A/N: Sadly enough I did not manage to get the rights of Harry Potter before publishing this story.
Attack at Lionfire Hall
James was wandering over the battlements of the inner wall of Lionfire Hall. The wall was easily sixty feet high and twenty feet wide and surrounded all the buildings that formed the ancestral home of the Potters. Several of the larger buildings were actually attached to the inner side of the wall, but others stood free. In the long shadows of the setting sun it almost looked like a spooky miniature village.
On the other side of the wall was an extensive garden filled with trees, statues and a few ponds. Then, about five hundred feet away from the inner wall was the even bigger outer wall. Often people mentioned how Hogwarts and Gringotts were the safest places of the United Kingdom. But James knew better. When Lionfire Hall was in its defensive configuration it was pretty much invulnerable.
Of course, it also made it a pain to receive visitors, because he needed to give every single visitor access by a fifteen minute ritual. Sirius, Remus and Peter usually just stayed for a couple of days each time. Beside that, the house elves had a lot of trouble with their shopping. So Timmy and Jenny only went out once a month.
Also, floo travel from and to the Hall was impossible right now. And only specially designated portkeys made by him or Lily could pass the wards.
Still, despite all those irritating drawbacks, Lionfire Hall had been locked down for over a year now. Pretty much since the birth of his little son Harry. A little more then a month ago they had celebrated his first birthday. Sadly only the marauders and the Longbottoms had visited them because of all the wards that had to be passed.
His mind wandered back to that afternoon a year ago. Harry had just been a week old when Lily and he received a summon from Dumbledore, their former headmaster and of course the leader of the Order of the Phoenix.
He remembered how surprised he had been when they arrived at his office and the headmaster's eyes had not even twinkled. Of course, as soon as the Longbottoms arrived he quickly learned the reason for that. He could still see, even feel, the words of the prophecy in his mind:
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
Both Lily and he had never really cared about divination. But they had to agree with Dumbledore that they could not ignore this prophecy. Frank and Alice Longbottom were also members of the order. And just like them, they had defied the dark lord three times. Strange enough their own son, Neville, was also born at the end of July. One day before Harry. Apparently, one of them had the potential to destroy Voldemort. The dark lord that had run his terror almost unchecked through Britain's wizarding world, despite Dumbledore's best attempts to stop him.
It was an odd idea to him that Harry might have that kind of power, although he had already surprised his parents a few times with accidental magic. Mostly summoning his stuffed marauder toys towards himself, but still… it was impressive. Yet, at that afternoon in the headmaster's office he had wanted to dismiss the idea until Dumbledore mentioned that a death eater had overheard the first part of the prophecy before his brother had tossed him out of the Hogs Head tavern.
That changed things… A lot.
They had immediately returned to Lionfire Hall and activated the defensive spells and wards. The Longbottoms had simply hidden Longbottom Manor behind a fidelius charm. Dumbledore had volunteered as their secret keeper. It was a much easier way to defend against the dark lord. And much more comfortable since they could just add their friends to the wards. But it was also more vulnerable. If Dumbledore somehow told the secret to a death eater he would be able to simply walk inside the manor. Of course, that was unlikely. But another risk was often overlooked for this charm. If Dumbledore died during the war all people that learned the location of Longbottom Manor from him would become secret keepers. And although James could not imagine a force strong enough to kill Albus Dumbledore it was still a risk. They were at war after all, and Dumbledore was not the type to avoid the frontlines.
He was interrupted in his musings by soft footsteps and a voice: "Hey James, I just received a message from Dumbledore."
Turning around he saw his wife standing there. As always he had trouble tearing his eyes away from her lovely green eyes. Harry's eyes were just the same by now, although they had been blue at his birth. However, right now those lovely eyes looked worried.
"What's wrong Lily? Did anything happen to your sister?" She barely talked to her sister anymore. But after both their parents were killed by death eaters Lily's sister Petunia was their only living relative. They had offered her the protection of Lionfire Hall, but she and her husband had frantically refused.
"No." Lily replied, now softy crying. "Dumbledore told me he has a death eater spy. And apparently that spy told him that Voldemort decided the prophecy is about our Harry."
