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SIYE Time:8:25 on 19th July 2024
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Fated Miracle
By millie

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, James Potter, Lily Potter, Luna Lovegood, Minerva McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Sirius Black
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, General, Romance, Tragedy
Warnings: Death, Disturbing Imagery, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 14
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.
Hitcount: Story Total: 4328; Chapter Total: 618







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Chapter Two
The Boy Who Lived


“James!”

The man in question took a deep breath and looked across the table at his wife. “Yes?”

“I’ve been speaking for the past twenty minutes and that’s all you have to say?!” She snapped, red spots forming high on her cheekbones.

“What do you want me to say, Lily?” He asked, frustration edging his voice. “You’ve been going on about the same thing not for the past twenty minutes, but for the past two days! There is only so many times I can show excitement for the new apothecary opening when I don’t give a damn.”

Tears filled Lily’s eyes, making James feel guilty and confused. He hadn’t meant to make her cry, but at the same time, he was shocked because Lily wasn’t someone to cry at such a small fight.

“I hate you, James Potter!” she yelled and pushed back her chair to stand up. She gave him one last glare and strode from the room.

James sighed and put his fork down. This fighting and arguing had become a regular routine over the last few days, and he had no idea how to fix it; both tempers were running high because of their confinement, and Harry wasn’t helping matters.

Being a child of not even six months, Harry had no idea of their confinement and the danger hanging over them and was a typical baby with tantrums. He absolutely refused to let them sleep and had quite the shows of accidental magic when they tried to make him do something he didn’t want to.

There were other problems than their confinement and Harry - not that Harry was a problem, he was just too exuberant for his tired parents - as well. Both he and Lily had always been fairly active people, and having to stick inside a house without anything to do was torture for the both of them. Lily still had a small potions laboratory which she used to make more potions than they needed - Sirius dropped off whatever ingredients she needed - but since James was on leave from the Auror Department, he had nothing to do.

He wasn’t even receiving paperwork from the Wizengamot ever since he assigned Fabian Prewett as his proxy - he would have preferred Frank or Sirius, but both were compromised - and even his mail from Gringotts arrived at Potter Manor since he had forgotten to ask the Goblins to change the address.

Besides, regular owls were too dangerous anyways.

There was also the matter of Christmas. The twenty-fifth was almost upon them but judging from the meagre decorations in their home, it didn't feel like it. Sirius had brought them ornaments, tinsel, and even mistletoe, and they'd had a fun evening setting everything. However, as soon as the laughter faded, the worry, the confinement, and the fear settled back in.

Rousing himself from his thoughts, James stood up and flicked his wand, sending all the dishes to the sink before they started scrubbing themselves. He followed Lily upstairs and found her in Harry’s nursery. She was leaning over Harry’s cot and stroking his hair softly.

He went up to her and slipped his arms around her, relieved when she leaned back into him. He dropped a kiss onto her neck and said quietly, “I’m sorry,”

She sighed. “It’s not your fault. It’s me; I know I’ve been flying off the handle at every little thing lately -”

“I get it, Lily,” he said, resting his chin on her shoulder. “We’ve been stuck here for the past two weeks with minimal contact with anyone except Sirius and Peter. It’s getting on my nerves too.”

“Yeah,” agreed Lily. “I just felt like yelling at something and you were right there.”

James chuckled, tightening his arms around her. “Well, love, you have permission to yell at me anytime and anywhere you want. I promise I won’t get mad.” James thought he saw a sliver of a smile on Lily’s face, but that soon faded. “Lily?” Something was bothering her. Something more than just their confinement and lack of sleep. Lily tugged at his arms to loosen them and turned around. The expression on her face was unlike anything he had seen before. It was both terrified and happy mixed in with worry and vulnerability.

“I’m pregnant, James,” she almost whispered.

James' world stopped. Pregnant? “Really?” He asked, his eyes roaming her face for confirmation.

She nodded. “Less than two months,”

James couldn’t stop the smile that spread on his face at the news even if he had tried. Lily was pregnant. They were having another child. “Lily, that’s wonderful! Another child. . .” His smile faded as the reason for her worry registered in his mind. “Oh.”

“Yes, James. Oh,“ said Lily. “I’m not upset; far from it, actually. I’m just scared.” Tears were leaking from her eyes, so James raised his hand and used the pad of his thumb to wipe them away.

“We’ll protect the baby, Lily,” he said firmly. “I have to admit, the situation isn’t. . . ideal. Harry is not even a year yet and is in so much danger, despite that. We already have so many people on the verge of death and bringing a new baby in this world is not the best decision...but I love this child already, Lily.”

Lily nodded, a smile breaking out on her face. “I agree. I always thought I would be one of the people who focused on their career first and got married in their 30s. Having children before that was out of the question. Yet, here I am, not yet twenty-one with a second child on the way and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Lily slid her fingers into his hair and made eye contact. “You and Harry are my everything, and this baby already has a space in my heart. I don’t even know if it’s a girl or a boy,” She laughed slightly as if the thought was unbelievable.

