Disclaimer: This is in response to a challenge issued by Tenshi. Writer (please see my profile page for the challenge details). She also came up with the title of the story. My thanks go to her for her continued support. This story is definitely AU. Reviews are welcome. If anyone is interested in assisting as beta please let me know.
Harry Potter is owned by JK Rowling et al. Anything you recognize is the intellectual property of these individuals and corporations. I am just having some fun.
Chapter 1: A Mother's Desperation
Lily Potter stared at the potion bottle in front of her. The iridescent pink colour gave no doubt to what she had previously only suspected. 'Pregnant, girl' were the only thoughts running through her mind. She cast her mind back to the last time she had sex, the first time in six months for her. Unfortunately it was not with the man she was married to.
- Six weeks prior - December 20th 1980 –
Lily had been on duty in the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore had requested she stay in the house for the evening as he was expecting some information from their spy within the Death Eater organisation and he had been called away on urgent business. Lily felt privileged that Dumbledore was willing to trust her with the identity of the secret spy and gather his or her report. She willingly took the oath not to reveal any details concerning the secret agent to anyone save on the orders of Dumbledore himself. Since the birth of Harry nearly five months prior, and during the later months of her pregnancy, Lily had been feeling increasingly as though she was not much help to the Order's mission. She was not able to go on rescue missions or scout possible Death Eater locations due to her condition and subsequent recovery. She realized her priorities should now be different as a wife and mother but she could not help feeling her life lacked the excitement and exhilaration that could only be felt out in the field, actively participating in the effort to bring down the evil Dark Lord Voldemort. She and James had been directly involved in three attempts to destroy once and for all the malevolent wizard. If it had not been for Peter Pettigrew's unfortunate sneezing fit alerting the Death Eaters to their presence, the last attempt would have been successful. They had been so close to their goal but luckily they had all gotten out safely.
She had prepared a basic healing kit as Dumbledore had explained the spy could arrive feeling the after effects of many different curses and may require medical treatment. She also had prepared a stack of parchment and plenty of ink and quills to take down notes from the report. She had learned a tricky little charm that would render any words written on the parchment to appear as shopping lists or charms notes to any eyes but her own until she could place the report directly into the hands of Dumbledore. She was as ready as she was going to be. Dumbledore had her waiting in a sitting room of the Order headquarters, explaining that the fireplace in that room was accessible by the Order's spy and no one else.
Lily was beyond shocked after waiting silently for 30 minutes to find the dishevelled form of her former best friend Severus Snape come tumbling through the floo and landing unmoving on the hearth rug. Snapping back to herself, she quickly administered a general healing draught and a pain relieving potion before levitating Severus to the couch. Once there she ran a diagnostic charm over him and was relieved to find the potions she had provided him would be enough for his recovery. She cast an enervate charm on Severus's person and breathed a small sigh of relief when he gasped and sat upright on the couch, breathing heavily.
Severus took in his surroundings and his already pale face whitened further as he drank in the sight of his secret love. "Lily?" he breathed.
"Yes, Severus. You are our spy?"
"Yes, Dumbledore recruited me several months ago and I have been providing him with information. He mentioned I would be giving my report to someone else tonight, he did not mention it would be you."
Lily looked upon her former friend with newly formed awe. She had listened reverently over the last months as Dumbledore had expounded upon the information received from this mysterious Death Eater. James had recently confided to Lily that their small family would have to go into hiding soon to ensure Harry's safety. She knew once this happened she would be cut off completely from any of the happenings and she was grasping any opportunity for adventure prior to having to disappear. Knowing there was a person so close to Voldemort who had 'seen the light' so to speak and was risking his or her life to bring them information that would ultimately lead to the evil wizard's downfall, it made her long for the intrigue and deception she had previously only read about. Taking this report was her final ditch effort in maintaining that feeling of usefulness to the cause.
Severus looked at Lily like a starving man looks at a feast. He had hoped he would come into contact with her again after he had confessed to Dumbledore his part in bringing Voldemort's attention onto Lily and her family. He had thought his wish was futile though and to see her in the flesh now, he was left wondering if his wish was better left unfulfilled. He saw her staring at him with open admiration and fleetingly wondered for the millionth time since he had begged her forgiveness and was refused what his life would be like right now if she had indeed forgiven him and become his friend once again. Would this night be spent in loving bliss with each other?
