A/N 1: Please don’t hate me. I know it’s been a ridiculous amount of time and for that I sincerely apologize. All I can say is that being a “grown up” is no fun! Juggling my first teaching job with my graduate classes has been a struggle, and unfortunately this story (and my social life) has been the casualties. I know it’s frustrating as a reader when the story you love isn’t updated very often, and I want you to know that I realize that and that I’m doing the best I can, but always trying to do better. For those of you that haven’t given up on this story, my words cannot express how much I appreciate you. I’m not giving up on this story.


**


 

Dolohov continued to question Barty Crouch Jr. in the freezing, dark, damp room for over two hours. The questions were, for the most part, completely mundane. They and the torture he was occasionally subjected to, all served a higher purpose. Voldemort had been explicit with Dolohov. He wanted the pampered young man completely broken before he would meet with him. The more broken he was, the easier he would be for Voldemort to manipulate.

Finally, after Dolohov deemed his work to be done, Barty was left alone. But for the young boy this seemed hardly any better. He had no idea where he was, he was starving, freezing cold, and his entire body ached from being subjected to numerous curses. Had he made a terrible mistake in trusting Snape? He had wanted desperately to believe that someone thought he was special in his own right, like he knew he was. But now, he suspected this was all some trap for his father, with him as bait. Once again, people only deemed him important because of his idiot of a father.

When he heard the door creak open again, he spoke up. “If you’re planning to ransom me to my father, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. He won’t pay any sort of ransom for me.”

“Then he must be bigger fool than I have heard,” the cold voice said. Barty gasped. He knew that voice. It had stayed with him since the day in Hogsmede when all of this had first begun. Suddenly, the curse blinding him was removed. It took his eyes several moments to adjust, but when they did he saw him. Lord Voldemort stood mere feet away from him, surveying him closely. He was even more terrifying up close.

“Tell me, Barty,” Voldemort spoke again. “Why would I ransom you, a remarkably gifted young wizard, in exchange for information or money from your vastly inferior father?”

“Y-You think I’m superior to my father,” Barty stuttered. No one had ever agreed with him on this point before.

“Do you disagree with my assessment?”

“No,” Barty said quickly. “It’s just no one else has ever said that before.”

“Well, I am not like everyone else. I see things others do not. I know when someone has real value.”

“And you think I have real value?” Barty said, practically panting with excitement. Someone had finally seen his importance. And that someone just happened to be the most powerful wizard Barty had ever witnessed.

“I do. You see, Barty, I understand you. I understand that you’re not like everyone else. I know you are special.”

“You do?”

“You see, I too, had the misfortune of being born to a useless father who did not appreciate me. And like you, I was forced to bear his name, as if I was nothing more than a repeat of the pitiful man. I imagine you can understand, better than most, what this frustration felt like.”

“Yes,” Barty said eagerly, thrilled to finally find someone who understood. “Everyone expects me to be like him, but I don’t want to be like him. My father is an idiot. All he cares about is what people think and continuing to gain power in his career, but he knows nothing of real power. Real power like how I feel when…” he trailed off.

“Like when you killed that boy in the forest,” Voldemort said, his red, mirthless eyes gleaming.

“Yes,” Barty whispered, remembering the rush he had felt.

“Was he the first, or were there others?” Voldemort asked.

“A muggle girl, last summer,” Barty answered. “She made me want her, so after I had her, I killed her. I felt such a rush. It was true power. I had never felt anything like it, but I wanted to feel it over and over again.”

“I can help you with that. I can help you make all your dreams come true. I can help you discover all about your power, and how to harness it. Together, we will make sure that soon, if people remember your father at all, they will remember only that he was your father, and that he was too weak to do anything to stop you. Do you want that, Barty? Will you join me? Will you let me be your master?




Barty thought about it for only a moment. What the Dark Lord described was like his wildest dreams, and now he had a chance to make it a reality. Voldemort was the first person to recognize how important Barty was, and for that Barty would be forever devoted to him.

“Yes, yes, you will always be my master,” Barty said, as he fell to the ground and kissed the hem of Voldemort’s robes.


**


Lily turned to examine the clock on the wall beside her bed in her room at the Potter’s. The light had just begun to filter in through her window, allowing her to just make out the time. It was a little past seven in the morning. She had tossed and turned fitfully most of the night. Apparently, she had grown a little too dependent on Potter’s presence to gain a good night’s sleep. She wished she could feel more annoyed about that. She tried to work up some indignation with herself for this apparent weakness, but the butterflies that erupted in the pit of her stomach every time she thought of waking up in his arms was enough to stop any real feelings of annoyance.

