Prologue – June, 1981

Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize here could possibly be mine.

Mid-Summer's Eve was always a happy time in the hamlet of Godric's Hollow. Most of the residents, Wizard and Muggle alike, would gather around bonfires in the ancient square to share food, pints of ale, and the odd well-concealed tankard of Fire-whiskey. Though frowned on in recent centuries the ancient celebration of summer remained a good excuse to let loose a little, to catch up on who was doing what and with whom. For the Wizards of the Hollow, and Wizards world-wide, it was also a most significant day of celebration for those pledged to the Light.

Towards the edge of town lay the narrow winding road known as Founder's Lane, which led to a time-worn chapel and cemetery which had not been used in anyone's memory. Few clues remained to the origins of this chapel, with the exception of Griffin heads etched in bas relief on each of the doors which, for some unknown reason, could not be opened from without. While the road ended at this point, it continued as little more than a foot path into the woods beyond the ancient and abandoned cemetery. Through the trees could be seen a clearing, and what appeared to be the overgrown ruins of a modest stone house.

For those who could see, however, the clearing contained a neat, trim two-story cottage of stone surrounded by well-manicured grounds that gleamed in the summer moonlight. The light of a cheerful fire flickered through the windows, and provided ample illumination to read the book James Potter currently held in his lap. In spite of this, James hadn't turned a page since Lily went upstairs to give little Harry his bath.

The last week was still a blur in his mind. Leaving the manor, rebuilding the wards at the Hollow with Albus and Sirius assisting, and, hardest of all, convincing Lily that this was the only way to ensure his family's protection, had left him exhausted. Hopefully, the Fidelius Charm Remus and Lily had developed would be sufficient to ensure that word would not leak out as to their location.

OoOoOoOoO

Albus Dumbledore was troubled. While the precautions the Order had taken to protect the Longbottoms and Potters were extensive, he couldn't escape the feeling something was amiss. Dumbledore had learned through bitter experience that these intuitions were all too often correct. Popping a lemon drop into his mouth, he spared a quick glance at the various silver gadgets that were whirring and clicking away on his desk, then strode across his office and removed his pensieve from its shelf.

Focusing his mind back to a moment seven years ago, he used his wand to withdraw a single strand of memory and guided it to the pensieve. Stirring the strand, he leaned forward to listen closely, once again.

'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 each 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 ...'

With a sigh, Dumbledore extracted the memory from the pensieve, then crossed the office and sank slowly back into his over-stuffed chair, deep in thought.

OoOoOoOoO

James closed his book, grabbed Harry's stuffed lion off the coffee table, and was turning towards the stairs when the front door of the cottage suddenly exploded in a shower of splinters. With the reflexes only a trained Auror possesses, James dived behind the nearest couch while firing hexes from the wand he had released from his wrist holster.

"LILY," he shouted, "THEY'RE HERE! TAKE HARRY AND GET OUT!" Rolling to his side, he fired yet another Cutting Hex, and the third Death Eater joined his mates on the parlour floor. Seeing the doorway was clear, he turned rapidly for the stairs, never seeing the flash of green light that ended his life.

OoOoOoOoO

Dumbledore stirred from his musings as the combined sounds of his devices changed slightly. A quick glance at his desk showed that the tiny silver top he had linked to the wards on the house in Godric's Hollow was no longer spinning. As he watched, it fell over on its side with a tiny thump. With a speed that belied his age, he rose, snatched his wand from beside the pensieve and pressed his mind into the strands that tie the wards of Hogwarts to her Headmaster. Without a sound, he was gone.

OoOoOoOoO

Lily was just placing Harry in his crib when the house shook. Hearing James' shout, she ran for the closet, and grabbed the bag they kept packed for this emergency. Turning, she headed towards the crib before hearing the sound of steps on the stair and realising it was already too late. Facing the door with wand drawn, she prepared to defend her child's life. The figure standing in the doorway was cloaked entirely in black, with silver trim at the edges.

"Step aside, Mudblood," Voldemort sneered, "and I'll consider letting you live for now."

"You will not touch my child while I live," Lily said while gripping her wand more tightly.

"So be it," Voldemort replied after a moment,. "Avada Kedavra.."

Lily's scream was cut short, as she tumbled to the floor.

Striding swiftly into the room, Voldemort looked into the crib, red eyes meeting wide green ones.

"Avada Kedavra."

OoOoOoOoO

At the edge of the clearing, a brown rat stood quivering on the well-groomed grass while apparently watching the green flashes emanating from the cottage. After a moment, seeing evidence of no further curses or other activity, the rat turned and disappeared into the nearby trees. Clearly, the one word he'd changed while relating the prophecy he'd overheard at the Hog's Head bar to the Dark Lord had been sufficient. The price was high, but he was free. With a sharp pop Peter Pettigrew apparated away.

OoOoOoOoO

Dumbledore apparated into a scene that was quiet, too quiet. Stepping through the front door, wand drawn, he checked each of the dead Death Eaters, and stared briefly into James' sightless eyes before moving reluctantly to the stairs. Entering the nursery, he first saw Lily's lifeless body and then, as he had feared, emerald eyes staring lifelessly back from the tiny crib. Eyes now framed by a lightning-shaped scar on the child's forehead.

Turning, he glanced briefly at the black robe trimmed with ornate silver snakes, then prepared his mind for apparation.

OoOoOoOoO

The celebration continued in Diagon Alley for days, accompanied by large quantities of Butterbeer, Fire-whiskey, and toasts to the demise of You-Know-Who and the life of the Boy Who Died. Three fresh mounds on the grounds of the chapel at Godric's Hollow marked the end of the House of Potter.