Chapter-1 The-Boy-Who-Lived

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

"What nonsense!" snorted Sirius "And who are these Dursleys?"

"We might be able to figure it out if you will let me read Padfoot." said James in an exasperated voice.

"Sirius and his patience with books." chuckled Remus.

"Why don't you all just shut up and let Potter read, I don't have entire year to listen to your nonsense!" snapped Snape.

"Oh really! And what is it such an important task that you are supposed to do? Take lice out of your greasy head." said Sirius in a mocking voice shooting a non-verbal stinging hex at him.

"your magic won't work in this room." Snape reminded Black enjoying the look of horror on his face at the failure of his spell.

"damn it!" Sirius cursed.

Remus sighed, knowing that he was trapped here for a really long night.

Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large mustache.

"Handsome young man he is!" Sirius couldn't stop himself from saying; Remus rolled his eyes at the description, even Snape was shaking his head.

Mrs.Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.

By this point Sirius was shaking with laughter, Remus and James were having hard time containing their own laughter and Snape was having hard time acting like he was bored.

"That is one freaking amazing family." commented Sirius and marauders burst out laughing.

"My son better stay away from these people." said James a note of worry in his voice.

The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret. They didn't think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.

James stopped reading abruptly, "What does that mean?" he looked at book as if expecting it to answer back. Remus motioned James to read ahead.

Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley's sister, but they hadn't met for several years. The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didn't want Dudley mixing with a child like that.

"Is that your wife they are talking about?" asked Sirius.

"Is that my son they are talking about?" asked James. He was looking green only by the thought of being associated with these Dursleys.

"Let's read." said Remus. He was feeling slightly sick by the idea of James having to deal with such people in future.

"No wonder someone wants us to change the future." snickered Sirius.

When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, gray Tuesday, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country.

None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window.

All four boys raised their eyebrows at this statement. An owl in broad daylight meant 'owl post' and this was rare as owls were generally trained to stay away from Muggle areas.

At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek, and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his cereal at the walls. "Little tyke," chortled Mr. Dursley.

"Little pig," chortled Sirius.

It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar - a cat reading a map. He jerked his head around to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive, but there wasn't a map in sight.

"Is that McGonagall?" started Remus.

"There might be a possibility," said James.

"But what is she doing there?" asked Sirius.

"Only one way to figure out," replied Severus in his usual bored voice.

Mr.Dursleyblinked and stared at the cat. It stared back. As Mr. Dursley drove around the corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was now reading the sign that said Privet Drive - no, looking at the sign; cats couldn't read maps or signs.

"This is definitely McGonagall, she is the only cat who acts so less like a cat," chuckled Sirius now feeling excited about this book as he found someone he knew in the story.

As he sat in the usual morning traffic jam, he couldn't help noticing that there seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about. People in cloaks.

At this all marauders exchanged glances and Snape stared at book like it was suggesting murder.

Mr.Dursleycouldn't bear people who dressed in funny clothes. But then it struck Mr. Dursley that these people were obviously collecting for something... yes, that would be it.

"That stupid git has sick imagination," Sirius was now really frustrated with Dursleys. James threw him an understanding look and continued,

Mr.Dursleyalways sat with his back to the window in his office on the ninth floor. He didn't see the owls swooping past in broad daylight, though people down in the street did; they pointed and gazed open- mouthed as owl after owl sped overhead.

"This can't be true, this is a serious breach of statute of secrecy", Remus said faintly, all three boys agreed with him mentally.

He was in a very good mood until lunchtime, when he thought he'd stretch his legs and walk across the road to buy himself a bun from the bakery.

"By the sound of his description I don't think he needs any more food," snickered Snape for the first time. Sirius had a hard time maintaining a passive face.

He'd forgotten all about the people in cloaks until he passed a group of them next to the baker's. It was on his way back past them that he caught a few words of what they were saying.

"The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard yes, their son, Harry"

"What about my son?" exclaimed James.

He looked back at the whisperers as if he wanted to say something to them, but thought better of it.