Lily suddenly snapped back into her Order persona. "Severus," she said briskly. "I am here to take your report of information to Dumbledore. Is there any further news you wish to impart?" Lily picked up a quill dipped it in the ink and hovered it over the page waiting for Severus to begin his report.
He started by detailing some upcoming raids and a new list of potential targets the Dark Lord was scouting. He hesitated with his big news. Could he trust her with this information? He decided to have faith in Dumbledore's selection and in his love. "I believe there may be a spy working the Order to bring information back to the Dark Lord," he revealed. "The last time I was here Dumbledore mentioned the aurors Frank and Alice Longbottom had a son at the end of July, the 30th I believe. No one had been aware of this as they had gone into hiding in April after Bellatrix Lestrange made direct threats against them. There was some sort of importance attached to the sex of their baby and it appears this has now been confirmed. Dumbledore was most insistent to me that this information was top secret and he would be sharing it only with the other Order members. The Dark Lord knew this information this evening. He has ordered all Death Eaters to be on the lookout for them and to alert him as to their whereabouts as soon as they are known."
Lily dutifully recorded Severus's comments. She had misgivings though. "I cannot believe there would be a spy among us Severus," she said. "Everyone involved with the Order knows the importance of bringing down Voldemort. I can't think of anyone who would betray us."
"Then you are a naïve fool, Lily. I am obvious proof that a person can change their viewpoint and bring information to the other side. History is rife with agents and double agents. There will always be people working both sides of a conflict. Hell, muggle entertainment deals with this sort of thing all the time – look at the success of the James Bond films. What people fail to realise is this is not glamorous work. I was a young fool who made a mistake and listened to the wrong people. I realised too late what I had done and every time I go in front of the Dark Lord I risk that this is the time he will find out I am betraying him and he will kill me when he finds it out."
Lily listened to Severus's impassioned words but still felt there was no way anyone in the Order would be disloyal. It just wasn't... Gryffindor. She supposed theoretically Severus could be right but she did not want to believe it. No, everyone in the Order was on the 'right' side and no one would turn dark.
"I suppose you have a point Severus," she conceded, knowing how stubborn he could be. "I will convey your message to Dumbledore as you have told me." Lily noticed a grimace of pain cross Severus's face. "Are you alright? I gave you a pain relief potion and a general healing potion when you came in. Is there anything else you need?"
"I may need some bruise salve. Some of the Death Eaters this evening were of a mind to physical violence and I received some kicks to my ribs. I think they may be bruised."
"I have some here. Take off your shirt and you can put some on." Lily turned around to her healing kit while Severus removed his robes and unbuttoned his shirt. Lily turned back around just as Severus removed the shirt from his shoulders, giving her an unhindered view of his toned, hairless chest and abdominal muscles, not to mention the defined muscles of his upper arms. Lily had a pleasurable inward shudder as she took in the masculine form in front of her, realising the boy she knew was now a man.
Even though Lily and James loved each other, since the birth of Harry they had not been intimate. Whenever Lily tried to initiate sex between them James would get squeamish as all he could think about was how their baby had come from there and how their baby drank from those and he would lose all desire for her. A kiss on the cheek and lots of hugs were all that passed for intimacy between them nowadays. She had not seen a naked chest in nearly six months. She drank in the sight of the man in front of her as though she was dying of thirst.
Severus noticed Lily's perusal of him and he tensed his muscles further, showing them to their full capacity. In a daze, Lily uncapped the bottle of bruise salve and rather than offering it to Severus to apply, dipped her fingers into the gel and began to smooth it over the bruises she could see. She stepped closer to him, breathing in the male scent mixed with sandalwood and spices. Without thinking she leaned in further and ran her tongue over his chest, stopping when she reached his nipple and started to lick and suck on it.
