Harry's Pointof View
The cold North winds drove snow down from the mountains, quickly smothering the castle in a soft white blanket as November melded into December and our first term came to an end. The majority of students were packing up to go home for the festive holiday, but Percy and I were still stalling, unsure whether or not we wanted to go home. On one hand, Draco, Theo and Blaise were all going back to their families for Yuletide, but on the other hand, if we did go home, we'd have to put up with our family, and we weren't sure whether we could handle that just yet.
The Common Room was warmer than usual, a cheery fire burning in the fire-place. A large tree stood in one corner, glowing with pretty fairy lights, and green baubles reflecting the flickering fire-light. Even the Slytherin's themselves weren't as icy as normal, chatting and laughing as they said their goodbyes.
We sat silently, watching the flames slowly consume the wood in the grate. I let out a long sigh and rubbed our eyes, unsure of what we wanted to do.
"Stop being so gloomy."
We flinched and spun to see Flint standing behind us, his normally hard face softened with concern. Percy tilted our head, and frowned at the older boy.
"What do you mean?"
A small smile tilted up the sides of Flint's lips. "Oh, come on. Everyone here can see your cut up over your decision whether or not to go home. I get it if you don't want any advice, but take it from me, there are lots of kids here in Slytherin who don't have very good families. At least you're parents realise how they treated you was wrong. Give them another chance. Who knows, you might be surprised where it gets you."
We smiled at the Quidditch captain. "That makes sense, it's just… we aren't sure whether or not we can forget what they did to us to give them another opportunity."
'Huh?' Percy tilted his head to one side. I frowned.
"Never forget what people have done to you. If they've done it once, then they might do the same thing again. But they're your family. Blood is blood. Some is purer than other, but it still binds us together. You're parents want to make it up to. Let them, but don't forget, in case they do a repeat act. Make sense?"
"That… that makes sense I guess." I agreed, nodding our head.
'He sounds experienced here…' I commented to Percy.
'He does,' Percy agreed, 'I wonder who hurt him.'
"Thanks. You've been a great help." We grinned at the older Snake before running back up to our dorm to pack.
Blaise, Theo and Draco were just shutting their trunks as we came breezing in, packing up our stuff with a couple of sure flicks of our wands. The other Slytherin's gave us a surprised look. Percy giggled at their expressions.
"What, can't a guy make up his mind?" Percy laughed.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Percy, you and Harry are so indecisive that it's a miracle you even make it out of bed in the morning. Merlin, at a time like this I'm almost grateful that your brother is our supposed 'saviour'."
Percy couldn't help but laugh harder at that, and I joined in too, the idea so hilarious it was unreal. "Draco, this is Charles Potter we're talking about. You know, the guy who picks fights like it's his job, and fails to follow even a simple instruction without blowing anything up. Are you sure you mean that?"
Draco pulled a face, sending the other boys into gales of laughter as well. "No…"
As we were all packed and ready to leave we decided to move down to the Common Room instead. As the last to leave the room, we turned back to glance round. The dorm seemed colder, somehow, without the clothes discarded on the floor, the emerald bed curtains neatly pulled back and the bed sheets unruffled. The walls appeared dark and imposing as they loomed down on us. Shuddering, we quickly left the room, the door shutting behind us with a loud creak.
Flint winked at us as we walked past to our normal hang-out spot near the hearth. Percy send him a small smile back, something that Draco picked up on.
"So, Marcus Flint did actually talk to you then."
Three pairs of incredulous eyes trained on us, confusion filling their depths. "You mean to tell us that you don't know about his home life?"
"What is there to know?" Percy asked, curious.
Blaise and Theo shared a look. "Well, his mother died when he was born. His dad isn't the nicest guy even if he likes you, but he did love Flint's mother… He blamed Marcus for her death and well, let's say being ignored would be bliss to him."
We frowned, trying to imagine what life must have been like for the older Snake before he came to Hogwarts. "That's horrible! No wonder he knew how we were feeling…"
"Many of us have similar stories. I mean, I don't," Theo told us, "but Blaise has to put up with his mother, and Draco has his father… Not of bad, of course, but not the ideal home either."
I flashed Blaise a questioning look, and he sighed. "My mama has a habit of getting rich husbands then… getting rid of them permanently. I was the result of Husband number two. Not that she doesn't love me, mama does, however coming home to a new step-father every couple of months gets rather strenuous after a while."