"Well at least he has some common sense," said Sirius. He wanted to know what they were talking about but he was not having a good feeling about Dursley talking to cloaked people about Potters.

He dashed back across the road and had almost finished dialing his home number when he changed his mind... no, he was being stupid.

"…and paranoid, and duffer, and idiot, and fat, and baboon head…." Remus smacked Sirius on head as he listed on his finger tips several things that he thought Mr. Dursley was being.

He was sure there were lots of people called Potter who had a son called Harry. There was no point in worrying Mrs. Dursley... but all the same, those people in cloaks...

"arghh… he is irritating me to no end," James was furious.

when he left the building, he was still so worried that he walked straight into someone. "Sorry," he grunted,

"He knows that word?" asked Remus incredulously.

as the tiny old man stumbled and almost fell. It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized that the man was wearing a violet cloak.

"That git walked right into a wizard," muttered Sirius. Remus was not having a very good feeling about it.

He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. "Don't be sorry, my dear sir, Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like you should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!"

"What!" all three marauders were staring at the book with their eyes almost budging out of their eye sockets. On the other hand the only Slytherin in the room looked like someone just punched him in his gut. All color gone from his face, he was looking as white as a ghost.

Sirius nudged James in his stomach and nodded towards Severus.

"Anything wrong Snivellus?" asked James his voice full of mock concern, his face slowly splitting in a full and wide grin.

"Read," chocked Slytherin like his life depended on it.

And the old man hugged Mr. Dursley around the middle and walked off. He had been hugged by a complete stranger. He also thought he had been called a Muggle, whatever that was. He hurried to his car, hoping he was imagining things, which he had never hoped before, because he didn't approve of imagination.

"What a truly horrible life he must be living!" amused Sirius. He was feeling slightly offended by the fact that Mr. Dursley didn't approve of imagination.

As he pulled into the driveway of number four, the first thing he saw was the tabby cat he'd spotted that morning. It had the same markings around its eyes.

"McGonagall," chorused all three boys together. This book was turning to be a gift from god for marauders.

"Why would anyone want us to change such lovely future?" Sirius said almost laughing. James and Remus exchanged anxious glances at that. If someone wanted them to change the future with such lovely prospects then there must be something horrible coming along.

"Shoo!" said Mr. Dursley loudly. The cat didn't move. It just gave him a stern look. Was this normal cat behavior? Mr. Dursley wondered.

"No! That's normal McGonagall behavior," James commented.

"honestly Prongs, you can even interrupt yourself," Remus chuckled.

Mrs.Dursleyhad had a nice, normal day. She told him over dinner how Dudley had learned a new word ("Won't!").

"He is going to be a good mannered kid," said Remus sarcastically.

When Dudley had been put to bed, he went into the living room in time to catch the last report on the evening news:

"And finally, There have been hundreds of sightings of these birds flying in every direction since sunrise. "Well, Ted," said the weatherman, "it's not only the owls that have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me they've had a downpour of shooting stars!"

"Are they…," chocked Remus.

"Probably they are celebrating…," suggested James.

"They are awesome!" chimed Sirius. Other boys looked at him like he was mad. Trust Sirius to find humor in deadly situations.

Shooting stars all over Britain? Owls flying by daylight? Mysterious people in cloaks all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters...

"Er - Petunia, dear - you haven't heard from your sister lately, have you?"

"Read that again!" came Snape's hoarse voice.

"What?" asked James.

"Last line…" replied Snape, his face was looking like each word was causing him death pain.

"Er - Petunia, dear - you haven't heard from your sister lately, have you?"

It clicked immediately. This name, that paranoia about magical world. It took severus nothing more than 2 seconds to put 2 and 2 together.

Lily Evans and James Potter, no,no no! not possible.

"Anything wrong Snivellus?" asked James this time his voice filled with actual concern.

"Man, you look like you are about to be violently sick," pointed out Sirius. Snape looked at those boys anger flashing clear on his sharp features.

"How about I do become sick, violently, on your robes?," spat Snape through his gritted teeth.

