Title: Phoenix Regressions
Author: flutterby AKA Scooby Wannabe
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all of that belongs to Rowling, BtVS, AtS and all that belong to Whedon…I’m just ripping off their ideas to exercise a few demons.
Rating: PG-13, for adult situations, some references to that nice adult pastime, and potty mouth
Summary: Lustro Iuvenesco
is a curse one step away from an Unforgivable. It takes life. Wipes the mind and body clean of the life they had lived so that they might start another. James and Lily Potter never died. They just began life anew. But what happens when past lives catch up to the new?
Spoilers: BtVS Season 7, AtS Season 4, and OotP
Timeline: A few weeks after Chosen (which I set in June for plot purposes) and a the summer after OotP. For my purposes, the Sorcerer’s Stone happened 1998/99, making the year Voldemort attacked the Potter’s 1988
Notes: Okay, um, this story kinda delves into a real life concept, that doing good doesn’t always mean doing what all would consider right. Dumbledore has shown himself (in my opinion) to be able to take a questionable path for the greater good. Some well-loved characters in this story end up taking or supporting a questionable road, so if you can’t handle that, then this isn’t the story for you.
“Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off!”
James Potter’s clear brown eyes met his wife’s sparkling green. A thousand words with one look. A thousand words boiled down to four: I love you, goodbye.
Lily turned and raced up the stairs, deep red hair flowing like a river of blood behind her.
As soon as she was out of sight, James turned just as his enemy walked through the door.
“Ah. James. Good health, I wish you, on this fine evening.”
James glared at the Dark Lord Voldemort, letting all his hatred come up to the surface in an effort to squelch his fear. “Get out of my house.”
“Now, really, is that anyway to talk to a guest in your home?” Voldemort asked as he strolled further inside. He smiled, showing off pearly white teeth. “You have abysmal manners. So unbecoming of a Pureblood.”
James looked over at the clock on the wall, watching as the seconds ticked by, hoping it was enough.
Voldemort saw. “Oh, no, no, no. They will not escape. You see, the fireplace is here. And, alas, I’ve made sure that Apparition will not work while I am here.”
James tightened his grip on his wand as he realized what this meant for his wife. “You scum.”
“Now, Mr. Potter,” Voldemort said, holding a hand to his heart. “That hurt.”
At that moment, a cry came from upstairs. James knew that cry. It was the cry of his son in pain.
James turned to look at the stairs, eyes wide. It was a foolish move. It gave his enemy an easy target.
James lied on his back on the hard, cold floor helpless to do anything but watch as the most wanted murderer and heinously evil man knelt over him. “You see, Mr. Potter. I always win. Now, you and your wife will know what it is like to lose the person you love most.”
James didn’t even blink. He knew what would come next. Death was not the worst that could happen. Living with the death of his wife and son on his heart, now, that would be something horrible. At least he was going first.
Voldemort smiled, as if knowing his very thought. “Oh, no. Not you. Not her. Your child.”
James eyes went wide.
“James? James, wake up. Yer needin’ ta be gettin’ up.”
James’ eyes fluttered open. He looked up at the giant of a man hunched over him. “Hagrid?”
Rubeus Hagrid smiled broadly. “There you are, then. You and Lily had me scared with this wreck an’ all.”
James sat up, looking around frantically, ignoring the rushing sound in his ears that told him to lie back down. The house was demolished, in a shambles around him. But he didn’t care. “Lily?”
“She’s ‘ere,” Hagrid said gently, motioning down next to James. She was there, looking perfect and peaceful, even though she was filthy, eyes closed as if she were sleeping. “Looks like she was stunned. Can’ do magic meself or I woulda woken her.”
She was alive. A hand to her head told him that much. She was warm, breathing, and alive.
James looked up at Hagrid, eyes full of hope. “Harry?”
“Righ’ here, the lil tyke.”
James almost broke down as his son climbed into his lap, snuggling against his stomach sleepily.
Hagrid smiled at the scene. “Was tryin’ ‘is best to wake you and Lily up, sure it looked to me.”
James looked down at his son’s dirty face. Sparkling green eyes smiled up at him. “Da!”
James wrapped his arms around the babe, feeling the warmth of him, feeling the life as his son wriggled in his arms. He kissed the top of the baby’s head, nuzzling the messy black hair so identical to his own. “Oh, thank god.”
James looked up at Hagrid. His half-giant friend was smiling down at them, wet trails leading from his eyes to the nest of a beard.
