Our story begins on July 31 1980, when a beautiful red haired woman gave birth to two babies born as twins to James and Lily Potter.
The firstborn baby had jet black hair like his father, but he had his mothers emerald green eyes that swirled with both mischief and intelligence, the best characteristics of both his parents all packed into one little bundle of energy known at this time as Harry James Potter. He was truly a wonderful baby and always full of energy, he loved to play with his parents, and they loved him back in turn. He loved the attention his parents gave him, but he didn't mind it when they left him alone, he understood that they needed to take care of his twin and have some time to themselves. He seemed to understand things quickly and his parents both soon discovered that he seemed to be a prodigy in almost everything he did. He was, not that she would ever admit it, truly his mother's favorite child.
The same could be said about Rodney Charles Potter and their father. They where always together when Lily was with Harry, and through the time they spent together they got to know each other as well as a baby and a full grown man possibly could. Yet through all this they never attained the special bond that was held dear between Harry and Lily. Rodney had little tufts red hair on the top of his head like his mother and had his fathers hazel eyes, although unlike his elder twin his eyes did not shine with intelligence or mischief, rather they looked rather dull and uncomprehending, as if he didn't understand things even a baby should. In the end they just put it down to the fact that they where comparing him with Harry, who would make any baby look dumb if they where compared to his intelligence level.
I suppose you could say that both parents took one of the children to raise while the other parent raised the other child. The good thing about this is that it was easier on the parents to care for one child than for two, and that the parents got to bond with the child they where raising. The downfall was that neither parent really got to know the child that their counterpart was raising.
The parents were as happy as could be raising twins, and considered them selves the luckiest people in the world at the moment. They vowed to give both children the best childhood they could possibly offer. They pampered and loved both children with all their heart, and life seemed to be at its best.
Nothing could possibly go wrong in their lives, they thought.
How very, very wrong they were.
If anyone had known what was to come in one years time they would have done anything to prevent that horrible and tragic event that was to take place on October 31 1981, an event that would forever change the world.
Lily Potter (nee Evans) sat in the living room of the cottage in Gordric's Hollow with her children as she read her copy of charms international and the children played on the floor. It seemed that reading was all she ever did these days, seeing as she was in hiding and didn't have very many other options on what to do. Usually she would spend some time bickering with James for old times sake, but that wasn't possible at the moment.
You see, James was away that night at an order meeting with Dumbledore and the Longbottoms to discuss a prophecy that had been made about one of their children, but that meant that Lily had to stay home with the twins and watch over them.
Not that she minded of course, she loved her children with all her heart, she loved the times when she got to see her little boys play together, it just made her heart swell with joy, but she always felt useless and as if she could be doing more for the war effort. However she knew that there was nothing that could be said about it since there was no way that she was leaving her children with anyone other than someone she absolutely trusted, and sadly there where very few people who fit that description. In times like these you could never tell who could be a spy or a traitor for the enemy. It was because of this fact that she was unwilling to leave her children with anyone unsupervised. Even the boys godfathers where watched closely at times. Besides, there was no way in hell that would or could take her away from her children and if staying with them meant sitting on the sidelines while others did all the work when she could be helping, then so be it, nothing could separate her family while she was alive. And she didn't plan on leaving this plane of existence anytime soon.
At the moment the boys where trying to learn some new vocabulary and they where currently trying to form proper sentences. Well, for Harry anyway. He was trying to form proper sentences while his twin was trying to get their mom to feed him some more by waving his arms around and crying out like the baby he was. However, Harry was getting increasingly annoyed with his brothers whinny fit (something that he no longer saw fit to do for himself) and even though he had more patience than the average one year old, he was still a child and he had very little of that patience left.
"Rodnie, why you always so woud! You huwt mei eaws! Stowp it!" Harry complained to his twin.
Rodney stopped briefly and looked at Harry dumbly before going back to his crying, even more desperate than before.
Harry sighed in frustration at his failed attempt to stop his annoying twin and was about to try again when Lily came back into the room. Seeing that both her children where getting frustrated she decided that it was time for them to go to bed.
"Okay boys, time to hit the hay." She tells them, but Harry looks at her oddly.
