A/N: This is part of my nanowrimo challenge and something I've been wanting to write for some time not (needless to say it's flowing magnificently!) I just couldn't help myself and I just HAD to post it somewhere. Some ideas you might recognise from other writers later on and if you do, please send me a note because I've forgotten who to thank for the ideas.
Tittle: Promises of forever
Chapter: 01 – Halloween, 1980
Pairing: James Potter & Severus Snape
Summary: James survived that fated Halloween night, now with an infant by his side he has to face adulthood and a world that demands his son. Thank goodness he has Severus Snape on his side.
Warning: Character Death, OOCness, cuteness, AU, Harry's three months old instead of 15 months. Manipulative!Dumbledore, Evil!Tom Riddle
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, written to win the NaNoWriMo challenge. No money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended.
That fated Halloween night.. a year earlier!
He woke up in the middle of the night, as was usual now. His wife was laying on her side of the bed, dark red hair surrounding her face like a fiery hallo. With some guilt he noticed the dark rings surrounding her eyes. It was from waking up at all times of the day and night, he knew that. And if he could help it he would, but he had no idea how to care for an infant like Harry. He only knew how to wind him and change his nappy. For any other pureblood it would have been more than enough but for him, James Aaron Potter, it wasn't. He wanted to care for the infant like Lily did and, perhaps, take the burden off her shoulders. He knew Lily wasn't doing well since the birth, even if he had an idea of what was wrong, he didn't know how to help his wife.
Silently he walked out of their bedroom, closing the door behind him as he walked to Harry's nursery, grinning as he heard the infant talking with the animals above his cradle, booing and beh-ing and making cute little noises.
His little wee Harry didn't know how to roll around yet, so he just waved his arms around, trying to imitate the noises that came from the animals during the day. James stood on the doorway, staring at his son and the little plush animals twirling around above him. Frowning he waved his wand, thinking they had left the charm on. As the results came he gave a barking laugh, startling the infant, before gathering his baby in his arms.
"Who's my clever little wizard?!" he cooed, kissing the boy and spinning around. His son's first taste of accidental magic! "Come on! Who's my clever little wizard?" He asked again, kissing his son, until the infant gave a gurgling laugh. "Harry is! Harry's my little wizard!" he grinned, patting the boy's bottom.
As he felt the not-so-foreign heaviness, he sighed, rolling his eyes skyward as he headed for the changing table. "And Harry is in need of a change of nappies, aren't you love?" he chuckled, putting the baby on the table and getting ready for the night-time change.
As he removed the soiled nappy, he was surprised to see a golden stream going up, followed by his son's giggles and attempts to roll around the changing table, reaching for the bright red toy.
He laughed, tickling the soft tummy. "Well! Aren't you just full of surprises today?!" he smiled, cleaning and changing and redressing with an expertise only a new parent could possibly have. As he continued the routine, he continued to talk, fully believing in the paediatrician when she had said that infants and babes could understand what their parents said, even if they couldn't comprehend the meaning of those words.
Already Harry reacted to his own name, to Lily and to him. Not so much with Wormtail, Padfood and Moony, but then Harry hadn't been around them for more than a few minutes, too little to be in the presence of the easily excitable marauders.
"There, all done... now what do you say Harry?" He smiled, as the infant waved a little fist around, making noise. "Ah well, good enough I suppose. How about we get some sleep now?" He asked, putting his baby on his shoulder and rubbing circles on his back, murmuring a string of Latin mediwitch spells that sort-of but not-really sounded like songs. In the middle of the spell he stopped, staring at his wide-awake infant. "I swear Harry, if you ever tell anyone that I'm singing to you, I'll tan your bottom... no matter how cute your bottom is." he nodded to himself before he started to not-really sing again.
It was a few minutes later that the baby started to whimper, seconds before the distressing noise turned into a full out cry, and a millisecond before James Potter was howling for his wife. "Lily!!!"
Outside, the robbed figure gestured for the short plump man, his wand firmly in hand. "Did you hear the delighted scream Wormtail? I think it's time we join the party and finally greet Harry." The robbed figure said, his voice with an odd hissing quality to it.
"Come on dear friend, knock on the door." he gestured magnanimously with his hand, giving room to the shorter figure. Petter Pettigrew – also known as Wormtail – briefly knocked on the door, praying he would be able to pay his debt to James. As a first year the Potter boy had saved him from drowning, getting a life-debt in return for his troubles, now he could only pray that he would be able to pay him. Either by not killing him or by drawing the Dark Lord's attention at a crucial moment. Either or was fine.
He heard James descending, knocking around vases and knick knacks Lily had yet to put away. The rat animagus closed his eyes as he heard James speaking to a still closed door.
