Albus surveyed the damage with a sinking heart. The Burrow, a place usually filled with the lively hustle and bustle of a young wizarding family was completely decimated. Three mediwizards stood to one side, nursing a baby boy and his two older brothers. Fred and George Weasley, twins, and baby brother Ronald were the only family members to survive the Darklord's latest attack. The Weasleys were prominent members of wizarding society, as well as being highly prolific. That, combined with the fact that were pureblood, would have ordinarily have protected them from Voldemort's wrath, but a few weeks earlier they had publicly announced their support of Dumbledore and of the light side. Now Molly and Arthur were gone, along with their sons Bill, Charlie and Percy. Another five lives lost in Voldemort's attempts to rid the wizarding world of filth.
"Albus!…" Minerva McGonagal, the Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, had apparated behind the elderly man.
"Ah, Minerva…" started Albus sombrely, turning to face her.
She had been a close friend and mentor to both of the young Weasley adults and would have taught their children in a few years.
"There's been an attack," Minerva stated bluntly, cutting off Albus.
"Yes, I know…"Albus waved his hand to indicate the smouldering ruins behind him.
"No, not here, The Potters they're gone…Peter Pettigrew is dead, and so, apparently, is he-who-must-not-be-named!" shrieked Minerva.
As she finished her sentence, owls started appearing from all directions, some dropping letters for them both.
"How did this happen, Minerva? How did Tom find out where they were?" Dumbledore demanded of the witch.
Shaking his aged head, he prepared to leave.
"Minerva, see that these children are sent to the proper facilities, I must find out what has happened!"
With a loud crack he was gone, and Minerva turned to glance at the young children standing with the mediwizards.
They'll be fine she reassured herself they would see to it that the children find a nice home.
But they weren't sent to a nice home. The place that the three young boys were sent to could not be considered nice by anyone's standards, and it is with this terrible injustice that the story of the true Darklord really begins. From that time on, the wizarding world was to never be the same again.
The tiny baby was tearfully passed from hand to hand. Sirius Black, the godfather and newly named Guardian to the small boy, had left the room, too overcome with grief to acknowledge his best friends' son at that time. Remus Lupin, visibly shaking, was holding the bundle as if Harry was made of precious china instead of flesh and blood. In a dark corner stood Severus Snape, and although no one could see it, tears were swimming in his eyes also.
The Potter's funeral would be held in a few days time; until then, as the wizarding world celebrated the downfall of a Darklord, those who knew Lily and James best would be in mourning, comforted by the fact that although they were gone, a small piece of them would live in the baby they had loved so much.
In another part of the world, another small baby was being held, but not in so loving or gentle a manner. No one knew this child's name; no one cared to either. A tiny blanket with his initials, "RW" covered his body. All around him babies screamed and cried; some were covered in festering wounds, others simply couldn't stand pain of hunger any longer. Whatever had happened to the warm presences around him? Where was his bottle of milk? His arguing siblings? His beautiful mother with her twinkling smile? His excitable father? Gone, gone because of one decision. Gone because their saviour was one day too late. Gone, and never coming back.
As his friends sat together and shared their grief, Sirius Black was alone, mourning James. They'd been friends since the first train ride to Hogwarts; James' parents had been replacements to his own horrible family. Voldemort had taken so much from him, but had left him with Harry. Harry who would always know love. Harry who would never be forgotten, never know pain or disappointment. Sirius was determined that Harry would follow in his footsteps. The Marauders weren't gone yet.