Chapter Eleven: Family

Murder in London

Sad news today for the population of England as another small family has been wiped out by Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. James Potter (17), Lily Evans (17) and Harry Potter (2) were found dead in the couple's small apartment early this morning.

James Potter, son of well-known philanthropist and muggleborn rights champion Charlus Potter and Lily Evans, a muggleborn girl known for her amazing intellect and often called a friend to everyone were thought to have been targeted because of their infant son Harry. The young toddler made waves months ago when it emerged he had travelled from an undisclosed time in the future. The young half-blood had been living with his parents since Halloween and by all accounts the family had been a happy one.

We here at the Daily Prophet would like to give our most heartfelt condolences to both the Potter family and the Evans family. The funerals for the family will be conducted as soon as the investigation into their death is complete.

James read through the article for the fifth time in a row. "Dad, I know I say it a lot, but you're a genius." He grinned.

Charlus sipped his brandy, chuckling lightly at his son. "Well it was your quick thinking with the illusion charm that allowed them to believe it."

Lily held Harry's close to her. "Can you two please just stop talking like we've won?" She asked crankily. "It may have escaped your notice, but that's another Hogwarts student from Slytherin to take the Mark in three weeks." She pointed out, running her hands gently through Harry's hair to calm herself.

James's smile faded quickly once she spoke. "There has to be a recruiter in the school then. But we're not back for, chances are the recruiter changes every year."

Charlus watched his son carefully. "And what makes you think that?"

James poured himself a brandy. "Whoever the recruiter is, they know who has feelings against muggleborn students and other forms of 'blood traitors' within the school. They'd have to hold a position of power in order to speak to them. It wouldn't be a teacher, too risky for their cover to be blown. Any of the seventh year Prefects could be a suspect, but as I mentioned, they change yearly."

Sirius stared at him. "Elementary my dear Watson." He chuckled. He grabbed a glass of brandy and sat beside Lily. "In all seriousness though, James is right. But we do have one person who would know."

James grinned. "Peter! You'd be able to get us the identity of whoever recruited you He sipped his brandy. "But, we'd be putting him in extreme danger."

Peter smirked slightly. "I don't care if I get hurt, you're one of my closest friends. James...I won't let his future come to fruition."

Lily smiled at him. "Peter, the fact that you even think about that future means you won't be part of it again. We all trust you, you little Wormtail."

Sirius rolled his eyes. "This is sweet and all, but we need to work on finding the other Horcruxes. How's that coming Uncle Charlie?"

Charlus finished his brandy, puckering his lips. "Albus spoken to my representative at Gringotts, we've gotten possession of a cup owned by Helga Hufflepuff herself. It had been kept in the vault of the Lestrange Family. Regulus believes that Voldemort wants Kreacher's help to hide an object."

"That's one Horcrux and one possible Horcrux." Lily whispered. "Have we any ideas on what the final one could be?"

James frowned. "The ring was a relic of his family. The diadem belonged to a Founder. He's got an ego problem for making them out of what he thinks are valuable objects." He stood up, pacing around the room. "What do we know about his early years?"

"Not much. He received a special award in his sixth year for something, though Dumbledore won't tell us what. He lived in an orphanage during the summers and was considered a model student." Lily placed Harry down as she grabbed her notes. "He graduated into a low paying job in Borgin and Burkes, disappointing many people who knew him. After a few years he disappeared from public view until a few years ago when he christened himself Lord Voldemort."

Harry crawled around the floor, heading towards his grandfather. He scrunched up his face. "Uh oh." He sneezed loudly, causing Charlus' clothes to turn into a dress.

"The little lad's magic is certainly strong." Charlus laughed, waving his wand to fix his clothing back. He picked up his grandson and kissed his head. "Lord refers to a position of power. He thinks himself high and mighty over other people." He sat back down on his chair.

James stopped in his tracks. "Did he have any possessions that he was known to carry around?"

"From what I could find, he carried his wand everywhere and would often be seen writing into a black leather journal." Lily flipped the page. "He couldn't have made his diary into a Horcrux, could he?"

Charlus clicked his tongue. "Every Pureblood family holds a Grimoire. A book that only members of the family can read from. If Voldemort was trying to call himself a Pureblood, then it would make sense for him to have a Grimoire."