The repressed teenage part of Severus's brain was running around screaming in joy as his deepest fantasies were coming true. That Lily was now married to his hated nemesis, yet still giving him this kind of pleasure was the very thick icing on the gigantic cake in his head. He was not about to waste this opportunity! He lifted his hand and buried it in her long red tresses as he had always wanted to and lifted her head away from his chest. As they looked deep into each other's eyes, he slowly lowered his head and brought his lips to hers, for the first time tasting the sweetness of them against his own. Lily moaned and opened her mouth, inviting him to deepen their kiss. Severus answered with a thrust of his tongue into her mouth while simultaneously lifting her off her feet to bring her to his level. Lily wrapped her legs around his waist as he spun them around and walked to a convenient desk against the wall of the room.
He placed Lily on the surface of the desk and lifted her shirt over her head. As he reached behind her to unclasp her bra, she reached for his belt and started to unbuckle it. Both of them unbuttoned and removed their own pants and final undergarments until there was no barrier left between them.
Their lovemaking was frantic and almost animalistic. This was not about tender and romantic feelings, more about sating a lust that had suddenly and completely overcome them. Lily was soon crying out in her climax, Severus following shortly after.
"Oh, Lily," Severus panted. "That was better than my dreams." Lily gasped as she suddenly realised what she had done. It was as though Severus's voice had broken a spell they were under. Her eyes widened, she pushed Severus away from her body and frantically began to gather her clothes and redress.
"Severus, we should never – I am a married woman – I can't believe," Lily was flustered as the enormity of her actions began to weigh down upon her. She quickly gathered her notes and with a final, sorrowful look at Severus, she apparated away. He never saw her in life again.
- Present Day -
A gurgle and laugh from the playpen in the corner brought her out of her thoughts. "Oh Harry, what am I going to do?" She walked over and picked up her six-month-old son. They had been in hiding now for three weeks. James was very evasive every time she asked for a reason why they had cut themselves off completely from most of the people they knew. James would always just tell her that Dumbledore said it was in their best interests to hide. Dumbledore's word was law in their household. He had kindly provided them with a safe house and allowed it to be placed under the Fidelius charm while they were occupying it.
Their secret was entrusted to Peter Pettigrew, a long time friend of James's. Once the Fidelius had been cast they authorised him to disclose the secret to Sirius Black, James's best friend and Harry's Godfather. They also allowed several Order members, Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and their former transfiguration Professor Minerva McGonagall among a select few others to know the secret as well. James felt they were as safe as they could be.
Lily felt differently. She wasn't sure but she had a strange sense of foreboding ever since they had entered this house. She had discovered some ancient tomes in the attic and was currently researching ways to make them even safer. If not for her and James then at least some lasting protections for Harry. She knew if anything happened to either of them, Harry would be well cared for by Sirius. He simply doted on the baby.
Her thoughts now however were on the tiny life she carried within her. There was no doubt in her mind that this little girl was the child of Severus Snape. What could she do? She had not been intimate with James for a long time and this was not likely to change. She had nearly given up trying anymore. She decided to sit and think logically. She took Harry up to his nursery which overlooked the backyard. She could see James and Sirius out there mock duelling. Positioning her rocking chair so she could see if the men returned to the house she began to talk to Harry, thinking aloud as she went through the various options available to her.
Harry looked at his mummy as she began talking. He loved the sound of her voice – it was comforting and made him feel happy and safe. His emerald green eyes were focused on her face and he waved his little fists around as she talked.
"Well, abortion is not even an option," she began. "Neither is telling James what happened. I know there are ways to conceal a pregnancy, that girl in Hufflepuff in seventh year had concealment charms placed on her so no one would know. They only told me because I was Head Girl so I could deflect any rumours that might start. That might be the way to go. I don't seem to be suffering morning sickness like I was with you, if I do I will just say its stress from our situation, James will believe that. When it's time to have the baby… shit, that's not going to work. I have to tell someone so they can get me out of he- wait, the book!"
Lily withdrew her wand from inside her robes. "Accio Ancient Mother's Spells and Incantations." The heavy book soon came sailing through the door to the nursery. Lily caught the book with her wand and guided it gently to the table next to her. Adjusting Harry in her arms she reached towards the book and started flipping through the pages. "Where is it…? I know I saw it," she murmured as she turned the pages of the ancient text. "Aha! Here it is. How to hide your loved one in the past." Lily quickly read through the background of the spell and the requirements to incant it.
