Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, not me. I'm not making any profit off of this.

What If Snape Died?

"You did what!" shouted James Potter at his best friend Sirius Black. They were inside the Shrieking Shack with their other friends, Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin. Remus had what they referred to as a 'furry little problem.' At every full moon, he would transform into a werewolf, and would temporarily lose his mind and attack any human he could find. The other three had learned to become animagi, so they would transform into animals and accompany Remus on those occasions, such as tonight. Together, they called themselves the 'Marauders.' It was the night after they took their final exams for their sixth year at Hogwarts.

Sirius was laughing as he said, "I told Snivelus that he'd find something interesting if he came up here tonight."

"You idiot!" shouted James. "He could get killed if he…"

At that moment Remus began his transformation and immediately went after the yelling human. Sirius and Peter transformed at once, and a big black dog that was Sirius Black got between the werewolf and James. Instead of transforming into a stag, he decided to run out of the room to stop Snape from coming, closing the door behind him. As he ran down the passage, he saw the greasy git walking toward him with an ugly, satisfied sneer on his face.

"James Potter, out of bounds are we? What would Dumbledore say?"

"Snape," yelled James desperately as he heard something tearing at the door behind him, "You've got to get out of here now!"

"And let the three of you get away with more rule-breaking? You strut around this school like you can get away with anything, but now you're afraid of a little detention. My, my," said the git, "it seems you finally realize that you don't own the school."

"Fine," said James, "You can turn me in! We'll leave together now!"

"And let your friends miss out on the fun?" said Snape as he started to walk past James. James grabbed him and tackled him to the floor easily, but Snape managed to grab his wand. Suddenly, James found himself floating off of his rival, and was hanging upside down in midair. "I think I'll leave you like that until we leave. Accio, wand," he said, causing James' wand to fly out of his pocket into Snape's hand as he sneered.

At that moment, the door ahead of him broke, and a werewolf started running at Snape, followed by a big black dog. Momentarily startled, he didn't raise a wand to defend himself as the werewolf rushed upon him, first slashing his chest with a claw. The pain caused Severus to drop his wand as he began bleeding horribly. After a few more slashes, the dog got between the werewolf and his victim, and James Potter fell to the ground because the caster of the spell was now dead. James transformed into a stag, knowing that if he didn't, he'd be the werewolf's next victim. The stag gave the dog the most venomous look he could, clearly stating that James Potter blamed Sirius Black for what had happened.

-

The next morning, after Remus had transformed back to normal, he, James, and Sirius made their way to Dumbledore's office to inform him of what had transpired. James and Sirius confessed to being illegal animagi. They saw no reason to include Peter in the confession, since he'd had nothing to do with it. James could swear he saw the headmaster age thirty years before his eyes.

Dumbledore sighed and said, "I must confess that I'm very disappointed in all of you."

"It was my fault," said a devastated Lupin, "I killed him."

"Although you share blame for allowing your friends to accompany you, you were not responsible for Severus' coming to the Shrieking Shack, and were not in control of yourself at the time. Do not be too harsh upon yourself, as the punishments I'm afraid I must hand out will be severe enough. Remus, I'm afraid that when the governors are made aware of this tragedy, I'll be forced to expel you. I'll probably never be able to allow any other child with your condition to enroll again." Remus hung his head in shame. "Sirius, I'm afraid that this time you have gone too far in your jokes. I have no choice but to expel you as well. Tomorrow you two will leave on the Hogwarts Express with everyone else, but will not be returning."

"Yes sir," said a very distressed Sirius, "I can't tell you how sorry I am."

"James Potter, since you were not part of Mr. Black's prank, and were in fact trying to save Severus' life, you will not be expelled. However, you will have to stay at Hogwarts for the summer with Mr. Filch, giving the castle the most thorough cleaning it has had in the thousand years that it has been standing."

"Thank you sir," said James.

"It is my wish that the general population not know that there was a werewolf attending Hogwarts, and that a student was killed by one. The story told to the students will be that Severus was killed by the whomping willow, and that Mr. Black and Mr. Lupin had lured him out as a joke. Mr. Potter was also out of bounds, but had no knowledge of this particular joke. We will also keep your abilities to transform into animals between just us."

