Title: On This Spot
Characters: Hestia Jones, William Jones, the Weasley family and Alastor Moody.
Notes: Please don't favourite without a review, and I hope you enjoy!
'On this spot, on the night of 31 October 1981,
Lily and James Potter lost their lives.
Their son, Harry, remains the only wizard ever
to have survived the Killing Curse.
This house, invisible to Muggles, has been left in
its ruined state as a monument to the Potters
and as a reminder of the violence
that tore apart their family.'
"Oh, but Daddy, please..."
"I said no, Hestia, most definitely not. That sign is a place where people died. Anybody who has drawn graffiti all over it is heartless and disrespectful. Hestia, please move away. Muggles can't see it like you or me."
"Can't you see what they're writing? It's good, Daddy. He'll see it."
The older man sighed, running his fingers through his greying hair. It had been a long, hard day for William Jones.
"Darling, he'll probably never come back here, wherever he is. Good luck to him, yes, but I highly doubt it. You can't know that he'll see it."
"I do," the young girl replied stubbornly. "And you can't stop me writing. I'll run away. I'll never look back. This gate will just be the first thing I come to." Truly a Ravenclaw, that one. Dramatic, maybe, but he had to admire his daughter's bravery.
"And after all, if it's so bad, why has nobody taken it off?"
To be fair, the thought had never crossed his mind. Hestia was right, though. They were all supportive, and though he held little assurance that Harry Potter would ever read those messages, he sighed again.
"Three words, Hestia."
"Three! What kind of message would that be? How are you? I want ten words!"
"You sound like a spoiled brat when you speak like that," William told her mournfully. She scowled.
"Daddy, please may I have ten words?"
"Six? What would I say? How are you this fine morning? Eight."
"Hestia, when I say six, I mean six. Not something around that number. Now, you either write it this minute or I actually take you out of the cold so we can start enjoying our Halloween."
"Okay," the Ravenclaw girl, only 12, mumbled. She stepped forward, and looked at the gate contemplatively. She thrummed her fingers on her chin, tilting her head to get a better angle of the sign. "How old would he be now, Daddy?"
"I'd say about two, Hestia. Why?" The old man knelt down beside the girl to get a good look at the messages.
"Oh, no reason," she replied airily, ghosting her fingers over the gate. "I think I know what I'm going to write." She drew her newly acquired wand from her back pocket - a terrible habit, he had to say - and muttered the incantation she had excitedly told him about a few days before.
So, six words were written in Hestia Jones' loopy handwriting on that night of the 31st October, 1982.
The words glimmered for a while before sinking back into the sign, looking as though they had always been there. As though they belonged.
Good luck, Harry, wherever you are.
"Bill, stop messing around with Ron. Fred, for Merlin's sake, stop pulling on Percy's hair! Charlie, put that worm down! NO, George, don't eat it! Arthur, hold the baby would you?"
"Molly, dear, calm down," Molly Weasley's husband cooed, taking their three year old daughter from his wife's arm. "There aren't any Muggles around, and they're just excited." Ron accented this comment and gleefully bouncing up and down with childish joy.
"Harry Potter! Mum, is Harry Potter here?" The four year old asked, pulling on his mother's dress. Molly sighed.
"No, sweetie, he's not. Now, come on, everybody think about what they want me to write on the gate."
"I want to write it!"
"Percy, son, as neat as your handwriting is, I don't think you'd be able to get near enough to the gate with your brothers around, do you?" The red haired boy sniffed and pushed his glasses further up his nose. "I thought not."
Arthur Weasley looked down at the sign where scrawled messages had been written by various witches and wizards over the past three years. Some child, or childlike adult, had drawn a smiley face and another, the caption 'We love you Harry!'
"Now, what should we write?" Molly asked, taking Ginny from her husband's hands again and rocking her softly. It was late for the little girl, Arthur mused.
There were calls of chaos that came from the large family for the next five minutes or so, including hair pulling, scratching and the odd moment when George did indeed eat the worm, much to his twin's amusement.
"I know!" A small voiced called over the noise. Everybody turned to Ronald, who puffed out his chest importantly.
The boy gave his answer, and Arthur smiled in pride. Already showing hints of maturity sure to come from Bill, Charlie and Percy's influence and the strain of growing up with Fred and George, Ron smiled back, smug. Percy stiffly agreed it was appropriate, whereas Fred and George ruffled their little brother's hair and Charlie and Bill patted the Boy-Who-Was-Slightly-Too-Old-To-Be-Called-A-Toddler on the back.
"Okay, Arthur do you have my wand? Oh, Ginny, please stop pulling, I know you're tired..."
"It's alright, Molly, I'll do it."
And so, in Arthur Weasley's cursive handwriting, nine words slowly were carved onto the surface of the sign that bore a memorial on the 31st October, 1984.
If you read this, Harry, we're all behind you!
"Well, well, well. I must say, it's been a while."
The man chuckled humourlessly. His eye traced the messages on the sign that he had helped put up. They were little comfort.
"So, where're you now, Harry? You were tiny when I last saw you. Once, that was all. Wasn't even a proper visit; just an Order mission. Kind of regret it now, I have to say. Didn't half speak to you, James and Lily, as much as I should've. Just Order business. That was always the case, wasn't it? Just... Order business."
He glanced up at the darkening sky.
"I wish we could've talked more. All four of us. There never did seem to be the time or place, did there? Always so busy, caught up in a war we were all too young to fight in.
"So, this is it. I've worked up the courage - you Gryffindors would have felt shunned, I assure you. But what to do now that I'm here? Cry? I respected you, Lily, James, but not that much." He gave a tight-lipped smile.
"Maybe that was my problem. Never have trusted enough.
"'Constant vigilance'? Never helped you, did it? Me and Albus, we decided that you be kept up in that house, going insane from cabin fever. I regret it now.
"Can't say I don't regret a lot of things."
The man pulled out his wand, safely not from his back pocket, and pointed it at the sign. He gave a defeated sigh. "Live long, Harry. It's more than your parents got."
And on that night of the 31st October, 1991, marking ten years after the death of Lily and James Potter, a sad, lonely man left his mark on their short lives. Alastor Moody drew his wand, and spelled four words onto the gate no Muggles would ever see.
Long live Harry Potter.