Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I own Dragon Ball Z. If I did, I would be writing for them, and fixing the atrocities that are the Deathly Hallows epilogue and Dragon Ball GT, respectively. But since both still exist, obviously, neither franchise belongs to me.
Warning: Semi-descriptive gore. It could be a lot worse, but it gets the point across well enough.
MagicKi: An HPDBZ Story
Prologue: What a Horrible Miscalculation We Made
"Protego!" Frank Longbottom yelled, managing to deflect a rather strong Impediment Jinx by the skin of his reflexes. His reflexes were legendary; they were his trademark. Shouldn't Lily have realized that by now? he thought desperately as he dove behind a large gravestone in the shape of a chorus of angels.
Thank Merlin for cemeteries, Frank thought as he continued to hide behind the gravestone. He was also worrying his dark-haired head mad with concern for his wife, whom he loved more than anything in the world. His hazel eyes, currently looking more green than hazel, scanned the cemetery. His body shook with relief as he finally managed to locate Alice Longbottom on the other side of the graveyard, fighting against James Potter and winning…for the moment. Go get him, Alice, he thought, hoping they would get out of this alive, for their newborn son's sake as much as their own.
Meanwhile, Alice was winning, but only barely. James has improved since seventh year, she thought randomly, smiling a little in spite of herself. James had always been an exceptional duelist, even in school. Now he was nothing short of extraordinary. How did this happen? Alice questioned herself as she dodged a well-aimed Stunner by millimeters. The Stunner had instead flown into the ground next to her, creating a hole which Alice had promptly fallen into. Taking advantage of the apparent lull – she couldn't hear her husband-life mate Frank dodging anything – she thought back to that day in Dumbledore's office in the current Order of the Phoenix headquarters.
"Are you sure?" Dumbledore asked the two of them yet again. Frank sighed as Alice continued to survey the room they were in. This was the first time they had been in this particular room in the Order of the Phoenix headquarters. Unfortunately for them, it would be their last. Or, at least, that's what Dumbledore told them. "Yes, sir," Frank said. He and Alice were more than willing to take this on. It was of utmost importance to the Order, and they had been the first people Dumbledore had asked. So naturally, neither of them were going to back down.
"I'm sorry, Frank," Dumbledore said quietly. "It isn't because I don't think you're capable of doing the job and doing it right. I ask because I am aware that you two have a newborn son. Neville?" Frank nodded in response, and Alice's head snapped back to look at Dumbledore, eyes brightening at the thought of her precious son. "If you go on this mission," Dumbledore continued, "You may never see Neville again. And this is completely submerging into the world of the Death Eaters. No other members – or wizards, for that matter – will be notified of what you two will be doing. So as my final warning to you two, since you are undoubtedly hell-bent on seeing this through, I give you these words to remember: Your lives are in my hands no more should you accept," Dumbledore finished, saying each word slowly and clearly, as though each word was its own sentence.
His tone chilled the Longbottoms, but it didn't break their resolve. They had agreed to do this for Neville, so that he could grow up in a world free of the Dark Lord, proud of his parents, who had risked so much for him. That goal firmly in mind, they walked hand-in-hand out of Dumbledore's office to receive the Dark Mark on their right arms.
Alice was snapped out of her reverie by a bang and a shout. Her head snapped up, catching a glimpse of herself in a pair of green eyes. She took herself in for a split second: blue eyes, dark brown hair like her husband's, rounded face; and then she was being pulled towards those eyes. "Frank?" she managed just as he Apparated the two of them. She felt that squeezing sensation for a second, and then they were standing in the middle of a quiet street. She caught the name of the street out of the corner of her eye: "Wisteria Walk," she said out loud, only to find she could make no sound. In the air next to her, Frank wrote quickly:
I put a Silencing Charm on the whole street. Find a car and hide.
He erased the message and dove behind a car. Alice did the same as she felt the slight air displacement that accompanied an Apparation. Instantly, the Silencing Charm was recognized; apparently, Lily and James were aware that they had Apparated smack in the middle of Muggle territory. Nonverbal Stunners, Disarming Hexes, and Impediment Jinxes were fired into cars, making them explode soundlessly. Frank grew exasperated, and he caught Alice's eye. They both nodded, and rose and shouted in unison, albeit noiselessly, "Petrificus Totalus!" They could tell it had hit someone as they dropped to avoid more spells shot their way. Alice thought, Poor Muggles; how are they going to get anywhere? And then, Frank had grabbed her arm again. She was prepared this time, and they both Apparated to a new place.