-

They left his office, and made their way to Gryffindor tower. After they told Pettigrew what the punishments were, Remus and Sirius began packing. Peter was already packed, and James didn't have ant need to pack.

Sirius said, "I guess I'll have to go back to my mom's house and hope she'll take me in. She might be proud of me now that I'm a murderer."

"I'm the murderer," argued Lupin.

"You're not murderers, and Sirius, you're not going back there!" said James. "You made a mistake, a bad one, but just a mistake. It was an accident! I'm sure mum and dad wouldn't kick you out because of a mistake. You're both of age and can practice magic outside of school! I'll bet that if the two of you study the books for next year, they'll let you take the N.E.W.T. exams with me. Write Dumbledore this summer after things have calmed down. Things will work out. I know it."

-

The summer went by slowly for James, cleaning every inch of Hogwarts the muggle way with Filch standing over him talking about 'the old punishments.' He almost believed he deserved to be hanging by his toes with Filch laughing. Sure he hated Snape, but he didn't want him to die. As much as he told himself otherwise, he blamed himself for the death. If he'd have stunned Snape instead of tackle him. If he wouldn't have wasted time trying to reason with the idiot, maybe he'd still be alive and his two best friends wouldn't have been expelled. A month into the summer, he got a letter from Sirius that said Dumbledore had agreed to let them take the N.E.W.T exams. They would stay in guest quarters during those days. Since there wasn't a full moon scheduled for the time of the exams, it wouldn't be a problem for Lupin.

-

James was shocked beyond belief when the Hogwarts letter he'd received while scrubbing the floor of the Slytherin boys' bathroom said he would be Head Boy. When Filch finally let him go, he went straight to Dumbledore's office. He said, "Sir, I think there's been a mistake. My letter said I'm Head Boy, but that's impossible. Even if it weren't for the trouble I'm in, I haven't even been a prefect."

"It is a common misconception that the Head Boy and Girl have to have been prefects. While it is common, and in fact the Head Girl has been a prefect, there is no rule that states that it is necessary," he said with a twinkle in his eyes. "While the action that you are being punished for was severe, I feel that one cannot let one incident undo a lot of good. I know that you and your friends have, shall we say, brought excitement to the school, but you have always been a talented student and have stood up to prejudiced people such as Snape. As I'm sure you're aware, Lord Voldemort is starting to gain more supporters. I feel we need strong Heads that will do what's right, even if it means breaking a few rules. When Voldemort was a student here, he always obeyed the rules perfectly, but in his heart he was evil. You, on the other hand, have disobeyed several school rules, but in your heart you are good."

"Thank you sir," said James, who's ears turned slightly pink at that compliment. "By the way, who's the Head Girl?"

-

He couldn't believe it, Lily Evans, the girl he'd had a crush on since he started at Hogwarts, was the Head Girl. He smiled for a second, but then frowned when he thought, "She couldn't stand you before, now what will she think of you?"

-

Near the end of the summer, he was allowed one day to spend with his family and friends and to do his school shopping. Before he knew it, he was finished with detention and was sitting in the Great Hall wearing his Head Boy badge (along with his quidditch captain badge), waiting for the other students to arrive on the Hogwarts Express. He knew that this would be a strange year, not having Sirius or Remus with him. He wondered how Lily would react to his new position. When the other students arrived, he saw the beautiful Lily Evans at the front of the line, looking at him, the sole occupant of the Gryffindor (or any student) table. She walked toward him with an expression that appeared like she was going to gloat about his punishment, but then he noticed her lovely emerald eyes widen as they rested on his Head Boy badge. He saw her mouth the words, "What the Hell?" She walked up to him and said, "I thought the new Head Boy was sick, not…"

"Me?" said James. Whatever arrogance he may have had before was gone. "When I got the badge, I thought it was a mistake and went to see Dumbledore. I was cleaning a Slytherin washroom at the time." He took a deep breath. "I know I don't deserve it, Evans. It's not fair to people like you who've worked hard for the position." He sighed. "But I am Head Boy, and truthfully don't understand why, and I don't really know all of my duties yet. Filch has had me working fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, so haven't had the chance to read the manual. I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know what I'm supposed to do."

