A Mother's hold
Lily Potter-Evans gasped loudly when she felt a sharp pain in her heart. She looked at Anca Snape and saw the same recognition in her friend's eyes. Their children were welcoming death as their only escape from danger. However, their survival was imperative for the upcoming battle to defeat the Dark Lord and his followers. Their impending deaths were unacceptable. Both mothers knew they had to act quickly if they were to rescue their children and ensure any hope for the future of their world. The two women strode out of Heaven, intent on saving their sons.
Severus Snape was aware of the danger of arriving late for one of the Dark Lord's meetings. He entered the circle of followers and knelt, carefully avoiding Voldemort's red eyes. While he placed the customary kiss on the robes, to swear his continued allegiance, he glanced at the other followers and was surprised to notice that someone else hadn't arrived.
"Recently, after yet another plan having inexplicably failed, a rather intriguing story came to my attention. It was a tale about a rat in my ranks. So I decided set a trap," the Dark Lord hissed angrily, startling Severus who had been momentarily distracted by Lucius Malfoy's absence and its possible implications. "A new raid was planned in Muggle London and the rat was kept in the dark about it. It was successfully executed, without its treacherous interference. So, tell me, how long have you been spying for Dumbledore?"
Severus gulped as he frantically searched for a plausible explanation, but before he could answer, Voldemort raised his wand and muttered the deadly curse. There was no possible escape. Severus closed his eyes as soon as he glimpsed the green beam of light headed towards him. Resigned to his fate, he calmly awaited death and dedicated his last thoughts to the remembrance of all the times he had successfully interfered with Voldemort's plans.
The condemned raven-haired man failed to notice the sudden appearance of a thick mist that shielded him from the green beam of light. The deadly curse dissipated into nothingness as soon as it hit the ethereal entity and the gasps uttered by the surrounding men drew Severus back from his musings. Intrigued, Severus reopened his eyes, only to be stunned by the white mist shimmering before him.
Slowly, familiar features started to appear in the mist. "Mom?" Severus whispered, shocked to see his beloved mother's face after so many years. Silent tears ran down his cheeks when the woman nodded. Before he could react, the shimmering mist moved and enveloped him like an ethereal embrace.
The Dark Lord couldn't believe what he was witnessing, unable to identify the entity that had prevented Snape's death. It was gradually gaining corporeal form but, suddenly, it disappeared, taking Severus with it. Voldemort hissed angrily at his followers to find him, furious for not being in control of the strange events. Frustrated, his eyes searched for Lucius Malfoy, his faithful right hand, and realised he still hadn't arrived. This night was just full of surprises...
Lillian and Lucius Malfoy neared the gathering in silence. Lucius wondered if he had been magically transported to an alternate dimension. A childish notion, of course, but how else could he make sense of this day's events? He knew he should probably be shaking in his boots for arriving late to the Dark Lord's meeting for the first time since he had joined his ranks but Lucius' whole life had just been turned upside down and he was still reeling from Lillian's earlier revelations.
He had never had an easy relationship with Lillian but he had always respected his mother's wishes. She had been the one responsible for him joining Voldemort's ranks as well as for their late arrival tonight. Just before he left for the meeting, his mother had stubbornly insisted on telling him a story Lucius had tried to refuse but as the appointed time drew nearer he had given in. Afterwards, she had decided to accompany him to the meeting and he had been too perplexed by her revelations to put up a fight.
It had shocked Lucius to the core, that Lilian Malfoy was not his biological mother, but his adoptive mother. It had surprised him as well that his aunt Anca was the woman who had been his real mother. Lucius frowned as many questions raced through his mind.
As he watched Lillian Malfoy embracing and kissing the Dark Lord passionately, Lucius felt revulsion for the woman. Judging by the kiss he was witnessing, it seemed that his mother knew the Dark Lord intimately, another unexpected revelation. At least that explained why she had insisted on Lucius becoming one of Voldemort's allies. 'How could Mother do this? How could she have kept so many secrets for so long?' he thought, silently berating himself for still calling her Mother. Memories of Anca Snape filtered his mind before the Dark Lord
snapped him out of trance.
"Lucius, I understand from Lilian that you didn't want to join my ranks. Is this true?"
Lucius was perplexed by the unexpected question and sneered angrily at his adoptive mother. How dare she read his memories in his pensive!
"I see. Then I have no use for you!" the Dark Lord said when Lucius didn't answer and pointed his wand at a trusted follower and said the killing curse for the second time that day.
For a second time that day, a shimmering mist came to the rescue of his once-trusted follower. When the haze vanished and took Lucius Malfoy with it, the Dark Lord screamed long and hard before returning his attention to Lillian Snape, who gulped in fear.