Alice took one breath of sea-tinted air and heard the ocean crashing against what were undoubtedly very sharp rocks. Then, two pops sounded, and Frank and Alice were thrown into a field of flowers. Soft landing, Alice thought idly. "Frank," she said quietly as James and Lily slowly approached, unsure whether or not their quarry was still able to move.
"Yes, Alice," Frank replied just as softly.
"Frank, I think they're actually going to kill us."
"You're probably right, love," Frank said, and stood. He and Alice (who James and Lily had apparently deduced was also able to move if the man could) were promptly levitated and drawn over to the two Potters. Held in midair and too tired from not eating and sleeping properly in addition to fighting like they had, Frank and Alice only cried as James and Lily made identical slashing movements with their wands and shouted, "Sectumsempra!"
The Longbottoms could only thrash in the air as the curse sliced through their skin like a knife slices through butter. Their tears slowly started to mix with the blood leaking from gashes on their faces. Then, one of the gashes made caught their hoods and whipped them back, exposing their faces. Alice's last thought was, Neville. My poor baby. Frank's was a reiteration of Dumbledore's last warning: Your lives are in my hands no more should you accept.
I should have heeded his warning. We both should have, Frank thought as one of the gashes whipped between the two of them, cutting Frank's carotid artery and Alice's jugular vein, killing them both as each spray-painted the other with their lifeblood.
James and Lily Potter could only look in horror as Sectumsempra, one of the few curses that became unstoppable if cast by an experienced enough wizard, ran its deadly course through the bodies of who they now recognized to be Frank and Alice Longbottom. Lily started to cry as James nearly vomited, managed to hold it, then lost it anyway. They both looked away until the curse was done, then, with a look at the same horror and confusion on each other's faces, Transfigured the bodies into a pair of identical gold rings which they then linked together. On each ring one word was engraved. On one was "Didn't." On the other was "Know."
They buried the rings and Apparated away from the place where they had murdered two of their best and closest friends, not realizing it was them until it was far too late. "What a horrible miscalculation we made," James muttered. Lily could only nod and sob.
"Albus!" Lily yelled as she and James ran into the Order's headquarters. She had to find him, had to tell him what she and her husband had done. Frank and Alice…I'm so sorry, she thought as tears continued to course down her cheeks, though her breath was no longer stilted. "Albus, where are you?! Something terrible happened, and we…"
"You don't know what to do now?" a voice said, and Lily and James skidded to a stop as Albus Dumbledore came walking steadily around a corner in front of them. "What happened, dear girl, that you are so distressed?" Dumbledore asked.
"You told us to track down two Death Eaters and to take them down if we could," Lily replied promptly, and at Dumbledore's nod, she continued. "We did just that, but… they weren't normal Death Eaters."
"Were they special amongst Voldemort's ranks?" Dumbledore asked, and Lily shook her head.
"No, they…they were special to us, though," she said, her tone heartbroken. "It was…we killed Frank and Alice," she finally finished, and Dumbledore's expression became extremely grim. "We didn't know," Lily said pleadingly, though Dumbledore gave no immediate response. "Albus, what do we do?"
Dumbledore seemed to be deep in thought, the lines in his face seeming to sink and deepen before their eyes. Finally, he said, "What you two must do is find Harry and hide. Once Voldemort realizes that you have killed two of 'his' followers, he will not be happy. Furthermore, with what he knows of the prophecy, he may decide to try and find you sooner rather than later."
"What about Neville?" James asked, and Dumbledore's eyes glistened sadly.
"I…I will inform Augusta of what has happened," he said heavily. "She will be devastated, naturally, but with her being baby Neville's closest remaining relative, she will have to become his caretaker. You two go and collect your son, while I prepare to deal with Augusta."
Lily and James nodded and left. Dumbledore watched them go, thinking, Now, because of their grave error, not only have we lost two spies, but they've placed themselves, Harry, Neville, and Augusta in mortal peril. Merlin help them, and may God Himself place his protection over these families.
