Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Warnings: This story will include child abuse and violence, so if either of these things are triggering to you, please proceed with caution.
The potion was a dark purple color and had a foul stench. James scrunched his nose up as he looked down at the three small vials. He picked one up, gently turning it so that the thick liquid swished around in the glass. He could have sworn that there was clumps of… something in it. He tapped the glass with the tip of his pale finger and abruptly sat it down.
"Are you sure he isn't trying to poison us?" he asked Lily suddenly.
"Yes, love," Lily laughed. Her red hair was pulled back into a messy bun as she bounced a fussy Harry on her hip, "Dumbledore trusts him. Besides, we shouldn't have to even drink them. They're just precaution."
He gave a short nod and forced a tight smile on his face, "Yeah, of course. You're right, Lils. We'll be fine."
"Pa'foo'!" Harry whined out loudly. He squeezed his little fists tightly and squirmed in Lily's arms, "Pa'foo'!"
"Padfoot isn't here right now," James said, taking his son into his arms. He held out one finger, letting the small toddler grab onto it, "He had to go away. Remember?"
Harry shook his head stubbornly, "Pa'foo'!"
Lily smiled sadly and leaned in, pressing a soft kiss to the boy's forehead, brushing the mass of messy black hair out of the way, "You'll see him in a few days for his birthday. You can give him the card that you made him."
James snorted, eyes glancing briefly toward the bright red piece of paper laying sloppily on the coffee table. A mixture of colored scribbles covered the paper. Broken crayons lay beside it. At the very bottom of the paper, Lily had written in neat handwriting, "Happy Birthday, Padfoot!"
"Oh, don't be like that," Lily admonished him, a playful smile etched onto her face, "Harry worked very hard on it. Didn't you, Harry?"
He grinned but made no other response that would signify that he understood what Lily had said.
James bounced the boy on his hip, grinning down at the toddler, "I'm sure Sirius will love it."
Before he could react, there was a sudden rumbling, and the ground below him began to shake. He brought both arms out around Harry and planted his feet, as Lily grabbed onto the wall, a concerned look crossing her face, "Earthquake?"
A screeching siren filled the room. Harry screamed at the piercing sound, little hands covering his ears.
"The wards have fallen," James spoke his thoughts out loud, dread filling him.
He pushed the screaming toddler into his wife's arms and quickly reached for the potions, "The wards have fallen! Peter- you have to go!"
He grabbed all three potions into his hand. Taking one for himself, he pushed the other two small vials into Lily's free hand, "Lily. It's him. Go! I'll hold him off!"
Lily knew better than to wait. Had she not been holding Harry, James knew that she wouldn't leave his side for a second. As it was, she had Harry, and she grabbed the potions and took off at a run up the stairs. Her beautiful red hair billowed out around her head as she tipped one vial back into her own mouth as she ran up the steps two at a time and threw the potion to the ground so that she wouldn't drop Harry's, and she was already trying to get Harry to drink it before she disappeared from his sight.
The house shook again, and then James could hear high-pitched laughter from outside. He pulled his wand out of his pocket with one hand and down the vile-tasting potion with the other, grimacing at the disgusting taste. It sent an odd, tingling sensation through his body.
The front door exploded, sending shrapnel towards him.
"Protego!" he shouted, blocking it before it could hit him. He closed his eyes for a moment, praying that Lily could get Harry to drink the potion or, better yet, that she could escape with him.
He held his wand out protectively, ready to cast a spell at a moment's notice.
James had seen Voldemort many times before in the past, but never once had he felt such a feeling of dread fill him at the sight, the knowledge that his wife and son were still in the house haunting him. Voldemort was alone. His pale, slender body was covered in a black and green robe, and his red eyes connected with James' brown. Pressure against his shields had James turning his head slightly so that the knowledge of the potion couldn't be leaked to him.
"Where is the boy, Potter?" Voldemort asked, voice slithering into James' ears, "If you hand him over, I will spare you. I always hate spilling pure blood."
James flicked his wand silently, but Voldemort effortlessly blocked the curse.
"I never realized that you were so stupid, Voldie," James spat out, smirking at the man. His smirk fell quickly, however, and he glared, "I would never do that."
