Title: In Lily’s Memory
Fandom/Genre: Harry Potter
Content Rating: R
Warnings: Character death, violence.
Summary: What differences would take place if James and Sirius had run to the market the night Voldemort attacked.
EVIL AUTHOR DAY: That means this is just something I am playing around with and like all EAD’s it may be a long time before any more is done with it. Unbeta’ed
Chapter 2 now added, 9 March 2018
The upper part of the house was destroyed. Baby Harry’s cry could be heard as the two men stepped through the arch where the door used to be, and they rushed up the stairs, following the sound.
Wands drawn, they entered the nursery, and James almost dropped his wand as he stared at Severus Snape cradling his wife’s body and weeping. Time seemed to stand still as he tried in vain to unfreeze his body, willing it to react, to move. His vision blackened as he tried to remember how to breathe, and just before he lost consciousness, he saw Sirius picking up and comforting his son.
The next thing he heard was the sound of loud voices, his fuzzy brain could just make out Sirius’ voice and what he thought could be Hagrid, “what, how,” James sat up slowly and tried to get his bearings.
“James? Are you okay?” Sirius asked, and James could feel him sliding his glasses back onto his face.
“I think so,” James said as he rubbed his hands over his face, trying to remember, “Harry, Lily, oh Merlin, Sirius, what happened?”
Sirius handed Harry to James, who pulled him close and buried his face in his son’s hair. Harry always smelt like a combination of himself, Lily and something that was just Harry. It soothed him.
“When we got back from the market, the house was destroyed, and Harry was crying. We run upstairs to find Harry in his crib, while Severus was on the ground holding Lily. She, Merlin James, she didn’t make it. She died protecting Harry. It was Voldemort.”
James pulled his son closer, mindful of hurting the boy, kissing his head. He pulled Harry back to examine him and scowled at the cut on his forehead. “Where is Voldemort, and Peter, did he torture Peter?”
“That rat betrayed us, I have him caged up in the corner over there. I wanted to kill him, but I figured we could get information out of him later, from what I could get out of him before I caged him was that he joined the Death Eaters about a year ago and has been selling us out ever since. They came here tonight to kill you all, and Peter was going to blame me for it all since no-one knew we changed secret keepers, but us.”
They heard a inhale of breath and looked over to see Hagrid leaning against the wall in shock. “Anyway, from what the rat said, Voldemort killed Lily when she refused to move out of the way to let him at Harry. He offered to spare her, apparently for Severus.” Both men scoffed in disgust, “but she refused, of course, she refused, so he cast the killing curse at her, then cast it at Harry, but it rebound off of Harry and back to Voldemort, knocking his spirit out of his body. His body is destroyed, but his spirit was propelled out.”
“Harry needs a Healer, and we need to make arrangements for Lily,” James choked out as he tried to keep it together for his son. He could fall apart later when Harry was safe.
“We need to get to Gringotts James, the Goblins will help.”
The Minister for Magic, Lord Potter and the Head of the Unspeakables, though no-one but him and James knew that, Lord Sirius Black stood on the platform 9 and 3/4, Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom tucked in between them. Harry knew his Dad and Godfather had been dreading this day, but Harry couldn’t wait. He had spent most of his life being protected and trained, always pushed and pulled in a constant battle to keep him safe and being able to fight his way out of any situation.
When he was seven, he had learned about the Prophecy by accident and had pushed to learn more. By the time he was nine, Voldemort was a thing of the past, all his Horcrux had been destroyed, and Harry has heralded a hero for something his father and Sirius had done. Though it was well known that Harry was a Parselmouth, a now-coveted ability, his dad had kept his own ability a secret, but had trained with Harry and helped him embrace it, being The Boy Who Lived, had its perks.
The Boy Who Lived. How they had all tried to squash that one, but by the time they had managed to destroy Rita Skeeter, it was already embedded in the public psyche.
Sirius and James had destroyed Voldemort, decimated the Death Eaters and taken over the Ministry, all in the name of Harry, and the boy knew they would burn the world to ashes to protect him and Neville.