Oh. "Our problem doesn't seem quite as bad now. Why are the majority of this kids with 'bad' homes in Slytherin?"
"It's part of what makes us who we are, I guess."
The topic was quickly dropped when we saw Draco's expression. He looked troubled, not meeting our eyes as he stared at the Slytherin Crest above the mantel piece. Something about that didn't seem like Draco… It showed more emotion that when we had seen him laughing, somehow, and that troubled us.
Conversation moved on, picking up happy subjects such as what presents we were expecting, or Quidditch and the House Cup. The Common Room grew more and more crowded as everyone met up for their last day before the train left in the morning.
Dinner was an equally energetic affair. The smell that we distinctively associated with Christmas hung in the air, a mixture of pine-needles and spice. Dozens of Christmas trees lined the hall, decorated with shining silver and gold decorations. The grotesques on the wall held flickering bowls of fire hanging from chains held in their mouths. Mistletoe hung down from the ceiling in random points, resulting in several students pausing beneath it to kiss. We pulled a face. Yuck!
'If I ever get like that, kick me.' Percy begged, eying a couple with horror.
'Only if you return the favour.' I bartered.
Percy shut our eyes and turned away, back to the table. 'Done!'
A small laugh from across from us snapped our head up. Pansy Parkinson was giggling as she took in our flushed cheeks and horrified expression. Personally, she didn't seem at all bothered by the overly affectionate displays of affection going on around her.
"Lay off, Pansy." Draco grinned. "Harry and Percy grew up in a library remember. They haven't seen this kind of stuff before."
We blushed a deep crimson, Draco's words bringing back unwanted memories. I mean seriously, who would ever want to walk into a room to see their parents making out? Gross! Percy moaned, shutting out all of my thoughts as he fought to wash his brain of the memory.
"N-n-no!" I stuttered out, maybe a little too quickly. Blaise and Theo grinned maleficently.
"Aw! Tell, tell, come on Harry!"
"WHAT? No! I am not telling you about Lily and Jame-" We narrowed our eyes at the two pure-bloods. "If you repeat a single word I just uttered…"
In our defence, both boys looked terrified at the unspoken threat. It hadn't taken Percy and me long to find out that the unspoken threats worked the best in Slytherin. While Gryffindor's normally required a graphic description of what would befall them should they carry on, the Snake had a better imagination for threats, and often filled it in for you.
Draco, having spotted the looks on our friends' faces, patted us on the back. "You learn quickly, Potter, you learn quickly."
"Back to surnames are we, Malfoy?" Percy teased.
We bantered back and forth for the rest of the evening, relentlessly teasing someone until we found better ammunition to use against somebody else. Charles and his gang attempted to 'put us in our place', but ended up running away in fast retreat when Percy and I brought up the topic of Charles' baby photos. That might have been the one good thing about being ignored during our 'baby' years: there were no humiliating pictures of us in ridiculous clothes or doing stupid things or just looking adorably cute.
As the feast due to a close we followed the flow of Slytherin's back to our Common Room, where the end of term party was starting off. We carefully avoided the spiked punch, having made that mistake once before – alcohol is disgusting people, don't drink it!
The music was loud, practically vibrating through the air and rattling our chests and shaking the floor. The older years were singing terribly, slurring the words and just generally sounding like dying whales as the danced. We laughed and joined in, figuring it couldn't hurt our eardrums more than they already were and besides, we were too hyped up on sugar to care about our atrocious dancing skills. It was fun to let go and have fun without having to worry about school or what adults might think or what our House-mates might think… To act our own age for once, not having to live up to the high standards Pure-blood tradition demanded.
I woke with a stunning headache, the early dawn light stabbing our eyes like glinting silver knifes. I groaned, and hid underneath our blankets. Laughter rang in our ears, loud and consistent, murdering our head.
"Shuttup!" Percy groaned into our pillow, as moody as ever in the morning.
"But Harry, Percy, breakfast starts in ten minutes. We have an hour before the train leaves!"
We were out of bed within seconds, hastily throwing on clothes and sloppily brushing our teeth. More laughter erupted and we turned to face our dorm-mates with narrowed eyes.
"I swear on our magic, if this was a joke…"
Draco shook his head, tears of mirth streaming down his ice-white cheeks. "N-no joke!" He giggled. "Just nothing gets you out of bed quicker than the threat of being late."
Percy grinned wearily. 'It's true, you know.'
