Fated Miracle by millie



Summary: The night of Halloween 1981, something happened that had never even been thought of before. A miracle occurred and the Potters survived an attack from Voldemort who was vanquished. But life is not completely easy after Voldemort is gone and James and Lily have a lot more hurdles to go through. Alternate Universe.
Rating: PG-13 starstarstarstarhalf-star
Categories: Alternate Universe
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2022.10.08
Updated: 2023.08.11


Fated Miracle by millie
Chapter 1: A Destiny Foretold
Author's Notes:



Chapter One
A Destiny Foretold


The first thing James saw when he woke up was Lily’s hair. It was everywhere. James raised his head blearily, grimacing when some of her hair stuck to his mouth and came along. He loved his wife’s brilliant red hair, but it sometimes was quite annoying in the morning.

Spitting out strands of her hair, James groped his bedside table for his glasses. His hand hit something, accidentally knocking it off the table, and James winced, bracing himself for the sound. But nothing happened, and then glasses were placed on his nose by long, bony fingers that weren’t his own. James adjusted them while covering a yawn at the same time. He had been up all night as Lily had been up all night ” the closer her due date came, the harder it was for her to sleep ” so he was a tiny bit grumpy about having his meagre amount of sleep disturbed.

“Filbert?” His house-elf was standing beside the bed, his hands wringing nervously. “What is it?” He asked, softening his tone. It wasn’t his fault that James had returned home from an Order mission late and then spent the whole night making sure Lily was comfortable despite her trying to get him to sleep several times.

“Master James,” he whispered, glancing at Lily. “Albus Dumbledore is waiting for you in the Floo.”

James’ brow furrowed. “Dumbledore? What does he want?” Lily moved slightly beside him, so James ran his hand through her hair, knowing it soothed her. Sure enough, Lily relaxed, a soft sigh escaping her lips.

“He wouldn’t say, Master James,” said Filbert. “Just that he wanted to meet you and Mistress Lily urgently.”

James sighed. “Okay, tell him I’ll be there.”

Filbert bowed and disappeared with a pop. James carefully removed Lily’s arm from around him and crept out of bed. He moved his pillow and placed it underneath her arm so she wouldn’t feel the absence.

He didn’t bother dressing; he just slipped on his dressing gown, pocketed his wand, parted the curtain that separated the bed chamber from the sitting room, and left the room. The corridors were silent. Freema and Loopy were constantly occupied with taking care of his parents ever since they were diagnosed with dragon pox, and Isabella was never found anywhere other than the kitchen.

James moved towards the stairs, his gaze drawn towards the right corridor leading to his parents’ room. There was an ache deep in his chest, a kind of deep chasm with rough waves threatening to drown him while he tried to stay afloat. He hadn’t touched his parents since that awful day two months ago, and he missed his mother’s soft hands and his father’s warm hugs as much as he wanted the war to be over. Which was a lot.

Sure, he had been able to see them and even talked to them, but they could barely answer him without erupting into a coughing fit. And Lily had been banned from entering the room altogether, even with a Bubblehead Charm. It was deemed too dangerous for the baby.

His depressing thoughts carried him down the stairs, through the foyer, past the kitchen and living room, and into the small room reserved for external Floo calls and external Apparition. In the warm cracking flames sat the head of Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, Supreme Mugwump of the ICW, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and the leader of the Order of the Phoenix.

“Professor Dumbledore,” he greeted, dropping onto the couch in front of the fire.

“James,” Dumbledore smiled. It looked creepy with the flames surrounding his head. “I asked Lily to be here too.”

“Lily has barely been able to sleep the whole night so you’ll have to excuse her.” James crossed his arms. “Anything you want with her can be done after the baby is born.”

“Ah yes, the due date is soon, isn’t it?” There was a weird expression on the older man’s face that James couldn’t decipher.

“The Healer said end of July,” said James, unable to stop the warmth and joy from leaking into his tone.

Dumbledore smiled, but again, James noticed it wasn’t his usual expression; his eyes weren’t twinkling, which was a big indication something was wrong, despite how annoying James usually found it. “Is everything alright, Professor?”

“I would like you and Lily to come to Hogwarts at your earliest convenience. Preferably now because I have another group of people coming and I would prefer to tell both of you at once.”

James scowled. “I told you, Professor””

“It is extremely urgent, James. I wouldn’t be disturbing you otherwise.” Dumbledore seemed to hesitate, and then, “This could make the difference between winning the war and losing it.”

James sucked in a breath. If it was that serious... “We’ll be there soon, Professor.”

“Thank you, James. I will see you soon,” With a pop, Dumbledore’s head disappeared, and James was left staring at the fire.

After a few minutes, he left the room, quickly climbed the stairs, and reached his bedroom. He opened the door and crossed the sitting room in a matter of steps. When he parted the curtain, he noticed that Lily was no longer asleep. Her eyes were open, and she was watching him approach.

James slipped into the bed beside her and pulled her into his arms. “Why did you leave?” She asked, her voice soft from sleep.

“Dumbledore wants us to come to Hogwarts,” he replied quietly. “He says it’s urgent and the outcome of the war depends on whatever he wants to tell us. I told him we would be there soon. If you don’t want to come, I’ll go myself.”

There was silence from Lily for a few moments. James untangled his hand from her hair, cupped her chin, and gently moved her face so that he could meet her eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“I want this war to be over, James,” quiet determination was in her tone. “No matter what it takes, I want the Snitch to grow in a safe world.”

James nodded and helped her get out of bed. He watched as she waddled her way towards the bathroom and sighed. The ‘Snitch’ would be born in a few weeks, and James knew everything would change. It already had. He’d joined the Order for the thrill and adrenaline of the chase. But he quickly learnt that war was no game. And when they realised that Dumbledore’s actions were only defensive, he set up the Grey Brotherhood with Lily, her friends, and the Marauders.

