Harry James Potter gazed solemnly at his mother. It was odd, really, how a three year old could stare so sadly, almost as if he knew something was going to happen. "Mummy," he said softly, "will you always love me?"
Lily Evans Potter stared in astonishment at one of her two sons. Harry had just asked if she would always love him. Of course she would always love him! He was her son! "Harry, of course I'll always love you! I promise! Why would you ask? Did someone say something?"
Harry shook his head slowly. "No. I - I just… never mind."
Lily responded quietly. "If you say so, dear." As she watched Harry walk quietly out the door and off to his twin, Skylar Charlus Potter, she couldn't help but worry. Why did Harry ask that? She knew of magic tingling when something was about to go wrong, but it was a very rare occurrence that only happened with immensely powerful wizards. And speaking of the fact that Harry hadn't shown any magic yet, which was quite worrisome, she didn't think that tingling auras was the case. But, as she turned around and gazed out of the window and into the pouring rain, a rather odd occurrence for 2 pm in the afternoon, she couldn't help but feel uneasy. It felt as if something was going to happen, call it a mother's intuition, but it was true. But, oh, Lily Evans Potter had no idea of what was to come. It was beyond her wildest imaginations and darkest of fears. Little did she know that the promise she just made to her son would soon become invalid.
"Albus, what brings you here?" asked James Potter curiously. It was, incidentally, two days after Lily and Harry's little talk, and Albus Dumbledore had just walked through the parlor of Potter Manor and urgently asked James to bring him to the most protected place on the estate that the twins couldn't get into. Albus had said to fetch Lily and leave Skylar and Harry with Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, James and Lily's longtime friends. So here they were, in James's private study, a place that even Lily had only been in once or twice.
Albus sighed. "James, Lily… oh, where do I start? You see… two days ago, at around 2 pm, I went to the Hog's Head to interview an applicant for the Divination position. The woman was… not an ideal applicant and when I was about to leave, she spoke a prophecy. It was a true prophecy, she showed all the signs, misty eyes, monotone voice, no recollection of the event. And the prophecy itself… well," Albus sighed again, "it is better if I tell you of it."
James and Lily exchanged worried glances. A prophecy… and if Albus was telling them of it, and if it caused him to get so worked up… Lily gripped the armrest of her chair. If it concerned her sons… she had no idea of what she would do.
Albus began. "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
Lily looked faint and James was green in the face.
"The -The seventh month dies… that's JULY! Harry and Skylar were born on the 31st! Thrice defied… we've defied him in RAIDS! Oh, my precious sons! Neither can live while the other survives! My… my children… oh, my poor sons." Lily sobbed, cradling her head in her hands and rocking back and forth.
James seemed only a second away from barfing, but he was frantically pacing and trying to think of someone else that could fit the bill. He looked at one of the photos on his desk and froze. "The Longbottoms." he said, and everything went eerily quiet.
"The - The Longbottoms?" Lily asked, not quite understanding. Then it dawned on her. "The Longbottoms… NEVILLE! Oh, Albus, it might not be Skylar or Harry at all! It could be Neville!" right after she said that, she burst into sobs again, ashamed that she could ever wish that fate on her godson.
Albus looked even graver than before. "Lily, James," he said gently, "I had thought so too, but remember, Alice and Frank couldn't make it to the last raid when He was there. Augusta got fever and little Neville had a stomach ache.
This time, James puked. Right on the expensive Persian carpet, but nobody cared. Albus vanished it with a Scourgify, and everyone lapsed into silence. After about two minutes, James spoke up again.
"Albus," he swallowed painfully, "the prophecy said that there was only one of our…" James gripped Lily's chair, "one of our sons involved. Do you… do you know if it is Skylar or Harry?"
"Ah," Albus sighed, "I believe it is Skylar, not Harry. You see, Skylar has at least shown some magical capability, while Harry… not so much. I've been meaning to tell you about this too, Harry hasn't shown any signs of magic yet, and at his age… I fear he may be a Squib."
This proved too much for Lily to take, so she got up and left without a word. James shot Albus an apologetic glance and hurried after his wife. Albus sighed. He hoped that they would now put their focus on Skylar, he needed it. And if Harry was a squib… well, he wouldn't need any attention at all. But surely every child deserves some love… it was all for the Greater Good, Albus thought, all for the Greater Good.
Meanwhile, Lily had walked silently to the Potter nursery and opened the door. It was beautifully done, with the walls in paint that depicted the time of day and weather outside, and the cribs in bright white oak and dark black ebony. There were enchanted mobiles hanging on top of the cribs, with mini brooms, snitches, quaffles, and beater bats, something James had insisted upon. Lily had always thought she would worry if her sons became beaters, little did she know she would worry for something much more serious later. She strode in, ignoring Remus and Sirius's greetings, picked up Skylar from his white oak crib, ignoring Harry, and looked out the window. James came in a minute later, motioned for his friends to leave, and wrapped his arms around Lily. They stood in silence for a while until Lily spoke up.
"If… if Skylar has to fight Him…" her voice broke off, "then, then he'll be ready for it. My child will NOT go out to battle You Know Who with only some silly power that nobody knows of. He will not." Lily added grimly.
James nodded. "We'll ask Dumbledore for Skylar's training when he turns four. But… Skylar's so young. He shouldn't have to face this much. We'll give him a happy childhood. One that he can always remember."
"Yes." Lily nodded. "Our son deserves the best."
Harry watched silently from his dark crib. He knew something had changed. The Heavens had shifted, but Harry didn't like it. He didn't like it at all.
The next day, eleven o'clock in the morning precisely, Albus Dumbledore asked James and Lily for permission to make the prophecy known. After all, he said, the Wizarding World needed some hope. And the wards on Potter Manor should protect Skylar easily enough.
The day after that, the newspapers were filled with headlines and articles about Skylar Potter: The Chosen One. There was no mention of Harry Potter in the articles. There would never be.
Right, so I just want to make this clear: I am not abandoning How Dare You! I will continue to work on both. Reviews = love. Seriously. Anyone gives me an idea, I'll probably use it. Feel free to PM me with questions, or leave 'em in reviews!