"There is nothing wrong with being punctual." I sniffed at everyone. "Just because you lot don't understand the fine social rules concerning when to be on time, and when to be late…"
The boys burst into hysterics again. Smirking slightly, I thrust our nose in the air and huffed. "Are you coming? We're going to be late!"
I mock stormed out of the dorm, three giggling boys following. Pansy and her friend Daphne gave us condescending looks.
"Why is it that they few times you aren't acting like stuck up rich brats you decide to act like bumbling idiots instead?" They wanted to know.
We just shrugged and ran off, racing each other out of the dungeons. Once out of the dungeons we were in enemy territory, and had to conduct ourselves as 'proper pure-blood heirs'… If only they knew what we were really like, and just what we were actually capable of. Then the Gryffindors wouldn't be so quick to attempt to place us below them on the food chain…
I shook our head, and Percy sniggered. 'Feeling evil today, Harry?'
'Shushy, Lion. Feeling reckless today?'
'Aw, come on, that's different and you know it!'
'I do. Feeling evil is fun, feeling reckless ends up with us getting hurt!' I laughed.
Percy mock glared at me. 'Oh, eat my underwear, Snake! Where did you even hear of fun, anyway?'
Before I could reply Draco nudged us. We had reached the Great Hall already. Blinking in slight surprise, we stopped our little mock argument and set into breakfast, piling up our plate with bacon and egg and toast and sausages. Draco poured us a glass of pumpkin juice, and so we dished him up some eggs. We grinned at each other.
"Write to me?" We both requested simultaneously. Draco giggled. Percy smirked slightly.
"It's meant to be! Expect daily letters, cousin!" I grinned.
"Oh, you're on! Do you want me to send your present too?"
"Sounds good! I'll send all of yours off on Christmas Eve. At least then you might actually receive them on time…"
Plans set for the holidays, we finished our meal and headed down to the station. Snow was littering the ground, and Hogsmead looked like something straight out of a fairy tale. Wooden builds were blanketed in snow, and Christmas decorations of holly wreaths and tinsel and nuts decorated the doors and windows. It was so beautiful!
The train journey whizzed by in a flurry of card games, chocolate and sweets, conversation, and reading. Time seemed to slow right down as we approached the station though. Fear flashed through us. What if Lily and James didn't want us home for Christmas? What if we spent the whole holiday as a ghost, unnoticed and unseen for our entire stay? What if…
"Harry, Percy, stop worrying. Everything's going to be fine. And if it's not, then I'm sure mother would love another boy to fuss over for the holidays." Draco offered, touching our shoulder. "I'm just a letter away, don't hesitate to Owl me, ok?"
"Ok, thanks Draco!" We hugged our friend tightly. We'd come to see him as a brother over the past term, and his offer meant more to us than words could convey.
The brakes screeched as the train pulled to a stop. Draco grabbed our hand, and pulled us out the train. Theo and Blaise followed, scanning the crowd with a practised ease to try and spot their parents. The Malfoys, Zambinis and Notts were all standing together. Draco tugged us along to meet them.
"Mother! Father!" Draco called.
Blaise grinned. "Mama!"
Theo didn't say anything, but he did enclose his mother in a big hug. Percy grinned at the sight, a little sadness tinting the happy scene.
"They look like such perfect families…"
"Mama, meet Harry!"
"Ah, yes, Harry. Blaise has told me all about you, correcting the papers ten times over!" Mrs Zambini smiled at us, and for a moment, we could imagine that she was our mother, and actually wanted us around, actually cared for us. Then it was over, and we remembered that that was just a dream. A stupid wish that would never come true.
"Hello Mrs Zambini." I greeted her politely, kissing the back of one of her hands.
The Malfoy's greeted me warmly – or, at least, as warmly as they could in the middle of a teeming crowd. Emotions are a weakness when openly public, as Draco often said. We smiled at that memory. Draco had first told us that after refusing to acknowledge our begging of him to actually ask Pansy on a date! It was blatantly obvious he had a crush on her anyway!
Eventually we slipped away from our friends, and walked toward where the Gryffindor carriages were positioned to try and find our parents. We stopped short when we saw Lily and James crying as they hugged an equally emotional Charles. They embraced him several times, kissing our brother's forehead and telling him how much they missed him. We moved quietly around them, and sat on our trunk a few meters away, watching them. We sighed, wanting more than anything to join in, but knowing we no longer fitted into this happy family scene. We hadn't for ten years, so why would that change now?
