It was becoming a crisp end to the October month. Orange Jack-O-Lanterns lined just about all of the cottages in Godric's Hollow. Leaves danced in the wind and gracefully swirled onto the ground, only to have a man dressed in a black coat and a striped scarf rake them into a pile by the tree they fell from. The streets were filled with scents of fresh pastries, pumpkin tarts, and sweets being prepared for Halloween in a few days' time. Children were playing in the yard with the red leaves their parents' had previously raked.
However, on the very edge of the village there was a cottage that was different from the rest; no cookies or caramel pies were being cooked in the kitchen like the others, no children were outside playing, the leaves had not even been raked into neat piles; and the most important, this cottage could not be seen. The small house was hidden from sight, not even the neighbors were aware of its existence. None of the people that passed by it looked judgmentally towards the unkempt lawn; they blindly walked by, except one man.
The man stopped right where the front gate would stand and looked all around him before he took out a small wooden stick. It was about dusk and the street lights were beginning to flicker on, the young man closed his eyes and a funny word fell from his mouth as he waved the stick in front of him. When he put his hand down, the wooden gate appeared along with the small stone wall supporting it. The man opened the gate and walked along the small path that led to the cottage. He stopped and looked around the small yard, noticing the dead leaves on the ground; and he lazily flicked his stick, instantly the leaves vanished and the ground was left spotless. He continued until he reached the door to the house and knocked. A woman appeared at the door with a small baby on her hip and she immediately smiled, "Sirius, come in, please." She motioned him inside before she closed the door. Sirius walked in and put his coat on the coat rack in the entryway; he followed the lady into the small sitting room and sat on his usual chair by the bricked fireplace. "Tea?" she asked him.
"Oh, yes, please." He replied. She smiled and handed him the baby before disappearing into the kitchen. Sirius held the small boy in his lap and chuckled while the child played with his fingers. The fire crackled in the fireplace and the woman came back with a tray holding three tea cups, a tea pot, and sugar and milk.
"James will be down in a minute," she said after taking a sip of her sweetened tea," He's putting her to sleep." Sirius nodded, understandingly as he stirred sugar into his tea. They sat quietly in the sitting room, only noise coming from the tabby cat that was purring as it curled next to the fire.
A few minutes later a tall man with black hair and glasses appeared in the doorway of the room, "Sirius, always good to see you!" The man said hugging Sirius, who was now standing. "I finally got her to fall asleep, she wouldn't stay still. She'll be a handful when she's Harry's age!" He laughed, looking at his son. He fixed himself his tea and drank it as his wife took Harry from Sirius and put him in her lap. "I'm guessing you didn't come here for the tea," James said after a long period of silence in the room. "What going on, Sirius?"
Sirius sighed, "It's her, Charlotte. I fear that someone is trading on us and is getting to Voldemort. I think having one less person here will be much safer, just in case my judgments are correct." He looked at both of them, not surprised by their reaction: shock.
"What are you talking about, Sirius? She's safe here, It's Harry we're under hiding for." James said. It was true; after the prophecy was made about his son's fate, the Potters' had gone into hiding to protect Harry from the Death Eaters and their leader, Voldemort.
"Exactly, you are hiding for Harry, not Charlotte, and we feel that she will be safer away from here. People only think it's rumor that you had another child, Lily. No one would suspect there to be another child here." Sirius Replied.
"Wait, 'we'? There are more people who think my baby should be ripped apart from her family?" Lily was getting angry.
"She is not going to be ripped from her family; she will just kept somewhere relatively safer until it is safe to have her and Harry out. I've got a couple of people lined up for help if I need it, and I will send you updates as much as I can." Sirius explained, hoping to get through to his friends.
"I don't want to lose my baby girl," James said quietly as he looked into his tea cup. "She's not even three months old! I don't... want her to grow up without me-us."
"She won't, she will be back with you when things are looking safer for Harry, gives her a better chance." Sirius said.