James finished his brandy. "Who would he entrust such an important object to?"

"Well, if Regulus is being asked to help with one and Bellatrix Lestrange was entrusted with could be someone with ties to the Black Family." Remus spoke up, closing the book he had been reading. "Lucius Malfoy married your cousin, didn't he Sirius?"

Sirius nodded. "Yeah. Narcissa unfortunately married the little toerag, though from what I've heard the marriage is one of convenience."

Charlus nodded. "I'll give you the compass then. You should go and visit your dear cousin for a catch up."

Sirius chuckled. "Well Cissy and I were close in our younger years. I suppose I could bring a cake or something."

Albus watched as an owl flew into his window. He grabbed the letter from the leg of the owl. "Thank you, Iris." He gave her a few treats and watched as she flew away. He sat down on his bed, opening the letter.

Brighton pier, the usual time. Come alone.


"And people say I have a flair for the dramatic." He chuckled softly. He closed his eyes for a moment to rest.

Thanks to Fawkes they now had three of the Horcruxes destroyed with only two remaining. He relaxed on to the bed, thinking of his overall health and role in the school. He had written his resignation letter and already had an application for the Transfiguration position that Minerva would soon be leaving. The thought of teaching young minds again had the elderly man smiling widely.

When he woke up the following morning he walked out to the grounds of the school, basking in the light of the sun. Time never seemed to matter when he took a stroll around the grounds of the ancient castle. Hagrid was busy tending to his pumpkins for the Halloween, which was still months away from happening, humming happily to himself as he pulled weeds from the prepared soil.

He made his preparations to meet Charlus later. The man swore secrecy was needed for a quiet drink between friends. Well, the Potters were known for being eccentric at times. But still, to send a note for a game of chess was going a little far.

Peter felt the wards shiver as he entered the meeting place for tonight's meeting. For the first time in months he hated wearing the black robes of the Death Eaters. He bowed his head as he saw Voldemort, keeping his demeanour calm. "I've just come from the Potter home, milord. Charlus and Dorea are distraught over the death of their son and grandson, as well as the mudblood Evans."

Voldemort chuckled. "Excellent news Peter. I must say my Animagi friend, you haven't been attending meetings as frequently as before."

Peter nodded. "It's hard to collect information from Dumbledore and the Order, Lord Voldemort. The Potters on the other hand have been speaking of plans to kill all Marked Death Eaters through tougher laws and regulations."

Voldemort motioned to a seat. "You are my most valuable spy, Peter. Your information about Dumbledore and his order has been critical in our work." He poured himself a large whiskey. "Peter, what's your opinion on your old friend's death?"

Peter shrugged. "James was a blood traitor. Though the half-blood had been his child he could've just disowned it and been able to marry a proper Pureblood woman, but he used the child to get closer to the mudblood."

Voldemort chuckled one more, though it was colder than before. "And the fact that their deaths came at the hand of Snape? After all, he's to recruit this year in Slytherin. I am also appointing you as my personal recruiting officer in Gryffindor."

"That was sloppy." Peter said bravely. "In all honesty milord, Severus wasn't the greatest choice for the mission. True, he hated the half-blood with a passion, but I feel he still had feelings for Evans."

Voldemort smirked. "Go." He commanded him. "Ever speak that way in my presence again and I'll kill you." He said calmly.

Peter froze in place, keeping his back turned. "My apologies, milord. Goodbye."

The occupants of the room exited the Pensieve together. "You deserve the bloody Oscar for best actor after that performance." Lily kissed his cheek.

Peter blushed a little. "I'm sorry for calling you the M word so much."

Lily slapped his back gently. "You were in character."

James grinned. "At least we know two of the recruiters." He spun Peter around. "See you, Pete, you beautiful bastard, I could kiss you."

"Don't you fucking dare, I will kill you!" Peter warned with a laugh. "Fuck it, I feel strong enough to tackle the world."

Sirius barked out a hearty laugh. "That's the spirit!" He poured five glasses of Charlus' finest scotch. "We'd pour you a glass, Lily, but we don't Harry getting drunk off the milk."