“Mama!” Harry cried, reaching for his stunned mother.
James turned to his wife. He just sat there, watching her for a moment. Then he started to look around the rubble. A moment later, he found the two things he was looking for. Dropping Lily’s wand beside her, he shifted Harry into one arm. He ran his own wand over his wife, whispering the counter charm.
Lily shifted immediately. James smiled, dropping his wand to floor to run his hand through her hair. “Lily? Lily, darling, wake up. Wake up, sweetheart.”
She blinked, looking up at him. “James?”
James sighed in relief. He bent down and kissed her softly. When he pulled back, she smiled at him. He smiled back. “I’m here, precious.”
Lily sat up, flinging her arms around her husband. “Oh, James! I thought…”
He nodded, holding her close with one arm. “I thought, too.”
Lily looked around the demolished home, eyes finding the other person in the room almost instantly. “Hagrid?”
Hagrid nodded at her, smiling broadly. Lily smiled back as she released James to continue her examination of her home. “Where’s Voldemort?”
“He’s done,” Hagrid said. “Gone.”
Lily’s eyes widened in shock. “Gone?”
“Mama!” Harry cried out from his place in the crook of James’ arm. He looked up at his mother curiously. “Mama sweep?”
“Harry!” Lily cried as she grabbed her son. She hugged him tightly before holding him out a bit from her to give him a good look-over. Her eyes immediately saw what James had not. “Oh, James, his head.”
The curiously shaped cut on Harry’s forehead was red and still bleeding slightly. James looked around for something anything, then resorted to his shirt. He ripped off the only clean spot he could find. He took his son gently in his arms, then ran his wand over the cut. A small amount of water trickled from the wand’s end, sprinkling down onto the baby’s head. The boy, however, did not like it. “No!”
“Shh, Harry,” James said soothingly as he gently wiped away the blood. “It’s all right. Trust Daddy.”
Harry seemed to understand, for he stopped struggling and instead nuzzled deeper into James’ strong arms. “Da.”
Lily sighed contentedly at the sight of her husband and son. After allowing herself a moment of peace, she turned to Hagrid. “What do you mean ‘he’s gone’, Hagrid?”
Hagrid shrugged. “Tha’s just it. He’s done disappeared. Something about yer boy. He’s got the Killing Curse all over him. It’s a stench. But You-Know-Who’s power’s broke. He’s gone.”
“He tried to kill Harry,” Lily whispered as she looked over at her son. “He wanted Harry.”
James looked down at the cut he was cleaning on his son’s forehead. “‘And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…’”
“No,” Lily whispered, slouching in a bit. She shook her head and wrapped her arms around herself. “No. Oh, no. God, no.”
“Lils,” James said softly, using his pet name for her to try and break through.
Lily gazed at Harry, who was now giggling as he played with a stray lock of James’ hair. “No! Not my son! Not my baby!”
James reached a hand out to her. “Just calm down--”
Lily shook her head frantically as the tears began. “No, no, no
At this James grabbed her with his free arm and pulled her close to him and Harry. Lily instantly relaxed, letting her arms go from her midsection to her husband and child. James rubbed her back soothingly as he whispered in her ear, “Shh. I know, Lils. I know.”
Harry looked up at his mother, oblivious to her distress. He pulled at James hair, as if to show her. Lily kissed the top of Harry’s head. “James…”
James kissed her temple. “Baby…”
At that moment, two figures stumbled into the house. James, Lily, and Hagrid all turned, all with wands (or umbrella) at the ready.
James sighed in relief almost instantly. “Albus. Alastor.”
“Headmaster, thank god!” Lily cried as she released James, but took Harry in her arms and started for Dumbledore. “You have to help us! He wants Harry!”
Dumbledore held out his hands to the young witch. “Let me see, Lily.”
Lily passed the baby to the leader of the Order of the Phoenix, watching for a sign of some miracle. Dumbledore examined the boy, eyes finally coming to rest on his forehead. The old wizard smiled. “It is certain, then. Young Harry Potter will save us all.”
“No!” This time it was James who shouted. Seeing the cut was one thing. Having its meaning confirmed to him was something else.
Moody looked up in surprise, magical eye swiveling around in its socket. “James, I know that--”
“My son will not
live with this burden!” James declared, smacking his hand down on what looked to have once been a part of the upstairs curio cabinet. “The Aurors will take care of Voldemort.”
