I own not a bit of Potter or Harry
So those with lawyerly minds, be very wary
This author owns nothing, and nothing she receives
So because this disclaimer (a favorite among thieves)
Keeps her butt outa jail, and outa debt
Any suing you think of will be only threat
Nestled deep in the emerald hills of England there is a small village. And in this small village there is a secret, and this secret has a keeper.
"James," there was a pleading note to Lily's voice, a kind of soft entreaty that belied her usual strength and fire. He looked up at her from his hands, which were grasping the side of the table as if it were a diving broomstick, and said nothing. "James, please listen to Sirius. Please. I think he's right. And I care for him just as much as you do, love. What he says makes sense. Please, just think about it."
The ebony-haired man watched her for a moment, then lowered his gaze back down to his hands.
"I know what he says makes sense, Lily," he said, a note of distaste on his tongue. "Sirius is clever enough to make anything into sense… but… gods, love, I don't want him to be right."
Lily shook her head, her ginger hair falling back into place after the movement like cherry silk against the pearl of her cheek. She brushed it away distractedly and sighed.
"I don't want him to be either… but what we want doesn't matter right now. It's what Voldemort wants," her jade eyes hardened at the loathed name and her lips firmed, making her lively face seem almost frighteningly like McGonagle's. "If Sirius is right, and he does get taken captive…" her eyes misted with unwanted tears and she shook her head again. "James, we can't be the brave Gryffindors anymore and just go running after him, wands hexing. We have Harry to think about now."
James couldn't argue with that. He knew it to be true, and however much he loved his friend, his son's safety would forever be first in his heart.
"Alright," he said quietly, then, more strongly, "alright. We'll make Peter the Secret Keeper."
Fall had come to the deep emerald hills and the small village, inking the foliage and sunsets with deep reds and rich oranges. The sides of the street and the gutters of the houses were trimmed with the same colors in the form of fallen leaves, as if the wind had decided to decorate the small village in celebration of the coming All Hallows Eve.
The air was cooling and the sky carried far more clouds than summer had allowed. In the painted backyard of one of the houses in this small village, a red-haired woman sat with her black-haired child, their matching green eyes intent on one of the yellow leaves that the woman held before them.
"Can you say 'pretty', Harry?" she asked, looking down into her son's face and laughing softly when a lock of her scarlet hair fell across his nose and his gaze went cross-eyed to follow it. Harry returned the laughter with a burst of giggling, his tiny hands reach up to embrace her head.
"Do you want a story, my little love?" she asked, once they had stopped laughing and his bright emerald eyes had wandered to the far-away forest that bordered their quiet village. He let out a series of approving noises, knowing by now that 'story' meant that he got to listen to his mother's lilting voice and place his head against her warm chest to hear a gentle rhythm that always seemed to match the cadence of her speech.
"How about the story of your great-great-many many times-great grandfather and equally as great-grandmother? Would you like to hear that one?"
Another series of noises answered her, so she smiled, and began the tale.
"This story begins like every good story begins. In a land far, far away, in a time long, long ago, there was a good and powerful wizard," she tickled his nose and beamed at his happy gurgling. "And this wizard was deep in love with a witch. But, this was no ordinary witch, in case you were thinking that. This witch was cunning and beautiful, and she loved the wizard just as much as he loved her. So, everything was good and right in the world, yes?"
Harry immediately answered her questioning tone with a smile and a small 'burr?'.
"That's right, Harry. It couldn't stay that way forever. One day, our beautiful witch wandered into a forest looking for flowers that bloomed only in the full-moonlight. However, she was not alone.
"In that very same forest, under that very same moon, was a werewolf. Oh, and the poor creature, who had no human thought and no feeling other than hunger and rage towards man, saw our beautiful witch, and you know what he did to her, Harry?"
Harry, hearing his mother's dark tones, let out a murmur of disapproval.
"Right again, my love. He bit her. Our witch was now a werewolf herself, and oh, did she despair over her fate. How could she be with her wizard, now that she was what she was? How could she love him as he loved her, when one night out of every month she would have no human emotions our thoughts? So deeply did she despair that her sobs called to her the powerful and brave wizard who loved her, as he had been looking for her.