Lily tossed a pillow at his head. "Don't be jealous because my son gets more breast than you do."

Remus burst out laughing. "Oh, she got you Padfoot." He grabbed his glass. "Any luck with Regulus?"

Sirius tossed a box on the table. "No one touch's really powerful." He warned them with a solemn expression as he downed the contents of his glass.

Charlus opened the box, staring at a locket. "Salazar Slytherin's locket. He certainly is egotistical." He smirked. "I'll bring it with me when I meet Albus later." He closed the box, placing it in his lockbox. "And what about Malfoy?"

Sirius shrugged. "From where I checked, nothing. But when I left the wards it started to twirl around. I think he has it under serious protections."

James thought for a moment. "Didn't Barty Crouch say he's cracking down on Death Eaters?"

Charlus nodded, sipping his scotch. "Yes, he did. I trust you have one of your genius ideas?"

James smirked. "A grieving father is a terrible thing. I believe we should have a viewing, tomorrow. A Draught of Living Death would allow us to seem dead. You demand Barty raid Malfoy Manor after you saw a Dark Mark on Lucius Malfoy's arm. Ward breakers would have to bring the wards down temporarily."

"That wouldn't work. Voldemort has spies everywhere." Sirius pointed out.

"Exactly!" James poked his chest. "News will travel and Lucius will hide the Horcrux somewhere else. Somewhere he can trust, like the house of his wife's cousin."

Sirius broke out with a huge grin. "You bloody genius!" He laughed. "I'll contact Reggie."

Lily watched them all from the sofa. Since the incident she had clung to Harry for a cuddle. She kissed his forehead softly. "It'll all be over soon handsome."

As planned, Charlus, Dorea, Harry and Marie were all in Potter Manor, playing the grieving parents and grandparents. The Marauders were sitting in a corner, sipping on strong liquor to keep the façade up. Dorea could easily gain an Oscar for Best Actress with the way she was going on. She sat on the sofa, sobbing her eyes out as several women from her bridge club came over to comfort her.

Charlus had just shook Bagnold's hand as he spotted Barty Crouch speaking to one of the Wizengamot members. He made his way over to him. "Barty, thank you for coming."

Barty Crouch was not a man who showed his emotions, but he gave a sympathetic smile to Charlus. "Of course. I'm so sorry for your loss, Charlus. If there's anything I can do, please just speak to me."

Charlus wiped his eye. "Well..." He motioned for Barty to follow him into the other room. He calmed himself as he stared at the unmoving bodies of James, Lily and Harry. "Children, Barty. That's all they were. Harry was beginning to speak in full sentences and all. Children. And they were not the first to be targeted for just being in love." He placed a kiss on Harry's forehead.

Barty watched him. "Charlus, I don't think anything I say can be of comfort."

Charlus smirked to himself as he stood up straight. "If I were to disclose the identity of a Death Eater actively involved in the Wizengamot, what would you do with that information?"

Barty stood stoic. "Whoever it is would receive the greatest sentence possible and their premises would be immediately searched."

Charlus closed his eyes. "I want vengeance, Barty. I want new laws brought in that'll once and for all end the immunity all Purebloods think they deserve." He stared at the man in front of him. "Lucius Malfoy has the Dark Mark."

Barty stopped cold. "That's a heavy accusation, especially against my son's personal tutor."

Charlus locked the door magically. "Your son is being tutored by that cretin?!"

Barty frowned. "Lucius is a friend of the family."

Charlus pinched the bridge of his nose. He placed a vial of liquid down the kid's throats. "Barty, my son witnessed all this."

"Your son's alive?" Barty asked coldly.

James coughed. "Fuck me that isn't pleasant." He took a deep breath, hearing Harry cry. "My father's telling the truth, Mr Crouch." He held his son close. "We've proof of his involvement and we have a witness who can corroborate for immunity."

Barty looked at him. "I'm glad you're alive, young man. Same goes for your girlfriend and son, but why put everyone through the ordeal?"