Dumbledore, sighed, letting Lily snatch the baby from his arms, eyes never leaving the elder Potter. “James--”
“If he’s disappeared, then he’s weak,” James said pointedly. “I’ll go into the office, we’ll set out tonight. We’ll finish the job while he’s vulnerable.”
“James Alexander Potter!” Dumbledore shouted, finally breaking through to the ever-frantic young James. He gave the younger wizard a hard look. “Your son has a great destiny. No one but he can do this.”
Lily shook her head holding Harry close to her. “Frank and Alice’s boy…”
“Lily, your son has been marked,” Moody reasoned. “The first of the prophecy has been fulfilled. There’s almost no chance that it could be the Longbottom boy.”
Harry, having noticed the tension in the room, began to cry loudly. Lily looked down at her wailing babe and shook her head slowly. “No. Not Harry, anyone but Harry.”
“Come,” Dumbledore said to the couple. “We need to move you to a safe location.”
James looked up sharply. “That’s it.”
Hagrid frowned. “Wha’?”
“Lily, gather what you need,” James told his wife. “We’re leaving.”
Moody scowled. “Leaving?”
“We’ll go somewhere,” James explained, more to his confused looking wife than anyone. “Anywhere! We’ll live as Muggles. We’ll live as outcasts. I don’t care how or where, as long as it’s far away from here.”
Lily frowned. “But, James--”
“For Harry, luv,” James pleaded. “If we’re far away from here, they won’t be able to find us.”
Moody growled. “James, see to reason!”
“No,” James said coolly. “There is no reason when we talk about the life and death of my fifteen-month-old son.”
“Yeh can’t!” Hagrid nearly shouted. “Lily, talk to ‘im!”
Lily shook her head. “He’s right. We have to go.”
“We need that boy here!” Moody exclaimed. “To guide him, protect him, train him--”
“Use him!” James corrected angrily. “He should be able to choose what he wants his life to be. Not what you
want him to be.”
Dumbledore watched the couple with weary eyes. “James, Lily, I cannot allow you to flee with that child. He is our best hope.”
“Find another hope,” Lily nearly spat out.
Dumbledore drew his wand. “I will not allow it.”
James stared down at the wand in his friend and mentor’s hand in shock. Then he blinked. Drawing himself to his full height, James raised his own wand. “You’ll have to kill me, Professor. There’s no way you can have my son, not while I am here.”
Dumbledore sighed and raised his wand in a dueling manner. “Then you leave me with little choice.”
Lily saw the wand for the first time. “Albus!”
Dumbledore regarded James calmly. “You will all three come with us back to Hogwarts. I promise, tomorrow, things will seem better.”
Lily’s mouth opened and closed for several seconds. Then she turned to the other two friends in the room for help. “Hagrid?”
Hagrid shook his head. “Professor Dumbledore’s righ’.”
Lily blanched. “Alastor, please…”
“I’m sorry, Lily,” Moody whispered roughly. “This is the choice you make.”
“Not likely,” James hissed. “Now, move aside.”
Lily watched in horror as her husband withered to the ground. “James!”
Three pairs of eyes turned to her. She met their gazes, clutching the baby in her arms tightly to her. Then she did the only thing she knew how. She dove for her wand.
She was still running towards her wand, Harry wriggling in her grasp.
Dumbledore sighed wearily. “Hagrid, take the baby.”
Hagrid did as he was told. “C’mere, Harry.”
“Dumbledore, what do you want to do with them?” Moody asked gently. “James was telling the truth. Nothing short of killing him will keep them away.”
Dumbledore shook his head sharply. “I will not kill my friends. I’ve never had to.”
“We could take them to Hogwarts,” Moody suggested hopefully. “Talk some sense into them.”
Dumbledore sighed and shook his head. “They were sensible tonight. The chance that they will follow through with this plan is great.”
“We cannot let them, Albus,” Moody ground out.
Dumbledore looked up at the Auror, then over to Hagrid. “I can trust on both of you, correct? You see the importance of this. That a decision must be made now if we are to be guaranteed Harry? And that we must know
we have Harry, fully, now, with no obstacles between us?”
Both men nodded.
Dumbledore raised his wand once more.
