AU. As Halloween on 1981 comes to a close, Lily can't help but think of her child and a Halloween night, naught but two years ago. As a sinking feeling enters her belly as well her mind, she wonder...
Disclaimer: Don't own anything you recognize from the Hp series. I do own the unknowns though. So hands off!
Story: "The Lies We Live."
Series: The Unfamiliar, Familiar.
Warnings: AU. Will contain spoilers for first 5 books. Written Pre-HBP and won't include any of those spoilers at all.
Summary: AU. As Halloween on 1981 comes to a close, Lily can't help but think of her child and a Halloween night, naught but two years ago. As a sinking feeling enters her belly as well her mind, she wonders if she should tell someone her secrets for she does not know if she will be there on the morrow. Many will have to learn how to cope. R and R! It would be much appreciated!
AN: I know that the person in question whom will be a semi-star of the story will arise a bit of disgust in some of the readers. Therefore, I am asking that if you suspect or know whom (I think it's pretty obvious) the "unfamiliar" whom will be the "familiar" to Harry (further insight on the series is provided on my Bio page) is in this story and you do not wish to accept it, I am kindly asking you not to flame and just discontinue reading my fictional story. Thank you. Constructive Criticism, however, is very much welcome.
The Lies We Live, Chapter One: The Divulgence of Secrets
The house was eerily quiet and not even her husband's usually loud snores could be heard in the air. Lily Evans Potter sat cuddled into the dark maroon sofa wrapped in a soft, navy-blue throw. The flames from the fireplace which was set adjacent to the couch, provided enough light for the tiny words of the fantasy novel she was holding, to be read.
James, her husband was currently in a deep sleep in their shared room upstairs. She was a little disturbed that she couldn't hear him, for he was a notorious horn-blower when he was asleep, but she dubbed it as one of those little miracles that only happened once in a century. Silence was a helpful companion when one was reading particularly interesting book.
Unfortunately for her, Lily was finding it increasingly difficult to keep her mind on her book and not on other things. Her mind kept drifting to the fact that her family was stuck in a house in Godric's Hollow, seemingly awaited death. She felt like a sitting duck with a sign that said "yea, we're here."
Of course, she knew better. They were currently being held under the Fidelius Charm, and ancient ritual spell that kept the secret of their location in a single person. There was no way that they would be found, unless their secret-keeper told others of their location.
She trusted Peter Pettigrew, one of her dearest friends, with her life, but she just couldn't shake the uneasy feeling in her heart. Something bad was going to happen; she could feel it deep down, but she didn't know what or how it would occur. She didn't dare believe it to be Peter, but then... how else would they be found? No it was just impossible. There must be something else that was going to happen. Maybe Peter was going to be hurt? She hoped not, she loved him too much to lose him.
Lily's bright emerald eyes tore themselves from the sentence that she had read almost twenty times and still didn't know what it said to the cradle in which her baby Harry slept peacefully. Without bothering to hold the page she had been reading, she close the book and placed it in the small basket next to the couch, before getting up and throwing her cover on the back of the couch.
Walking gracefully over to her 15 month olds' sleeping form, she smiled as warmth flooded her. Harry always had that effect on her. She loved him to pieces and he was really the one she feared most for. James and she were young yes, but little Harry was barely a toddler. He hadn't lived at all yet. At least her husband and she had something to live. All Lily knew was that she would die for him if need be.
She ghosted her touch over her child's smooth forehead, gently pushing back a tuft of hair that was the blackest of nights. A grim, humorless smile flashed upon her lips as she thought of the medium brown his hair had been at birth. Oh, if James knew about that little fact... he would die from grief and betrayal. Fortunately her husband had been on a mission for the order, when she went into labor.
There was no way he would have accepted the baby if he knew the truth. Fortunately she was the best in charms that Hogwarts had ever seen. She broke her gaze from her child and blinked some sand from her eyes. She was getting quite sleepy, which wasn't truly surprising at all. It was nearing two in the morning after all. Unfortunately, she just couldn't go to sleep at the moment. She had something to do... something to clear her conscious... before she could sleep peacefully.