"He found out what had happened, though he is not one for hopelessness, little Harry. Our brave wizard vowed that he would find a cure, find something for his love that would make her better, and so he did. After many nights and days of searching, he crafted a spell that should have made his beautiful witch completely healed."
Harry let out a joyous cry at his mother's victorious tenor, but Lily quieted him with a soft stroke of her hand across his cheek.
"It did not work the way he planned it would though, my little love. The spell was supposed to separate the beautiful witch from the creature that she turned into every full-moon, but instead it fused them together. The beautiful witch could change into her wolf form any time she pleased, and there was no pain or madness, just like there is no such thing for Animagus… but there was a trade-off, my sweet. The witch's mind, now fused so completely with the wolf's, was changed forever. Oh, she still loved her brave wizard, and she was still as cunning and brilliant as ever, but odd things began to happen to her.
"She began to think of things differently, began to call certain things in another way. She would call her family, for example, her pack, and she referred to her brave wizard as her mate instead of her husband or her love. These were small things, though, and no one minded since she was no longer a dangerous beast. When she was in wolf form, her mind remained the same. She and her love were ecstatic."
Harry made a soft questioning noise, and when his mother nodded, he repeated his joyous cry with just as much fervor as before. She smiled and hugged his small body to her own.
"That was a long, long time ago, dearheart. And since then, there have been many children with the same ability. But… oh, the blood weakens after time, my little love. There are not so many left now, and the children those few bear don't seem to have the ability…"
She shook her head sadly.
"These half-wolf half-humans, calling themselves the 'wolflings', began to loose hope for their kind. The history of their people had faded into legend, and it seemed that they would soon follow it. Being the secretive race that they were, they did not want to seek out help from the wizarding world, and what good would such attention do, any way? No, better to stay in hiding and fix the problem themselves.
"But hopelessness began to creep into their lives. How could they fight such a thing as thinning blood? How could they battle something that was within themselves?
"It was dark times Harry, but before too long, there was a light of hope.
"One night, when the full-moon was hanging in the sky, and the wolflings were basking in the light, a strange lethargy came to all of them, and they fell into a deep slumber.
"In that sleep, they shared a dream, a vision of hope for the future. This is what they saw:
"In front of a huge stone castle, who's four towers each held a large animal atop them, there is a long line of wolflings, each in their wolf-form. The towers behind them were shrouded with black mist, but when the animals moved and cried out, the mist receded some. In one tower, there is a lion. When he roars, the mist retreats. In another, there is a raven. When she calls out and spreads her black wings, the mist retreats. In another, there is a badger, and using her protective instincts and her powerful teeth, the mist retreats from her as well. In the last tower, there is a serpent. Here, the mist is not so afraid. Here, the mist is strong and potent. The serpent has eyes that are stealthy and strong, and though his body lies quiescent in the wake of the mist, anyone who looks hard enough can see that his strike will come. And its poison will hinder the mist more than any amount of roaring or biting or cawing can do.
"But the wolflings below have little defense against the mist. Fortunately, the mist does not seem to be interested in them. It wants the castle. But the wolflings have other things to worry about. Crawling beneath the shroud of black are things that the huge animals in their towers cannot touch. Things that only a wolf's jaws and claws can be the bane of. So the wolflings fight those, and do not worry about the mist or the castle or the large animals.
"But it is a long war, Harry. Tiring and trying. Many wolfs fall and the large animals seem to weaken against the onslaught. Something must be done, but what?"
Harry released a small quivering sound at the gloomy sound of his mother's voice. She smiled reassuringly at him and continues.
"Then, from within the mist itself, a beam of bright green light cuts through everything, and when the light clears, there is a small black cub in its wake. The cub grows quick while the mist recovers from the light, and soon he is a young wolf, battle-ready and hungry for his enemy.
"There are no minions of the mist that can harm him, and the young wolf howls his challenge to the mist itself. The mist answers by shifting, drawing back from the castle and the large animals, and dropping down before the young wolf in the form of a hooded man.