The war was showing no signs of ending, and James desperately needed it to end. He was sick of the fear and worry and the constant shadow of grief that seemed to hang over them. My son would grow up in a better world, he thought. He hoped whatever Dumbledore wanted to tell them would be able to win them the war.

*

Half an hour later, the couple was dressed and ready to go. Since Lily had entered her third trimester, she was told it was too dangerous to Floo alone in case something happened, so James and Lily stepped into the green flames together. It was good that his ancestors had been arrogant and willing to spend a lot of money on the gigantic fireplace; otherwise, they wouldn’t have fit.

“Hogwarts, Headmasters Office!” The ‘visitors’ room disappeared in a whirl of colours as they were spun past various grates before finally being deposited in Hogwarts.

To his surprise, Alice and Frank were also sitting in front of the Headmaster’s desk

“Alice!” Lily was a blur beside him as she rushed to meet her long-time friend. James followed behind her and grinned at Frank. He liked Frank; he’d been Head boy in their third year, and even back then, James had liked him because he wasn’t overly pompous or a stickler for rules.

James shook Frank’s hand and hugged Alice when Lily finally let go of her. He nodded his head at Dumbledore and helped Lily into one of the chairs in front of his desk despite her refusing his help. Dumbledore didn’t say anything until all four of them had settled into the chairs.

“I don’t know if any of you are aware of this,” he began. “But Professor Knight has retired, leaving the post of Divination Professor open.”

James frowned. What did that have to do with winning the war?

“I interviewed a candidate recently. Sybil Trelawney is the descendent of Cassandra Trelawney so I assumed she must a lot of prowess in this field.” Dumbledore rested his chin on top of his interlocked fingers. “I was greatly disappointed when it seemed that she was nothing more than a fraud.”

“I’m sorry, Professor but I don’t see what this has to do with Voldemort and the war?” interjected Lily.

Dumbledore continued as if she hadn’t spoken. “When I turned around to leave, Sybil gave a prophecy. A prophecy that was related to Voldemort and his downfall.”

There was silence in the room until “Please tell me you didn’t believe that!” Lily burst out. “Divination is a woolly piece of crap! How can you hinge the success of this war on a prophecy?"

James was quiet. Lily raised a good point, especially if she was basing her opinion on Knight. But Lily had not grown up in the wizarding world. She didn’t know about the stories and the legends that he used to read as a kid, the stories which always had a basis in truth. Lily didn’t know about the true Seers, who weren’t taught the art of Divination but were born with it.

“A lot of the Divination that Professor Knight taught wasn’t real Divination,” said Allice quietly. “However, an authentic, real prophecy, will always come true.”

“How do we know that whatever prophecy this woman gave is real?” demanded Lily, turning to face Alice.

“A Seer is not aware when she gives a prophecy,” explained Dumbledore. “It’s as if an out-of-world being possesses them and reveals the prediction of the future. It also causes a change in the voice and appearance of a Seer.”

“I’ve heard their tone gets really rough and harsh,” said Frank. “Their eyes get unfocused or something like that.”

“You would be correct, Frank.” Dumbledore inclined his head. “Sybil displayed all of these signs which is why I immediately took her seriously.”

“What did the prophecy say?” asked James.

“That matters not,” said Dumbledore in that annoyingly superior voice of his. As if he was the only one who would know what to do with the contents of the prophecy. “The main point of the prophecy is that a child would be born at the end of July that would be the one to vanquish the Dark Lord and would be born to those who defied Voldemort three times.”

James cocked his head and stared at Dumbledore. He was leaving something out. He didn’t know how he knew, but there was something that Dumbledore was not telling them. Something else was also mentioned in the prophecy.

“Are you sure that’s all the prophecy said, Professor?” asked Frank, evidently thinking the same. Judging by Alice and Lily’s faces, they were also on the same page.

Dumbledore opened his mouth, but James spoke up before he could say anything. “I’ll make it clear before you say anything that we don’t owe any loyalty to this war,” warned James. “Nothing is stopping me from packing everything and taking my family abroad.”

Dumbledore narrowed his eyes at him. “You’re bluffing,” he said quietly but with confidence. “You will never leave your motherland behind, especially when you know people might be dying here while you run away like a coward. That would be an insult to your character.”

“You may be right about that,” James conceded. “But my family matters more to me than my pride or peace of mind. If staying here and fighting means that my son might be murdered, then no thank you. I’ll take guilt over that any day.”

“I’ll advise you to tell the full prophecy immediately,” said Lily quietly but with intense emotion behind her voice.

“Otherwise, James will not be the only one who leaves,” added Alice.

Dumbledore sighed and stood up. He went over to a black cupboard in the corner that James was surprised he had never noticed before. From it, Dumbledore withdrew a silvery bowl with strange markings along its circumference. He returned to his desk and set the Pensieve on the table before sitting down.

Dumbledore placed his wand at his temple and withdrew a long silvery strand which he deposited in the Pensieve. He prodded the surface with his wand, and the silver fluid inside it shifted, spinning in circles until finally, a misty figure emerged. The woman had big glasses, flyaway grey hair, and numerous shawls covering her thin figure. Her mouth was sagging open, and her eyes were unfocused.

The woman, Sybil, opened her mouth and spoke:

“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. . . .”

The voice did have that harsh, rough quality that Frank had said it would. James glanced at Lily. Her face was pale, and her eyes were glued to the figure; she was transfixed and still as a statue, as if she couldn’t move even if she tried. James swallowed and repeated the words in his head.