Grabbing her mahogany wand from the little holster on her left wrist, she muttered a string of words as she waved it over the crib in front of her. It disappeared back into the nursery upstairs next to her the master bedroom where it truly belonged. Gliding reluctantly over to the writing desk in James' study, she paused at the open door. Longingly she watched the stairs which would lead her to the soft downy bed next to the love of her life.
Groaning softly at the luxury deprived from her she sat down and pulled a fresh piece of parchment from the desk. Dipping a silver quill into the black ink jar on the desk, she thought of a way to phrase the letter she was sending off to one of her closest friends. Her eyes settled briefly on the Potter crest that headed the stationery set out in front of her.
It was a smoking golden chalice incrusted with emeralds, set on a dark crimson background. A single glistening sword with a ruby encrusted hilt was portrayed diagonally in the background. There seemed to be writing along the blade, but the in was illegible and were most likely runes. A "P" in beautiful calligraphy stood at the forefront of the emblem in a deep black upon the chalice's cup.
It was a beautiful family crest, it truly was... but she felt sad that it would never be Harry's. Wiping the end of the quill on the side of the jar, she sighed. She needed to get this off her chest. She couldn't bear dying without him knowing the truth. No, the letter had to be written, if only to ease the horrible feeling in her heart. If something was to happen to Peter, James, or her, at least he would know. Who knows, perhaps the information would only add another reason to his list of reasons to keep their secret just that, secret.
Putting quill to parchment she wrote:
October 31st, 1981
There is this heavy feeling in my chest, and I know deep down that something terrible is about to happen. I don't know what, but I know I must tell you the secret I've been holding onto for nearly two years. Know that I love you as I love all of you guys. Remus, Sirius, and you are the closest to brothers I have ever known. Something is to happen, as I've said, and I can only hope this finds you well.
Do you remember Halloween two years ago....
The grandfather clock in the hallway chimed three times, alerting her to the fact that it was three in morning. She had finished her letter near fifteen minutes ago, but she had also been staring at it forlornly without realizing it. Lily slowly rose from the low seat, using the oak desk as leverage. Placing the top on the ink bottle, she set the used quill down near the others on the table.
Once more retrieving her wand, she charmed the ink dry, though she was sure that it would have already dried during the time she was lost in her thoughts. Making sure the quill was clean; she gently folded the parchment and set it in an envelope before stamping the Potter crest on the back to enclose the letter. Holding onto the envelope lightly she walked to the small owlery that housed their three owls: Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot.
She hoped that one was there. After all, owls were naturally nocturnal creatures and did most of the hunting at night. James always kept the small window in the owlery open for the flying creatures to come and go as they pleased. Lily had been afraid that they may leave and not come back, but they always did. The door creaked slightly as she opened it and peered into the moonlit room.
She sighed in relief when she saw that Arthur, the oldest and somewhat leader of the trio seemed to be resting and enjoying the quiet that only took the house at night. The common brown owl twisted its head towards lily's position and hooted softly in greeting.
"Arthur love, I'm terribly sorry to disturb you this late, but could you deliver a message for me... please?" Despite common belief owls were not stupid creatures that flew around delivering mail because their minds were easily molded to the task. They were in fact very regal and sharp. They took a shine to people who showed them respect and asked them to do the tasks everyone seemed to take for granted.
The owl hooted tiredly and Lily knew that he had just finished hunting and had a full belly. He wasn't in any mood to fly a letter off to someone God only knows where. Lily tried her best puppy-dog eyes, which weren't nearly as good as Sirius', but she attributed that fact that he was really a puppy (or 'dog' now) in reality. In the end, her sad face, pleading eyes, pouting lips, and her added "Please, Love," got through to the animal.
He hooted in affirmation and regally raised one leg so that his master could tie the offending envelope to it. Lily thanked the owl profusely as she tied the letter to the offered appendage. She wiped her hands unconsciously on her muggle jeans even though she had no reason to. It was more of a sign that symbolized she had finished a tedious, but necessary task, then her needing to clean her hands in reality.
"Take it the Peter, dear. I'll see you soon."