It was the second full day of Christmas Break. She, James, and Sirius, were planning to meet Alice in Diagon Alley later today in order for all the teens to finish their shopping. All of them still had much to do, with Hogsmede trips being cancelled for the rest of the year.

 The thought of Hogsmede, as it always did, caused a spasm of what seemed like physical pain in her chest. It had been almost two months since that fateful day, and she could still see hear Voldemort’s cold laugh. She could still see Sirius carrying Dorcas’ limp form in his arms. And most of all, she could still see Regal’s face, frozen in death, and hear the devastated cries of her friends as they sought to come to terms with their friend’s fate.

There was no question the last few months had been trying. Life at Hogwarts was no longer the oasis it had once been. For the first time in her life, it almost seemed a relief to be away from the school for a few weeks. In short, it felt good to be home. Because, she realized now, that’s what the Potter home was for her.

She felt the moisture in her eyes, and blinked it away. It had been a long time since she had a place that was home. When she was a child, before her Hogwart’s letter came, she had a happy home with her mother, father, and sister. But after her letter came, things inside her childhood home had become progressively more strained, until her home, had merely become a house where she stayed during holidays from school. Similarly, her loft, where she had nearly suffocated in self-pity during the early part of last summer, was a place where she stored her excess things. It was a place she could stay and live, but not a place that she yearned for when she was away, not a home. But from almost the moment she had first come to stay at the Potter house, she had felt a sense of belonging, of being a part of something, of being loved. And looking back, knowing what she knew now about the depth of James Potter’s feelings for her even then, she supposed that made sense. And so just maybe, it wasn’t the house itself that felt like home, but James Potter, himself.

She sighed, rolling over to again examine the clock. It was now almost eight. She heard movement downstairs in the kitchen and figured she might as well get up too, knowing sleep was far beyond her reach.


**


“Good morning, darling, you’re up early,” Mrs. Potter said as she looked up over her copy of The Daily Prophet.

“Yeah,” Lily said, taking a seat next to Mrs. Potter at the table. “Is Mr. Potter going to work today?” Lily knew from James that Mr. Potter had been easing into semi-retirement ever since his injuries the previous year.

“Yes,” Mrs. Potter said with a shake of her head, clearly not thrilled with the answer. “You actually just missed him. He has a meeting later this morning with Minister Bagnold and had some things he wanted to take care of before then.”

Lily nodded her head, listening, while helping herself to a cup of tea and some biscuits for breakfast.

“You look tired dear, did you not sleep well?” Mrs. Potter asked, surveying Lily with concern.

“I didn’t sleep badly,” Lily hedged, not wanting to worry Mrs. Potter.

“But not good?” Mrs. Potter supplied, seeing right through the teen’s efforts.

“I don’t, not anymore.” Lily said.

“Ever since the attack?” Mrs. Potter questioned, placing her hand on Lily’s.

“No,” Lily said, as a few stray tears escaped her eyes. “I’m sorry,” Lily said, embarrassed, as she quickly attempted to brush away her tears.

“Oh sweet heart,” Mrs. Potter said, moving closer to Lily, “don’t apologize. Don’t ever apologize, not to me. I can’t imagine what you must be feeling. I’ve worried so much about all of you ever since that day. You don’t know how much I wish I could trade places with you, bear this burden for you. When I think that I could have lost all three of you that day, I can’t breathe.”

“Sometimes, I dream about it. The fear, knowing that Potter or I, or Frank or Alice, or any of our friends could be dead at any moment. I remember seeing Regal, and all the injuries. But most of the time, my dreams are different. They aren’t about Hogsmede, at least not directly.  In the worst one, the one I have the most, it’s just me. I’m standing in this dark place and I can’t see anything. All I can hear is Voldemort. He keeps laughing, that terrible, cold, high laugh. And I can’t see him, I can’t figure out where he is, I can only hear him. And in my dream, I know he has Potter, and that I have to save him, but I can’t find him. I can’t see anything to even know where to begin looking. And so I just stand there, screaming for Potter, begging to know where he is, but the only thing I ever hear is Voldemort.”

Mrs. Potter rubbed her back soothingly for several moments before speaking, “When you wake up from your dreams are you able to go back to sleep? Once you realize it was just a dream?”

