hope you guys enjoy this chapter. i warn you, it's a little gory. lol. i hope you can take it ... but don't say i didn't warn ya. lol. please review, as always i will respond for i love seeing what you guys think! thanks a bunches!! much love! ;) ~nomikkin Wednesday Night
I couldn’t sleep. It was nearing midnight and I was still up with Ron and Hermione in the living room, flipping through a magazine even though my mind was else where. There had been no signs from my dad, not a phone call or anything. As the hours drew on without any notice, I grew even more worried. My knee was shaking, I was looking through the magazines with glazed eyes, and even Hermione began to notice my change of eyes from scanning the pages to being glued to the cover for a long period of time.
She placed a hand on my jean covered leg, “It’ll be fine. Your father has been through much worse than what he’s going through right now.”
“We should have gone with him,” Ron mumbled, trying to concentrate on the newspaper placed in his lap.
“He told us to stay with Max,” she replied.
“Why?” I asked, stumped as to why he would instruct his two best friends, practically his body guards, to stay with me.
“You’re his son,” she answered simply. “You are the center of his life, as strange as it may seem. He really does care about you Max. You two are just so much alike that you clash too much for comfort.”
“And you’re both stubborn as hell,” Ron put in, as he tossed the grey paper onto the coffee table.
“Yeah, I noticed that on Sunday,” I grinned.
Suddenly there was a loud crack and thump. I turned around to find my dad on the floor, just as he had ended up every night. But this time he was hardly moving. I jumped up from my spot on the love seat and I ran over to him, scooping him up into my arms. I struggled a bit; I never knew my father was this heavy. I looked down at him and saw that his breathing was shallow, scarce. There was blood dripping down on the floor, creating a small pool of crimson liquid, staining the wooden ground. His eyes fluttered a bit, trying to open up, but the force of weakness kept them closed as he gasped for air.
“Dad. Dad stay with me!” I cried out.
Hermione tugged onto my arm, directing me to the staircase. Ron was behind me, pushing me forward with a gentle hand and calling out to my father as well, telling him he was going to be fine. He gasped for air, as I continued to slam my way up the stairs, following Hermione’s bushy hair.
We made it to the second floor finally and turned down a dark hallway where a door was ajar. She pushed it all the open and let me through into a room I had never been in. It was my dad’s room. I didn’t have time to take in all of the strange stuff he had around; I just gently placed him on the queen sized bed before me and then waited for Hermione’s command. She was running into his bathroom, pulling open his mirror cabinet door. She rushed back out with a small white bottle that had a cork stopper on it.
“Harry, you need to take this,” Hermione ordered, removing the top and directing it to his bloodied lips.
He wouldn’t do it. He just stared at the ceiling with wide, glassy eyes. His breath was starting to become thin and loud, as though he couldn’t get air to his damaged lungs. I snatched the white bottle from her and ran to his other, less crowded side of the bed. I pressed the top of the bottle to his lips and he shifted his dull green eyes to me, looking at me like I was stranger. But it got him to drink the medicine and soon enough, I heard Ron sigh with relief. However, it wasn’t going exactly as I had planned. I though he was going to go through with a painless recovery.
Boy was I wrong.
Blood curdling shouts escaped from his lips as he threw himself up into a sitting position. Hermione pushed him back down, instructing him to stay calm, but my dad couldn’t hear her through all of the white-hot throbbing pain that was shooting through him. I grabbed his hand and squeezed it, letting him know that I was here for him. He continued to scream, his eyes wide with pain and agony.
I looked over at Hermione, “Why is he reacting to the medicine this way?”
“How else did you expect him to react?” Ron answered, pulling back my father’s clothes and exposing his stomach. It was completely torn open with a large and bloody gash, but I noticed it was slowly re-patching itself. Ron pointed to his reappearing skin, “His skin and muscles are being recreated, of course he’s going to be in pain.”
