Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 32

I don't own Harry Potter

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Chapter 32

(Regarding Augustus's age, I think I made him the same age as Charlie but Augutus was born during December 1976 so he is actually Percy's age. Sorry for any confusion.)

Someone knocking on the door interrupted them. "Lily, dear please open the door." They could hear Molly's voice. Severus frowned. He didn't want to confront Molly just yet. His head felt as if it was going to explode any second now.

"It's her home. We are being incredibly rude." Lily said as apology and opened the door.

"Molly, I apologize. Thank you so much." She hugged Molly. Lily was a hugger.

He could hear Molly speaking faintly, "Is everything fine with you two?"

"He explained; it's all been cleared now. I made sure to tell him if anything like that happened again I would not forgive him as easily."

Molly threw a hesitant look his way. "As long as you're satisfied with his answers."

"I am." His wife replied decisively.

Mrs. Weasley then changed gears, "Severus, you don't look so good."

Severus engaged her, "Molly, I would appreciate if you could lend me some of your ingredients. I need to make a potion as soon as possible."

"Of course. Come along, Arthur's left for the ministry." She said and walked down the stairs. Lily followed and he followed the two women.

The sound of children filled the kitchen. Bill, Charlie, Augustus and Percy were eating oatmeal and chatting loudly.

Ron was asleep on his playpen. Severus could not understand how the littlest Weasley was so soundly asleep.

The twins babbled and yelled, yes, yelled. Tobias was feeding them some bits of toast as to avoid so much mess.

Lily helped Molly cook some eggs; obviously her bout of morning sickness was over. Severus almost puked when the smells assaulted his nose. "Molly, please the ingredients."

"Right you are." The witch waved her wand and set the ingredients and cauldron flying to the living room.

Severus could feel his father's eyes at the back of his neck. "Thank you." He said quietly and left the boisterous room.

He settled down and started to prepare the potion. Lily passed by with the older children. "We're going to the pond. Want to come?" Bill asked with a big smile.

"Not yet Bill. I'll meet you there. Charlie and Gus giggled excitedly while Percy grabbed Bill's hand.

"We have a meeting tonight." She said and breezed out the Weasleys and his little brother followed her.

Severus was alone for about half an hour until his father sat on the couch in front of him.

"Why?" His father asked.

He looked up from his potion. "I was in a very bad place, I panicked. Lily and the baby are in danger. I lost it and tried to stop everything."

Tobias spoke up. "You were drunk."

"I was, but I'm not an alcoholic. Dad, I don't need this routine. I was in the wrong, Lily forgave me and nothing like this will ever happen again. We do not need to do this." Severus was not in the mood for a father son talk about how dangerous it was for him to dabble with alcohol given the family history.

"Severus, do not take that tone with me. I'm not going to lecture you about alcohol. You're not me and Lily is not Eileen. I am worried you were drunk but I'm more worried by the fact that you left Lily without explanation." Tobias looked at him with harsh eyes.

"Molly and Arthur have been explaining the wizarding world. I know about blood purity and all that nonsense. Severus, do you believe in that? Do you still hate muggles?"

Severus looked up, "I've never hated muggles." He said defensively.

"You resented me and resented going to school with non magical children. You hated summers with us and avoided all the neighborhood children. You have only really associated with Lily." Tobias pointed out logically.

"That does not mean I hate muggles. Dad, I fight for the Light, I don't believe in any of that, never truly did. I'm half muggle and are more powerful that any pureblood witch or wizard I know." Severus said simply.

"Not modest I see." Tobias smirked; his stance was less guarded. He seemed relieved.

"Now, tell me why did you run away?" He asked trying for his son to explain.

Severus could not explain all the details, in part because the less anyone knew about the prophecy the better and also because he didn't want to put his had and brother in jeopardy.

"I have reason to believe the people who killed mum will try to kill Lily and our baby." He said and stirred the potion until it was the color he wanted it to be.

He summoned a glass and poured the potion. He drank from it and felt immediate relief. His head cleared and his stomach settled.

"I don't think it is a good idea for me to remain here any longer." Tobias said out of the blue.

"What are you saying? You and Augustus are safe here." Severus said trying to reason with his father.

"I appreciate Molly and Arthur's hospitality but I can't live here any longer. I need to work, feel self-sufficient again."

Severus shook his head. "Manage the Weasleys' money. I'll see if Dumbledore can find you some employment but you can't leave."

"This is serious then." Tobias asked.

"Of course it is dad. They killed mum, I don't know if they wanted to hurt me or recruit her but they killed her. They killed Lily's parents and will kill you and Gus. The Weasleys, us, we're all in danger. We have to protect each other now. The war is about to really start. I can feel it." Severus said, convinced he was correct.