Lily watched as the hazel-nut owl disappeared out the window and into the skies, before turning on her heel and walking determinedly up the stairs towards her room. As she closed the door noiselessly to her bedroom, she undid the braid that held her beautiful red hair back from her face. She couldn't sleep if her hair wasn't down. It was just annoying to have something digging into the back of your skull rather then the soft, flat surface of your pillow. Too tired to be bothered to change, she got under the covers and moaned contentedly. The bed was so soft and she was physically and emotionally drained.
She burrowed her arms under her green pillow and brought it as close to her as humanly possible. She was nearly asleep, when she felt a warm, strong arm wrap around her middle under the covers. James, still asleep, hugged her closely to him. Lily heard him sniff her hair and felt the warm air as he sighed blissfully before snuggling his face into the little crook between her shoulder and neck. She smiled when he muttered a soft "Lily" near her ear before becoming completely motionless once more.
God, did she love the man more than life itself. Harry was the only other boy James had to compete with in that department. Feeling the pain in her chest lift slightly, she nodded off into a wonderful dreamless sleep. The last thought she had before blackness took her was:
'I only hope Peter can forgive me....'
The wind blew through the rafters of the old Riddle House in Little Hangleton, one of the Dark Lord's numerous hideouts, and his current location. The room in which he was in was lavishly decorated and furnished, yet darkness clouded the finery it emanated. There was a low fire in the fire place barely exhibiting enough heat to keep the temperature of the room bearable. Two men inhabited the room at that moment, but only one was shivering helplessly.
Tom Marvolo Riddle was better known as "You-Know-Who", "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named", or "Him" to the cowardly magical populace. Only a precious few were brave enough to call him by his name... "Lord Voldemort" and some of those select few even stuttered it out of their trembling lips. In fact very few knew his real birth given name and that was the way he liked it.
The Dark Lord reclined slightly on his thrown like deep-green chair. He had one elbow propped up on the padded arm of the chair and was lazily stroking his chin with thumb as he rested his hand softly under his nose. He was thinking of the half prophesy that had been delivered to him by a death-eater mere months before. Actually the one to deliver the piece of the prophesy that he knew was the revolting, shaking young man standing at his side.
A smirk twisted his youthful, handsome appearance. Samuels, at least that is what he called the sniveling filth, believed that he was Voldemort's right hand man now, when really he was nothing more than his personal slave. Well, let the dumb imbecile believe what he wants. He cackled internally.
Now, the problem at hand was disturbing him greatly. That damnable prophesy was rattling his brain, of course no one knew that of course. He would never lower himself and appear weak before his followers. He was there leader after all, and he had a cause to fulfill: kill all mud bloods and muggle-lovers, while enslaving the muggle race. Though he truly wanted to murder the muggles as well, he had good reason to keep them alive. What would be the point in dividing and conquering, if there was no one left to conquer in the end?
Growling menacingly, making his 'slave' shudder even more, he set his wayward thoughts back on track: the prophesy. From what he knew of the prophesy, there was only two possible subjects that could possibly cause his downfall once they grew into wizards. The Longbottom's spawn... or the Potters'.
If he had his way he would have massacred both of the families the moment he heard the prophesy, but unfortunately by the time he had set out to do just that, both families were already deep in hiding, under the Fidelius charm if he was not mistaken... and he never was. Only that specific ancient charm could hide the families so well.
All he had to do was find their secret keepers, yet they too were in hiding. He had not deduced who would be the Longbottom's chosen keeper, but he knew that there were only four people that the Potters would have trusted enough to insure their lives to. There was the dark creature, Remus J. Lupin, the muggle-loving fools, Albus Dumbledore and Peter Pettigrew, and the most likely of them all... the blood-traitor: Sirius Black, the proverbial "white" sheep of the Black family. Sirius Black was the first light supporter... or at least the first of any importance... in the ancient house of Black, ever. He was a living and breathing personal insult to all dark-wizards.
He could not locate either Pettigrew or Black, and the mangy werewolf was always under the nose of the old meddlesome headmaster of Hogwarts. He would find them one day and when he did he would torture them with so much glee, until the secret-keeper amongst them gave up their precious secret.
