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Disclaimer: Trelawney's prophecy is the sole property of JK Rowling. I am simply borrowing it for the purpose of this story.

Author's Note: Congratulations! Because someone bugged me with a review on another site, you get this chapter early. Now, if the person had simply said they thought James was Seeker (and not shouted it at me) I wouldn't have had to go and find the proof he was Chaser... Well, it's good for you guys in the end.

Chapter Eighty Six
The Prophecy

“We’re sorry about this, Mrs. Sherman.”

“Is there something that was wrong with the place? If there is, my husband and I can fix it.”

“No, no there was nothing wrong with it. You have a wonderful home and we’re grateful you let us live here.”

The elderly woman looked utterly saddened as she looked between the two men sitting in her kitchen. Sirius and Remus had done just as they had been told – they went to the woman immediately and told her they would be moving out. They didn’t give her any details, as they couldn’t risk it. Besides, the less she knew, the better off she would be. All they knew was that while they were living there, she wasn’t safe. They couldn’t put such a nice woman in danger. Remus and Sirius would be spending a few days at Remus’s parents, until they found a new flat that was far away from the one they had called home for over a year. It was necessary and they would do it.

Unfortunately, that meant hurting this woman who had been nothing but kind to them. Mrs. Sherman once again looked between the two men. “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” Remus said, firmly yet gently. He really hated seeing how much they had upset her. She had been so kind to them. “We’re so sorry about this, but…” He trailed off, not wanting to make an excuse that he would get caught in.

Sirius quickly picked up where his friend left off. “It’s just something that has to be done. It has nothing to do with you or your home. We’re so grateful for everything you’ve done.”

The woman tried to manage a small smile for them, but it faltered noticeably. She could try and convince them to stay, but they seemed so set in their decision that she could only ask, “When will you leave?”

“We’ll be gone by tonight,” Sirius told her. It wouldn’t take them any time to pack up their flat if they did it by magic, and they had been advised to do just that. The sooner they were out of the place, the better off they would be. They had been told not to linger longer than necessary. “One of us will drop the key off for you once we’re about to leave.”

“That was awful,” Remus muttered as they left the woman’s apartment and walked up the flight of stairs on the side of the building to their own. The look on Mrs. Sherman’s face, she looked betrayed. She often said she thought of them as her surrogate sons, her own having moved away years ago. Then they had to go and break her heart like that by saying they were leaving and not being able to tell her why. Those bloody Death Eaters had to go and find out where they lived. It was a terrifying thought – that two Death Eaters had been in their home and they hadn’t even realised it. Now they had to move out, Merlin knew where they were going to go.

“Blame the Death Eaters, it wasn’t our fault we had to do that,” Sirius muttered, sliding the key into the front door lock.

“Why were they spying on us?” Remus asked angrily as he began combing the living room, deciding on what they would leave here and what they would take.

“To get to Lily and James,” Sirius spat, also looking about the room. “Why else?”

“And they can’t do that without going through us?”

“They’ve been watching us and we didn’t even realise it, Remus!” Sirius shoved some of their belongings into an empty box with more fury than was necessary. He was disgusted that they had all been fooled and it had almost cost the lives of three people, had cost the lives of two just because they were expendable. “How blind are we that we didn’t know we were being watched? Our best friends almost died because of it!”

“They didn’t almost die because of that.” Remus wasn’t going to allow Sirius to blame either of them for what happened. The Death Eaters had tricked them all, that was all there was to it. If Voldemort hadn’t found them through he and Sirius, he would have found them in some other way. “Something much worse could’ve happened.” He was thinking of Gideon and Fabian. The two men had finally been found, their bodies stuffed unceremoniously into two dumpsters not far from the Prewitts’ home. Apparently they had just finished visiting their sister Molly when they had been attacked. The woman was in hysterics when she had been told what had happened. She blamed herself for it.

“We’re just lucky Dumbledore knew where they were,” Sirius went on, waving his wand and summoning some more boxes. With another wave, the boxes had assembled themselves.

“And that James figured out how to contact you.” Remus was scared to even think of what may have happened if James hadn’t had his mirror with him. Remus severely doubted the man and his wife would still be alive. Remus knew there were probably some things stuck under the couch, best to check. He stooped down, gritting his teeth as his knees surged with pain. When he finally deduced that, miraculously, there was nothing there, he turned to his roommate. “This is bad. Voldemort’s gotten into all of our lives. Next thing you know, it’ll be Peter who’s moving out of his flat because of Death Eaters coming to call.”

