Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Title: The Potter Pride
Rating: PG-13 so far
Pairing: None as of now
Summary: The twins were attacked on Halloween, and yet no one really knows what truly happened, only that Alex somehow survived the killing curse and Harry has an awful scar on his forehead.
October, 31st, 1980 – Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
James Potter paced Dumbledore's office like a caged animal, he needed to be out there, with Lily and the boys, but no, no, the Supreme Mugwump and President over the Wizengamot needed to speak to him! He had no idea what was there to talk about, the boys had, apparently, been attacked and they had survived.
James reached the end of the office and turned around, his robes flaring behind him like crimson wings, his hand was busy palming his wand, his mind going back and forth between the list of curses he knew and his babies, if that man didn't show up soon...! And he had so much to do already! As Head of the Antediluvian and Eminent House of Potter, he had the duty to warn the Law Enforcement Office as to what had happened, and to insure that the one they were looking for was Peter, and not Sirius.
His eyes once again took in the empty office and the crimson phoenix sleeping on its perch before he snarled in frustrated rage and left the office all together, running as fast as he could towards the infirmary.
That man! Honestly! Wanting to talk politics when his and Lily's babies were in the infirmary! He skidded to a halt in from of the infirmary. It wouldn't do to bang open the doors and scare them. Sighing in frustration he knocked on the wooden door before he opened it, Lily and Poppy were scanning the boys, thank goodness.
James approached with caution, peeking over Lily's shoulder at the boys, smiling and sighing in relief.
Hadrian was laying down, drinking from a bottle and almost asleep, his eyes, which were almost closed, were barely visible, and he was blinking hard trying to stay awake. Alexander, on the other hand, was sucking on a pacifier only to spit it out and look pleadingly at the women, he was almost asleep as well, laying besides his brother, and he had already been fed if the empty bottle near him was any indication.
He cleared his throat, only to have two sets of green eyes and one set of silver eyes staring at him, he smiled at his princes, getting around Lily and Poppy and sitting down on the bed, only to give a watery smile at his sons as he felt tiny baby hands pat his leg, calling for attention. James felt like crying in relief as he gathered his twins, one on each knee, they were all right, thank heavens they were all right!
Of course, James was going to murder Petter when he saw him, but for now he was set on enjoying his boys, he wasn't quite ready to deal with the 'how's and the 'why's and the mess this was going to cause for everyone, the world could wait, for now he was content just hugging his boys close and alternating kissed between them.
Alex took that decision from him when he looked at James with his big silvery blue eyes and said the worst thing he could have possibly said.
"A'ex owie," his eldest whispered while rubbing his forehead. It was then that James noticed the thin lightning bolt on his boy's forehead, he felt his blood turn to ice at the possible implications of that scar. At the edge of his, admittedly rather poor sight, he could see the grim looks between Lily and Poppy. The scar was clearly healed, but if what he thought had happened, had actually happened, then James really didn't want to consider the implications! He was dimly aware of three other presences entering the infirmary as he looked at his babies.
He felt bile rising up on his throat but forced himself to play the game the boys seemed to like. "You want daddy to kiss it better?" He asked, forcing some amusement in his voice.
"Hawy tis!" His youngest cried at him, bottle suddenly forgotten as he beamed at everyone.
James could only blink stupidly at him, as even more possibilities entered his brain, nevertheless he gave his youngest son a proud smile. "You kissed Alex's owie away already? Good boy, Harry!"
And he snuggled them both closer, placing a kiss on each dark head. He just watched his boys babbling to each other for a moment before he turned his attention to Lily and Poppy, steadily ignoring the Headmaster's presence in the room.
"Are they okay, honey? Do you know what happened?" He asked quietly, looking at his wife and then at the half empty bottle of Calming Draught. It made sense, if the boys were attacked, there was no way Lily would be as calm as she was without the potion.