"Hit tha hai? But thawt would huwt tha hai! Hitting is bawd mommy!" Cries a confused and upset Harry. What was his mommy thinking, saying strange stuff like that?
Lily was amused at Harry's train of thought and proud that her son thought hitting was bad. She laughed at his confusion and explained it to him.
"You don't actually hit hay bails Harry, it means that its bed time." She told him.
"Oh," says Harry as he processes this information before a grin breaks out on his face when he looks at her and says "Owkay den, wets hit da hay!
Lily laughs for the second time that night as she picks up her boys to bring them to their room.
"That's a good boy Harry, now lets get you and your brother ready for bed."
After getting the boys ready for bed Lily put them in their separate cribs and sang lullabies until they fell asleep. She stayed in their room and just stared lovingly at the faces of her two children for a few minutes before she left the room.
When she reached the living room she was about to pick up her charms international when she realized that something didn't seem right. The sounds of Halloween that should have been outside where missing, and there was an eerie feeling all around her, a feeling that radiated fear and power, demanded respect and awe.
It was then that one horrifying thought ran across Lily's mind:
He's come for us.
With that thought stuck in her mind she ran to the room with the boys in it as fast as her legs would carry her, and as she arrived at their room she heard a great bang as the front door was blown off its hinges signaling that the Dark Lord had arrived.
Harry had woken up from his brief slumber when his mommy had run into his room, and quickly realized that something had to be wrong. Usually he would ask mommy what was wrong but he hadn't mastered the art of whispering yet and usually would talk very loudly, but he sensed that making any noise right now would be unwise for his wellbeing.
Rodney however had no such thoughts and started whining as loud as possible, thus immediately giving away their position to the Dark Lord.
Knowing that there was very little time left for her to protect her children Lily started to barricade the door by magically levitating every thing in the room to the space in front of the to slow the Dark Lords progress, if only a little.
Despite all her efforts to stop it, Lily was having a panic attack and could barely think straight, and thus her efforts did very little to slow Voldemort, for no doubt was left in her mind that this was truly the Dark Lord himself and not a normal Death Eater raid.
Voldemort cut through her defenses like a hot knife through butter and in no time he had her cornered against the wall next to the cribs that held the two things most precious to her in the world: her children.
Not being able to resist the chance to antagonize his victim, Voldemort decided a little taunting was in order.
"So," he began, "how does it feel? How does it feel to let down your children, leaving them here to die alone at my hands? How does it feel to know you failed them, left them to die here tonight? You didn't even put up a decent fight against me. You have failed them, mudblood. You've failed them as their mother. It's a shame really, they could have had potential you know." He states while looking into the crib holding the two children.
Lily sat there shocked from his words. He was right she thought. She had failed them as a mother. She was just sitting there in the corner while the darkest wizard of the century was about to kill her children and she wa…
He was about to kill her children.
That one horrible thought dispelled any and all fear she had previously felt towards the dark lord. Rather than feel fear towards the man standing in front of her, she now felt hatred. Pure and burning hatred.
How dare he? How dare he just stroll into their home and murder her babies? Well she wouldn't allow it.
She knew that she stood little to no chance at even surviving the duel ahead of her, much less winning it. Yet she also knew that loosing this duel meant losing both the lives of her children as well as her own, but hell would freeze over before Lily Potter would go down without a fight.
Gathering all her Gryffindor courage and steeling her nerves for what was about to come, Lily Potter rose from the ground, prepared to fight for the lives of her two infant children.
Not yet seen by Voldemort, Lily shot the most powerful spell she knew at the Dark Lord.
"Concussio Maxima!" shouts Lily, not caring that she just gave the Dark Lord a warning of what was coming at him.
Looking up just in time to see a bright orange concussion curse coming at him, the Dark Lord had no time to dodge or raise a shield and was promptly thrown backwards by the power of the spell, smashing through the wall and into the hallway.
Mentally cursing himself for getting distracted in the presences of a potentially dangerous enemy, Voldemort got up painfully and dusted himself off. Oh, he was done playing around now. The mudblood had really done it now. He didn't care how much Severus might have pleaded and begged him to spare her for she was going to die in the most painful way he could possibly imagine. And that's saying something.