James stiffened for a few seconds before he stepped forward and enclosed Lily in his arms. "Ssst, it is okay. He can not touch us here. We are safe at the Hall." He wished his parents had never left that safety. They had died two years ago when visiting Diagon Alley. He could have used them now.
"But…" Lily stammered, "Can it be really safe enough? When Voldemort wants to get in? You know how powerful he is."
Yes, he knew that. After three narrow escapes. But he had faith in Lionfire Hall. "In all the history of our family none of our enemies ever came past the outer wall. And even if they did, we have quite a few surprises waiting for them." He tried to reassure both Lily and himself. Sadly, the formidable fortress of Lionfire Hall had not kept the Potters alive. Like Dumbledore, they were made to man the frontlines, and many of them died there. Two of his uncles without leaving any children. Now, his own little family was all that remained of the once large family.
"Did Dumbledore say anything else?" James asked.
"It seems the dark lord only knows the first two lines of the prophecy. So just enough to find out about our Harry." Lily replied.
James nodded, it would have been much better if that stupid death eater spy had only heard the last two lines. If he ever found out who reported that part of the prophecy to Voldemort there would be hell to pay. Suddenly, a strange thought entered his mind. Lily noticed somehow and softly she asked: "What's the matter James?"
"I was wondering if Voldemort was much of a seer." He started to explain and when Lily only frowned: "Then I wondered how much Dumbledore really knows about divination. I mean, I thought he disliked the subject?"
Lily shrugged: "I think he mentioned that sometime yeah, but why does it matter? I do not really care about divination either. But the prophecy seems clear enough, and if Voldemort believes it means our Harry it does not really matter anyhow."
James slowly shook his head: "No, that is not really true. Prophecies are always unclear for the untrained eye. A real seer could probably make more sense of it. Although they are hard to find… I think there is one in Australia. Might have to look that up though. I can not believe I did not think of this before."
Lily blinked a few times and he could almost hear the wheels in her head turning around. Eventually she admitted: "It is probably a muggleborn thing. But why should we care about what a seer thinks of it?"
"Because he could fill in the blanks so to speak. Maybe give us an idea of what this 'power the dark lord knows not' and stuff like that." James tried to explain.
"Oh, I see." Lily nodded, before she suddenly turned serious again: "But right now it will not really help us. Right? I mean, whatever power Harry has there is no way that he is going to stop the dark lord until he at least has his NEWTs."
James chuckled at the idea of their one year old son defeating the dark lord somehow. It was ridiculous of course. "True enough. But as I said, we will be safe enough here."
Lily was obviously not convinced because she asked: "Are you sure we can not do a fidelius charm? Just to be sure?" Like Dumbledore, she put a lot of faith in that particular charm. James himself had more faith in the deathly wards of Lionfire Hall.
He shook his head: "No, it will interfere with the wards of the Hall. But as I said there is no reason to be afraid."
With a sigh she said: "Well, I guess you know. Anyway, if you do not mind I will keep working on those rings for a while. I think I almost got them done."
"Good idea, if only because we will have to move outside sometime. They will be useful then." James agreed. His brilliant wife was trying to add a modified portkey charm to both their wedding rings and a small necklace that she was going to give to Harry. If one of them would activate their own portkey it would immediately transport all three of them to a save location. Even if they were in different locations to begin with.
After a short goodbye kiss Lily turned around to walk back to her study. Most likely she would go and look at Harry first. Although Jenny, their female house elf, was most likely sitting at his crib.
Lily was only three steps away when suddenly a loud gong sounded. She turned sharply around and asked: "What is that?"
James was also turning around, trying to find the source of the noise. He had never heard it before, but it was unlikely to be a good sign.
Any doubts were erased when Timmy the house elf appeared between them with a loud pop. In his squeaky voice he shouted: "The main gate is under attack by a wizard."
James cursed before he ran into that direction. Lily did not even reprimand him for his curse, which she had done quite a lot since Harry was born.
After a short run they reached a spot from which they could see the main gate inside the outer wall. The huge wooden gates were glowing in a soft yellow light.
"Are they burning?" Lily asked, panic obvious in her voice.