"What about when she-" James started.
"I think we should." Lily interrupted.
"Lily, you're out of your mind!" James said astonished. "You can't mean that, this is our baby girl, we can't just give her away!"
"Listen to him, James. If he is right about someone betraying us, she will be safer not here. We are here for Harry, to keep him safe. She can leave and have a better chance, like Sirius said, not many actually know she's alive; and we could use that to our advantage. I'm not saying that I'm happy with this decision, because I'm not, but I'm thinking for Charlotte, she will be better off." Lily said.
James was silent, he couldn't decide what would be the best choice for his baby, "But she's family. I don't know if I can let her go."
"Do what's best for the child, not you." Sirius replied quietly.
The room went silent once more, Harry was asleep in his mother's arms and James had his hands wrapped around his cup. "Where will you take her?" James asked.
"Back to my place, I'll keep her there." He replied.
"Okay," James said, "Okay, you can take her." He got up and went back up the staircase, leading to his daughter's nursery. He returned minutes later with a bag and the baby wrapped in a blanket. He took the girl into the sitting room where Sirius and Lily were standing. He couldn't stop looking at the little girl's face; she looked almost identical to her mother, only inheriting James' hair color and eyes. "Goodbye, darling." He whispered as he placed a kiss on his daughter's forehead.
Lily came towards James and took Charlotte from him. "You be good, my angel." A tear rolled down her cheek. "I love you." She placed a loving kiss upon the top of Charlotte's head. She observed the sleeping baby for a long time, taking in every breath the little girl took. Lily finally looked towards Sirius, "Take her, keep her safe."
Sirius grabbed Charlotte from her mother and looked at her himself, "I will protect her with my life."
"Thank you, Sirius." James said, tearfully. He took a step closer towards his baby and said, "We will see you soon, darling, and we can be a family again." He placed a final kiss on the girl's cheek and went back to his crying wife and comforted her as Sirius nodded towards them.
Sirius put his coat on in the entryway and opened the door. He pressed the swaddled baby close to his chest and walked out of the house. James and Lily were standing at the open door, watching their friend take their baby to safety. Sirius reached the gate and let himself out, he looked both ways many times to make sure no one was watching; he took off in a brisk walk on the sidewalk then magically vanished.
Sirius drove his motorcycle with Charlotte in the sidecar onto the road in the middle of a small village; he looked around the empty village square and drove slowly towards the residential side of the village. He turned his engine off as he familiarized himself with the surroundings, he knew it wasn't far. The stars peeked out on the cloudy night and the street lamps made it easier for him to see the numbers on the side of the cottages. He held Charlotte closely to his chest and continued passing each cottage, looking at the address number.
Sirius had finally found the cottage with 27 nailed beside its door. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door. A few moments later it was opened by a man with a confused expression. "Sirius, what are you doing here?"
"I wouldn't bother you unless it was important," Sirius started, and then looked at the baby. "And this is very important."
"Is-is that a baby?" The man stuttered as he let Sirius in. "What are you doing with that?"
"Listen, I need you to take her, just for a little while. I have to go see about Peter and I couldn't leave her at my house. I'll come back and pick her up and be on our way."
"I don't know what to do with a baby! Are you mad?" The brown haired man exclaimed.
"She's already asleep, it will be easy. I've been doing it for a week; surely you can do it for an hour!" Sirius said.
There was a long period of silence as the man looked at the baby, "So this is her, James' baby? I thought I'd never get to see her," The man laughed. "Alright, fine, I'll take her; but only for a little while, I don't want to put her in danger because of me."
"The full moon has passed, Remus. I doubt you'll turn with her in the house," Sirius joked. "Just keep her until I get back, okay?" He handed the baby to Remus and walked to the door.
"Wait-what's her name?" Remus asked as his friend opened the wooden door.
"Charlotte," Sirius said. "Charlotte Potter."
Hi everyone! Thanks for reading! I've actually been working on this for a while so here you go, hah!
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