"Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off -"
Lily froze; her heart pounding. How? The Fidelius Charm couldn't have broke without Peter telling him. That wasn't possible, Peter was one of James' oldest friends, he wouldn't have betrayed them – couldn't have …
These thoughts ran through Lily's head for a second before another high-pitched voice from downstairs interrupted her.
This was all it took for Lily to unfreeze. Fear, shock, panic and grief were all dulled by the sudden adrenaline that coursed through her. She tightened her hold on Harry and ran into her and James' bedroom where she had left her wand. Quickly snatching it up from the bed, she spun round to see the pale snake-like face with red slits for pupils like a cat's creep around the doorframe. Without stopping, Lily pointed her wand at the wall and blasted it apart.
She could almost feel Voldemort's gaze on her and imagined him raising his wand. Lily didn't turn around to check; she ran to the hole in the wall and jumped. Closing her eyes and holding onto Harry tighter than ever, Lily twisted in mid-air, Disapparating.
The cool breeze raised the goose bumps on Lily's arms as soon as she appeared in the narrow alleyway. Tears in her eyes threatened to overflow but she desperately tried to hold them back. Harry was crying now – no doubt from the peculiar sensation of Disapparating. Lily held him closer to her and attempted to quieten him for a minute before heading out into the street.
Lily gasped. At least a dozen people wearing black cloaks were meandering down the street. There was no reason for this number of Death Eaters to be patrolling an unsuspecting Muggle street – and there was no way that Voldemort could have known where she would Apparate to and send them a message. She stood glued to the spot, until she noticed that the majority of the cloaked people were too small to be adults. It was only when a child walked past her dressed as a pumpkin that she remember the date - October 31st, Halloween. The day that Muggle children (and even some adults) would knock on doors asking for sweets, wearing capes and costumes of creatures that they didn't believe in: ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves …
At the thought, Lily instinctively looked up at the sky. The light from the full moon shone down on them. This, more than anything, encouraged her to begin walking down the street – Lily knew that Remus would never willingly hurt anyone but in his transformed state his human consciousness was lost, and being this close to headquarters and the nearby woods unnerved her.
By the time they had reached the right house, Lily's breathing had become erratic and the adrenaline that had kept her calm and knowing what to do back at the house was all but gone. Tears began to spill over as she shakily raised her wand and tapped on the front door to open it. Lily squeezed inside and shut the door behind her.
The control she had had over her emotions for the past fifteen minutes broke, for she knew that she was now safe. Lily felt herself slide to the bottom of the door and great heaving sobs escaped her as the tides of emotion crashed over her. She pulled Harry closer to her and feebly tried to stop him crying while she sobbed harder.
The dull murmuring of voices that had been present when Lily had entered stopped as the owners of the voices heard the sobs coming from the hallway. Lily heard the scraping of chairs as they were moved and then footsteps coming closer. She looked up and saw Albus Dumbledore stood in the doorway with a small crowd of Order members behind him.
At first, nothing but shock registered on all of their faces. Dumbledore composed himself first and strode forward. Kneeling down, he helped Lily up and put his arm around her shoulders to gently lead her into what would be the living room if the house were used as a home. He set her down on the sofa and sat next to her, before turning to her gravely.
Lily swallowed and attempted to calm herself enough so that she could speak.
"H-he … f-f-found us," she managed to choke out, "P-P-Peter m-must have…"
"Peter?" Dumbledore frowned, looking confused. Lily tried to finish her sentence and explain, but she couldn't hold back the tears much longer. Dumbledore appeared to have worked out what had happened. "You switched Secret Keeper?"
Lily nodded. "J-J-James…"
She burst into renewed sobs; Dumbledore must have grasped what else had happened from Lily's emotional state and did not question her any further. Instead, he immediately took control of the situation and began issuing orders. Lily didn't pay attention to what was going on around her, but nobody seemed to expect anything from her. She continued sobbing and gently rocking Harry until he fell asleep.
After about an hour, Lily became aware of worried and panicking voices in the other room. She tried to listen to what was being said but the muffled voices weren't making sense. Curious about what was happening, Lily got to her feet slowly so as to not wake Harry, and made her way to the meeting/dining room.
Everyone became silent and their eyes turned to hers when Lily entered. Afraid that something was being kept from her, Lily asked what was wrong. Her voice was croaky but loud enough for them all to hear. When there was no answer, she asked again, "What's happened?"
This time Emmeline Vance answered, "We sent a message to Sirius - " she checked her watch " – an hour ago, telling him to come here straight away, but he still hasn't turned up or replied."
No, Lily thought, not someone else, not tonight –
"We've no reason to panic, however," Dumbledore said, clearly registering panic on Lily's face. "I'm certain that if something had happened to him then we would have heard - "
As Dumbledore spoke, they heard the front door smash open and someone thunder through the living room. Once again, everyone turned to see who had entered.
His face was pale and his eyes were wild with grief and anger. His hands were balled into fists and he looked ready to go out and murder someone; Lily was sure she knew who he was planning to murder. At any rate, it was obvious that Sirius had already heard about what had happened.
Dumbledore also must have noticed that Sirius wasn't in the right frame of mind because he stood up and placed his hands on Sirius's shoulders to try to calm him down.
"Sirius, please sit down - "
But Sirius shook him off and turned to Lily.
They stared at each other in silence for a moment.
"Wormtail," Sirius repeated.
"I know, Sirius," Lily whispered, "I know. But there's n-nothing we can do - "
"The murdering little TRAITOR!" Harry had woke up at the loud noise and started crying. Tears started streaming their way down Lily's face again while Sirius shouted and she could see tear tracks down his face. "HE BETRAYED YOU! HE KILLED HIM! I'LL – I'LL KILL HIM! THE MURDERER!"
Once Sirius stopped shouting, Dumbledore gripped his arm and led him to an empty chair. As soon as he was sat down, Sirius buried his face in his hands and started sobbing.
Dumbledore sat back down at the head of the table and, with a glance at Sirius, started talking.
"Now there's not much more we can do tonight. No doubt Voldemort will be furious that Lily escaped with Harry so he might be waiting at the house for someone to return. I think it's safest for Lily and Harry, and Frank, Alice and Neville to stay here tonight and in the morning we can think about what to do next."
Dumbledore looked around the table as he finished. Everyone had looked confused when Dumbledore had said the Longbottoms were to stay at headquarters, except Sirius who still had has head in his hands. But they all murmured assent and stood up to leave.