I," whispered Lily, before burying her face in James chest, effectively squashing the child in between them. James kissed the top of her head as Harry, having been rather abruptly woken up, started whimpering and flailing his arms around. James took one of his soft, small hands in his own and held it tenderly, smiling weakly as the child attempted to turn and look at him.
" – He's only a child…" he said, hoarsely, as he thought of the prophecy and what it would mean if Harry was indeed the chosen one. He shuddered, not wanting to think about the life that their son would have to lead with Voldermort continually hunting him down.
Lily laughed as she walked into the living-room with two cups of tea in her hands, to find James throwing their one year old son up in the air before catching him comfortably and throwing him up again. Harry, now with tufts of black covering his small head, gurgled in happiness as he stared at his father out of large green eyes, exactly like his mother's.
"Someone's having fun," she commented, placing the tea-cups on the table in front of them before sitting down next to her husband, "Oh, be careful James!" James grinned sheepishly at his lovely wife as he almost missed catching Harry before he fell to the ground.
"Sorry dear, I was just distracted," he said, leaning over and giving her a peck on the cheek, "Son or not, your appearances are always distracting." Lily smiled at him, her green eyes twinkling. She couldn't believe that she had hated James for the most part of their school-days. She had been rather ashamed to tell him that, as the two got friendly later on, but he had taken it rather well – apparently being used to being hated. Harry's animated noises caught her attention and snapped her out of her thoughts. The boy was reaching out for her with his hands, obviously wanting to be held in her arms for a while.
"Ah, sorry dear – " she said, putting her tea-cup away before taking him in her arms. He mumbled something incoherent – in 'baby-language-which-adults-are-not-meant-to-understand' as James had nick-named it – as he snuggled closer to her. She smiled fondly and stroked his head. If there was one thing she was glad of about marrying James – apart from having James all to herself that is – it was her son. He was, in her opinion, the cutest thing ever…after Sirius, in Sirius' opinion.
"Man…he hates me that much huh?" asked James, looking offended, "And I thought he was having a good time with me…" Lily smiled.
"Who in their right mind would love you James?" she teased, "I mean; if it took me almost six years to stop hating you, then imagine how long it'll take Harry."
"Aw, don't be mean," said James, grinning at her and pushing his glasses back up his nose, "But you do love me…you can't deny it."
"Oh?" asked Lily, raising her eyebrows at him as he leaned closed towards her, "And what makes you – " She stopped as James kissed her. She had had a feeling that he would do that; it was, as James himself had learnt, the only way to effectively shut her up. Not that he wanted to shut her up or anything. James pulled away after a while, smirking.
"You can't deny it," he teased, taking Harry's hand as the boy offered it to him, "I wish I could take him out…you know? So he can see all the Halloween stuff?" He smiled sadly, "I guess we'll have to do that another time…"
"James, there will always be a Halloween we can show Harry," said Lily, not about to let James wallow in sadness again, like he had been doing recently. Every-time he looked at a copy of the Daily Prophet and it reported the names of people killed in the war against Voldermort, he would switch into a brooding and saddened mood…and would take a long time to get out of it.
"Yeah," said James softly, "But will Harry be ali – "
" – Stop it James, now," interrupted Lily, her voice taking on a sharp note, "I don't want to hear any more of that from you OK?" The only answer that she got was a sigh; a world-weary sigh.
"I'm sorry Lily," he said after a while, "But…look at how many people are dying because of him. Did you read that article about Gideon and Fabian Prewett?" He ran a hand through his messy hair – a habit of old, "We knew them Lily…they were – well, they were in the Order. And, and the Bones family…we knew them all. It's like one day you see them, and the next they're…gone."
"Harsh though it may sound James, these are the times that we live in," said Lily, "Yes, I know, unnecessary numbers of people are dying all because of one horrid, old, power-hungry maniac, but there's nothing that we can do about it. They're being killed merely because they're fighting for a good cause." Lily took one hand away from Harry and found one of James'. "We knew that this would happen – even before we joined the Order. Are you regretting it?" James shook his head hurriedly. "Good, because, in any case, it's too late to regret it."