"I swear to Merlin, Sirius, if you had yet another break up I'm removing your prick!" He heard through the heavy wooden door. Sirius was the only one to come at this hour – 3am – and that was the only reason they had even bothered to come now instead of earlier.
He closed his eyes shut as he heard the door unlocking, and the creak as it opened, a tear escaping and running through the corner of his eye.
"Wormtail?!" James asked, surprised. "What are you doing here? What happened?" He never got a reply, for as soon as he spotted the dark figure behind his friend, he billowed at the top of his lungs to his wife.
Wormtail felt a second tear follow the trail as he stupefied James, followed by his Master's Avada Kedavra, threw with such carelessness that Petter could swiftly move James out of the way.
"I'm sorry James, He ripped the information out of my mind." The plump man whispered, avoiding James venous stare, even as they heard the screams and explosions from above. "This clears my life debt to you, for the killing curse He threw." Petter shrugged, bordering oh hysteria, before he got up and left the house.
James stayed on the floor, tears of helplessness making their way through his face, before he heard the cackle of laughter from the Dark Lord and another explosion before eerie silence settled on the house.
It was half an hour later that Sirius Black – also known as Padfoot – arrived at the scene, the scent of smoke lingering in the air as he made his way inside.
"James? James, Liy!" He bellowed, looking around the living room and spotting James laying by a corner. The dark spell marks peppering the wall.
"James? James! Come on Prongs... don't do this to me..." the marauder cried, shaking the still form of his best mate.
"Ennervate." he murmured, shaking his wand in uneven circles. "Come on, work damn you... Ennervate! Ennervate!!" He cried, jabbing the wand towards James, tears of frustration blurring his vision. It was a few seconds before James managed to draw breath and cough the debris and dirty stuck down his throat.
"James!" the other marauder cried, suddenly hugging his best mate, brother in all but blood. "I though you were dead... I thought... Merlin!" he mumbled, checking to see if there were any other sign of injury on him.
"Not... injured" the Potter Lord said between coughs, trying to get to his feet, even with wobbly knees. "Lily and Harry... have to get to them."
Sirius could only nod, helping him to his feet and slowly going up the stairs. "What happened? I was with Moony when the alarm sounded, I came as fast as I could. I bet Dumbledore will be here any minute now." he whispered, following the dark burn marks on the walls, until they reached Harry's nursery.
"Wormtail came over... with the Dark Lord... Oh merlin! Lily!" he shouted, his legs giving out under him as he stared at the lifeless form of his wife, red hair around her, like a hallo, and green terrified eyes staring ahead, soulless, dead, gone... forever. He had no hope for his son.
"Lily, Lily... lovely..." he whispered, gathering his dead wife on his lap, gently touching the cold face, getting strands of hair out of her beautiful face. He didn't care that Sirius was in the same room as him, he didn't care that the nursery was a virtual mess, he didn't care that there were people now moving in his house. He had just lost everything, his wife... his baby boy.
His body suddenly shook with sobs as he though of his new and tiny family. His parents had died barely two weeks ago and now... the rest of the Potters. He wanted to rave and cry out and demand a second and third and forth chance. They had just begun! Their little family had just been formed!
In the background he heard Sirius talking with someone, it wasn't important enough to gather his attention, he continued to stare at Lily's still form, letting all conversation wash over him, Padfoot would tell him later what was important or not.
His loud sobs continued for a minute before they subsided, his body still shaking. It was because of that introspection that he was able to hear the whimpering, that tiny little sound most would not even notice. His head snapped up, looking around before he spotted a pile of debris on the crib, his flushed and tear stained face paled at the implication. He quickly but gently moved Lily's body to the ground, before getting up on unsteady knees and trying to remove the pieces of ceiling, walls and upturned wood that was on his way. The whole house had collapsed, only the living room, kitchen and the downstairs bathroom had remained somewhat whole, and he couldn't help but feel that the whole house was on top of his son, but that wasn't the most important thing.
Somehow his son was alive, and calling to him.
With a quick look around the room he gathered that Sirius was nowhere near the nursery, probably to give him time to grieve, at least for a little while. He sucked a breath, grabbing a stone corner and pulling away, before he bellowed after his brother.
He heard the thunderous sounds of several people coming up the stairs before Sirius was by his side, Frank Longbottom on the doorway, staring at the scene.
"Help me remove this stuff, Harry's under there!"
"Harry? But James..."
"I heard him Padfoot, I heard my son!" the Potter Lord cried, renewed tears coming up, blurring his eyes, even as his determination to save his boy fuelled that magic that he hadn't felt for over ten years, his own accidental magic at work.