Basically, it allowed the caster and one loved one to travel back in time with the caster forced to return exactly four days after arriving in the past, in the same place five seconds after the original spell was cast. Lily was confident she would be able to perform this spell. She could conceal her pregnancy, wait until she was almost ready to give birth then go back in time and hide her baby away somewhere. Maybe 30 or 40 years would be good… her thoughts stalled as she read further into the text. A pregnant woman could only travel back in time by two years. "Damn! OK, well, Little One, you will only have one grand parent who was magical. Maybe that gives you a better chance of being non-magical yourself. If I go back two years, I can have you in a muggle hospital as a Jane Doe. I will cast some glamours on myself that make it appear as though I was assaulted or something and have lost my memory. Once you are born I can ensure you look nothing like your father or I and then let the muggle authorities handle an adoption for you.
"Yes, I think that will be the safest plan for all of us. I am sorry my Little One that you can't be part of our lives but we are all in so much danger now, if James finds out and casts us out we will be in even greater danger and Severus is not in a position to be able to help us at all. He needs to stay where he is helping our cause and bringing peace to our world. If you do turn out to be a witch then I will see what the situation is then and work out what to do. If not then it is a moot point and you will be better off with muggles."
It was breaking Lily's heart to be making plans such as these but she could not see any other way for the situation to unfold. This way would be best for all of them.
- Seven and a Half Months Later - September 18th 1981 -
Lily gasped and snapped the quill she was writing with as a sharp pain rippled through her stomach. James looked up from the newspaper he was reading and asked if she was ok.
"Yes, James. I think I might be having a cramp. You know… women's issues." Predictably her husband buried his head quickly back into his newspaper and said "OK, um, you just go sort yourself out. I'll make you a cup of tea." He threw the newspaper down on the table and bolted for the kitchen. At 21 years of age, James had not yet gotten over his phobia of 'women's issues'. Lily had made good use of these in the past seven months while hiding her pregnancy. All had gone well and she knew the pain she had just experienced was the onset of labour. She had her plan set for weeks.
She quickly went into the bathroom and locked the door. She put up a silencing charm for good measure. As far as anything was concerned at this end she would only be gone for five seconds. She had previously placed a shrunken bag of muggle clothes and a few bits and pieces she knew muggles carried around. She made sure there were no identifying papers or anything amongst them. She quickly removed the concealment charms from her mid section and applied a glamour to her features. Her hair shortened to shoulder length and became a dark brown colour. Her eyes changed to brown and her freckles disappeared save for a few across her nose. Satisfied with her looks, she then caused a lump to appear on the side of her head, a few bruises around the edge of her face and two large ones – one on her left arm, the other on her left hip. Satisfied it looked like she had taken a fall, she then started the incantation to return her exactly two years into the past.
Lily popped into existence in an alleyway two streets from the City of London Maternity Hospital. She knew this hospital took transient patients and she thought she looked dishevelled enough not to raise suspicions about why she would be there. As she exited the alleyway another contraction ripped through her body and her waters broke. She grasped the wall of the building and groaned at the pain she felt.
Suddenly there were soft arms around her shoulders and a concerned voice came to her ears. "Honey, are you alright?"
Lily looked into the face of a young woman, only a few years older than herself. She decided to take the opportunity for some help. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't remember anything. I think I fell in the alley and my baby is coming!"
"Oh, Honey. OK, let's get you around to the maternity hospital, its close by. Don't worry, I'm a dentist." Lily looked at the woman incredulously. "I know that sounds kind of weird in this situation but I have taken a semester of training in medical emergencies as part of my degree and I think this qualifies." The woman started to gently guide Lily away from the building she was propped against. "Do you think you can walk? We are about 500 yards from the hospital or do you want me to hail a taxi?"
"No, I think I can walk," Lily said. "I'll let you know if it's a problem."
"OK, we'll take it slow. My name's Mary Granger by the way, what's yours?"
Lily furrowed her brow as if in deep thought. "I don't know." She added a hysterical edge to her voice. "Why don't I know? I can't remember!" She started to tear up.
Mary's arms came around her in support again. "Sshh, it's OK. Maybe you hit your head when you fell. It could have affected your memory a bit and with the shock of going into labour suddenly, well that might not help."