James decided that no more words were needed. So he leaned in and kissed her.

~FM~


Being back on British soil felt like heaven. Marlene had gone to Canada around July and had been there for almost a whole year and had missed a lot of important events - Harry’s birth, Neville’s birth, to name a few - and she had missed everyone so much that she had briefly debated the idea of coming back home for a few days.

But Dumbledore would have shown her those twinkly, disappointed blue eyes and would say some drivel or the other about how recruiting foreign wizards was important. They needed her in Canada to communicate between the Ministry there and the Order and also allow Dorcas and Mary to have some form of communication, since she planned to come back while they didn't. Still, Marlene's patience had almost run out when finally, Dumbledore said she'd done a fantastic job and could return.

Personally, she felt they should spend a little more time recruiting British wizards instead of looking abroad. The right witch or wizard was always there, and they might not have had the chance to openly defy Voldemort.

Marlene rolled her eyes for the umpteenth time as the wizard in front of her droned on and on about something that she just didn’t care about. Usually, she was more friendly than this, but she desperately needed to get out of here, and the man checking her luggage at the Portkey Arrival Point was slower than a turtle. She would have to resort to drastic measures if he didn't hurry up.

And this man was stupid if he thought it was a good idea to hang around in such a public space when the Ministry was practically overflowing with infiltrators.

“- So I told her that I was just kidding; it was only a joke, don’t know why she took me seriously,” he said, running his wand absentmindedly over her handbag. “But we’re all made up now!”

Marlene smiled insincerely and said as sarcastically as she could, “That’s amazing. It’s such a big deal that you managed to make up with your girlfriend that you should tell everyone about it.”

Ignoring his delighted smile at that - I should, shouldn’t I? - she leaned over and took her bag back was proud to say she did not snatch it - see, Mother? I can be well-mannered when I want to be - and was only slightly rude as she left the Portkey Office.

Thankful to see the back of him, Marlene hurried towards the lifts. As she passed the various corridors of the Department of Magical Transportation, she frowned slightly at the lack of people. She’d noticed it earlier, too, but she had waved it off, thinking it was probably because of people unwilling to use Portkeys these days. But the Ministry was suspiciously empty when it should be teeming with other witches and wizards at this time of the evening.

Only years of training and experience allowed her to spin around and conjure a shield as soon as the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. A bright pink charm splashed harmlessly against her shield. A Severing Charm which had been aimed directly at her neck. She returned the favour, aiming at the Death Eater right in front of her. She could see four Death Eaters, but there were probably more.

She dodged a hex and took cover behind one of the pillars in the corridor. Breathing heavily, she debated what to do. She didn’t know how many Death Eaters there were in total, so Marlene didn’t know if she could take them all, but she wasn’t sure if she should call the GB either.

Her decision was made for her when she heard quick breathing and footsteps behind her. She took a second to steady herself and jumped from behind the pillar just as the Death Eater was turning around it. As a result, her outstretched wand jabbed straight into his neck, making her cast a quick Stupefy. She would have cast the Severing Charm, but she preferred not to get her new clothes stained with blood, thank you very much.

Another Death Eater jumped forward, engaging her in a duel. He wasn’t particularly bright, but his spells were overpowered, making it difficult for her to shield against them. She sent a quick spell chain of a Disarming Charm followed by a Conjunctivitis Curse and a finger-removing jinx. The wizard could not defend against it because of the speed of the spell chain and dropped to the floor, crying in pain.

Seeing he was incapacitated, she turned around, aiming a roundhouse kick at the man who’d been just behind her. Her heavy boots crashed into his face, drawing blood and sending him to the floor. It didn’t stop him from aiming the Killing Curse at her, which she avoided by bending backward. She stomped his face with the heel of her boot while sending an Entrail-Expelling Curse at the Death Eater across the room who had flung a Killing Curse at her. Both spells missed, and she spun away from the moaning wizard on the floor, now left with only one target.

Marlene and the last Death Eater stared at each other, probing the other for weaknesses. Marlene sent a quick Bone-Breaking Curse suddenly and twisted her wrist simultaneously, flinging the small dagger that slid out at the Death Eater. The wizard shielded the curse and even sent his own but was unable to dodge the dagger, which hit exactly where she had intended.

Marlene ducked and let the curse pass over her head. When she looked up, her knife was firmly embedded in his neck. Blood trickled from the wound even as he desperately tried to remove the blade, but it was of no use. A second later, the light had left his eyes.

Despite one Death Eater being dead and the other three incapacitated, Marlene didn’t let her guard down. There could be more Death Eaters, but when none jumped out at her, she deduced the wizards must have been arrogant enough to assume four mediocre wizards could off her.