It was a cold, wet night. Albus Dumbledore strolled through the streets of Hogsmeade, observing the quiet activity occurring. Save for a few souls, the streets were deserted. No one wanted to linger too late these days. It wasn’t safe. People weren’t even safe in their own homes, as was so well demonstrated by what happened to the Potters and their friends. It disgusted Dumbledore that such good people had their lives uprooted so horribly. James was afraid to let Lily out of his sight; Remus and Sirius were in the midst of finding a new place to live. It wasn’t right, yet nothing ever went as one wished it would.

Though a much milder example, the same could be said for what Dumbledore was doing at that moment.

Dumbledore didn’t truly wish to continue the elective of Divination, having found no need for it in the past. He didn’t believe that it was reliable. Yet who was he to deny the great-great-granddaughter of the famous Seer, Cassandra Trelawney, the chance to obtain the job? Dumbledore didn’t believe for a moment that Sybill truly had the ability to see the future, but he was obligated to give her the chance to prove herself. The woman was waiting for him at the Hog’s Head. Aberforth had set aside a private room for the two, so Dumbledore could tell her she didn’t have the job in the most pleasant way – far away from public humiliation.

Dumbledore nodded in greeting to his brother, who grunted indifferently from his spot behind the bar. Aberforth jerked his head towards the stairs, indicating that the room was up there. Albus wondered if the woman was here yet. He wanted to finish rather quickly, as he had work for the Order of the Phoenix, something vastly more important. When Dumbledore approached the top of the stairs, he could see the woman had already arrived. She was prompt, that was about all she had going for her at this moment.

She looked exactly as he had expected – large glasses that rather made her resemble a bug, bangles dangling off her wrists and robes in bright, mysterious colours. She looked just as a stereotypical fortune teller would. Any shred of hope he may have had for the woman shriveled on the spot. Dumbledore knew he should have just let the class die out; he doubted whether any of the students would be upset if the class was discontinued. In fact, he was sure there would be several raucous celebrations throughout the school, especially amongst the students who had thought it would be an easy class, only to discover that it was pure rubbish.

“Sybill,” Dumbledore said pleasantly, holding out a hand towards the woman.

“Professor Dumbledore,” the woman said in a voice that put on several airs that suggested something foreboding was coming. This was not looking good for her already.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Dumbledore went on, smiling gently despite his personal thoughts that this was an utter waste of his time. “Shall we go inside and you can tell me about your Seer expertise?”

He held the door open for the woman before stepping inside. Trelawney instantly went to the table and pulled out a crystal ball. Dumbledore had to admit he was faintly surprised that she had concealed it so well. He thought she would have brought Tarot cards or tea leaves with her, perhaps even offer to read his palm. However, he smiled for the sake of the woman and sat down, allowing her to predict his future.

“Ah yes, Headmaster,” she began in that misty voice of hers. She moved her hands slowly over the crystal ball. Dumbledore looked at the thing, all he saw was fog. “I see great pain… yes, I see terrible amounts of pain. Are you perhaps involved in something dangerous?”

“I believe we all are today, Sybill,” Dumbledore informed her calmly.

In a time of war, everyone was in danger regardless of their affiliation – if they openly supported or condemned the Death Eaters or if they elected to remain neutral. When the woman asked him to hold out his hand, Dumbledore knew this was a lost cause. He allowed her to go on with her charade for a good fifteen minutes before bringing an end to it. “I am sorry, but I do not believe I am going to continue with Divination this year. I am sorry to have wasted your time.” Dumbledore stood from his chair and started for the door.

Yet just as he was about to turn the knob, something unexpected stopped him. Sybill had begun to speak. Her face had gone lax and she had slumped in her seat. The misty quality of her voice had disappeared and was replaced with a deep, foreboding tone.

“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… And either must die at the hand of the other for either can live while the other survives… The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…”

Towards the end of the prophecy there had been a commotion outside the room and the door flung open just as Dumbledore moved out of the way. Aberforth was fighting with someone Dumbledore recognised at once as Severus Snape. There was a strange look on the man’s face as Aberforth dragged him away, ultimately kicking him out of the pub. This made Dumbledore uneasy, almost as uneasy as he felt from hearing the woman’s prophecy. What else could the explanation for had what just occurred be?

“Sybill, I have rethought the situation and would be delighted to offer you the position as the new Divination professor at Hogwarts.”

It was a miracle that they were alive. James and Lily knew it. They could have been killed if Sirius hadn’t had his two-way mirror with him, if he hadn’t gone immediately to find Dumbledore and the rest of the Order once they had been snatched. If he hadn’t, they wouldn’t have been sitting in their flat, safe for the moment. It turned out Dumbledore knew of the place Voldemort had taken them. It was a basement in an old, rundown building just outside of Liverpool. He had brought the Order with him and they managed to drive away Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

James and Lily had been lucky that they hadn’t been hurt, though the nerves that jangled through them were enough.