“It never feels like it’s just a dream. Because even though it is a dream, Voldemort is still out there, and he still wants us dead.”

Mrs. Potter watched the girl she already considered a daughter for another moment, before enveloping her into the type of hug that only a mother can give. Lily collapsed into her arms, having needed a mother’s hug more times over the past semester than she could even recall.

“Thank you for listening, Mrs. Potter,” Lily said quietly.

“Of course, Lily,” Mrs. Potter said, pulling back to look at her. “I want you know that I already consider you a daughter. I have from the moment I met you. I guess you can call it a mother’s intuition. I always knew you were the one for my baby boy.”

Lily smiled, hugging Mrs. Potter again. “I’ll do whatever I can to keep him safe, Mrs. Potter. I love him more than anything.”

“I know you do,” Mrs. Potter said. “Keep each other safe.”


**


It was bitterly cold in Diagon Alley. Lily and Alice burrowed further under their coats and scarves as they bid farewell to James and Sirius, making plans to meet back up Alice’s uncle’s ice cream parlor (where he promised to have hot chocolate waiting for them) in several hours.

Their first stop was Gambol and Japes joke shop where Lily purchased, with more than a few reservations, a new set of Fanged Frisbees for Sirius. After all, she had personally confiscated his last set after one had bit a first year.

“I don’t know why I’m bothering,” she said to Alice as she paid for the gift. “I’ll probably end up confiscating these as well within a few weeks.”

“I don’t know,” Alice said as they walked back out into the bone-chilling cold. “They’ve been better this year; they’ve only done a few small pranks.”

“Potter doesn’t want to disappoint Dumbledore. He respects him too much to just ignore the responsibility he’s been given,” Lily reasoned. “Besides, with kids going missing, and then Hogsmede, there hasn’t really been much time for prank planning.”

“No, I suppose there hasn’t been,” Alice said.

Next the girls stopped in Flourish and Blotts, where Alice bought Facing Evil: A History of 20th Century London Aurors for Frank, who had been leaving not so subtle hints for Alice all over Gryffindor Tower. After that they made their way quickly to Quality Quidditch Supplies, where Lily bought James a new pair of leather, special-grip gloves to replace his old ones, which she had noticed one evening when he returned from Quidditch practice were getting pretty bare.

 Their final stop was Madame Malkin’s, where the girls had to pick up their dress robes for the Potter’s New Year’s Eve Ball. They had ordered them via her owl order service several weeks ago, and now only needed to have a final fitting.

Both girls tried on their robes and allowed Madame Malkin to note any alterations that were needed before she ushered them back out into the store to await the finished product. The girls didn’t mind. They still had to each pick out something for the other one to buy them for Christmas. They were taking turns examining different necklaces, earrings, and different colored scarves when they couldn’t help but hear Madame Malkin in the fitting room with her next customers. Lily and Alice had not seen them come in, having been changing out of their dress robes, but they had no doubt who it was.

“Do you think it’s enough?” the higher pitched of the two voices asked. “This wedding will be the talk of respectable wizarding society, and I have to look absolutely perfect. I want to leave Lucius speechless,” Narcissa Black spoke.

Lily and Alice both surreptitiously moved closer, slipping behind a rack of robes, which they were pretending to examine, where they could hear but not be easily seen.  

“Yes, Cissy, you’ll look beautiful. Are you almost done, I have somewhere I need to be,” Bellatrix demanded impatiently.

“Wonder where?” Alice muttered to Lily.

“Nowhere good,” Lily whispered back.

“I didn’t rush you when you had your final fitting, Bella,” Narcissa snapped back.

“Yes, but this is your third final fitting,” Bellatrix lobbed back.

“Then wait in the lobby,” Narcissa said, exasperatedly.

Alice and Lily slunk further behind the rack of robes, having no desire for a confrontation with Bellatrix. Both, however, had their hands wrapped firmly around their wands, just in case. Bellatrix stood in the lobby for a few moments, before heading over to examine the same jewelry display Lily and Alice had been looking at moments before.

“Lily Evans, Alice Fortescue your dress robes are ready,” Madame Malkin’s assistant sounded as she came out from the back room carrying both their gowns wrapped up in black garment bags, ready for transport.

Lily and Alice looked at each other, for a moment before sliding out from behind the rack where they had been standing.

Bellatrix turned to watch them, not blinking.