That was all the other two men needed to hear before they too were helping with the debris removal, pulling and tearing, and spelling heavy pieces away. It was a while before James stared at his boy, half buried under a piece of wood, his breathing laboured and a piece of the ceiling crushing his left foot. With force he didn't knew he had he pushed the piece of lumber away as Sirius removed the concrete block, in seconds he had his son in his arms, shaking his tummy to try and get Harry to respond.
"Come on my little wizard, come back to daddy, come on love..." He stood, shaking the three-month old, at the same time he cradled the tiny body to his chest. "Come on kitten... give daddy a sign that you're alive... please Harry, give me a reaction!" he whispered, staring wildly around the destroyed nursery, Sirius and Frank were by his side, staring worriedly at the infant, Dumbledore on the doorway and behind him professor McGonagall.
"Please, please son... I know you're a strong boy love." He pleaded, he couldn't lose Harry. Couldn't, wouldn't. Would never allow it! "Come kitten..." He whispered... finally being rewarded with a whimper from his baby followed by a sharp cry that had his knees nearly giving out again.
"Most beautiful sound I've heard all day, Harry!" He praised the infant, before turning to Sirius and asking him to firecall , warning them they were coming with a severely injured infant. As soon as Padfoot had gone to the living room James turned to Dumbledore with a pleading look.
"Headmaster, I have to go with my son... could you..." he breathed in and out, trying to control his voice. "Could you take it from here, for a while at least?"
As soon as the headmaster nodded, James flew to the remains of his partially destroyed living room, immediately throwing floo powder at the fireplace and floowing to St. Mungos.
"Albus? Did... He attack?" Minerva asked, looking at the destroyed room.
The headmaster looked around, only just noticing a heavy dark robe in the room. "I'm afraid so my dear. Something happened here... and for now we can only speculate."
In the paediatric ward, James was running as fast as he could toward one of the paediatric operation rooms, laying his son on the bed he decided he hated those rooms, hated the whole damn building. His little kitten looked so tiny in that huge bed... and to think that just two hours ago he had been changing his nappy...
"Mr. Potter? Mr. Potter, sir... we need you to answer a few of our questions." The young healer shook him, grabbing his arm and steering his away from the healers, but in a position where he could still see his son and whoever was working on him.
"What?" He snapped, not taking his eyes off the little baby. The yellow one-piece – Harry's apparent favourite – was ruined, blood staining both feet and legs. It was too horrifying to look at and yet he couldn't take his eyes off the boy.
"Sir, we need you to tell us what happened."
"What happened? The Dark lord happened... killed Lily and attacked Harry." He mumbled, running a hand through his hair and pulling, trying to keep himself from going into shock.
"The Dark Lord?"
"And he's still alive?" he distantly heard, but was too busy staring at his screaming son to bother.
"What did He cast on the boy? The healers found traces of several spells on him." He intern interrupted. In frustration James shook his head, closing his eyes tight before they snapped open again. "I don't know, I was immobilized... but I... earlier that night Harry was awake and I..." He swallowed, refusing to feel embarrassed because he had sort of, but not really, sung to his son. "earlier this night Harry was awake and to try to put his to sleep I begun to chant the Quiesco Curatio to him... over and over..." He whispered... unable to believe all had been perfect just over two hours ago.
He came back to his dreadful reality as the young intern shook him again. "Sir we need to know, how many times? We need you to think Mr. Potter... how many times did you repeat it to him?"
"About... eight... or nine times... no more than ten. Why? I never heard that spell could cause harm!" He asked, for the first time staring at the intern.
One of the healers working on Harry gave a sigh, followed by a relieved laugh. "Mr. Potter... it's possible that you have just saved your son."
James blinked, staring in confusion at the Healers. "What?"
"That charm... it can built, pile... it forms a sort of... protection on whichever person it is said to... whatever happened tonight you have likely saved your son Mr. Potter."
After that, the only thing James could do was sit, relieved beyond words, and stare at Harry. The healers talk a barely discernible mumble in the background.
"He lost a lot of blood."
"He's a fighter this one."
"Can we save the leg?"
"Jack! Inform the apprentices that we need Skelegrow at 50%, blood replenishing at 70%, as many vials as they have."
"Ashton, tell the muggle relations we'll need blood transfusion for AB negative, one or two bags. It's for an infant."
"For Merlin's sake Jack, get one of those muggles IVs for the potions!"
"Continue spelling Michael, we need to know what you-know-who cast on him... Yeah yeah ignore the Quiesco Curatio, that's the only thing that likely saved his life."
It was quite a while before something distracted him from the blurry haze James found himself in.
A/N: Edited on 12/06/2009