Prologue: A Death Sentence
“The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.”
“They're going to have Lily executed, Harry. Victoire is going to do it. Luna came back with the news this morning.”
Harry Potter stood motionless in front of the window, staring out at the deserted fields. Victoire is going to do it. The words echoed in his mind, sounding louder each time.
Had a block of ice fallen into his stomach? Would it ever melt?
This was wrong.
Voldemort had won, or come close enough to winning that there was scarcely any point left in fighting. When had it come to this? Had there been a minuscule point in time where everything had turned towards the dark?
“When?” He wasn't happy to hear that his voice was shaking. Being strong for Ginny was one of the few things that helped him get up in the morning.
“When the Victoire turns seventeen. Two years.” Somehow, her voice was solid, but as Harry turned to stare at her, those chocolate brown eyes betrayed the panic that she had managed to hide.
He tried to be soothing, “Ginny, Victoire hasn't even been accepted into The Youth yet. They can't move her up that fast.”
Ginny took an unsteady breath, “They can and they will. Who will go against the decision? Teddy? Benjamin? Neither of them have enough influence. You know that.” A lonely tear rolled down her cheek.
He was surprised that he was holding himself together so well. Maybe he was in shock? Maybe nothing could shock him anymore. Not even this.
“Is Luna sure?” Harry asked in desperation, giving up on calm and crossing the room and pulling her into his arms. The children of the old Order of the Pheonix and DA members were the only ones who could infiltrate Voldemort's society without being recognized and killed or worse.
The older generation that had dedicated their lives to fighting the dark had been forced to pin their hopes on a group of teenagers.
It was an ironic switch in roles for Harry and the others. How had anyone managed to watch him and his friends running around playing the hero while they sat, powerless?
It was torture.
“Teddy came in with the same report an hour ago. He's been given more security clearance. If...if you want to talk to him you'll have to hurry. He has to leave soon.” Her quavered slightly.
Harry nodded into her hair, “A promotion is good. They trust him.”
He took a deep breath and continued, “Cynthia and Ben told me that she's ready, Ginny. We can test her and have her join us before they have a chance to do anything.”
Ginny shivered, “How do we know that she's ready? They're all brainwashed! Have you been listening to the reports at all? Most of the population isn't even aware that things used to be different. The concept that the muggles were never aware of magic isn't something that they can comprehend.”
Her voice twisted with self loathing. She couldn't even trust her own family.
Before Harry could reply, the door to the small room opened and Lily Potter walked into the room, followed by Teddy Lupin and Benjamin Nott.
They were all arguing, which wasn't abnormal at all. Especially lately. .
Ginny slipped out of Harry's arms to hug her daughter and Harry followed suit.
“Mum, Victoire is ready! You should have seen her yesterday! All of the workers were late because their quarters were checked last night and instead of punishing everyone, she gave them the day off and then when we were alone she actually told me how ridiculous the searches were. Can you imagine it?”
Harry's mouth tightened. In what world was a person considered kind because she didn't torture people for being late? Of course, Victoire never punished her hired help. She was probably the only one in the entire wizarding community who didn't.
The muggles, squibs and muggle-borns were second class citizens now. They were all called mudbloods. Lily was posing as a muggle so that she work in Victoire's dorm room.
Harry smiled at Lily and looked back out the window. She was braver than he had ever been. That was for sure. She and the others had grown up in the middle of this horror story, with no breaks, no timeouts, yet they managed it better than he ever had.
Voldemort had taken control of the ministry and created his own society.
All half-bloods had been given pureblood status, the muggles and muggleborns had been forced to live like lesser beings, even though they were paid for what they did and the few people who were against Voldemort lived outside of the cities in secret, constantly on the run, never staying in the same place for more than two or three days.
Right now, he and most of what was left of the resistance was staying in an abandoned farmhouse near the ocean. The place reminded Harry of Shell Cottage.
Pureblood children were born and immediately separated from their parents and raised in large groups by caretakers and teachers. Family was not a part of Voldemort's society.
As soon as children turned seven they were trained by their professors in every kind of magic, including things so dark that they made Harry's stomach squirm. About half of the 'pureblood' children born lived to become adult members of this society.
The other half simply disappeared in the night.
Suspicion was the Pedestal that Voldemort stood on. There were still newspapers and Hogwarts was still a school. Everything was simply controlled.
