Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Harry Potter and the Dream Come True
Chapter One: In the beginning
It was your typical crisp, chilly day in late October, and the town of Godric's Hollow looked like something out of a fairy tale. Rows of small cottages with thatched roofs lay clustered in the center of a pleasant valley, with smoke billowing from the brick chimneys, and light twinkling merrily from the crackling fires inside each picture-perfect home. In fact, had it not been for the strange sounds coming from one slightly larger home near the edge of the town, there would be no reason at all to suspect that there was something rather peculiar going on. Or just how peculiar that something turned out to be.
James Potter cackled madly as he watched the scene unfold about him. Despite his wife's declarations, there was no doubt in his mind as to which parent was at fault. It was a well-known fact that never, under any circumstances, did you allow a baby within five feet of a magical wand… or any other potentially dangerous object, for that matter. It had therefore been a reasonable assumption on James's part when he discovered his infant son sitting on the kitchen table, clutching Lily Potter's wand in his tiny fist, that the blame lay solely on his wife for leaving her wand lying around unattended.
The baby in question, Harry James Potter, was more than pleased with the situation, although as said child had not even mastered the talent of speech yet, it was rather difficult to prove or disprove this theory. From the sparkle in his brilliant green eyes as he waved the wand around wildly, though, it was fairly clear what his feelings on the matter were.
"Harry," Lily pleaded. "Give the wand to Mommy. You know you aren't supposed to touch Mommy's wand."
Harry clearly didn't agree with her, and to prove it, he swished the wand and quite unintentionally shot a jet of light directly into his mother's stomach. Lily opened her mouth furiously to scold her son, but she could not get a word out because bubbles came pouring out the instant her lips parted. And not just ordinary bubbles: pretty, multi-colored, sparkling bubbles that floated un-relentlessly from an astonished Lily's mouth.
Needless to say, James found the whole episode rather amusing.
This was an understatement, truth be told. James abandoned all pretense of portraying the concerned husband and collapsed to the floor in hysterical laughter, and it was a good thing, because had he stayed upright a split second longer, he would have been hit by the oven mitt his furious wife had chucked at his head.
It's alright for him, Lily thought furiously. He's got a counter to hide behind, and a wand to protect himself with, while all I've got is one oven mitt, and my motherly instincts. Assuming I've got any, of course, and the last year hasn't simply been a fluke.
Clearly pleased with the pretty bubbles he'd created, Harry swished the wand through the air again, and as a horde of purple gerbils charged across the kitchen floor, James realized that he'd better take control of the situation before Lily lost it and killed someone – namely, him. Redheads were notorious for being overly emotional and prone to fits of violence, after all. Lily hit him every time he said that, which in James's mind proved the point perfectly.
As his wayward son raised the wand for a third go, James leaped out from behind the counter, executed a gravity-defying dive across the kitchen table, snatching Lily's wand as he passed, hit the floor with a roll, and landed on his feet with no injuries whatsoever.
"Who's the man?" James gloated, holding his wife's wand triumphantly in the air like some sort of extremely small, unattractive trophy.
Lily did not appear overly impressed, although James may have been misreading her expression, as the cloud of bubbles were obstructing his view of her face. That thought took a minute to sink in, at which point James hastily waved the wand at her and dispelled the bubbles, as well the charm Harry had unwittingly cast.
"Took you long enough," Lily remarked dryly, although James was certain he saw her lips twitch slightly. "Give me my wand back, though, before Harry learns how to Accio it or something."
James grinned playfully. "A please would be nice, you know." It did not take a genius to figure out he had no intention of relinquishing the wand.
Lily glowered menacingly at her husband. "Harry darling, Mommy's going to have to cover your eyes. She doesn't want her darling son to see exactly how much she is going to injure her idiot husband."
Her 'idiot husband' winced. "Daddy is going to slowly back away..."
Suddenly, all playfulness vanished from James's mind as he distinctly heard a loud bang – one he'd long ago come to associate with apparation. He instantly tossed the wand to his wife, who had also frozen on the spot at the noise.
"James…" Lily said slowly. "I don't remember us inviting anyone over tonight… and they would never apparate that close to the house…"
There was only one logical explanation, something which James had been fearing would happen ever since his son had been born. "Lily! It's Him! Take Harry and run! I'll hold him off!"
Lily scoffed at her husband's heroics, although her face was just as pale as his. "James, don't be stupid. I can help!"
James ran a hand anxiously through his hair. "Lily, you know what this means! You heard the prophecy! He means to kill Harry, and you know we have no hope of stopping him if we stand our ground! Please, for Merlin's sake, take Harry and go!"
Glancing from her white-faced husband, to the dark front hallway, to her infant son, Lily gave in to reason and raced forward to pick up Harry. Sprinting to the backdoor, Lily gave it a wrenching tug, but the door didn't budge.
"James, He's sealed the doors!"
"And the windows!" James agreed, tugging unsuccessfully at one.
"Apparation?" Lily conjectured.
"I just tried," James responded despondently.
They stared at each other in indecision.