Now that he had his full attention on her, Lily knew that she had sealed her fate. There was no way that she could take on the Dark Lord with his full attention and power focused on her alone. Resistance was futile and there as no way that she could flee now, so she did the only thing that she could.
She fell to her knees and begged him to spare her children.
"Stand aside stupid girl, and I will make your demise less painful for you." Voldemort told her, fully intending to kill her either way.
"I am here for your youngest child,*" He began." Tell me, which is the child I am looking for." He calmly ordered.
Completely unwilling to give up the information on her children, Lily jumped between her baby boys and Voldemort in an attempt to shield them.
"Please, I will do anything, just don't hurt my babies!" Lily cries out desperately.
Finally losing his patience with the woman, Voldemort decides that her time in this life up.
"Fine, I will find out myself. Avada Kedavra!"
As those words left his mouth, a sickly green beam of light shot towards the woman who had given up her life for her children, the woman who had turned down the chance of possibly living a day longer in favor of saving her sons.
As the beam was just about to hit her Lily prayed to what ever deity that may be listening that her children would survive the night and grow up happily and peacefully. When the bright green beam of death finally hit her Lily felt her lifeforce being sucked from her body, her soul being torn from its vessel. She struggled to keep her soul from being torn away from this plane of existence but soon found it to be useless. She was dying. But before she could be pulled away completely she prayed for that one last wish; for her babies to be protected. She willed for her magic and soul to shield them, for her very essence to stop harm from touching them.
At first she thought she had failed, that her boys were still open to harms way, but then she saw a tin golden layer of pure magic surrounding them. In fact it was so thin that if you hadn't been looking for it you wouldn't have seen it at all. But as soon as it was there it was gone, leaving everything as it was before. Lily was sure that it had been there though, and smiled a small smile before fading into the land of the dead.
Now that he had disposed of the only possible threat and barrier between him and his goal, the Dark Lord strolled up to the crib holding his targets. As he looked into the crib he stared at the two children while evaluating them to determine which child was which. He had very little knowledge of the two children but from what that useless rat Wormtail had told him the black haired one must be Harry and the redhead was Rodney. He knew that the prophecy stated that the child to destroy him was to be born as the seventh month died, so that meant the youngest child because their birth was timed closer to the end of the month. After all, that was the most obvious meaning, and Lord Voldemort was never wrong.
However this conclusion lead to another problem for the dark lord. He did not know which child was the youngest and which one was the eldest, and he had no way of finding out either. This frustrated Voldemort to no ends. That was never a good thing.
Cursing loudly out of frustration, Voldmort decided to simply take a guess as to which twin was the eldest and then kill them both in the end anyway.
As he raised his wand and directed it towards Harry's face Voldemort said the words that had torn apart so many families and friends, the words that ended your time to live. The words of inescapable death and certain doom.
"Avada Kedavera!" cried out Voldemort as a beam of sickly green light shot out of his wand at point blank range. There was no way that the child could dodge the spell thought Voldemort smugly as the beam flew closer to the child with pitch black hair.
That was where things started to go wrong for the Dark Lord.
Just as the killing curse was about to hit Harry in the forehead something that would forever change the child's fate happened. Thanks to his mother's protection the killing curse rebounded off of Harry's forehead and straight back at Voldemort, hitting him right in the middle of his chest and effectively ejecting his soul from it's vessel. And quite painfully too.
Frantically searching for a new body to house his soul, part of Voldemort's soul latched onto the fresh wound on Harry Potter's forehead. Once the soul fragment had secured itself in the boy's wound it used what little magic it could preform in its current form to heal the cut so that it was no more that a faint pink scar, giving the impression that it was not a fresh wound. Not that anyone knew it at the time, but Voldemort had just created a new Horcrux.
With all the magical backlash from the Dark Lord's failed killing curse and the creation of a new Horcrux, the house started to crumble. Not much fell around where the two children were located, but a small piece of glass from the window next to them fell on Rodney's right forearm, creating a small cut shaped like an "S" and it started bleeding from his arm.
Not able to handle the pain with his tiny pain tolerance and happy for another reason to whine, Rodney started crying even more than before. Not wanting to have to put up with his brother's whining any longer, Harry decided that he needed rest before he tried to process everything that had just happened so he promptly fell asleep so he could think about what happened at a later date.