There was no freedom. Most didn't even understand the concept.
A small number were given the 'honor' of joining The Youth, which was in its essence, a recruiting organization for Death Eaters
The Death Eaters were revered in Voldemorts community. They acted as the aurors and the ministry officials.
“Dad? Are you listening?” Lily asked, looking up at Harry with concern.
“Sorry, I was thinking. Are you....sure that Victoire is ready?” he inquired intensely.
“Yes. I'd bet anything on it.”
“You're betting all of our lives on it.” Harry replied seriously.
Lily's fists clenched, “She's ready. I trust her.”
Harry looked at Teddy and Ben gravely, “Do you two agree?”
They gave each other nervous looks, which was answer enough in Harry's opinion.
Teddy swallowed and looked him in the eye, “Last year I would have said yes. But after what happened with Danielle...It's just hard to trust anyone. Even family.”
Ben said nothing, which was out of character for him, but nodded in agreement with Teddy.
Harry stared at his godson for a moment before nodding.
“It's hard to trust anyone after what we had to do with Danielle. But thats why Victoire was last. We know how to handle this now. All three of you know that we don't have much time before it's too late. The second that you are sure, bring her to us. Understand?” It was an effort to keep his voice level, but he did it.
Lily sighed at her father before turning to Ginny, who had also been oddly quiet, “Mum, what do you think?”
Ginny shivered and closed her eyes, Lily couldn't be told, “I agree with Harry. The three of you know Victoire better than I do. I've...never even met her.”
She met Harry's eyes and he just stared at her. It all led back to his decisions. Eighteen years ago, though it felt more like a millennium, there had been a battle at Hogwarts school.
Everything had gone as well as he could have hoped for, almost like a story in the book where the hero always wins, up until the last moment. Voldemort had...killed him. That experience was beyond description.
When Harry woke up, Voldemort was gone and at least half of his friends were dead. There had been no surrender, no announcement. He had just left and taken all of his Death Eaters with him.
After that, all the things that had been hanging together by the smallest threads fell apart. The only thing left was the resistance.
The Order of the Pheonix.
Harry had realized that the war was going to drag on for years and tried to make the most of his life while he fought. Voldemort had been rejoicing his death and the wizarding world had lost it's last hope.
Ginny had practically asked him to marry her and he was glad. Amidst all the chaos and hatred, a family had grown. It felt like a lifetime ago. Would it never end?
One question still haunted him. Why had Voldemort left without crushing what was left of his final threat? He had not known that Harry was still alive and the Order had been all but helpless.
If he had given the word he would have been unopposed, even with Harry alive. There was no point to struggling against Voldemort without something to fight for
He tuned into the conversation again when Ron entered the room, looking grim.
“Where's Hermione?” Ginny asked, wide eyed, before Harry could open his mouth.
“Mums taking a look at her. We had a bit of a run in with The Youth on our way back. Conceited little twerps.” Ron's show of nonchalance was easy to believe, as long as you didn't look at his expression.
“They don't really think much of The Order anymore. Though thats a good thing in some ways. The Youth....well their incompetent and overconfident at best.” Teddy said absently as he joined his godfather by the window.
Harry smiled slightly at him, “Have more self confidence. You find us all the time.”
“Har, har.” Teddy mumbled sarcastically. He was posing as a member of The Youth. It was much easier to fake an identity when nobody had any family to fabricate. Especially when the person in question was a metamorphmagus.
“So you're saying that The Youth are in charge of hunting us down?” Lily asked a bit contemptuously.
Harry caught Ginny's smile and tilted his head as if to say 'she got that from you'.
Teddy nodded enthusiastically, “Yes, they have. That was my main reason for coming,” That was a lie, but Lily had enough to worry about.
“I'm second in command of the search as of this morning. I recommend that you stay away from the Forest of Dean.”
He snorted, “They are convinced that you're all holed up in there, eating acorns and shooting squirrels to stay alive.”
Ben chuckled, “That's how I would've done it.”
Cynthia wrinkled her nose at him, but he was spared from her oncoming comment when the door opened again to admit Hermione Weasley, looking tired and ill tempered.
“Hello everyone,” She said with a grimace.
Her tone told Harry that something was very wrong. He leaned his head against the cool glass of the window and waited for the bad news. How much more could he take?