Albus Dumbledore lowered his wand. He stared at the ground for a few moments, the ground littered with the empty, dirty, bloody clothing of the Potters. Then he straightened and turned to regard both Hagrid and Moody. “This day is both joyous and tragic. It has seen the defeat of Voldemort, yes. But tragically, before the Dark Lord met his downfall in little Harry Potter, he murdered James and Lily Potter in cold blood. So strong was the curse, that little remains of them.”
Hagrid looked down at the bloody clothes as great droplets of tears started to run down his cheeks. “Poor Lily and James.”
Dumbledore sighed wearily. Then he turned to the half-giant, examining the babe in his arms. After a moment, the old man nodded. “Hagrid, stay here until the next person arrives. Pass on the tale. Then take Harry to the safe house in Wales. Tomorrow, Harry will go to his aunt and uncle’s. An orphan. I’ll send you word on the exact time later this evening.”
“Aye.” Hagrid nodded instantly and started to head outside to await the next arrival of what would probably be either concerned friends or Ministry officials.
Dumbledore watched the Keeper of the Keys go, knowing that he’d do exactly what was said. Hagrid’s loyalty was always to be counted on, even in the direst of circumstances.
“Alastor,” the Headmaster said quietly to the man on his right. “I must head to the Ministry.”
The Auror looked up and nodded once. “I’ll take care of it.”
“It cannot be magical, it must be Muggle,” Dumbledore warned. “People you trust. We will pay, if it comes to it. And it must be a place where their auras will be shielded. We cannot run the risk of them being found by another school or a government office.”
Moody nodded once again. He looked down at the two small faces watching them curiously. “I know the perfect place.”
Dumbledore took one more long look, then turned swiftly. “Do not tell me. This will be your job.”
“I understand,” Moody said, glancing at his mentor. “You need to speak with Frank and Alice. They might be thinking the same thoughts.”
Dumbledore’s mouth set in a grim line. “I will take care of that.”
With that the Headmaster of Hogwarts started to maneuver his way out of the warded house. However, he paused at the doorway. “And Alastor? Make sure they are happy.”
Moody turned to the older wizard, good eye wide with surprise. Dumbledore nodded downward. “But see to it they will not be friends or lovers again. We cannot run the risk of them rediscovering this.”
Then Dumbledore was gone.
Moody sighed, then looked around for something to use for covering. He finally settled on a large window curtain decorated with little stars and moons. With a small grunt, he ripped the drape in half. Taking one half in his hand, he knelt down, wrapping it carefully around the small body.
The child of about six or seven watched him with wide, green eyes. She chewed absently on a small piece of bright red hair, as she examined him in youthful innocence. Apparently deciding he was safe since he had provided her with something to keep her warm and covered, she smiled brightly at him. “Hi.”
Moody tied the ends of the ripped curtain together, forming some sort of impromptu dress. He glanced up at the curious green eyes as he grabbed the other half of the curtain. He nodded at the girl. “Hello.”
Then he turned to the boy at her side. Pushing his unruly dark hair aside, he started to give him the same treatment as he had the girl. The boy’s warm chocolate eyes were just as innocent, just as curious as the girl’s. He closely looked Moody over as he tied off the curtain, frowning. “You look funny.”
Moody grinned slightly as he stood. “Do I?”
The boy nodded as he looked around. “Where are we?”
“In a bad place,” Moody explained, gathering the girl in his arms. She settled there comfortably, leaning her elbows against his shoulder as he shifted her into one arm. Then he reached and took the boy’s hand with his free one. “But don’t worry. We’ll go find you both some mummies and daddies.”
The girl’s eyes brightened. “Mummies and daddies for us?”
“I know them,” Moody said, planting the first of many suggestions in the blank canvases that were these two small minds. “I’ll take you home?”
The boy looked up, watching Moody thoughtfully. “What’s your name?”
Moody blinked and looked down at the boy. “Mr. Moody.”
The girl in his arms laughed. “That’s a funny name.”
The little boy scrunched his face up as he thought for a moment, then looked back up. “What’s my name?”
Moody frowned. “Your name is…Alexander.”
The girl giggled even more. “That’s a funny name, too. What’s mine?”
Moody bit his lip as he thought. Anne seemed too common for the child. And using both middle names just wasn’t wise. He looked down at the floor as he thought. Almost instantly his eyes landed on a forgotten wand. He looked up at the child and smiled. “Willow. Your name is Willow.”
Then the three of them vanished from Godric’s Hollow, none ever to return.
A/N: It should be pretty clear where I’m going with this. So please review, lemme know what you think.