"You're right…" he said, at last. A small smile formed on his face, "Then again, you always are."
"Of-course," said Lily, smiling, "Now drink your tea before it gets cold." James reached out for his cup of tea and sipped it slowly, under Lily's watchful gaze. Harry, now apparently having had enough of being in his mother's arms, held his arms out to his father. Chuckling at the adorable look on the boy's face, James gulped down his tea – wincing as the hot liquid streamed down his throat – and took Harry in his arms, where he tickled the boy earning a number of childish giggles from him.
Lily smiled as she watched the father and son. She loved Harry, that was true, but at times she felt that it was nothing compared to the way James loved him. He always used to tell her that one day when Harry was older he would carry on his name and reputation at Hogwarts as being the best prankster around. And, he had added, he would be best-friends with Sirius' son…and with his other two friends' sons. Lily had refrained to mention that Sirius, Remus and Peter's wives might give birth to daughters in which case it would be a bit difficult for Harry to uphold his father's reputation. In fact, she secretly hoped that Sirius would have a daughter…who would, one day, perhaps –
" – ly? Lily?" She looked up to see James staring at her.
"Er, sorry, I was just thinking…" she said, shaking her head, "You were saying?"
"I was saying that I hope Sirius is OK…" said James, staring over Harry's head and into the fireplace, "Voldermort and just about everyone else thinks that he's our Secret-Keeper…and if Voldermort turns up at his place and…" His voice trailed off.
"Sirius – he's strong James. He'll be able to fight off whoever it is that comes to ambush him," said Lily, doing her best to sound sure that this would be the case.
"Even if it's Voldermort, Bellatrix, Malfoy, Avery and half of the other Death-Eaters?" asked James, still staring at the fireplace. Lily didn't answer for a while.
"Sirius wouldn't succumb to them. He – he wouldn't tell them about our – "
" – It's not our hidden location that I'm worried about Lily, it's Sirius. If the likes of Gideon and Fabian couldn't fight off – "
" – there you go again James, being all morbid. Stop it, please. Can't we just talk about something – something else?" asked Lily, weakly, "Sirius has gone into hiding too since last week – though god only knows where. He's not stupid enough to get himself caught. Surely you should know that?" There was a brief silence in which only Harry's annoyed attempts to get his parents' attention could be heard.
"I hate it when you're right," said James, finally, grinning weakly at Lily, who returned the grin with a weak smile, "Whoever the spy is, we don't need to worry. I just can't believe that Dumbledore thought Sirius was the spy." He tickled Harry, seeing that his son wanted his attention again, "I know that we suspect it might be Remus…but I feel bad about that. I mean, fine, he's a werewolf…but who cares about that? Not all werewolves are on Voldermort's side. Besides, would Remus be that evil, to be a spy for Voldermort?"
"That's what worries me," admitted Lily, "This is Remus we're talking about – possibly the nicest man alive in the whole universe."
"Oy!" exclaimed James, "And what would I be then?"
"The…most annoying man alive in the whole universe?" wondered Lily, laughing as James mock-frowned at her. Harry snapped his head around to look at his mother as he heard her laugh, before turning back to his father and reaching up for the black-rimmed glasses that James wore.
"Oh no…sorry Harry, but I wouldn't advise playing with those," said James, gently prying his son's hands off his glasses and wincing as he looked like he was about to cry.
"He won't find us James." He turned to Lily somewhat surprised at the seriousness in her voice. "Voldermort, he won't find us. Harry will be safe…Voldermort won't lay his fingers on him." His heart told him to agree with her as that was what he thought as well. His mind, however, told him shrewdly that they shouldn't count their chickens before they hatched. It had only been one week since they had gone into hiding using the Fidelius Charm.
"Let's hope you're right about that too," was all he was able to manage.
