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 Chapter 5

“So where are you really going?”  Alice asked as they stepped through the back garden.  Lily looked around her before offering a hand to Alice.  The two touched and disapparated together.

They landed at the end of a narrow lane.  Dusk was settling in as Alice looked around.  “Is this a muggle town?”  Lily nodded.

“I’m meeting Severus at the end of the lane.  There’s an empty cottage and he said we should be safe there.”

Alice pulled her jumper closer, “I don’t know it seems a little eerie to me.  Look at the moving lights behind the curtains.”  She lifted her head to indicate the closest house.

Lily looked and smiled, “That’s just the reflection of the television.  It’s a muggle box that shows moving pictures and shows.  Come on, I don’t want to be late, he’ll be mad enough if he sees I’ve shown you this much.”

The two continued up the lane until they were only a few houses away.  There, Lily stopped Alice and faced her.  “I’ll be here, for about two hours.  I’ve told him that I can only stay until nine o’clock or else James would think it odd.  If you meet me here at nine, I can tell you what I’ve learned.”

Alice squinted, showing her distrust for the situation.  “Are you sure you trust him?  Can’t I at least go up to the door with you?”

“No.” Lily continued, “He’ll think it’s a trap.  You’re in the Order.”  Lily took out her wand tapped it to Alice’s.  “Syndeo totalum” she whispered as she connected the two wands.  “Now you’ll be able to track me when you’re close.  If you just say ‘Paximo’ your wand will point in my direction.  You can check that once you come back at nine and know that I’m still in the house.”

Alice repeated Lily’s spell and watched her wand spin in her hand a few degrees before it pointed at Lily’s wand.  The two hugged and Alice watched her walk up the overgrown path to the cottage’s door.  Once she saw Lily’s figure disappear, she apparated back home.

The door clicked shut behind Lily and she immediately lit her wand to look around.  “Lumos.  Sev?”  She took a few steps before she heard his voice.

“I’m in the library.”  Lily followed his voice to the door on her left and saw him seated at a desk with only a few books on the shelf behind him.

“It’s not much of a library.  Plus, I doubt you’re reading any of their muggle books.  Can we at least turn on a lamp?”

Snape flicked his wand to the wall and flames lit the candlesticks.  He looked up at Lily and sneered, “Why did you not come alone as I directed?”

She was a bit put off by his tone and the fact that he had seen Alice, but wasn’t surprised.  “I wanted to make sure someone knew where I was.  Plus, she picked me up from home so James thinks I’m with her and isn’t getting suspicious.”  She glared at him in a challenging way.  “So what are we doing here, Severus?  And what is this place?  Why are we here?”

Severus had given her the address.  It arrived via muggle post again just yesterday.  He told her that he picked this location because it was not on the Death Eater’s radar.  They hadn’t known about it or suspected any wizarding families had ever lived here, so it was just basically a small, rural village.  He thought they’d be safe meeting there.  He then pulled out a few books that he had brought with him, one of which he had been reading. 

“I’ve been doing some research on a few ways in which you can protect yourself and your family.  I know for a fact that the Dark Lord thinks the Prophecy is about your son, so he has been planning to come after your family.” Severus began to explain.

“It doesn’t have to be about Harry, though does it?  There was another boy born in July.  The Prophecy could mean him.”  Lily tried to talk herself into thinking that Harry was safe.

“It doesn’t matter which boy the Prophecy speaks of if Voldemort thinks it is Harry, then that is who he will attack.  He’s already named you!  The Prophecy speaks of the parents who have defied him three times and he believes it is you.”  Severus whispered frantically wishing that Lily would stop trying to make excuses.

“That part also doesn’t make sense; we’ve not defied him three times.  We’ve talked it over with Dumbledore and the Order.  We believe that it’s only happened two times.  He tried to recruit James once.  Just after graduation when we were at a wizarding pub.  We saw Avery there and then he vanished.  Once he left we noticed the pub seemed to empty rather quickly.  Before we knew it, Voldemort himself had arrived with Avery and entered the pub.  I had gone to the bathroom and He came to our table and talked about needing talent like James’ in his army.  He’d heard about James’ abilities and I think he wanted an insider in the Auror department.  Of course, James told Him to bugger off, in so many words, and he didn’t take that well.  He set the pub on fire.  It was all James could do to get me out of the loo and through the back door in time.”  Lily finished the story and looked to Severus for a response.

“I hadn’t heard about that.”  He felt a little angry at the thought that James was approached to join the Death Eaters.  Being a Death Eater was his way of finally besting James and little did he know that James could have been a part of them too.  Snape had been in Albania at that time, but he knew that it was Avery’s task to recruit more Death Eaters.  That must account for the punishment that Avery received that fall.  He hadn’t recruited any worthwhile wizards and the Dark Lord was very harsh on him.  He shuttered.

“We believe the second time was during a riot.  Last Spring, James was called to the town of East St. Claire when a dark mark was spotted over a home.  The whole town was massacred.  There were wizards in the streets torturing muggles and setting fire to cars.  The Order received the call after the Auror department so I showed up few minutes later.  They didn’t want me to go considering I was pregnant.”  Lily paused as she thought back on the memory.  It was hard for her to describe what happened that night.

“We cornered a group of Death Eaters and fought for a few hours.  That’s when the Muczyk’s were killed, both Aurors.  They fought valiantly; that was a hard loss for me.”  Katie had been in Lily’s year at Hogwarts and was also sorted into Gryffindor.  Stephanie was one of the few good witches to come from Slytherin, a few years ahead of them, although Lily personally felt that Katie was a big reason why Stephanie never followed the darker path that her housemates did.  One can’t fall in love with a Gryffindor and still truly practice dark magic.  She scoffed; Snape was the exception to that rule.