“Thank you,” Lily said as she moved across the store room to take the two garment bags from the attendant. Alice stayed several paces behind her, not taking her eyes off of Bellatrix.

“And I have hear that you paid for them when you ordered them, is that correct?” the attendant asked, oblivious to the tension around her.

“Yes, it is, thank you,” Lily said, watching as the woman nodded her and made her way back into back room once more.

“Well, well, some Gryffindors you two are, cowering away behind a clothes rack.” Bellatrix taunted.

Lily and Alice made a show of looking at each other and then at Bellatrix, “That’s funny,” Lily said, “I don’t see anyone cowering, and I certainly don’t see anything worth being afraid of,” she challenged.

“Yeah, we were just trying to get a look at your sister’s gown, see if anything could make her look good enough that you didn’t notice that ‘I just smelled dragon dung’ look off her face.” Alice replied with a phony smile.

“You both think you’re so special,” Bellatrix hissed pulling out her wand, “but I could destroy you both with the flick of my wand.”

“Have a go, then” Alice said, pulling out her own, an action mirrored by Lily, “but if my memory serves it was me who nearly destroyed you the last time we met.”

“And if we were that easy to dispatch, Voldemort probably wouldn’t have had such a time of it,” Lily said.

Bellatrix, who had been glowering at Alice, blanched and turned her whole attention towards Lily. “You dare speak his name, you unworthy mudblood!”

Alice raised her wand higher, a jinx on the tip of her tongue, ready to blast Bellatrix for use of the word. Lily subtly shook her head a fraction of an inch, they would not start this fight, not where any civilian could walk in at any minute and get hit by crossfire.

“I’m not afraid to say his name,” Lily said defiantly.

Bellatrix seethed visibly for several long moments.

“Bella,” Narcissa said, warningly, as she stepped out from behind the fitting room, “remember our orders.”

Bellatrix seemed to war with herself for a moment before lowering her wand partially. “You’re lucky I’m not allowed to touch either of you. But if I were you I’d watch your backs. He has something special planned for you. He won’t forget your insolence, and neither will I.”

Lily and Alice both continued to glare Bellatrix down. They refused to show any reaction to her words, it was what she wanted after all. Slowly they backed out of the store, not turning around until they were well out of Bellatrix’s range.


**


James and Sirius made their way leisurely through Diagon Alley, looking in shop windows, laughing and joking, and Sirius making more than a few girls giggle with his flirtatious stares.

“Do you know what you’re getting Flower for Christmas,” Sirius said, taking advantage of Lily’s absence to use his favorite, but forbidden, nickname for her.

“Yeah,” James replied with a snicker, noting the nickname, “I ordered it weeks ago. I just have to pick it up today.”

“Did you get her some sexy lingerie to wear when you two are cuddled up together at night?” Sirius asked hopefully.

“No,” James said emitting a snort of laughter, “I have a hard enough time keeping my thoughts and my actions pure as it is.”

“It’s not natural for a Marauder to be pure,” Sirius lamented, patting James on the back sympathetically.

“I don’t want to rush her,” James said as they picked up some candy from Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop.

“Even if your wrist and hand are so sore from overuse that you can’t stay on a broom,” Sirius said snickering slightly at his friend’s dilemma.

“Fuck you, Padfoot,” James said with a playful shove toward his best friend.

“You know I’m just playing with you, Prongs,” Sirius said with glee. “I respect what you’re doing with Evans. It’s definitely not for me, but I respect it.”

The boys continued to laugh and joke as they made their way to their next destination: Scribbulus Writing Instruments.

“What are we getting in here?” Sirius asked.

“Evans’ present,” James replied.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Sirius said exasperatedly. “Quills? Who are you? Moony?”

“He may have helped me come up with the idea,” James said with a glare. “She loves quills, and fresh parchment, and school supplies. And these are really nice. Each one is engraved with her initials in a heart.”

Sirius rolled his eyes. “And to think, if you’d listened to me you could have gotten her some sexy panties.”

“What is it with you and giving women panties?” James asked as he walked up to the register to pick up Lily’s gift. The saleswoman behind the register gave Sirius a strange look.

“Hey beautiful,” he nodded at her, causing her to break out into giggles as well, despite the fact that she was at least ten years his senior.

James rolled his eyes, well familiar with the antics of his best friend.

As they made their way back out onto the street, they made their way to their final stop, the joke shop, where they would pick out gifts for each other and Peter, having each already bought Remus a book he wanted from Flourish and Blotts.

