Okay people. I decided to take the story down temporarily to fix this. Someone complained that I divided this into smaller chapters and just wanted me to finish it and I have to say I agreed with him. It's much better this way. And now it's done, reaching barely 3,000 words, which I hope is a satisfieng length. It only took me a day to finish it. I'm glad it's finished now I can finally start telling the story from Harry's perspective. I hope you will like reading this. Oh and I suggest you read the whole chapter even though you read the story before, because I fixed and changed a couple of things here and there.
January 23rd, 2011
"I'm sorry I've kept you for so long today, Potter," said Madeye with his normal emotionless voice. James just nodded. He did not know if his mentor really was sorry or not but it didn't matter anyway. James had actually hoped to get away early today, or yesterday actually, to be able to celebrate Halloween with his family. But now was one of those times where he had to accept that life wasn't always how you wanted it to be and sometimes you had to do things even though you didn't want to. And even though the only thing James wanted to do right now was to sit at home in his lovely house on his lovely couch in his lovely living room being held warm from the fire that came from the fireplace, while Lily sat next to him with little Harry in her arms, snoring lightly, he had to stay at the ministry and help Madeye with some paperwork.
There were times when he considered quitting and go for another career instead, one that did not require as much studying, if any. But then he would dismiss those thoughts He was glad that he didn't quit. It was not for the payment that he chose to become an auror, in fact if it was only about money he could just lay at home, relaxing, not doing anything, no it was about fighting, about doing something good and be useful in the war against Lord Voldemort and put a stop to all his evil plans and doings.
"You don't have to come back before the afternoon," Madeye continued. "You will not be of much use if you don't get enough sleep". James nodded again while he rose from the desk he had been sitting at for most of the evening. "Then I will see you tomorrow... I mean in the afternoon Madeye," he said just before he closed the office door behind him.
James jogged along towards the elevator that would take him to level one where he could get home via the floo network. He really was too tired to apparate and Lily didn't really fancy him appearing so suddenly in the middle of the living room either.
James shuffled his foot impatiently while waiting for the elevator to come down to him.
Finally, after what felt like eternity, the elevator came down to him. James was so tired that he in the beginning didn't notice who had come down with the elevator. But when he stepped into it and the doors closed behind him he heard a gentle, well-known voice speak to him "James".
Just now James noticed that he was not alone in the elevator. He looked up at the person that appeared to be a lot older than him, though not so much taller than him "Good evening professor," he murmured. "Or should I say good morning?"
"Neither, I'm afraid," Albus Dumbledore sighed. "Tragic events have occurred, James. I came to get you home".
"Get me home?" James exclaimed. "Why? Does it have something to do with me?"
Dumbledore glanced at him sadly and then nodded.
James stared oddly at Dumbledore as if he didn't understand a word of what he had just said. But then it dawned upon him. Something had happened. Something to do with him, which could only mean one thing. Lily and Harry. Something had happened to his family.
"Wh-what happened?" James stuttered, wide-eyed in fear.
Dumbledore pulled the stunned James with him out of the elevator when it had reached level one where they were meant to get off. His gaze flew around the great hall they were now standing in, as in searching for the right words to describe the situation to James.
"I think I'd rather show you," said Dumbledore in a voice so low that James almost didn't hear him.
James did not say a thing. Dumbledore seemed to take that as an agreement because he then said, "Kindly grab onto my arm so I can apparate us to Godric's Hollow".
James made a stiff head movement that looked like his attempt at a nod. Dumbledore looked at him expectantly and the young auror approached him with shaky legs and laid a trembling hand on his outstretched arm.
The few seconds it took to apparate to Godric's Hollow felt like an eternity and James felt relieved when he once again felt the solid ground under his feet and when he moments later opened his eyes to see the familiar village that was his home. The relief however was gone as quickly as it had come when he was reminded what they were doing here.
Without a second thought he went running towards his house that he sincerely hoped, along with its inhabitants, was unharmed. Even though that didn't seem to be the case. He heard Dumbledore yell out to him from way behind him but he didn't stop to listen, he had only one thing on his mind. Getting home.
He ran straight past all the pretty Halloween decorations that decorated the houses whose inhabitants were now standing outside casting sympathetic glances in his direction. He didn't stop to listen to them when they called his name. He didn't care about anything else than getting home.
When he had caught his breath he stared at his house, or where his house had been at least. He couldn't stifle the agonizing scream that escaped his lips. Where his house used to be was now a burning ruin. His pretty white house was now engulfed with flames. He saw bricks and wooden pieces scattered around and James could see pieces of furniture, baby toys and their other belongings between the red blazes.
James now felt how his body began to shake violently. He didn't know if it was because of the fear or the rage, probably both. His face had slowly started to get wet from tears that literally jumped out of the corners of his eyes and raced down his cheeks. His legs gave way beneath him and he sank down on his knees. His voice was already very thick when he yelled out from the top of his lungs.
