On the evening of October 31st, 1981, the clouds were hazed with pink and gold. And the sky looked like blood. The streets of Godric’s Hollow were wet and cluttered with soaking leaves after a thunderstorm, and the puddles were glistening in the light of the streetlamps. Everybody thought it was beautiful—especially baby Harry, who was staring out the window open-mouthed while Lily stroked his hair and whispered into his ear, “Isn’t it lovely, Harry?”
James was yawning in the armchair beside them, rubbing his eyes tiredly and setting the Daily Prophet down on his lap. “There’s been fourteen murders this past week,” he sighed into his palms. His shoulders were slumped. And he’d never looked so old, he’d never looked so scared.
Lily closed her eyes. And James continued, “I can’t stand it. I can’t stand hiding in here while everyone’s sacrificing their lives—I wanna be there, I want to fight with them. God, Lily, what am I going to do?”
“We have to stay hidden,” Lily said quietly. “For Harry.”
“Harry,” James repeated, gazing at his son, who looked rather frightened at the suddenly somber atmosphere. He wanted to see his parents joke and smile and laugh and he wanted to ride piggy-back on James’ shoulders. He couldn’t understand why both his mother and father looked so close to tears.
James forced a smile as he bent over to kiss Harry’s scarless forehead.
“You hungry, buddy?” he asked, tickling him. Harry squealed.
Lily laughed. “Let’s go find you something to eat, shall we?”
She handed the baby over to James’ lap, and disappeared into the kitchen to make sure dinner wasn’t burning. James put one arm around Harry, and with the other arm, he drew out his wand and started conjuring puffs of electric blue smoke. Harry laughed himself breathless trying to catch the wisps between his fingers, and James was laughing with him, because even though his life was falling apart, this was something infinitely precious, this was something worth living for.
Outside, the wind was howling like starved wolves. And although they did not know it, the Fidelius Charm enclosing the Potters’ home was broken—cracked like a spider-web down the center, its pale blue glow slowly fading out into nothingness. Their home was clearly visible, whether by muggle or wizard or witch or Lord Voldemort walking steadily closer, a thin, triumphant smile curving his pale lips.