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Chapter 6

A shadowy figure appeared in the distance. Black robes fell to its feet. Then it collapsed to the ground as though from exhaustion.

James descended the stairs quickly and ran towards the figure, unable to break his gaze or silence his questions. The green grass rippled beneath his feet as he sprinted across the lawn. He would not stop until he came to the figure. He would not rest until he understood how it had appeared.

As he came closer James discovered the black clad figure to be a child, a boy around the same age as James. Suddenly fearful, James stopped short of the body on the ground.

James's breathing came in quick, short gasps as he attempted to calm himself and become rational. This may not be a cause for concern. This may just be one of those things that his parents may have over looked when they had cast their protective charms and such things.

But though James continued to reassure himself as the boy groaned on the ground, he thought it best to let it be known that he was armed with a wand, and he was not afraid to use it. And use it he may have to do if the situation did become dangerous.

Gripping his wand firmly in his hand, James pointed it at the back of the boy and gathered some air into his lungs "Who are you?" He demanded. So far so good, James thought quickly, looking around to see if any of the maids of the Potter household had noticed his disappearance, and wondering if they would come to his aid if things got messy.

"Who wants to know?" Came a whisper from the ground.

James tensed. The voice sounded so hollow, so uncaring that it sparked some embarrassment in James's mind. Was he over reacting?

"I asked you first" James retorted, taking his wand in both his hands to stop it from visibly shaking.

"You're the one pointing that wand at me for no reason. Do you think I am a threat?" The boy asked somewhat casually.

"Yes I think you are a threat" James said slowly, "I think anything is a threat."

The boy gave a hollow chuckle of amusement "That's wise" he said simply. He rolled over at that moment and James saw his young face, dark hair, and deep grey eyes. "What if I said you should fear me, that I was a threat? Would you curse me into oblivion then?" the boy asked somewhat innocently.

James thought for a moment "Yes, yes I would."

The boy smiled "What if I told you that I knew you had just been given that wand, and that you knew no proper spells?"

James faltered "I would say that you were right."

The boy's eyes brightened as he barked with laughter "I thought so. But I do give you permission to attempt to curse me into oblivion"

James frowned "Why's that?"

The smile fell from the boys lips "Because oblivion is a lot better than home." He looked to the sky and sighed wistfully "Nice day isn't it?"

James looked at the boy strangely "Who are you?" he asked again.

The boy turned his gaze back on James "I'm sure you have heard of me or my family at some point in your life." He challenged looking at James with amusement "But it's best to keep my identity secret because well, you don't know who could be listening."

James smiled at the boy. He obviously was from some old wizarding family to have such worries "You're a pure blood?" James asked quickly.

"Yes, I am" the boy replied, his eyes twinkling.

"Well don't worry; this house is protected by all forms of charms to stop any unauthorized person spying on the house. That includes listening to conversations held within these grounds you know."

The boy stared at him for a long moment "You're a Potter." He said flatly, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.

James was unnerved. How could the boy tell just from that simple sentence?

"It's obvious you know," the boy went on "Everyone knows the Potter Estate is protected by everything you just mentioned. And seeing this grass..." He plucked out a strand of grass and twisted it in his finger tips "It was a dead give away to say the least."

James frowned "Can I know who you are now?" James asked quickly.

"Nope" the boy replied simply.

James looked at him, extremely annoyed "Then tell me how you came to be sitting here now?"

The boy looked up at James, then patted some grass beside him "Take a seat, I know I get more cranky when I am standing whilst others are sitting"

James obliged and sat beside the boy.

The boy dramatically cleared his throat and began his tale "Now seeing as you are a Potter, the only child of this generation. You probably have no idea what it feels like to be cursed into oblivion do you?"

James shook his head slowly "You were cursed into oblivion?"

The boy smiled "Well obviously not. You see my mother isn't the best witch in history, and when she thinks oblivion it usually ends up been some large stretch of something continuous like the ocean or a paddock or in this case a huge lawn of grass."

"You've been cursed into the ocean before?" James asked quickly.

The boy stared at him, with no hint of a smile on his face "Think I would lie about something like that? No, of course not. It was the worse experience of my life, thought I was going to drown, then realized I couldn't. So I just floated there for a week or two until I was brought back home."

"A week or two!" James said, simply astounded.

"Yeah, longest week or two ever recorded in history. By the end of it I was hoping that I would just sink, or get eaten by the sharks that seemed to be, thankfully, repelled by me." The boy said broodingly.

"What did you do for that to happen?" James asked out of curiosity.

"First day I got my wand I somehow changed my brother into a slug. Best fun I ever had, worth every minute in the water" the boy replied, his eyes glazed over with memories of that moment.

