The last thing James Potter remembered was the terror that coursed through his veins realising that Voldemort had found them. He barely had time to reach for his wand before the blast of green turned everything dark. He tried to remember why he hadn't reacted faster. Then he remembered that he'd had Harry's fresh bottle in his hand.

The next time he awoke he knew that it had been a long time. At the same time it felt like all he had done was blink when he appeared at the cemetery. A little boy stood frightened, his wand firing against a snake-like-Voldemort's attack. It took seconds for James to realise this boy, who looked no older than thirteen, was his son. His eyes were unmistakably Lily's and he looked so much like James himself.

He looked at Lily's spirit, standing to the other side of their son and focused on getting their child out of there.

He thought he would once more go to sleep, deep in darkness like before. Yet after Harry escaped safely, he blinked and appeared in a neighbourhood he didn't recognise at first. Then he recognised it all at once.

Lily's sour sister lived in this mundane, muggle street. He looked at the number four and walked toward it. He couldn't feel the ground and looked down to see himself floating. He passed his hand through the nearest flowery bush and watched a breeze move the delicate flowers slightly.

How many years had it been since he last saw Harry? Was he still thirteen-ish? He would go look for him. First though, he had a wretched woman and her fat husband to scare.

He smiled and marched through the door. There was some sort of hubbub of alarmed voices going on through the door. He entered and saw a whale of a man that he identified as Vernon Dursley. The horse-faced woman was unquestionably Petunia and the blubbering blob of grease between them must have been their son.

The muggles didn't see him as he expected.

"Who did this to you, son?" Vernon asked and the boy shakily pointed at a fourth person that James hadn't noticed at first. It was Harry. He still looked the same age. He was short enough to look thirteen.

"I didn't disappear long." James sighed relieved.

"I've had it with you, boy! Look at what you did to my son!" Vernon yelled at Harry who sat meekly, a mixture of apathy in his expression that told James that the boy was in shock as much as the blubbering idiot. A quiet, frozen kind of shock, instead of the mess his cousin was in.

"Don't let him speak to you that way, Harry!" James exclaimed, glaring at Vernon. Despite his words, his son didn't reply to Vernon. He just sat there and James turned slowly. He was a ghost. Surely Harry could see him? "Harry? Can you see me?" But Harry didn't make any indication that he saw him at all.

Before he could approach the boy, an owl swooped into the muggle living room, screeching at the sight of the apparition and crashing up into the ceiling to avoid him. James sighed with relief. At least he knew he was actually there.

A letter opened up perplexing the muggles even more. James watched Harry's expression as the letter declared that he had been expelled from Hogwarts. He wanted more than anything to give him a hug and promise him it would all be alright. That he would sort something out. But he couldn't. He was a ghost and Harry couldn't see or hear him. There was no comfort to be offered to Harry from anywhere. Not even his mother's family.

"Finally, justice. No more freaky little lessons or freaky little friends." The whale of a man declared and came closer to his son, which made James bristle in anger. "More importantly," He laughed in a mocking and cruel manner, not caring about Harry's feelings, which were partly showing on his face. "Perhaps you can learn to be a normal, upstanding member of society."

"As if. That thing will always be a little freak." Petunia hissed and James glared at her hatefully.

"How dare you call my boy such things! You're the freak with that horrid horse face!" He yelled to no avail as the muggle whale grabbed Harry roughly by his hair and dragged him across the house, up the stairs. "Don't you bloody touch him! Harry! Blast him back!" James yelled. Vernon simply threw Harry into a room and locked the five locks on the door.

"You better hope Dudley is alright, boy. Or I'll make sure you get thrown into a mental institution, where they'll keep you drugged up enough to drool the rest of your freakish life away."

With those comforting words his baby boy was left alone. The muggles left and Harry stood in the middle of the room, his breathing picking up as he clenched his hands into fists and shook slightly trying not to cry. He expertly stopped and instead turned his angry fists to his cupboard, hitting it hard and kicking it once before collapsing back onto the bed. Something about the way he stopped those tears reminded him of someone he couldn't quite put a name or face to.

How could this happen? How could his son be bullied like this by his own family? Why was he left with muggles? What happened? What could he do? He couldn't let this go on. He didn't entirely believe that the muggle was joking about sending his son into a mental institute. He'd seen what muggles call those places and he shuddered thinking his son could be sent there.

Where was Sirius? Why was Harry left abandoned in the summer with these people?

He had to go find Dumbledore. Surely Dumbledore could see him. Dumbledore was far more powerful than anyone he'd known. But how was he supposed to make his way to Hogwarts all by himself? He couldn't apparate and he wasn't exactly sure where he was. Maybe if he stayed with Harry, eventually Dumbledore would come. There was no way the powerful wizard would leave Harry unattended. Dumbledore must know Voldemort was alive and after Harry.

He would stay put. He would not blink again until he was sure he spoke to Dumbledore.


Harry paced around his room trying to think through this whole mess. He couldn't… couldn't be expelled. Not now, not with Voldemort back. He'd be killed.