"Well, I'll be in the kitchen if you need anything," said Lily, standing up rather abruptly and picking up their cups of tea, "And please try to get Harry to sleep. It's way past his bedtime now." James nodded, watching as his wife walked into the kitchen, humming something to herself.
"Well Harry…you heard your mum, its way past your bedtime," he said, turning to look at his son, "C'mon, we should get you asleep before we're both doomed." He could have sworn he heard Harry chuckle, but something told him that that wasn't possible. He stood up and was about to cross over to the stairs before him, when a few chills went up his spine. He stood where he was for a minute, unconsciously hushing Harry as he opened his mouth. Shaking his head a few seconds later, he turned around and hadn't taken even two steps towards the stairs when he heard the distinct sound of footsteps walking up the drive.
He listened carefully, wondering whether he was merely hearing things or whether someone was walking on the gravel, towards the house. He stood silently, his hand still covering a now confused Harry's mouth, listening. He couldn't hear anything. But…I'm sure I heard footsteps, he thought to himself, frowning heavily, aware that his heart was beating madly in his chest.
" – ames? James?" He started, staring wildly around as he heard the familiar voice calling his name. Turning to his right, he saw Lily's worried face looking at his. Her brows were furrowed in concern as she looked at him. "James what is it?" she asked, noticing that his hand was covering Harry's mouth.
"I think – no, I – I thought I heard – " James stopped himself hurriedly. He couldn't just tell Lily that he thought he heard footsteps outside. She'd start panicking if he did, and besides, he couldn't even hear them anymore…so there was no point in unnecessarily worrying her, was there?
"You thought you heard -?"
" – Nothing…let's just – " he stopped, glancing at the child in his arms before looking at her again, "On second thought Lily, why don't you take Harry upstairs? I'll just…check the house to - make sure," he said, handing Harry to his wife but not yet taking his hand off his son's mouth.
"Why are you going to – " Lily's green eyes widened, " – is … he here?"
"I'm not su – " James' voice died out in his throat as they both heard a rather loud noise from outside the front door. James had his wand out in a flash, even though he was still partly holding on to Harry. Lily had unconsciously moved closer to him, taking out her own wand, as they both stared at the front door, hoping, praying, that there was really nothing to worry about.
A second later the front door burst open with a loud bang that echoed around the deathly silent household.
"It's him." Lily stared at James in horror as he said it. "Lily, take Harry. Take Harry and run," he said, turning to her and indicating that she should take the boy from his arms.
"B-but – James, you – "
" – Lily just take Harry and run," whispered James, sharply, "There's no time to waste." Lily hurriedly took Harry into her arms, not noticing how quiet her son had just turned. She stayed where she was, however, as James straightened his shoulders and stared at the opened door. Her insides turned ice-cold as she saw the hooded, black-robed figure enter the house.
"Oh god – Peter…" she whispered, glancing anxiously at James, who had set his jaw and was looking eerily determined as the robed figured stopped, having spotted them.
"Lily, go. Take Harry and go. I'll hold him off," he said, taking a few steps forward, towards the figure. Lily shook her head vehemently.
"No, James, don't – " She stopped in mid-sentence as her husband whirled around to fix her with a long, hard look. His hazel eyes were hard as they looked over her face, before doing looking at Harry. Looking into his eyes, somehow, brought Lily to her senses. Voldermort was after Harry, Harry, who was supposed to have the power to 'vanquish the Dark-Lord.' Harry was the only hope that the Wizarding world had…and if Voldermort were to get him now…
She nodded slowly, holding Harry tightly, "...Be careful, James." With that, she turned around and fled up the stairs, tears trickling down her face as she did so, leaving James behind. The moment she was gone James turned back around to face the hooded figure who was standing a few metres away from him, reeking evil.
"I won't let you hurt my son," he said, gripping his wand tightly. The hooded figure stood still for a moment, bright eyes looking around the room, before laughing.
"…And you think you can stop me?" asked the Lord Voldermort, his voice cold and lacking of any emotion whatsoever, "You have avoided death, at my hands, thrice already. Your luck, James Potter, has run out." James felt beads of sweat trickling down his back as the cold voice somehow got chillier.