"No, the wards are fending off attacks. Nothing too serious yet." James replied, hopefully his voice was a bit calmer. Once, when he was about fifteen, his father had asked him and Sirius to bombard the gate with spells. They had done their best but all their spells had failed to make an impression. Of course, they were only two teenagers at the time… but none the less it was shocking to see those gates yellow after only seconds. If they turned red there would be a serious risk of them breaking down. "Timmy? How bad is it?"
The house elf was linked to the wards somehow. He squeaked: "Not too bad. The gate can hold like this for a week or so. The wards on it are the strongest one we haves. Oh, Jenny is watching over young master Potter."
James nodded, it was at times like this that he was happy that Timmy and Jenny were part of the family instead of slaves like many of their fellow house elves. If only because of the better speech patterns.
It seemed their attacker realised how strong the gate wards were, because suddenly the yellow glow disappeared. "You think he gave up?" James wondered.
"Voldemort? Highly unlikely." Lily replied softly.
Sure enough only seconds later large balls of orange energy started flying over the wall, only to splatter apart harmlessly against the sphere formed outer ward that covered all of the estate. It even continued below the ground. The orange balls combined with the blue parts of the ward that showed up on impact created a nice firework show. Especially because every second a new orange ball crashed into the wards. Most at exactly the same spot.
"This is worse master James." Timmy said, "If he keeps doing this for five hours or so the ward will most likely go down."
James blinked: "Five hours? That is impossible. Those wards resisted a small dark army for twenty hours until reinforcements arrived and swept them away back in 1645."
Timmy just shrugged and Lily whispered: "Even Voldemort can not use that much energy for five hours in a row… right?"
"I certainly hope so." James agreed. He was still shocked that one wizard could even handle that much energy for five seconds. Let alone five hours. But for now the rain of orange balls kept coming.
"If he is still doing this in thirty minutes we will activate our other defences." James continued, thinking about all the catapults and other surprises hidden between the outer and inner walls.
Timmy nodded grimly and Lily started to ask about those defences when suddenly the orange balls started appearing about a much larger area. All of the northern side of the wall was now attacked. Or the air above it at least.
"Merlin's foggiest crystal ball!" He shouted, "This is impossible!"
"Timmy? How long?" Lily asked, her voice almost as squeaky as the house elves reply of: "Maybe an hour if we are lucky."
"Are you sure there is only one attacker?" James asked. Timmy only nodded. Silently James had to admit that he was impressed by the sheer power that Voldemort was showing. Of course, he would never admit that out loud. Eventually he said: "Activate the defences in twenty minutes. Hopefully he is a bit tired by then."
Right now Voldemort would only laugh about their defences. It made him feel oddly vulnerable. But this amount of power wielded by one wizard was unheard of. Suddenly he wondered what that would mean for Harry, if he really was supposed to beat this monster someday.
Then, suddenly, the attacks stopped. All at once the air above the wall turned to a dull black now that the sun had finally set and Voldemort was not providing his light show anymore. Seconds later Timmy said: "He's gone. Apparated away."
Lily's voice was shaking a bit when she said: "James? We need to think of something. This was just a test run, he will be back."
He was not quite sure of his own voice when he replied: "Yes. I agree. Let's send an owl to Dumbledore… and maybe to the Longbottoms as well. I do not want to leave the Hall right now."
Lily nodded in agreement and he asked: "Timmy? How long for the wards to recharge?"
"About twenty minutes on the main gates. Maybe an hour on the outer ward." The elf answered calmly. Strange enough he seemed more at ease than both Lily and James.
James nodded: "Right. Lily, if you go check on Harry I will send the owls and add some encoded portkeys. I'll meet you at Harry's room after that."
It would take the owls a couple of hours to reach Dumbledore and the Longbottoms. Just to be sure he would send a message to Sirius as well. Hopefully Voldemort would not return before that time.
A/N: Here we go again. A very different setting this time. Let me know what you think of it. Hopefully I will be able to provide weekly updates once more.
After some complaints about the way I handled reviews and an insane growth of the number of reviews I decided to create a forum on which I reply to reviews. It can be found by following the link in my profile.
Of course I hope people will still review on this website;) After all, I think a high review count attracts new readers and as an author that only makes me happy.