Lily felt guilty at deceiving this kind woman who had no reason to help her. They began to walk towards the hospital. "Am I taking you away from something important?" Lily asked.
"No, I was just coming from a doctor's appointment then going home. I can call my husband from the hospital and let him know I will be a while. I will stay with you as long as you need." Mary knew the young girl was scared, labour on top of a head injury causing memory loss and who knew what else could potentially be wrong. Mary vowed to see this through to the end if necessary – even just to hold the girl's hand if she wanted.
"But don't you have children to get home to?"
"No, Michael and I haven't been blessed with a child yet. Maybe one day, but not now." Mary did not mention the doctor's appointment she had just come from was the final prognosis that she would never bear a child from her own body. She had been in a horse riding accident when she was a teenager and it appeared that damage had been done to her reproductive organs. At the time they thought she had been lucky to come away with no serious injuries but this one just sat silently, dormant until she required the use of the affected area of the body. Mary believed what was meant to be, will be. She and Michael were already in the process to adopt a baby; this news would actually push their application higher as they could not have children of their own.
This was not the time to dwell on these thoughts though. This young woman needed her help here and now. "Well Honey, I don't think I can keep calling you that. Is there a name you like that I can call you? Or would you like me to choose one?"
"You choose one please," said Lily.
"Well, I always liked the name Hermione. 'A Winter's Tale' is my favourite Shakespeare play and I always thought that I would like that name for my daughter."
"It's pretty. You may call me that if you like until I can remember my name."
They turned the corner and came in sight of the hospital. "We're nearly there now, just a bit further," Mary encouraged 'Hermione'. Lily looked up in relief at the large building. They continued to make their way slowly towards the hospital doors.
Once inside, Lily was gripped with another contraction. As she bent over grasping her stomach nurses came running to help. Mary gave a concise explanation of everything that had happened so far and they admitted Lily with a minimum of fuss, even going so far as to write 'Hermione Doe' on her admission forms as she pretended she still couldn't remember what her name was. Mary offered her contact details as a temporary measure until they could work out who she was. Mary felt in her innermost self that the events of today were going to affect her whole life.
Several hours later and 'Hermione' was now in active labour. She was seven centimetres dilated and her contractions were coming three minutes apart. A doctor looked up from his examination. "Well, Hermione. I don't think it will be too much longer. Your midwife will be back soon and I think your little one will be making their presence known within the next two hours or so."
'Hermione' leaned back in the bed while Mary dabbed a cool cloth along her forehead. Michael had come to the hospital at about 7pm to join Mary as 'Hermione's' support. He was amused when he was introduced to the young girl. He knew Mary's deep desire for a daughter of that name. He hoped one day to oblige her.
Lily had been talking to Mary on and off all day while she waited with her. She now knew of Mary and Michael's situation and a germ of an idea had come into her head. She knew from reading different health books and pamphlets of her sister's once that she could request a social worker to talk to after the baby was born. She hoped since Mary and Michael were already in the adoption process, she could convince the social worker to give her daughter to them for adoption. She knew all the procedures would have to be followed to the letter but if she could sign the paperwork over in the next couple of days before she disappeared there might be a chance her baby could go to these wonderful people who had just dropped everything in their lives today to help a complete stranger through a difficult time. Especially knowing the information Mary had just received before they came across each other, she could think of no better people to raise her daughter than these two kind, compassionate people. Michael had already offered her houseroom if needed until things could be sorted out.
Another hour and a half of conversation and contractions had passed and Lily was now in the final stages of her labour. She was pushing on each contraction and Mary and Michael were in full 'father' mode at the head of the bed with Lily, encouraging her and supporting her back while she gave birth to her daughter. It had just gone midnight when Lily braced herself and gave a final push to bring her daughter into the world. As with any newborn she startled and began screaming at the sudden cold air after being snug and warm in her mother's womb for nine months. She was quickly cleaned and weighed and given to Lily to hold.
"What are you going to call her Hermione?" asked the midwife.
Lily looked at Mary and smiled. "Hermione," she said. "Once I get my memory back it will be a nice reminder of these wonderful people who helped me." Mary smiled down at the new mother and baby.