James felt a couple of hands grab him and try to pull him up from the ground but he fought against them. He would not allow anyone to pull him away from the ruin that maybe just a couple of hours ago had been his beloved home. He felt the grip on him tighten and he now had to use all of his remaining force to resist them.
"NO!" he yelled to the person who tried to take him away. "Let go of me, I don't want to!"
"James," a gentle voice, that appeared to belong to the owner of the hands, said.
"No," said James again. "Leave me alone I've got to find them. I've got to find Lily, leave me alone".
"James," said the voice again, but it was a little more harsh this time, though just a little bit
"Lily," was all James said. "Got to find Lily".
"We have already found Lily," said a new voice from behind him that he thought he knew well but couldn't quite recognize at the moment.
James had now stopped fighting and allowed the hands to pull him to his feet.
"Way better," said the first voice again in a gentle tone and James now knew that it belonged to Albus Dumbledore. He slowly turned around to face him. And next to Dumbledore stood Sirius Black, his best friend through ten years.
Sirius gave Dumbledore a look that made the old man let go of James. Sirius pulled James into a hug.
James now felt slightly better, but only slightly, the situation still hadn't changed but he really appreciated his best friend's company.
James was grateful that Sirius did not remove his arm from his shoulders after the hug was over, because he was not quite sure if he was able to stand up on his own.
"Sirius if you would be so kind to go with James to Bathilda's house and wait for my return," said Dumbledore.
"Bathilda?" Sirius asked with a lifted eyebrow. "As in Bathilda Bagshot?"
Dumbledore nodded. "Please".
James saw Sirius nod from the corner of his eye. Both men knew that Dumbledore didn't want them to ask any more questions and they had no choice but to obey even though his secretive demeanor annoyed them.
James wished Dumbledore had told them where he was going and why, he couldn't just leave them here in the middle of all this. He barely knew what was going on, other than that his house was on fire. Why on earth should he even send him and Sirius to Bathilda Bagshot, that ancient witch that looked to be twice as old as Dumbledore? What did she have to do with the things that had occurred tonight?
He looked at Sirius questioningly and his friend made a fast gesture with his free arm to tell him that he had no idea what Dumbledore was up to either and that he certainly didn't know why he would send them to Bathilda Bagshot.
James was now really annoyed with Dumbledore. What was it with old people that made them so unable to say things straight as they were? This was about his family. He still didn't know what had happened to them. He wanted answers.
"He we are Prongs," Sirius said when they five minutes later stood outside a very old, gray house surrounded by a big garden filled with all kinds of plants that really needed trimming. It was clear for all people who laid eyes on the property that Bathilda Bagshot did no longer take care of her garden.
James remained silent. He didn't actually care about going to Bathilda Bagshot, it was completely pointless Why couldn't Dumbledore just tell him where his wife and son were and if they were okay instead of just disappearing off to somewhere only the gods knew the location of and leaving him here on tenterhooks with a lot of unanswered questions? He was really growing tired of Dumbledore's way of handling things. He felt like opening his mouth wide and just scream with all of his power from the top of his lungs. The only reason that he didn't do it was because it would be pointless. Dumbledore was not there and it was not his best friend's fault any of this. But if Dumbledore wouldn't give him the answers he wanted as soon as he got back he had no doubt he'd do it.
"I'll just ring the bell," he heard Sirius say. There was nothing that hid the worry in his voice. Sirius was just as worried as James was.
James heard the faint sound of the doorbell and about a minute later a little witch that didn't even reach his chest opened the front door.
"Come in dear boys," she told them with a very hoarse voice that sounded like she had talked nonstop for far too long because it sounded tired.
She stepped aside to let them enter, which wasn't really necessary given her small size, they could easily slip past her.
James had expected her house to be somewhat dirty and unattended to but nothing really reminded him of how it looked like outside, aside from a couple of potted plants that looked like they had long since died down. It looked like the dear old Bathilda hadn't bothered throwing them out or moving them at all. But he supposed that if he had been in her shoes he wouldn't have cared either, by now the only thing she probably did now was eating, drinking and sleeping, because what else could a person her age do?
"Sit down," she said when she had showed them into the living room and gestured towards a large couch that was rather old-fashioned and could need some repairing.
Sirius and James obeyed and took a seat.
This wasn't the first time James or Sirius had paid this place a visit but he had never really looked around or paid any attention to his surroundings when he was there, the house seemed completely new to him for some reason, maybe he just couldn't concentrate from the lack of sleep. What time was it now anyway? It had to be at least half past two in the morning. He knew he had a watch so he could always check but at the moment he simply didn't care enough to do it himself, he was too worn out, he hadn't noticed it before now, strangely enough. So he patted Sirius's arm instead. "Padfoot," he murmured. Sirius turned to look at him questioningly. "What time is it?"
