Chapter 13 : Did she bite you?
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"I'm sorry Mrs Potter, but I have no trace whatsoever of the birth of any Daniel Potman, coming from Oxford, or anywhere for that matter."
"There has to be, he had to have a family somewhere, he spoke of his mum to me, said she was killed when he was a baby, surely thereís a record of that?"
Lily and James were sat in the coroner's office of a local church trying to arrange Daniel's funeral but they were getting nowhere, Lily had a sleeping Harry on her shoulder and was bouncing him up and down slightly and James was looking increasingly uncomfortable.
"Lil's, I liked the guy after all he helped bring our son into the world, but did we really know him that well? He seemed a little secretive to me, like he was always hiding something......"
"James Potter!! how can you say that, he was a sweet gentle man who wanted nothing more than to make our life easier, how can you call him that."
"You heard Mr Harriman here, he never existed... Lily"
Harry made a sudden noise and Lily shh'd him gently turning her pleading eyes upon the coroner and speaking gently.
"So what happens now, to his body I mean?"
"Well we will bury him in a general grave, and place his name on the stone...."
"I want to put him in a nice grave with a nice headstone....."
"No James, he delivered our son, the least we can do is give him a decent send off. Ok Mr Harriman, you may continue...."
James sighed and stood up from his chair, he took Harry from Lily and left the room, he would leave her to sort this out, she was always better at these things than he was. He walked out of the building and began pacing the street outside waiting for Lily to finish. Harry woke up and his eyes searched his dads face. James noticing this began talking to him.
"Hiya Harry, did you sleep well?"
James held him up in his arms so Harry could see around him and James continued.
"See that over there, thatís a boat, a white boat, and see that....."
"James?" Lily called.
Lily walked out of the office and joined her husband and son
"Well it's done...Iíve arranged it for him...the funeral will take place in a week"
"Ok Lil's wanna go home?"
James looked at his wife, her face looked drained, but she was still the beautiful redhead he had fell in love with, placing his son in their car five minutes later, they climbed in, lily behind the wheel and drove home in silence.
"Come on Danni, I wanna go see my dad, you ready yet?"
"Not far of one more minute Phe'" Danni called from her dorm
Phoenix went and sat in front of the fire and thought back to his first visit with his dad in that hospital, he had looked so tired, not surprising after what he had been through, tears began forming in his eyes as he remembered what his dad was telling him about his dreams, about his nan and grandpa, he had been so happy his dad had had good dreams instead of the nightmares he himself had been having.
They seemed so clear as if they had been actually happening, he would dream he would get out of his bed and find a way to his dads bedside then he would pull out his wand and unforgivable his dad., he would wake up sweating almost every night, because of these dreams, and it was affecting his studies, he had so much work to do that he was being forced to study long into the night, and would often fall asleep on his work. A lone tear fell from his eye and he wiped it away hard, he would not crack, he would be strong for his dadís sake.
"Phoenix?" came a maleís voice from behind him.
He turned to see James looking down at him.
"Are you ok?"
"Oh hi James... Yea Iím ok... Just thinking about my dad."
"Mind if I join you?" James asked indicating the chair opposite Phoenix with a nod of his head.
Phoenix nodded his acceptance and James sat down, he looked at his half-brother for a moment before speaking.
"Phoenix, can I be blunt with you?"
Phoenix looked up at him, his eyes wide and nodded.
"Why are you beating yourself up over your dad, it's not your fault all this has happened?"
"Wha....what do you mean?" Phoenix stuttered
"I hear you at night screaming in your sleep, saying you're sorry, saying itís all your fault, it's not Phoenix, how can it be?"
"You....you hear me screaming, Iím sorry if I woke you up."
"Itís not your fault Phe', you had nothing to do with what happened to your dad, it was all that evil wizards doing."
"You don't understand James, Iíve grown up my whole life listening to stories of how my dad defeated him, turns out he hadn't. I feel ashamed of my dad for not ridding the world of Voldemort and that makes me ashamed to be feeling that way."