Once all the excitement had died down and Lily had been moved to a private room there was time for a bit of reflection. Mary and Michael had gone away with promises to return the next day to see how she was and left instructions to call them if she needed anything. Lily looked down at the tiny bundle in her arms and could not stop the tears from falling.
"You look so much like your father," she said to the tiny baby. Like Harry, the beginnings of emerald green eyes were looking up at her and baby Hermione clearly had her nose and chin, but the rest of her was her father. 'My genes must not be very strong,' she thought drily.
She reached for her bag which had been placed in a cabinet next to her bed. Concealed inside was her wand. She looked at the baby and performed some complex glamour charms on her to make her look similar to the way Lily looked currently. She made the charms such that in the coming weeks the baby's looks would change so she had brown hair and brown eyes, her facial features would be changed so it was thought she would resemble her 'father' and she set her future growth and build to be average, if a bit on the smaller side.
These charms would only be lifted upon such time as Hermione found out the truth of her parentage. The only way for this to happen was for her to brew an extremely complicated potion that even Masters balked at or to hear it from Lily herself so she was confident her plan would be successful.
Lily spent the next few days recovering from the birth of her daughter. Mary and Michael had been in to see her daily and told her about the room they had prepared for her and Hermione if she wanted it. She had spoken at length with a social worker about her situation and how she did not feel comfortable raising a child not knowing who she was or where she came from.
She had to put on quite an act but she felt she had convinced the social worker of what she wanted. The adoption agency Mary and Michael were registered with had been contacted and Lily had signed papers to start proceedings. She knew the baby would be going into foster care for six weeks as was standard procedure and all involved were happy with how things were proceeding. At this stage the Granger's had not been told anything, they were still under the impression 'Old Hermione' and baby Hermione would be coming home with them for the foreseeable future.
Lily was in the hospital room on her own for the moment. She knew the time for her to return was soon upon her. She looked down at her baby, already starting to take on the characteristics she had charmed into her. "Just know I will always love you and I have done what I did to give you the best chance and to protect you," she said. "This way is best for everyone, Severus can't take care of you in his situation and I know James would not let you in the house. I can't have Harry grow up with no female influence and I know you will be going to the best parents possible. They will love you so much and protect you as you grow up. Maybe one day we will meet again but somehow, I doubt it. I will love you forever, Little One."
With that, Lily placed Hermione into her crib and bent to kiss her softly on the head. As she stood she felt herself start to move through time and space back to the bathroom where she had been four days ago. She changed back into the clothes she had on, cancelled the glamour spells, removed the silencing and locking charms and returned to the kitchen. "You do look a bit peaky," James said as he handed her a cup of tea. "Why don't you go lie down for the rest of the day, I'll watch Harry." Lily reached up and gave James a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, I think I will." She slowly made her way upstairs, lay down and cried herself to sleep over her loss.
Meanwhile, two years in the past, chaos was reigning in the City of London Maternity Hospital where it appeared a mother had just walked out of the hospital, abandoning her baby. In hindsight, the social worker and the representatives from the adoption agency felt a few things fall into place at the sudden disappearance of the young mother. A foster carer was immediately procured and the application for the Grangers to adopt the baby was fast tracked. The Grangers themselves were shocked that this development had occurred. They had already found they loved this little baby and her mother and were devastated their initial impressions of her had been so wrong. What could have impelled her to this course of action? Mary in particular fretted over all the conversations she had had with older 'Hermione' and was finally satisfied she had not encouraged this action nor had any indication it was going to occur.
All the requisite paperwork and court documents were summarily filed and finally six weeks later on Wednesday October 31 1979, baby Hermione Doe, daughter of Hermione Doe born at the City of London Maternity Hospital on September 19 1979 became Hermione Jean Granger, adopted daughter of Mary and Michael Granger, dentists. The little family returned to their home in Oxford and began their life.
What was that exact same six weeks to Lily, two years in the future, ended with the casting of the Avada Kedavra curse towards her by Voldemort. Her final act had been to place the ancient blood protection on Harry and she died, secure in the knowledge that both her children would be safe and protected for many years to come.
A/N: This chapter and chapter 16 have been revised slightly to remove material previously of a more detailed sexual nature as required by this site. All other story content has remained the same. I believe this story will no longer contravene the guidelines. I am happy to discuss this with anyone who wishes via PM.