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Severus saw Lily go. The rock had to work. It had to. She would be safe in the Dursleys' home. "We have to apparate now. Sirius and Remus are there. We have to fight them now." Potter grabbed his hand.
They came to a chaotic landscape. He saw Moody and Longbottom. Neither him nor Potter had time to process anything. Severus turned and engaged Rosier Jr. They dueled intensely. The young potions' master fought him off and stunned him after a good ten minutes.
He dueled with Mulciber too. Remus came close to him; he pointed his wand over his head and disarmed McNair.
Severus nodded. They fought more death eaters. He fought men and women he didn't recognize. It was hazy, as it always was when one dueled enemies. He heard Bellatrix's cackle and then understood that he was there. Lord Voldemort was there in the flesh. He saw Frank curse Rabastan Lestrange. He saw the Prewett brothers fight who appeared to be Lucius and Dolohov.
He glanced to his side and saw that they were well matched. The Order of the Phoenix had most of its fighters in assembly as had Lord Voldemort.
Dumbledore wasn't there. The Dark Lord made a beeline for Frank and him. They were close together. Severus aimed his wand and fought as did Frank. The marauders pulled close and fought Voldemort too.
Frank growled and aimed his wand. The Dark Lord apparated, clearly not interested in being there.
He was confused as were many of the other fighters. The Death Eaters attacked fiercely then. They took advantage of the brief distraction and managed to take a few fighters. Severus pulled Black out of Mulciber's line of fire. Suddenly there were more death eaters. There was a flurry of apparation.
"Get up, we don't have time." Severus hissed.
Black ran as did him. They had to go. It was a trap. Soon there were the anti-apparation wards would kick in. "We have to go now. This is a trap."
Black yelled and then he turned. Severus saw it in slow motion. He grabbed Sirius and held him. There across from them were Potter and the rat. He turned just in time to see the green light leave Pettigrew's wand. Black struggled against his grip. Remus pointed his wand but the rat was gone. He transformed into his animagus form and he wasn't seen. James Potter was on the floor, dead, his glasses were askew as they had been the day he died a lifetime ago. Severus ran to Remus while dragging Black.
"We have to go now." He yelled. Remus looked dazed and then grabbed onto Sirius. "The Shrieking Shack."
They apparated. Remus slumped to the floor and Black cried as if in pain. For a moment he thought he was splinched. Severus shook his head; Potter was dead. He experienced the same feeling he experienced the first time. It wasn't satisfaction; it was bitterness. He hated Potter with passion but he wasn't supposed to die not then, not now.
Remus and Sirius hugged each other. "He killed James." Sirius repeated over and over. Remus cried even more.
Severus gave them space. He waited until the sobs subsided. "We have to go to Hogwarts. Dumbledore should be there now."
They didn't have to make the trek. A beautiful if sad voiced phoenix patronus appeared. "The Hogshead."
The men apparated there. The small inn was not crowded. Severus saw Kingsley. "How did they know? Where is Alice?" He asked as soon as he found them.
"Alice is fine. I made sure. Lily, is she fine?" Kingsley asked.
"Yes, she's well. How did they know?" Severus asked again.
Dumbledore entered the room. The occupants quieted then.
"It was an ambush. His name is taboo now. He killed Arthur Bones and his family."
Severus couldn't hold his question. "Potter said they were coming. Did they know about the safe-houses?"
Albus paused. "They tortured the Bones family. I was able to send patronus as soon as Arthur alerted me of the breach in his wards. I believe they knew the location of the safe houses. I opted to alert you."
"It was all a ruse. They wanted us to believe they knew the locations." Remus pointed out.
"I believe you are correct Remus. He must have thought Lily and Alice would be in the midst of the fighting. It was a trap." Albus said sadly.
"We lost many today. I urge you to be cautious now." Albus then proceeded to give advice and orders to many members. Soon it was only Kingsley, Remus, Sirius, and him.
"Alastor is in bad shape. We lost Fabian, Gideon and James amongst many others. You have to be strong now."
"We have to be careful now. Kingsley, you will stay with Frank. Remus and Sirius will stay with you Severus."
"We need a new place." Severus stated, he felt his head pounding.
"Frank and Alice are safe in a house of their own. Kingsley, you will join them tonight." Albus wrote an address and gave it to the auror. The man apparated away.
"Severus, I have a house in Godric's Hollow." Albus looked at him through his half-moon glasses.
He felt fear, "No, I have a place in mind." He said quickly.
"Severus, reconsider. This place is the best option I can afford your family with." Albus said reasonably.
"No, Lily and I will be fine. I have a place in mind." He said through his teeth. It teas best if no one knew where they were.
"I have to go now." He replied quickly.
"I am sorry. I hated him and he hated me but he didn't deserve to die, not like this." He expected Sirius to lash out but he didn't. The man nodded.
Remus hugged him and cried. "I will owl you so you and Sirius can join us." Severus said and hugged him back. Remus was his friend. He was his closest friend besides Lily.
Severus apparated away into the night. He needed a place. He lied when he told Albus he had a place. He was against any magical place, especially Godric's Hallow. He decided to confound a man and rent a place in Harrow. He apparated then and realized it was dawn.