"So what did you do this time?" James asked, completely enthralled by the boys presence. He hadn't spoken to anyone for such a long time in weeks, and he couldn't help but drink up the company. Hadn't this been what he wished for? Someone to talk to, to laugh with, be friends with?

Apparently happy to tell the tale, the boy continued "Well last night, my mother held a dinner party for all the big names in town, though of course your parents were not invited -" the boy winked, and James took this information to be another hint of the identity of the boy "- Everything was going splendidly, as it so often did. That is until I was introduced as the newest wizard of my family to be attending Hogwarts this year."

"You're going to Hogwarts too?" James interrupted.

The boy stared at him for a long moment "What other school would I go to?"

James nodded in understanding and gestured to the boy to continue.

"Well I got up, and was pushed towards a platform where I was supposed to make some little speech which included thanking my parents for life and all that jazz. Well I got up there, took out my speech and read "I would like to thank myself for everything I have done, if it wasn't for me I wouldn't know where I would be so thanks again to me" I sat down amid an uproar of disapproval. I didn't understand why, because well, my parents weren't all that interested in what I was doing it was mainly my younger brother. But anyway, my mother chased me all around the house, until she cornered me and cursed me into 'oblivion'. If only she knew that she has never got the curse right once, I would love to see the look on her face!" the boy concluded.

James chuckled "That would have been priceless!"

The boy smiled "Oh, it was. The annoying thing about this cursing thing is the length of time it takes for me to appear in the place, and actually be conscious to it. A whole day passes, I finally appear here, and then my mother sees fit to bring me back just as I start to find out exactly where I am. It's down right annoying!"

"Well at least you know where you are this time round" James said hopefully.

"Yeah, I guess"

They lapsed into silence both boys absentmindedly picking out the grass.

"So... are you a Malfoy, a Black, a Longbottom or a Wesley?" James asked finally.

The boy looked up, his grey eyes staring through James. His eyes scared James, they seemed so cold and sad. But he had a sense of humor that could rival any other James had ever encountered. His eyes only warmed when he smiled, or joked about his predicament. It was strange to James, that someone that could laugh at himself so easily could have such lifeless eyes. It occurred to James as he held the boys gaze that he was in fact seeing the boy’s soul. It was dead. It seemed that no love had ever penetrated it, and at once James felt sorry for the boy.

"Which is the obvious?" the boy challenged.

James thought for a moment. The Malfoy Family; but James pushed the thought away, the known trait of that family was the long white blonde hair and the ice blue eyes, James shuddered at the very thought. The Malfoys were the Potter Family's enemy; they always had been however far back their blood carried through the generations long ago. Whatever the other traits of the family whom marries into the Malfoy family is bred out in one hit, the blonde hair and blue eyes were the dominant trait, they always had been.

James took in the appearance of the boy again; dark hair almost black, his piercing grey eyes.

Obviously not a Malfoy.

The Weasleys: A respected family, known for the acceptance of muggle-borns into the magical schools and outlawing the discrimination against them. They had also silenced the bickering between the old families, forever arguing about their different views and values. Also their well-known trait was red hair, and James couldn't see a strand of red in the mass of dark hair on the boy's head.

The other was his own family the Potters. The Potters were known for their unwavering dominance in the producing of the most fine and powerful Aurors ever seen this age. There unquestionable allegiance to the good of the magical world was the most well known trait to the magical public. James was the only member of his generation, his father's brothers and sisters had been killed in countless raids before James was even born.

Then there were the last known pure blood family he had knowledge of -.

"Black" James finally said, they were the lowest of low, known for their undying hate of muggle-borns, the torture of countless witches and wizards who come in there way of their goal, to be the most powerful pure blood family and for their continuous rivalry with the Weasleys. And not to say the least; the Blacks were well known to be on excellent terms with the Malfoys. That been said, many member's of the Black and Malfoy families had married, so in other words they were the largest family known in all of Britain, reaching their goal easily. It would come as no surprise that the Blacks were also an enemy of the Potters.

The boy looked up at the mention of his last name and James immediately saw his eyes darken defensively "So you have found out the truth. What are you going to do now? Call your parents to rid of me? Surely, you have been warned against having any thing to do with me."

"I have" James replied simply. "But that doesn't mean I have to believe it. You are nothing like what my parents have described to me. You're not manipulating in anyway."

Black smiled darkly "Are you sure about that?"

"I -" James faltered as he watched the boy rise to his feet and start walking away.

James stood up quickly and watched the small, dark figure walk away. Should I follow him? Before James even knew what he was doing, he was tailing the boy. He broke into a run when the boy did not pause. "Black! Come back!"

"NO!" Black screamed. He suddenly froze, his head downcast.

James ran up to the boy and stood in front of him, blocking him from walking away yet again "Please, don't leave."