"They battle, and in-between the flashes of spells and the blood spilled, there rises a victor. The young wolf, wounded but alive, comes from the wreckage of the battle and goes straight to the castle doors. The wolflings follow him. The large animals in their towers look down at them and see the savior wolf, and open the doors with roars, caws, barks, and hisses of approval."
She takes a deep breath and kisses Harry's forehead.
"When the wolflings wake up from this dream, they know what it means. One of their kind will save them. They need only wait and do what the dream said they would do. Which was to fight."
Another sigh, and she again hugged her son's body to her own.
"It has been a long fight, my little love. We are ready to be saved."
Nestled deep in the emerald hills of England there is a small village. And in this small village there is a house.
Or what used to be a house.
Among the ruins that lie in crumbled remains under the full moon, there is a bundle of blankets that hold a squirming something in their depths.
There is a cry of a baby, and from the small sea of blankets, a head pops out. The pink forehead his bloody and scared, a tiny lightning bolt amongst the crimson that glowed green.
The babe screamed its misery to the night and the listening stars, the cry soon switching to an equally haunting yowl from something definitely not human. In the blankets there is a wolf cub where the infant had been, who's forehead is still bleeding, and who's strange lightning scar still burns with a vivid jade light.
The wolf changes back into a human babe, still crying.
At the end of the street in the small village, there is a roar of a motorbike, and a soft thump as it lands from its flight.
The man sitting astride it hears the howls and cries, knows what has happened, and sets his jaw to keep his own grief from escaping.
The motorbike nears the ruins of the Potter household, and the man steps off it. He runs toward the bundle without looking around, picks it up and gasps as the lithe body inside twists and writhes in his arms.
"Shh, Harry, my boy," the man said soothingly. "It's me, it's Padfoot. C'mon Harry, I know you remember me. I made sure you did with all that candy I brought during my visits."
The body quieted a bit, then stilled, and the sobbing with it. The man smiled and moved the blankets out of the way to see his Godson.
The babe, contented to see the familiar face, stifled one last sob, before turning his head against the warmth of Padfoot's chest and falling into a shallow, pain-filled sleep.
The man raised his wand, put the tip against Harry's head, and whispered a deep-sleep spell. The child's breathing immediately relaxed and lengthened, and the man turned around to see none other than the giant that was Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.
"Hagrid…" he said, surprised. The giant looked at him sadly.
"Sirius . . . I'm goin' ta have ter take Harry from ya. Dumbledore's goin' ter give him ter his Aunt and Uncle."
Sirius looked blankly at him, not comprehending.
"His… Aunt and Uncle? The muggles?" he asked finally, shaking his head in confusion. Hagrid nodded his shaggy head.
"C'mon now, Sirus. Hand 'em over. Dumbledore knows best," the giant nodded again, reaching for the babe in Sirius' arms.
Padfoot clutched Harry tighter to his chest.
"You must be joking… this has all got to be some kind of joke… I've met those sad excuses for human beings, Hagrid. Harry is not going to grow up with them! They don't even know what a wolfling is!"
He freed one arm and was almost instantly pointing his wand at Hagrid. The giant blinked in bewilderment.
"Harry's coming with me, Hagrid," Padfoot explained, before flicking his wand and shouting, "Stupefy!"
He watched as Hagrid stiffened and fell over, before making his way to the motorbike.
He didn't look back, afraid his legs would collapse upon seeing the wreckage of his best friend's home, but mounted the bike and started it swiftly. He could see muggles making their way down the street towards the ruins, and he didn't want to deal with all of them.
With Harry in one hand, the other guiding his bike, Sirius Black took off into a cold Halloween night, knowing that he would soon be charged with the murder of his best friend, his best friend's wife, and the kidnapping of their son.
And really not giving a damn.
For you, James, he said silently to himself as they flew over Britain and the baby in his arms stirred a bit. For you and Lily.
Authors note: I'm not so sure about that prophecy thingy up there. Please tell me your thoughts about it! Or your thoughts about anything else in the chap. Just don't forget to review!