They had taken Neville from his Grandmother after his Uncle Algie had held him out a window, and ‘accidentally’ dropped him, while Augustus did nothing. It had taken a while to get Neville to come out of his shell, but with training and Harry by his side, he had flourished. He had visitation with his Gran, but it was always supervised. She was regretful, but still mourning her own son and couldn’t seem to stop comparing Neville to Frank.
“Arthur,” his dad’s voice broke him out of his thoughts, and Harry turned to watch the Weasley family make their way over, he turned to Neville and screwed up his face, causing the boy to laugh. Both him and Neville disliked the youngest Weasley’s, Ron was annoying and constantly complaining, and Ginny would blush and run away from them both, even after all this time. They adored the other Weasleys, well except Percy, he loved his rules too much, and being kids of Marauders, Harry and Neville tended to break more than they followed. Which was why the twins were their favourites.
“James, Sirius, so good to see you both,” Arthur said as he shook their hands. His dad had tried to make Arthur his Advisor to the Minster, but Arthur loved his muggle stuff, so his dad made him Head of the Muggle Liaison Office. He had extensive training in the muggle world, which help immensely, and his family was now fairly well off.
The twins made a beeline for Harry and Neville, and the boys looked at each other in excitement. The Marauders Map was going to be theirs this year. The twins had found the map in their first year, and showed it to Sirius, who they knew as Padfoot. A bit of tinkering had been done to the map to removed Wormtail, and Sirius had shown the twins, Harry and Neville how to add rooms if they found any new ones. The twins were allowed to use the map until Harry came to Hogwarts, where it would be turned over to the Heir of the Marauders. Today was the day.
“Harry, Neville,” both boys turned to James and Sirius, and the men chuckled at the excitement that shone in the boy’s eyes. “Remember what we talked about,” both boys nodded, “use the mirror if you have any trouble.”
“We will,” they replied in unison and then grinned at each other.
“If you have any trouble at all, you know what to do, keep each other safe, and remember, no matter where you get sorted, we are very proud of you both.” They hugged each other tightly, all four trying to keep the tears at bay, before the boys made it onto the train, Hedwig on Harry’s shoulder, and Luna, Neville’s kneazle weaving between their feet. Harry still found it funny that Neville had named his cat after Luna Lovegood. His crush on her was legendary.
Harry threw himself on his new bed, a huge sigh leaving him, causing Neville to giggle. Luna was curled up on Neville’s bed, and Hedwig was asleep on her perch, that one of the elves had set up next to the window. The train ride had been a nightmare, followed by the longest sorting in history. There were so many new students due to the inclusion of kids that would never usually afford Hogwarts, thanks to his dad and Godfather starting the Lily Potter Memorial Foundation. At least they had both made Gryffindor.
Don’t get him started on the actual feast.
“It seems Ron hasn’t learned any manners when it comes to eating,” Harry screwed up his nose at the reminder causing Neville to laugh loudly.
“Right, Ewww. I can not believe we have to eat with him every day, three times a day, it’s so disgusting. He sprays his food everywhere cause he doesn’t understand you shouldn’t talk and eat at the same time. I’m surprised Mrs Weasley hasn’t fixed that problem, she would be mortified by his manners.”
“Well at least we don’t have to room with him, after what the twins said about his snoring, we wouldn’t get any sleep at all. Fred said he is so loud he manages to break their silencing charms. Apparently, it’s why he has his own room.” Neville looked so relieved at being in the Heir suit that Harry had to chuckle.
“I’m just glad dad made sure they were available since it seemed Dumbledore had done away with them since he became headmaster. The Headmaster was furious that he had to change the way he runs to school. ”
His dad and Sirius had shredded the way the school had been run by Dumbledore. He had left the man headmaster, but cut his power out from underneath him. His dad said the best revenge is to take away what matters most to someone, and everyone knew that Dumbledore prided himself on influencing the minds of the new generations. James Potter and Sirius Black had cut him off at the knees leaving him mainly a figurehead.
Old classes, the old man had cut had to be readded, and the Wizarding world had been restored to the old ways, Samhain instead of Halloween, Yule instead of Christmas, like it was supposed to be. The Muggle-borns were taken in earlier and taught customs and traditions from the age of seven, in the new Primary schools they had introduced, so the transition was more natural. It made the Purebloods happy, and the Muggle-borns didn’t come into their world and try to make it adjust to their customs instead they now cherish the traditions of the new world.
