Back in Time is ED’s newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.
For this incident, we go back in time to 1981.
Godric’s Hollow Cottage, West Country, England: The small Potter family of three waits in their hiding house under the Imperius Spell, as instructed by Albus Dumbeldore. Waits for the terrible war to end. Wait to hear from or see their beloved friend and secret-keeper Sirius Black, hoping for good news.
The baby in Lily’s arms cooed, it was nearing Harry’s bed time, the sun had set hours ago – not that it was sunny these days anyway. She took him upstairs while James stayed.
At the same instant though, they both knew there was something wrong. In their souls, they sensed the darkness approaching. Instinctually, James approached the door, but before he could reach the knob, he heard those words. His last.
Lily heard them too. And she wasn’t unaware of what was coming… this is what they had been warned about. This is why they were under a spell which would keep them invisible to the word. In the fraction of a second, the six year old prophecy flashed in the back of her mind:
“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…”
—The prophecy of Voldemort’s fall
She looked down at her baby – her baby, who she had given birth to not more than 15 months ago – such a short life… Then she saw into his beautiful blue eyes. Even as an infant, Harry sensed fear, and his mother saw it. That was when the magic formed. She steeled her resolve: no harm would come to her child, she would protect him.
She turned around and saw the Dark Lord hovering over her. His enigma so intimidating, that she felt fear in her bones. For a moment, she decided to ask mercy. “Not my child!” she said. But had it not been for the lost love of his Death Eater Severus Snape, Voldemort would not have offered her the option to step aside. Nothing came in between him and his objective. Especially not when the objective was prophesized to be the cause of his end.
But Lily was set. Her love for her baby had inadvertently unlocked an ancient magic that would render all other power feeble, she would shield her boy with her own life.
So when you-know-who recited the Unforgivable Spell unto the mother, her soul guarded her baby. Even the most powerful wizard in the world could do nothing to subdue it. Instead, the Death curse rebounded from the infant and struck the Dark Lord himself, thereby sectioning a part of his soul which entered Harry’s body. This is why the “Boy who lived” lives with a scar.
That night, James’ and Lily’s love was what safeguarded Harry’s life, but the magic which kept him alive was that he was the last Horcrux – the last fragment of the mangled soul that remained of Lord Voldemort.
The Dark Lord may have escaped that night, but barely anything remained of him… He had lost the First Wizarding War and his minion army of Death Eaters were captured or scattered. While faithful ones like Bellatrix were waiting in prison, others like Snape and Malfoy escaped the Ministry’s rules.
Hagrid and Dumbledore and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix took care that Harry Potter was safe. And his parents still watch over from somewhere, visiting sometimes.
May they Rest In Peace.