"You will behave if you don't want to have slugs in your breakfast tomorrow," retorted Sirius wishing he could hex Snape. James was also looking highly offended. They were acting civil for last hour or something, he was hoping that to continue at least as long as they were reading about his son.

As he had expected, Mrs. Dursley looked shocked and angry.

"No," she said sharply. "Why?"

"Funny stuff on the news," Mr. Dursley mumbled. "Owls... shooting stars... and there were a lot of funny-looking people in town today..."

"So?" snapped Mrs. Dursley.

"Well, I just thought... maybe... it was something to do with... you know... her crowd."

"Their son - he'd be about Dudley's age now, wouldn't he?"

"I suppose so," said Mrs. Dursley stiffly.

"What's his name again? Howard, isn't it?"

"He doesn't even know the name of his nephew!" Remus shook his head.

"Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me."

"Hey! That's a brilliant name, you idiot woman!" James was furious.

Mr.Dursleycrept to the bedroom window and peered down into the front garden. The cat was still there. It was staring down Privet Drive as though it were waiting for something.

"Of course she is, she won't sit there all day along to play with your baby elephant son," Sirius was offended with petunia because she insulted his best mate's son.

His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come near him and Mrs. Dursley.

How very wrong he was.

"Uh-oh," exclaimed Remus, "I am not having good feelings about this Prongs!"

Mr. Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness. In fact, it was nearly midnight before the cat moved at all.

A man appeared on the corner the cat had been watching, appeared so suddenly and silently you'd have thought he'd just popped out of the ground.

"Because this is what he did, he apparated there,"

"Thanks Sirius,"

The cat's tail twitched and its eyes narrowed.

"Finally some action!" breathed Sirius.

He was tall, thin, and very old. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak that swept the ground. His blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice.

"Dumbledore!" exclaimed everyone in the room.

This man's name was Albus Dumbledore.

They all smiled smugly.

AlbusDumbledorewas busy rummaging in his cloak. He found what he was looking for in his inside pocket. It seemed to be a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out. He clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left on the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him.

"Trust McGonagall to produce light with her death stare," muttered James.

"Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall."

He turned to smile at the tabby, but it had gone. Instead he was smiling

at a rather severe-looking woman who was wearing square glasses. She, too, was

wearing a cloak, an emerald one. Her black hair was drawn into a tight


"My dear Professor, I 've never seen a cat sit so stiffly."

"You'd be stiff if you'd been sitting on a brick wall all day," said Professor McGonagall.

"All day? When you could have been celebrating?"

"Trust Dumbledore to infuriate people even without saying anything offensive," this time muttered Remus.

ProfessorMcGonagallsniffed angrily.

Sirius laughed, "She does that all the time with me!"

"Oh yes, everyone's celebrating, all right," she said impatiently.

"Shooting stars down in Kent - I'll bet that was Dedalus Diggle. He never had much sense."

"Diggle?" asked James looking around for explanation.

"Hufflepuff, graduated last year," replied Remus.

"You can't blame them," said Dumbledore gently.

"Exactly, no one should ever blame anyone for partying! That's against the code of conduct of being human," said Sirius solemnly.

Marauders chuckled at this comment but Snape was sending daggers at marauders with his eyes. This was turning out to be the worst night of his existence. First he hears the news of downfall of his great master then he comes to know that his childhood love Lily Evans ended up getting married with his greatest enemy James Potter. "What is next?" he thought "…news of my own death!"

"I know that," said Professor McGonagall irritably. "I suppose he really has gone, Dumbledore?"

"It certainly seems so," said Dumbledore.

"As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone -"

"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name.

"Everyone knows you're the only one You-Know- oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened of."

"Voldemort had powers I will never have."

"Only because he is too noble to use them!" said Remus happily.

"Only because you're too - well - noble to use them."

"you think like McGonagall," Sirius chortled.

"It's lucky it's dark. I haven't blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs."

"Are they flirting!" asked Sirius.

"No, they are not," replied James.

"But prongs," started Remus.

"Please Moony; I won't be able to keep my mind in check with this image in my head," said James with a fake disgusted voice and a dramatic sigh.