She snorted mentally at the thought. I am not the McKinnon’s daughter for nothing. I would have disappointed myself if I hadn’t picked up skills after living with a martial arts champion and a swordsmith.

Marlene quickly set about cleaning the place. She vanished all the blood with an overpowered Cleaning Charm and bound the three unconscious wizards together. Thankfully, none of the furniture had been damaged in the corridor except for a vase lying on the floor in pieces. Marlene repaired it with a wave of her wand and rummaged in her pocket for anything she could discard. There was nothing useless in there except for a few Knuts.

Taking one of them, she made it into an emergency Portkey - something which should never ever leave the boundaries of the GB and the Order, or they’d all be crucified - and tucked it into the rope binding the wizards together. She tapped it twice, causing it to glow a bluish colour for a second before it disappeared, taking along the three wizards.

Marlene extracted her dagger from the man’s neck and cleaned it with a wave of her wand. She slid it into its sheath and slipped it into its holster on her arm. Then, she transfigured the Death Eater’s body into a handkerchief and shoved it into her robes .

Marlene summoned the luggage she had left in a corner and shrunk it to fit in her pocket. With that, she left for her original direction: the lifts. Thankfully, they were empty - though it was kind of shocking no one had come up while she was duelling with the Death Eaters - so she was alone on the way down.

There were loads of wizards and witches in the Atrium, which she was thankful for. It helped her blend in instead of bringing attention to her dishevelled hair and jumpy demeanour - it generally took her an hour to calm down after the adrenaline rush involved in a duel. She left the Ministry from the Muggle entrance and Disapparated in an empty and dark alley.

She landed in a decrepit Muggle graveyard. It was mostly empty as it was situated in a rural village with a population of less than one hundred. Sneaking over to a corner, she took out the handkerchief and used her wand to dig a hole in the ground. She dropped the handkerchief in it and piled dirt on it before using her wand to make it seem natural. Nodding to herself, she Disapparated.

When the feeling of being squeezed into a tube disappeared, Marlene found herself in front of her parents' house. She would have liked to see Sirius first, but she knew her parents would worry unnecessarily if she didn’t assure them of her safety.

When Marlene opened the small gate, she expected to feel the usual magic tingling over her skin as the wards checked her identity. Only, she didn’t feel anything this time. In fact, there was a sort of malicious feel in the air. Marlene frowned, just realising that everything was tinged with green. Dread pooled in her belly as she hesitantly glanced above her head.

Glaring down at her from the sky was the Dark Mark.

~FM~


The funeral of Mathew and Melanie McKinnon took place on a sunny Saturday morning, three days after Marlene returned from Canada. Not many people were in attendance. Most of their friends had come, but some had declined because of the danger of coming out in public. Those who had come to support Marlene were Sirius, Remus, Peter, and other distant Order members.

Marlene could have used her best friends' comfort, but two were in hiding, and two were abroad. As it was, Sirius did more for her than she ever thought possible. He was the one who organised the whole funeral and packed up her parents' home. He constantly checked up on her to make sure she was eating and sleeping and always had a shoulder to cry on.

Not that Marlene had shed a single tear since that night. She felt numb, as if it was just a bad dream and she would wake up soon. But deep inside, she knew it was not, and the fierce part of her, not struck by grief, vowed to take revenge on Voldemort. She would make sure she regretted ever thinking about killing her parents.

After seeing the Dark Mark, the attack on her at the Ministry suddenly seemed clearer. It hadn’t been a random Death Eater attack. Voldemort had planned to wipe out the McKinnons. And judging by the state of her parents, Voldemort had killed them himself. Marlene might have died alongside them if she hadn’t gone to Canada. Or maybe she could have fought with them, and they would still be alive.

She snorted at the thought. If her parents, a top-skill swordsmith and a martial arts champion, couldn’t defend themselves against Voldemort, what chance did she have?

A soft cough broke through her hazy thoughts. She looked up from where she was staring at a photo - the McKinnon family had gone to Spain one summer, which had resulted in one of the best times she ever had - and saw Sirius standing near the doorway. There was a timid and slightly confused expression on his face, so different from his usual overconfident self.

He had no idea how to deal with her, but he was doing his best.

“Everyone has left,” he said, sitting down beside her. His shoulder touched hers lightly, providing subtle comfort.

An abstract, vague part of her brain acknowledged the fact, but she didn’t respond. Thankfully, she didn’t need to. Sirius wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her into his chest, and for the first time since their deaths, Marlene cried.

~FM~


Sirius felt trapped, and he wasn’t even the one who was stuck in hiding. Ever since close friends of the Potters and Longbottoms - Marlene, Sirius, Remus, Peter - had felt as if someone was following them whenever they went in public, Dumbledore had forbidden them to contact any family under the Fidelius Charm. Sirius would have disregarded him, but James, Lily, and even Frank and Alice agreed with it and made him stay away.