Born to those who have thrice defied him. . .

Born as the seventh month dies. . .

Dumbledore had only called these two couples. Lily’s due date was the end of July. Alice’s due date was at the same time, too. His mind flashed back to when the two of them had dreamed of their kids being close in age and growing up as best friends.

James glanced at Frank and Alice. Frank’s knuckles were white from his tight grip on the armrest, and Alice had a hand over her mouth. Dumbledore’s face was grave, confirming their worst thoughts.

It felt so surreal that only half an hour ago, he had been hoping whatever Dumbledore told them would end the war so their son could live in a safe world. Now...

“But Voldemort doesn’t know of this prophecy, right?” asked James in a desperate tone. “There is no way he could have found out, so we don’t have anything to worry about, right?”

Dumbledore sighed, suddenly looking every bit his age. “Unfortunately, one of Voldemort’s servants overheard part of the prophecy. He was thrown from the establishment but he must have rushed to his master and told him the part that he heard.”

“How do you know that?” asked Alice, finally removing her hand from her mouth.

“After realising that Voldemort meant to murder a child, the servant and told me the truth.”

“Who is he?” growled James, his eyes narrowed.

Dumbledore seemed to know exactly what he was thinking. “I am not going to disclose his identity. Rest assured he turned spy for me at the risk of his own life. He will not betray us.”

James almost asked how Dumbledore was so sure, but he shut his mouth. There was no point in arguing with Dumbledore when it was going to be of no use anyways. Dumbledore only revealed information when he deemed it to be the right time, not before and not after.

“Are you sure our children are the ones mentioned in the prophecy?” asked Lily, a look of hope and anguish in her eyes. “There are probably a lot of women pregnant with due dates at the end of July or even children whose birthdays come at that time. Why have you only called us?” There was a guilty expression on her face which James understood; he also was hoping for someone else’s child to be of the prophecy, no matter how horrible that made him feel.

Dumbledore sighed. “Firstly, the prophecy says that the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches, which implies that the child will be born soon.”

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that!” exclaimed Frank. “It can mean a child is coming from another country or something like that!”

“It doesn’t matter what we think,” said Dumbledore sadly. “What matters is that Voldemort believes it to be either one of your children. And he seems to be leaning towards the Potters.”

A sob tore through Lily’s body as she doubled over in her chair, her arms wrapped around her stomach protectively. James left his chair and hugged her close. He pressed his lips into her hair and bowed his head so that no one else would notice the tear sliding down his cheek and falling onto his wife’s hair.

When James returned to his seat, he noticed that the other couple had been feeling the same, and Frank was also returning to his seat.

“It would also be prudent to mention,” interjected Dumbledore quietly. “That the prophecy mentions the child would be born to those who thrice defied him. That’s why only the four of you are here. No other couple who escaped Voldemort thrice are having a child at the end of July.”

“What do we do then?” asked Lily, fierce determination replacing the heartbreak on her face. “Because I’ll be damned if I allow Voldemort to come close to my child.”

“A Fidelius Charm might be suitable,” suggested Dumbledore. “The spell is extremely difficult to cast but it’s near impenetrable as the Secret cannot be forcefully taken from the Secret-Keeper by Legilimency, Imperius Curse or even Veritaserum.”

That made sense, thought James, his mind immediately flashing to Sirius. Given how reckless he was, Sirius would probably not be someone else’s first choice, but James knew he would defend his family with his life. Nothing mattered more to Sirius than family.

“If you agree, I can be the Secret-Keeper for both of you,” offered Dumbledore. “Voldemort would never risk trying to capture me.”

James’ immediate reaction was ‘Hell no!’ While it was true that Voldemort would not capture Dumbledore, it also had the disadvantage of having authority over their home. Dumbledore would be the one to decide who could be given the Secret of his home, and James wasn’t keen on giving Dumbledore any more power over their lives than he already had.

He glanced at Lily, who looked at him and shook her head. She agreed with him. He turned back to Dumbledore and said firmly, “I can’t say about Frank and Alice but we will decide our own Secret-Keeper.”

Dumbledore nodded as if he had been expecting it and turned to the Longbottoms, who also denied the offer.

“Choose wisely,” said Dumbledore in the end. “I suspect a traitor in the Order and the worst thing to do would be to give your child to Voldemort on a silver platter.”

James kept the warning in his mind for about a second before dismissing it. Sirius would take his own life before betraying him. “I’m not worried, Dumbledore,” he said firmly. “He won’t betray us.”

*

Lily spent the rest of the day cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom even though it was already spotless, courtesy of the kitchen house-elf, Isabella, who followed her around and kept protesting with her hands flapping in the air, muttering about ‘Mistress is supposed to rest’ and who knows what else. The truth was that Lily needed something to keep her hands and mind busy; otherwise, she would go spare.

James had invited their friends, including Frank, Alice, Sirius, Remus, Peter, and Marlene. Lily would have liked Dorcas and Mary to be there too, but the two of them had gone overseas in an attempt to recruit more people to the Order and invite foreign aid against Voldemort. Lily hadn’t seen them for months as she missed them desperately.

Strong arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her close to a muscled chest. Lily smiled, covered the pot on the stove, and turned around to see her husband gazing warmly down at her.

“How are you doing?” he asked, his voice soft and understanding.

“Not thinking about it,” replied Lily, smiling shakily at him. Her hand drifted down towards her belly. “It feels absurd to think that this tiny life inside me who kicks horrendously and keeps me up all night is. . .what? Prophesised to defeat Voldemort”? She laughed derisively. “Voldemort is so damn stupid if he thinks his downfall will come at the hand of a child.”

James smiled fondly down at her, his hands sliding over her arms and ending around her waist. “He should be more scared of an angry mother whose child is threatened.”