"Go upstairs and get my broom," James finally ordered quietly. "Get out of the house – blast a hole in the wall if you have to – and find Dumbledore as quickly as you can. Tell him what happened. Assuming Voldemort hasn't made the walls impenetrable, of course."
"What about you?" Lily demanded.
"I'll try to slow him down, although I doubt it'll work," James said resolutely. "It should buy you a few minutes to get clear of the house, at least."
"Don't talk that way," Lily said fiercely. "You'll be fine, you can take him…"
Neither bothered to correct her assumption. No one had ever defeated the Dark Lord in a duel, not even Dumbledore himself.
"Fine," Lily finally managed. "Just… be careful, James…"
"You know me," James replied with a hint of a smile. "I'll find a way, I always do."
Not knowing what else to say, Lily moved forward and kissed her husband one last time, before hoisting her son firmly into her arms and sprinting off towards the staircase. James watched her red hair fly around the corner, before turning back towards the dark hallway and steeling himself for the encounter that was to come. It didn't matter what happened to him, as long as Lily and Harry were safe.
Finally, after what seemed like hours to James (but in reality was less than a minute), a dark figure appeared in the doorway, his menacing aura sending chills down James's spine. It was Him. Voldemort.
Kind of a stupid name, now that I think about it, James reflected as he fired off three stunners in rapid succession towards the Dark Lord.
A twitch of Voldemort's yew wand sent the stunners careening back towards James, who was forced to leap to the side to avoid them.
Voldemort stepped fully into the room, and with his sweeping black robes, absurdly long canines, and glittering crimson eyes, he was quite a sight to behold.
"Mister Potter…" Voldemort drawled. "I must confess I am disappointed. From our previous encounters, I would have expected better from you than a simple stunning spell. Rather… amateur, don't you agree?"
James, of course, was completely ignoring the Dark Lord's taunts, as escaping from the encounter alive was of a slightly higher priority in his mind than protecting his wounded pride. Hmm… Voldemort can probably block almost anything I send at him. Then perhaps something unblockable?
"Crucio!" James bellowed, and to his surprise it hit the Dark Lord squarely in the chest, and he watched with morbid fascination as Voldemort bellowed in undisguised agony. James had assumed the man would duck, or at least move to the side, but apparently Voldemort hadn't considered James would use such a dark spell. Normally he wouldn't, of course, but with his wife and son on the line…
With Voldemort effectively out of action, James mentally zoomed through his options. He couldn't keep up the curse much longer – he'd only cast it once before, and didn't have enough experience to keep it going for long – so he'd need another plan, and soon. Lily couldn't be out of the house yet – only a minute had passed since she'd fled the room, and James knew she was no great shakes at flying. Another distraction to occupy the Dark Lord, then.
All too soon, James felt his power levels dropping, and he abruptly ended the curse before it could drain his magic entirely. He figured Voldemort would be disoriented long enough for him to follow up with a different curse, but unfortunately the Dark Lord was more resistant to pain than he'd estimated.
"Expelliarmus!" Voldemort choked out, staggering to his feet, and James, completely off guard, could only watch helplessly as his wand flew across the room into the Dark Lord's pale hand.
Idiot! James berated himself furiously. Constant vigilance! Moody's bellowed that at you too many times to forget it at a time like this! James didn't even want to know what his Head Auror would say if he could see him at this moment.
Thankfully, James had other tricks up his sleeve.
Concentrating deeply, James called upon his inner reserves of strength and summoned forth a massive flaming ball of fire, a rare talent that only few possessed. Voldemort, unaware James was one of these few, was taken aback by the sudden, unexpected move, and paused just long enough for James to fling his boulder-sized fireball at the Dark Lord's unprotected body.
Voldemort just barely managed to erect a shield a split second before the ball hit, but it wasn't strong enough to protect him entirely from the inferno. His robes caught on fire, and Voldemort shrieked in pain as his left arm was burnt severely before he could put out the flames.
Not bad, James reflected, but not as much damage as I'd have liked.
Clearly enraged at the defiant man before him, Voldemort snarled, "Did you seriously think that was going to finish me, you fool?"
James blinked. "Er… yes, actually."
Voldemort sneered. "I'm surprised you can still look me in the face, after the grave mistake you made."
Okay, that one completely lost me, James thought in puzzlement. Since when did I make a mistake? Aside from letting Sirius set me up on that blind date back in sixth year, I've done rather well.
Voldemort cackled maniacally. "Don't tell me the name 'Peter Pettigrew' doesn't ring a bell in that thick head of yours."
"Peter?" James said in confusion. "What does Peter have to do with… oh, hell no… how did you find him? Please tell me you didn't kill him!"
"Kill him?" Voldemort laughed. "I didn't even have to torture the coward."
"But then…" James trailed off with a growing sense of horror. "I don't know what you're trying to imply, but Peter would never betray us! Your twisted mind games won't work on me!"
"Ahh, James, James," Voldemort said patronizingly. "Why would I lie? Surely you can put two and two together! Did you really believe the reason Peter has been disappearing more and more often is because he was seeing a girl? We both know no woman would be attracted to the likes of him! He's been working for me for over a year!"
