Prologue- The Man Who Died

It was a cool, crisp evening in late October, when the happy couple were walking through the tiny village, arms linked around a small boy and girl, dressed as wizard and witch.

"Evening missus!" the little boy said as the old woman stalked past, long cloak sweeping the ground as she walked, "Nice costume!"

The woman scowled at the little family, pulling her hood over her mane of wild black hair, disguising her inhumanly pale face, her heavily hooded eyes. Almost involuntarily the mother pulled her son close to her, hugging him tightly as the four continued on to the next house. The cloaked woman also went on along the road, but in the other direction, she knew where they were, he had made sure of that. Now she would do the task her master had always wished to do, she would perform what had lead him to his death, lead her to hers. But she was not that woman anymore, she had been re-born, she was not who she had once been… she was the Dark Lady, evoking a new age of fear, people trembled at the name Triste, Lady Triste…

And there it was, the cottage in which his parents had perished before him, the house in which he would perish now. The charm had been broken, the secret-keeper had made sure of that, and she could see the little family through the window of their cottage, unaware that she was watching them. She lifted the latch on the gate, and it creaked slightly, but the family didn't seem to notice, Harry was bouncing the little brat on his knee, as the red-head made butterflies erupt from her wand, as he clapped, trying to catch them before they became showers of sparkles. She continued down the path, withdrawing her wand, skeletal hand clasped around it, until she reached the cottage door.

BANG! The door flew open, and sooner that anyone would have thought possible, Ginny Potter was in the hallway, no wand in her hand, Ha! The same foolish mistake of her father-in-law, did she ever think her life would end as James Potter's had done? She didn't think so.

"Harry! Its her! She found us! Take James and go, anywhere, somewhere safe, keep him alive!" the woman cried, pushing the mop of red hair from her face. She would not make the same mistake as her master, she would not offer them a choice!

"Avada Kedavra!" she said slowly, Ginny slumped to the floor, as lifeless as s crumpled puppet which had lost it's strings. Harry Potter was scrambling up the stairs, wailing child in his arms, trying to escape his inevitable death.

"Don't try to run, Harry Potter!" she cried after the sobbing woman, "There is no way you can survive. Boy-Who-Lived!"

Her voice was icily smooth as she stepped casually over the broken body of the girl, she clambered up the stairs with grace and composure, quite unlike Harry, carrying a screaming James.

"Please," Harry said, searching for his wand in his pockets whilst backing in the boy's nursery, "Please, don't kill James! Kill me!"

"I will not fall for this," Triste said coldly, "I have every intention of killing the lot of you."

She pointed the wand at the black haired man, who had burdened her master, who was cowering over the crying child, he was sitting in the cot.

"Please, have mercy!"

"Avada Kedavra!" she screamed, and the jet of green light did what it had been threatening to do since it first hit the boy in this house twenty years ago. The body of Harry James Potter fell to the ground like a rag doll, motionless.

"And now for the boy," Triste said slowly, "No more will the Potter name burden me. Avada Kedavra!"

And she broke, like that, staring into the boy's eyes she broke, and she had no body, no sight, no senses. She had to hide, to get away from this place which had caused her downfall, the downfall of her master… it had been so simple, Harry Potter had died, his wife as easily. He had not had the choice! The boy should have died with him, but the cries of the child resounded around the room. James Sirius Potter was very much alive.

Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Dursley of No. 17 Leggit Way were proud to say that they were positively normal, if you asked them. They had no business in any sort of 'funny-stuff', as they simply couldn't approve of such things. Dudley Dursley was a bank manager, and was positively certain that anything the least bit odd should be stomped on like an annoying fly. He was a larger-than-average man, who had the shrunken look of someone who had very recently lost a generous amount of weight, he had a thick layer of dirty blonde hair, which sat on his head like a pancake, and a thick blonde moustache to go with it. Apparently he was the spitting image of his father at that age, a comment Dudley did not appreciate hearing. Carol Dursley was Dudley Dursley's wife, she was very thin and had dark hair, cut in a neat bob around her horse-like face, and her favourite hobby was gossiping over hedges with the neighbours.

Dudley Dursley had everything he could ever have wanted, but he also had a secret, one even his wife didn't know about. One which he dreaded her ever discovering. You see, Harry Potter was Dudley Dursley's cousin, but they hadn't spoken in five years. Harry Potter was a wizard, and Dudley didn't like funny business like that. And it was on the morning of the 1st of November that Dudley truly begun to understand the woes of his parents, and why Harry Potter had grown up as he did.