James had insisted on taking Lily to St. Mungo’s to be checked on by a Healer. He had read that stress could harm a developing baby and that was the most stressful situation Lily had been in for a while, not to mention she had cried a lot at the Prewitts’ funeral. He had feared she would object, but she went with him without so much as a word of protest. She knew he was just trying to be careful and she appreciated that more than anyone knew. The Healers had claimed that the baby was healthy and there was nothing to worry about, though he did advise them both to take it easy for a while.

That was easier said than done.

Voldemort had gone after them three times now. He had murdered two of their friends in the attempt to get at them. He had also driven two of their best friends out of their home because he had to trick them. How could two people cause so much discord in others’ lives? If it hadn’t been for them, none of that would have happened. Gideon and Fabian would still be alive; Remus and Sirius wouldn’t be living with Remus’s parents until they could find another flat. Voldemort may have been a contributing factor, but they were largely involved in the disruptions as well. If he didn’t want them, he wouldn’t have to go after others.

Now James and Lily were sitting in Professor Dumbledore’s office at Hogwarts with Alice and Frank Longbottom. None of them knew why they were there, but they suspected it had to be important. They couldn’t imagine Dumbledore calling them there otherwise. He would just tell them whatever he had to at an Order meeting. James and Frank sat silently in their seats, looking around at the portraits on the walls (where the occupants were covertly watching them as they feigned sleep) and the silver, spinning objects on the tables. Alice and Lily were speaking quietly to each other, no doubt comparing their maternal problems.

“D’you know what time it is?” James asked Frank, finally breaking the silence between the men.

“Just after two,” Frank replied, checking his wristwatch. He then twisted around in his seat, looking towards the door in hopes that the Headmaster would appear. “Moody’s waiting for us at the Auror Academy. Dumbledore knows that.”

“I’ve got to get to work,” James also lamented. Hospitals didn’t stop running because a Healer was called to a meeting. “You have no idea what this is about?”

Frank shook his head. He wished he knew what Dumbledore wanted, but he was just as lost as James was.

Finally the door opened and Professor Dumbledore stepped inside. “I apologise for the delay. Minerva had difficulty with two Slytherin fifth years who accidentally went too close to the Whomping Willow. The tree was rather upset.”

James and Lily glanced knowingly at each other. The Whomping Willow was only there because of Remus, who sent himself on a guilt trip the last time someone ventured too close to the tree, back when they were first years. Thank Merlin he wasn’t there to hear it had happened a second time.

Dumbledore took a seat behind his desk and studied the four young adults sitting in his room through his half moon glasses. “Now, I will not dawdle as I know you are more than curious about why I have asked you to come here. Very recently I interviewed the great-great-granddaughter of Cassandra Trelawney for the position of Divination professor.” The four weren’t quite sure what to say and so they simply said nothing at all, waiting for the man to go on. “She made a prophecy, a very important prophecy regarding Voldemort.”

This piqued their interest, though they weren’t entirely sure why Dumbledore would be telling them about this. Surely he would go to Moody with the news first? Moody was second in command, after all. He could go to anyone in the Order that wasn’t them; they were still the newest recruits. The others had more experience, would have a better idea of what to do about this prophecy.

“Surprisingly, the power lays within a child, a child who has not been born yet.” Instinctively, James and Frank both turned to their wives. No, this wasn’t possible. Dumbledore sounded sad when he next spoke. This was supposed to be a joyous occasion – the birth of children – and now it was marred by this possibility. Dumbledore neglected to mention that the child would be a boy. The Potters wished to be surprised and he would not ruin this for them. So much of it had been ruined already and not by his hand. “It could be either of your children; you have both fulfiled the qualities of the prophecy. You have all defied Voldemort three times and your children will be born at the end of July.”

“Professor, sir,” James cut in. “The Healers told us our baby would be born until August, couldn’t that rule us out?”

Dumbledore frowned thoughtfully. “Hopefully it will, but you should be careful, regardless. All of you, especially you.” He nodded to Frank and Alice. Their child was going to be born at the end of July and they knew it. Unless there was a miracle and the baby held off until the following month, the prophecy would only apply to them. “I think it is important that you move out of your current homes, set up protective wards around your new ones. Do whatever is possible to make sure you are safe.” The sadness in Dumbledore’s eyes deepened as he took in the frightened looks on their faces. They shouldn’t have had to hear this. A new life was something to be celebrated, not something that could result in death. “I am truly sorry.”

When the four had left, there was a quiet knock at the door. Dumbledore pulled the door open and was staring into the swallow, pale face of Severus Snape. “Ah, Mr. Snape, please come in.”