As he turned to go and contact Augusta, a knock sounded at the door. Curious, Dumbledore went to the front door and opened it to find a lanky, sallow, pale-faced man standing at the threshold with greasy, unkempt hair. The man's coal-black eyes stared into Dumbledore's bright blue ones until Dumbledore said, "Severus Snape. To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"May I come in?" Severus asked, avoiding Dumbledore's question. Regardless, Dumbledore nodded and stepped aside, inquiring as to how Severus managed to figure out where Dumbledore was.
"The Dark Lord put a tracking spell on James and Lily Potter the last time they met," Severus replied shortly. "He knew immediately when the Longbottoms died, and sent me to find out where the Potters had gone afterward. Following the spell, I came to London, to this area precisely. I looked around, hoping to find some way to reveal the house intuition told me was here, and saw a piece of charred parchment lying on the ground. It was easy enough to restore, and it told me the whereabouts of this place. It appeared, I knocked, and here we are."
"Hm. I see. I shall have to tell our members to be more careful about disposing of parchment," Dumbledore mused. Then, he said, "And for what purpose have you come here? If you were truly following a tracking spell, you would know that James and Lily are no longer here."
"I…I wanted to tell you that I want to help stop the Dark Lord," Severus said rapidly, as though he thought that saying the words faster might make them less shocking to hear.
"Is that a fact?" Dumbledore said mildly.
"Don't play the fool with me, Dumbledore," Severus said. "It doesn't become you. Surely you are aware that I am the one who overheard the Seer that night at the Hog's Head."
"After I told the Dark Lord, he began to make plans to eliminate two families: the Longbottoms and the Potters. The Longbottoms joining the Death Eaters was a shock, but fit quite nicely into the Dark Lord's plans, since they would now be closer to him and therefore easier to dispose of. The Potters, however…They are under your direct protection, which makes them much harder to locate. But…once he began of attacking the Potters, I…"
"You could not help him any longer?" Dumbledore inquired, and Severus nodded jerkily. "Why is that?"
Severus seemed to flinch before taking a deep breath, looking as though he were composing himself. "Because, regardless of what she may think of me, and regardless of what her husband would do to me if he found out, I still care far too deeply for Lily to let her be hurt if I can help it," he finally said in a monotone. Dumbledore hid a smile. And thus love once again gives us a chance, he thought.
"Well, Severus," he began, but Severus cut him off.
"I'll do whatever it takes to prove to you that I'm willing to be loyal," he said. "I'll take an Unbreakable Vow, I'll swear on my life and my magic, I'll…I'll do whatever it takes."
"Severus, that won't be necessary," Dumbledore said serenely. "You care for Lily, yes?"
"Then that is all the word I need," Dumbledore said. "I can trust you with anything else."
"Are you sure?"
"You won't hurt Lily, and to that end, you wouldn't betray her. So you won't betray me. The condition of your heart is enough of a vow, in my opinion. Besides, if I'm not mistaken, you've already made the equivalent of an oath on your life and your magic to Voldemort, have you not?" At Severus's terse nod, Dumbledore smiled. "Then I could hardly jeopardize you in such a manner, nor do I find the use of Unbreakable Vows at all desirable. Your word and your heart will be enough."
"Fine," Severus said, unwilling to question Dumbledore's obvious senility. "I give you my word that I will not betray Lily Potter, and I will do all in my power to help you put a stop to the Dark Lord." Dumbledore nodded, and Severus said, "I have no other business here. I came merely to tell you of my defection."
"I prefer to call it a change of heart," Dumbledore said kindly, but Severus simply looked at him.
"Clothing something in sweet words doesn't hide its bitterness," Severus said quietly, then spun on his heel. "I will come again when I have word of the Dark Lord's plans, if I get word at all. He does not trust easily, as you well know." Without another word, he left the house.
Dumbledore watched him go, and said quietly to himself, "I may have to devise a way for him to be able to have easier access to me." He pondered that as he walked toward the fireplace to use the Floo to summon Augusta. At the thought of Augusta, however, Dumbledore was immediately brought out of his thoughts to wallow in one horrible truth. Augusta's son and daughter-in-law were dead, and by two of their closest friends. "How to explain this…" he mused as he threw a pinch of powder into the fireplace and knelt on the ground, sticking his head into the emerald flames.