"Imagine how your dad feels Phoenix, he thought he was done with him too. To find out he isn't must be hard for him, I remember a day not long ago when your dad and I first met, he told me about how he had....in muggle terms....got rid of Voldemort, he told me he had got him arrested, he left out the part where he had himself destroyed him, probably because I was raised by muggles and didn't know he was a wizard at the time.
I watched his face as he was saying it phe', it hurt him, I guess it was the thought of injuring another person however bad they were, he couldn't hack it., I have a gift, maybe its magical I don't know, but I can feel emotions phe, and he was screaming inside."
Phoenix looked up at his older brother and smiled.
"For understanding, for putting up with my nightmares."
"It's all part of the service little bro'"
"What's all part of the service?" Danni's voice piped up startling both boys.
"Oh nothing Dan' Iíll tell you later"
Danni smiled she knew anyway, leaning over and hugging Phoenix, she spoke kindly
"Shall we go then?"
"You going somewhere?" James piped up
"Yea we're going to see my dad, hey... you wanna tag along?"
"Sure if it's ok?"
"Course, letís go"
The three kids stood and made their way over to the portrait and stepped through it. Making their way to Professor McGonagallís office where they would be flooing from. They knocked on the headmistresses door and she opened it soon after.
"You here to floo to your dad young Potter?"
"Yes Professor, so is Danni and James, if thatís ok?"
"Thatís fine Phoenix, you know what to do, go ahead."
Phoenix and Danni walked to the front of the fireplace and took their floo powder, upon standing in the hearth they noticed James was still stood near the Professor.
"You coming James?"
"In a minute I just want to talk to Professor Mcgonagil first"
Phoenix raised his eyebrows and looked at Danni.
"It's ok, we'll wait"
"No you go on, Iíll be right there, see you soon." and with that Phoenix and Danni threw the powder into the fire and shouted their destination.
"What can I do for you James?"
"Professor I was wondering ......."
"So, you'll contact my mum then Professor?"
"Right away Mister Portman."
"And you'll tell her Iím sorry?"
"I will be the embodiment of honesty and niceness, I assure you."
"Thank you Professor, well I guess I better go see Harry now. Bye."
"Good day young James."
Minerva said softly as she watched James step into the fire and take the floo powder from her jar. He threw the powder down and muttered the words 'St Mungo's' then turned in the flames and vanished from her sight. Smiling Minerva sat down behind her desk and pulled a spare piece of parchment out and a quill and began scratching his instructions in a letter to his mother.
James soon found himself spinning into the view of his fellow students and as he stepped out of the fireplace in St Mungoís, he felt light headed and stumbled forwards into Phoenix's arms.
"Whoa there, easy, it takes some getting used too flooing does."
James straightened himself up and removed his arm from Phoenix's grip, grinning slightly at his half-brother.
"Thanks, mate, shall we go then?"
Nodding Phoenix and the others headed towards Harry's room and knocked on the door, there was no reply, Phoenix opened the door and entered to find the room empty. Trying to ignore the panic in his chest he looked around the room for any signs of trouble then turned to leave the room just as Harry was entering.
"Oh, Hiya kids. You come to see lil' old me have you?"
Phoenix felt his tension ebb away and hugged his dad.
"No pop's we actually came to see the little old lady with the wart for a head in the other room but thought we'd bore you with our presence as well." Phoenix joked.
"Oh thanks, Iím honoured, truly I am." Harry joked back, grinning at his son's attempts to hide his nerves.
Harry hobbled his way over to his bed and Phoenix helped him into it. Once Harry was settled he turned to the other children in his room and his eyes fell on James for a moment.
"James....come here for a moment."
The young boy moved towards him nervously aware that his fellow peerís eyes were on them.
"I heard what you did for me and I just wanted to...well say thank you, I guess. Thank you for caring so much that you took a needle for me." Harry grinned at the youngster as his cheeks grew red.