His furthered along that string for sometime so late into the night that the death-eater at his side was nearly dozing on his feet. Voldemort's forest green eyes flashed red for a moment as he felt a shimmer of magic flow through him. Someone with the dark mark had passed the wards and was approaching his location... with a guest. He did not move, but continued to sit there as if still deep in thought, his wand inches from his hand.
The silence which had stretched for hours in the darkly lit room was suddenly interrupted as a swift and precise knock resonating off of the thick wooden door. Startled, Samuels jumped, now fully awake and Voldemort curled his lip at the motion. The fool was a lowly death-eater that flinched at every noise. He should just kill the disgusting fly.
In a low emotionless voice that brought respect to its owner he said, "You may enter."
Though he knew that whoever was on the other side had a non death-eater guest, he was surprised to see whom that guest was. Of course no such emotion flashed along his face or even in his eyes. A tall aristocratic man with a pale handsome face and almost albino white hair entered holding a regal looking black cane with a silver serpent at the top. As soon as his lord's eyes settled upon him, he dropped to his knees and reverently kissed the hem of his lord's robes. The man with him dropped just the same, a bit tardier than the lord would normally allow, but he was feeling surprisingly lenient today. He felt his pink lips curl into a mixture of a smirk and a scowl.
"Lucius, my boy, what brings you and," amusement filled his voice. "Young Pettigrew to me at such a late hour?" He nearly laughed aloud when he felt the waves of fear flowing from both men. Pettigrew's shaking, slightly chunky form made him feel as if he were atop the world. He loved how he could cause so much fear in a human being.
"I am infinitely sorry to disturb you at such an hour my lord, but an interesting development has come about and I did not believe you would wish for me to delay in reporting to you, my lord." Those not listening for it would have missed it, but he picked up the slight shaking in the man's voice. Yes, Malfoy was scared. He was scared that his Lord would punish him for disturbing him, no matter the news.
"And what, pray tell," he eyes shifted over the Pettigrew's crumpled form. "Would this news be?" He was almost sure he knew, but he loved to play on others' fears.
Lucius' head shifted slightly to stare at Pettigrew as well. "Pettigrew came to me, expressing wishes to join in our cause, my lord. He has... important information that would greatly help you my lord." Voldemort felt the smirk that twisted his face grow wider and a crazy, malicious glint filled his eyes.
"Really?" His tone caused the other's anxiety to grow, for it was just as expressionless as it had been when the visitors had walked in. "And you are fit to know what would help me and what would not Malfoy?" His smirk disappeared and was placed by a displeased scowl. Inwardly, Voldemort was very content, but he had to keep his front and maintain his status amongst his followers. If he had not in the past then where would he be today?
Getting slightly annoyed at the hesitation Lucius was showing, the Dark Lord added a sharp "Well?" to the end of his statement.
Lucius quivered slightly, most likely already preparing himself for the Cruciatius curse that was sure to follow the initial meeting. "I am sorry my lord. I did not mean to suggest anything of the sort, my lord. I am nothing but your humble servant. Please forgive my misgivings upon my place in your circle my lord."
'That's more like it,' he thought with a twisted sense of glee and satisfaction filling the pit of his stomach. Straining the nerves of the two men currently kneeling before him even more, he pretended to be weighing his options. Of course he already knew that he would "forgive" Lucius, at least for the time being and then get whatever information the muggle-loving fool before him held. If he was lucky, and he felt lucky, the miserable excuse of a human-being would hold the secret to the Potter's whereabouts.
"All is forgiven...." He watched amusedly as the shoulders of both men sagged softly in relief, before continuing on. "If... the information Pettigrew holds is sufficient." Their shoulders tensed again and his voice grew icy in response to their apprehensiveness.
"If it is not... then one shall be severely punished and made an example of." His flashing eyes settled upon the blonde young man who was glaring fiercely at the dark haired youth at his side. Flashing a violent shade of red, his eyes moved on to the object of discussion, Pettigrew. "And the other shall not leave with his life." His lips curled in disgust at the whimper that had escaped the revolting man.
Silence once again stretched for many moments in which Voldemort grew increasingly agitated. Was the lump going to speak or would he simply end his own misery of having the rat in his presence by killing him and torturing Malfoy? He sighed a loud, thus alerting Malfoy to his master's obvious impatience. Unfortunately for Pettigrew, before the pale man could elbow him into speaking, the angered lord had already expressed his impatience in more then just a weary sigh.
