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The Return

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The Return

 

Table of Contents

Prologue

Part One: Lily Evans Potter

Chapter One: Lily and James

Chapter Two: Kendrah Johnson

Chapter Three: Lily Judith Evans

Chapter Four: Summer of 1975/Summer of 2004

Part Two: Severus and Hermione

Chapter One: Severus Snape

Chapter Two: Hermione Granger

Chapter Three: Severus and Hermione I

Chapter Four: Severus and Hermione II

Part Three: The Return

Chapter One: Kendrah and Severus

Chapter Two: Severus

Chapter Three: Severus and Lily

Chapter Four: Lily and Severus

Chapter Five: Hermione

Chapter Six: Hermione and Severus and Lily and Harry and Ginny and Sirius

Part Four: The Reckoning

Chapter One: Later That Night

Chapter Two: Lily and Severus

Chapter Three: Hermione

Chapter Four: Lily and Hermione and Severus

Chapter Five: The Return

 

 

Prologue

October 30. 1981

The old wizard sat behind his desk, waiting to hear the little family ascend the stairs just outside his door. The desk was ancient and resembled the bow of a ship. On its starboard corner were two phials. Professor Slughorn had brewed an effective polyjuice; the old wizard had tested it on himself. It was active for six hours, and safe for three successive re-dosings. He had not been overly confident in the old Potion Master’s skill, but he had been pleasantly surprised. The potions just needed a hair from each adult to be complete.

He had been over the details with the couple. He had several sets of instructions in sealed envelopes. With the help of Professor Vector, who didn’t know the specifics of the project she was collaborating on with her boss, he had tried to predict every scenario, including a quick resolution to the struggle, in which the couple would be instructed to come home immediately. He was not an optimist, however.

Only the three adults present in the room that day would know the details of his plan. Minerva would probably kill him if she had any idea. The Aurors would be obliviated if they survived. He wished he could obliviate the couple as well, but he had assured them of their reunion with their son as a reward. It wouldn’t do to eliminate their chief motivation.

On his closest shelf, there was a three-volume set of parchment filled with arithmancy tables that had necessitated all of this. The extensive work contained several conclusions:

  1. This was an existential struggle.
  2. The baby would grow to be the person upon whom survival rests.
  3. The baby’s genetics were favorable.
  4. The baby would not accomplish what he needed to being raised in a stable, loving home.
  5. The person the baby grew into must believe that love triumphs over hate and that good triumphs over evil.
  6. This person must be willing to sacrifice his life to save the rest of the society.
  7. An example of this sacrifice would be his core truth.

The old wizard saw clearly that current events were hurtling toward the sacrifice of the baby’s parents. A more ruthless man would have watched it play out, he thought. It was fate, all he had to do was stay out of the way.

He’d had too much affection for the couple, he knew it. SHE had been one of his favorite students from the moment she arrived to be sorted. HE embodied the best of their house. He was effortlessly handsome, charming, intelligent, but not intimidatingly so. He had a well-honed sense of humor. He made everyone around him feel privileged to know him. Most everyone, anyway.

The old wizard had attended their wedding, and he had felt a pang he would deny to his grave and into his life as a portrait. James Potter was as beautiful as any creature had ever been that day. It was impossible to send him to almost certain death.

Instead, he had hand-picked two of the best fighters in the ranks of the Aurors. Lutrell and May were their names, and they were ready for the confrontation that would occur in the next twenty-four hours. There was a new cot in the nursery, charmed to deflect all curses on to the person casting them.

He heard footsteps and the baby, who was fussing as his mother tried to soothe him.

“It’s okay, Darling Boy. Everything is going to be just fine.”

The voice was not at all convincing, nor was the appearance of the little family as they stepped into the room. The parents looked both terrified and devastated. The baby…looked like a baby. It was hard to see this little blob and imagine that the world depended on him.

“James, Lily, Harry,” the old wizard said quietly. “Please come in.”