"Its fine really, Harry, really."
James said wishing the ground would open up and swallow him whole, he looked around at the other kids and saw Danni grinning. He blushed, she read his thoughts again.
"Well, what news of Hogwarts? Hermione won't tell me anything, says she doesn't want to bother me with work?"
Harry looked around each one of them an eager expression on his face. Not one of the kids wanted to talk about school, in fact now they were here, they didn't have a clue what to talk to Harry about. Phoenix finally spoke up.
"Nothing really interesting dad, lessons and homework, the school is really awed about that old headmaster coming back, he was supposed to be dead or something....?"
"Dumbledore?? You mean heís really back. I wasn't imagining it?
"No pop's but he's not gone back to being headmaster, said he's had his time. The headmistress was all set to let him but he told her no."
Harry smiled, that was just like those two, he always thought they made a good team. He could just picture Minerva standing with her hands crossed over her breast frowning at Dumbledoreís refusal to take up his old post.
"Speaking of Professor Mcgonagil, James what did you want to talk to her about, before you flooed?" Phoenix asked suspiciously.
"Oh nothing important..... So Harry do you know when you will be released?"
"Don't change the subject James, what was it about?" Phoenix accused.
Turning to face his half-brother James fixed him with a stare and sighed.
"I am not changing the subject Phoenix, there is nothing to tell, I just.... I just asked her to send a letter to my mum thatís all."
Phoenix looked at Danni who was looking at James her face showing no signs of emotion. She looked at Phoenix and shrugged, as if to say he's telling the truth. But James noticed the clued up look showing on her face all too clearly, she knew what was said in that office, because he just showed her.
Harry looked at his son and saw the tell-tale signs that he was hiding something and wanted to talk about it, so he looked at the others.
"Phoenix, could you do me a favour and nip out to the hospital shop, and get me a Prophet, I could do with a read. Danni, can you go get me a pumpkin juice from the ward kitchen please, thereís a love." Harry said handing Phoenix a couple of Knuts for the paper.
"Why do I have to go.... why can't he go?"
Grumbling Phoenix left the room with Danni following behind him. Once the door was closed Harry turned to James.
"Ok so what was the real reason you stayed behind?"
"What...d...do you mean, I told yo...?"
"James you can't hide things from me, I will get them out of you sooner or later, don't make me force them out of you?"
"Ok... Ok...I asked her if I could stay at Hogwarts, when you come back...I want to learn to be a wizard, like you and my real mum. I want to get to know my heritage....."
"And why couldn't you tell Phoenix this?"
"I... don't know, I guess it was a mix of ...I don't know...he's known magic his whole life whereas I used to think it was just for stories, I never guessed it was real... and I... well Iím ashamed to say, I thought you were all bonkers when I first found out...Ha-ha "
"Hahaha, don't worry James, someday Iíll tell you the story of my first year at Hogwarts, I was much the same. In fact my uncle and aunt hated anything to do with,in their words 'the dreaded M word' so you can imagine there surprise when Hagrid knocked on the door one night, after they had took me and my cousin away from all the owls that were visiting, and knocked it off its hinges. Dudley got a surprise that night when he grew another body part out of his rear end courtesy of Hagrids pink umbrella. "
"Well Hagrid had made me a birthday cake, and after I looked at it, I placed it down where Dudley immediately swiped it and started eating it while myself and Hagrid where talking, Hagrid saw him and pointed his umbrella at him, and a long curly pink tail came out of his backside." Harry chuckled at the memory.
"Wow, I would have loved to have seen that, where your aunt and uncle mad at you?"
"Oh thatís an understatement, they were livid but thankfully I left with Hagrid shortly afterwards to go to Diagon Alley to get my school things, so I got out of a telling off straight away, but man where they mad when I finally showed up back on their doorstep."
"A wizard village where you can buy all your gear for school, Iíll take you there when this Looney bin lets me go."