"We have no idea, there was an attack and as soon as Hagrid and I got the boys out, the wards closed in behind us, we were waiting for you so you could reset them and let us have a look at the house, as far as we could see the backyard area wass completely destroyed and there were signs of Dark Magic everywhere."
"I came as soon as I could, Crouch had us on watch duty today, as soon as I felt the wards closing in I came here to wait for Dumbledore," James stopped talking, staring at his former headmaster, "you took so long to arrive I decided to just come here and see the boys."
"Yes, yes, it's quite all right, James, I just got back myself. Out of curiosity, how long did you wait?"
"About two minutes."
Albus just shook his head as he watched the little family, James was holding on to the boys while Lily was unable to stand still, looking around the infirmary and often blocking the view of the babies. His former students were in full lion and lioness modes now, protective of their infant offspring, and Lily seemed to paying attention to everything, to the slightest noise and shadow, alert even if she was under the influence of a Calming Draught.
"Do you have any clues of what might have happened, Albus?" Poppy asked, also watching the young family, but breaking Albus out of his musings.
"I have an idea, Poppy, but not proof, at least not until we check out the house."
All of the adults grimaced at the thought, it was going to be a long, long day.
November, 1st, 1980 – Godric's Hollow.
James, Albus and Remus stood at the edge of the wards around James' house in Godric's Hollow. The house was still standing but the feel of the Dark Magic was like a poisonous miasma that filtered through the wards.
They all grimaced at the thought of lowering the wards and letting that foul magic out of its containment, but James dutifully stepped forward, waving his wand in a certain pattern and chanting. They all had work to do, and questions that desperately needed answers.
The sheer stench of the house was enough for James to decide to never let his wife and children inside, ever again. It was nothing visible, in fact the house, aside from his babies room, was in perfect order, if not for the fact that Peter had let Voldemort in, he would've made a perfect baby sitter. James and Remus grimaced at the same time at the thought of their former friend. They needed to know why Peter had left them, why had he betrayed the Marauders. They could only hope to catch him alive, specially as Sirius was the one looking for him along with a team of Aurors.
November, 1st, 1980 - Hogwarts
Lily looked at the three boys, Harry, Alex and Neville; her boys were more withdrawn than usual, sitting quietly with Neville and playing ball. Besides her, Alice was also watching, holding a cup of scalding tea as she watched the babes play like a hawk. Never mind that they were in Hogwarts, never mind that everyone was celebrating You-know-who's demise and, as far as they could tell, there was no more danger to their families. Not if the Ministry was to be believed.
But Alice was never one to believe in anything unless they had concrete evidence. And she knew that Lily was the same.
"How are you holding up?" Alice asked, taking a sip from her tea, seemingly not taking notice of the temperature. There was no point in asking if Lily was fine, she wasn't. Alex and Harry had been attacked, seemingly by You-know-who himself, and now the whole world was claiming her eldest as the Boy-who-lived, defeater of You-know-who, and protector of his baby brother.
"As well as can be expected." Lily sighed, wondering. Usually, Harry and Alex would change the colour of the toy as they played, but the ball had remained blue since the boys begun playing. Blue was Neville'sfavourite colour. Her boys were huffing and puffing and slowly growing frustrated, which usually led to cranky babies.
Lily's eyes slowly widened at the implications. Her children were unable to do magic. The mug of lukewarm tea she had been holding fell down.
James tumbled out of the fireplace and then into the couch face down, utterly exhausted, laying still for a moment before he felt the sharp slap on his arm that meant Harry was trying to get his attention. In the matters of attention he didn't know which one was worse. Harry liked slapping and hitting things and people, while Alex liked to kick or, if worse came to worse and they felt they were being ignored, they liked to bite. All the options were incredibly painful to him. And he wouldn't trade them for all the gold in the world.