"Augusta Longbottom," he said clearly, and waited until his head stopped spinning before he opened his eyes. Standing in front of him was an austere-looking woman in a floor-length green dress.
"Albus?" she said in a crisp and authoritative, yet pleasant voice. "What a pleasant surprise. Why on earth would you be visiting at this hour? Well, I suppose it's no matter…Unless it has something to do with that fool mission you've sent my children on?" she asked, her manner becoming a good deal less pleasant.
"I am afraid that my reason for calling at such a late hour pertains to exactly that, my dear Augusta," Dumbledore replied. "You see, while doing reconnaissance for me, Frank and Alice happened to stumble across some members of the Order who didn't know that Frank and Alice had gone undercover. There was a fight, and…I am terribly sorry to tell you this, but…Frank and Alice…did not win that fight."
"It is no matter," Augusta replied immediately. "They will have gotten away, undoubtedly, and will regroup and recuperate and be perfectly willing to go on more suicidal missions for you in the future." How I wish she would stop making light of these missions, Dumbledore thought, but did not say; he was far too polite to say such a thing, particularly to a witch as formidable in both appearance and ability as Augusta Longbottom.
"Augusta, my dear…Frank and Alice did not get away. They…are lost to us and this world," he said sadly, and for a long while, Augusta did not respond.
When she finally did, she said just one word. "Leave." Dumbledore respectfully nodded his head, feeling it wise not to further provoke her, and withdrew his head from the fireplace.
After Dumbledore had gone, Augusta finally allowed herself to sink to her knees on the ground and begin to cry. "My poor son," she mourned. "And his poor, lovely wife…They were murdered by some of Dumbledore's lackeys…And now poor, helpless Neville is all alone in this world save for his Gram." She dissolved into sobs that racked her entire frame.
She didn't know how long she sat there, mourning the loss of her son and daughter-in-law, but her head snapped up at the sound of a baby crying. She immediately stood and forced the tears away easily; for a woman of her standing, the shuttering of emotions and reactions was a skill that was expected. She did not wipe at the tears on her face or perform any sort of charm. While she may have done her mourning for now, she would not erase the memory…or the reminder of what Dumbledore had made her lose. I will have to take care of little Neville. I will be sure to find out who exactly killed his parents, so that I may visit upon them their just reward for taking away the parents of a child who has done nothing but exist.
She walked into the room that was the source of the crying, and lifted a small child out of the crib against the far wall. The baby boy had a mop of brown hair, a round face even for a baby, and the brightest blue eyes Augusta had ever seen, bluer than Alice's to be sure. The thought of Alice sent a sharp pain shooting through Augusta's heart, but she ignored it to shush the fussing infant. "It's alright, Neville dearest, Gram's here," she crooned, pleased at how calm her voice sounded. She continued to whisper nonsense words until Neville fell asleep again, then placed him gently back in his crib.
Striding into the living room, she grabbed a pinch of Floo Powder and stepped into it, yelling out the destination Dumbledore had told her was the headquarters of the Order. She vanished in a swirl of emerald fire that left slightly twinkling ashes behind and nothing else.
She stepped gracefully out of the fireplace in London, brushing herself off in a dignified manner. That done, she began her search for Albus. After looking through most of the house, she heard voices coming from behind a door that had a phoenix inscribed into it. "Subtle," she muttered, but knocked loudly anyway.
"Just a moment, if you would," Dumbledore's voice came from the other side of the door, and Augusta cleared her throat emphatically before crossing her arms and tapping her foot impatiently. After a few more minutes of muttering, the door swung open and a thin man in a long black cloak came striding out. "Ah, Augusta," Dumbledore said from in the room. "I am a bit surprised at seeing you so soon, but please do come in."
"Who is this?" Augusta asked instead, nodding toward the other man.
"I should hardly think that's any of your concern," the man said, his lip curling.
