Phoenix Tears Rising
An Alternate Year Six Book
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and characters associated with his world belong to JK Rowling. No financial gain is being made from this story – only hours of enjoyment.
A/N: Because this story encompasses three eras in each chapter especially in the beginnings, I will always give you the location, the date and time. Like all those military / spy programs on TV. I think it would make it so much easier for you to read and a bit of a quirk for my story!
Chapter One. To Swallow a Weapon
Department of Magical Mysteries, 29th October 1979, 10:19am
It had started just like any other ordinary day. Lily Evans had walked the streets of London; picked up an apple strudel for breakfast before making her way to her job.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Even the sky was a plain grey wisp characteristic of normal London weather. She secretly thought her sister Petunia would approve on the 'normalness' dull grey of London town.
That last thought brought up the roaring row Lily had, had with Petunia the night before over the telephone. It had ended up in tears, Petunia declining Lily's invitation to her December wedding and screaming at the top of her lungs she never wanted to see Lily's abnormal face again.
Lily touched her face sadly with one hand. She could never see how Petunia, her once devoted elder sister, thought her abnormal. Even Sirius Black, James' best friend never picked on her insecurities. 'Probably never picked on my too large nose because he's afraid of James,' Lily thought, closing her eyes.
Lily wanted to know where it had all gone wrong. What had she done to deserve such scorn from her sister? Secretly she blamed Vernon, her sister's loud mouth, opinionated, self righteous pig of a husband.
Dinner at her sister's place was always an interesting affair, which usually acquired plenty of tense silence, followed by a pinch of jealous remarks and ended up with a fight and Lily being kicked out of the house.
Since their father death a year ago, dinner at Petunia's was a rare event now that she did not have to keep up appearances of getting along with Lily to please her senile father. But Lily still received an invitation now and then, usually so Petunia could show off her new show case kitchen or bathroom or tell Lily all her faults.
Lily sighed in frustration and kicked at the pale grey pavement. She should never have brought James to Petunia's; that was looking for disaster.
James of course was no push over. His parents had brought him up as a strong character who never took belittling from no one. And he always stood up for his rights; a part of the reason they had joined the Order of the Phoenix in the first place.
Well Vernon was not too pleased when James retorted to his every remark with biting sarcasm. Eventually however Vernon went too far and James blew his lid… literally.
Lily had held onto her chair for dear life when the lights started flickering; a sure sign James was at his boiling point. Then Vernon's thumb started to grow, and then his hand and then… Well suffice to say Vernon was blown up like a helium balloon. And James was out the door fuming before Lily could count slowly backwards from ten.
James' early departure from Petunia's delightful dinner party meant that it was Lily who fixed Vernon up, amongst all the fat man's profanity. And that was how Vernon discovered that she Lily Jane Evans, soon to be Potter, was a freak, a witch, an outcast from her own family.
Lily kicked another spot of the pavement. She wished she had been the one to blow Vernon too-perfect Dursely up!
Finally reaching a plain, boring, red telephone box Lily entered and closed the door behind her. She shook her head at the brand new security for the entrance of the Ministry of Magic and wondered who was the genius who thought of it in the first place?
Barely glancing at the dial, Lily pressed her delicate finger and starting mumbling numbers, "Six… two… four…four…two… I hope they change the password soon."
"Hello and welcome to the Ministry of Magic. Please state your name and business."
Typical even the operator sounded perkier than Lily felt.
"Lily Evans, Unspeakable for the Department of Magical Mysteries."
The bottom of the telephone box shuddered and Lily was sinking into the ground. She had to stop herself from humming the music of 'Get Smart' a muggle television show that James was particularly fond of. Soon Lily was emerged in darkness until she reached her floor. Overall it was much gentler than the floo network, which never failed to make her nauseous.
"The Ministry of Magic wishes you a pleasant day," the disembodied voice chirped.
"Suck up," Lily growled stepping through the now open doors. She found the telephone box had brought her directly to her floor.
"Lily, mi dear, all set for the wedding!" her bossed crowed from the other side of the room.
"Yes George, I'm ready," Lily grimaced as she made her way to her desk and plonked herself down.
One would think that working as an unspeakable would be interesting and exciting work. Not for Lily, everyday this last month or so she had to remind herself she was working here for the Order of the Phoenix and the war effort. The only problem was it was difficult to know what to slip to the Order and what not to. The oath before she had taken office had even forbidden her to gossip about her work mates, which made some of the rivalries especially hard to get through as you could not talk about it. But it was all for the Order.