"You own one, that's news to me! Congrats mate" Sirius said winking at Remus and they burst out laughing. James smashed a pillow in Sirius's stomach and continued reading,

ProfessorMcGonagallshot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said, "You know what everyone's saying? About what finally stopped him?"

All boys tensed up, even Snape started paying attention. He was curious to know the reason of his almighty master's downfall. Marauders looked at each other in anticipation and James continued,

It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she was most anxious to discuss. Dumbledore, however, did not answer.

"is he mad? What is it with old people and keeping suspense?" Snape couldn't stop himself from saying that, earning himself death glares from marauders.

"What they're saying," she pressed on, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow.

James went rigid at the mention of Godric's Hollow. He was planning to settle there after graduation. " This can't be good," he thought.

He went to find the Potters.

James felt his friends go motionless beside him, he could feel three pairs of eyes on him. He read on,

The rumor is that…

"what is it mate?"

"James? Prongs?"

"what is wrong?"

James was looking as white as a ghost. He was so still that one could easily assume he was stunned. He was staring at the book with an expression of disbelief, so strong that it was painful to look at his face. Remus and Sirius exchanged glances. Sirius held James by his shoulders and Remus tried to grab the book out of his hand but he didn't let go.

"Snap out of it Potter and tell us what happened?" snapped Severus, he was anxious about well being of Lily. Both marauders glared at him with silent promises of killing him at the first chance they got.

James raised his face looking like he was about to pass out.

"James please, tell us what happened," pleaded Remus. James read,

The rumor is that Lily and James Potter are - are - that they're - dead. "

Dumbledore bowed his head. Professor McGonagall gasped.

Marauders didn't know what to make of this news, whether to be happy for James that he finally ended up with his only love Lily Evans or to be sad about the fact that they died!

Remus was looking pale, his friends were most important part of his life and imagining his life without even one of them was such a painful prospect that he couldn't bring himself to think about it. He was also shocked about Lily. He valued his friendship with Lily as much as marauders. Sirius was beyond himself. James was more close to him than his own brother, if anything happened to him how would he survive.

James was having entirely different thoughts. Of course they all were planning to join the war against Lord Voldemort after completing graduation. But none of them knew how serious it actually was. His would be wife, Lily, his lily flower was dead but how and why? He needed to know and he needed to prevent that from happening. He looked at the ceiling and swore to whoever God was listening that he won't let this happen. He swore that he will protect his wife and their unborn child at any cost.

On the other hand Snape was so shocked that he was still alive after listening to the news of Lily's death. He was expecting a brain hemorrhage or a heart attack to come and relieve him from his mental pain of enduring the news of crashing of his world. He was still trying to get the hold of his senses when a distant voice came in his ears.

"Let's figure out how that happened!" said James in a weak but determined voice.

Remaining Marauders agreed, now it was more important for them to find it out.

"Lily and James... I can't believe it... Oh, Albus..."

Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder. "I know... I know..." he said heavily.

Remus and Sirius looked at each other sadly. Though McGonagall would never admit that but she adored James like her own son. The news of his death must be as hard for her as it was for them.

ProfessorMcGonagall's voice trembled as she went on. "That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potter's son, Harry.

James was shivering with both anger and fear to read about his son. Remus patted his back slightly to encourage him and Sirius put a reassuring arm around his shoulders.

But – he couldn't. when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke - and that's why he's gone.

Dumbledore nodded glumly.

"What!" exclaimed everyone. This sentence seemed to bring Snape back to his senses.

"How did he do that?" asked James staring at book like he was expecting an answer.

"Did I ever tell you that I am already naming your kid as 5th marauder, " said Sirius with an expression of utmost sincerity and respect and finally managing to bring a small smile back his best mate's face.

"It's - it's true? After all he's done... he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"

"It's about time someone answer that question," said James.

"We can only guess," said Dumbledore. "We may never know."

James was looking on the verge of explosion. "It means he knows but he won't tell " he growled.

