Prologue: The Beginning

Godric's Hollow – Near Midnight – 31 October 1981

The dark wizard looked down at the piece of parchment in his hand. It read: The Potter family home can be found at 500 Griffin Road, Godric's Hollow. When he looked back up and focused on the words, a large cottage appeared before his eyes, no longer protected from him by the Fidelius charm after the Secret Keeper, Pettigrew, had given him the parchment.

Lights were on in the lower level of the house. The dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, walked up to the front door and blasted it in with a Reducto. Inside, a man yelled, "Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"

The man stepped out of the kitchen to confront Voldemort. Voldemort saw the raven-hair and furious brown eyes of James Potter as he held his wand leveled at Voldemort. In the kitchen, Lily Potter ran out the other door to the stairs and ran up them to get to Harry's room where he lay in his crib.

"Hello, James," Voldemort hissed.

"Voldemort," James replied defiantly.

"Ah, I see you are not afraid of my name like nearly every other cowardly fool. Very refreshing."

The next instant curses flew out of both wands as they began dueling. Voldemort was more experienced, however, and used much Darker and more painful spells. Suddenly he found himself being rammed hard back into the wall by a pair of antlers. He felt a pain in his side as the impact of the stag cracked several ribs, and a stabbing sensation in his left shoulder as on of the antlers split his skin.

The stag that attacked him then transformed back into James, getting off a few more spells before Voldemort could recover. James's ability as an Animagus was not registered, but Pettigrew had informed him of it. What he had not expected, was how quickly James could do the transformation. Where most took several seconds to complete their transformations, James had gotten the time down to less than a second. Voldemort replied to this attack with a flurry of painful spells, the last one causing the wand to fall from James's hand. "Avada Kedavra!" The green beam of light from Voldemort's wand struck James in the chest, instantly killing him.

He stepped over his opponent's body as he made his way upstairs to confront a person that he respected, both for her power and for her intelligence. He hoped that she would possibly join his cause, but did not count on it. He entered the nursery where the red-haired Lily Potter stood defiantly in front of her one-year old son, Harry's, crib. "Lily, if you join me, I will consider sparing your son. Your great intelligence should not go to waste." He said to her.

"Never! I will never join you, you twisted bastard!"

"Fine, we will have it your way. Step aside, so I can finish what I came here for."

"Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!" Lily sobbed as she blocked his view of the crib.

Voldemort was getting impatient. "Stand aside you silly girl … stand aside now."

"No! Not Harry, please no, have mercy, please, take me, kill me instead!"

"As you wish."

She lifted her wand to fight him off. Her worries about her son behind her distracted her, and the duel was soon over. Voldemort walked over to the crib that held the crying baby that was supposed to be his downfall. He laughed at the idea as he used the Killing Curse on him. His eyes widened as, instead of striking the boy, the green jet of light seemed to bounce off of a golden barrier that suddenly formed around the boy. Voldemort had no time to think as the curse struck him instead. He felt extreme pain, almost as if his blood was being superheated and his heart was being torn from his chest, as his spirit was ripped from his body. If he had not taken prior steps to ensure his near immortality, he would have been dead just as many of his enemies. Instead, his spirit was able to drift away from his now crumpled body which seemed to be slowly melting away on the floor, leaving nothing but the robes he had been wearing.

The energy that ripped the soul from Lord Voldemort's body had continued upwards and out of the room, severely damaging the ceiling and one of the support beams before blasting a hole through the roof. Young Harry lay in his crib with a lightning-bolt-shaped cut on his forehead, slowly bleeding. He cried himself to sleep from the pain of the cut, no longer able to receive comfort from his now motionless mother, as the ceiling of the second floor of the house began to collapse slowly, piece by piece.

Godric's Hollow - Early morning – 1 November 1981

Hagrid, the large bearded half-giant was shocked when he saw the damage to the house from the outside. As he approached the front door, he realised that Dumbledore must have had some sort of wards set up that alerted him to the damage, which was why he had sent Hagrid to check on the Potters.

Hagrid let out a loud cry as he entered the remains of the front door and saw the body of James Potter, a man that he had befriended years ago at Hogwarts. He realised now that Voldemort had been here, and killed the Potters, despite all of the protections that had been used to prevent such a thing from happening. He looked up suddenly when he heard the faint cry of an infant from the upper floor.

He made his way up quickly, stepping over rubble on the steps, praying that Lily and Harry had somehow made it out of the attack alive. He reached the nursery and saw Lily's lifeless body on the floor, and what looked like a pair of duelist robes on the floor in front of her. As he walked toward the crib, he saw the crest of the Slytherin house on the collar. He looked inside the crib and was overjoyed to see Harry looking up at him. He plucked Harry out as gently as he could and took out a handkerchief to wipe away some dried blood on his forehead. When it was gone, the fresh curse scar remained, sticking out from the infant's light skin with a deep red colour.