James and herself had joined Albus Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix as soon as they left school. James was adamant about fighting Lord Voldemort and protecting 'society as we know it'. Lily had first agreed because she knew by disagreeing or arguing would only make James join another not-so-famous, not-so-skilled or not-so-safe society to fight Voldemort.
Personally Lily thought James wanted to wreck havoc while getting revenge for his parents' atrocious murder when he was in seventh year at school. She had to admit he was good at it, wrecking havoc and giving the Death Eaters a severe migraine. He was well loved in the Auror department.
"Whatsup? You don't look so good?" Her boss George was sitting on her desk. "Not pre-wedding jitters I hope."
Lily started and stared at him with wide eyes. "N-n-noo," Lily muttered, and to George she did not look convincing.
"James on another assignment is he, kiddo?"
Lily could only grimace in response and wish in vain that her boss would quit asking questions.
"He'll be fine, Lily mi dear," George continued.
Lily nodded her hear warily. Unspeakables might not be able to even talk about each other but that didn't mean Unspeakables didn't like to talk…
"Here I'll come and show you our new find," George prattled needlessly. "It's real historical, kiddo. You'll like it for sure."
George had said the magic word: historical. Lily lived for moments like these. She enjoyed history (when Binns wasn't teaching) and had read Hogwarts: A History, five times during her years at the magical school.
Lily pushed back her chair and nearly fell over her feet to follow her boss.
George was striding very quickly to the brand new holding room: donated ironically by Phoebus Malfoy who everyone seemed to know was a Death Eater except the Ministry of Magic. Rumour had it he was thinking running for Minister next term…
George unlocked the silver shiny doors with a few well aimed taps of his wand. The doors slid upon and they entered.
The room was sparse white and in the middle of the sparse white room was a pale white table on which was…
"A potion vial?" Lily asked incredulously picking it up.
"Careful, careful… Lord Voldemort would do anything to get his paws on this, Phoebus said!"
"A potion vial," Lily repeated. She couldn't help but sound a little disappointed. She had been wishing for an old manuscript, an old innate object or something relatively interesting…
"Read the label!" George was practically bursting out of his skin.
Lily turned the vial carefully and read. "Blood of Godric Gryffindor, blood of Salazar Slytherin bound and sealed by phoenix tears to give it life."
Well that was interesting…
George was looking like a hyper active child.
Lily felt dread curling in her stomach and very slowly she replaced the vial in the holder.
"George please don't tell me who let this slip," Lily said her voice wobbling.
George was looking sheepish. That was never a good sign.
"You're an Unspeakable you not supposed to talk about these things!" Lily burst forgetting for a moment she was talking to her boss.
"I only mentioned it to Phoebus and he won't tell anyone!"
Lily resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Honestly George was so dim witted sometimes. She didn't have time to open her mouth when the telephone box came crashing down.
George and Lily turned around in time to see the doors of the telephone box open. A row of Death Eaters emerge. At their head was old Phoebus Malfoy looking quite smug.
"I don't believe it," George muttered his wand falling helplessly by his side. "It's Phoebus."
Phoebus' cold eyes scanned the room and spotted Lily and George.
"Go take the potion and get out," George hissed.
Lily stared at him.
"Voldemort wants the potion, are you going to give it to him?"
Lily shook her head and grabbed the potion darting out another set of door just as she heard the death curse behind her and a soft thump. She whimpered and darted behind the desk.
"Dear sweet Lily, come out and give us the potion," Phoebus cried. Lily could hear his footsteps getting gradually closer. "We won't hurt you… much."
Lily heard the snickering of the death eaters as they slowly advanced. She knew they had little time to waste. It was daring to attack the Ministry it would be in a matter of minutes before the alarm was raised and aurors flooded the floor.
Lily let her eyes dart towards the potion vial which was cool against her fingertips. This was what they were after; this was what they would kill for. What if they could not get it?
Without thinking she uncorked the potion, pinched her nose and swallowed. It was foul on the tongue, salty and tangy. It was only after she had finished the vial she let her brain catch up with her.
What was she doing? This was an unknown substance. You just don't swallow a substance without knowing what it is you are swallowing. It could be poison.
Lily covered her mouth and nearly fainted from the mere thought. How typical that she would poison herself only six weeks or so from her wedding day!