"Now now, Severus, that won't be necessary," Dumbledore said tolerantly before Augusta could reply. "She is on our side, after all; you two are allies in this endeavor of ours." Only Dumbledore would make so light of a subject like taking down the most powerful Dark wizard in a century, Augusta thought, but instead waited for him to answer her question. Soon enough, the answer came. "Augusta, this is Severus Snape. He's going to perform reconnaissance for us, and his position is truly invaluable."
"Ah, so he's going to be another Frank and Alice, is he?" Augusta asked, making sure to keep her tone pleasant. "You certainly managed to replace Neville's parents quickly, Albus. I'm impressed."
"Suffice it to say, my dear Augusta, that Severus served as opportunity in that phrase that Muggles are so fond of. 'When opportunity knocks, answer the door,' or something to that effect. Severus knocked, I answered, and we have an even greater opportunity to stop Voldemort," Dumbledore replied pleasantly, though there was the slightest hint of a hard warning underlying his words.
Augusta sniffed, and then said, "Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Severus." Severus's lip curled again, and he gave Augusta a small nod before striding swiftly away. "Now then, Albus, I do believe we have a conversation to continue?" Augusta said, walking into the room and shutting the door quietly.
"If you would wish to do so," Dumbledore replied. "I was rather under the impression that you had nothing you wanted to say when you dismissed me."
"I needed some time to come to terms with the fact that you took my children from me and left Neville an orphan to be taken care of by his grandmother," Augusta said in a pointed tone. "Surely you understand."
"I do indeed, Augusta, but you seem to be laboring under the delusion that I am in fact responsible for the deaths of Frank and Alice Longbottom. I feel obliged to tell you that I hold very little fault in their deaths."
"How do you figure that, when you're the one who sent them to be lapdogs to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?" Augusta demanded.
"On the contrary, Augusta, I asked them to do so, and gave them the option upfront to refuse. Perhaps it speaks to the fortitude of their character that they obliged my request, or perhaps it speaks to my lack of spine that I did not insist on their firm refusal, since they have, as you mentioned, a son. But they told me themselves, my dear woman, that they were entirely willing to do this for the Order and the Wizarding world."
"How do I know you didn't compel them somehow?" Augusta shot back, and Dumbledore stood. As he did, Augusta felt an odd sort of force pushing against her, making it slightly harder to breathe. She realized almost immediately that it was Dumbledore's aura, for lack of a better term. He was staring at her now with something close to pure rage in his hard blue eyes, and the line of his mouth was a straight line.
"Augusta, you will do me the kindness of never again suggesting that I compelled any member of the Order of the Phoenix into doing anything," he said in a tone that matched his eyes, fury quaking in every syllable. "I understand completely that you are hurting from your loss, but do not insinuate that I would use such atrocious and low-brow tactics as compulsion. Were I to compel the Order into doing my bidding, how would I be any different from Voldemort?"
"You're on the side of the Light," Augusta replied. "You could never be like He-Who-Must-"
"And thus you speak to your ignorance, feigned or otherwise," Dumbledore cut across her, still with that same hard, enraged tone. "It matters not the sides Voldemort and I are on. Compulsion is compulsion, no matter the intent, and it is something I will never do." Just as suddenly as he had become infuriated, he lapsed back into his normal, calm self, and Augusta found that she could breathe much more easily.
"Now that we have that hopefully understood, I must again say that Frank and Alice knew the dangers they were going to face when they accepted the mission," Dumbledore said presently. "I did ask them first, yes, but only because they happened to be closer than, say, the Potters, or some other pair. I would never wish for two such good people to meet such an abrupt end, Augusta, and their death pains me greatly."
"Pretty words are easily spoken," Augusta said bitterly. "Very well, Albus, I will accept that you are perhaps not immediately responsible for killing Frank and Alice. Who did? You said they ran across Order members. Who were they?"
"I am afraid I cannot answer that, as the answer would undoubtedly leave you to seek revenge, which would benefit no one and harm many," Dumbledore replied calmly.
"As if I care for the benefit of others!" Augusta spat. "My son and daughter-in-law are dead! Dead, Albus! That's hardly a benefit for them, don't you think? And here I am, their devastated mother. Hardly a benefit for me as well. Not to mention baby Neville. The boy is barely a year old and has no parents! That is in no way a benefit to anyone," she hissed. "You will tell me who killed my son and his wife, Albus. I have a right to know, and you are infringing upon that right by refusing to tell me who."