Percy directed our gaze at the floor. We retreated back into our mind sitting next to each-other, just to assure one another that we weren't alone. We still had each other, no matter what.
"Harry? Harry? Percy!"
Somebody was calling our names, I realised, moving forwards to see what was going on. Lily was standing in front of us, looking at us expectantly.
"Yes Lily?" I asked, stubbornly ignoring the hurt that flashed in her eyes. We might dream for a loving family, but they had to prove themselves trustworthy before we even let ourselves wish for that dream to come true.
"Are you coming? Dinner will be ready soon, and-"
I stood up, picking up our trunk and walking to the barrier. I ignored Percy's screams at me to be nice, reminding me that we were here to give them a chance, not push them away…
When we got home I ate dinner in silence, only chipping into conversation when directly asked. The anger I had felt at the train station was gone, leaving me shy. We discussed classed and grades. Lily wasn't impressed by Charles' track record for bad grades and detentions, begging us to tutor him. Our eyes went wide with fear at that suggestion. We were not about to give Charles move of our time to be bullied by him. James thankfully waved Lily off, saying Charles was like him, and would grow out of it eventually.
After dinner Percy directed our footsteps to the gym, and picked up a sword. A quick flick of his wand animated the training dummies, then he was away, stashing, stabbing, parrying… I had missed how well Percy would work our muscles when training with a blade. By the time he was done we were covered in sweat and our muscles ached, but it felt nice.
"I didn't know you could fight with a sword."
Percy glanced up to see James standing in the doorway. He shrugged, putting the blade back on the rack. "I was interested, so Harry looked it up and we learnt."
James smiled sadly. "My father – your grandfather – had the same interest in combat. He tried to teach me, but I could never really get into it. Sword-fighting seemed like an old-fashioned sport, and duelling was the 'cool' thing to do, so I just gave up."
We stood there in awkward silence, not really sure what to say to that confession.
"Ah, it's late. Shower and head up to bed. You look dead on your feet!" James laughed shakily and ruffled our hair, staring nostalgically at the blades lining the wall.
The next week trailed by slowly. It was awkward, remembering to attend meals with the rest of our family, and not spending all our day in the library or gym. Charles eventually came down off his pedestal far enough to ask us for a Quidditch match once or twice. It was fun, and a good challenge, especially when James joined in. We spent a good three hours chasing and catching the Snitch before Lily yelled at us to:
"Get off those stupid sticks and eat your lunch!"
But finally, after a long, slow week of waiting, it was Christmas Eve. A solid knock from the front door echoed through the house, and, without much thought to the matter, Percy opened it.
Sirius Black stood there in all his regal glory, his long hair stylishly messy, and his clothes simple but fitting of his status. His grey, grey eyes wide with surprise.
"Who – Oh Merlin. Harry!"
He pulled us into a tight hug. Our brother's Godfather didn't seem to notice when we failed to hug him back. He just seemed to want to hold us, for whatever reason. Percy frowned.
"I'm Percy, not Harry."
Sirius pulled back, as if stung. We flinched slightly. "What?"
Luckily James and Charles decided to come see who was at the door at this point, and James quickly explained things to him.
"Harry's a twin soul. His other half is Percy."
Sirius narrowed his eyes in thought. "Twin-soul… Now where have I heard that term before?"
"Tradition." Percy grinned at him. "Pure-blood tradition and folk law. For some reason they don't like printing our kind in books."
A faint light of recognition flashed in the grey pools of Sirius' eyes. "I thought 'your kind' was extinct. Mother never said Twin-souls still exist. The last one recorded was centuries ago!"
When Remus Lupin arrived a few minutes later a similar story was repeated, with a bit more detail about what a twin-soul was. It hurt, a little bit, knowing that our parents hadn't talked to their best friends about us, about who and what we were… Ok, that hurt more than just a little bit. It hurt a lot. Suddenly all the steps that Lily and James had made to set things right the past week didn't seem to matter as much as they had. They seemed… insincere almost.
We ran away, back to the library. Back to our hide away. Back to our old existence. Back to the silence. Back to the loneliness.
Hey! I'm so sorry I didn't manage to update this weekend. In short my weekend was end-of-year parties, birthday parties and packing... Fun, but didn't leave me with much time for anything else.
I'll try and update on Wednesday, but it may or may not happen. Too much summer homework :/
Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed it :)