It also helped them get to know other wizards and witches before they started Hogwarts.
Of course, there was still the occasional Muggle-born who prefer their ways, and the rare blood purist who wanted them gone. But there was always going to be prejudiced in the world.
“Well, he shouldn’t have tried to foster all that rivalry and hatred in the school, with his so-called Muggle loving ways. Especially since he doesn’t even like muggles.” Neville said.
They had overheard the adults talking about Dumbledores past and his so-called relationship with Grindelwald. They found the fact that he had been lovers with a Dark Lord terrifying, and even worst that he had defeated the man, and taking on his mantra ‘For the Greater Good.’ The fact that they later found out that he couldn’t kill his ex-lover and instead had imprisoned him, in the prison Grindelwald had built, was even more vexing. To do that to someone you proclaim to love, that had them deciding that he could be capable of anything for someone he cared nothing about.
“Poor Hermione, did you see her face when Ron spat food on her, I thought she was going to throw up on him.”
“Yeah, but the bollocking she gave him was well worth it,” Harry sniggered. Neville had to agree, watching Hermione get all self-righteous at someone else was hilarious, though not so much when they were on the receiving end. She had been continuously on them for their pranking in Primary school, from almost the first day she started. Harry and Neville both loved and were terrified of her in equal measure.
Harry stretched and stood up, picking up the pyjamas that Jinxy had left on his bed, changing quickly before heading to the bathroom. Neville came in just as Harry pulled out his toothbrush and got to work. They finished their nightly routine in silence before heading to bed.
Harry and Neville sat at the end of the Gryffindor table, as far away from Ron Weasley as they could get, eating and waiting patiently for their timetables. Well as patiently as eleven-year-olds could wait for anything.
“I can’t wait to start classes,” Hermione said from across the table, the boys had sat across from her.
“Introduction to Spellcrafting is what I’m looking forward too most,” Harry said, and nudged Neville slightly, “Herbology for you right Nev!”
“Uncle James said I could have a greenhouse all to myself for whatever plants I like, within reason, if I do well in lessons,” Neville gushed, and if you looked carefully, you could almost see stars in his eyes.
“I simply can’t decide,” Hermione said, causing Harry and Neville to chuckle. She glared at them before pulling her ever-present book closer and ignoring them.
Professor McGonagall chose that moment to approach them. She handed out their timetables before leaning down to whisper in Harry’s ear, “the Headmaster has asked that you meet him in his office after breakfast.”
Harry gave her a sour look, which caused her to chuckle slightly, “of course you will head off to your lessons, I have contacted your father, and he will be taking your place in the meeting,” she paused and smirked at them, causing a shiver to run down their spins. “I have, of course, included a message to your Uncle Sirius,” there was a loud commotion coming from the front hall, “ah I believe they may already be here.” She walked away to the sounds of the boys laughing.
“Dad, Uncle Sirius,” Harry called out as he got up from his seat, seeing the two men entering the Great Hall. He ran over and hugged them both before pulling them over to the Gryffindor table.
“Neville,” they both greeted with a smile.
“Hello, Uncle James, Uncle Sirius,” the boy said, standing to hug both men, smiling.
“Now, we hear Dumbledore has decided to summon you,” James said.
“On the first day of classes too, the git,” added Sirius with a smirk. Both boys looked at Hermione; she looked torn between respecting Lord Black and wanting to chastise him for his language, which she would have done had they been alone. Sirius laughed at the look on the young girl’s face and patted her head, “just keep score, and you can get it all out later, dear.”
Hermione seemed to be satisfied with that answer as they heard her grumble under her breath, “don’t think I won’t,” she looked at them, especially Neville, and added, “I need to write to Luna later,” causing Neville to slump in his seat before he straightened up.
“Don’t swear in front of ladies, Uncle Sirius, it’s tacky,” causing Hermione to smile at him and nod in satisfaction. Neville blushed as Harry elbowed him in the ribs.