“I’m worried about Wormtail,” James said.

“You mean about this new angry side of him,” Sirius questioned, joking aside. He too was worried about their friend.

“That especially,” James said with emphasis, “but also just how distant he seems. I know he’s talked with us some about it, and I know he says he’ll talk more when he’s ready, but I just feel like there’s more we should be doing. I’ve never seen him so angry before.”

“To be fair, the Slytherin pricks deserved it,” Sirius said.

“Without a doubt,” James agreed.

“But I get what you’re saying. He seems to have a hairpin trigger these days, and that’s not like him.”

“Evans’ says anger is just one of the stages of grief, and that we just have to let him heal at his own pace.”

“I’d wager she’s right,” Sirius said. “She almost always is. I think we just continue to keep an eye on him, and keep reinforcing that we’re here for him.”

“Yeah, I s’pose you’re right.”

“Usually am,” Sirius said with a smirk.


**


The boys had just reached Florean’s when they caught sight of Lily and Alice dodging through the crowd, both their faces ashen. James, reading Lily’s expression, ran to meet her, catching her in his arms.

“What’s wrong, what happened?” James asked, checking her over as he held her for any injuries.

Lily hugged him tightly, before shaking her head. “Not here,” she said firmly, looking around. Seeing the two girls so visibly shaken and looking around the crowd as if to check they weren’t being followed, Sirius pulled out his wand.

“Let’s get inside,” Alice said, motioning to her uncle’s shop. “He has a fireplace in the back we can use to floo back to your house,” she continued nodding at James. As shaken as the girls were, it was clear apparating was not an option. All they needed was for someone to get splinched.

“Ah, Alice!” Florean exclaimed as the bell over the door tinkled. “I knew it must be you,” he said emerging from the back. “No one else comes in when it’s so cold out,” he continued, motioning to the empty store.

“Uncle Florean,” Alice said, greeting her uncle with a hug. “You remember my best friend, Lily” she said indicating Lily. “And this is her boyfriend, James Potter, and his best friend Sirius Black.”

“Let’s see, chocolate and cherry,” he said motioning toward Lily, “peanut butter cup,” he said nodding at James, and “peppermint,” he finished smiling at Sirius.

“Wow, that’s impressive,” Sirius said, with a grin.

“Olivander likes to say that he remembers every wand he’s ever sold,” Florean said with a grin, “but I’m always telling him that I have it much harder because he sells one wand per wizard, I sell tons of ice-cream to people all the time. I have much more to remember.”

“He’s also been at it for about 500 years more than you, but sure rub it in to the old man,” Alice said with a laugh. Her Uncle was a simple man of simple pleasures. He and Olivander had been competing in memory games with one another for as long as she could remember.

“Pish posh,” Florean dismissed with a wave of his hand. “Now, how about some hot chocolate?”

“Actually, Uncle Florean, I’m afraid we can’t stay after all,” Alice said, hating the way her Uncle’s face fell. “Something’s come up back at James’ house and we need to get back. Do you mind if we use your Floo?”

“But of course,” Florean said motioning them back to the back of the store. “Is everything alright?”

Alice assured her uncle that everything was fine, an assurance he was not sure he believed. He had heard from his brother about the close call Alice and her friends had had in Hogsmede. He worried that his young niece and her friends were in over their heads, but he was not one to say such fears aloud. He just wished they would let him give them some hot chocolate. Chocolate always made everything better, even if only for a few minutes.


**


Mrs. Potter glanced up from her book as she saw the fireplace roar to life. She couldn’t imagine who would be flooing in, but a moment later she saw the familiar form of James appear in the fireplace. He nodded in greeting to his mother, as if nothing was amiss. But she knew better. There was no reason for them to floo back; James, Lily, and Sirius were each more than proficient in apparation. Why would they go to the trouble of flooing?

She did not have time to pose this question to her son. He was followed quickly by Lily’s spinning form in the fireplace, and she was followed equally quickly by a surprise visitor—Alice Fortescue, and she by Sirius.

“Mrs. Potter,” Alice nodded in greeting.

“Alice, what a lovely surprise,” Mrs. Potter replied.

“I hope you don’t mind my crashing in on you,” she said. “We were just having such a good time; I couldn’t pass up James’ invitation to come over for a little while.”

“Not at all, you’re always welcome here,” Mrs. Potter said sincerely, she was the constant hostess.