Sirius looked down at his golden watch that was attached to his left wrist. "Half past three," he announced.
"One hour and a half more than I expected," thought James. He slid his hands through his messy black hair in frustration. How long was he going to wait?
He rested his head against one of the cushions that was placed in his side of the couch. The lids closed over his eyes slowly…
James felt someone shake him gently. He blinked his eyes open and looked around in confusion.
"James you fell asleep," Sirius explained, the worry fully displayed on his handsome face.
"Really," James murmured. He wondered what time it was now.
"It's a quarter to five," Sirius said as if he had read his thoughts. "And he's back," he added.
James looked at his best friend, puzzled. But then the memories before he fell asleep came back to him and he now knew that Sirius was talking about Dumbledore.
"How long since he returned?" asked James.
"About ten minutes I'd say," Sirius answered. "Right now he's talking to Bathilda Bagshot".
James clenched his fists. Dumbledore had better give him some answers. He wasn't sure how long he could stay this calm anymore, actually he was surprised that he had managed to stay this calm and that he had not attacked anyone demanding some answers or something of that sort. Maybe it was his hope. The hope that the house was the only thing that was harmed this night. The hope that his family was okay and had managed to flee to a safe place. Now that he thought about it he didn't even know what had caused the fire. Though he had a strong suspicion, and now that he thought about it what else could it be? He had very well known that Lord Voldemort was after his family, that was why he and Lily had decided to go into hiding in Godric's Hollow on Dumbledore's suggestion of course. Who else could it be other than Voldemort?
James suddenly remembered something.
Sirius looked at him.
"You told me that you'd found Lily".
Sirius lowered his head. Now James noticed the guilt on his best friend's face if it had been there the entire time or if it had just appeared he didn't know. But he wondered what Sirius had to feel guilty about.
"Yes," Sirius said hesitantly. "We did".
James waited for Sirius to continue but he said no more.
"Sirius?" James raised his brow at him. "You never told me where she is".
Sirius looked down at his hands that were clenched into fists in his lap in shame.
"Ask Dumbledore," he murmured.
"Well I'm asking you Padfoot," James said, "since Dumbledore doesn't feel like sharing any information at the moment".
"Dumbledore asked me not to tell you he wants to…" Sirius didn't get to finish his sentence because all of a sudden James jumped out of the couch wide-awake and stormed out of the living room.
It did not take him long to find Dumbledore. He was in the kitchen and was discussing something quietly with Bathilda Bagshot. James did not care if they were having a private discussion that they did not want interrupted nor did he care about the noise he was making, he marched directly into the kitchen, startling both the old headmaster and the ancient witch.
"YOU!" he roared, pointing at Dumbledore. "You have got some explaining to do".
For a minute the silence reigned in the small kitchen and neither of them said a word. When Dumbledore finally opened his mouth and replied it was not what James had expected. In truth he did not know what he had expected but not this.
"You are right," Dumbledore said.
James stared at him for a moment, not sure he had heard right, he had expected Dumbledore to perhaps defend his secretive actions or tell him to calm down but he had done neither instead he had agreed with him.
Dumbledore gestured towards the small square table in the corner of the kitchen with four wooden chairs surrounding it. He said something to Bathilda Bagshot that James could not make out but he had a good guess of what he could have said because after Dumbledore had chosen one of the chairs to sit in she set a kettle with fresh water on the stove.
Dumbledore looked at him expectantly. James sighed and took a seat in the chair across from Dumbledore's.
"Now," said Dumbledore "I suppose you want to know what happened tonight?"
James nodded, a little annoyed that Dumbledore bothered asking this. "Tell me everything".
Okay how was this? Did you like it? Please leave me a comment and tell me your opinion.
Oh if you're wondering why I didn't include Dumbledore telling James about what happened to Lily and Harry, then it's because, well, we all know what happened and I don't want to explain everything here I'll wait explaining this in the story till Harry gets old enough to know it.
Why wasn't Sirius allowed to tell James about Lily? Dumbledore wanted to tell him that himself, he wanted to calmly explain the situation to James. So why didn't Sirius do it anyway? Well he might not always agree with Dumbledore but he knows that he has his reasons and he trusts Dumbledore.
Where did Dumbledore go when he left James with Sirius after he told them to go to Bathilda Bagshot's? He went to notify the rest of the order that Voldemort was apparently gone.
How come Sirius is alright and not charged for killing Wormtail? Simple, in this story Dumbledore never thought of using the fidelius charm before it was too late and hence there was no secret keeper and hence Wormtail didn't really betray them. But don't worry that doesn't mean there won't be problems with wormtail in the future, oh no no he's still a Death Eater (oops that was a secret, but you won't tell will you?).
Where is Lily's body and baby Harry? Dumbledore made sure both were moved to a safe place until he had explained everything to James and then later shown it to him.
Just making sure everything's clear.
Now remember: comment :) I'll try to update as soon as I can.