They eventually came to the compromise of sending one letter a week and Sirius visiting once a month to drop off groceries and provide sensitive information he couldn’t tell over mail. It was very inadequate, but it was the best - and safest - option in the face of their situation.

Sometimes, any of them would pop in randomly, but these visits had reduced since James had let Dumbledore borrow his cloak.

Usually, Sirius and Marlene would read a new letter together and show it to Remus and Peter later, but the most recent letter was read only by Sirius alone.

Dear Padfoot, Thank you, thank you, for Harry’s birthday present! It was his favourite by far. One year old and already zooming along on a toy broomstick, he looked so pleased with himself, I’m enclosing a picture so you can see. You know it only rises about two feet off the ground, but he nearly killed the cat, and he smashed a horrible vase Petunia sent me for Christmas (no complaints there). Of course, James thought it was so funny, says he’s going to be a great Quidditch player, but we’ve had to pack away all the ornaments and make sure we don’t take our eyes off him when he gets going.

We had a very quiet birthday tea, just us and old Bathilda, who has always been sweet to us and who dotes on Harry. We were so sorry you couldn’t come, but the Order’s got to come first, and Harry’s not old enough to know it’s his birthday anyway! James is getting a bit frustrated shut up here, he tries not to show it but I can tell - also, Dumbledore’s still got his Invisibility Cloak, so no chance of little excursions. If you could visit, it would cheer him up so much. Wormy was here last weekend, I thought he seemed down, but that was probably the news about the McKinnons; I cried all evening when I heard.

Bathilda drops in most days, she’s a fascinating old thing with the most amazing stories about Dumbledore, I’m not sure he’d be pleased if he knew! I don’t know how much to believe, actually, because it seems incredible that Dumbledore could ever have been friends with Gellert Grindelwald. I think her mind’s going, personally!
Lots of love,
Lily,


Sirius smiled throughout the letter. He’d been unable to visit for Harry’s birthday, but he had sent a broomstick, and to hear Harry being so natural at it excited him. When the war was over, he, James, and Harry would have to go actual flying, and they would teach Harry cool moves and how to play Quidditch.

Personally, he didn’t feel any remorse for the cat. Lily loved that creature, but there was no love lost between it and Sirius. Only, if it had died, Lily would have been inconsolable.

He was glad to see - or read - that the Potters still had some form of company when the others were not visiting. Regardless, Sirius decided to visit soon; a restless James was a reckless James, and Sirius - he usually encouraged it, but times were different - did not want that to happen.

~FM~


Compared to Harry's relatively large reception when he was born, the newest Potter was only greeted with James, Lily, Harry, the medi-witch, Remus, and Sirius as her welcoming party. Lily would have liked the Longbottoms, Marlene, and Peter to be there, too, but Marlene had thrown herself into work after her family’s death and was rarely seen, even by Sirius; the Longbottoms were still in hiding and had their own daughter a week ago while Peter was busy with his Ministry job and taking care of his sick mother.

“She’s beautiful,” said Remus softly from his chair by the bed. Unlike Harry’s birth, Lily had chosen the home birth option for her second child - not that she had a choice. A discreet medi-witch had been chosen to assist her in her birth, and they’d assigned the guest bedroom for that task and outfitted it with all the necessary equipment.

Elisabeth Lilian Potter had been born on 17th August 1981 at 5:02 PM. Again, James had stayed with her and given her support, and he’d called Sirius and Remus in when their daughter had been born.

The medi-witch had left after washing Elisabeth and recording her information and had consented to be obliviated of the Cottage's location.

“What’s her name?” asked Sirius, sitting on the edge of the bed with a squirming Harry in his arms.

“Elisabeth Lilian Potter,” James grinned. “I told Lily she should put ‘Lily’ as the middle name instead of ‘Lilian’ but she said it sounded too weird.”

Lily huffed. “Well, it does! ‘Lily’ was definitely not meant for a middle name!”

Sirius’ lips quirked up. “Whatever you say, Lily.” He finally lost his grip on Harry, who crawled over to his parents and stared at Elisabeth as if she was the most fascinating thing in the world.

James scooped up Harry in his arms and set him on his knee; he watched as Harry leaned over and poked Elisabeth’s cheek with his chubby finger. The girl’s eyes, blue for now, fluttered open and brother and sister stared at each other.

“That’s your sister, Harry,” said Lily softly.

“Sista?” he asked confusedly.

They’d explained the concept of brothers and sisters to Harry earlier, but he was evidently still confused as to who, or what, the pink shrivelled thing in his mother’s arms was.

“Her name’s Elisabeth,” said James, gently grabbing Harry’s hand before he could poke her more. “You were a baby once just like her and your Mummy and Daddy took care of you. Now that you are grown up, it’s your responsibility to take care of her, as her older brother,”

He grinned before adding, “Make sure she never dates anyone before the age of thirty, at least,”

Lily smacked his arm lightly, but amusement shone from her eyes.

