Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
"Are you sure it's no trouble? We could take him with us-"
"Nonsense dear, you two should get a night out for yourself! Besides, I haven't spent some quality time with my grandson for a long time. And I'm sure Harry won't be as much trouble as James was by a long shot, the sweet little boy." Answered the woman. Lily, Harry's mother, smiled, but grinned at James' indignant reply of "Hey! I resent that!"
"Thank you Karen. We'll probably be back between ten and eleven, I think."
"Now don't go stressing yourself to be back before a certain time, you two enjoy yourself! Harry and I will be fine, I promise."
Lily and James smiled at her, and they kissed their son goodbye, though Lily was a bit more tearful about it. As they walked down the street to a safe place to apparate, James said to his wife,
"Harry'll be fine Lils, stop worrying. My mum will probably shower him with attention and sweets and toys. He'll love it. She did the same with me you know. Didn't I always tell you it wasn't my fault I was so arrogant back at Hogwarts? But you would never believe me." James pouted. Lily smiled at him and kissed his cheek.
"It's not that I don't trust your mother James, you know that. But you also know about" she looked around and lowered her voice to a whisper "the you-know-what, and you know Harry is in danger. It's a mother's thing I guess, but I want to always be there so I can protect him if I need to."
"I know Lil, I feel the same way. But look at it logically, what chances are there Voldemort will find out who the secret keeper is, where we are, and attack, all in one night? And then exactly the night we aren't home?"
Lily sighed. "I understand all that James, but I just can't help it." She wrapped her cloak more tightly around herself. "I don't like this at all."
When they reached an apparation point far from muggles' eyes, they apparated to Hogwarts.
"Where's Harry?" Was the first thing Sirius Black asked when Lily and James came in. "We're fine Padfoot, thank you for your concern." James said sarcastically. "And my mum is babysitting him."
"Oh." Sirius said, obviously disappointed. "So, how are you guys?"
James rolled his eyes, and was about to retort when Dumbledore started the meeting.
It was boring. All of it. Members of the Order of the Phoenix were giving reports of recent attacks and disappearances. He liked being a member though, because he liked being in the thick of the action (and being in the Order could give you a hell of a lot of action!), and because the Order knew more of the going on's than the Ministry did. As he looked to his right he saw his best friend Sirius Black dozing off. With his elbow he hit him in his ribcage, and Sirius shot up, eyes wide open and back straight. James suppressed a snigger. Luckily no one noticed, except Lily, and she gave both James and Sirius a heated glare. They both pointed their fingers at each other immediately. Lily only rolled her eyes at the pair before turning her attention back to Hestia Jones, who was giving a report on something boring. He could almost hear her (Lily) think 'those boys, will they ever grow up?'. James sighed, and once again tried to pay attention. It didn't work, and his thoughts drifted of to other things.
He had been in the Order for three years now, same as Lily, Sirius, Remus and Peter. Dumbledore, who started the Order and was it's leader, had asked them to join straight out of Hogwarts, and they had accepted. James had been surprised that something so involved in the war, was still such a secret from the public eye.
Because the Order wasn't just for fun, it was, well, is, a secret society founded by Dumbledore to fight Voldemort. They had deeper, more valuable information, and knew better what Voldemort was planning. And of course they had Dumbledore, whose suspicions were usually quite accurate.
James sighed again, as his thoughts drifted to his mother. He felt bad for lying to her, for he had told her he and Lily wanted to go out for dinner and have some alone time together. But in reality they had to go to the meeting. Last time they had taken Harry with them, he had interrupted the meeting several times, ending with James taking him for a walk around Hogwarts' grounds. Harry always liked Hogwarts, and, James thought with a smile, he'd like it even more when he told him all its secrets. The secrets he and his three best friends had found out in their marauding days. 'But good things don't always stay that way, do they?' a nasty voice inside him said. But before he could let his thoughts drift there Dumbledore started talking (about something a bit more interesting) and James gave another futile attempt to pay attention.
