Paying A Debt
I recently began reading the books again and I just finished the first book. I then begin to think well what if James made Severus Snape pay back his debt in order to save his family. This is my take on how it would have gone. I really like the way the stories go though and I didn't want to rewrite them all so finish the story any way you want. If you want James and Lily to die then let them die. If you want them to survive then let them. I'll leave that part up to you!
All Rights go to J.K. Rowling!
Paying A Debt
The chime of an old rusty bell sounded as the door of the Hog's Head creaked open. The sun was just starting to set and many patrons were milling about the old run down bar. He looked around not seeing the one who sent for him. He briefly hoped that this was a trick so he could return to his life and never have to see his old enemy, but sure enough his life was never that easy.
Aberforth sent him a jerk nodded before waving his hand toward the back room.
Curious as to why he would want to keep this private, he let his feet carry him past the drunken and soon-to-be drunken patrons toward the back of the bar. The shadows seemed to cling to him as he walked through the darkened hallway. He hesitated in front of the door before opening it and taking slow steps inside.
A tall figure stood in front of the window with his back toward the door. His head turned slightly when he heard the door open, but otherwise didn't move. Many would not be able to tell that these two were the same age.
The one near the door was of average height with long greasy black hair that he never cut. His eyes haven't shown a speck of light or joy since Fifth year when he was attending Hogwarts and his wrist bestowed a mark that would normally mean killing the man in front of him.
The man in front of the window was wearing a black cloak to hide himself while a hood covered his head. The hood however was not working properly since his messy black hair poked out of the hood and refused to remain hidden. The man wore round shaped glasses and had many laugh lines beginning to appear on his face; however no laughter was in his eyes. The hazel eyes that belonged to that man showed nothing, but determination and slight fear for what was to come.
The man by the window turned around to face his enemy from school. "Snape," no kindness was allowed past his lips, "I would say that it's a pleasure, only it's not."
"What? Has marriage made you too mature for Snivellus, Potter?" Severus Snape fired back just as evilly.
James Potter took a step toward his enemy and sent an arrogant smirk his way. "Oh, even at Dumbledore's age I would never be too mature for that, Snivelly," he remarked. "Speaking of Dumbledore actually he told me something rather interesting today-"
"Really? Was it something your small brain couldn't comprehend?" Snape spat. "Do you need me to explain it to you?"
"Funny how you say I'm the one with the small brain when I beat you in every test we ever took in Hogwarts," James piped up before continuing, "Anyway, as it happens there was recently a prophecy spoken in this very room . . . regarding my son."
"Really? How does he turn out?" Snape smiles evilly playing off the statement. "Does he turn into an arrogant, know-it-all swine like his father?"
James Potter narrowed his eyes and quickly whipped out his want and sent a spell toward his old school mate which caused Snape to be thrown against the door. James then stalked forward so their faces were inches from each other.
"It was you." The growled words came out as a statement rather than a question. "Dumbledore told me it was you that told Voldemort the prophecy. You are the reason my family is in danger."
"Oh, what a pity," Snape smiled at the angry man. "Be sure to send me a postcard from the afterlife."
James had a dark threatening look in his hazel eyes that had only been brought out a few times before. No one threatens his friends. No one threatens his family. He had to protect his wife and son no matter the sacrifice.
"You may not care about me and you most definitely don't care about my son, but you care for Lily." At the mention of his enemy's wife Snape's eyes tinged with emotion. He has only ever had one weakness and James Potter knew it. "I love my wife and son, and you are the reason they are in danger. So here's how it's going to be. I am cashing in my debt."
"What debt?" Snape growled although he knew perfectly well what debt he meant.
James narrowed his eyes threateningly. "I think we both know what debt I'm talking about. 1976. Sixth year. You were getting curious about our whereabouts and Sirius was getting sick of it. So he slipped you the information on how to get passed the Whomping Willow. He told you if you got passed the tree then you would find out our secrets, or at least one of them. Only Peter heard and ran to me and told me what Sirius had done. I may not like you, but no one deserves that. So I ran out of the school and toward the Whomping Willow just as you were about to be bitten by Remus and I saved your life. Is it all coming back to you now?"
Snape glared at his old enemy. "What do you want?"
"I saved your life and now it's time for you to return the favor."
"I don't care what happens to me," James admitted taking the note from the owl's beak and opening it.
TONIGHT. MIDNIGHT. THE SHRIEKING SHACK.
DON'T BE LATE.
"You're making a deal with the devil," Sirius argued standing behind James at the entrance to his friend's kitchen.
James read the note before quickly ripping it into pieces and putting it discretely into his pocket. He then turned back to his best friend. "I don't care. I would make a deal with Voldemort himself if I thought he would hold true to his word and not pursue my family," James stated pushing past his friend and back into the living room of his cottage.
"I know that Prongs, but this is Snivellus we're talking about it," Sirius said through clenched teeth.
"Well, actually I wouldn't have been able to make this deal if it wasn't for saving him and I have you to thank for putting him in that danger in the first place," James pointed out to his best friend. He walked over to his friend and patted his shoulder. "So thanks, Padfoot, I owe you one."
"Tell me where you're going!" Sirius Black demanded.
"No." James walked over to the closet and pulled out his cloak. "Look I'm sorry Padfoot, but I'm doing this to save my family. Maybe someday when you have one of your own you will understand."
