Title: Family Affair
Author: Daeleniel Shadowphyre
Feedback: darkone2813 at mindspring dot com
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: R (Maybe only PG-13, but R is safer.)
Summary: July 31, 1984. Voldemort is at the height of his power. A child, conceived the son of a Death Eater and his beloved, is born. To protect his son and the woman he loves from the man he called 'master', the Death Eater gave up the love of his life to another man. Fifteen years later, Voldemort is back. Time is of the essence, and what a lone boy needs the most is the support of the father he never knew he had.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, or any other characters created by J.K. Rowling. I'm just borrowing them, and I hope they're still recognizable when I'm done. The words spoken by James, Lily, and Voldemort at the end are, for the most part, taken directly from book three, Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Also, the heretofore unmentioned first names of several staff members were taken from kaz's story Falling Further In.
Notes: Written for Severitus's Challenge. I have no other excuses, Your Honor. Also, thank you, Severitus, for the option of using the conversations you provided; I did not, but they were somewhat inspiring. With regards to the dates, in this fic's universe Harry was born in 1984, received his scar in 1985, entered Hogwarts in 1995, and turned fifteen in 1999. Yes, I am aware that this may not be canonical, but let's face it. This fic was bound to be AU from the start. If there are those of you who don't like that, you can stop reading. The dates are important the way they are, for specific plot-related reasons. And no, I'm not telling what they are. Rest assured that I go by the canonical dates in most of my other fics.
Distribution: Ask, and ye shall receive.
October 31, 1985
Lily Evans Potter looked tenderly down at the black-haired baby she held in her arms. He was more than a year old now, hardly a true "baby" anymore, as James was fond of pointing out. James…. The two of them had been best friends for years, ever since their Hogwarts days. It was still strange to think of being married to him now, even though it had been nearly a year and a half since their wedding day.
Oh, my love… it should have been our day.
"You know, he looks a lot like his father," James said from just above her, peering down at the baby his fr- wife held in her arms. Lily cast a glance up at him, her emerald-bright eyes only slightly mocking, and James grinned. "You know, without the illusions."
Lily smiled up at her best friend turned husband, then returned her gaze to the baby. "I know," she said softly. The little boy shifted in his sleep, curling closer to his mother, and both adults smiled.
"He has your eyes, though, Lil," James went on. Lily bit her lower lip, apprehension gnawing at her.
"The spells… the ones that made him look… like this. They will wear off eventually, won't they."
"Fifteen years from now, or thereabouts," James confirmed. "At least, that's what Remus said; you know we can trust him to know these sorts of things."
"The letters… the ones explaining about…."
"Written, sealed, and sent to Albus for safe-keeping."
"Alright, as far as I know. I still don't know why he was so insistent we use Peter for our Secret Keeper."
"Trying to protect us, you know that. He's a good godfather to Harry," Lily said, looking up at James. "You've been a good father to him, Jimmy."
"Lil," James started, but Lily held up her hand to forestall the words she knew he wanted to say.
"James, we all knew what we were doing back then. It's safer for him if Voldemort doesn't know the truth about Harry." She looked down at the little child, tufts of ink-black hair lying against the tiny forehead. "It's safer for all of us," she whispered. Perhaps if she repeated it enough times, even she would begin to believe it. Perhaps then it wouldn't hurt so much…
The glass of the front windows of the house shattered under a fierce blow. Lily and James jerked upright, James automatically drawing his wand. "Voldemort."
How? Lily thought, How could he have found out--
"Peter!" she gasped. "Oh, no, James!"
Lily looked up at her husband, clutching Harry to her chest. The baby woke and began to whimper as Lily absently tried to sooth her offspring. James looked down to meet Lily's eyes. Then his glance slid to Harry. Lily caught her breath; James looked upon the child with sorrow, anger, fear, and lastly a calm sort of acceptance. He straightened, gripping his wand tightly.
"Take the baby and run," James said, his voice sounding almost hollow.
"James…?" Lily peered up, her eyes pleading.
"Lily, take Harry and go!" James shouted, his voice fearful, but determined. "It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off--"
He was already moving towards the door, stumbling over furniture. Lily leapt up, glancing about wildly for a way out of the room. The sound of a door bursting open had her whirling around, staring after James. Chilling, high-pitched laughter filled the room, and Lily shivered. She knew that voice, though she had hoped never to hear it again in her life.
She heard James shouting, but she could no longer make out the words. Spells, she knew, to try and keep Voldemort back. To give her time to escape with Harry.
Oh, beloved, James is willing to die for a child that isn't his!
A flash of green light illuminated the hallway and Lily screamed. James! Panic flooded her veins, and she rushed to the window. Harry was almost howling now, and no amount of soothing would possibly calm him. Yes, little one, howl for my best friend and for your father… Oh, God, I'm so sorry!
Lily placed Harry carefully on the window seat to free her hands. She pulled at the latch, trying to open the window far enough to let her slip through with Harry. Risking a glance outside, she saw a crowd of dark-robed figures milling about on the lawn.
Lily whirled around, searching frantically. Her eyes landed on the door and she screamed again. Voldemort! Pale as death, with the eyes of a serpent that glowed a demon red.
"Where is the child?" the monster hissed, that high-pitched voice sending shivers down Lily's spine. But the words--
"No," she whispered hoarsely, moving to stand between the Dark Lord and the crying child. "No! Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!"
"Stand aside, you silly girl," Voldemort commanded, those demon eyes boring through her to the baby beyond. "Stand aside, now…."
"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead, just spare Harry--" Lily cut off with a scream as she felt a curse strike her. The Cruciatus curse, she knew, though her mind was torn to shreds by the agony that beset her. Only one thought could claw it's way up through the pain: Harry!
"Not Harry!" she screamed, knowing that tears were running down her cheeks. She sank to the floor, no longer having the strength to stand as the pain racked her body in waves. She could hear Voldemort's foul, mocking laughter over her voice as she screamed and pleaded… "Please… have mercy…."
I will protect my son!
I love you, Severus….
To be continued…