Dumbledore made to respond again, but a knock sounded at the door once again. "Albus? It's Lily. James and I have Harry, but where should we go?" Augusta strode the door and flung it open, and Lily stepped backward abruptly, gasping, "Mrs. Longbottom! How…how are you?"
"Well, considering Frank and Alice died, and Albus seems to have no intention of telling me who killed them, how do you suppose I am, dear?" Augusta said in a falsely sweet tone.
"There is hardly any need to take your aggression out on Lily, Augusta," Dumbledore admonished lightly.
"Pah!" Augusta scoffed. "For all I know, Lily and her husband here are the ones who killed Frank and Alice. You'd tell me if you were, wouldn't you, dear?" Augusta asked Lily, who didn't respond. Augusta peered at her more closely. "You would tell me if you had killed them, wouldn't you?" she asked, and Lily bit her lip before she nodded.
Augusta narrowed her eyes. She was suspicious of anyone at the moment, and had good reason to be, but something about how Lily was hesitating only served to deepen her suspicion. "Did you kill them? You and your husband?" she asked. Lily's refusal to answer served as enough of an answer for Augusta regardless. "I see. Then, my dear, I am going to have to enact justice for your grave wrong against my family. I do hope you understand." She pulled out her wand and began to chant an incantation, only to have her wand knocked from her hand.
She spun around to see Dumbledore standing once more, eyes blazing, wand pointed straight at her. "You would interfere in the rites of justice?" she asked in a soft, dangerous voice.
"Justice can only be served when the offending party performs a willful wrong against the offended party," Dumbledore responded in just as dangerous a voice. "Lily and James Potter did no intentional wrong against your family, so the rites of justice are not applicable."
"Murder is murder!" Augusta exclaimed. "By your own reasoning, Albus, it matters not whether she and James meant to kill them or not, only that they did! They wronged our family with no provocation, and so justice must be served."
Dumbledore studied Augusta for a long moment while James came and took Harry, who had begun to fuss, from Lily and began shushing him softly. Augusta watched James bounce Harry gently for a time, then said quietly, "If not for you, Frank and Alice would be able to comfort Neville as you comfort your own son. The rites of justice may not be served now, but justice itself will be dealt one way or the other." With that, she retrieved her wand and left the room.
"Albus," Lily finally said. "We…we didn't know, we would never kill Frank and Alice…"
"Yet you did, and now Neville, Augusta, you, James, and even Harry must suffer the consequences," Dumbledore said gravely, and Lily bit her lip.
"Please, Albus," she said softly. "If something happens to me and James…Promise me you'll protect Harry. He doesn't have a grandmother to look after him should we…" she made a motion with her hand, and Dumbledore nodded.
"I do have protections in place for you, my dear," he said. "We shall have to hope that they will be enough. For now, though, you should go to your home in Godric's Hollow, as opposed to where you've been living. You will need a Secret Keeper, naturally…Is there anyone either of you may have in mind?"
"Sirius," James said immediately, having managed to calm Harry down.
"Very well, anyone else?" Albus asked.
"None that immediately come to mind, save for Remus," Lily said. Dumbledore nodded.
"I will send for both of them, then, and we shall ask them when you all are together," Dumbledore said, and James and Lily nodded. Dumbledore stood and said, "Wait here, if you would," and walked out of the room as well. James and Lily waited in silence, James handing Harry to Lily when she held her arms out for him.
Finally, Dumbledore returned and said, "Sirius and Remus will be here presently."
"You wanted to ask them right now?" James asked, shocked in spite of himself.
"Of course, why not?" Dumbledore asked simply. "Better now than later, with the present circumstances."
"Albus," Lily began, then paused. "Thank you…for protecting us from Mrs. Longbottom, even though I know we probably deserve whatever she was planning to do."
"No," Dumbledore said sharply. "I am aware of the particular rites she was attempting to invoke, the Invictus Hammurabi. Named for the man who created an extremely strict system of justice, taking the maxim 'an eye for an eye' literally. Had she invoked the Invictus Hammurabi, you and James would have died here and now. As you yourself said, Harry has no grandmother to look after him, though he does have next of kin in your sister and her family."