Lily looked horrified. "Fourteen hours a day? Seven days a week? I know what you did was bad, but…"

"I deserved it!" said James firmly. "If you ask me I should've been expelled, not made Head Boy. I'm sorry that you're stuck sharing the Head's common room with me. You deserve a better person than me to help you with your duties. I'll try to stay out of your way as much as possible. If you need help with anything, let me know."

- changing to Lily's perspective

Lily was startled. She'd always thought of James Potter as arrogant, but this man wearing a Head Boy badge was just the opposite. He seemed to feel he wasn't fit to live. She'd never been friends with him before, but he looked like he needed one now. She knew that his two best friends had been expelled, and that Peter had been more of a sidekick than a friend to them. She decided to set aside their past arguments and befriend him.

She first helped him learn his Head Boy duties, and then they started helping each other in classes. She was surprised at how good he was at transfiguration. He helped her improve in that class while she helped him in potions. It wasn't long before she and James were inseparable. When rumors about them dating started spreading around the school, it made her blush. She said to herself, "We are not dating; we're just friends. I have no romantic interest in him. Just because he's so handsome, and this year he's been so sweet, so considerate of me, and…ok, maybe I do like him, but he doesn't like me. Just because he hasn't dated anyone else this year doesn't mean we're dating. He just thinks of me as a friend, and so that's what I'll be."

At the Halloween feast, Dumbledore made an announcement that would change this. "This year, on the day before most of you will go home for the Christmas holidays, we will have a Yule Ball. I suggest you get dates as soon as possible."

James, who'd been sitting next to her, immediately tapped her on the shoulder. "Lily," he said.

"Yes," she said, turning toward him. He appeared nervous.

"Wouldyougoballme?"

"What?" she asked, not daring to believe what she thought he'd said. If he was asking her to the ball, why would he be nervous? She'd seen him call across the room to ask a girl to go out with him before.

James took a deep breath. "Will you do me the honor of being my date for the Yule Ball?"

She tried her hardest not to blush. She knew that James had his pick of almost any girl in the school, yet he immediately asked her. She decided not to act too excited. "Well, I guess so."

The look of excitement on his face at her acceptance was something that she'd always remember. "You will?" he asked. She nodded. There was no mistaking it. He would not be this excited if they were going as friends. He fancied her. She smiled at him.

-

That Yule Ball was probably the most fun she'd ever had at Hogwarts. He seemed to want to dance every song with her, and was very reluctant to let anyone else dance with her. As Heads, they had to make sure that all the students were back in their towers. They finally got back to the Heads' common room very late after sending several snogging couples running.

"Well," said Lily, "This has been a lovely evening."

"Thank you for coming with me," said James, peering into her eyes. "I've never told you this, but I think that you are one of the kindest, most wonderful people I've ever met."

She turned a bit pink. "I'm not all that kind…"

"You're speaking to me aren't you?" He sighed, "You're also one of the brightest witches I've ever met."

"There are a lot of people smarter than me," she said smiling.

"You're not like the other girls I've dated," said James, "They just wanted to date me because I was popular. You're also far, far more beautiful than any of them."

Her cheeks were red now as her heart rate increased, "I'm not all that…"

"I know I don't deserve the right to ask, but would you be my girlfriend?"

Her heart stopped for a second. She considered her options. By now she knew that she fancied him and he fancied her. Should she make him squirm or beg? She realized that she would really be denying herself what she wanted, which was to snog this gorgeous man until he couldn't remember his own name. She looked him in the eyes and said gently, licking her lips in an inviting way, "I would love to be your girlfriend." He leaned forward and tentatively kissed her. She ran her fingers in his ever-messy raven hair and deepened the kiss.