Tobias nodded. "I need you to keep me informed. Do not leave me in the dark." He then made his way to the kitchen. "I promised Molly I would help her sort out some of her finances. I think I've convinced her to invest in muggle stocks."

Severus bottled the remaining contents in the cauldron and left the house. Lily and the kids were by a tree. Percy and Gus were counting rocks. His brother was teaching the smaller child while Charlie and Bill fenced with wooden sticks. Lily hovered over Gus and Percy, trying to find more black pebbles.

"I convinced dad to stay here for the time being." Severus said casually and dropped next to her. "Sevus." He said and showed him how many pebbles he had on his pockets.

"Can you count that high?" He asked his brother who looked offended for a three year old.

"I can." The boy said with pride. "Daddy teach me." He said and started counting. Severus was actually surprised his brother could count up to fifty without a problem.

Percy repeated the numbers too. The boys then ran off to play some intricate sort of game. Severus could not understand all of the rules, in part because the boys clearly had speech problems. Lily laughed and shook her head. "They're toddlers. I'm actually surprised they can count that high."

"I think that's dad's fault." Severus sat next to her. His wife took his hand in his. "The meeting you told me about…"

"Will take place tonight at an undisclosed location. We have our portkey."

"Is it safe for you to travel?" He asked as he leaned on the tree.

"No, Dumbledore sent me the address so I could floo. I assume he did the same for Alice." She then traced his fingers with hers.

"Not all of us will be there. I assume he will explain the prophecy and take measures." Lily waited for him to say anything but Severus couldn't think of anything to comfort her.

They stayed with the Weasleys until after dinner. Molly insisted. "Arthur is going to the meeting too." She said worriedly.

Severus wasn't surprised, Arthur and Molly housed Tobias and were considered one of the safe houses, and also they knew about Lily and Alice.

The time for the portkeys activation came after they finished eating dinner. Arthur and Severus left the pull while Lily entered used the floo powder.

This was Alastor Moody's house. Severus could tell. The living room was almost full. Dumbledore, Moody, the Marauders, the Prewetts, Kingsley and Frank were there already. He saw as Lily stepped in followed by Alice who shook off some soot.

"I see we're all here now." Dumbledore said. "Albus, should we move to the dining room?" The host addressed the headmaster.

The old man walked out the room. The order members followed him and sat around an enlarged table.

"I have asked you here because you are our elite fighters and most trusted members. I have recently gained information that threatens our efforts and you need to know about this new developments." Albus spoke clearly and emotionlessly.

"We have a spy amongst our ranks. This man has escaped and is believed to have joined Voldemort. He has been passing information for more than a year." Severus made fists. The old man should have listened. Now that rat had escaped.

"Who is it?" Black looked at him. Severus frowned, how could a man be so blind? How could these men be so blind? Did they never see Pettigrew's cowardice?"

"Peter Pettigrew." Dumbledore said harshly.

"No, it can't be." Potter stood up and glared at him, as if he was the one at fault.

"I'm afraid my sources are infallible. He bears the mark and has leaked information regarding Alice's pregnancy and many of our tactics to Voldemort. He's apparently left his mother's house without as much as a word. He is on the run."

"I do not believe it. This is a lie; he probably made it all up. He's always hated Peter." Black growled.

"I have to ask you to refrain from making false accusations. He is dangerous and I beg you to not contact him." Dumbledore furthermore stated.

Remus, Black and Potter slumped and looked like they wanted more answers. "How do you know he's the spy?" Remus eloquently asked.

"One of our recruits found him to have the mark." The old man continued.

"Was it Snape? He's always despised him." Potter added with some force in his voice. Severus could see the outcome of this situation clearly. The marauders would not relent until they had a full explanation. Black and Potter would say something that would cause him to snap and attack them.

"Pettigrew is a spy. If you do not believe Pettigrew to be as spy it is best you leave at once. I cannot trust you with more information if you choose to seek Peter." The men looked at each other. Black looked as if he wanted to leave the house. Remus stayed in his seat and Potter looked at his feet and stayed seated as well. Sirius remained in there.

"It is truly lamentable but Peter has chosen his path. I fear it could be too late for him." Albus continued and looked at every member in the room with his electric gaze.

"What I am about to tell you is of the outmost importance. The information cannot leave this room. I beg you take precaution and do not speak about it with anyone who is not in attendance. Except for you Arthur, Molly should know what we are going to do."

Severus felt the need to speak and demand something else. Nothing could be enough. They needed to take measures. He didn't trust Potter, nor Black. He didn't think he could trust anyone but Lily to keep everything secret.