"We'll have to see about that, won't we?" he asked, hardening his own voice. Voldermort stared at him out of bright eyes that were hidden from complete view by the hood that was covering his face.
"I have waited for this encounter for a long time," he said, coldly, "Flagrate."
"Expelliarmus!" yelled James, watching as the lights that were emitted from both their wands met and exploded in a flash of light, "Immorbilus!" he called, ready with the freezing charm even as their spells met and exploded. The freezing-charm was deflected – something he had been expecting. James sincerely hoped that Lily had managed to get away with Harry. He knew that Voldermort wasn't even being serious during this duel. He was just playing around with him and he would continue to do so until he finally got fed-up and killed him.
"Ah, yes, he did tell me that you were quite the duelist…" said Voldermort, sounding thoughtful.
"He?" questioned James, against his will.
"Ah…you don't know, do you?" James didn't like the amused tone in the Dark-Lord's voice, "About Wormtail?" James fought the urge to close his eyes. He should have known that Voldermort turning up in Godric's Hollow could only mean one thing; that Peter Pettigrew had been killed. "The spy you and your foolish colleagues were worried about…you never thought that it could be Wormtail, did you?" James felt the blood leaving his face.
"W – what?" he spluttered.
"Wormtail betrayed you, James Potter…and that is why I am here," said Voldermort, raising his wand as he spoke. "You should have known that you couldn't hide from me forever."
"Wormtail – then…then Wormtail was the one passing informat – "
" – Good-bye, Potter," hissed Voldermort, raising his head as he spoke, "Avada Kedavra." James heard the Dark-Lord utter the words of the killing-curse and could only stare at the jet of green light that erupted from his wand, heading speedily towards him. The last thing he heard was the high-pitched cackle that signified Voldermort's laughter.
The jet of green light hit him right in the middle of the chest. He was dead long before he hit the ground with a solid thud, his right-arm still gripping his wand and his hazel eyes wide.
"Fool," stated Voldermort, as he stepped over the dead body and headed towards the staircase.
Lily ran into the guest-room at the end of the corridor, trembling as she held Harry to her. Once she was inside, she whipped around and pointed her wand at the door, muttering; "Colloportus," causing the door to be magically sealed. She turned her back to the door and looked around the room. There was no way out, save the windows…but she highly doubted whether she would be able to make it out, with Harry, in time.
She closed her eyes as she thought of James. What was happening to him? Was he being tortured at that very moment? Her face paled. Or was he already dead? She shook her head. No, I shouldn't think like that. I should be slightly more optimistic, she told herself firmly, but how can a person be optimistic in a situation like this?
"Oh Harry," she whispered, seeing her son looking up at her out of curious emerald eyes. Tears formed in her eyes as she remembered what she and James had been talking about earlier, about whether Harry would get another chance to see Halloween, "I'm so sorry. You don't deserve this…you really don't." Harry wriggled and squinted as a wet tear fell on his face.
Lily gave him a watery smile as she watched him wriggle, uncomfortable with the tears that were falling from her face. She stroked his head, murmuring comfortingly as she did so, her thoughts automatically straying to James. Hearing a noise from the other side of the door, she wasted no time in hurrying to the other end of the room, moving around the large bed as she did so. She barely managed to reach the other side of the room when the magically sealed door was blasted open.
Lily could only stare as the small explosion cleared, revealing a tall, hooded figure. Her blood pumped relentlessly through her veins as she realized what Voldermort's presence in front of her meant.
"…James…" she moaned, feeling exhausted all of a sudden. Voldermort stepped wordlessly inside the room.
"He's dead," he said, in his cold voice, "He should have known that he wouldn't stand a chance against me." Lily steeled herself from crying as her thoughts turned to Harry. She had to save him. She didn't know how, but she had to.
"…S – stay away from me…" she said, backing up into the wall. Her wand was steady in her right-arm, but she knew that it would be of no use against him. She saw the Dark-Lord observe her out of half-hidden bright eyes.