"My son was targeted because of his blood status." Lily said in a soft yet stern voice. "Because in his time he was brought into this world from the loins of a son doesn't deserve to die because of his blood status or mine." She held Harry close to her. "Sir, my once best friend tried to kill my son..." She whispered softly. "My friends and I live in constant fear." Tears slipped down her cheeks as she spoke. "My boyfriend and I spend each night in each other's arms because we don't know if we'll be alive the next day." She looked up at him. "I just want to raise my son with my boyfriend in peace."

Barty handed her a handkerchief. "My dear, you should be free to live your life however you see fit. I'll follow this charade for your sake...but be very careful with your plans."

Charlus smirked. "In all the years we've known each other, have I ever went in head first?"

Barty just stared at him. "France, Germany, Poland, Russia and China." He said simply.

Charlus laughed. "Ah, those were the days."

Barty shook his head. "Only you could consider the war good times." He laughed along with him. "You three should get back to being dead."

James shook his head. "We're leaving to a safe house until Voldemort is no more."

Charlus sealed the coffins as the teens left with Harry. He offered Barty a drink. "Those kids are geniuses."

Barty nodded. "I'm just glad there wasn't another massacre." He pointed out. "Ever since the massacre in Diagon Alley last month, people have been calling the competency of the Ministry into question."

Charlus sipped his brandy, pacing around the room. "Bagnold's no fool, Barty. She knows a third of the Wizengamot supports Voldemort and she knows most of them have an ulterior motive behind their donations." He sat across from him. "We both know that Bagnold would never allow herself to be seen as an imbecile. Go and show her the evidence I've shown you and then raid the goddamned Manor."

"It'll be done." Barty shook his hand, smiling widely.

Charlus watched him leave the room. He finished his drink and followed him a few seconds later. The sight of the coffins was bad enough for him to deal with.

Peter sat with James in the living room of the cottage in Godric's Hollow, nursing a cup of tea. "Why did you pick this place?"

James shrugged. "Lily thought it'd be the perfect hiding spot for us to use. I don't like being here either. Especially not with that fucking locket in the other room."

Peter shrugged. "I can't exactly say I'm a fan of this place myself. After all, this house was to be the site of my betrayal." He placed his cup down. "I can hear it whispering to me, James. Promising me death if I don't go back to him."

James closed his eyes. "I can hear it taunting me." He whispered softly. "I can hear Lily pleading for her life...the sound of the curse leaving his lips...the cries of anguish from Harry as it hits him." He opened his eyes, which had flooded with tears. "I can hear it whenever I go asleep. Fawkes just had to have a Burning Day this week." He shook his head.

Peter patted his arm. "You'll be ok mate, nothing bad is going to happen to your family. You have my word."

James couldn't help but smile at his friend. "Merlin, I've spent so much time around Lily I'm starting to act like a hormonal woman." He tried to joke.

Peter chuckled softly. "I can see that, Jamie." He teased.

James laughed. "You're an asshole."

"Maybe, but at least I'm on your side." Peter grinned.

James was about to respond when he heard the door open. "Lils?" He called out.

"Not this time, lad." Dumbledore walked through the door. "Your father's contact at Gringotts has lent us an item that can destroy the locket and he instructed me to bring it by as soon as possible."

James held his hand out as the object touched his hand. "No offence, Headmaster, but a knife won't destroy it."

"It's a Goblin made and impregnated with the venom of a Basilisk. Their brethren in India have sent it to them." Dumbledore explained. "Your father mentioned the dreams you've been having. We both agree you should be the one to destroy it." James nodded, gripping the blade tightly in his hands. Dumbledore fetched the locket and laid it on the table. "Clear your mind and tell it to open, my boy."

"Open." He hissed out, not realising he was speaking in Parseltongue. The locket swung open, revealing a red slit for an eye.

"You are a fool, James Potter." The voice whispered. "Your son is doomed. Your little whore is doomed. History will always repeat itself."

"No. We've ensured that future is as dead as you'll be." James took a deep breath.

A ghostly image of Lily emerged from the locket. "You're delusional if you think I really love you. You're a means to an end. I only care about Harry. I couldn't give a shit if you died."

James stared at the image in front of him. "That's not true."

Dumbledore frowned. "Stab it, James. Don't listen to it."