-

Their relationship grew from that point on, and they married a month after gradation. Sirius was James' Best Man, and Remus was also in the wedding party. Both of them had passed their N.E.W.T.s with flying colors. Peter, who'd pretty much been alone the whole year since James started hanging out with Lily at the beginning of term, had disappeared immediately after graduation. The day before the wedding, Dumbledore had informed them that Pettigrew had been killed with other Death Eaters, participating in a muggle attack. James silently wondered if he could have prevented that by hanging out with Pettigrew, but doubted it.

That Christmas, James got more than just a gift from Lily. She informed him that she was two months pregnant. He was ecstatic, and immediately insisted that Sirius be the baby's godfather. He happily accepted, honored that they would give him this responsibility. They soon found out that another member of the Order of the Phoenix, Alice Longbottom, was also due to have a baby at the end of July.

-

The months flew by quickly (for everyone but Lily), and soon it was early June. The students had just left on the Hogwarts Express, and Professor Dumbledore had an appointment with an applicant for Divination professor at the Three Broomsticks. After spending five minutes with her, he realized that she was a complete fraud. He started leaving as soon as he could politely do so, and then she went rigid, and her voice changed. She said,

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies...and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies."

When she was done speaking, her voice returned to normal and she had no memory of the prophecy. He left the pub, and was relieved to find that no one had overheard. As he contemplated the prophecy later in his office, he came to the conclusion that it had to be either the Potters' child or the Longbottoms' child. He briefly considered informing the parents, but realized that it would be safest if nobody knew about it. If Voldemort were to learn of the prophecy, he'd probably kill both babies, along with their families. He would simply wait to see what would happen.

-

Both children were born at the end of July, which didn't help Dumbledore narrow it down. He had hoped that one of them would have been born in August. At least then he'd know which child the prophecy referred to.

-

The years passed by quickly as the war with Voldemort continued. He was getting bolder and bolder with his attacks, convinced that no one could stop him. Before long the two children were five years old. James and Lily Potter were each holding one of little Harry's hands, as they walked through Diagon Alley. They didn't often come here, but they needed to get Harry new clothes. He just wouldn't quit that growing! They walked out of the shop with their packages when it happened. Thirty Death Eaters, followed by Voldemort himself, apparated into the middle of the street, and began wreaking havoc. James and Lily were guarding their son, trying to get him to safety when they were recognized by Voldemort. "Well, well. Mr. and Mrs. Potter. This must be your son," he said with snake-like voice.

"You leave my mummy and daddy alone!" shouted little Harry.

"Quite a temper you've got. Obviously your parents haven't disciplined you enough." He pointed his wand at the five year old boy and said, "Crucio!"

Harry fell to the floor crying in pain for a few seconds before James fired a spell at Voldemort, shouting, "He's just a child you monster!" The spell didn't hurt Voldemort, but blocking it distracted the dark lord from his torture of Harry.

He smiled at James. "I guess I should kill you first, then."

"Don't hurt my daddy!" shouted Harry.

"Quiet Harry," said Lily, who was right beside him.

"Harry, is it?" asked Voldemort, "You don't want to see me hurt your parents, do you Harry?" He didn't wait for an answer. "I'll do you a favor. I won't make you watch." He pointed his wand at Harry, then sneered as he said, "Avada Kadavra."

As the green light shot from Voldemort's wand, Lily threw herself in front of her son. When it hit her and she fell dead, Harry cried out, "Mummy, mummy!" while James watched in shock.

Voldemort laughed, "She shouldn't have made you watch that. Let me ease your pain." He pointed his wand at Harry yet again and said, "Avada Kadavra."

The green beam of light hit Harry in the forehead, but he didn't die. Instead, the beam bounced back at Voldemort, who screamed out in anguish as his body seemed to turn into a spirit and fly away. The approximately ten remaining Death Eaters, upon seeing their master defeated, apparated away. James, with tears streaming down his eyes, walked over to his crying son. He noticed a deep bleeding cut on Harry's forehead in the shape of a lightning bolt. He picked him up and hugged him close. As they cried together, they didn't notice people around them beginning to celebrate, calling Harry Potter, "The Boy Who Lived."

-

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