Murder Aforethought

Halloween, 1981

Godric’s Hollow, West Country, England

“Get Harry!” James shouted to his wife as he faced the man framed by the doorway, crackling clouds throwing light behind him.

Voldemort had finally come, the thing the Potters feared more than anything else.

Good thing they’d also planned for it. Peter may have been under the Fidelis charm, but that had it’s limits. The small, perpetually frightened man could, through the charm withstand grave torment, and never a word of the secret would be forced from his lips.

Fear of torture has always been just as, if not more, effective than the torture itself.

Lily ran into her small son’s room and swept him up. She turned, quailing for only a moment as her heart climbed up her throat in fear for her husband–but they had their plan.

In the small house’s entryway, James deftly blocked the first sickly green ray with the small cabinet that sat by the door, shedding keys and coins as it rose under direction of his wand. The might of the ray splintered it to bits as Lily’s hand grasped a large duffle bag kept under Harry’s crib and she disappeared with a loud pop.

James smiled, just a small curve, as he knew his wife was safely away.

“AVADA-” Voldemort began.

“ACCIO BUGOUT!” James shouted.

As the murderous lich finished his incantation, a large aluminium-framed backpack rose behind him and flew towards James, knocking the death-dealing just enough that the ray veered from it’s target and bit into the wooden paneling as James reached out and closed his hand around the backpack’s handle on top.

A tremendous shout of rage went up in two places simultaneously that night.

Voldemort’s thin voice shattered windows and mirrors in Godric’s Hollow as his magic was involuntarily channeled through it–a lack of control he’d not shown since he was a small child. “Four times!” he shouted to his greasy-haired companion–who was silently grateful Lily had survived and that he himself was so skilled at occlumency.

Lily fell to her knees clutching her small son as James appeared behind her shouting his rage in a voice continuing from Godric’s Hollow.

“WE WERE BETRAYED!” the black-haired man shouted, instinctively covering his wife and son and scanning for further threats.

Sirius rushed to their sides, wand ready, “Prongs!” he called, “Are you all alright?”

James fumed, but, satisfied that he was, for the moment, safe, tucked his wand away and turned gently to look at Lily and Harry. Lily nodded and stood with her husband’s hand spotting her. “We’re alright. Your plan kept us safe.”

Sirius dropped his wand as he pulled the three of them into a relieved embrace. “Mooney,” he hissed.

James shook his head, “No, he didn’t know. Remus didn’t betray us tonight…”

Worm…” the men snarled as one, as a crack echoed in the small headquarters. They rushed to the room where their childhood tagalong friend slept, to find it empty.

A disheveled man ran into the room, hyper-aware, keeping his distance from his friends and the small child. “What’s going on?” Remus asked.

“Remus, shouldn’t you be in your room? Locked?” Lily asked.

The man waved the concern off, “It-it’s passed,” he shuddered. “I-I’m fine. What’s going on?”

“Peter betrayed us,” Sirius fumed, “betrayed them.”

Remus closed to the darker haired man who was still pacing, long black coat swinging as he did. “Trust me now, Padfoot?”

Sirius looked his friend–his lover–deep in the eyes, and raised his hand to the man’s cheek, “yes,” he whispered as he pulled him into his arms.

“Is everyone alright?” a firm, kindly voice called from the entryway of the Order’s refuge.

“We’re in Peter’s room!” Sirius called out. The long-bearded owner of the kindly voice stepped into the doorway.

“And where is Peter?” Dumbledore asked of the old friends. “Am I to understand something has happened that you call him by his given name, Sirius?”

Sirius only nodded.

“Peter betrayed the Fidelis,” James said.

Dumbledore sighed and closed his eyes, “I had hopes for that man. But his fear was simply too great.”


Basically, someone on Tumblr hypothesizing a version of Harry Potter where Voldemort had gone after the Longbottoms instead of the Potters got me thinking “What if Rowling had sorted her magic system out before writing the first book?” So this is an AU fic where the Potters had portkeys prepared in the event they were betrayed. I could write more, but I do need to head out for class.