With a weary sigh, he turned on the couch and picked up his youngest, letting him sit on his stomach, Lily most certainly had Alex and was either changing his nappy or burping him, since Harry was alone with Minerva. He just gave her a nod, before trying to pay attention to his son. James knew he was extremely biased, but even so he also knew, without shadow of doubt, that his children were the most wonderful, loving, intelligent babes one could ask for, and he always made the effort to try and understand them.
That effort was about to be paid of.
James was almost dozing when he heard another childish cry and a door closing. A moment, and then he felt his eldest trying to climb him and a weak chuckle coming from the woman he adored. He opened his eyes and just stared at her for a moment, taking in the panda eyes, the way she kept glancing around and the hair, pulled in a simple and messy ponytail.
Both of them had had extremely long days.
James didn't bother with pleasantries, and he could care less if Minerva saw the two of them together, "what happened?" he questioned, forgoing the usual 'how are you' and 'did you have a nice day,' it was pretty obvious they both had an awful day.
"Bad news, darling," Lily sighed, sitting down on the floor in front of the couch James was laying in, "seems the boys magical core is depleted, even their magical reserve is almost completely empty, Poppy confirmed and we're not sure if it will ever come back." She closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose as she thought back to that afternoon, "we've tested them together and separately, they have squib-levels of magic right now."
James snorted with obvious derision, his children loved magic and to take it away from them like that... Peter would pay, he would make sure of it.
"I think I know what might have happened. We used the impression spells on the walls of the nursery. That, that... man cast the killing curse and attempted a ritual in our house." James sighed again, running his hand through the messy hair, ignoring Lily's horrified gasp and Minerva's barely contained wail.
"Minerva, could you get Albus, Remus and Sirius? I think they might want to hear this too." He grimaced, carefully placing his babies on the floor before sitting up himself.
"I know you don't believe it, Lily, but I'll try to get them to talk about that night."
"James? They barely know how to talk, let alone tell a story! You're not gonna try Legilimencyon them, are you?"
"Of course not! But they'll tell the story anyway, just, just," he huffed, frustrated, "just trust me on this!"
He went on to ignore his glaring wife while they awaited for the others and also ignored them while they settled on his temporary living quarters.
"Albus, you remember what we found in Godric's Hollow?" He started, sitting on the ground, with his legs spread out and a child perched on each leg.
"Yes, traces of the killing curse and what was supposed to be the ending ritual of a darker form of magic, which we were unable to identify." He added for the benefit of the women.
"Yes, pretty straightforward, but the question remains, which one of them was cursed? Hadrian? Alexander?" He asked his former Headmaster, but he smiled at his children, carefully displaying the recent scars on their foreheads, Alex's scar fainter and more of an outline than Harry's.
Successfully getting the boys attention, he proceeded to ignored the adults as he begun to question the boys.
"Harry, Alex had an owie, do you have one too?" James asked, getting his wand and conjuring bubbles for his babies. "Did the bad man hurt you?" James watched idly as the bubbles turned green. He was not prepared for the screams, however.
With a start at the sudden cry, he gathered the twins close, hugging his babies tight, he stopped the bubbles, making soothing noises until there were only faint hiccups coming from his babies, they had had the same problem at night. Neither Alex nor Harry could sleep in the cradle, and they were often found hiding in the closet, sleeping together. He swallowed the growl of frustration, they'd yet to find Peter or any sign of him, though his flat was as if he'd never left. Taking a deep breath, James tried again. This time without the bubbles.
"Alex? Baby?" He called softly, his fingers massaging the messy dark hair of his eldest. "Did the bad man hurt you?" He could feel the tiny head nod on his chest, James closed his eyes in pain. Peter would pay, he would make him pay. "Did the bad man hurt Harry?"
What followed was a litany of baby babble from Alex and Harry, that had James snickering quietly to himself, forgetting that he had an audience. The only thing he could understand was a 'no' and 'Harry' and an impressive amount of the word 'kiss.'
Letting the two of them talk between themselves, James turned to Madam Pomfrey, who had come along with Sirius. "Could you tell me what happened when Alex and Harry were brought in?"