My dad took in deep breaths and squeezed my hand, acting as though he was giving birth. I watched as the skin and muscles finally started to close the giant flesh wound that had once been there. He gave out a large sigh and his sweat-soaked head fell back onto the pillow. Tears were slowly making their way down his face as he gave my hand on last wring. We sat there in silence, staring at my father who was trying to slow down his breathing rhythm. He opened up his eyes and I realized for the first time that there was more to this man than I thought possible.
“Who are you?” I whispered, my mind still replaying the images of his stomach healing itself.
“Now isn’t the time to-”
“Hermione,” my dad interrupted, “I’ve put this boy on hold for way too long. It’s about time I explain to him who I am.”
He looked at me and then directed his eyesight over to Ron, “Go get the trunk.”
“He should see everything.”
“Harry you hate that trunk.”
“Only because it reminds me of the past, but if I’m going to be recalling it, I might as well bring out everything,” he answered.
I let go of his hand as he propped himself up against the wooden headboard of his bed. I continued to stare at him, waiting for his story to unravel. Ron came out from a darkened closet that I hadn’t even noticed was a part of his room. He was dragging a large wooden and brass trunk across the floor. Hermione rolled her eyes and took out what looked like a stick. She mumbled something, flicked it twice, and suddenly the trunk was … levitating. I blinked a couple of times, trying to realize what the hell was going on. I snapped my eyes back at my father; he was now deemed as the man with all of the answers to these strange happenings.
“What is going on?” I asked, my voice barely a whisper.
“I need to start at the beginning,” he answered, staring at the large, rectangular box before him.
“First year at Hogwarts?” Ron asked.
“When you made the glass vanish?” Hermione suggested.
“When your parents were murdered?” offered Ron.
He shook his head again, “Before that.”
“I know! How about the fucking Stone Age?!” I snapped. “How far back are you intending to go, Dad?”
A small smile curved his lips as he took in my smart aleck reply, “You have same dry humor that I had in my youth.
“I want to start with a prophecy that was made about me. This is all going to sound very strange to you at first, but I assure you that you’ll understand everything by the end of the night. Are you willing to listen still?”
“Okay. We’ll start with the basics. Do you know what wizards and witches are?”
“I’ve seen ‘em on TV and junk,” I replied.
He took out a stick that resembled the one Hermione had used to make the trunk float over to his bed, “This is called a wand. It’s a source of magic for most wizards. I am wizard Max, are you following?” I nodded yes; my voice seemed to be lost at the moment. “Now there are things called prophecies. They are-”
“Things that explain the destiny of people, I know.”
“Very good. You’ve got your mother’s quick wit. I’m somewhat thankful for that,” he smirked. “There was a prophecy stated about a young boy and a very dark wizard by the name of Tom Riddle or, as he would like to be known as, Lord Voldemort.”
I noticed that Ron had shivered at that name and Hermione lightly smacked him, telling him to get a grip. My dad smiled, “People still fear his name. He killed many magical people and non-magical people alike. He hated half bloods which are half wizards or witches and half muggles- non-magical folk. He started a group of followers called Death Eaters who went out and killed those who stood in their way to making the world full of only pureblood wizards and witches.”
“He’s kind of like Hitler for the magical world, huh?”
“Exactly. He even kept his blood line a secret from his followers. He was a half-blood and hated himself so much, or more or less his father, that he went on a rampage, killing off muggles, half-bloods, and blood traitors,” he explained. “Now the prophecy was heard by one of his Death Eater followers, Serverus Snape, who I will bring back into the story, much to my dislike. Voldemort only received little tidbits of the prophecy and thus went out to destroy the boy who was born at the end of the month of July. What he didn’t realize is that he was creating his own enemy. Voldemort came down to Godric’s Hollow where my parents lived. He killed my dad, then my mum, and then he tried to kill me.”
“How did he kill them?” I asked.
“There are three unforgivable curses,” Hermione explained. “One of them is called the Imperius Curse; you can control anyone. The second one is called the Cruciatus Curse-”
“Cruciatus … that’s Latin,” I interrupted. “Its root, crucio, means torture.”