James Potter was sitting in a chair at Grimauld Place in the middle of a very important Order of the Phoenix meeting with the Longbottoms and Albus Dumbledore when he felt the wards set up at Gordric's Hollow go off. Not wasting any time, he sprung out of his seat and ran towards the door so he could apparate away back home so he could see what was wrong and save his family.
Automatically knowing that something was wrong, Frank Longbottom called out to see if he could help his old friend and work partner.
"James! What's wrong?" he called out, trying to get an answer before his friend apparated away.
"The wards have gone off! Lily and the kids are in danger!" he shouted as he disappeared with a crack.
Momentarily shocked that something like this could have happened, what James had said soon hit home in their minds and every one sprung into action.
Frank made sure that Alice and a very young Neville where all right before apparating to Gordric's Hollow to help James.
Alice went to the fireplace and flooed back to Longbottom Manor where she and Neville would be safe.
Albus called all available Order Members to help out with whatever they could and then he quickly apparated to the action.
However, as the headmaster of Hogwarts disappeared from Grimauld Place he was secretly scheming for the next part of his plans for the future, and his manipulative old mind reached a single conclusion.
Voldemort had chosen one of the Potter twins as the child of the prophecy. He was going to attack tonight and try to eliminate the threat before it could become a problem for him. Once the child was marked as Tom's equal he (Dumbledore) would have to guide the child along the right path so that he would sacrifice himself for the greater good when the time came. It pained Dumbledore for someone so innocent to have such a cruel fate, but sometimes sacrifices had to be made for the greater good.
If Dumbledore and everyone else where expecting action and spells flying in every direction then they must have been surprised to find an eerily quiet Gordric's Hollow with the only disturbance being the soft sound of someone crying and the occasional sound of some part of the singed cottage falling apart.
"Oh no, no, no, no…" Muttered an extremely distressed Sirius Black "we're to late." He stated as he voiced everyone's thoughts and leaned on the fence of what used to be the front yard of the cottage so he could keep his balance on his two extremely unsteady legs.
Eager to see which child Tom had chosen for the prophecy, Dumbledore walked swiftly into the crumbling house as he expertly navigated his way through the debris. As he reached the source of the soft crying he found himself in the nursery. Looking around he saw that most of the room was completely and utterly destroyed and he could still sense all of the magical residue from all the powerful magic that had been used there that night.
Looking for James, Albus quickly found him quietly sobbing over the cold form of his dead wife. It made his heart ache at seeing such a talented mind destroyed, however Albus knew that she was gone and that there was nothing that he could do about it. Proceeding towards the crib where the two children were kept he looked over the two infants, examining them for possible injury.
Looking at young Harry first he could not find any fresh injuries (remember, the scar healed itself to contain the soul fragment) so he moved on to young Rodney. It did not take long for Albus to find a small wound in the shape of an "S". Immediately believing this to stand for Slytherin, Albus assumed that this was the child of the prophecy. However, if Dumbledore had examined them more closely he would have noticed that Harry was emitting an extremely strong magical aura, which was the result of Voldemort's soul combating against Harry's own soul for control over the baby's body. Eventually Harry's soul won because of his mother's protections.
Gently lifting the child out of the crib, Albus walked over to the small crowd that had gathered in the doorway. Holding Rodney up so everyone could see the baby, Dumbledore cleared his throat so that all the attention was on him.
"Today we have felt a great loss, the loss of our dearest Lily. Always looking on the bright side of things, she will be missed. But alas! Among our terrible loss, we have gained an equally great victory! The self-proclaimed Lord Voldemort has been defeated! Behold, my friends, our savior! Behold Rodney Charles Potter, the boy-who- lived and bane of Lord Voldemort!" cried out Dumbledore as everyone started clapping and cheering loudly. Everyone was relived that the monster that had caused them all so much pain and suffering was finally gone and overwhelmed with happiness that they could now live normal lives.
As the cheering died down Albus felt quite happy that his small on-the-spot speech could accomplish such applause.
If only he knew that he had made the biggest mistake of his long life when he had declared Rodney as the boy-who-lived. He could never have imagined what would come to be because of his mistake.