The Lightning Child
Disclaimer: Don't own nothing but my computer and car. I need the car for work. I need the computer to live. You can have all my student loans, though. I'm tired of paying them. Don't own my house. It's the bank's.
Warning: Slash ahead! A tiny bit of violence and cussing
Pairing: I would be giving things away if I said it, but since this takes place in the time of the Marauder's, it's safe to say James/Lily – or is it? Everyone else is up for grabs (and if I had my way, I'd take Remus... *rubs hands together gleefully*)
AN: I know I should be working on The Revolution of Light and any number of stories I've got started or going, but I was waiting for the verdict on it from my beta-reader when this idea just popped into my head. Admittedly, it was actually a plot-bunny that decided it was tired of waiting, since it took residence in my brain after going to my cousin's football game last fall, just after he kicked a 40-yard field goal - as well two 50-yard goals in practice earlier that week (yes I remember that – my cousin is a *good* football player!!!!!! And it was videotaped :P), so I'm not sure if it's entirely sane or not after all that euphoria, but it finally pushed its way through to my fingers (and keyboard). Anyways... please let me know if I need help (Not mentally - I already know I'm quite insane, thank you) in writing this story, ie, plot wise or grammar, since my beta/sister is gone for the week at a conference for work.
Enough with my rambling....
Thunder crackled through the sky as the Quidditch game continued. Spectators and players alike were having trouble distinguishing anyone against the pitch-black sky, lighted only by the power of magic and the electrical rushes of lightning. The game was already bad enough without the storm that had suddenly appeared. Gryffindor versus Slytherin always turned into brutal games, with at least one player having to stay in the hospital wing for longer than a day, even with the best treatment that Madam Pomfrey could give. Malfoy and Potter were madly dashing through the onslaught of rain, desperately searching for the ball they were looking for.
The girl announcing the game could barely be heard over the storm, the megaphone that she spoke through useless against the wind that blew violently across the pitch.
All of Hogwarts were startled, then, when a deafening thunderclap sounded just as lightning hit the exact center of the pitch, blinding all there for a couple of seconds. When they opened their eyes, a collective gasp rose.
At the exact spot where the Snitch is released lay a charred body, smoke rising from it where the rain was hitting it.
Dumbledore rose as silence fell over the pitch, the lightning and thunder mysteriously vanishing from the area, the sky slowly fading to a misty gray as the rain let up. Walking quickly to the center of the pitch, the players hovering quietly nearby, he bent over and checked the body. "Poppy!"
Potter watched as the nurse hurried over to the Headmaster, from which she quickly emerged from a conference and conjured a stretcher, carefully lifting the body onto it. He was tempted to watch were she was going, but the arrested look on Dumbledore's face kept his eyes trained on him.
"Students and faculty, I am sorry to say that this game must be called off - " He was cut off by the groans of all the students, who had been eagerly awaiting the outcome of the first game of the season. The headmaster held up a hand, requesting silence. "Please, prefects, make sure that all students head back to their dorms. Mr. Potter and Miss Evans, please stay here. Quietus."
James Potter lowered his broom to the pitch next to Dumbledore as several staff members joined them.
"Albus, what is this about?" asked Professor McGonagall.
"Whoever sent that boy used very powerful Dark magic. I do not want to take the chance that it could be used against any of the students," the headmaster answered.
"What about... him?" asked Lily Evans as she stopped next to James.
"He's alive," Dumbledore said in a soft voice. "Barely, but Poppy may be able to fix him up. The magic that was used on him was very powerful."
"What was it?" asked Professor Flitwick.
"Verbannen. The old banishing curse."
James hurried up the stairs to Gryffindor tower. He was exhausted, the duties that Dumbledore had assigned him taking much longer than he thought they would. Lily had been sent back to the tower almost an hour ago. Wondering if she had escaped the mob that was sure to be surrounding her, he gave the password to the Fat Lady and crawled through the entrance.
Silence met him, slightly unnerving him for a moment as he realized that every single Gryffindor was watching him.
Never more than that moment was James grateful for Sirius. His best friend could be counted on to get him out of tight places, knowing that James would do the same for him.
"Hey, Padfoot!" James turned around and made sure that the portrait was closed. "I don't have much to tell," he announced to the common room. "Dumbledore said that we would have to stay here until some people from the Ministry come to check that guy out."
"Is he alive?" Remus asked as he came over to James from their usual couch.