Hagrid heard the deep rumbling sound of a motorcycle coming up the drive. He wrapped Harry up in a blanket and hurried down the stairs with him, just in time to see Sirius Black enter the front door. "No! No!" He shouted as he collapsed next to his best friend's body. After several minutes of weeping, he pulled himself together, and gently brushed his hand over James's face, closing his eyes. He looked up with eyes red from crying, and for the first time saw Hagrid standing there. "HE killed them, didn't he! Voldemort was here!"

Hagrid nodded sadly and then said. "Lily's upstairs. They were alre'y dea' when I go' here. 'arry's still alive, I don' know 'ow 'e made it, but 'e got a scar from it." Hagrid said, gesturing to the now dozing Harry that he held. "You-Know-Who wasn' anywhere I could see, 'cept a set o' Slytherin duelin' robes by the crib."

Sirius' face lit up when he saw that Harry had survived the attack, and then looked at Hagrid curiously. "What are you doing here, Hagrid?"

"Ah, well, th' Headmaster tol' me to check up on the house, he must 'ave 'ad wards that told 'im the 'ouse was damaged."

"Hagrid, I'll take Harry back to my house with me, and then go over to Remus' place and tell him what happened."

"Sorry, Sirius, but the Headmaster ordered me to take 'arry back to him strai' away if 'e was alive."

"What! Hagrid, I'm his godfather, I'm the one who will take care of him. It's what Lily and James wanted."

"Well, ye'll 'ave to talk to Dumbledore abou' tha', I'm s'posed to meet him and give 'arry to his aunt and uncle, Dursley, I think their name is. The Headmaster gave me very stric' orders about tha'."

Sirius heaved a sigh, realizing that he would probably have to fight Dumbledore every step of the way to be allowed to keep Harry. He would talk to him later. First, he had to find the little tat that had betrayed Lily and James. "Alright, take him for now; I've got something to do first anyways. But Dumbledore won't get away with giving him to the Dursleys. I've met them before, and they're horrible. They hate anything to do with magic. You can take my motorcycle if you want." Hagrid nodded and made his way outside to the motorcycle, and was soon out of the neighbourhood with Harry.

'Why did I have to talk them into changing to Peter as their Secret Keeper at the Last minute?' Sirius thought to himself. There had been talk of a traitor in the Order, and most had suspected Remus Lupin, because he was a werewolf. James and Lily had come to Sirius to ask him to be the Secret Keeper for the Fidelius charm that would hide them from Voldemort. Sirius had convinced them to use Peter, because Sirius would be the obvious choice, and, if captured, would be tortured for the location. If he was not the Secret Keeper, there would be no way for him to give it away. Now he knew that the traitor had been Pettigrew, and now he had to find him, planning on killing him for what he had done.

Number 4 Privet Drive – Near Midnight1 November 1981

Professor Minerva McGonagall and Headmaster Albus Dumbledore stood on the street in front of the Dursley home. Petunia Dursley was Lily Potter's only remaining relative. McGonagall was frustrated that Albus refused to listen to her arguments that Harry should not be left with them, knowing from what she had heard Lily say about them, that both Muggles detested magic, especially after what she had seen of them as she watched the house, waiting for Dumbledore. She could not get Dumbledore to agree with her that this would not be a proper place for Harry. She had brought up the fact that Lily and James's will, of which she had signed as one of the witnesses, said that he was to be given to Sirius Black, and, failing that, to the Longbottom, Bones, or Tonks families. She even offered to take him in herself, but Albus remained insistent that this was the best place for him.

They were now waiting for Hagrid to arrive with Harry. He drove up on the motorcycle nearly twenty minutes later, and walked up to them carrying Harry. "Well, 'ere 'e is, Headmaster. I 'ave to tell you though, Sirius met me there, and it sounded like 'e is goin' to fight you for 'arry."

"I suspected he would, but I know he will leave it be when I make him realise Harry is safest here."

"Headmaster, do you thin' You-Know-Who is really gone?"

"Yes, I believe that Lily somehow invoked ancient magic by sacrificing herself, causing the Killing Curse to rebound off of Harry. I looked at the robes at the house, and they do belong to Voldemort. If it were not for the curse scar on Harry, I would say Voldemort was still out there, running around starkers, but I believe he is truly gone, at least from the physical world for the time being." He said with a chuckle.

He took Harry from Hagrid and carried him up the drive. He left him on the front porch, along with a letter addressed to the Dursley's. He turned back to McGonagall and Hagrid, nodded, and promptly Disapparated to Hogsmeade for a long walk back to Hogwarts Castle.

Suburb of London – 2 November 1981

The entire street exploded as Sirius Black pointed his wand at Peter Pettigrew. Peter had used the commotion of the explosive curse he had fired from the wand he had hidden behind his back to cut off a finger, shrink down into his rat Animagus form, and flee the scene, leaving a distraught Sirius and a street full of dead Muggles behind.