“Damn right he should!” she retorted. “No one gets to threaten my family and live after it. Not even the self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Dark Lord’ blah blah.”

She was about to mutter a few more curses and threats about what she would do to him if he ever came near her son when a whoosh sounded from the Floo room, followed by Sirius’ voice.

“Potters!” He said, striding into the kitchen. James removed his arm from around her, and Lily smiled, knowing what was to come. Sirius came straight towards her, picked her up clean into his arms, and lifted her into the air.

“Sirius!” She said, laughing, settling her hands on his shoulders. She had no idea how he managed to pick her up given how large she was, but she theorised he must be using a Strengthening Charm or something because there was no way his delicate, aristocratic self was strong enough to pick her up, no matter what he claimed.

Sirius grinned up at her. “How’s the Snitch? He’s good, isn’t he? Still kicking?”

“You should be asking about me, Black,” she huffed in amusement. “Your godson never lets me have a moment of peace!”

Sirius, still grinning, set her down on the floor. “That’s my boy!”

Lily laughed and turned back to the food cooking on the stove as James and Sirius exchanged greetings. There was a second whoosh from the other room, followed by another immediately. Lily pulled out her wand, but James grabbed her hand before she could.

“What do you want to do, love?” he asked, his eyes dancing in amusement. “We don’t want a repeat of last time, do we?” Lily flushed. The last time she tried to use magic, it had gone haywire, and the dish she had been levitating fell to the floor, splattering hot gravy over them.

“Shut it! That was only once!” She said, just as Remus and Peter came inside the room. Still, she let James levitate the pot to the adjacent dining room and turned to greet the two men.

When the greetings were over, she ushered everyone into the dining room to wait for the rest of the dinner party. It was not long before Frank and Alice, followed by Marlene, were also seated at the table.

While the dinner between eight friends was usually very lively, it was less so this time because of the subdued mood of the Longbottoms and the Potters. She knew the others had noticed, but no one said anything and pretended everything was normal. It was not until dessert was finished and they were all settled in the living room with bottles of Butterbeer ” Lily and Alice sipped on pumpkin juice ” that Sirius finally cracked.

“Okay, spill,” he said, “Something is up with,” he pointed at the two couples, “the four of you that’s got you all depressed and gloomy.”

“This isn’t just a social visit,” said Remus. It was not a question but a statement. “You have something to tell all of us.”

Frank and Alice were quiet, and Lily also didn’t feel like explaining what happened, so she looked at James, knowing he would understand.

James sighed and took the lead. “We met with Dumbledore yesterday,” he started. “Dumbledore had received information from a spy which related to the four of us.”

“Dumbledore has a spy in Voldemort’s ranks?” asked Marlene, startled.

“That’s what he said,” said Frank. “According to his intel, Voldemort is coming after us four.”

“Dumbledore advised us to go into hiding so that’s what we are going to do,” said Lily.

“Wait,” said Sirius, looking between the four of them. “Voldemort’s coming after you four? Why? What for?”

“We don’t know,” said James before Frank and Alice could potentially reveal the prophecy. But one glance at them relieved their worries; their expressions were evidence enough that they agreed with them and had no plans to reveal the existence of a prophecy.

“We think it may be because all of us have managed to escape Voldemort before and he probably can’t take that. It’s an insult to his ‘greatness’,” said James, rolling his eyes. “So, he thinks he has to kill us.”

“But Voldemort was after the members of the Order long before this,” said Remus, his amber eyes narrowed. “You just now going into hiding?”

“We are going to have a child soon, Remus!” Lily snapped. “We can defend ourselves but my son will not be able to!”

Logically, she knew it wasn’t his fault; he was asking a genuine question, but the constant worry and fear were catching up to her, and she couldn’t help but take it out on him.

Thankfully, Remus understood and even apologised.

Peter, who had been silent until now, spoke up. “But what if” what if Voldemort finds you?” he asked, licking his lips nervously.

Alice shrugged nonchalantly, but there was an intense look in her eyes. “Then we go down fighting. If dying means I can save my child in some way, then I will do it.”

“But Voldemort should not be able to reach us,” James assured. “We were thinking of using the Fidelius Charm, so as long as the Secret-Keeper doesn’t betray us, Voldemort will not be able to reach us.”

“We were thinking of asking you, Sirius,” added Lily. “You’d be the perfect choice. Well, you or Marlene but”"

“I can’t do it,” interrupted Marlene. “You know I’m leaving the country to meet Dorcas and Mary tomorrow so if anything happens, I won’t be there. Besides, it’s not like you can cast the Fidelius Charm today.”

Lily chuckled. “I know. You didn’t let me finish my sentence; I was going to say that you or Sirius were our first choices but since you won’t be available, we chose Sirius.”

“I’ll do it,” said Sirius quietly. “You can trust me.”




Of course, Sirius would have realised they weren’t being completely honest. thought James as the man in question joined him in his silent vigil of the stars.

The others had left earlier, but Sirius and Marlene had stuck around. James had thought the three of them were still inside, but one glance at the open door behind him showed that the dining room was empty; Sirius was standing next to him, but the ladies were nowhere to be seen.

“Where are our better halves?” asked James, turning back to the stars.

Sirius huffed in amusement. Lily and Marlene were commonly referred to as their better selves in their group of friends because of something that happened the previous year” something that James would rather not repeat.

“Lily took Marlene upstairs to show her the nursery,” he replied. There was a pause for a few minutes until Sirius spoke again. "So?"

“What?” asked James, despite knowing perfectly well what he was asking.

“Bloody hell, Prongs,” said Sirius, his lips quirked up. “Am I going to have to coax it out of you?”