Black looked up and immediately James noticed the tears in his eyes, saw the distress in his young face "Just let me go, James. It's best for both of our families if you just let me go and never speak of this again. I have a lot to live up to you know. My parents have been training me since I was a little kid. You think I wanted all of that? You think I wanted to be locked in a room filled with books instead of playing outside in the sunlight? I didn't want any of it! But it is the person I am. The family I was born to. The reason I rebel is because I want them to one day just forget about me, let me go. But like you, they won't."

"I'm sorry" James whispered at a loss for anything else to say.

"You're not sorry. You're thankful, thankful you didn't end up been me! Everyone is!" Black bellowed "Now let me go!"

James stood a side, shocked and angry that he could not do anything to help the poor boy. He turned and watched the boy that was a Black walk away from him, and then a thought occurred to him.

"Hey! Wait a minute!"

Black stopped and turned. Even from a distance James could see the tears now spilling onto his cheeks.

"Goodbye, Sirius" James called across the grass.

It was then that James witnessed something amazing. Sirius Black wiped his eyes hurriedly. He lifted his hand in farewell and shouted "Goodbye, James Potter." And with that he turned on the spot and disappeared.

“Leaky Cauldron?” Lily asked quickly, as she took both Susanna and Paul’s hands and was hoisted to her feet. She brushed herself off as she looked around her. They were in London, but it was a little quieter where they were standing. It was a dark alley way, hidden from the sight of many walking the pathways out in the open.

Lily turned her head every which way, trying to take in as much as she could. Even though this wasn’t the prettiest part of London, it was surely a wonder.

Susanna took Lily’s hand and slowly led her out of the alley way and to stand in the middle of two shops, though they weren’t open. The windows of both were boarded up with large pieces of wood. Nails had been hammered into the wood haphazardly as though in a great rush to finish the job and flee. Curious, Lily spied a scribbled note pushed in between the panels. It read “Vacated because of unnatural occurrences, do not enter.

Susanna and Paul laughed when they too read the note. “Muggles can be such worry warts,” Susanna said with a shake of her head. “That was just Tom, the inn keeper, singing in the shower.”

“Singing in the shower could frighten them that much that they left their shop?” Lily asked tearing her eyes way from the sign.

Susanna and Paul looked at each other with identical knowing grins “Take my word for it, Lily. When Tom showers, don’t be within a hundred meter radius of the pub!” Paul exclaimed.

“What pub?” Lily asked immediately, looking around at the many shop fronts, but not seeing anything that looked distinctly like a pub at all.

Susanna put a caring arm around Lily’s shoulders and turned her to face in between the two shops she had turned away from “Look closer, Lily.”

Lily stepped forward a few steps, squinting into the shadows. A building seemed to come out at her in the gloom, dusty windows lit with an orange glow however bright the streets were. A large door barricaded those inside, shielding the occupants from prying eyes and the blinding sun. Lily gasped as more distinguishing features were made apparent to her eyes, until a sign materialized out of nowhere forming the words the Leaky Cauldron.

“Can you see it now, Lily?” Paul asked gently, smiling widely at the unhidden wonder on the small girl’s face.

“Yes I do. I see it all” Lily whispered.

Without waiting for Paul or Susanna, Lily approached the pub apprehensively. She walked up to the door and stared at the brass knocker in the shape of two full glasses of mead clinking together. Lily reached and stretched but she was unfortunately not tall enough. Suddenly Lily’s feet left the ground; she was been lifted to the height of the knocker! She turned her head to see Paul smiling at her “Thank me later” he whispered as she reached out a small hand and tentatively banged the knocker twice.

Immediately Lily’s ears opened to noises beyond the door. Paul lowered her to the ground and Lily quickly took his hand, hiding behind him. There was a shuffling, a grunt and a bout of whispered endings of conversations as all fell silent within the pub.

The Lily heard a call of “Oi TOM! Get your dancing arse over here! There is someone at the door and I’d be stuffed if I’m going to get me self out of this nice little booth to see who it is!”

“Martha, keep your bloody voice down!” A reply came through the ding of hushes.

“I was only saying to answer the door. This is your pub after all” Martha’s slurred words replied.

There was a loud, resounding sigh “Keep your bloody rags on woman, I’m getting there. Just need to pour Johnny here another drink.”

There was a pause as echoing trickling came from inside, then a soft explosion.

A man laughed loudly “How do you get it to blow up like that, Tom?”

“It’s all skill, my friend.” Tom replied

There were echoing footsteps coming closer, Lily tightened her grip on Paul’s hand instinctively.