Harry stood up from his bed, dressed and hurried downstairs to prepare dinner for his aunt, uncle and cousin. When dinner was ready, he served it in the dining room and and cleaned up the kitchen. He took a few leftovers for his own dinner, but as he was eating them, his bedroom door banged open.
Uncle Vernon was furious that he had taken the food, they had wanted to save it for Dudley in case the boy got hungry later that evening. Harry wasn't surprised at the anger but he was startled when the first hit thrust his head against the wall. Harry had been unprepared; it had been a long time since the last beating. The best way to cope with it was to let it happen without putting up a fight, the pain usually ended quicker that way.
After half an hour, Uncle Vernon's malicious punishment was still going strong and Harry couldn't take the hits to his body any longer. As the kicks and punches continued to rain down on his battered limp body in earnest, the dark haired teenager closed his eyes and retreated into his mind, wishing for a quick death to put an end to the pain.
Vernon Dursley stepped back in fear when a sudden mist formed around the boy. Vernon watched the unusual shimmering haze growing in size and covering the boy's body for a few moments until he could barely discern Harry's features beneath it. Feeling angry and frustrated for this unwelcome interruption, the man tried to regain control of the situation. "Freak! Wake up and make the mist disappear!" Vernon screamed, his fear now gone. He didn't even pause to consider that he was asking for magical help from the very boy he was punishing for having magical abilities.
Harry didn't respond to Vernon's demands. Surprised and grateful for no longer being able to feel the pain, Harry opened his eyes and was mesmerized by the ethereal form hovering above him. Was he dead? Is this what angels looked like? The most surprising thing was that this...angel, for lack of a better word, was wearing his mother's face. "Mommy?" Lily nodded sadly before embracing her young son and takinghim to a safety.
Vernon wasn't sure what to think when both the boy and the mysterious mist disappeared into thin air but he was glad the freak was finally gone and hoped he would stay away. He left the room in a brisk pace and decided to see what his son was doing, refusing to acknowledge the bizarre situation as anything else but a blessing.
Albus Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk when 3 little boys suddenly materialised a few steps away from his desk, surrounded by a white mist that slowly dissolved and transformed into two corporeal beings. The Headmaster was shocked to recognise Anca and Lily, whom he had once taught at Hogwarts many years ago.
"How...?" Albus managed to ask.
"Our sons were in grave danger, Albus! You were supposed to protect them !" Anca stated angrily. "What were you thinking when you asked Sev to play the double agent for the Dark Lord? And whose brilliant idea was it to put Lucius into the care of Lillian Malfoy in the first place? You should have known she would force him to join the ranks of Voldemort!" she continued, shouting her accusations to the old man who was too stunned to reply. "And let's not even begin to talk about the Dursley's household where Harry was forced to live, while being frequently subjected to physical and psychological abuse," Anca concluded, out of breath from venting her outrage.
"These children are...?" Albus asked, trying to make sense from the angry woman's accusations and the unusual sight of small children playing in his quarters.
"Our boys are now being protected by a mother's hold," Lily said much more calmly. "If someone, no matter what age, is faced with an unnatural or untimely death and accepts it without fighting for their survival, their ascended mother can intervene on their behalf. A mother's hold is called upon them and they are de-aged to the age of four and stay that way until they feel safe enough to return to their actual age," Lily reminded. " You should remember this, Albus; after all, it was you who first read it the story to us."
"But that's a children's story, a fable to help children who lost their mothers at a very young age. I have never found a record it had actually happened to anyone," Albus weakly protested. However, when Dumbledore took a closer look at the boys playing on the floor and quickly catalogued their faces, he confirmed their identity. How could he deny the veracity of the mother's hold magic when living proof was playing in front of his desk with Muggle wooden blocks?
Fascinated, he watched the boys building a fort, he started thinking about how he could continue the fight against Voldemort without his best warriors, his student and Potions Master. As for Lucius Malfoy, he wasn't sure what to think of him being reduced to a child. He seemed so happy and innocent now.
"It's the Warriors of Light prophecy, Albus. The final battle with Evil is approaching fast. Meanwhile, we will take care of the children in Severus' chambers. It's up to the boys how long the mother's hold will last and they will feel safe enough to change again," Anca said and stood up, taking Severus and Lucius by the hand and walking out of Dumbledore's office, closely followed by Lily and a giggling Harry.
Albus was feeling apprehensive about the future and rose from his desk to look for The Founders Prophecies Compendium. It had been many years since he had last used it so it took him a few moments to find the correct prophecy and reread the enigmatic text once more.
A window of opportunity is opened
A Mother's hold protects
What once was now is
Three warriors come together
The Sun shines brightly
Shadow's chosen path
And the Night crosses over
Danger is no more