Would he reach a blowing point, or would he just go insane? The ladder was probably preferable.
“What is it?” Teddy asked, glancing at his watch.
Harry had observed his role as a double agent change Teddy Lupin. He had gone from carefree to cautious, from relaxed to constantly worried.
Ben rolled his eyes at him, but then surreptitiously checked his wrist as well. He was almost as high up in The Youth as Teddy and he had a role to play too.
Hermione sighed and went to stand by Ron, who put an arm around her shoulder, “I need to talk to Harry, Ginny and Ron alone guys. I'm sorry.” she looked it too.
Teddy immediately strode out of the room, looking preoccupied and Ben followed almost as quickly. Lily looked for a moment like she was going to argue, but she left at the look on Hermione's face.
“Hermione?” Ginny asked, sounding pained.
Ron rubbed small circles on her back as she answered, “I got into the Lestranges house-if you call a castle a house-and I slipped some veritaserum to the house elves. They hear everything. Voldemorts newest plan to demoralize us is to have Victoire kill Lily as an initiation to the Death Eaters when she turns seventeen. She'll do it in a public square and he plans to make it the beginning of a mass execution.” Ron shivered and his jaw clenched.
“We already know. Teddy had the report this morning, he's only here so Lily doesn't get suspicious.. We can't let this happen!” Ginny whispered fiercely, her despair was quickly turning to anger.
Harry swallowed convulsively. Just because Lily was his daughter, she was in danger. She had to be protected.
“Then what do we do?” Ron asked tiredly, “We don't know if we can trust Victoire. We don't even know her.”
“We do the only thing that we can do.” Hermione announced, reminding Harry of the old days.
“What would that be?” Ginny asked impatiently.
“We trust Lily, Teddy and Ben to make the right decision. They're good judges of character.”
Hermione seemed to be trying to convince herself, “What other choice do we have? Besides, we have bigger problems.”
“What if they say she's ready and we have to do to her what we did to Danielle Nott? What if Victoire's half as smart as Ben and Lily say? She could ruin everything.” Ron said, ignoring Hermione's last comment and shooting Ginny and Harry a sympathetic look.
“But we can't do nothing either. And I don't like having Lily spying around with a death sentence hanging over her head.” Ginny argued seriously, shooting Ron a disgruntled look.
“We don't have a choice. Either we let them decide or we do nothing because we can't very well sneak into the city and make friends with her now can we? And they won't hurt Lily because they need her to prove their point. If anything we need to give her more jobs and take advantage of this.” Hermione exasperated voice stopped the argument. She was right.
“And we have bigger problems. What made them choose Lily in the first place? They don't know that she's Harry and Ginny's daughter. They shouldn't know that at least.
They had all become so hard. Sending children in to do what they shouldn't even be able to understand. How did they know about Lily and Victoire?
If we ignore this, Harry thought tiredly, we lose everything we've gained in the past eighteen years. If we act too quickly we lose everything and die in the process.
After a moment of pained silence Ron grimaced, “We have more problems on top of this. Somehow The Youth knew where my rendezvous point with Hermione was. I think that we have a leak.”
Ginny's eyes flashed, “First my daughter, now this? Who would betray us?”
Harry closed his eyes. For months the resistance had been at a standstill. Now suddenly everything had begun to happen at once. Life never seemed to divvy up events with convenient timing.
Hermione drew closer to Ron unconsciously, “I don't know. But we have to find them. Or we'reall dead.” Those words hung in the air menacingly until Harry rubbed his face with his hands and strode out of the room. He needed to talk to Lily if she was still here. Ginny was right behind him.
They were walking a thin wire that led to a dungeon filled with snakes, balanced over a pit of lava on one side and quick sand on the other. All they could do was try to keep their balance long enough to get bitten.
The couple walked in resigned silence, following the next generation distantly through the hallway of the rundown farmhouse.
It was symbolic, somehow.
Ben, Lily and Teddy could be heard arguing quietly in the sitting room.
Hermione was right.
It was their story now.
A/N: So to clear up any confusion: In this story Ron/Hermione haven't had children. Harry/Ginny only have Lily & at the beginning she is thirteen years old. Be is an OC as well as Danielle and yes, they are twins. Bill and Fleur died shortly after Victoire was born (more on that later.)
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