Harry, who probably had not understood a single word, made a garbled noise that sounded vaguely happy but didn’t react further. Though that was probably because he got distracted by the ring on Sirius’ hand. Harry loved the rings his parents and godfather wore and was constantly playing with them or trying to bite them.

“Remus,” called Lily, prompting the brown-haired wizard to look at her, “James said he would do it himself but since he has forgotten, I decided I should do it,”

“Hey!” protested James. “I want to ask him!”

Lily smiled exasperatedly. “Then, ask him, James. Or are you planning to wait till Elisabeth will be ready to go to Hogwarts?”

“Your mother’s very mean to me,” he mumbled to Elisabeth and turned to Remus. “We were hoping you would be godfather to her, Moony,”

Remus looked shocked, as if the thought of possibly being Elisabeth’s godfather had never entered his mind. “Me? I can’t -”

“Of course, you can, Moony,” interrupted Sirius before wincing as Harry almost took his hand off, trying to remove his Black Heir ring. “Who else would they choose?”

“I don’t know,” said Remus bewilderedly. “Peter?”

Lily smiled slightly. “No offense to Peter, but he doesn’t know how to tell a child from their face to their toes. I would prefer my daughter to be in more capable hands,”

“I know what you’re going to say,” said James. “I’m a werewolf and I’ll be a danger, blah blah, but we don’t care, Moony. You are the best person for the job and you can’t change our minds,”

Remus looked uncertain for a few moments before taking a deep breath. “Okay. I’ll be her godfather.”

“Excellent!”

“Who’re you going to choose for godmother?” he asked curiously.

Lily smiled sadly. “We decided on Marlene but she couldn’t be here so. . . “She shrugged helplessly. “We’ll ask her when she feels better,”

The mood sobered at that. Because of her unwillingness to think about anything other than work, Marlene had become reckless and signed herself for every mission, and every raid that occurred, and nothing anyone said would change her mind. As a result, she’d been severely injured.

~FM~


Little Harry’s giggles made his father, James, smile. There were fewer things to laugh at these days, and what with being in hiding and the fear of Voldemort, the atmosphere was subdued and depressing, though Harry always cheered that up with his bright smiles and loud giggles.

“Dada, mo! mo!”

James was distracted from his musings when his son tried to catch coloured smoke in his fist. He turned around when he heard a voice and looked to see his wife coming into the room.

“It’s Harry’s bedtime, James. He needs to sleep. Lizzie’s already in bed.”

“Alright, here you go.” He tossed their son to her, drawing another giggle from him. Lily didn’t say anything but gave him a disapproving frown though she was unable to hide the glint in her eyes at hearing Harry giggle.

He stretched lazily and tossed his wand on the couch behind him as he moved towards the stairs to follow his wife. He checked on their daughter, who was fast asleep cuddling a stuffed doe, and went into Harry’s nursery to see Lily tucking him in.

He stroked Harry’s hair softly, who was quickly falling asleep, kissed Lily’s hair, and went back downstairs. He was clearing up the dishes from their dinner earlier when the front door clicked open. James froze. Anyone who came usually knocked first, so it was unusual for the door to open by itself.

James sprinted for the hallway, and there, in the doorway of their Cottage, stood Voldemort with his glistening red eyes and pale, waxy skin. His hand plunged into his pocket, remembering belatedly that he had left his wand on the couch. There was a clatter of footsteps behind him, and panic filled James’ heart. He had to protect Lily and the children.

“Lily, take the children and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off!” He shouted. There was silence behind him, and then footsteps started again, though away from him this time.

Voldemort laughed as if his courage was amusing, and James prepared himself for death. His time had come; he could only hope that Lily and the children could escape in time.

“You are not worth my time, James Potter,” murmured Voldemort silkily before his wand came up, a colourless spell emerging from the tip. James had half a second to recognise it as the Blasting Charm before the spell crashed into the floor in front of him, and he was flung off his feet.

He slammed into the opposing wall, splinters of wood surrounding him. Dust shook from the ceiling, and the plates on the counter crashed to the floor, shattering. His neck bent at an unnatural angle as he slumped down to the floor, a trail of blood following him. Voldemort didn’t spare the dying man a second glance. Instead, his attention turned towards the stairs where the boy was.

He climbed the stairs slowly, practically tasting the fear in the air. It was intoxicating and powerful.

The Dark Lord smirked as he thought about how the night would end. He was Lord Voldemort, and no small baby was powerful enough to beat him.

He was an Avada Kedavra away from achieving victory.

~FM~


Lily screamed when she heard the explosion. Her heart was beating fast; she could hear not only the beats but feel them as well. Her vision was blacking around the edges in time with her heartbeats, but Lily couldn’t focus.