“We’ll just be in my room,” James said motioning for the others to follow him. He felt like he might burst if he didn’t find out what had upset the girls soon.

Mrs. Potter watched them trudge up the stairs. She wanted to respect her son and his friend’s privacy, but at the same time she had a mother’s need to make sure they were okay. She reasoned that she would follow them and only listen enough to make sure that they were not talking about anything serious.


**


“So what happened?” James said, as he pulled Lily down into a chair with him. Alice perched herself on the end of his bed, and Sirius flopped on top of his favorite mound of pillows on the floor.

“We ran into Bellatrix Black…”

“Lestrange,” Sirius interrupted.

“Is that really important at the moment?” Alice questioned, with a raised eyebrow.

“If you’d had to share a name with that bitch for the past 17 years, you’d want to celebrate the fact that you no longer had to too,” he replied.

“Fine,” Lily said with a small smile. More than anyone she understood Sirius’ situation with his family. “We ran into Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Almost-Malfoy,” she gained a nod of approval from Sirius, “at Madame Malkin’s.”

“We exchanged words, to put it mildly,” Alice said. “And she wanted to attack us, it was written all over her face.”

“But she didn’t?” Sirius asked, his interest piqued, “She’s not known for her self-control.”

“Narcissa reminded her that they had orders,” Lily said, her jaw clenched with tension.

“Orders?” James asked, “Did she say what they were?”

“To leave us alone,” Alice answered. “Apparently her boss has something very special planned for us.”

James and Sirius’ eyes met. This was not good. They knew that after Hogsmede Voldemort had a vendetta against them, but if he had ordered his other Death Eaters to keep their hands off, it meant that he didn’t just want them dead. He wanted to make a show of their death’s to prove he was undefeatable.

The door swung open, causing all four teens to jump.

“Mom,” James startled. His mother was standing in the doorway. Her face was startlingly pale, but she did not waver under the weight of what she had just heard.

“Alice, you’d better write to your parents and ask to stay for dinner. You four will need to send for Frank, Peter, Remus, and I Mr. MacMillan as well. Once you’ve owled them, come down stairs to the living room. I have to make some arrangements.”


**


 Lily tapped lightly on James’ bedroom door, which swung open immediately as he pulled her into his arms. The others were waiting for them down stairs, but after her close call this morning he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hold her, even for a moment.

“Is everyone here?” he asked her after a moment.

“Aidan isn’t coming,” she said. Her eyes said more than she was saying and she motioned for him to follow her into the washroom down the hall, where she turned on the water.

“What’s going on?” James questioned quietly, at Lily’s steps to make sure they weren’t overheard.

“I’m not sure,” she whispered back. “Aidan owled me back. He said he would tell us more when he saw us, but that Dumbledore had contacted him about something. He couldn’t say anything else in writing, except that only you and I are to know. No one else.”

Lily and James looked at each other for a long moment, both wondering what task Dumbledore could have for Aidan that would keep him from coming today. After a long moment, they each nodded, knowing that even without knowing all the information they would both do as asked, and then they made their way downstairs to where the rest of their friends were waiting.


**


Sirius and Alice had filled Frank, Remus and Peter in when they had arrived. None of them knew what they were waiting for; only that Mrs. Potter had instructed them to wait in the ballroom. Whereas in a several days’ time it would be bustling with activity in preparation for the ball, it was now quite empty and cavernously silent.

After several long moments of the teens standing around waiting, they finally heard the sound of approaching voices. One, was clearly that of Mrs. Potter, but the other belonged to a mystery male. Lily, Alice, Frank, Sirius, Remus, and Peter all looked to James to see if he recognized the voice of the man his mother was speaking to, but he was as curious as they were.

And then the door flung open and they were face to face with the owner of the deep, gruff voice.

His build was not overly intimidating. He was only around 5’8” or 5’9”. But he had clearly seen his fair share of action. He had scars over much of his face and his hands. But most jarring of all, was the blue eye that was currently whizzing around inside of its socket, as if attempting to take in every detail of the room and its inhabitants.

“Bloody hell,” Frank whispered in awe. “That’s Mad-Eye Moody.”


**


A/N: YAY Mad-Eye!!! I know there’s some debate about when Mad-Eye obtained which of his many injuries. For the purposes of this story, he still has both his legs at this point, but is obviously already missing his one eye. All I can say is I’m very excited to write Mad-Eye.

 

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