Whatever It Takes

Summary: The moment Lily and James found out Voldemort was after their son. One-shot.

Lily Potter was sat on her living room floor, her son and husband in front of her, trailing her wand through the air, causing multi-coloured feather to appear and flutter to the floor, much to Harry's amusement.

"Catch it, catch it." She said lightly, beaming as the infant tried to snatch a feather from the air. He missed one, but got the next.

"See, look, that just proves it. He's going to be an awesome seeker." James Potter said proudly, as Harry let go of the red feather in his fist and grabbed at a gold one instead.

The knock on the door wasn't particularly loud, but both of them jumped as though it was a gun-shot. James froze, Lily paled.

"I'll get it." Lily murmured, pushing herself to her feet, gripping her wand tightly and moving into the hallway. She wasn't surprised when James stood, followed. "Stay with Harry." She muttered, knowing he'd only wait in the doorway - the place where he could get to either his son or wife easily, if he needed to.

"Who is it?" Lily asked loudly when she reached the door. Hearing the reply, she glanced back at James before opening the door.

She knew, the second she saw him, that Albus Dumbledore had brought bad news. He was looking sober, his eyes twinkle-free, and traces of concern, and possibly even fear, on his face.

It was a difficult time, and Lily wasn't sure how much bad news she could take. It seemed they were always hearing of deaths, tortures, tragedies.

And so, with a very forced voice, she did the only thing she could think of doing. She stopped him from saying it. Maybe she thought that if she didn't hear it - if he didn't see it - it wouldn't be true.

"Dumbledore! Hi, it's lovely to see you. I hope you're OK?"

"Yes, very well, thank you. Lily -"

"Come in, can I get you a drink?" She cut across him, waving him inside. He stepped forward, and waited for her to close the door behind him. "Lily -"

"James, Dumbledore's here." Lily said, despite the fact that James could plainly see for himself. He swallowed, then stepped back into the living room and scooped up his son. Lily and Dumbledore followed.

James, too, had understood as soon as he saw the man. But James didn't try to keep the man talking, distracted. Instead, he held Harry tightly and looked right at Dumbledore.

"What's happened? Who's...Sirius? Remus? Peter?" He was white, scared, but he knew that they had to hear it, had to face it.

"No, no one." Dumbledore said, and sat down. James drew his wife to him, pulling her down with him to sit on the sofa.

"What, then? What's wrong?"

Dumbledore didn't answer right away; instead he looked at the boy in James's arms. The boy that, already, resembled his father. They boy that had his mother's exact eyes.

The boy that faced death.

"It's about Harry." Dumbledore said finally. He saw, instantly, the way the both tensed, the surprise, the fear.

"What about him?" Lily said, her voice shaking slightly and her arm snaking out and across her son's body.

And so Dumbledore told them everything. The prophecy he'd heard. The information he'd acquired only an hour ago. The danger they were all in.

"Why - why would...I don't understand." Lily said finally.

"Neither do I." Dumbledore murmured, his eyes searching the boy's face. "Somethings we may never understand."

"Who told you? Maybe they're wrong, or lying or -"

"It's the truth, James. I'm sorry."

"How...how can we..." James began his arms tight around both his wife and son, his mind struggling to understand, his heart screaming for him to protect them.

And so Dumbledore outlined the plan he'd already formed; every protection he knew of, and the Fidelius charm.

"I will, of course, be your secret keeper -"

"No, it's OK. Sirius'll do it." James replied.

"I'd really rather -"

"No, James is right." Lily nodded. "Sirius. He'd..." She stopped there, unable to say the words.

"Die for us." James finished for her.

Dumbledore hesitated, but he knew nothing could be done to change their minds. And so, instead, he nodded.


"What if it doesn't work?" Lily said quietly, as she and James looked down at Harry, fast asleep in his cot.

"It will." James replied, more confidently than he felt.

"What if he gets past it all?" She whispered, biting her lip. "What if..."

"He won't hurt Harry." James replied, and turned her to face him. "I won't let him get to Harry. If it means I have to die for you and him -"

"Don't -" She murmured, and he shook his head.

"Then that's what I'll do. We'll protect him, whatever it takes." He meant it, every word. He loved them both - like he never knew possible - and would die for them in a heartbeat. He knew, a part of him knew, that it was more than likely he'd have to do just that.

"Whatever it takes." Lily repeated, and looked back down at her son, as James drew her to him, hugged her tightly, almost as if he could keep her safe just by holding her.

Maybe she knew, in her heart, that the time would come when she'd have to do whatever it took, have to sacrifice herself.

Because nothing could convince her they were truly safe, that Voldemort couldn't get to them.

And really, what other choice did she have but to save her son?

. She was willing to do it all.

Not long after, James Potter, betrayed by someone he thought was a friend, knew that they'd made a mistake in trusting Peter, and threw himself in front of Voldemort, without thinking about it, with his only thoughts of his wife and son, and giving them time to escape...

He died for them, just as he said he would.

Whatever it takes.

Lily Potter knew, even as she pushed furniture against the bedroom door, that her husband was dead and she was soon to follow. She knew that there was only one way to save Harry.

And she did it; she gave her life for him.

Whatever it takes.

Voldemort turned his wand on the boy, was ripped from his body and fled.

Harry Potter stood, crying loudly, in his cot, his mother's dead body in front of him, his father's below him. And didn't understand what had happened, didn't know what he would have to face.

Whatever it takes.