James was dead. Or dying.

James.

James.

She let herself have a second to process that, and sprang into action when she heard footsteps approaching. She didn’t have her wand with her, but she did have the GB emergency Portkey. She turned around and linked Harry and Lizzie’s hands together.

“Do not let go, okay?” She asked, bending down and staring straight into Harry’s eyes. He nodded slightly, and Lily hoped she had impressed the seriousness of the situation on him. “I need you to keep holding on,” She brushed Harry’s hair back and took a deep breath before straightening.

She took Lizzie’s tiny hand into her own and grabbed the Portkey with her other one just as Voldemort entered the room. He was cloaked in dark robes and gliding as if walking was inferior to him.

“Mischief managed,” she murmured. The Portkey flashed blue just as Lizzie woke up and started crying. The tiny girl jerked, and Lily watched in horror as Harry’s hand slipped from his sisters before the mother and daughter were whisked away.

Her scream travelled along with her as she landed on her knees in the GB headquarters in Potter Manor. The only one present was Marlene, who jumped up when she saw her.

“Lily! What happened -” Marlene’s face was a mixture of concern, shock, and fear.

Lily thrust the still-crying child in her arms and stood up. “Take care of her,” she said and Disapparated. She arrived in the visitors' room from where she Disapparated a second time to Harry’s nursery in Godric’s Hollow.

A jet of green light was heading straight for Harry. “NO!” She screamed, rushing over to intercept the spell. “Not Harry! Take me, please!”

But it was too late. The green light passed by Lily with a millimetre difference and hit Harry straight in the forehead. The next thing she knew, an explosion rocked the house. Dust shook from the ceiling, the wall behind her blew apart, and pieces of bricks and wood crashed into her and the surroundings. Her head banged into the cot, and she crumbled to the floor, unconscious.

~FM~


There was something inside Sirius that was telling him that something was wrong. He had been in Peter’s flat for over an hour, and he was nowhere to be seen when he should have been back from work over an hour ago. He quickly left the flat and Apparated to Godric’s Hollow. His heart jumped to his throat when he arrived in front of the Potter Cottage and noticed the wreckage.

He hesitantly stepped inside. A crater was in the middle of the hallway, and the opposite wall was blown away, letting the air in; Sirius could see the night peeking through the hole. And there was James, lying in a puddle of his own blood. Sirius hurried over to him, hoping that James was still alive, but his eyes were closed, and blood was oozing out of him.

There was no way he survived, given the amount of blood that had left his body. Sirius collapsed to his knees, and for the first time since he was sixteen, a tear leaked out of his eye, trailing down his cheek and falling to the floor.

James, with his confidence that bordered on arrogance. James, who could never get his hair to lie flat, and who was absolutely wrapped around Lily’s finger. James, who took Sirius in when he had nowhere to go. James, with his mischief and pranks and kindness and his big, loving heart.

James, who had left him. James, who was never coming back.

Just when Sirius couldn’t take it anymore, he heard a cry from upstairs. His head shot up. That sounded like Harry. He wiped his face and stood up. As he climbed the stairs, he glanced back at his best friend, his brother, before turning away. The upstairs corridor looked perfectly normal, except the nursery door had holes gouged in it, and a few bricks and pieces of wood were lying in front of it.

This time, Sirius barely hesitated before going inside. What he saw made his already grief-stricken heart sink to the bottom of his chest. There was a big hole in the opposite wall though the crib in front of it was somehow still intact. Lily was lying on the floor in front of the cot, her hand curling around the cot's bars while a puddle of blood formed under her dark-red hair.

A black-robed body was lying near Lily. With an angry snarl, Sirius kicked the body out of the hole in the wall; that monster didn’t deserve to be next to such a beautiful woman like Lily.

An abstract thought crossed his mind that Voldemort hadn’t killed either of the Potters with the Killing Curse before a cry broke through the haze in his mind. Harry was standing in his cot, his hands gripping the railing; he was staring at Sirius with big, green eyes, and big, fat tears rolled down his small face.

He strode over to the cot and used his wand to gently siphon the blood that was matted on Harry’s forehead. He frowned when the thin lightning bolt-shaped scar refused to heal, but he decided he would do something about it later. Right now, he didn’t even know how the scar came to be. He picked up Harry and set him on his left hip; the little boy who snuggled into his shoulder.

Sirius looked around, realising that Lizzie was nowhere to be seen. He left the nursery and checked all the other rooms, but he couldn’t find her anywhere. Fear gripped his heart. What the hell? As horrifying as the thought was, if Voldemort had killed the youngest Potter, then her body should be present. But given that there was no sign of her, had Voldemort taken her with him?

But Voldemort was dead. He’d kicked the body out of the house just moments prior. Had another Death Eater been with Voldemort? How many people knew of the significance of the Potters and why Voldemort targeted them specifically?