James sighed and pushed his hands into his pockets. “We lied earlier,” he said.

Sirius rolled his eyes. “Really? I would never have guessed.”

James ignored him. “Dumbledore called us to tell us of a prophecy.” He exhaled. “A prophecy which said that the one to vanquish Voldemort is approaching.”

Sirius was silent for a moment. “Then that’s good, isn’t it?”

James turned towards Sirius for the first time. “The one who has the power to defeat Voldemort will be born at the end of July to those who thrice defied him,” he said softly.

James watched as Sirius’ face went through several emotions. First, there was confusion, followed by comprehension and then horror.

“That can’t be”no!” He cried, shaking his head. ““But”but that’s. . . “He took a deep breath. “Are you sure the prophecy was about the Snitch or Longbottoms’ child? It could be about someone else or”” He was looking around the gardens as if someone would suddenly pop out and scream, “It’s me! I have the power to vanquish Voldemort!”

“It doesn’t matter,” James interrupted, turning back to face the sky. “It doesn’t matter because Voldemort thinks that the prophecy refers to either our son or the Longbottom’s. It doesn’t matter because Voldemort will come after us.”

Sirius cursed, and silence fell around them until he spoke again. “You really want me to be your Secret-Keeper?”

James glanced at him. Sirius usually shied away from feelings, but James felt Sirius should have known what he meant to him. “Don’t be an idiot, Sirius; it doesn’t suit you,” he said instead of responding.

"Maybe that's exactly why you shouldn't choose me,"

“What are you talking about?” demanded James. “You’re my best friend, my brother really. You’re the perfect choice for it!”

Sirius let out a frustrated sigh. “Yeah, and how many people know that, James? Loads of people know us from Hogwarts and practically everyone in England knows that the Heir of the Black Family stayed with the Potters after he was disowned. They would be expecting me to be your Secret-Keeper!”

James thought about it. It made sense. It actually made a lot of sense that he wasn’t surprised they hadn’t thought about it before. “That’s true. But what do you suggest we do? Make people think you’re the Secret-Keeper but choose someone else?” He’d said it jokingly but Sirius looked like that was exactly what he meant.

“I’d appreciate if you didn’t go around spreading rumours about me being your Keeper, though,” said Sirius, wincing. “I kind of like not being tortured to the point of insanity. Voldemort can just assume that you’d make me your Secret-Keeper.”

James smirked. "They won’t torture you”"

Sirius snorted. "Yeah right”"

“”to the point of insanity,” James continued. “They need you sane to tell the Secret.”

Sirius rolled his eyes. “Ha, ha very funny.”

James’ smile slowly faded, and he frowned. “But how is Voldemort supposed to know that we are using the Fidelius, anyways? We could be using any number of protections, or we could have left the country; it’s not like he would know.”

“He’d know because Dumbledore suspects a spy in the Order,” came a voice behind them. The two men turned around to see Marlene and Lily joining them. He had suspected Lily would tell Marlene the truth, and he was right. From the looks on their faces, they had probably been standing there for a long time.

“Dumbledore said he suspects the Order has been infiltrated so even if we don’t tell anyone, Voldemort will probably know,” said Lily.

“Which is why you probably shouldn’t tell anyone else that you are not going to be choosing Sirius,” Marlene added. James reached out an arm and drew Lily close to his chest, though the move wasn’t as smooth as it usually was. On his left, Marlene stood next to Sirius with her head on his shoulder.

It was peaceful. It was safe.

James hoped it would always be this way.

*

“You’re”you’re leaving?” coughed Mum, trying to sit up. James longed to cancel his Bubblehead Charm, go over to her, and calm her down, but he would risk getting the pox, and he was not about to endanger himself or Lily like that. Not when the Snitch was this close to being born.

His heart ached when he saw his mum’s expression. His father was more stoic, but he could tell the older man was upset too. James hadn’t wanted to leave, but he knew he couldn’t do anything to endanger his parents. If he cast the Fidelius Charm on the Manor and their Secret was revealed somehow, his parents would be in danger too” they couldn’t even defend themselves.

If he and Lily weren’t here, Voldemort would have no reason to target his parents.

He and Lily had discussed the matter late into the night and eventually decided on finding a smaller home ” there was also a concern that the Manor was too big to perform a Fidelius Charm ” but only after the Snitch was born. Lily was the only one who knew enough about the Fidelius Charm ” it had been her project in N.E.W.T year ” to perform the spell, and she was warned against performing strenuous magic in her pregnancy.

Till then, they had decided to activate the war wards on the Manor, which were almost impenetrable.

“The Snitch will be born soon,” said James, smiling. “Lily and I decided that we’re forming a family so it’s time for us to move out.”

“You practically have the whole Manor, James,” wheezed Dad. “We never get out of this room.” There was a hint of the old mischief in his eyes. “Or are you tired of taking care of your old, sick parents?”

“Of course, Dad, that’s exactly why we want to move out,” James deadpanned. “It’s not like Lily paces in front of your door for ages and spends hours in her study trying to figure out a way to get in without endangering anyone.”

Mum smiled, though it didn’t look as bright as it usually did, owing to the green tinge and her pockmarked skin. “If you want to move out, that’s fine with us, dear.”

James let out a breath. “Are you sure you would be okay alone? Lily and I just wanted to strike out alone for a bit; we stayed here because the war was heating up but it isn’t showing any signs of ending and we wanted to””

Dad laughed, only a fraction of the big, booming laugh he usually had. “We understand, James. Your mother and I were young once too; we get the need for privacy.”

James grimaced. “Definitely didn’t need to know that.”