"I wonder how killing curse failed, there is no possible way to do so, but then I can't be certain Voldemort used killing curse." Remus was talking to himself.

"Hey moony, there is smoke coming out of your ears, stop thinking so hard," said Sirius, his voice laced with concern. Remus ignored him to the best of his capacity.

"This is like breaking every single rule of universe, first we get to know about future now we encounter a case of failed killing curse, first of its kind," muttered Snape, looking at Remus, equally puzzled, Remus nodded in understanding.

"Not to mention the fact that you ended up getting married with Evans, no offense mate but she hates you like we hate Snivellus here," amused Sirius, Snape scowled. Remus rolled his eyes but secretly he agreed with Sirius, Lily hated James to no end, how James managed to win her heart was beyond him.

James was thinking exactly same thing. He loved Lily madly and knew that he won't be able to love anyone the way he loved her, there was no doubt about it. But getting married with her and having kids was something he never gave thought of, now that he thought about this, it all seemed too natural like it was bound to happen.

"Maybe she fell over and hit her head hard," Sirius was finding this situation extremely hilarious. James ignored him. He had learnt to ignore his friends long ago when it came to Lily.

ProfessorMcGonagallpulled out a lace handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore said, "Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"

"he invited Hagrid in muggle London?" Remus was looking like he would throw up.

"He must be off his rocker!" Even Sirius knew the absurdity of this situation.

"Yes," said Professor McGonagall. "And why you're here, of all places?"

"Yeah, even I would love to have an explanation," James said in a nervous tone. He could sense this was not going to be pleasant.

"I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."

"NO!" yelled James on the top of his lungs. "Why on the name of Merlin is he leaving my son with those nuts!"

Sirius was outraged, "This is life sentence, Harry can't live with these jerks!"

"This is insane. So what if Lily and I are both dead, you and Remus can take care of Harry, he can live with you, can he?" asked James suddenly feeling unsure.

"Of course he can, we don't need to discuss about it, he will live with his almost uncle as long as he wants," said Sirius with a note of finality.

Snape was finding this situation very unsettling. "what are you playing at headmaster," he murmured.

"You can't mean the people who live here?" cried Professor McGonagall, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. "Dumbledore - you can't.

"Listen to her Dumbledore, she is one smart woman," Remus was chewing his nails in tension.

You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son - I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets.

"I will hex my kid into next century if he ever tried to kick his mother," said Remus. He looked so dangerous that nobody dared saying anything to him.

HarryPottercome and live here!"

"Exactly my point, he is my son, he is royalty!" said James. Sirius gave him don't-start-this-again look. Snape nearly rolled his eyes, "And they wonder why I hate them" he thought.

"It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly. "I've written them a letter."

"A letter," repeated Remus faintly. James was shaking with anger and Sirius was glaring at book like it said something very offensive to him.

"A letter?" repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. "Really, Dumbledore? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous – a legend - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!"

And to everyone's surprise James was not at all looking excited with this news. By this point even Snape was beginning to feel bad for Potter kid. He knew Petunia Evans better then all of them and he knew what was coming for young Harry. He just didn't understand why Dumbledore was being so blind with this entire situation.

"Exactly," said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head."

"But this is pointless," reasoned Sirius, "He is a Potter and to be precise he is part James; he is born with an inflated head! So, why all this trouble? "

James looked at Sirius with such murderous expression so as to say if looks could kill
Padfoot, you would have been dead three times by now.

ProfessorMcGonagallopened her mouth, changed her mind, and then said, "Yes - yes, you're right. But how is the boy getting here, Dumbledore?" She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.

"you better not travel with my son hiding under your cloak," James barked at book. Remus shook his head and said,

"James, you do realize that's not possible, don't you?"

"I don't trust him anymore," replied James flatly.

"Hagrid's bringing him."

"You think it - wise - to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"

"I would trust him with my life" muttered Sirius.

I would trust Hagrid with my life," said Dumbledore.

"From now on, I won't trust you even with my owl let alone my son!" James was so angry that it was a miracle that he could talk at all.