"The unbreakable vow." He said. Frank and Gideon glared at him from their seats.

"This is outrageous." Fabian added with a frown.

Severus looked at Albus and willed him to agree. "Albus please." He did not look at anyone else but at the headmaster.

"Very well." The older man stood and pointed to Severus.

"It isn't doable. The unbreakable vow requires only two people." Frank Longbottom stated from his seat.

"I am afraid that in this case each of us will have to make the vow with Severus and you as parties. All but for Lily and Alice." Severus breathed a sigh of relief and clutched Lily's hand.

One by one the members of the Order vowed to keep the contents of the meeting secret and to never divulge by any means the information and future plans discussed in regards to the information presented tonight.

Frank was bewildered but followed along. Severus saw as this man clasped his hand. He was tense as were Potter and Black when they took the oath. Frank was different. He did not have a friendship, or a rivalry with this man. They were put in an impossible situation. A madman would mark one of their children; Frank and him were on the same impossible situation.

Once it was over they were all seated, tense, there was an air of discomfort. "Lord Voldemort believes there is a threat. He has heard rumors of a prophecy. A boy born at the end of summer is supposed to be his downfall."

"The end of summer." Frank whispered hollowly.

Albus looked at his fighters. "We don't know how he will proceed or if he knows the full prophecy but we can only proceed with caution. All we know is that he believes the child to be born in summer.

Sirius looked at Alice's belly. "We will protect her." there was a chorus of assents among the members. Severus could only think they would do the same for Lily.

Remus looked pale. He looked at Severus. "I told Peter about Lily." Severus looked into his friend's eyes.

"She's pregnant. I could tell something was different." The werewolf interjected.

Lily gasped. Severus felt like throwing up and he did. He stepped out the house and heaved by the bushes.

He felt someone by his side. "Alice told me about Lily." Frank said and then looked at him. "We have to go back there. I am sure Potter would like to put his arms around Lily and comfort her. I doubt you would like that so much." Frank shrugged. Severus had a flash of another Longbottom.

They went back. Lily went to him. "They know about the baby. Alice is a wreck too." She whispered quietly.

The room was abuzz with whispers and ideas. "We need to focus." Once more the room quieted. They all looked at Albus.

"Pettigrew knows about Alice and Lily. It is only deducible that he will target these children. We have to be preemptive. I had hoped we would have more time but it is imperative you go into hiding at least until we know more about Voldemort's plans. Severus, Remus, James and Sirius will guard Lily and her boy. Gideon, Fabian, Kingsley and Frank will guard Alice and her boy. Mad-eye and I will provide the first safe-houses."

No one complained, not one of them said anything. They all looked at Alice and Lily with pity. Remus couldn't meet his gaze. Strangely enough Severus did not blame him for telling the rat. He did however blame Albus. Severus heard and participated. It was agreed they would hide as soon as possible. Alice cried as was expected and hugged Lily fiercely. "We'll write to each other." The woman said to his wife. Lils nodded.

Frank pulled him aside. "Thank you. It must have been you who discovered the prophecy."

Severus laughed bitterly. They were outside. Moody apparated with Kinsgley and the Prewett twins. Albus and the marauders apparated too. They would wait until Mad-eye and Dumbledore returned to retrieve them. Dumbledore and Moody would be the only ones to know the exact locations. The fighters would portkey to take their shifts and protect Alice and Lily.

"Our families are doomed." Severus said bitterly.

Frank watched as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it. "I need one of those."

"I thought you quit."

"Alice isn't looking." Severus gave him one. The other man smoked with relish.

"If you love Lily half as much as I love Alice then our families aren't doomed." Frank was taking all of this surprisingly well. Foolish Gryffindor bravery, "I would give my life for Alice and Neville."

Severus felt a pang on his chest. "Neville?"

"Alice wants to name him Archibald. Can you believe her? I won't let her. Neville Longbottom. Has a certain ring to it. Don't you think?"

"It does." Severus agreed.

The man continued to make small talk but Severus couldn't stop wondering. "Aren't you afraid? Why are you taking this so lightly?"

Frank looked at him. "I'm terrified Severus but I won't let him destroy me or my family. I will protect them until my last breath. I will keep my wife and baby safe. They need me to be strong for them."

It was fortunate that Lily and Alice walked outside. "I am going to the Burrow. Come with me. We have to say goodbye to Tobias and Molly." Lily grabbed his hand.

"I'll let Dumbledore know." Frank said.

Severus nodded. That was the last night Severus Snape and Frank Longbottom would see each other.