As he joked and laughed with his parents, the prophecy played on a loop in the back of his head. He couldn’t tell his parents; it killed him to lie to them like this, but they were already sick, and to know that their grandson was targeted before he was even born...

No, he decided, they didn’t need to know. And when the war was over, and his parents were rid of the Dragon Pox, he would confess.

He would confess that the real reason wasn’t that they wanted to be away from his parents or independent, but because his wife and child were already in danger, he didn’t want his parents to be in danger too. His parents would be safe here till then, and he, Lily, and the Snitch would be safe under the Fidelius Charm.

*

Watching Lily was one of James' pastimes. She was currently pottering around the kitchen, trying to bake something - despite being horrible at it - while Isabella followed her around the kitchen, muttering under her breath and squeaking whenever Lily did something - be it pouring flour into a bowl or putting the brownies into the oven.

Lily always relaxed him even when she was not talking or looking at him. This was why he was quite annoyed when the dog tag around his neck buzzed against his skin. He pulled it out of his shirt and noticed Lily doing the same. Tapping his wand against its silver surface, it glowed slightly, and Narcissa Malfoy's voice spoke out of it.

This is a pre-recorded message and cannot be responded to without contacting Gold. Neither of them said anything but just waited. Two seconds later, both dog tags started up again.

I know I made it perfectly clear that you may be helping me, but I am not a spy for the Light. Regardless of what I said, I feel this one time is something I just cannot stand back on. Let me be clear, though, that this is one and one time only.

James exchanged a look with Lily; whatever Narcissa wanted to tell them, it must be pretty important and dangerous for her to break her own statement of not spying for them.

There is a chance you know this already, but if you didn't, this news will be appreciated, I'm sure. It has come to my attention that the Dark Lord has a spy in the Order. He does not have the means to access the people in the GB, but I am well aware that most of the members are also members of the Order of the Phoenix and, thus, privy to a lot of information that would be disastrous in the hands of the Dark Lord.

The Dark Lord is very confident about the information he receives from his spy and has mentioned several times that he finds it amusing for the Potters to be unaware of the danger that lurks so close to them. I took this to mean whoever is the traitor is close to you and not just a random member of the Order. I'd advise you to be careful with the information you tell people, even those in your Inner Circle.

Another detail that has come to light is that the Dark Lord has made several plans to target you both. He has asked many of his devoted followers to tail your friends and find as much information about your schedule as possible. I fear he has plans for you personally though I deduced that you might already know this given Lord Potter's leave from the Auror office and assigning a proxy for his seat in the Wizengamot.

I will try to gather more information about the spy and plans to attack you both, but I warn you to be cautious and remain on your guard.

The dog tag vibrated again before settling in his hand. James tucked it under his shirt and looked at Lily. "Well, we knew all that already,"

She nodded, a frown on her face. "We did but Voldemort seems to be really confident about whoever this spy is, isn't he?"

James stood up and drew her closer to him. Resting his cheek against her head, he pressed a soft kiss into her hair. "I think the spy is severely overestimating their abilities. Probably think being in the same organisation and having the same enemy equates to being close to us."

"We won't be betrayed, Lily," he said, pressing her tightly to him. Lily didn't say anything, just tucked herself closer to him.

They stayed in the comforting embrace for several minutes until the timer on the oven beeped.

James slowly pulled himself away and smiled at her. "Let's talk about something else, kay? How about I try your brownies and exclaim at how good they are while my stomach protests?"

She slapped his arm, laughing. "You stomach doesn't have good taste. My brownies are delicious,"

"Sure, that's why you never eat them yourself," he muttered under his breath and smiled innocently when she cocked an eyebrow at him.

"I was just agreeing with you, Lily-flower," he said, following her to the oven.

*

Lily already knew her son would be just as mischievous and troublemaker as the Marauders. Why? Not only because he wreaked havoc on her body but also because he chose the most inopportune moment to arrive into the world. James was gone to the Ministry to submit his application for indefinite leave; Isabella had gone to the village for groceries, while the other house-elves were who knew where.

The only person with her when her water broke was Sirius, and Lily couldn’t decide if it was a good or bad thing. On the one hand, he was practically her brother, and she knew, after James, he was the one she was closest to. But on the other hand, he was absolutely useless when she needed him. The man was currently cluelessly hovering around her and panicking more than she was.

“Sirius!” she finally shouted. He shut up and stared at her dumbly. “Send a Patronus to James and get me the blue bag from my closet.”

Sirius nodded. “Right, right. Okay, Patronus to James and blue bag in closet.” He flicked his wand, and a silvery blue Grim emerged from his wand, looked at him for a few seconds, and then ran away, disappearing into the wall. Sirius turned on his heel and strode towards their walk-in closet.

“Lily!” She heard him call after a few minutes.

“What?” She snapped back. The pain from the contractions was making her cranky, and he was taking so goddamn long.

“I can’t find a blue bag!” His voice was close to hysterical.

Lily rolled her eyes and yelled in frustration, “Goddamnit Sirius! Are you a wizard or not? Just summon it for Merlin’s sake!”

She could practically see him smack himself in the forehead before he emerged from the closet with the blue bag in his hand and a proud grin on his face.

“Come on,” he said, hurrying to her. He handed her the bag and then picked her up, bridal style. “Let’s get you to St. Mungo’s.”

Lily blanched at the thought of the Floo, but there was nothing she could do” Apparating was dangerous for her at the moment, and the thought of the Knight Bus made her cringe. Sirius carried her down the stairs into the visitor’s room and stepped into the fireplace.

“St. Mungo’s!” He shouted, and they were whisked away in a whirl of green flames and emerged in a white corridor, brimming with patients with various injuries or accidents and wizards and witches wearing lime green robes running around the room, harried looks on their faces.