He shot off another curse silently, but Voldemort stepped to the side.
The man sighed as if in disappointment. He brought his wand up slowly and ran his slender hands over the elegant stick. James threw another spell that was blocked by the slightest twitch of the wood.
"I had hoped you would be smarter than this, Potter, but you Gryffindor's and your foolish recklessness is the reason why so many of you will die."
The killing curse came racing towards him, but he dove to the side and threw three silent curses in a row at the man, who dodged all of them and threw his own.
"Where's the boy, Potter?" he repeated.
The green light came racing towards him again and he dove behind the couch. The spell slammed into a picture on the wall, causing it to fall and break, glass flying everywhere. He waited only a moment before moving out from behind the couch, shooting off a trio of ugly purple curses at the man. Not even one hit its mark.
He dodged another spell, then levitated the chair and threw it at the man. A shield blocked it, and it flew into the wall, knocking off several more picture frames. James threw up a shield of his own to avoid the glass before he sent the glass flying towards the man.
Voldemort dodged most of the glass, but one small piece cut into his cheek, drawing a few drops of blood. The man paused in momentary surprised, bringing up one hand to his bleeding cheek, but he dodged the spell that James sent towards him in hopes of catching him off guard.
The spell hit its mark. James was unable to dodge it in time and fell to the ground screaming in excruciating pain. He tried to focus through the pain and keep a hold on his wand, but it was too much. His muscles spasmed as he writhed, and his hand lost its grip, sending his wand rolling away.
As the curse faded, so did his screaming, and as they faded, it became painfully obvious to him that someone else was screaming. A small but shrill screech echoed from up the stairs, and James cursed silently at the realization that it was Harry.
"Ah," Voldemort spoke in satisfaction, a sick smirk on his face, "The boy is upstairs. He will be joining you soon. Avada Kedavra."
James saw the green spell racing towards him. Before it hit its mark, his entire body suddenly felt cold, and everything abruptly went dark.
He woke up in a bed. He came to slowly, his mind pushing past a fog, and he blinked blearily, slowly moving a stiff arm to rub his eyes. He was warm. Cozy cloth pressed up against his skin, and he let out a small sigh at the soft nature of the bed that he was on.
He realized after a moment that his mouth was dry, and he could taste cotton. The air in the room smelled clean and crisp. He could hear footsteps not too far away, and the soft sound of someone snoring nearby. He opened his eyes and found himself staring up at a white, blank ceiling.
It took him a moment to turn his head to the side but when he did, he found himself staring at Remus Lupin. The man seemed to have aged twenty years since the last time he had seen him. He was slumped in a chair nearby, head leaned back and softly snoring. His hair was graying, and his robes were shabby and torn. His skin was much more scarred than before, and he had lost several pounds. A newspaper lay draped across his lap, as if he had fallen asleep while reading it.
He blinked, eyebrows furrowed, and coughed softly, "Remus?"
The man jerked awake at the sound. His amber eyes snapped open and he flung forward in his seat, a strangled shout leaving his lips. He stared at James, and blinked several times, furrowing his eyebrows.
"Remus?" James repeated. Slowly, he tried to sit up, but found that his arms were too weak, "Remus, what happened? Where am I? Where's Harry? And Lily?"
Remus didn't answer immediately. Instead, he stared, mouth falling open. His body was tense and there was something in his eyes that James didn't recognize. Then, without a word, he fled from the room. The newspaper that had been in his lap drifted down to the ground.
James' eyes caught the front-page headline: THE WIZARDING WORLD CELEBRATES THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF YOU-KNOW-WHO'S DEMISE.
Author's Note: I hope you guys enjoyed this prologue! I know that the whole James and Lily survive thing has been done a hundred times, but it hasn't been done enough in my opinion, so here we are. Time for Harry to get his family back!
I decided to focus on James in the prologue, but later chapters will focus on a more variety of characters. At the moment, this story will focus on James, Lily, Harry, Sirius, and Remus, though other characters will pop in and become important later on.
Next chapter, we will learn more about what actually happened that night, and what has happened since.
I'd love to hear what you guys think about it, and any advice you have, do don't forget to review!