Her eyes started to water and she felt particularly ill. A blearily black outline came into view.
She was vaguely aware of the death eater kneeling beside her. "She swallowed it. The little bitch swallowed the weapon."
"No use gagging now, darling," the death eater mumbled. "You'll have to take it to term."
"We should take her to the Dark Lord."
"She has solved the problem of finding a carrier for the weapon."
Lily swooned as she was roughly hurled to her feet. That was when the Aurors turned up…
For five minutes the room was full of spells, curses and hexes. Lily took cover cowering in fright tears streaming down her face. This was why she was not an Auror she'd never be able to handle the pressure.
The spells finally stopped but Lily lay immobile underneath a desk in shock.
It was James. He wasn't supposed to be home until next Thursday. But Lily didn't care she had never been so thankful to hear his voice.
James dashed around the corner to find Lily slumped under the desk. "Oh my… Lily are you okay? Where are you hurt? Do you need a healer?"
Lily vaguely listened to the lengthy list of questions James spurted almost all at once. She shook her head. "No… just feel bad… I just want to go home."
James was on his knees and squeezed her tightly against his broad muscly chest. She buried her nose in the crock of his neck and took a deep breath of his scent. Musky, warm and safe. She was safe. For now.
James lifted Lily to her feet and helped her to the fireplace. All the other Aurors watched grimly.
"George Jacobson is dead," one Auror said quiet loudly.
"What do you think the Death Eaters were after?"
The question was aimed at Lily even though that Auror was not facing her. "I could not say," Lily murmured. "I cannot say."
Order of the Phoenix Headquarters, 29th October 1980, 07:43pm
Lily waited impatiently on the couch at the headquarters. She had been sleeping most of the day feeling tired and worn. James had hovered nearby most of the time, since she had confessed she had swallowed an unknown substance.
Dumbledore was away on some obscure mission in the German Alps. And therefore James himself had to sought out his allusive nemesis to ask for help. Apparently Severus Snape was not pleased to be disturbed by a frantic James Potter. But according to James the surly potions git didn't take too much convincing to come and have a look at Lily.
"Where is he?" James muttered tapping his fingers on the couch. "He's late."
"It's only seven forty three," Lily pointed out calmly. "He has another seventeen minutes."
James sorted. "But he will be l…"
The fireplace came alive, warning James to cut off his remark. A moment later Snape arrive looking dour and serious as ever.
James turned to meet his old school rival. "You're early," James said accusingly. Lily rolled her eyes dramatically and flung herself into the couch.
"You're arrogant, Potter."
"Tea, Severus?" Lily asked cutting off James' retort.
Severus Snape glanced at her and curled his lips. "No," he snarled. "Thankyou," he added in as an after thought.
Lily watched Snape glide forward; as usual he was wearing his long billowy black robes, over his many buttoned black vest and slacks. His face was all business.
"You swallowed an unknown potion, Ms. Evans?"
Lily nodded and hung her head.
"Accident of drowning, forced down your throat by vile Death Eaters such as my…"
James had obviously had done some accusing when he went to ask Snape to help her. Lily hadn't told James exactly what had happened.
"Deliberately," Lily interjected; she had to stop herself from laughing as James' head shot up in surprise. "I don't know what I was thinking."
"I see," Snape drawled slowly, it was evident that in fact he did not see and so Lily was obliged to tell him the whole humiliating story from beginning to end.
"And you have the vial?" Snape asked immediately when she had finished.
Lily dug through her robes and gave Snape the vial. Snape regarded the label for a moment looking stunned, he glanced at the vial and then at Lily then back at the vial.
"You foolish girl," Snape hissed forgetting he was the same age as Lily. "Do you not know what you have swallowed?"
"If I knew I wouldn't be asking," Lily snapped feeling irritable.
Snape however was not to be baited he turned back to the fireplace and stared into the flames. "Symptoms will show themselves soon enough. You'll have to carry to term."
"That's what the Death Eater said," Lily replied feeling depressed realising what Snape was implying.
Snape nodded wearily and pinched his nose. "Just thank the heavens above you are a woman."
Lily glumly nodded and glanced down at her churning belly.
"What's this suppose to mean?"
"Let's just say your precious 'Lily flower', has brought history to life literally," Snape snarled before disappearing to the kitchen in a flurry of black robes. "And I'll have to be the one to make sure no harms comes to it."