“We have an emergency!” called Sirius, hurrying towards one of the lime-robed wizards. “This witch is in labour!” A Healer glanced at them distractedly and muttered. “Second floor,” and left before Sirius could even respond.

“Lily!” As Sirius turned around, Lily sighed in relief at seeing her husband emerging from one of the fireplaces. Sirius set her down carefully when James approached; there was no Healer to be seen so James conjured a floating stretcher and carefully levitated Lily onto the bed.

Several minutes passed by as she and James waited there while Sirius went to go call a Healer. James’ hand stroked her hair lightly in rhythmic movements until Sirius came back with a lime-robed wizard.

Lily kept her eyes closed and tried to focus on nothing as James talked to a Healer and levitated the stretcher to the second floor, Sirius trailing behind them.

“Lily!” The witch in question wondered how many times someone would call her in the span of a day. The person calling her turned out to be her medi-witch, Merideth, who led them through a set of double doors into a room with chairs fitted against the walls” Lily surmised it must be a waiting room.

Another set of double doors later, and she was in a hospital room. James stationed the stretcher next to the bed and gently levitated her out and onto the bed.

“I’m afraid I will have to ask you to vacate the room,” said the Healer pompously. Sirius moved towards the door, but James narrowed his eyes.

“To hell I will!” He said, steel in his voice. “Nothing can make me leave my wife alone right now.”

*

After Sirius left the room, he proceeded to send Patronus messages to everyone he could think of. Remus, Peter, Andromeda, even Professor McGonagall. Marlene was in Canada with Dorcas and Mary for the time being, but he sent her a message anyway, just to keep her updated. It would take time to reach her and would be quite weak by the time it reached there, but the three of them deserved the right to know as soon as possible.

He sent one to the Potters, ashamed at the thought that he hadn’t even told them before leaving for St. Mungo’s.

He followed that with one to the Longbottoms, too though he knew they probably won’t come. Their own son had been born just the day before, so it was unlikely.

In no time at all, the waiting room was crowded. Remus arrived first, followed by Andromeda, Ted, and their seven-year-old daughter, Nymphadora. Next was Peter, and finally Minnie.

It felt as if they had been waiting for days ” though it had only been four hours and forty-two minutes, not that Sirius was counting ” when James finally emerged with a blue bundle in his arms. Sirius, who had been pacing for the past half-hour, stopped in his tracks; Remus pushed away from the wall, Minnie stood up, and Peter, who had been dozing in his chair, jerked awake. Dora jumped up excitedly while Andromeda and Ted, who were just coming inside ” they had left to bring refreshments for everyone ” rushed over.

James had a proud and happy grin on his face. Sirius had never seen him so full of joy and excitement, and he’d known James since they were eleven. James extended the bundle in his arms to show a wrinkly, red face with his eyes tightly shut. For some reason, the tiny baby boy seemed so damn beautiful to Sirius, and his heart filled with emotion.

“All of you meet your godson, nephew, and grandson, Harry James Potter,” he said, referring to Sirius, Remus, Peter, Andromeda, and Minnie. “Six pounds and eight ounces and he was born at seven-thirty pm.” His face was almost split into two with his grin.

Sirius stepped closer and gently trailed his finger down the baby’s soft, satiny cheek. The tiny eyes fluttered open, and Lily’s eyes stared back at him. He looked up at James.

“I thought you said earlier that a baby’s eyes are blue at birth?”

James grinned. “Yeah, that’s what Lily said too but apparently, there are rare cases like this too. Little Harry’s already breaking the expectations set on him!”

Sirius looked down again when he felt something and saw Harry’s tiny fingers curled around his finger. There was a small tuft of black hair on his head, and Sirius couldn’t help but marvel at how much he looked like James. His hair, his nose, even his cheekbones, that was all James. But the eyes. Those eyes were Lily.

“Do you want to hold him?” James asked.

Sirius blanched in shock. “Me? But”that”I can’t”” He was looking between Harry and James as if he had been asked to do something horrible. Sirius was usually very eloquent and smooth, and his stuttering made James burst into laughter.

“Merlin, Padfoot, you look less scared when you are duelling!”

Sirius muttered something along the lines of that’s way easier but carefully took the little boy from James. Andromeda came over and showed him how to hold Harry while also cooing over Harry at the same time. The rest of them gathered around Sirius, all of them gasping in delight and making adorable noises.

Sirius handed Harry to Minnie on her insistence and took a deep breath. He glanced past James and saw Lily inside the room, smiling as she looked at them. Her hair was wet with sweat, and she looked tired, but she was also glowing. Motherhood suits her, he thought as he went inside and sat next to her.

“Harry is absolutely beautiful,” he said softly. For once, his countenance matched his name.

Lily smiled warmly and leaned forward to hug him. “You’ll be a wonderful godfather, Sirius, don’t doubt that.”

“You and James need to stop doing that,” he muttered as she pulled away.

“Do what?” Her eyes twinkled with innocence.

“Know exactly what I’m thinking,” Sirius said flatly.

Lily laughed as James came inside, baby Harry back in his arms. He sat next to Lily and put an arm around her; Lily leaned her head on his shoulder and took Harry from him. Both of them were looking down at their son and occasionally each other lovingly; Sirius felt as if he was intruding on a private moment, so he got up and left the room, leaving the couple, now a trio, to themselves.

*

The first thing James did when Lily was discharged and they went back to Potter Manor with baby Harry was to visit his parents. They had sent a Patronus message after Harry had been born, but it was not the same as the real thing. Not that he would take Harry inside the room, but he had photos and stories to share.

When he went inside, Mum was watching the door as if she had been waiting for him to come. James smiled and moved aside, allowing Lily to enter as well. Now that she was not pregnant, she was allowed to be inside, with a Bubblehead Charm, obviously.