Lily shuddered at the thought of what her sister would undoubtedly do to Harry if he ended up on her doorstep. "Precisely," Dumbledore said with a nod. "We hardly need two babies being taken care of by people ill-equipped to do so, though Augusta is admittedly a bit more flexible than your sister Petunia."
"Prongs? Tiger-Lily? You here?" a voice called from down the corridor.
"That will be Sirius, with Remus undoubtedly in tow," Dumbledore said, and less than a minute later, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin walked into the room.
"Headmaster," Sirius greeted Dumbledore jovially, and Dumbledore smiled in return. "Prongs, Tiger-Lily, and there's little Harry," Sirius continued, a wide grin splitting his features as he laid eyes on his godson, who was currently sleeping with his head tucked into Lily's shoulder.
"Thanks for coming on such short notice Padfoot, Moony," James said.
"Oh, whatever, Prongs, you know we'd do anything for you," Sirius replied flippantly.
"Indeed," Remus said, a good deal calmer than Sirius. "Headmaster…or Albus, if you prefer, why exactly are we here?"
"Albus told us to move to Godric's Hollow, since he thinks we'll be in more danger now that You-Know-Who knows we killed two of his followers," James replied immediately.
"You did? Good for you," Sirius said. "Who were they?"
"Frank and Alice Longbottom," Dumbledore replied sadly, and Sirius blinked a couple of times before letting out a barklike laugh.
"Headmaster, that's a horrible joke to make," he said.
"That's why it is no joke," Dumbledore responded. "Frank and Alice died at the unknowing hands of James and Lily, and Voldemort indeed does know of this. It only serves to further his incentive to find James and Lily and young Harry, and kill them all. To that end, they need a Secret Keeper so that Voldemort will have that much more difficulty finding them. When I asked, they suggested the two of you. However, the Fidelius Charm only needs one Secret Keeper. Who that ends up to be is up to you."
"I have a better idea," Sirius said suddenly. "Instead of picking me or Remus, like You-Know-Who probably expects, why not pick someone less obvious? Someone like…I dunno, Wormtail?"
"Do you…think that wise?" Remus asked a tad incredulously. "Peter isn't exactly made of the strongest stuff."
"Which is why You-Know-Who would never suspect him," Sirius said, enthused. "Don't you see the brilliance of it? He'll hardly expect someone wimpy like Wormtail to hold such an important secret, because Wormtail would be far too easy to break! It's a brilliant idea, and you all know it."
After more deliberation regarding Sirius's suggestion, an agreement was reached. "Very well," Dumbledore said.
"We shall ask Peter Pettigrew to be the Potter family's Secret Keeper."
A/N: And here we have the first chapter of what is to be an almost complete revamp of the entire MagicKi premise. This story was my first, and the reason I joined this site. Yet it remains - save for perhaps His Saving Grace - one of the worst-implemented stories I've yet written. It was and continues to be a more massive undertaking than I had originally thought, but I feel I am much better equipped to tackle this now. Only time will tell, though.
To all those expecting a sequel to the original story: I'm horribly sorry to give you little to no word on progress for over a year, but that's only because there was literally no progress made. Chalk it up to writer's block, or mayhap some sort of subconscious thing telling me to redo the first story before I start on the second one, but the revamp comes first. Again, I'm extremely sorry, but I think this will truly turn out better in the long run than I had expected.
There are a number of changes in store for this story, which will become more obvious as the story progresses. I'm going to keep some things from the original story, and the development of the plot is going to be much slower (which may actually translate into more chapters, though again, only time will tell), but most things from the last story are going to go. I'm doing this for me, but also because the story deserves better than my first attempt.
Anyway. I'm going to upload this now, and I make no promises at any sort of regular updating schedule, since I'm horrible at following them. College is a very involved process, surprisingly enough, especially with Spring Break on the way. Spring Break means midterms, projects, and last-minute assignments. After that I'm done for a week. XD So we'll see what happens.
If you could, please leave a review saying what you think of the story thus far. I'm keeping the original story up, but only because I have no other stored form of it. I'm going to see what I can salvage from it and go from there, but once this revamp is done, the original story is being deleted. I'd have no reason to keep it after that.