“You know that’s gonna bite you in the arse later right?” he asked Neville in a whisper.
“Sure, but it’s worth it,” Neville answered with a slight smile.
“Where did Dumbledore go?” Sirius asked, pulling the boys out of their little conversation.
“Must have made a strategic retreat,” James muttered.
“Well, let’s not keep the old coot waiting.”
“I will see you later, boys, be good, listen to Professor McGonagall, and use your mirrors if you need anything. Remember to write often,” James said as he lent down and kissed Harry’s forehead, then Nevilles, followed by Sirius.
“Make sure you tell us what he wanted,” Harry said to his dad, then watched him leave before heading off to class himself.
James and Sirius quickly made their way up to the Headmaster’s office, the gargoyle jumping aside as they approached. They both entered without knocking and made a show of getting comfortable. “Taffy,” James called when both men were comfortable.
“What can Taffy be doing for Master Hoggywarts?” the little elf said, bowing to James.
“Can you bring some tea please,” James asked, smirking at Dumbledores frown.
“Right away, Master Hoggywarts,” the elf said popping away and then back in with the tea. James made a show of preparing a cup for himself with Sirius following his example. They both sat back and sipped their tea slowly, before turning to the old man.
“Now what exactly do you think you were doing, calling Harry up here to your office, Albus?” James asked, his face gone stony.
“I just wanted to make sure he had settled in well to his quarters,” he said clearly annoyed.
“You know very well, you are not to be calling Harry to your office for any reason. If you need to speak to my son about anything, you call Sirius and me since neither of us wishes to be alone in your presence, and Minerva as Harry’s advocate. That way you can tell us what you wish to speak to him about and we can determine if it is actually warranted.” James said as he shifted in his seat slightly, and glared at Dumbledore. “Are we clear? Or am I going to have to make more changes in this school?”
The threat was clear, but that all knew Dumbledore would not give up his need for control. “Crystal,” he replied mulishly.
James got up and moved over to the perch in the room, occupied by a phoenix, “hello boy, is the Headmaster behaving himself?” he asked as he pet the bird.
Fawkes replied with a series of warbles that James could interpret as a very disgruntled “no.”
“Well, you know where Harry is if you need anything,” James replied as he moved away from the bird, “or just come and get me if you need too.” The phoenix chirped his agreement and disappeared in a burst of flames.
Sirius moved away from the portrait of his ancestor and met James at the door, “good afternoon Headmaster, let us hope we do not have to come here unnecessarily again.”
As they walked down the corridor, James turned to Sirius, “so what did he really want?”
“It seems, from what Phineas heard, he wanted to try and convince Harry to work with him. There may have been a compulsion or two to be involved.” James grunted, but Sirius grabbed his arm and led him away. “You know if we tell him what we know he will discover he does not have control over the portraits and not be so willing to discuss his problems out loud in future.”
“I know, your right, it’s just so hard to not want to hex him to with an inch of his life,” James replied causing Sirius to bark out a laugh.
“Well, you know as well as I do that the old bugger refuses to believe Voldemort is dead. He is convinced he will be back, and Harry is the key.” Sirius murmured as they walked the corridors.
“Yes, I am aware, Padfoot, but I will kill the bastard before I let him anywhere near my son. Lily,” he cleared his throated and blinked rapidly as he spoke her name. Even after all this time, he found it hard to speak her name without emotion, “she gave everything for our son, and I will honour that sacrifice.”
Sirius put his arm around his best mate and hugged him, trying to give as much comfort as he could, “I know, Prongs, I know. But you know he will never give up, and will become more desperate as time passes.”
“I know, Pads, I know, but keeping him here in the castle is the best way to counter all his moves. If we fire him, we will be blindsided. It’s bad enough he has Severus out there working with him.”
“The old man is blind, James. Severus’ motives are crystal clear, he wants revenge for Lily dying and our living. He knows full well that Voldemort is dead,” Sirius said as he leads his friend towards the gate.
“Get some of your ‘friends’ on him, Sirius, I want to know what the greasy git is up too at all times.”
Sirius smirked at James, “already done, old friend.” They laughed before separating and apparating back to the Ministry.