"Cool, look forward to it, do you think Iíll be starting from first year or third?"
"Most likely third, but we'll have to discuss it with Min... Professor Mcgonagil first." Harry smiled, he had to remember to refer to his boss as professor when in front of students as his son now was.
At this point Phoenix and Danni returned and Phoenix handed his dad his paper and change. Danni handed him his juice.
"So what have you two been talking about then?" questioned Phoenix
"It's ok Harry, they will find out soon enough." James interrupted Harry.
"You want to know what I was talking to headmistress Mcgonagil about before we flooed, well Iíll tell you, Iíve asked her if I can stay on at Hogwarts. I want to learn magic as well, and I want to get to know my parents too. Please Phoenix don't hate me for this, I don't want to take over yours and Harry's relationship, and I hope one day we can be close, I was truthful before, I did ask her to write my mum and tell her, she's going to be upset but I feel I have to be here with you guys."
The room was silent after this revelation Harry was looking at each of his sons wondering when either was going to speak. Finally Harry was the one to speak first.
"Phoenix is there anything you want to say to James?"
"It's ok Harry, he doesn't have to..."
"No... I...guess I... well I want to say...I...erm..."
"Come on Phe' Iíve never known you to be lost for words before." Harry said
"Yea but you've never had a long lost brother surface then enrol in your school before."
Harry looked at his son, he could see the tell-tale signs of a smile edging onto his lips.
"Fair play Phe', I haven't. So what do you say, are you ready to share your old man?"
"I guess, welcome to Hogwarts bro'"
Harry looked at his son, that was the first time he had heard Phe' refer to James as brother and he liked it. In the short time he had known James, before all this with Voldemort happened he had grown fond of his and Hermioneís son.
Harry was released from the hospital a couple of weeks later and resumed his old post as D.A.D.A teacher almost immediately.
James had been learning how to do magic, and Harry was not surprised to find that he was as good as Hermione. She had been worried about him being there, around her, but after an emotional heart-to-heart where she told him all her reasons for giving him up, he said he forgave her and they began getting on with their lives.
The boys were sat in the great hall one Saturday dinner time when Danni came running in looking worried.
"Phe' can I talk to you for a minute?"
Looking at her worried face Phoenix jumped up and followed her out to the entrance hall.
"Danni, what is it? Whatís wrong?"
"Phoenix, Iím changing tonight. But I have a bad feeling, I think something is going to happen tonight."
"What do you mean, you think you're going to hurt someone, come Ďon Danni, your safe in the shack. I'll be there too..."
"No...no...stay away Phe' please "
"No, I couldn't bear it if I hurt you, I feel a great temper building up in me, Iím going to go straight to the shack now and I don't want you following me, ok?"
"Danni, you can't tell me this and expect me not to help, maybe if I go see dad and get him to help with my stag trans..."
"Yes Danni" He said mocking her tone.
"NO PHE'" she glowered at him, Phoenix was sure he heard a growl in her voice as she looked deep into his eyes.
With that she turned on her heal and ran out of the building leaving phe looking after her concern in his eyes.
He turned and went to go back into the great hall but came face to face with James.
"James... What did you hear?"
"I heard something about a shack, wouldn't happen to be that old haunted shack just outside of Hogsmede would it?"
"You know about that place?"
"Yea Harry told me about it last week, when I asked him about his time here as a student, he said he would go to that shack to think."
"Yea...Well...just stay away from there tonight will you."
Phoenix walked away and resumed his seat at the Gryffindor table leaving James looking from him to the entrance hall doors. Leaving the castle a few minutes after making his decision he followed the path to the gates of the school and followed the path to the shack. He would talk to Danni and find out what the problem was then offer her some advice if he could.
"Hiya Phe' have you seen James anywhere?" Jimmy said
"I saw him about an hour ago, in the entrance hall, don't know where he went after that, have you tried the common room?"
"Just come from there, he's not been there all day." Jimmy said.
