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Chapter 9: Potter Manor

James rushed to Lily as he saw her fall to the ground unconscious. He lifted her limp form up into his arms and carried her away from the burning house towards the group of Aurors. Dumbledore came over to him and placed his frail old hand on his shoulder.

“She is going to be ok James. Don’t worry,” he said kindly seeing the distraught look on James’ face.

“If she is ok, why won’t she wake up?” he asked quietly looking down at Lily’s pale face.

“Lily is an extraordinarily strong person James,” Dumbledore told him. “But suffering the Cruciatus Curse controlled by Voldemort twice in one night has left her body very weak. It will take time for a full recovery.”

“Should we bring her back to Hogwarts now Albus?” Professor McGonnagall asked looking at Lily with tears in her eyes. Lily was one of her favourite students.

Dumbledore also looked at Lily and then at James who was still holding her closely.

“No. This will be a hard thing for Lily to overcome and it will be harder once the Prophet gets hold of this. I don’t think Hogwarts will be the best place for her, at least not for a few days,” he answered.

“Then where will she go Albus? St Mungo’s?” asked McGonnagall

“Potter Manor,” said James suddenly. “She can stay in my house for a few days until she is ready to come back to Hogwarts. It already has every protection known on it so no one will be able to hurt her.”

Dumbledore looked again at James to see a passion burn in his eyes as he spoke. He knew James cared very much for Lily, and this could help her not only overcome the physical injuries but also the emotional ones of losing her family. He nodded.

“We will go immediately, before we attract any unwanted attention,” said Dumbledore. “Can you apparate Lily, James?”

James nodded. There was no way he was letting go of Lily until he was sure she was ok.

“Ok then. You, Sirius, Remus and I will go first, then the others will follow. On three then. Three…..Two…..One…..”

With that there were four loud cracks and James, Lily, Dumbledore all disappeared, reappearing moments later outside Potter Manor.

Dumbledore went in first, followed by Remus, then Sirius and finally James still holding onto Lily.

James mum and dad came rushing into the room. Mr Potter was holding a piece on parchment in his hand.

“What happened Dumbledore?” he asked looking around at the four students. “We just received a note saying that you were coming here. What is going on?”

“That will be explained later Harold. Right now we need to get Ms Evans into a bed. She has had a very tough night,” said Dumbledore indicating towards Lily unconscious in James arms.

“Oh my! The poor dear!” exclaimed Mrs Potter rushing over to James and Lily. “I think we should put her in the room beside James. It is one of the comfiest in the house,” she said before turning around and going up the stairs, with Dumbledore behind her.

“Do you want me to bring her up son?” asked Mr Potter walking over to his son.

“No, it’s ok. I have her,” whispered James before following his mother up the stairs.

“So that’s Lily?” said Mr Potter watching his son walk up the stairs.

“Yeah. How did you know?” asked Remus standing beside him.

Mr Potter shrugged. “I don’t think I’ve seen James more upset than he is right now and only someone he loves very much could worry him this much. He doesn’t usually let things like this get to him. He is a strong chap,” he said before heading into the kitchen with Remus and Sirius.

Twenty minutes later they were joined by James, Mrs Potter and Dumbledore.

“How is she?” Remus asked as James took the seat beside Sirius.

“She is still unconscious, but she seems more comfortable. I doubt she will wake until tomorrow,” said Mrs Potter, pouring tea for everyone.

Mr Potter turned again to Dumbledore. “So, what happened Albus?”

Dumbledore sighed sadly. “Voldemort came after Lily,” he said simply. No one at the table flinched at the sound of name. They were all used to hearing it as James parents were both Aurors.

“He felt Lily had caused too much trouble for him since the time she escaped him last year,” he said looking at the three boys whose faces were all pale, but none so much as James.

“He wanted to get rid of Lily ad he chose tonight to do so as he knew she was in the muggle world and had no protection. But how he knew where she was I cannot say.”

“Wh-What about her parents?” Mrs Potter asked.

“They were discovered by Death Eaters and killed. It seemed Lily hid them in a closet when she realised they had no escape, but they were found. I do not know if Lily knows this,” Dumbledore said sadly.

James was sitting very stiff in his chair, trying not to cry. Seeing Lily in that much pain and not being able to do anything about it was tearing him apart. Now Lily had no parents and it was possible she didn’t even know? “Why did this happen? To Lily? She doesn’t deserve this, no one does. WHY?”

Tears started to roll silently down his cheeks and no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t stop them. Sirius noticed and turned to him.

“Prongs mate, it’s ok. Lily is going to be fine,” he said.

“No she won’t. She lost her family and it’s all my fault,” James said tars still falling.

“James son, it is not your fault. There was nothing you could have done. Y-” said his dad.

“Yes it is,” shouted James standing up. “Her note came to me and if I had of gone to Dumbledore straight away instead of reading it we might have made it in time to save her and her parents.”

“James listen to me,” said Dumbledore. “This is not your fault. What happened tonight was terrible, but you cannot blame yourself. Lily wrote the message moments before her parents were killed, so no matter how fast you got to me with the note we wouldn’t have been able to save.”

James sat back down tears still falling freely down his face. Sirius put his hand on James’ shoulder trying to tell him everything was going to be ok.

“It’s just, I hate to see her in so much pain when there is nothing I can do to stop it. I don’t want her to have to suffer. She doesn’t deserve this,” James said angrily.

“I know James. No one deserves for this to happen to them. I know how hard it is for you to watch someone you love suffer. But James, you have to be there for Lily and you have to be strong for her. She is going to need you,” said Dumbledore looking directly at James who nodded.

“She will need all of you,” continued Dumbledore looking at the three boys. “aswell as her own friends. She needs to know she still has people who care for her. But I think it would be best if she wasn’t crowded with people for the first few days. She will need time to accept what has happened. So I think in four days you two,” he said looking at Remus and Sirius. “aswell as Ms Plunkett and Ms Osbourne can come and stay here for the remains of the holiday. If that is ok with you Mr and Mrs Potter?”

“Of course Albus. It is no problem at all,” said Mrs Potter.

“Does that mean I can stay here Professor?” James asked.

“Yes James. I think it would be a good idea for you to stay here with Ms Evans,” smiled Dumbledore.

James nodded and he, followed by Sirius and Remus, left the kitchen and made their way to James room.

“Are you sure it is ok for James to stay here Albus?” Mr Potter asked.

“Yes. Lily is going to need him more than she even knows. Besides, I don’t think James will be able to focus on much at school if his heart is really here,” Dumbledore said.

“So she is the girl who has stolen James heart for the last five years?” Mr Potter asked Dumbledore but it was Mrs Potter who answered.

“Yes, I can see it in his eyes when he looks at her. He loves her more than anything else in the world.”

“They are both very lucky,” said Dumbledore quietly. “After all, they say love can conquer all, and those two share the strongest bond of love I have ever seen before. Even if they haven’t realised it yet,” he finished smiling.

A/N: I know it doesn't really have much in it but I didn't want to rush into the next chapter without having that bit of explanation! Hope you liked it and please review and tell me either way! Thank you so much!! = )

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