An apparition of Ariana appeared beside Lily. "Like you have any right to order people around. You're the reason I'm dead, Albus. All bed you fell in love with a man who used you." She laughed coldly. "It was your spell that killed me, Albus. The only time you ever cast it. The Killing Curse. Be honest with yourself, you aimed at me. You were sick of caring for me."

"Ariana...that's not true." Albus fell to his knees. "You know as well as I do that it was a mistake. I never meant for you to die..."

James stared at the image of Lily. It wasn't her. Its eyes were red and lifeless. He lifted the blade high, slamming it into the locket with a loud scream. The magical backlash blasted him and Dumbledore into the wall. "Is it gone...?"

Peter glanced over at the severed locket. "It's gone James. You did it."

Albus sat up. "I think we all could do with a nip of whiskey after that."

James looked over at the locket. "Who's Ariana?" He asked curiously.

Albus sighed. "My sister. When I was a young man, I was seduced to darkness by a young man named Gellert Grindelwald...he convinced me that muggles needed to be controlled for their own safety." He let out a hollow chuckle. "Ariana had been attacked by a couple of muggle boys when she was a felt her magic unstable. My father tortured the boys into madness and then killed them." He wiped his eyes, feeling the familiar pain of the past coming back. "I was an angry man, James. I chose anger over family and it erupted into a fight between Abeforth, Gellert and I. During the fight we all launched Killing Curses at one another. Poor Ariana ran right into one as she tried to stop the fight." He stared hollowly at the wall. "That wasn't my sister, James. Just like that wasn't Lily. The locket saw our fears and played them against us. That's all it was."

James handed him back the blade. "Use it on the compass." He said simply. "That's your past, Headmaster. We all have a dark side."

Lily and James relaxed in bed a few days after the locket incident. James had been worried about what the locket had showed him until Lily put his fears to rest. And so there they lay, cuddling in post coitus bliss. "Why the hell were we waiting again?" She asked cheekily.

James laughed, kissing her deeply. "Because we're idiots." He held onto her tightly. "Dad sent word, all the Horcruxes are gone." He said softly.

Lily closed her eyes, relaxing into his touch. "He'll come after us next. Pete's going to let him know we're alive and well."

James shook his head. "That's too risky." He said sternly.

Lily opened her mouth, only to stop once she heard the door blow open. "I'm going to get Harry!" She got her robe on and sprinted towards the nursery.

James dressed and followed her a few seconds later. "Lily?!" He stopped dead in his tracks as he saw the hooded man. "Voldemort."

"I must commend you for your plan, young Potter. Not only did you fool the Ministry. You managed to pull the wool over my eyes. Until your friend told me of your location." Voldemort laughed coldly.

Lily held a crying Harry in her arms. "Don't cry baby, it'll all be ok..."

Voldemort looked at her. "It's a shame your parents had to be filthy muggles. You could've been an amazing Death Eater. Alas, you and your little mongrel are going to die."

James laughed weakly. "You really are a complete twat, you know that?" He held his wand out. "Do you honestly think you're a Pureblood? You're the bastard son of a Squib and a muggle. Lily's parentage is better than yours. By your own standards, my dog's pedigree is higher than yours. The only one who'll die tonight is you."

"Brave words, boy. But you haven't the magical ability to kill me." Voldemort pointed his wand at James.

"I'm not afraid to die, Tom." James said bravely. "Can you say the same?"

"You dare call me by that name?" Voldemort shouted.

"You're nothing but a pretender." James frowned. "You've done more damage to the pureblood population of this country than anything else." He moved slightly so Lily and Harry were out of Voldemort's peripheral vision.

Voldemort laughed coldly. "You're a gutsy one, I'll give you that. But all I've done is weed out the families who were traitorous to their own."

James shook his head. "Like I said, I'm not afraid to die. If I die tonight then I'll die for my family. For those who love me and for those I love." He gripped his wand tightly. "You're alone, Tom. No family. No one who truly loves you. You're a parasite. And I do not fear you!"

"Then allow me to take your life from you, boy!" Voldemort screamed as he waved his wand.

"No!" Harry cried out. He sniffled, looking at his father. "Uh...Uh oh..." He let out a huge sneeze, blasting Voldemort's spell back at him.