Peter.

His heart was telling him that Peter must have given the Secret to someone he thought trustworthy, or he’d been tortured to reveal it, but his logical brain discounted each desperate hope and put betrayal as the reason why Voldemort was able to find Godric’s Hollow.

Peter had been shifty and vague for a few months and was constantly making excuses for being busy or having to leave early. He wasn’t seen as often by anyone and rarely contributed to conversations even if he did come. The only people who knew the Secret were Dumbledore, Sirius himself, Remus, and Marlene. Peter was the only one who could have given the Secret to someone, and given that he’d seen Peter just yesterday, it was unlikely he had suffered extensive torture.

And there was also the fact that he’d been making comments about the suspiciousness of Remus’ actions. Had he done that so that no one would focus on him and direct their scrutiny towards Moony?

It was highly likely that Peter had betrayed them.

The thought sent a sliver of hurt and anger through him. He let it fill him and overcome him until revenge was the only thing on his mind. Peter was the reason that James and Lily died, the reason Lizzie was missing, and the reason Harry had a scar on his forehead. Wormtail would have to pay.

Something tugged on his hair, and Sirius looked down to see his hair wrapped around Harry’s fist. “Paddy,” he said, his doe eyes looking at Sirius with so much confusion and hope that it crushed Sirius. “Mamma? Dada?”

Sirius drew Harry closer to him and pressed a kiss into his soft locks. “They’re not here, Harry. They’re gone,” he murmured just as a sound came from downstairs.

They were no longer alone. Sirius tucked Harry securely into his jacket and gripped his wand tightly before descending the stairs. To his relief, it was Dumbledore and Hagrid.

Sirius considered how strange it was that Hagrid was there as well. He didn’t know the Secret, so how could he see the Cottage? He pushed the thought aside for the moment, though.

“What’s my greatest achievement?” he asked, raising his wand.

“Getting Lily to approve of you,” replied Dumbledore calmly before asking his own question. “What’s my favourite jam flavour?”

“Raspberry,” Sirius lowered his wand. “What are you doing here?”

“I have an instrument which recorded the Fidelius Charm cast on this house. With James’ and Lily’s permission, of course,” Dumbledore added, seeing the look on Sirius’ face.

“It alerted me when the Fidelius Charm broke -”

“Wait, what?” interrupted Sirius, startled. “The Fidelius Charm broke? How?”

“There were readings of a magical explosion so large that it shattered the ward. Something like this has been unheard of before and it was worrying enough for me to come here myself.”

“Oh,” Sirius didn’t know what to say. “James and Lily are dead.” He said finally, quietly.

Dumbledore looked at him sadly. “We are sorry for your loss, Sirius. However, I know they died protecting their children which is how they would have wanted to go,”

They didn’t want to go at all! he thought angrily but stuffed it inside and took a deep breath. “That’s another thing. Lizzie is missing,”

“Missing?” asked Dumbledore, surprised. “Why would she be missing?”

“I don’t know!” he snapped. “If I had known, I wouldn’t need to tell you, would I?”

Silence descended in the room. Hagrid looked like he wanted to shout at Sirius for talking to Dumbledore that way, but a look from the older man made him remain quiet.

“May I see Harry, Sirius?” asked Dumbledore softly. “According to my information, a Killing Curse was cast on this location and I fear the effects that would have had on Harry,”

Sirius was loathe to give Harry away just to satisfy Dumbledore’s curiosity. But the scar on Harry’s head was a worry, and it would probably be better if it was examined now instead of later. He carefully handed Harry, who had fallen asleep while tucked into his jacket, to Dumbledore and waited for the verdict.

Dumbledore ran his wand several times over Harry and twice over his scar. Finally, he tucked his wand into his robes and traced the strange lightning bolt-shaped scar with his finger. “It is as I thought,” he muttered, seemingly unaware that he had said it aloud.

“Thought what?” asked Sirius quickly.

Dumbledore sighed and looked at him, his eyes dim through the half-moon glasses. “The scans show that Harry was hit by the Killing Curse but, as you can see in front of you, he survived it.”

What?!“ asked Sirius incredulously. “Are you sure your scans are correct, Dumbledore? Everyone knows you can’t survive being hit by the Killing Curse. It’s an instant death for everybody. “

“I believe that Lily put herself in front of the Killing Curse even when Voldemort gave her the chance to step aside. This caused a shield of sorts to protect Harry. I take it Voldemort has been defeated?”

“His body is lying outside the house,” said Sirius, unwilling to explain further.

Dumbledore only nodded. “I’m afraid I will have to leave. I want to confirm this theory with my spy so that we leave no stone unturned.” Sirius extended his arms to take Harry back, but Dumbledore wasn’t done yet. “I’m afraid I can’t let you take Harry, Sirius.”