The door was suddenly thrown open to reveal a mid aged man, already balding, smiling at them with a broad one tooth smile. “Mr. and Mrs. Potter what a pleasure it is! Sorry to keep you waiting! If I had known it was you I would have been here in a flash! Come in, come in! I insist. Harriet get outta that seat the Potter’s are here!” Tom then took both arms of Susanna and Paul and dragged them over the threshold.

Susanna and Paul automatically placed warm smiles on their lips as drunken witches and wizards crowded around them drowning them with questions.

“What are you doing here?”
“How’s your little boy? He’d be attending Hogwarts this year hey?”
“Yeah! I saw him just the other week when you bought his school supplies.”
“Wow really? Oh that boy will be as gifted as you two. Don’t you think?”
“So what brings you back here?”
“Up for a few rounds, Paul?”
“Hey, Susie! Your not one to say no to a drink or two! You never said no to one in school.”
“What’s this you’ve got here? I didn’t think you had a daughter.”

Everyone in the room went quiet as they all focused, as best they could, on the little red head clinging to Paul’s hand.

Paul smiled encouragingly at Lily before introducing her “Everyone, this is Lily Evans.”

There was a pause as everyone in the pub jumped to their feet to get a better look at Lily. Then applause broke out “Why I never!” A man called throughout the sudden bout of excitement.

Lily focused on the ground, not used to this sort of attention.

“Is that the one the Daily Prophet did a front page story about? Her parents died in that attack the other night, didn’t they?”

Lily felt Paul’s hand tense a little in hers in, what she supposed was, a comforting gesture. He knelt down beside her and whispered in her ear “When ever you are ready to go, just say the word.”

Susanna watched Lily look around at the kind smiles of the patrons in the pub “Yeah, I’m ready to go.”

Paul stood up immediately “Alright people, enough of this gawking. We must be off. Now you have a good time in this dingy place while we have fun in the sunlight!” He laughed good-naturedly as a toast was ordered in his name.

“Good luck, Lily” A few wizards by the bar called out as Lily was led by Paul and Susanna past them.

“Follow me Mr. and Mrs. Potter” Tom said hurriedly, jumping in front of them so he could be the one to escort them through his pub.

“We know the way, Tom” Susanna said, laughing at the man hobbling in front of them “Why don’t you get back to the bar before there is a riot.”

“No, no. I insist. Those alcoholics in there will last a few minutes.” Tom muttered loud enough for the whole pub to hear. There was an uproar.

“You don’t mean that, Tom!”
“I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just a regular.”
“Get back here and pour me a drink, or will I have to do it myself!”
“Go Johnny! Jump behind the bar! I have an inclining it is almost like heaven!”
“Yeah, you would think that Greg. Every alcoholic would think that behind a bar would be heaven”
“Oh, sod off Johnny!”

Tom closed the outer door to the pub to block off the uproar of orders for drinks “I love them, they keep my pub alive. But they do give me a pounding headache at times” he muttered rubbing his balding head with a gnarled hand.

“I’m sure you would be used to it by now, Tom. Ten years this September is it not?” Paul asked conversationally.

“Oh yes, ten years. You were there that night weren’t you?” Tom asked quickly, with a hint of a smile on his cracked lips.

Susanna and Paul laughed loudly at this “Yes we were. Susanna of course wasn’t drinking; she had James to look after. And I wasn’t either because she would have skinned me alive if I did. It was the day that I asked her to marry me.” Paul confirmed.

“Oh, history in the making, I remember it well.” Tom remarked.

Susanna laughed “Well, we must be off a lot of supplies to buy and a few other things we must accomplish today. We shall see you again soon, Tom.”

“Yeah of course! Good luck Lily. Say hello to your grandma and grandpa for me!” Tom said quietly as he led them out into a courtyard with a lonesome rubbish bin beside a brick wall.

“Grandma and grandpa...?” Lily asked as he closed the door behind them.

Paul and Susanna exchanged a smile “There’s a few things we need to show you before we get to that.”

“But all my grandparents are dea –“ Lily froze in mid sentence as Paul took out his wand with a mutter of “Now, what was it again? Oh yes, three up, two across.” He tapped the bricks three times and this alone took any thoughts out of Lily’s mind.

An archway appeared in amongst a mass of rotating bricks.

“Lily Evans, welcome to Diagon Alley.” Susanna whispered in Lily’s ear.

A/N: Well then, this was an interesting chapter… thank you to all of you who have read this story… you probably will never know how much it means to me… thanks for giving it a chance anyway. Well hope to hear from you in a review, or if you would like to know when I will be updating next, how I am going with a chapter, or any random news about me that you most defiantly wouldn’t know check out my profile page and visit my live journal… It is an interesting read to say the least. Next chapter when ever I complete it… should be next week some time… bye for now, take care. – Carley a.k.a. hpOracle

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