"I'm not saying his heart isn't in the right place," said Professor McGonagall grudgingly, "but you can't pretend he's not careless - what was that?"

"What was what?"

A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them – and a huge motorcycle fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them.

"What have they done to statute of secrecy!" Remus looked like he was about to cry.

"A flying motorcycle…" Sirius and James exchanged knowing glances. Snape was looking at these two with narrowed eyes.

If the motorcycle was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man. He looked simply too big to be allowed – long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of trash can lids. In his vast, muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.

"Hagrid brought my son on a flying motorcycle and Dumbledore and McGonagall allowed him to do so, I am so going to have a word with these two about rules and regulations," James was looking ready to murder.

"Hagrid," said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorcycle?"

"Now you are asking him!"

"Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir," said the giant "Young Sirius Black lent it to me. I've got him, sir."

Suddenly Sirius felt three pair of eyes boring into him.

"Would young Sirius Black like to explain exactly what he was doing with a flying motorcycle?" asked Remus in a very calm voice.

"I was planning to make one, after graduation," replied Sirius sheepishly.

"Sirius you know that you are not allowed to put enchantments on muggle artifacts let alone use one to fly across country." Remus said in an exasperated voice. "I should have known" he thought.

"I wasn't planning to use it so publically, I don't know what I was thinking when I lent it to Hagrid," Sirius was genuinely confused.

"It means you were there when I died!" James tried to reason. Sirius flinched at his words.

"Looks like I was," he replied in a small voice.

"But then why did you not take harry with you?" Remus was completely at loss with this situation.

"Nice question, I will let you know when I will figure it out," he replied.

"No problems, were there?"

"Nah. Poor kid is just about to be murdered and now is an orphan. Not to forget that he will be living with gits from now on, i don't count that as problem." Sirius replied sarcastically.

"No, sir - house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around."

Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.

"Bolt of lightning!"

"what do you think about it?" Remus was, to everyone's surprise, asking Snape.

"This is curious, I have never heard about anything like that, but I have never heard about failed killing curse either," Snape was as clueless about this as they were.

"Is that where -?" whispered Professor McGonagall.

"Yes," said Dumbledore. "Well - give him here, Hagrid"

Dumbledore took Harry in his arms and turned toward the Dursleys' house.

"Don't do this professor, please…" James was practically pleading to the book.

Suddenly, Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog.

"Hey! I resent that comment." Sirius whined and James shot him a warning look nodding in direction of Snape.

"Shhh!" hissed Professor McGonagall, "you'll wake the Muggles!"

"I am beginning to like this woman more and more with every passing minute," huffed Sirius.

"S-s-sorry," sobbed Hagrid, "But I c-c-can't stand it - Lily an' James dead - an' poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles -"

James felt his insides turning ice as he once again heard about Lily's death. Snape lost whatever color was left in his face at this reminder.

"Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found," Professor McGonagall whispered. Dumbledore stepped over the low garden wall and walked to the front door. He laid Harry gently on the doorstep, took a letter out of his cloak, tucked it inside Harry's blankets, and then came back to the other two. For a full minute the three of them stood and looked at the little bundle.

"Well," said Dumbledore finally, "that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations."

"He is leaving my son on somebody's bloody doorstep and talking about joining some fucking celebration!" James was beyond himself with anger. Remus and Sirius were having hard time not bursting out of the door and killing the old headmaster themselves. Snape was shocked. He always thought of Dumbledore as someone who took care of everyone, but this was beyond his understanding. "You better have a nice explanation for what you did Dumbledore, Potter is not going to take it lightly," he thought.

"Yeah," said Hagrid in a very muffled voice, "I'll be takin' Sirius his bike back. G'night, Professor McGonagall - Professor Dumbledore, sir."

"Don't leave him there, he is just a kid for heaven's sake," James was begging feeling so helpless that it hurt him.

"Good luck, Harry," he murmured. He turned on his heel and with a swish of his cloak, he was gone.

"Good luck, Harry!" Sirius repeated faintly, his voice sounding hollow.

"That's the end of chapter," James told them.