He shuddered remembering the pain of the knife cutting his forearm, the terror coursing through his veins, the guilt at Cedric's dead body and the grief-stricken cries of the Hufflepuff's father.

Going to sleep didn't help. The second he did the memories turned even more vivid in the form of his dreams. He jumped awake as Voldemort's new form appeared in his dreams and sat up, heart racing wildly in his chest, which slowly calmed at the realisation that it was only a dream.

He sat up and rubbed his face with his hands. It didn't help that he hadn't heard a single thing from his friends. His trusted friends wouldn't even write to him the one summer he needed them the most. He'd wanted to talk to them, about his nightmares, his fears, his guilt. But they didn't even send a letter worth reading.

All they sent sounded mechanical and almost identical. It put him off telling them anything at all.

A thud was heard from downstairs. He flinched and looked at the door, his blood freezing in his veins. Deatheaters? He reached for his wand and stood.

The locks on his door clicked as they opened. Finally the door began to swing open and Harry prepared the first spell that came to his mind. The light of a lumos blinded him momentarily before he saw the aurors enter the room.


James cheered victoriously as the aurors of the Order gathered his boy and delivered him to Grimmauld place.

"I knew Dumbledore wouldn't leave you there, son." James said to Harry, staying by his side the whole time. None of the other aurors could see him but he just knew Dumbledore would be able to.


Harry felt a weight lift off his shoulders as he saw his godfather's home appear from between two fancy upper-class muggle homes. He tried to hide the glee at finally being with his true family. Even with the house in tatters, Sirius was here, sitting at a dinning desk. The chatter stopped as Sirius looked up. Harry was ready to march forward when Mrs. Weasley appeared and shut the door.

"Harry. You're alright." She stretched her arms out and wrapped him in those scorching hugs that left him unsure of what to do. In the end he wrapped his arms around her and gave her a slight hug, letting go when she pulled back. "Now dear, why don't you wait for us upstairs, dinner will be ready in a little while. Go ahead, go on."

Harry looked hesitant but finally followed her directions. When he looked up to see his friends were both here and had been for a long time, he felt irritation grow.


James missed this interaction. He had swooped into the room the second Harry entered the house.

"Padfoot! Moony! You're both here! You have to tell me what's happening! Why was Harry with Lily's horrid family? You're his godfather Padfoot!" James demanded.

Moony glanced at Padfoot who shared an uncertain glance as they looked to the closed door where Harry had been stopped.

"I understand your worries Sirius, but there's no need to be rash." Dumbledore spoke at the head of the table, ignoring Harry's arrival, ignoring James' questions.

"Professor Dumbledore! You have to tell me what in Merlin's name is going on!" James demanded.

The headmaster kept looking through him to his friends. Sirius shook his head and leaned back on the chair in frustration. No one could see him. He looked around the table to see no one looking at him. No one.

"What do you think, Severus?" Dumbledore asked and James turned to the corner of the room, shocked to see the slimy Slytherin standing in the corner of the room, almost blending into the shadows. He hadn't noticed him at first. But there was no mistake. It was Snivellus. "Severus?"

Snape was looking straight at him, half-finished cup of tea in mid-air, frozen. James' eyes widened as did Snape's.

"You can see me!"

"Snape." Moony asked and Snape seemed to snap out of shock and glared at Sirius.

"Prey tell, Black, what ingenious idea you have? Rush in and attack blindly? The Dark Lord will strike you down in seconds." Snape hissed.

"Snape! What are you doing here? Spying for your Lord?" James snapped hatefully. Snape visibly tensed and glanced at him before back at the living beings in the room.

"For a start I think Harry should be informed of what is happening." Sirius said.

"Unacceptable Sirius, he's only a child." Molly Weasley said.

"And he's braver than many grown aurors I've met." Sirius defended. James beamed with pride. His son, a brave young warrior, he couldn't be more proud! The smile slowly dropped away from James' face as he recalled Harry's terrified expression in the graveyard.

"He's not James, Sirius!" Molly Weasley insisted. Sirius rolled his eyes.

"Well he's not your son."

"He's as good as! Who else has he got?"

"He's got me!" Sirius insisted, his voice creeping up to which Moony gave him a look so he would remember that they were being quiet for the sake of the teens above.

James nodded. Sirius was there for Harry. He just knew it.

"How touchingly paternal, Black. Perhaps Potter can grow up to be a felon, just like his godfather." Snape hissed and James turned to glare at him.

"Shut up, Snivellus!"

"You stay out of this, Snivellus!" Sirius hissed.

At this Snape seemed to have enough and smirked that annoying smirk he always showed them in school. That stupid 'you're all idiots and I'm oh-so-smart' smirk he used to throw around all the time.

"Well isn't this awfully nostalgic." Snape addressed James instead of Padfoot who seemed to have too much to say to notice Snape wasn't speaking to him.

James' eyes widened as it slowly began to dawn on him that it didn't matter what he felt for the Slytherin. It was becoming more and more evident by the minute that Snape may be the only one that could help him. The thought filled him with horror and stared at the rest of the argument between his best friend and worst school enemy in shocked silence.