Dudley got up at a quarter past seven, and picked out his most boring suit and tie, for work, before plodding down the stairs to the kitchen, where his wife Carol was feeding their one year old son, Dunstan, who was chucking yoghurt at the wall opposite. Carol Dursley sighed as she mopped up the fallen yoghurt, as Dudley chortled, "Little Tyke!"

Carol gossiped away as she wrestled Dunstan out of his high chair and up the stairs to have a bath. Dudley ate two slices of toast, before calling a quick good-bye to his wife, and stepped out of the front door.

And this is where the story truly begins, as when Dudley Dursley stepped outside that he discovered something which would change his life forever. He found a bundle, and inside was a baby. Dudley stared at it, dumbfounded. Why was there a baby on his doorstep? And more importantly, who's was it? It had to be a dream, he thought to himself, he would wake up any moment and get to work. But Dudley Dursley was not the one waking up, the baby opened it's little eyes to reveal two hazel brown disks.

"Dada?" the baby asked, waving his fat fists up at Dudley, he touched his hair, and it was only then that Dudley saw the deep red scar which lay on the boy's forehead. His heart sank.

"No, I most certainly am not your Dada," Dudley said irately, picking the boy up and placing him on his hip as he so often did with Dunstan, "Lets go to work, little boy."

Dudley continued to the car, he would take the child to his office, that was better than letting Carol know. And she would have to know… have to know everything. Dudley shuddered at the thought of confessing his past to his wife, and continued to dwell on the matter whilst he strapped the child into Dunstan's car seat. It was then that he noticed a small yellowy envelope attached to the boy's coat. he would recognise that envelope anywhere, after all, his house had once been full of them.

He picked up the letter, and turned it over to reveal the dark green wax seal bearing the letter H. Dudley gulped, he already knew what this must mean. Something had happened to Harry and his wife. This was their son, and he would be Dudley's own Harry Potter… he only had one thing to do, visit his parents.

After reading the letter, Dudley was in shock, it had said that the boy, James Sirius Potter… was to live with him and his family until he was of age, as although he had other relatives, they were not related to Harry, and so the blood protection would not stand. The car drove to a halt at the garage of number 4 Privet Drive, and he gulped as he picked up the babbling baby from the car seat. He walked along the gravel path, savouring each step, before ringing the door-bell.

He heard shuffling inside, before the door swung open to reveal a very horse-like woman, not unlike his wife.

"Dudders!" Petunia Dursley exclaimed, "You should have told us you were visiting! And you've brought little Dunstan too, let me see my grandson!"

"Hi mum," Dudley said awkwardly, as she continued to coo over James, "Its great to see you too, but this isn't Dunstan."

"What?" Petunia Dursley cried, looking more closely at the little boy, "Who is it then?"

"This is James," Dudley said, wincing as the flash of recognition seemed to swim through his mother's eyes.

"James who?" she said coldly, "Why do you have him, Diddy?"

"James Potter, mum. I found him on my doorstep."

At this Petunia Dursley fainted, caught just in time by her husband, who had come to the hall, a look of terror on his face. He picked up his wife and took her to the sitting room, laying her down on a sofa.

"James who?" Vernon Dursley said angrily, going purple.

"Potter, dad," Dudley said exasperatedly, "as in Harry Potter. The boy who you kept in a cupboard?"

Vernon scowled at this reminder of that boy, and said, "Well, why do you have him? Can't we call up the boy and ask him to take the brat back?"

"One problem with that dad," Dudley said sadly, "Harrys dead."

"HES WHAT?" roared Vernon Dursley, as though Harry had committed some final crime in order to spite his family.

"Dead, dad," Dudley repeated, "Some weird new Dark Witch killed him and his wife. Now James has to live with me and Carol."

"Why can't he live with her family? You know, some of his lot?"

"Blood protection, dad," Dudley explained, wondering when he became more intelligent than his father, "Harry died to save him. We're Harry's only living relatives, so he needs to live somewhere where Harry's blood is, and I've got the same blood as mum, so…"

"So this, James fellow," Vernon said, pointing a fat finger at the baby he was describing as though it was a colleuge at work, "He has to live at your house?"

"Yes dad," said Dudley, "He has to live with me and Carol."

Vernon Dursley was silent, and Petunia was still lying on the sofa, fanning herself.

"Good-bye, mum," Dudley said, turning to leave, "Bye dad."

"Wait!" Petunia called, "Be good to him, won't you. You can't let it happen again!""I know mum," Dudley said, as he stepped out of the door on which he had once fainted, "Bye-bye."

Dudley sighed, glancing at the gurgling baby in the back seat of his car. He couldn't let James' fate be as Harry's had been, he would do things right. He would not let history repeat itself.

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