"You think I don't care about Harry and Lily?" Sirius asked shocked. "Seriously, mate! You are practically my brother. Lily is the closest thing to a sister I've ever had. Harry is my godson! I love them just as much! So don't say that I will know how it feels in the future, because I know how it feels now!"
"Then do you understand why I have to do this!" James demanded. He hated fighting with Sirius, but he really didn't have a choice.
James and Snape met up at the Hog's Head for the first time last week, but they were shortly interrupted by a patronus. The patronus was from Dumbledore asking for James, Lily, and Harry to come to the school so he could talk to them so the two agreed to meet on a later date, and if Sirius kept this up James was sure to be late.
"I don't like it anymore then you do, but I have to do this," James told him.
"What about Lily then? Does she know?" Sirius asked already knowing the answer.
James sighed and shook his head. "Of course not. Don't be an idiot."
In that moment Sirius knew what he had to do.
James saw the look that appeared on his best friend's face and honestly he didn't like it. "Sirius?" He saw Sirius glance at the stairs. His face paled at his friend's thoughts. "Padfoot. Don't. You. Dare," James growled dangerously.
"I'm sorry, but I can't stand by and watch you get hurt." Before James could do anything Sirius cupped a hand next to his mouth and yelled, "Oy! Evans! Get down here!"
The sound of footsteps immediately rushed down the stairs. "Sirius! I just put Harry to bed! If he wakes up because of you then it's your job to make him fall back asleep. . . ." Lily trailed off when she got to the bottom of the stairs only to find that her husband and his best friend were glaring angrily at each other. "What going on?" She asked with a serious tone.
"Why don't you tell your wife, Prongs?" Sirius asked him. "It does involve her after all. Isn't this the type of thing a married couple discusses together?"
James' jaw was clenched tightly in anger and it was taking every ounce of willpower in his body not to send a curse his way. "I am never talking to you again." His words were slow and managed to hurt his best friend more than any cruciatus curse ever could.
Sirius shrugged his shoulders and nodded. "I'm sorry to hear that." His worked cracked slightly as he spoke. He then turned toward Lily and said, "Don't let him leave. Please. I know it may be his only chance, but . . . please. . . . Don't let him leave." With those last words Sirius walked out of his best friend's cottage possibly for the last time.
Lily turned back to her husband to find him staring briefly at the door that his best friend just walked out of. "Where are you going, James?"
He glanced at the clock that sat on the mantel of the fire place. 11:35. He didn't have a lot of time. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he stated.
Lily stepped off the last stair and raised an eyebrow at her husband. "Try me," she dared him.
"So let me get this straight," Lily said after several minutes of James' explanation. "You saved Sev's life in sixth year – never told me might I add – and now you want to go bargain with him to save mine and Harry's lives, but not your own. Do I have it all?" Lily demanded.
She stood up from where the two sat on the couch and walked over to the mantle of the fireplace watching as their pictures of family, friends, and of course, themselves moved and laughed happily.
James sighed and walked over to the woman he loves. He wrapped his arms around hers as to hug her from behind. "I love you. I have loved you since the moment I saw you sitting with Snape on that train. In that moment I never would have guessed how much our lives would have intertwined together and I don't mean you and I. Snape loves you, but he hates me. No matter what. I could save his life five-hundred times and he still would never attempt to save my life, but yours he would do. He would do anything to keep you safe and unfortunately we have that in common. So please. Don't fight this."
Lily pushed back tears and took a shaky breath. "I know you have a plan. You always do, but I have to ask. . . . Why? What about the Fidelius charm? It can work and keep us safe." She turned around in his arms to meet his hazel eyes.
"Lily, do you know why Dumbledore suggested the Fidelius charm in the first place?" he asked her already knowing the answer.
She shook her head.
"Snape was the one who heard the prophecy. He told Voldemort and then heard that Voldemort was planning to attack us. He asked Dumbledore to protect you, and then later Harry and I. I trust Dumbledore. I do. I just think we need to be extra cautious." James looked at the clock once more. "I promise you that I will be back as soon as I can."
"You better," Lily warned him nervously.
"I will see you tonight," he promised her.
James gave her a final kiss goodbye before leaving the safety of the cottage and aparating to meet, quite possibly, his final home for the survival of his family.
Even four years later the Shrieking Shack is still the same as it's always been, James noted as he crawled through the passage way through the Whomping Willow.
It was five minutes until midnight and James had to hurry. He knew that Snape wouldn't wait for him, and this was his only chance to get the information he needed. He pushed himself through the last bit of the small tunnel and into old house which swayed slightly from the wind. James quietly crept up the stairs and into the bedroom.
Snape was waiting for him.
"Good you're here," James said.
"What do you want?" Snape said. "You said that I have to keep your family safe. How?"Glad you asked," James said. "Tell me who the spy in the order is."
Snape narrowed his eyes. "What does that have to do with you?"
"That has everything to do with me," James stated. "I need to know that even under the Fidelius charm my family will be safe."
"The spy is Peter Pettigrew," Snape admitted with glee. "Some friend you have there."
"I used to think so," James told him. "Good then we're safe to continue."
"Is that all? Am I done being your lacky?" Snape demanded as James turned to leave the shack.
"As long as my family is safe and alive then we are fine, but if at any point any of us are put into further danger well . . . then you have work to do."
Snape did not like it whatsoever, but he knew he had to agree to the terms of his enemy. He may not like James Potter, but he saved his life. He may not like it, but debts always have to be paid one way or another.
As I said, you can finish the story any way you want to! Be sure to let me know what you think! I love getting feedback! Good and bad!