Author: Debbie
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: JKRowling owns Harry Potter, and I am eternally grateful for her creation.
Author's Note: In memory of those who died in the horrific events which occurred in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. This fic is an allegory for what we are all experiencing, and is thus a bit dark. James POV.
Many thanks to Kellie, Lissanne, and Bennie for your super-fast betaing; your beta skills and encouragement mean the world to me.
Feedback: Yes please. Even short notes mean a lot. I accept constructive as well as positive remarks.

Voldemort attacked today…

… and I stare out the window at the Dark Mark as it hovers in the sky. The lethal image sears into my brain - the serpent and the skull and that precise shade of green that, even though it's slowly dissipating, still seems to be poisoning everything around it with its malice. I know I'll remember this moment forever -- I'll see it replayed over and over, in my subconscious memory during the day, and in my nightmares as I sleep.

As I walk around to my classes, to meals, all around me are the rustle of whispers, of low voices, as my fellow classmates and even the professors all try to make sense of what has happened, of what it will mean. I see fear etched on every face -- even the Slytherins'. They all wonder what is in store for them, what will happen to their families. Perhaps they are only fearful for their parents who are in service to this new Dark Lord. Perhaps they are afraid they will be attacked next. But they are all afraid, all uncertain.

It used to be so simple - grow up, attend Hogwarts for seven years, go out into the wizarding world and live your life. Now, our trust in those promises is shattered, and no one knows what's in store.


Voldemort attacked today …

… and once again, when I see the now all-too-familiar mark, I fight the recurring urge to cower. To run into the castle and never leave its protective cocoon of stone and spells.

But that's not the answer. I know he wants us to hide, he wants us to be afraid. And so I force myself to keep going, to be normal. I hang out with my friends and use my cloak to sneak around the grounds, even as my heart pounds at the notion that someone much more terrifying than McGonagall might catch me. I juggle homework and NEWTS and my Head Boy responsibilities and Lily. I fly around and try to score points for my team with a red ball.

It's strange, but winning seems both pointless and crucial now. Pointless because -- well, what difference does it make if our team wins the House Cup this year? You-Know-Who will still be out there. On the other hand, there are so few victories these days, I almost feel like every triumph -- even a Quidditch one -- is symbolic of the larger one we hope to achieve someday.


Voldemort attacked today …

… and I'm more frightened by the realization that I'm treating it as routine, than by the actual attack.

I no longer drop everything or scour the Daily Prophet for every bit of news when the announcement comes or the Dark Mark is spotted. I almost don't register the information at all -- it's all blurring into an ever-increasing number of events.

I just go home, kiss Lily, and say a quiet prayer to God in thanks that we weren't the targets this time. I attend memorial services for those who were. And I quietly use the Eraser Spell to remove yet another name from my address book.

I've got that spell memorized by now.


Voldemort attacked today …

… and I look down at the bundle asleep in my arms, my infant son who is blissfully unaware of the evil green symbol I can see from my window. I clutch him tightly, feeling the return of the old fears -- it's amazing what having a baby will do to your capacity to worry. I wonder what sort of world we have brought him into, and what will be left of it by the time he grows up. If he grows up.

At night, I cling almost desperately to Lily. I run my hands over her body, tracing her outline and feeling the soft skin catch on my callused fingers -- I feel like I'm trying to prove to myself that she's here, she's alive. And that I, in turn, also exist. I need that tangible reminder -- with so many people dead and gone now, my sense of touch is often the only thing which really lets me know I am still here. I try to remember every moment we have together now -- every touch, every word. Despite all our precautions, all our wards and protections and now this new Fidelius Charm, there's a growing fear inside me: I'm afraid that at some point I'll unknowingly do one of these seemingly ordinary things for the last time.


Voldemort attacked today …

… and he finally won. And lost.

He won against me. And Lily. We can do nothing more to protect our precious son. We will only be able to watch from afar, to live in him, through him, and hope that, as young as he is, he will always remember us.

But he lost against Harry. Perhaps we shouldn't worry about protecting him -- he not only protected himself, he fought back. I don't pretend to understand how an infant wizard could have done such a thing, but it happened. It is now my solemn hope that this mark of evil is gone forever, and that future generations will never know such terror.


Harry lay in his bed in the hospital wing, staring at the blurred ceiling. He was exhausted to the very core of his being, and yet sleep eluded him. Every time he tried to clear his mind and relax, a single concept pushed its way relentlessly into his brain, shutting out all other thought.

Voldemort attacked today …


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DC Slash Harry Potter Ros. Hetero Ros. Slash Ros. Other