“That’s also the word you need to say when you want to torture someone,” Ron said.
“The last curse is called Avada Kedavra, the Killing Curse,” my dad continued on gravely. “This curse was used on both my parents and he tried to use it on me. But it backfired and hit him instead. This is how I ended up with the scar on my forehead,” he gestured the lightning bolt shape drawn across his head which I had never really noticed until this point. “He turned into a wisp of a man was never to be seen again until my first year at Hogwarts. I lived with my aunt and uncle and my cousin Dudley for the rest of the time being when my letter to Hogwarts came.”
“Why didn’t I get one? Am I not magical?” I asked, feeling left out of my dad’s life.
“I knew he was going to ask this,” Ron sighed.
“We, as in Ron, Hermione, and I, knew during the first few years that you weren’t going to be getting a letter,” my father announced. “When you didn’t show any signs of magic, we grew worried. The reason I was late to your fifth birthday was to see if you would get mad and do something.”
“I didn’t talk to you for days, if that counts,” I shrugged.
“No, it had to be something uncontrollable. Ron was born into a pureblood wizarding family so there was no doubt about him. Hermione levitated her crayon while drawing a picture in kindergarten. And I made a glass case disappear at a zoo,” he suggested.
“You also talked to a snake,” Ron quipped.
“You did what?”
“I talked to a snake. It’s called Parsletongue. Something I received from Voldemort when he tried to kill me,” he replied, waving the statement away as though it was nothing.
Well, I guess it was nothing. I listened all night about his adventures and all the wild stuff that happened. I was trying to keep up, but at times I had to stop his long rants and take it all in. Some of the stuff my dad was telling was just crazy; gargantuan spiders, half-giants, fighting dragons, people turning into animals, ghosts, and a three-headed dog named Fluffy. He showed me clippings of newspapers and some objects he had collected over the years such as a Marauder’s Map, an invisibility cloak, and a bunch of moving photos, mainly of his friends and deceased family. I distinctly remember him telling me an abundant amount of information about a man by the name of Albus Dumbledore. From what I could see from my dad’s reaction on recalling this man, he meant a lot to him and left before his time … or rather left before my dad was ready to say goodbye. It was a lot for a … muggle to take in.
He was finishing up his tale about his last year and his final battle with Voldemort when he yawned. Hermione told him to get some sleep, but he resisted her order, telling her that he was almost finished; he just had one more thing to say to me before he went to bed.
He looked at me and this time, I understood why he always had those huge bags underneath his eyes. My father, Harry James Potter, went through so much in his life time. He kept that all under wraps from me, my mother, our whole family; no wonder he never wanted to get close to us. He never wanted to spill this world of his onto us and he didn’t want our lives to be in danger.
“I just want to know if you’re still angry with me,” he whispered, his eyes rimmed with glossy tears that would never fall.
“You did something I never thought you would do,” I replied. “You kept your promise.”
I shoved my hand into my pocket and removed the fake locket that he finally explained to me about. It all made sense to me and I understood who he was. His name was a famous one in the wizarding world and now that I had the full story, I could see why. Handing him back the necklace, he seemed to have splashed a look of tired gratitude over his face. I still had more questions for him, but for the time being, it seemed like a good place in the novel life of Harry Potter to pause. He kept the golden necklace clutched within his grasp as he slid down further underneath the covers. I pushed myself off of the bed and walked over to the large window sill, sitting on it and letting the cool breeze blow across my face. Hermione and Ron waved goodnight, walked down stairs, and disappeared-no wait-disapparated home.
