"Alice, Frank, come in. Lily and James just got here." Dumbledore opened the door to admit the new parents into his office. "Please, sit down." He motioned to where the Potters were already sitting in front of his desk.
Then, he closed the door behind them and turned to face the two couples. "You are probably wondering why I've called you here. Firstly, congratulations on the births of Neville," he nodded at the Longbottoms then turned to the Potters and continued, "and Harry. In fact, it is in part because of the birth of your sons that I have asked you to come here today. I regret the need to spoil your happiness by being the bearer of bad news."
The atmosphere in the room had suddenly become very serious. "Several months ago," Dumbledore began, "I was audience to a prophesy… It was prophesied that… Well perhaps it is best that you hear for yourselves."
Dumbledore walked over to one of the shelves along the walls of the room and picked up his pensieve. He placed it on his desk in front of his guests then lifted his wand up to his head and began poking around. Finally, he extracted the memory he was looking for and placed it carefully into the pensive. He swirled the liquid gently with the tip of his wand. The shadowy figure of Sibyll Trelaweny rose from the pensive:
"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 one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies . . ."
The shadowy figure slowly disappeared as the raspy voice faded away. The mood, in the room, went from serious to sombre. One look at the couples before him was enough to tell Dumbledore that they had understood the implications of the prophesy. Each registered their apprehension in their own way, but it was evident that each was thinking the same thing: "My son was born at the end of July, soon after I defied the Dark Lord a third time."
Finally, Dumbledore broke the silence, "Of all the magical children born at the end of last month, yours were the only two boys 'born to those who have thrice defied him'. I cannot say with any degree of certainty which child the prophesy refers to, which is why I am telling this to all four of you. I understand if you'd rather not go into hiding unless absolutely necessary, but I felt I should warn you that Voldemort is likely to come after your families. A suspected Death Eater may have overheard part of the prophesy…"
One year later
Lily Potter could tell something was wrong the minute her husband walked in the front door after a long day's work at the Ministry. His usual sheepish grin had been replaced by a tight worried expression.
She was about to ask what was wrong when he volunteered the information, "Dumbledore says that we should get ourselves a secret-keeper. His spy amongst Voldemort's ranks tells him that the Dark Lord is planning to attack us."
"Why now? It's been a year" She had been hoping that the prophesy had been forgotten. Evidently, those hopes had been in vain.
James didn't answer her question. He didn't know the answer. Besides there was no denying that he too had been hoping. Instead he said, "I'm going to ask Sirius."
Later that evening, Frank Longbottom returned home to a very distraught wife. Visibly shaken, having herself just returned from a visit at the Potter's, she told him, "Dumbledore says that Voldemort is planning an attack on the Potters. They're going into hiding. It's only a matter of time before he comes after us too."
Frank let out a sigh. There was no denying the danger they were in any longer. "Much as I'd hate to go into hiding, we should probably get ourselves a secret-keeper too."
"Who would we ask? I wouldn't want to impose a burden like that on anyone I know," replied Alice.
He pondered the question for a moment. The responsibility of being a secret-keeper was not something you asked of just anyone. Finally, he replied, "Perhaps my mother will be willing…"
"There's no doubt she'll be willing. I just don't think it's right to ask her."
"What other choice do we have?" He was right, of course. In the end, there was no real choice.
One week later
A hooded Death Eater approached Voldemort. "My Lord, somehow your plans to attack the Potters have been discovered. They've already gotten themselves a secret-keeper."
Voldemort's face became twisted in fury as he demanded, "Who?".
His servant's voice trembled as he replied, "I don't know, My Lord"
"And the Longbottoms?"
"They'll be performing the charm tomorrow, My Lord."
"Then I will attack tonight"
"But I thought you were going to attack the Potters first," the Death Eater foolishly objected.
"You dare question me." The Dark Lord fired a Cruciatus spell at the Death Eater, in fury. "I will deal with them later. Tonight I will attack the Longbottoms. Is that understood?"
"Yes, My Lord." The Death Eater replied weakly still shaking from the after-effects of the curse."
"Good, Do not question me again."
"Master, master," Wormtail was out of breath, but his excitement at the news he had to relay was evident nonetheless.
But Voldemort wasn't in the mood to listen to the man that he considered to be his most pathetic servant. He brushed him aside as he waked past. "Later."
In his excitement, Wormtail overcame his fear of his master's wrath, a foolish mistake, He called after him, "But master, the Pot–"
Voldemort stopped in his tracks. He turned back towards Wormtail and said, "I said later…" hitting him with a Cruciatus curse before turning and continuing his brisk pace.
As Voldemort walked away, Wormtail, recovering from the intense pain, exclaimed in frustration, "I just wanted to tell him that the Potters made me secret-keeper!"
That night Alice and Frank Longbottom died trying to protect their son from danger. Mysteriously, when the Dark Lord turned his wand to the boy, the killing curse he cast left the child unharmed. Instead it rebounded on the caster. The boy was left with only a small scar on his forehead, a scar shaped like a bolt of lightning. This is the story of Neville Longbottom, the Boy-Who-Lived …
A/N: Well here you have it. The first betaed chapter (I'd like to take the time to thank my beta reader aggiebella on Phoenix Song for her help)