In the meantime:
"Mm, you like those, don't you honey?" Karen said, as she gave Harry another fruit-bite. The only answer she got was Harry happily munching on his food.
"At least you eat it. Your father used to throw it across the room. I should have known right there and then he would be a great chaser." She made a face, remembering the messes James used to make. It had been a cute sight, baby James making a mess. But it became less cute when she had to clean it up. Harry giggled. She looked down at her grandson fondly, but suspected he laughed because of the look she had had on her face instead of what she had said.
Then something made her look out the window. It was a dark and stormy night, she noted, as she walked toward the glass-door. Just then her eyes narrowed. She thought she saw a figure moving outside. She pressed her face to the glass, but she didn't see it again. 'I must have imagined it. With this storm there will be a lot of things moving outside. It was probably just a branch or something.' She heard Harry squealing in delight, and looking over, she was displeased to see a red strawberry-like trail going down the wall. 'Ok, so maybe it wasn't my face he was giggling at at all.'
But as she had her back towards the window, the uneasy feeling didn't leave her.
"Finally! That had to be the most boring meeting ever!" Sirius exclaimed loudly. Some people turned to look at him, some of them clearly offended. Sirius took no notice of it, but someone else did.
"Sirius! Will you act your age please!?" Lily all but hissed at him. Sirius just raised a curious eyebrow at her, as she stomped off to talk to some Order members.
"What's up with her? Is she pregnant again or something?"
James swatted him over the head. "No you dolt, she isn't." He hesitated a moment before continuing. "She's worried about Harry."
"Why? Is he sick or something?" James immediately noticed the change in his best friends posture. "No. She just doesn't want to leave him alone now, with the prophecy hanging over our head." Sirius gripped his shoulder, showing his silent support.
"It'll be alright mate, you'll see. Everything will be fine in the end. If it's not fine, it's not the end." James smiled at him, and silently thanked him, and Sirius understood him. After all, they were closer than brothers, knew each other better than anyone.
"Besides" Sirius started "It's full moon, so Remus has his transformation to deal with. And Wormtail is visiting his mother. Heard she suddenly got sick. He was all nervous, Peter was. But you don't have to worry about anything, I think. Just relax for a bit." And true to his word, Sirius conjured a goblet of firewhiskey for both of them.
"So how are Amy and the baby? Why isn't she here by the way?" James asked after taking a sip.
"She felt really tired, so I told her to go to bed, and I promised to fill her in on what happened." At that comment his face turned to one of realization. "You didn't happen to pay attention did you?" He asked nervously.
"Ah. Excuse me for a moment." And Sirius rushed off in search of someone who had paid attention.
James just shook his head, and with a smile and he took another sip of his firewhiskey.
The strange feeling didn't leave Karen Potter all night, and only after she had put Harry to bed did it really start to worry her. She couldn't sit back in the chair, and she kept looking out the window. She became alert at every little sound. She decided to check up on Harry, and went upstairs. She had just turned around the corner of the staircase when the door burst open. With a gasp she turned around and peeked around the corner. Unfortunately for her, the hooded figure that had burst in had seen her and was now making his way towards her.
She sprinted up the stairs and towards the nursery where Harry was. Once inside, she barricaded the door, effectively waking him. She continued to lock the door with all the locking charms she knew, when she heard a mad cackle of laughter that chilled her to the bone. Harry had started crying, and she went to pick him up. She'd have to escape, with little luck the charms she had placed would hold for a while. But she quickly found out she couldn't disapparate, and the portkey she made didn't work either. 'That bastard put anti-travel curses on the house!' She thought angrily. Just then the door to the nursery opened with a bang, almost making her lose her balance. She put Harry back in his cot and turned around.
The man, for she knew it was a man because of his build, wore a pitch-black cloak, with a hood. The only part of his body that was visible was the skull-white, spidery hand that was holding the wand, and the blood red eyes that almost seemed to shine from beneath his hood.