I stared at the large moon before me; it wasn’t full or complete … just like my dad’s story wasn’t. I squinted my eyes as I noticed something flying towards the window. I looked back at my father; he was already asleep. The thing coming closer turned out to be an owl and it wasn’t his bird, Hedwig. This one had long, brown feathers and bright silver eyes, staring at me and waiting for me to open the window as it fluttered in place. I did as it silently instructed and let it in. The bird quietly fluttered down on the cushioned spot in front of me, holding its leg out. A small letter was attached to its ankle. From what I recalled of my dad’s life story, I was supposed to remove it and then put some money into the pouch that was supposed to be adorned at its side. There was no pouch and even if there was, the bird had already left before I was able to think about getting it some wizarding money from my dad’s trunk. So I unraveled the piece of parchment, examining it carefully. It read:
Dear Mr. Potter,
The Ministry of Magic is under the notion that you have been performing magic in front of a muggle. Please bring him or her to the Ministry at once. Not only should the muggle have their memory erased, but you are needed to assist your auror team in defeating another group of Death Eaters. Sorry for such short notice on your mission. Hope you are feeling well enough to fight.
Signed- Lavender Brown
I grinned and looked around for a pen of some sort to write back to this Lavender Brown person. I had heard a lot about her in the past hour. Hermione was laughing at the name she had given Ron when they dated in their sixth year; Won-Won. I snickered just thinking about that nick-name and the gift she gave him for Christmas. I finally found a ball point pen on my dad’s nightstand (I hate those damn quills he always uses) and I began to write my own replying letter on the parchment.
Dear Ms. Brown,
This is Harry’s son, Maxwell James Potter, or just Max if you want. I am the so-called muggle that witnessed the act of magic and I don’t need my memory erased. I’m afraid to say that my father is in no condition to fight along side his co-workers in the battle against those remaining Death Eaters. He was up all night telling me about his life and he could now use some sleep. Please give him a break and let him take the rest of the week off. You guys have been sending him home with wounds, cuts, and bruises; none of which I like to see at three o’ clock in the morning when I’m awoken by him thumping home. Thank you for your concern, time, and energy.
Sincerely Yours- Max Potter.
I gazed over at my father and hoped that this letter was convincing enough to get him a few days off. If not, at least he would know that I tried. I looked back over to window, realizing that I didn’t have an owl to fly the letter to this Ms. Brown person. But a sight I fell in love with seeing was the snowy white owl, Hedwig. She cooed at me politely as I took the piece of string and wrapped the folded up letter around her ankle. She bit my finger with a grateful beak; it was a sort of thank you I suppose since my dad never seemed to send her out. I smirked at her and watched as she flapped away into the night.
That’s when the waves of exhaustion finally hit me. I sighed and yawned at the same time as I stretched up into a standing position. I strolled over to the opened up bathroom where candles were the only illumination to be found. I nodded to myself, realizing that magic and electricity couldn’t be mixed; that’s why my watch, my clock, the refrigerator, and all of the lights in the house were always on the fritz. I leaned over the sink and let the water run for a little bit, watching it with full fascination. My hand subconsciously shut the medicine cabinet door close. I glued my eyes onto my reflection, finally understanding what everyone meant; I was too much like my father for my own good. Looking in a mirror, I never saw him in me and now that I knew everything about him, it all seemed so clear. Like that song I heard Bob Marley sing on the radio earlier that day… “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.” Yeah, that song.
I beamed, splashing my face with water and even taking some of the candles out with the large droplets of liquid that seeped out from the cracks of my fingers. I blew out the remaining candles and wiped my face clean of any small water droplets that were making their way down my neck. As I ambled out of the bathroom and out of my dad’s bedroom, I paused. I turned around to have one last look at him before I went to sleep. Only one single question went through my head; how did he survive all that? This time I actually had the answer and I cringed at how cheesy it sounded: love. I scrunched my face up with a strange kind of agony, for I knew that I hadn’t helped him one bit in the past, well, ten years. I wasn’t kind to him, I never gave him the benefit of the doubt, and I was never willing to listen to him. I suppose it’s better to be late than never when making up for lost time. While walking out of his room quietly and down the steps to the first floor I decided that it was time to make this house into my home … no, our home.