Lucius closed his icy blue eyes as the screams and gasps of pain ricocheted off of the walls and echoed through the house. Forcing himself to re-open them, Lucius was only able to settle his eyes on the convulsing form for mere seconds before the curse was lifted.
"You may stand Lucius." Though the statement sounded as if permission was given to Lucius and therefore it was his choice to stand or continue to kneel, it was just an order in disguise. The young aristocrat immediately made his way to his feet in a graceful manner that only the rich seemed to possess, before his master punished him as well.
Voldemort let a sadistic smirk line his face as the quivering, pained man before him was seemingly struggling to get back into a kneeling position before what was to be his future lord or his future executioner... whichever the way Voldemort felt at the time of his decision. It was definitely leaning towards killing the rat at the present moment.
"Speak filth, or... perhaps you feel as if you need more pain to help loosen the information from your tongue?" Peter's watery blue eyes widened slightly before bringing up his little strength and forced himself to his knees once more.
Just as he opened his mouth to tell of the Potter's secret, he was struck with a feeling of dread. He was already beginning to regret his rash decision to betray his friends... and his love. He loved Lily, always had. James didn't deserve her... he didn't love her, not like Peter did. He would have her... he would... and if he couldn't, then no one would. The jealousy that had built over the years clutched at his heart and his mouth opened again, divulging the secret he had sworn to protect with his life.
"I know where the Potters are hiding... my lord." He winced slightly at how weak his voice sounded after just one Crucio. He cleared his voice slightly, steeling it with more strength then before.
Keeping his eyes focused on the hem of his new master's robes, he missed the excited gleam that passed Voldemort's eyes and Lucius' barely noticeable slump of relief as the blonde noticed his Lord's obvious intrigue. Lucius thankfully would not be punished tonight... or at least not much punishment would be in order... unless Pettigrew's information proved false.
"My lord," his dark blue eyes chanced a quick look up before returning obediently downwards. "Their location is none other then James' ancestral home: Godric's Hollow." Once the words left his slightly parched lips, he felt a traitorous feeling of guilt fill his gut, but he quickly squished it. There was no turning back now, and the notion was only further realized when he felt a slight tingling of magic raise away from his body... the Fidelius charm had been broken... at least for the few in the room.
He had loved Lily Evans, so much he would have died for her. Peter had been sure she had loved him back on that Halloween almost two years ago now, but their...incident... together had proven nothing but a falsehood. He waited for her... she never came back. She would pay for what she did to him... and James as well for stealing her from him in the first place. He quickly disregarded the fact that he never had her to begin with.
"You have done your kind a great service, Pettigrew. Only those of pureblood descent not tainted by filth such as half-breeds and mud-bloods are worthy to thrive and prosper in our world. You have shone that the Pettigrew name is truly worthy of its pureblood line." The Dark Lord's voice was filled with satisfaction and practiced speech. Peter was sure that his master said much along the same lines day after day to new pureblood recruits and in his speeches for world domination.
Amazingly, this didn't halt the puffing up of his chest as he grew steadily prouder of himself, nor the twisted smirk that took hold of his pale lips. Oh yes Peter was proud, not only because of his master's pretty words, but because he had finally made a decision by himself and gone through with it. Thankfully, it seemed to be a successful decision indeed.
"Rise Pettigrew and bare your left arm." The slightly chubby, but still fit man rose to his feet, finally fully free from the aches that resulted from the previous pain filled curse. With barely any of the fear or hesitation he had shown when he first came to the rickety old house he pulled back the sleeve of his wizard's robe and pushed back the black long-sleeve of the shirt he wore beneath.
Peter held the fair colored arm, back side up and palm held out and slightly open as if begging for something, towards the powerful man before him. Before he knew what hit him a sharp stinging pain rushed the length of his arm before stopping abruptly near the crook of his bent elbow. He let a low pained and slightly surprised hiss escape through his white teeth before he could repress it as his fingers flexed reflexively inward into a fist in a mediocre and age-old instinct to cope with the pain.