Immediately she knew who this was. This was the man (if he could still be called that) who murdered her husband, who was after her son; this was the dark lord Voldemort, of whom almost everyone now lived of in fear.
She placed herself in front of Harry, spreading her arms wide.
"Not Harry, please not Harry!"
"Stand aside woman… Stand aside, now"
"No! Please, not Harry! I'll do anything!"
A sickly-looking green light shot out towards her, and when it hit her, she fell to the ground as if someone had dropped her.
Lord Voldemort walked towards the cot that held the one prophesized to kill him. The child was standing, holding himself up with the bars surrounding his cot. Voldemort pointed his wand at different spots of the child's body, eventually settling for his head. Then Voldemort looked into his eyes, and for a moment he was stunned. He had never seen such deep, emerald colored eyes, as if they were windows to the soul.
He focused at the task at hand.
"Goodbye, Harry Potter." He whispered
Again, the green light shot out of his wand, towards it's next victim. But as it hit Harry, it formed half of a green-colored sphere, from floor to ceiling, and it seemed to be surrounded by a wind of power. It grew within seconds, destroying everything in its path, until it filled the entire room. Voldemort screamed, as he felt nothing but pain and terror. It was as if his entire body was on fire, from skin to the inside of his bones, as if his very soul was being torn from his body.
With what was left of him, he fled.
Harry, who was still in the center of the half-globe, felt the exact opposite. Until it was as if he was being punched in the stomach, blowing all the wind out of him. He held on tightly to his blanket, and the last he remembered was as though he was being squished through a small tube, before he blacked out from the pain.
Everyone was happily chatting with one another. James always liked it that after the serious stuff (no pun intended) they would talk and chat about some less-serious stuff. That was, until a weird buzzing-alarm went off. Everyone went quiet and turned to one of the many trinkets in Dumbledore's office. They were still working on finding a suitable place as headquarters, but for now the headmasters' office at Hogwarts would do.
Dumbledore stepped forth and studied the trinket for only a little while, before turning back to them. James' stomach plummeted when he saw Dumbledore's face. Even before the words were spoken, he knew what had happened.
"The Fidelius charm surrounding the Potters' house has been breached."
James looked over at Lily, only to find she was quite petrified, as if she was turned to stone. The look on her beautiful face was one he had never seen before: one of pure terror.
He was about to go her and take her in his arms, when he felt an object being placed in his hands. Suddenly he was aware of people discussing plans of action around him. Several others placed their hand on the object, and he felt the familiar tug behind the navel, as the portkey took them to Godric's Hollow.
The sight that greeted him was one that would be burned into his memories. His entire house, his home was alight with flames, and there, on the upper-right side of the house, where Harry's nursery was, there were no more walls. It was in ruins. He heard body's land beside him, and knew Lily had arrived. And he was proved right, when he heard her scream.
"NO! Harry! HARRY!!" She ran forward to the house, and James ran after her. He knew it was dangerous, but at the moment he didn't care, al he wanted was his son safe in his arms. As they ran up the stairs he heard Order members trying to put out the fire.
The floor creaked dangerously behind him, but he didn't care. He followed Lily as she ran over the landing, and into Harry's nursery, and his heart felt as though it was in his stomach when she let out a terrified scream.
When he ran through the door, he had to blink before the sight registered in his mind. His mother was lying on her stomach on the floor, on one side of her face. He forced himself to look over at his son's cot, only to see it too lay on it's side. He vaguely noticed the fire had been put out, and more people were coming up the stairs. He searched the cot, and he and Lily looked all over the room for their son.
But he wasn't there.
Lily fell to her knees, sobbing into her hands. He could hear her pleas of "No… Harry… please…" just as Sirius appeared in what used to be their doorway. James went over and comforted his wife.
They all looked all over the house for Harry, but he wasn't there.
Harry Potter had disappeared.
What they didn't know was that they would meet Harry again. And what they also didn't know; was that Voldemort had just given Harry the greatest gift: a way to the power to defeat him.
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