"Of course, Alex was bleeding from the wound on his forehead, and Harry was unconscious, Lily soon informed me of the attack, and that your children were the target," Poppy took a deep breath before continuing, "after that I checked for everything I could, the spells got jumbled in the process, so I really can't confirm anything, James, I just treated Alex for the cut on his forehead and Harry for his almost non-existent magical core."
"What do you mean, 'got jumbled'?" James asked, absent-mindedly conjuring a tiny stag to entertain the twins.
"The spells were returning impossible results, James, that's all."
"Poppy," Albus interrupted them, glancing at the babies on James' lap, "Before we go into a discussion about spells and results, could you cast the same spell on Alex and Harry again? It's been almost twenty-four hours, so maybe enough time passed that the spells won't be, ah, jumbled?"
"Certainly, Albus." And then Madam Poppy Pomfrey cast; first the diagnosis spell and then the one to reveal all previous spells cast on the children, the list showed the usual spells cast by parents, a spell to measure a child's magic and then, in the middle of the list... "Impossible!" Poppy muttered, she had gone pale and staggered to sit down on the couch near James. "They should be dead!" She cried in hysterics, breathing heavily before fainting on the couch.
Albus closed his eyes, his fist clenched around his wand, "Damn it!" He cursed loudly, starting to pace around the living quarters of the Potter Family. "Damn it all! How could you do this, Tom? How could you curse a child?"
"Albus? What did that monster do to my children?" Lily asked, her eyes hard and her instance screaming overprotective lioness.
"He," Dumbledore paused, shook his head, and begun again. "When we entered your house, Lily, we first examine the nursery, and we found traces of the killing curse, at first we thought it was directed at their babysitter, but." Here he was unable to continue, just shaking his head at the horror of the previous day.
"It was directed at my children, wasn't it?" James asked, staring at the tiny heads on his chest.
"No," said Dumbledore. "It was directed at Alexander, but Hadrian also got caught in the nimbus of the spell."
"What?" Lily asked faintly, as if she couldn't believe what she had just heard. On impulse, she marched off to James and plucked Alex out of his father's arms, checking him over and over. She knew that her baby was fine, nothing had happened to him and he was alive! They both were. But to think they had been hit by the killing curse!
"I'm sorry Lily, James. It seems we were wrong on our first hypothesis, the ritual was conducted on Ms. Wendel, but Tom cast the killing curse at Alex, I'm sorry." Albus whispered.
"But what does that mean, Albus? Why did Alex survive? And what about Harry?" Sirius asked, staring at his former headmaster in a way eerily reminiscent of his younger years, when he still looked at Albus for guidance.
"I don't know, Sirius." Albus sighed, even as he too wondered, why had they survived? More than that, how had they survived? And only with depleted magical cores at that? Did Tom know of that blasted prophecy? And what had happened to Tom, for that matter? The children didn't deserve that weight on their shoulders, nor did James and Lily. "Unfortunately," he continued, "we'll have to report our findings to St. Mungos, maybe the Unspeakables, if only to see if they have any theory more likely than that Tom might have purposely held back when he cast the Avada Kedrava." Albus shrugged, getting up, and glancing at Poppy. with a flick of his wand, he had the matron floating beside him, eyes twinkling in amusement, he said his goodbyes, and left.
"What now, James?" Lily asked, staring at one baby to the other. Clearly she was terrified that her children had been targeted, but there was nothing they could do now.
"Now we take care of them, like we've done so far, and like we'll keep doing until we die." James whispered, rocking his sleeping child back and forth. "Padfoot? Can we stay at your place for a while? Godric's Hollow is never going to be home again."
"Of course, of course, I'll have one of the house elves prepare a nursery for them." Sirius' eyes strayed to his godsons, the two tiny beings he had swore to protect. And he wouldn't fail them, by Merlin and Morgana he wouldn't fail them!
It would be more than a decade before they had an inkling of what had truly happened.