"Give me the boy." She tightened her grip on her son, shaking her head.
"No," she said, watching as Voldermort took a few more steps forward, his wand raised.
"…Give me the boy," he rasped, icily.
"No – please, have mercy! He's only a little boy!" exclaimed Lily, watching him advance with his wand still raised, "Please! Spare him, that's all – "
" – Stand aside you silly girl, and give me the boy," snapped Voldermort, having decided that he was wasting too much time, "Stand aside and I will spare your life." Lily shook her head, tears coursing freely down her cheeks as she realized that this was going to be the end.
"No! Please, have mercy on him…have mercy…" Her voice caught in her throat as Harry buried his face in her chest, "…Spare him, take me, kill me instead, please, have me – " She dropped Harry as far away from her as she could manage, without hurting him, as she saw the Dark-Lord mutter the curse under his breath. "Please, have mercy – " Her emerald eyes were squeezed shut as she fell down silently; dead.
Voldermort stared at her dead body, his face impassive. He did not understand foolish human emotions; he had offered the woman a chance to live…to escape, and she had turned it down to protect a mere child. He moved towards the boy who was struggling into a seated position on the carpeted floor, the small tufts of black hair on his head messed up, and his face scrunched up, looking as though he was going to start crying any moment now. "…And they said that you have the power to vanquish me…"
He raised his hands and lowered his hood, not really sure of why he did that, but not caring anyway. Looking from him to the small child, any old fool would have been able to tell that there was no way that he would be bested by the small thing. In fact, he hadn't believed his faithful Death-Eater when he had told him about the prophecy. But he was not one to take chances – oh no. He would much rather eradicate this supposed 'threat' before it was allowed to get any bigger.
"Harry Potter…" he mused, watching the baby stare innocently at him, "…You will not cause me any damage." He raised his wand, "Avada Kedavra." He merely waited, watching somewhat sadistically, as the jet of green light made its way towards the boy. Just as he was about to lower his wand and turn around, he saw something that would never leave his mind in the years to come; something that would haunt him for the rest of his life.
The jet of green light that should have hit and killed the boy by now, simply rebounded off him, as though he was protected by some invisible barrier, and changed its course – heading towards him. His snake-like red eyes widened as he caught a glimpse of the dead body of Lily Potter: it was glowing. Glowing. And the same glow was surrounding the boy who was still innocently looking up at him. What the -? How did the silly girl's sacrifice manage to protect the boy? This is not possib –
Emitting a long and dreadful shriek, Voldermort staggered backward as the green light hit him in the chest. His eyes were wide in horrified disbelief as he stared at the boy…before disappearing completely. The … prophecy … was…
Baby Harry Potter, now orphaned by the Dark-Lord's night-time visit, could only stare as the strange, dark-robed man disappeared into what seemed like thin air…and as strong waves of magic seeped out from where he used to stand, sweeping around the house setting everything ablaze. Turning his head to the side, he saw his mother's familiar figure lying face down and crawled over to her, a childishly curious expression on his face as he nudged her with one of his hands.
Outside, neighbours were running out of their houses in groups, pointing at the burning house. Some were screaming as they did so, whilst other simply looked confused not even remembering a house being there in the first place. Not one of them knew that two out of the three residents of the house were dead – that they had been killed. Not one of them knew that the supposedly greatest Dark-Lord of all time had been … subdued for the time being … by a now orphaned one year old child, who would be the key in the evil battles to be fought in the future.
Phew…that was…rather dreary to write, but I realized that I managed to keep the Potters' as the main characters. I hope that was OK – it was just my idea of what happened that night. I also didn't make Voldermort kill James right away, as, based on how he taunted and teased Harry in the Goblet of Fire, I thought he would have done the same to James – i.e. played around a little, humoring James, before ultimately killing him. And poor Harry, having to go through all of that!
Well…hope you enjoyed that! Reviews are very welcome; they are a good source of encouragement, regardless of their nature.