Lily Evans Potter had always been fairly good at making friends, certainly since starting at Hogwarts, and even more so since graduating – there was something about the weight of a war that made her want to reach out to people more.
It was this that led to her befriending a strange young woman in Diagon Alley, one of the last times she would ever visit. The woman explained she was visiting from somewhere far away, and had wanted to see the famous Alley before she left. And Lily had been happy to show it to her, what little there was to show, given the current circumstances.
The two had spent the day together, and become fast friends over the course of it. And when they parted, the woman had smiled very kindly at Lily, and said, “Thank you very much for today. I want you to know, that if you ever need my help, I will give it. You’re the best sort of person, Lily Potter.”
And Lily had nodded back and thanked her and returned the compliment, and thought little more of it.
The woman, though, had meant exactly what she had said.
When Lily Evans Potter and her husband died, the Headmaster of Hogwarts quietly informed the goblins that there was no point to read their wills. The goblins disagreed – wills were important, even to goblins, not that wizards care to know that sort of thing.
The headmaster insisted, though. Gringotts goblins are a careful sort when it comes to their battles, and so let the headmaster believe they had… accepted his insistence.
In reality, they went and talked to someone very important; who had taken the time to inform them that Lily Potter was of interest to her. And she found it terribly interesting that someone had prevented Lily’s will being read – a will, she was informed, which stated that Lily’s young son should never go to her sister. Wills are important.
Harry Potter had been at #4 Private Dr. for only three days, but already knew he didn’t like it much. He wanted his mother, desperately. But every time he asked for her, he was yelled at, and then ignored when he asked for something that should have been easier to produce – food.
It was only midway through the third day when there was a knock on the front door. The woman, who had unwillingly told him to call her “aunt”, had opened the door to reveal another woman, who had smiled at his “aunt” like something deadly and said, “I’ve come for Harry. Lily Potter’s will is to be honored.”
What happened next Harry didn’t exactly remember, except for the moment the dark-haired woman had bent down and picked him up from the floor, with all the tenderness his mother had used. She had cooed softly to him in a language he didn’t know, and asked him if he’d like to go with her.
“Mama?” Harry had said, imploringly.
The woman looked sadly at him. “I’m afraid that isn’t within my power. But I can take you from here, take you somewhere you’ll be safe, and loved, and where no one can meddle with your wellbeing. Where no one will dare.” The last word wasn’t said any differently, exactly, but there was something to it – something like a promise, like power.
“Okay.” Harry said.
The thing about most wizards is that they’re idiots. Specifically when it comes to goblins. They assume that, while the goblins are good at gold and such things, they don’t really have any power.
This is wrong.
Goblins have a great deal of power, in a variety of forms. And one of these has to do with wills: goblins don’t need wizard permission to see a will is fulfilled. Especially not when someone like the Goblin Queen had taken interest in the proceedings.
In regards to Harry, Lily Potter’s will had said:
‘Should my husband and I die before Harry is of age, we give custody of him to Sirius Black, with the understanding that Remus Lupin will be considered co-guardian, whatever stupid laws may be in place.
Should Sirius Black be unable to take custody, we leave custody to Frank and Alice Longbottom.
Should, Merlin forbid, Frank and Alice also be unable to take custody, we will leave the decision to the Potter estate manager, to pick someone suitable who can protect and love our son.
Under no circumstances whatsoever is Harry’s care to be left to my sister. I’m sorry, Petunia, but I know your heart, and Harry has no space in it.’
The Potter estate manager, a goblin naturally, hadn’t hesitated to declare the Queen a fit guardian – not out of simpering loyalty, but because she was. Far better than the Dursleys, certainly, or the headmaster, who had happily left Harry with them, despite the goblins insistence that they couldn’t allow that.
When Sirius Black was given no trial, the goblins informed their queen.
Sirius Black disappeared from Azkaban within days of arriving.
Remus Lupin disappeared from the wizarding world shortly thereafter. It was mildly speculated that they had run away together, but with nothing to fuel the flames, the story died down.
Ten years later, Harry Potter arrived at Hogwarts to begin his schooling, and the headmaster had a nasty surprise, as his guardians didn’t take well to someone expecting an eleven-year-old to defeat a Dark Lord decades his senior.
And somewhere far beyond, Lily Potter was able to rest easy in her death, knowing that her son was cared for.