Phoenix had a terrible feeling rising in his gut, James had heard his and Danni's conversation, what if he went after her to try and 'talk' to her, he could be in big danger, jumping up from the table he told jimmy to wait and he would go find him. Rushing out of the castle he made his way to the gates of the castle and found the path to the shack. Slowly he walked, keeping to the shadows as to not be seen, if Danni saw him she might growl at him again, and he didn't like it when she growled.
Coming up on the shack he opened the door, and softly called out his brother's name.
"James, you in here? James answer me...James?"
He crept up the creaking stairs slowly one by one, until he came upon the room where Danni would be, looking in, his heart stopped, there on the floor where her clothes ,ripped and torn from her body, and what was that he saw next to it, red and thick, blood, he opened the door a little further and looked around it was empty, he walked over to the clothes and picked them up, there was no blood on them which meant that it wasn't Danni's blood shimmering on the floor.
"James?" Phoenix muttered to himself.
His heart almost stopped if James was bleeding then he was an easy target for a blood thirsty werewolf, they could smell it like it was cigarette smoke, and it lured them to the source.
Phoenix dropped the clothes and ran down the steps two at a time and burst out of the shrieking shack and into the forest, not caring about himself anymore he shouted for his brother.
He listened as hard as he could but all he could hear was the beating of his own heart in his ears, he ran and ran, didn't know how far into the forest he had gone, he had to find his brother. He stopped, what was that he just heard? Was it a scream? Noooooooo. He prayed he wouldn't be too late, the screams grew louder and he followed the distressing sounds until he saw two figures. One a terrifying sight, taller than him and covered in light brown fur, towering over a second figure pushed up against a tree.
"HEY." he shouted, he had to get Danni away from James, give him a chance to run for it, to get to safety, but it didn't work, Danni was still closing in on James, Phoenix closed his eyes , turned twice on the spot and concentrated saying the incantation ' Animay, Changus', he could feel his body changing, his back bent over and as he looked at his arms he saw them turning into hooves, the whole changing process was over in a few seconds and he cantered out towards the two figures, placing himself in front of James he stood on his hind legs and reared up kicking his front legs out in front of him to scare Danni away from James, Danni advanced on Phe', tried to bite him but a swift kick from his front hooves across the werewolves face did the trick and she ran off into the night.
James was still cowering in fear as Phe' turned to face him and lowered his front paws and body down to get the message across to James to jump onto his back, but the young boy was shaking so much Phe had to bend down and nudge his legs, then he turned and looked at his back then back at James. Cottoning on James stood up slowly and climbed onto the mighty stags back and they ran out of the forest and back to the castle.
Once outside of the entrance gates James slid of the magnificent beast and stroked his nose.
"Thank you, you saved my life."
"No problem" Phe replied making James step back in shock,
The stag stood up on its hind legs opened his mouth and spoke two words ' Humany Changus'. Then before James could say another word he was stood staring at his brother who had collapsed to the floor with the effort of the transformation. James bent down and pulled him up by his underarms.
"Yes, are you ok did she bite you?
"What? Oh no, she just scratched me...erm...how did you do THAT?"
"My dad taught me, I did it for Danni, to be with her when she transforms. This is the first time, Iíve had to do it though, can you help me up, I think I need to go to bed."
"Why didn't you say anything in the forest, you just nudged me. "
"Come on James. You would have ran, I couldn't let that happen till we were out of the forest. You would have gotten lost."
"I guess so...was that hard for you? To stand up to her like that?"
"Yea, a little, but I couldn't let her bite you, you are my brother. Now please...I need sleep. Can we go to the dorm?"
James helped Phoenix up to the castle and to the common room, helped him up to his dorm, helped him into his bed and covered him over, then left him alone, went down to the common room and thought about the past hours events. His brother had saved his life. Danni would have no doubt killed him if Phe' hadn't shown up and sent her running. Sitting forward he put his head in his hands and let the tears flow.
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