James nodded. "Madam Pomfrey's been working on him all day. Dumbledore said that whatever brought him here was very powerful."
About twenty people tried to ask questions all at the same time.
The common room was shocked. James Potter rarely ever yelled, and he was pretty much a polite person when wanting things quiet.
"I don't have any more answers. I have to wait just as long as you for my questions to get answered," James said in a quiet voice. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to go to bed."
He walked quickly up the stairs, hurrying up to his bed. Tossing his shoes and Quidditch robes aside, he lay down on his bed and was asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow.
A groan startled him from the blackness he had been hovering in. A rustling close to his ear quickly followed the sound.
The voice sounded familiar, but the gentle lilt to it soothed him as he realized he ached all over. Cracking an eye open, he quickly shut it against the bright light that assaulted him.
Another rustle, this time a bit further from the first, sounded.
"Open your eyes, now," the voice said. "I've taken care of the light. It won't hurt you, now."
Obeying the soft words, he opened his eye again, his blurry vision slowly focusing on the face a foot away from his.
"My, what pretty green eyes you have, child," the voice said.
His disjointed thoughts put the voice and face together as being the same person, the familiar feeling coming back to him. Opening the other eye, he focused on the woman again.
"Wha - ?"
The cracked sound seemed to be coming from his own throat, making his jump and then wishing he hadn't. Another groan issued forth, telling him that he had been the one to make the same sound that had woken him as his head threatened to split wide open at the movement.
"Shh," the woman whispered. She reached over to a table he hadn't seen before and brought a glass of water to his lips. "Don't talk, just drink."
The cool liquid rushed through his mouth, taking the burning sensation of his throat down a couple of notches. Closing his eyes in bliss, he gulped the water greedily. The water was quickly gone, even as he wished the glass had been much larger.
"I can't give you anymore for fifteen more minutes," the woman said. "I want to make sure you can keep that down."
He didn't understand her reasoning, but shrugged it off. He knew that he wasn't up to making any demands, and as long as she got him the water in the time she stated he didn't mind.
"Ah, our patient is awake?"
The new voice sounded old to his ears. He understood that as he saw an elderly man walked through the parted curtains. The white beard and hair were very long, topped by an odd, pointed hat that made no sense to him.
"Yes," the woman answered. "I was just about to call you down." She stood up and pulled the chair close by next to the bed. "Why don't you sit down while I get the medicines he'll need now that he's awake."
The old man nodded. "Hello," he said in a friendly voice.
He responded to the kindness he sensed laying underneath. "Hello." His voice was still cracked, making him wince inwardly. Something about it didn't sound right.
"Please, let me introduce myself," the old man began, "I'm Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster here at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
He wrinkled his nose at that. The words were very familiar, but just out of reach. He knew they were important, though.
"And your name?" the headmaster asked.
Opening his mouth, he stopped. What was his name? That, like all the rest of the thoughts since he had woken up, lay scattered behind something that was blocking them. Just one name popped up.
"Just Harry?" Dumbledore asked.
Harry shrugged. "I'm not sure," he said in a quiet baritone, the edges becoming less sharp as the cracking in his voice faded. He rather liked the sound of it, knowing that it fit him better than the noises he had made earlier.
Dumbledore reached over and patted him on the hand.
He jumped back at the touch, knowing instinctively he did not like being touched without permission. "No!"
The headmaster jumped back himself, startled at the reaction to his gesture. The twinkle that Harry had seen in his eyes had dimmed. "I'm sorry," Dumbledore said in a sincere voice. "I won't do that again if you feel uncomfortable about it."
"I'm sorry," Harry apologized instinctively, a part of him wondering if he would be punished.
"You have nothing to be sorry about, child." The headmaster stopped briefly as the woman came back through the curtains, several glass tubes and a goblet in her hands. "Ah, Madam Pomfrey! May I introduce Harry to you?"
The woman smiled. "Hello, Harry," she said in her gentle voice. It turned brisk as she pulled a tube from the table where she had set all the others and poured half its contents into the goblet. "This is going to help you get your energy back. Your body took a fairly big hit, and this will help get you back up to speed."
"Um..." Harry trailed off, eyeing the purple contents of the goblet once it was in his hands. "What hit?"
The two people watching him looked surprised. "You - you don't remember?" the man asked.
Harry shook his head and clutched it as pain shot through it. "How did I get here, and where is here?"