He strode inside Four Privet Drive. "Lils." He yelled. He needed to get her out of that house. He would have to tell them about Gideon, Fabian and James.
Lils rushed out the stairs. "You're fine." She kissed him and cried.
"We need to go now. We have to go." He said hurriedly.
Lily nodded and they left like that. It was strange but Lily did not say goodbye to Petunia. He would ask her later, much later.
He decided to travel the muggle way. "What happened? Where are we going?"
"London. I have a place; the last one isn't safe anymore." They were in the tube. Severus spoke softly.
Lily sat next to him. "Was there a fight? Severus, tell me know. Did anyone we know die?" She was anxious.
"I will tell you once we arrive to the place." Severus said diplomatically.
So they travelled and waited. He led Lily to the small house. "This will be our home. No one knows where it is. I will send a patronus to Remus and Black. They will join us then."
Lily went to a ratty old couch and transfigured it. "What happened?"
Severus took a deep breath and explained. "We were there, it was an ambush. He was there. We can't say his name anymore. It's taboo. There were twice as many death eaters once he apparated away. Pettigrew killed James Potter. Fabian and Gideon Prewett died as well."
His wife cried and clung to him. "We'll stay here. No more robes or wands, we dress as muggles and live like muggles. We need to change our appearances too." Severus tried to think of something to diminish their chances of being attacked.
"How are Remus and Sirius?" Lily asked, her head on his chest.
"Devastated." Severus kissed her head.
"Lily, I know you're sorry and I know what you're thinking but you can't. He is actively targeting us now. We have to be cautious." Severus knew his wife would want to go to Potter's funeral.
Lily was numbed. She stopped crying and worked on the tiny house all day. Severus cooked and helped her with the house. They were too tired and slept all night after they ate a light dinner.
He woke up to the sun on his face. Severus showered and conjured his patronus. "We're safe. This is our address. The password is her name."
Lily cooked breakfast and wrote letters to Molly, Remus and Sirius. She was sad and so was he. The Prewetts were not too friendly with them but Molly certainly was. He could picture her crying and the thought saddened him, as did the prospect of seeing Remus so broken.
They were in their new house for three days without news until Remus and Sirius arrived in black funeral suits. Black was red-eyed as was Remus.
"We buried him in Godric's Hollow, next to his parents." Sirius hugged Lily who hugged him back.
"I'm so sorry." She cried.
Severus was civil as was Sirius. Remus looked so weary and tired. "My time of the month draws near." A lie, it had been full moon almost a week ago.
"We have a room for you and Sirius." He said hesitantly.
"Thanks Sev. I will go lie down." Remus left.
Sirius looked at him and shook his head. "I can't be here. Not now." He said and tried to leave.
Lily caught his sleeve. "Don't do anything stupid. Come back for supper. I'll make your favorite."
Black smiled. "Maybe I can stay in the sofa." He said and fell on the furniture.
"I'll help you with supper." Severus and her went to the old kitchen and set to work.
"Thank you." She whispered while kissing his cheek.
"I didn't do anything." He replied.
"You are being civil and respectful." She cut up carrots and turnips.
They ate late, once both Remus and Sirius were awake.
Remus raised his glass of wine. "To James." Lily lifted her glass of water, as did Sirius with his firewhisky. Severus raised his glass. Lily wouldn't forgive him if he didn't.
They went into the living room to reminiscence about James Potter. Severus drew the line then and retired. Lily wouldn't mind and he truly couldn't sit and be part of that. It wasn't sincere; it would almost be mocking if he did.
He tried to sleep. The man tried to close his eyes and sleep. He tried to occluded but it was useless. Severus couldn't stop thinking. His mind raced. He thought about all the possibilities of what could happen now. His old timeline was destroyed. There weren't any more similarities.
The man felt the mattress dip with Lily's weight. "Why are you still awake? She nuzzled his neck. Severus turned and held her. It was really awkward to face her since her belly was huge but he wanted to look into her green eyes. "I can't sleep."
Lily ran her hands through his hair, "I like your hair like this." He kissed her hands and pulled her close until her belly was pressed to his stomach.
"I am worried." He whispered.
"I am too." She whispered back and then turned away from him. He spooned her. Harry was active tonight. Severus placed his hand on her belly and felt Harry kick.
"I like it when he kicks." He nuzzled her neck.
"He'll play football in no time." She giggled when he traced his fingers over her belly. Lils was extremely ticklish.
Severus didn't say much more. He thought she was asleep but his wife spoke gently. "Sirius saw when Peter killed James."
He stiffened, "He intends to hunt him down. He plans to leave by the morning." Lily said sadly.
The man's voice wasn't louder than his previous whispers. "Remus will put some sense into him."
"I don't think Remus is up to anything now." Lily surmised.
Severus sighed. "We can't stop Black."
"How many of us are still alive?" She asked. Severus frowned and rubbed her belly a little harder.
"What do you mean?" He knew exactly what she meant but didn't want to entertain her.
"I mean from our class." She replied.
"Lils, you shouldn't…" She stopped him.