The Three Broomsticks was nearly empty, save for the group of three that sat at one of the tables and Madam Rosmerta, who was cleaning a spot on the bar with a rather bored expression. Business was not good these days. It was a cool April night, one that would have been perfect for business had it not been for this war. Everyone was too afraid to stay out past darkness. The group sitting at the table figured they had nothing to lose; they were already marked for death. What did it matter if they were out after dark?

“Hey, Moony,” Sirius greeted as he spotted the fourth of their group entering the pub. Remus nodded at Rosmerta before turning to his friends. Sirius looked around when he saw it was just Remus who had arrived. He asked, “Where’s Peter?” They had been expecting Peter to join them.

Remus shrugged. “He left the shop early, had me close up.” Remus peeled off his cloak and took the empty seat beside Sirius.

“He didn’t say where he was going?” James asked curiously before taking a sip of his butterbeer.

“No and I didn’t bother asking. I doubt I’d get an answer if I did. He doesn’t talk a lot, these days.” It was true. Peter barely spoke all day at the shop, no matter how many times Remus tried to start a conversation. After a while, Remus gave up altogether. There was no use trying to get him to speak if he didn’t want to. The complete strangers who came into the store were better conversationalists than Peter was lately. Turning the conversation away from the man’s whereabouts, he asked James and Lily, “Have you two found a new place yet?”

James and Lily had only revealed that Dumbledore had advised them to find a new home, not all of the details behind it. They weren’t ready to do that yet, especially since they weren’t sure if the prophecy referred to them or to the Longbottoms. James nodded. “Yeah, we found a nice place just outside of London. It wasn’t too expensive and there’s a nice room that we can use for the baby.”

Lily smiled one of the first genuine smiles she had in weeks. “I’ve already begun decorating it.” She patted her large stomach affectionately. “It won’t be long now.”

James looked faintly relieved as Lily said this, as he had been sure she was going to go on an emotional rampage when she found out they had to find a new home, but she had been surprisingly calm about it. James cleared his throat. “What about you two? Have you found a new place yet?” He still felt guilty that the two had to move out of that flat. They loved it like it was a child. No matter how many times Sirius and Remus assured him that he had no blame to share, he wouldn’t hear it.

“We’ve found a place,” Sirius confirmed before taking a swig of his butterbeer. “It’s not too far from Diagon Alley, actually. Very inexpensive, seeing as my inheritance will only cover so much and Remus doesn’t exactly have a big salary.” They had to go out of their way to find a place for Remus to transform for the full moon and Sirius had to keep his flying motorcycle in the flat, but it would do.

Remus nodded. “We’re moving in tomorrow, actually. Mum’s not happy about it, but she knows we can’t live there forever.” His mother was worried her son and Sirius would be tracked down again. She thought they were much safer living in their secluded cabin, but Sirius and Remus felt they had infringed on them too long. They liked the freedom they’d had from living on their own and they also knew that to remain at Remus’s parents meant putting them in more danger just by association.

The door to the pub opened and Frank Longbottom stepped inside. He looked around the room for a moment before his gaze settled on his fellow Order members. “Hey,” he greeted them casually. Dropping his voice, he then said, “Order meeting, now. Dumbledore’s got something important to tell us.”

“No one’s been snatched again, have they?” Sirius asked, grimacing.

Frank shrugged. “No idea. Elphias messaged me, told me to find you guys and to head to his place. It was important, that was all he would tell me.” Frank had a feeling that was all Elphias knew about it.

They wasted no time. James and Sirius hastily set down some gold on the table to pay for their drinks. They gathered up their cloaks and followed Frank out of the pub, where they Apparated. The rest of the Order was already there when they arrived, save for Professor Dumbledore. Elphias hastily stood up, letting Lily take his seat in the armchair.

“What’s happening?” James asked, taking a seat on the floor.

“No one knows,” Sturgis Podmore told him. “We were just told to come; Dumbledore has something important to tell us.”

That seemed to be the only thing anyone knew and so they were just content to wait for the Headmaster to arrive. When he did, he wasn’t alone. He was accompanied by someone no one expected and, for a moment, they were all certain Albus Dumbledore had officially lost his mind. The man was with a confirmed Death Eater. Sirius Black had confirmed it, had said it was no surprised that the Death Eaters held the man’s allegiance. He had been destined for that road ever since he stepped foot in Hogwarts.

So why had Dumbledore just stepped into the house with Severus Snape in tow?

Excerpt from Chapter Eighty Seven: No Turning Back

Peter nodded. The hatred certainly ran deep in the Black family. He imagined Sirius would say something just as hateful about her.

Bellatrix laughed cruelly. “What would he say if he saw someone he called his friend here?”

“Where are we?” Peter finally managed, pleased that his voice did not come out as a squeak. That would be the last thing he needed.

“Quiet! The Dark Lord is coming.”

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