Dorea Black was dead when James married Lily.
James remembers finding her dead on the floor, checking her life signs and not finding any.
He never told anyone that what he felt was relief.
Or that the Dark Mark illuminating the sky gave him hope. James hoped that after having killed his mother, Voldemort would think it a waste of time to extend James the same invitation his mother refused.
Surely, a child would not join his mother’s murderer?
James is not just a Potter but a Black as well.
He knows that if asked, he might say yes.
Dorea didn’t refuse Voldemort because she didn’t believe in blood purity. She refused because she did believe.
She would follow no orders from a disgusting half-blood. And really, if she wanted the mudbloods dead, she would have killed them herself.
Voldemort nearly died himself the night he killed her. Even though Voldemort is powerful and smart and has studied and practiced magic extensively, the first breath he took as a newborn was of fresh air and not the one filling the rooms of Grimmauld place, polluted by the black magic leaking from the auras of the elder Blacks, there to welcome the child.
He didn’t learn to walk on the floor that’s been absorbing blood for decades.
James was born in the same house.
Charlus didn’t know.
James pretended to be horrified, as a light wizard should be, when he saw Cruciatus being used when in fact, his mother held the sole keys to the basement and there were shackles on the wall.
James could hear the screams. His mother never bothered with a silencing spell.
Charlus was absent a lot.
He was a light wizard, well respected and powerful and…Charlus Potter was a shining star. He shined so bright that no one saw Dorea, which suited her just fine.
And he has fooled Dorea, and Albus and the whole wizarding world but James always knew his father did it on purpose because, as much as he had nothing against those of impure blood or no magical blood at all, he loved his wife.
Charlus knew what went on in the basement.
He didn’t know that James knew he knew.
James never told.
No one else ever found out.
Dorea Black approved of James’s friends.
Peter was a pureblood.
Remus was a half-blood, but a dark creature as well so in her mind it made up for the bad blood.
And Sirius? Sirius was family. And really, she was not as foolish as her niece Walburga to write him off so soon.
Charlus couldn’t hide his wince when James introduced Lily Evans to him. Lily thought he was a blood purist but James knew batter. But even he didn’t understand his father’s reaction.
Not until he met Petunia Evans.
The last time he saw her she was hanging of the chains while his mother drained her magic out of her.
Because mudbloods don’t deserve magic and Petunia must have stolen it somehow. Now she was going to give it back.
Petunia never could make her wand light up again.
And she cried herself to sleep for years-
she still does sometimes
-because there was a gaping hole in her chest that hurt and her first-year school books where just empty paper when before there were words, and she will never see Hogwarts as anything but ruins and-
Lily got her letter couple of years later.
When Voldemort asked him to join him James said no.
Lily is a muggleborn and Harry is a half-blood.
Besides, there are other ways to get power.
Dorea’s name was never burned off the Black family tree.
Neither was James’s.