"James died so that leaves thirteen of us. I am counting death eaters too. We were twenty three." Lily said sadly.
Severus tightened his hold on her. There were only two survivors of their generation in his other life. In his other life Severus and Remus were the only ones living or were they?
He didn't speak. She didn't sleep, "I couldn't love James, not like I love you." His wife didn't turn around.
"He loved me." She continued.
Severus didn't frown. James was dead. "He did. He truly did."
Lily turned once more and kissed him. She kissed him slowly. "Sirius and Remus talked about him tonight. We remembered him. He was immature and mean to you. But James could be more than that. We remembered his good deeds. He was brave Severus."
He nodded, "He was." He simply said.
"We were talking about him and I had a thought. A horrible thought." She cried hysterically for a few seconds. Severus held her tighter than ever and doubted. Why was she so sad that James Potter died? His insecurities threatened to surface.
Lily kissed his neck. "I was relieved that it wasn't you. I was actually happy that you were back to me."
Severus kissed her forehead. "Don't speak of it anymore. You're not a bad person. It wasn't your fault my love. Nothing of this is. He was aware. He knew. Potter understood the dangers." They held each other for the rest of the night.
He woke up early and ran down to get a cup of coffee. Black was by the kitchen drinking tea. "I left a note for her."
Severus nodded and brewed some coffee. "I have to find him."
The potions' master frowned. "You don't have to explain. She will understand."
"James left a will. He left most of his money to Remus and me but he left something for Lily too. He left her his invisibility cloak too." Sirius checked his pocket and gave him a piece of paper. "This is the vault with the money Prongs set aside for her. There's a letter for her. Dumbledore has the cloak."
"We don't need anything from Potter." Severus replied, it was ingrained in him to refuse anything Potter related.
"That isn't your choice to make. It is Lily's inheritance, not yours. Undo the wards" Sirius replied with a glint and then took off.
Severus did. He then sat down and waited for Lily and Remus to come down for breakfast. Lily approached at once and kissed him good morning.
"He's gone isn't he." She said sadly.
Severus nodded and gave her the piece of parchment. "Potter also left you his invisibility cloak."
Lily folded the paper carefully. Severus turned his head around. He didn't like that James Potter left her the cloak.
Remus came down much later. He looked as weary as they felt.
"Where's Remus?" He asked suddenly realizing the mutt wasn't there.
"He went to look for the rat." Severus's lip curled just thinking about the traitor.
"You let him go." Remus was furious. He stormed out of the kitchen and retrieved his wand.
Lily was alarmed and with reason. She wasn't used to seeing Remus out of control but Severus was. He'd seen him at his worse, in another lifetime Remus grieved over Black's death and sought him. The wizard had been sick with despair. Severus understood. Sirius was his last good friend. At that point he had lost Lily for almost two decades but the pain was there, dull but never leaving.
His friend had a suitcase with him. Severus followed him out the door. "Stay here. I'll talk to him. Stay here." He said to Lily and ran out the door to stop Remus.
"You can't leave." He shouted before Remus undid the wards.
The werewolf swished and flicked his wand expertly. It would take him a good ten minutes to undo them all. He would have time to make Remus see reason.
"I have to find him. He will do something stupid, rash just like he always does. Like James did." Remus grew frustrated.
"UNDO THEM" He yelled at Severus.
"This is all your fault." He ranted and tried to hit him. Remus forgot about his wand and tried to punch the other man.
"Remus stop. James was an adult, he knew what he was doing. I'm sorry he died." Severus railed and tried to not use his wand against his friend.
"He's dead and you don't care." Remus shouted. He lowered his wand. "My friend is dead. He's gone Sev. He's gone." Remus cried and slumped on the steps. Severus sat next to him.
"I despised him and he despised me. I can't grieve him like you, Sirius and Lily do but I value his sacrifice."
"He did it for Lily. He was always in love with her. He did it for Lily so that Lily and her son could live." Remus replied. Severus felt like Albus in that moment. He had to do it. "Respect his sacrifice. Help me protect Lily, do it for James." Severus said. He felt as if he manipulated Remus.
Remus cried brokenly. "I will. I'm sorry Sev. I shouldn't have tried to leave." Remus hung his head down.
It was then when they heard the wards break. They had forgotten about the half undone wards. Remus and him were at the ready at once. He felt cold sweat running down his forehead.
He didn't have time to tell Remus to take Lily and apparate. Suddenly a hooded figure appeared in front of them. The man was in front of the street. They pointed their wands at him. "Expelliarmus." Remus shouted, the wooden stick flew out of the figure's hand. "Stu…" He started, it was his chance to unarm the man.
The hood came down. He could se Narcissa's face. "Stop. Remus Stop." He shouted and ran toward her. His friend ran to him and hugged her. He heard a car's tire screech.
"Are you bloody insane?" A man shouted out of car. Severus grabbed Narcissa and pulled her into the lawn.
She cried desperately. "I looked for you. The paper didn't work." She cried and hugged him more. Severus helped her cross the street and they were back in the warded steps. She looked sick, pale, he heard a mewling sound and saw little Draco on her arms.
"He dead. Lucius is dead." Narcissa broke down and cried once more.