“Lily! Oh, it’s so wonderful to see you!” Mum’s joy was pouring off her, making her old and tired face come alive again.

“We’ve missed you a lot, Lily,” said Dad as they settled in chairs near the door. “Having James visit us just isn’t the same thing.”

“Oi!” protested James. “Is she your child or am I?”

“Lily, obviously,” retorted Mum. “We saw you near a trashcan and felt sorry for you so we brought you home.”

James rolled his eyes but couldn’t hide the twitch of his lips. “Real funny, Mum. Absolutely hilarious.”

“How are you feeling, dear?” Mum asked Lily, completely ignoring him. “I felt really exhausted after James was born, especially when he kept crying all night, disturbing his parents constantly ” not that he has changed much in that aspect.”

“You’re right; I feel really exhausted,” admitted Lily. "But I’m also so happy. Just looking at Harry fills me with so much emotion that I-I just”” Lily shuddered, and James ran a hand down her back, calming her.

“I’d die for him,” she finished, fierce love coating her words.

Mum and Dad were looking at her with love and understanding. Lily had sent her parents on holiday to Canada so that they would be well away from the war ” also ensuring that Dorcas and Mary could check in on them ” thus, he knew she was grateful for having his mum and dad there for her. Lily should admit she had two sets of parents, he thought fondly as they showed pictures of Harry to the older couple. Their baby boy was only a week old, but he had enough pictures to fill an album.

*

James and Lily started looking for a cottage once Harry was almost four months old. Those four months had wreaked havoc on the young parents, and Lily felt quite strongly that someone should have told her how difficult parenting was. Harry constantly woke them up in the middle of the night, making her long for the time when she used to get more than a few hours of sleep.

Nevertheless, she was happier than she thought she could have been. Happy and blissful were the words she described her life after marrying James. But now, she felt something that surpassed even that despite the worry in the back of her mind.

Another reason for their long delay was so Lily could return to her pre-pregnancy self. She started working out again and brushed up all her spells. The rest of the time ” which wasn’t really a lot ” was spent practicing the Fidelius Charm. She already knew the theory due to her N.E.W.T project but was having difficulty with the practical work.

James reassured her constantly, but Lily was almost obsessive with her need to master the charm. Frank’s grandmother had once performed a Fidelius Charm in her youth, so she had performed the charm for the Longbottoms and even became their Secret-Keeper; Augusta had offered to perform the charm, but since the Potters didn’t want even a single person to know their Secret-Keeper, they declined.

Finally, in mid-November, Lily was able to cast the charm successfully. This prompted their rather sudden search for a house to move into, something they neglected to do beforehand due to a new factor being added into their daily lives. Harry was not someone who followed a schedule, so they hardly had enough time in a day to do everything else and then look for a house as well.

The first house that they selected as an option was a three-bedroom bungalow in Birmingham. It was a nice enough house, but it was in a Muggle area, so after careful consideration, the couple removed that option. The next few options were discarded, too, until they finally landed the jackpot.

The house was a two-bedroom cottage in Godric’s Hollow in Exeter. Godric's Hollow had Muggle inhabitants, too, but the house itself was in the wizarding part of the village. It had three bedrooms, an open concept kitchen, a living room with a backyard, and a front porch with a small area that Lily designated for her flowers. Additionally, there was a pond in the backyard that James immediately fell in love with.

It took James and Lily almost two weeks to pack up all their stuff from Potter Manor. Filbert and Minley were constantly begging to come along with them. Still, Lily couldn’t risk them if something happened and Peter accidentally revealed the Secret to the wrong person or was tortured to reveal it ” that was something Lily was very afraid of ” but they were counting on Voldemort overlooking him and focusing on Sirius.

It was early December when James, Lily, Sirius, and Peter gathered inside Number thirty-three, Godric’s Hollow, Exeter. Lily stood right in the centre of the house, the living room. Peter was across her as the Secret-Keeper, and James and Sirius were on the right and left, respectively, to provide power to the charm.

Slowly, hesitantly, Lily began the incantation; she was afraid of messing up, but she shouldn’t have worried. The words came naturally as she waved her wand in the required movements. The process took more than ten minutes, and she was exhausted by the end.

James, Lily, and Harry Potter live in Number thirty-three, Godric’s Hollow, Exeter, thought Lily, concentrating fiercely as she pointed her wand at Peter. She watched the effects as he almost doubled over but didn’t stumble, thankfully. James and Sirius were also finding it hard to stay upright due to power being extracted from them, and all of them were quite relieved when a bright light engulfed the whole circle.

Lily closed her eyes as the light slammed into her and waited for the glare behind her eyelids to fade before she opened them again. She, James, and Sirius were standing outside with no recollection of the place they had just been in. Lily tried as hard as she could but couldn’t even think of a vague impression. She knew she was the one who cast the Fidelius Charm, but she couldn’t remember anything relating to the place.

Peter suddenly appeared out of nowhere, snapping them out of their stupor. “It worked,” said Lily. “Do you remember it?” He probably did, given he hadn’t been kicked out, but it didn’t hurt to be sure.

“James, Lily, and Harry Potter live at Number thirty-three, Godric’s Hollow, Exeter,” whispered Peter, and everything rushed back into her head. How long they spent searching for the house, casting the Fidelius Charm. The cottage materialised in front of them as well, making them sigh in relief.

It was done. The Fidelius Charm was cast. Now, they just had to move in with Harry and hope for the best.

Voldemort will not touch my child, Lily vowed to herself. Not while I am alive.

*


Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

This story archived at http://www.siye.co.uk/siye/viewstory.php?sid=130653