Sirius narrowed his eyes. “Let me? I don’t see who you are to let me do anything, in regards to Harry. I am his godfather and the man James and Lily chose to take care of their children. You, however, were not anywhere in the list of potential options, so I fail to see what you have to do with any of this,”

“Don’t talk to Dumbledore that way!” shouted Hagrid, stepping closer threateningly. “He -”

“It’s okay, Hagrid,” said Dumbledore gently, raising a hand. “Sirius has a right to raise his objections. However,” he turned to Sirius. “I believe that Voldemort is not dead.”

“I saw his body myself, Dumbledore,” said Sirius, with gritted teeth.

“Voldemort travelled the paths of darkness more than anyone before him and he was too interested in the Dark Arts and too ambitious to have not found a way to gain immortality.”

“But what does that have to do with Harry?” asked Sirius impatiently.

“Voldemort will return one day and undoubtedly pursue Harry. Thus, he needs somewhere where he can be safe from all threats at all times.”

“What makes you think I can’t keep him safe?” demanded Sirius.

“Dumbledore’s right, Sirius,” said a voice behind him. Sirius spun around, his wand in his hand even though he’d recognise Marlene’s voice anywhere. Sirius could see the grief in her eyes and knew she had found out. As for him, Harry and revenge were the only things driving him; he would have collapsed already if he didn’t have something else to do.

“What do you mean Dumbledore’s right?” he asked. “How can you say that!? James and Lily wanted us to take care of their children!”

She drew closer to him and cupped his cheek gently. There were tear tracks on her pale face. “I know Sirius,” she said quietly. “But I also know that if Peter managed to deceive us for this long, then he’s a lot more dangerous than we thought.”

“We need to capture Peter and we need to alert Remus. Harry will be fine.” she assured him.

“I can’t leave him, Marls,” he confessed. “Lizzie’s already missing and Harry…he was hit by the Killing Curse; I just want to scoop him in my arms and never let go,”

Her brow furrowed in confusion. “Missing? She’s not missing.”

Hope shot through Sirius like an arrow. “Where is she? How do you know? Is she alright?”

“Lily came to me an hour ago,” she said, raising her voice so that Dumbledore would hear her too. “That’s how I knew that something was wrong. She Portkeyed in, screaming, and thrust Lizzie at me before Disapparating. She’s at Potter Manor now with Isabella, the Potter Manor elf,”

“She did that?” Dumbledore had a speculative look in his eyes, making Sirius want to punch him. Lily’s last actions weren’t to be dissected. She died protecting her children, that was enough. “I can only conclude that she tried to escape with her children but somehow, Harry was left behind, prompting her to return.”

Marlene ignored him and looked back at Sirius. “Whatever Dumbledore’s faults, Harry will be safe with Dumbledore for the time being,” she said softly. “We have other things to take care of; if we don’t do anything, then the Ministry will undoubtedly meddle as usual and mess everything up. The last thing we need is for them to do something completely ridiculous like pinning the blame on you,”

“James and Lily need to be taken care of,” she added quietly, and that did it for Sirius. His friends deserved a proper burial instead of having to lie in their blood for hours.

He turned to Dumbledore and Hagrid. “Where are you going to take Harry, Dumbledore? Lizzie’s at Potter Manor so I think it would be best for Harry to go there as well,” A sad half-smile crossed his face. “The elves practically raised James when Flea and Effie were busy so both children would be more than taken care of,”

“Alas, Sirius, Potter Manor can be accessed by the Traditionalist Families,” said Dumbledore, shaking his head. “They might have only gone once or twice when Fleamont and Euphemia used to host parties but it would be more than enough for Death Eaters to somehow find a way in,”

Sirius clenched his jaw at Dumbledore’s inability to accept someone else’s suggestion. “War wards have been activated at the Manor, Dumbledore. Nothing and no one against the Potters’ wishes can enter.”

“I’m sorry but I don’t trust those wards,” he said apologetically. “I have another secure location in my mind where all of Harry’s needs will be taken care of.”

Sirius felt undecided. On the one hand, Harry and Lizzie’s safety was his priority, and if both were safe, albeit, in different places, for the time being, he could focus on finding Peter. On the other hand, he wanted to keep both children with himself so that he knew where they were and what they were doing at all times until he could return.

He let out a breath. “Okay, you can take him to this location. But I’m warning you, Dumbledore, when I get back, I want Harry immediately,”

“Where is it that you are going?” inquired Dumbledore politely, but Sirius had already turned away.

“You take care of J-James and Lily and I’ll go after Peter, yeah?”

Marlene nodded. “Go, Sirius. Time is of the essence. Don’t forget to contact Remus as well.”

Sirius leaned in and kissed her before stepping back and leaving the house. A light wind was blowing, so he tied his hair in a low ponytail to prevent it from getting into his eyes. He gazed at the sky for all of two seconds and then Disapparated.

He had a hunch about where Peter was.

~FM~


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