He hid behind a dumpster, watching as Hit Wizards Apparated to the scene, promptly placing Black under arrest for the murders of the Muggles and the apparent murders of Pettigrew. He would later read in the Daily Prophet that Sirius was thrown into Azkaban for life without a trial, and that he, now thought to be dead, would get a posthumous Order of Merlin.

Peter scurried off the street, trying to figure out what he would do next. He had entered Godric's Hollow yesterday after his Master, only to find Voldemort's robes and wand lying near Lily Potter's body. He took the wand and fled, and today he was confronted by an enraged Sirius Black who knew he had betrayed the Potters.

Pettigrew eventually found a place to live as the pet of Percival Weasley, a member of a Wizarding family, allowing him to keep tabs on what was happening in the Wizarding world. He hid the wand of Voldemort in a part of the Weasley grounds that were rarely visited by anyone. Pettigrew, now known to the family as Scabbers, would remain with the Weasley family for years, eventually getting passed down as a pet to Percy's youngest brother, Ron.

4 Privet DriveFive Years Later – 20 July 1986

Vernon Dursley pulled into his driveway and went into is house, met by his waiting wife and son. "Did you do it?" Petunia asked him. "Yeah, left him by a dumpster in a seedy part of London."

Vernon had just returned from dumping his bruised and bleeding and broken-boned nephew, nearly six-year-old Harry Potter, in an alleyway in London. He and Petunia had been shocked and outraged when they found the baby on their doorstep five years ago. Vernon had protested taking in the boy, the son of the freak Potters. Petunia had talked him into it, telling him that the wizards probably would have people watching them for a few years to ensure the care of Harry. So, for several years, they put on the act of caring for the child. In reality, they began beating him by the time he turned three, forcing him to sleep without a bed on the hard floor of their cupboard beneath the stairs. Vernon often got drunk on the weekends, leading him to beat Harry even worse than usual, often resulting in broken bones.

Vernon finally snapped the previous evening, beating Harry so severely, it was hard to tell if he was still alive. The next morning Vernon talked to Petunia and they agreed to leave him on the streets in London. While Vernon took Harry out to the city, Petunia cleaned up the blood that had collected over the years on the floor of the cupboard. Their story was to be that Harry had run away, if they were ever questioned by the police.

"He's finally gone, now we can get on with our lives, Vernon." Petunia said.

"It will be so much easier without him around. Plus, we get to use the money from the bank account that got set up to pay us for taking care of him. I'm taking some time off work this summer. What say we use some of the money to go to the Mediterranean?"

"That sounds lovely, Vernon. We can use the money to pay for holiday every summer." Petunia said, smiling at her husband and leading him in the house before going to the kitchen to make another meal for her son, Dudley.

Hogwarts, Headmaster's Office – Five years later – 31 July 1991

Albus Dumbledore sat at the large desk in his office, going over the last of the paperwork required for the Ministry of Magic for the next school year. He was waiting for Hagrid to get back from his visit to 4 Privet Drive to make sure Harry believed the letters they had been sending for the past several days by owl to the home, which invited him to attend Hogwarts. When they received no reply, Dumbledore figured that, having grown up without exposure to magic, Harry would think it was some sort of trick to make him look foolish. Hagrid had readily volunteered to go out to talk to Harry.

He had finished signing the last form when a knock rattled the door. He knew it was Hagrid, because he was the only one who could make it seem as if someone was taking a battering ram to a door just by knocking. He waved a hand at the door, opening it, as he stood to greet the half-giant.

Hagrid rushed in as soon as the door opened, looking distraught. "What is the matter, Hagrid?" He asked the troubled man.

"Professor, sir, I went ta th' Dursleys, jus' like you told me, and when I got there, at first they said they didn' know who 'arry was. Then, when I told 'em I was a wizard, they said they ain't seen 'arry for years. Said he up an' ran off when he was six! I didn' b'leive 'em, so I looked everywhere in their 'ouse, but there was no sign 'arry ever lived there."

Albus paled as Hagrid blurted this out to him. "There… there must be a mistake… he can't be gone!" Albus exclaimed.

"Sorry, Professor, but 'e really wasn' there. Them Dursleys did seem mighty suspicious though, like they was tryin' to hide somethin'."

Albus thought for a moment and then said, "Hagrid, go get Severus for me and tell him to bring some Veritaserum with him. You and I are going to visit the Dursley's to find out what is going on, and I want the truth."

Dumbledore sank into his seat as Hagrid went off to fetch Severus Snape. He was beginning to get a bad feeling about the Dursleys, and was starting to think that he should have listened to Minerva those ten years ago. Harry had not been watched or visited for the last eight years, so it was entirely possible that he had somehow run away. One thing that was off in their statement was that the Dursleys had not reported the disappearance to the police, which would have automatically alerted Dumbledore to what had happened.