The pain quickly dissipated and his hand fell back into its relaxed position before he let his gaze fall upon the symbol of his new and much cherished status. The newly branded Dark Mark stood proudly where smooth clean skin once stood only seconds before. A ghastly skull with a dark serpent protruding proudly and ominously from its gaping mouth made his own heart swell with pride. He was now an honorable Death-Eater and he was nowhere near regretful for it.
While Peter had been gazing lovingly upon his new painted adornment, the Dark Lord who had caught his servant's eye indirectly was shifting through his recent and surface thoughts. He wanted to know why the one and only son of such a notorious mud-blood loving family would betray his fellows on the light-side.
'Hmm... interesting. He was in love with the filthy mud-blood Evans... but she did not return his sentiments.' Tom raised his eyebrow slightly. 'Yes, very interesting.... Perhaps I should spare her and give her to my new servant as a reward. After all, Lord Voldemort rewards his faithful.' He brought the raised eyebrow down back into its previous position.
'Yes, perhaps... if she does not get in my way that is... and that is slim to none. Ahh... an animagus ability? How enticing.' His interest was slightly peaked, before a feeling of disgust rushed through his system. 'Ugh...a disgusting rodent. I should have known.' His lips curled in a slight impromptu smile of amusement as he found out Pettigrew's childhood nickname that seemed to still be used in the present.
Becoming bored of shifted through the oaf's thoughts, Voldemort turned his head towards his silent blonde servant. "Lucius, you and Samuels will accompany me to Godric's Hollow. The Potter line will be extinguished tonight." He might have brought Pettigrew along as well if he wasn't already overly tired of the rat's presence.
Bowing slightly before answering with a practiced 'yes, my lord' the two mentioned death-eaters waited patiently for their Lord to get to his feet and lead them from the still icy room. The door opened of its on accord as Voldemort approached it and would close as he left the room as well.
Without looking back upon the sniveling, bewildered rat of a man, he said, "Wormtail, you are to remain here until my return. Do not stray from this room. If you do, I shall know." Said man shivered at the last three words for they held hints of much pain if he even thought of disobeying.
His waist crinkled forwards as he bowed low to the ground in subservience as he voiced a slightly fear cracked acceptance of his master's terms. "What ever you will, my lord, I shall obey."
It was only after the moment the door closed did he notice with quite a degree of shock that his lord had used the nickname only the Marauders and Lily used for him. It made no sense to him. How could he have known? The names were no secret throughout school, but they weren't widely known either. Who could have possibly told him? Had he told his master without realizing it? No, he did not believe so....
He was prevented from furthering that train of thought as he heard a sharp, consistent tapping upon the window pane to the far left of the room. A common brown owl was flapping its wings keeping its small body afloat as one leg dangled a regal looking letter. Walking cautiously towards the window, he pondered if perhaps the owl had just missed the receiver of the letter, for who would write to him at this time of night? Who would write to anyone at this time of night to start off with?
As he grew close to the window he recognized the intricate design of the Potter crest and knew that it had to be for him. The Potters would never write to Malfoy, he was sure they didn't know Samuels, and never in million years would they initiate correspondence with the man who was out for their blood. The only logical choice was he.
His deduction was proven correct when he opened the window and retrieved the burden from the owl. In his love's loopy script was written a neat "Peter Pettigrew." His hands handled the letter with care and his fingers ghosted the letters of his name, for he knew it was most likely than not the last letter Lily Evans Potter was ever to write. Carefully breaking the seal, he read the endearing, enlightening, and frightening words the flowed from the paper.
Silence first induced by the need of it to read the last letter was slowing reigning under the flag of utter denial. For many moments, he gazed unseeingly upon the freshly written parchment before a haggard, pained sob was unleashed from deep within his soul through his open mouth. The only words that could be heard between the anguished tears and constant shaking of his seemingly fragile body were, "Why...why, Lily? Why did you not... tell me? Why?"
He curled in upon himself under the window and wrapped his lanky arms around his lanky legs and let the flood gates flow freely. A strangled harsh breath was brought in to his suffocating body before ten more words escaped from his burdened brain out into the world in the form of speech.
"What have I done?" A slight pause separated the admission of heart-filled agony. "I killed him... I killed him...."