“We captured a few half-blood wizards then, but they weren’t Death Eaters yet.  It seemed like they were more hired help.  James, Sirius, and I dueled a few masked wizards and witches before You Know Who came out of a building.  He had Frank Longbottom in the air, paralyzed and floating.  We fought him until Dumbledore showed up and then he got scared.  Frank fell from the air.  It took him months to recover.”

Snape shifted his eyes away.  He had been at that St. Claire riot.  He remembered seeing Lily when she was fighting.  He actually abandoned his post and threw a few shield charms toward her from the window he was in.  He was so afraid that she might get hurt, or worse, see him. 

Lily continued, “It was awful.  After Dumbledore came, He Who Must Not Be Named threw a spell into the air that shattered in ringlets.  It was some sort of sign because at that point a green fog crept through from the center building of the village.  We started to see people drop and didn’t know what to do.  His followers started to disapparate.”  Lily’s face scrunched up in pain as she continued, but Snape didn’t need to hear the rest.  He knew what happened when his master sent up the signal.  He let spill the Archer Tonic that then killed the remaining injured and few that were unable to apparate away.  A total of 73 people were killed that night.  Snape couldn’t sleep or eat for weeks.

“That would be the second time,” Severus finished for her.  He stood as if unsure if he should comfort her or not.  He ended up awkwardly taking a step around the desk toward her before stopping himself.  “He believes it’s you.  He’s coming for you.”  He whispered because he couldn’t bring himself to tell her more.  He knew he had to, “I’ve spoken with him.  I’ve asked him to spare your life, but he won’t.”

At this, Lily looked up in shock.  “You’ve spoken to him about my family?  My goodness, Severus, how deep in are you?”

She looked genuinely concerned for him.  He didn’t need her worry, he wasn’t the one in danger.  “I’m deep enough to know that he will be attacking you.  If only you would consider leaving-”

“We can’t leave our home,” she interrupted. 

“Then at least consider going into hiding.  There is a charm you can use to protect your home called the Fidelius charm.  We can place it around your home so the Dark Lord can’t find you.”

“We’ve already talked with Dumbledore about the charm, but James and I agree that we don’t want to hide.  What good are we if we are constantly stuck in our home?  What kind of life is that to live?”  Lily sat on the love seat to be more comfortable as they were starting to talk plans.

“You need to be more careful.  You won’t be living any life at all if he comes to your home.  I have another idea.”  Severus then opened the book he’d been holding and flipped to an ear marked page.  “When I was in Albania a few years ago, I read a piece of old magic.”

Severus and Lily read over the chapter in the crumbling book.  She had never heard of such magic before.  It didn’t require a spell or charm, any potion or wand, it was all about love.  The magic was in the loving sacrifice that one would make for someone else.  If a person died for another person that they loved, they would forever protect them. 

Lily actually found the entire book to be mesmerizing and asked Severus where he got it.  It was in an old Albanian library and he went back for it after he heard about the Prophecy.  She didn’t understand why he’d have traveled to Albania, it was known to be more of a dark land, but she was grateful for the help after all. 

“I thought if I were your secret-keeper, I could protect your whereabouts.  If I am killed for it, you’d be protected forever.”  Severus told her after she was quiet for a few moments.

“Sev, I could never ask you to do that for us.  And, really, I’m not sure that James would allow it.”  She felt sad saying it but knew it was true.  James would already be mad enough to know she was meeting with Severus, let alone have him in on their safe keeping.

“We could do it without telling him.  You could leave and even take the child with you into hiding.  Then I could be your secret-keeper.”  Severus had a plan in his mind already.  He would protect Lily to his death; there was no doubt about that in his mind.  He thought if he could get her to leave, she could even stay in this house.  He could place the Fidelius charm on it and the Dark Lord would never think to look for the answers in Snape’s mind.  He was also an expert occlumens and could hide his thoughts from even the most skilled legilimens. 

Across from him, Lily was also deep into her own thoughts.  She could use this bit of magic to protect Harry even if it meant dying for him.  If Severus was right and You Know Who would be targeting them, she would have to do something.

The two continued to talk about ideas and ways in which to protect Lily and her family from the Prophecy.  They finally settled on meeting again in a week to discuss some protections she could use on their home.  “I don’t know how you found out about the Prophecy, but thank you for coming to me.  I’m sure this puts you in a great deal of danger.”  Lily was saying her goodbyes to Severus just as the grandfather clock chimed in the hallway.  Lily suggested that she talk to James and Dumbledore about Severus coming to her and his ideas, but he remained adamant that his name be kept out of the conversations and she had agreed.  It wasn’t like she had thrice defied Voldemort anyway.  There was still a chance that the Prophecy was not about Harry.

As she thanked him he did something unexpected and reached out to her.  He pulled her into a hug that was so tight, and admittedly awkward, she didn’t even think to hug him back.  “I’ve been so worried about you, Lils.  I just wish you would stay away from the fights and not answer the calls of the Order.  It’s so dangerous now and your family is marked.”

Lily smiled a weak smile, “I’d always hoped that someday you would see how bad the blood war can get.  But it’s bigger than me and my family.  It’s about what’s right, and it’s about protecting all people, muggle or wizard.  See you soon, Sev.”


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