James and Lily stood in shock at the sight of the Dark Lord dead at their feet. "Did he…?" She asked curiously. "Did our son just defeat Voldemort with a sneeze?" She burst out in a mixture of sobs and giggles.

James just nodded slowly. "I…that was not normal." He stared at Harry, who was cuddling up to Lily. He placed Harry back in his crib and point his wand at the window. "Do as I do. We can't let anyone know that our son defeated him. It'll be insanity for him growing up."

Lily nodded, casting a blasting curse at the window the same time as James. "We need to contact your dad and Dumbledore."

James sprinted down to the fireplace. "Dad! Get the Headmaster! He's dead. VOLDEMORT'S DEAD!"

-Epilogue: 1995-

Lily Potter hummed to herself as she tidied up the kitchen counter. It was Christmas Eve and she was dying for the whole family to get together for a couple of days. Harry would be bringing Tonks again. She really wished the two would just realise that they were perfect for each other and start dating properly.

She wasn't some old fool. She knew her son was in a 'friends with benefits scenario' with both Tonks and occasionally with another of his friends. She couldn't really say anything. He was young and enjoying life. Besides, from what she heard, it was a mutual thing. No heartbreak was at risk.

Daisy was sitting at the kitchen table with her schoolmate Hermione, working on some homework before the Christmas party started. Daisy was born on August 1st 1980 and Lily had been relieved to find out she was having a girl. She had been worried that she'd give birth to another Harry.

She heard the door open and grinned as she spotted pink hair. "Harry!" She ran over to him and hugged him tightly.

Harry laughed as he mother hugged him. "Merlin mum, I've only been gone two months."

Tonks smirked. "You can have him back. Poor Sash and I haven't slept properly in a couple of months now."

Daisy turned to Hermione. "Maybe if they slept in their own beds they'd sleep better." She whispered.

Harry grinned as he heard Hermione stifle a giggle. He walked over to them and knelt down. "Hermione, you look lovelier every time I see you." He kissed her cheek.

Daisy rolled her eyes as her friend blushed dark red. "Nice. Are you ever going to settle down and get old?"

Harry ruffled his sister's hair. "And why would I do a stupid thing like that? Did Dad or Sirius do that?"

Lily kissed Tonks' cheek as the woman sat down. "Look sweetheart, give it a couple of months and Harry will drop down on one knee and propose to me." She laughed softly.

Lily rolled her eyes. "Aren't you so humble?"

Harry winked to Tonks. "Aw, calm down granny." He chuckled.

Lily let the pan drop from her hand. "What?" She turned around, her mouth wide in shock.

Tonks slapped his head. "I didn't know you saw the test."

Harry's face dropped as he turned to Tonks. "What?"

Tonks burst out laughing as she saw the look on Harry's face. "Oh, now that was too easy."

Harry sat down beside her. "Don't scare me like that!"

Lily rolled her eyes again. "That's three times in four years I've fell for that..." She picked the pot back up. "You get to peel some potatoes since you're such funny assholes."

Harry got some potatoes and a knife. "And here I thought it was my holiday."

Lily chuckled as she watched Harry work. It amazed her that her son went into such a muggle art such as culinary. He worked in an upscale restaurant in central London and was building a reputation as an experimental chef. She knew it wouldn't last though, he was already starting to get his own café up and running down the road. She hoped it went well for him.

"Where's Sasha?" She asked curiously.

"She's at work for another hour. Uncle Alex said he'd be by later on." Harry threw the potatoes in the pot and checked on the turkey and ham. "Mum, I keep telling you to brine the turkey in stock first, that way it stays moist. This thing could break a door the way it looks right now."

Lily grabbed a glass of wine as he worked his magic. "Harry, I have you for all that. But I have been basting it in its own juices."

Harry grinned. "Dad's going to flip when he sees his present. Are the boys at the shop?"

Lily nodded. "Yep. Your dad insisted that Damon and Samuel learn the family business."

"They're not even in school yet." Harry laughed. He sat back down. "It's going to be a nice Christmas."

Lily nodded. She was really looking forward to a two week break from her job in St. Mungos. James had a week off from the Aurors. Harry was back with her for the holidays. It'd be nice to relax with her family and friends. As she spotted James and the twins walk in, she knew, it was going to be a perfect Christmas.