"No… impossible… he'd never…"
Voldemort was clearly getting bored with the topic. "Believe what you want, Potter, it does not matter to me. I never much liked conversation anyway. Crucio!"
This time it was James who collapsed to the floor screaming, although no pain inflicted by the Cruciatus curse could rival the pain of Peter Pettigrew's betrayal. Getting tired of his sport, Voldemort ended the curse abruptly and quickly hit the panting James with a full body bind.
"It seems, Mister Potter," Voldemort remarked, "that I have won our little duel. As if there was every any doubt."
"Yes, because you baiting me and then taking advantage of it is really considered a fair duel," James snapped, desperately fighting the magical bonds, but to no avail. Voldemort snarled and cruelly backhanded James across the face.
"Do not lecture me!" he ordered, his superiority complex coming into play.
James laughed. "Then try fighting fairly for once, Tom."
That did it.
"Do not call me Tom, you inferior swine!" Voldemort bellowed furiously. "That name has no meaning any more! Lord Voldemort is my title, and you will do well to use it!"
"Right," James agreed sarcastically. "Then let's get another thing straight. This 'Potter' nonsense is not on. My real name is King James the All-Conquering, Ruler of All, and it is you who would do well to use it."
Baiting the Dark Lord when you were effectively immobile was definitely not the smartest thing to do, but as James figured he was pretty much dead anyway, why not have a little fun? When Sirius eventually joined him in the underworld, James would have a blast recounting this little adventure. No doubt his friend would find it highly amusing.
"Potter, don't you dare mock me," Voldemort demanded through clenched teeth.
"I'm sorry, Tom, did you say something?" James said sweetly.
"Silencio!" Voldemort snapped, causing James's mouth to snap firmly shut. "How dare you insult me! Crucio!"
Maybe taunting him wasn't such a good idea after all, James reflected after the curse was lifted and he regained his breath. At least it appeared the torture was to end, as the Dark Lord had raised his wand with a look of finality on his face.
"It has been entertaining, Mister Potter, but I'm afraid I have a date with your charming wife, and I really can't be late. Avada Ked…"
James blinked in consternation as the Dark Lord trailed off with a thoughtful, slightly malevolent expression on his face. He had a very bad feeling about this.
"As it turns out, Potter, I've thought of a better use for you," Voldemort remarked pleasantly. "Rather than killing you, which is so dull, I've decided to test the latest spell I've concocted on you instead."
"Don't tell me," James scoffed with more bravery than he felt. "It involves immense pain."
"Actually," Voldemort remarked blandly, "you're surprisingly correct. But it is not the pain that interests me. It was what the spell actually does."
"It essentially parts your soul from your body-"
"Cool, I'll be a ghost!"
"-and sends it to deepest level of Hell."
James gazed disbelievingly at Voldemort. "You're bluffing. No one has that kind of power!"
"True," Voldemort agreed reluctantly. "Not from simply a spell, but once I discovered how to link the curse to a potion… well, it opened up some interesting opportunities."
"Such as?" James asked with dread.
"Well, aside from giving the appearance that you are dead," Voldemort offered, "it also gives me the ability to bring you back to this world by simply destroying the potion."
James blinked. "Why would you do that? Seems an awful waste of energy to me; sending me to hell, only to bring me back. Why don't you just kill me?"
Voldemort smiled mysteriously. "Ancient myths and legends claim that Hell can have a strange effect on people. Perhaps after some time there, Mister Potter, you will be warped enough that you will actually agree to being my faithful lackey."
"You're insane," James informed him politely.
"Perhaps not immediately," Voldemort admitted. "But after a hundred years? A thousand? Think about it, Potter, it's not so hard to imagine."
"Maybe not in your twisted mind," James muttered.
Voldemort scowled. "As fascinating as your witty repartee is, Potter, I'm afraid you have run out of time. I wish you luck; in a place like Hell, I am certain you will need every bit of luck you can get. Anima Infarus!"
A beam of magic darker than the blackest night shot forth from Voldemort's wand and hit James in the chest with a sickening slurp. A chill spread through him, and he could literally feel his soul being ripped from his body. The last thing he could see before tumbling away into oblivion was the smirking face of Lord Voldemort. The Dark Lord may have won that battle, but James would have his revenge, even if he had to escape Hell itself to do so.
.:Fourteen Years Later:.
James felt cold. This was odd, because the last word you could possibly use to describe Hell was 'cold'. Cracking open an eye, the first thing James noticed was that his surroundings were different than usual – mainly, there weren't any lava flows or fire storms or pointy-horned devils with pitchforks strolling around drinking tea. In fact, the room he was currently situated in looked rather like a Muggle kitchen. How strange was that?
Reason soon caught up with his senses. The only way he could be back in the real world was that Voldemort had changed his mind and destroyed that potion he'd been bragging about so many years ago. Not that James knew how long it had been since that fateful night, as there weren't any calendars in Hell. But if Voldemort had done so, he certainly wasn't anywhere nearby, which mystified James immensely. Perhaps it had been a mistake of some sort?
Well, either way, he was alive again, with a solid body, and that could only be a good thing.
No shit, Sherlock, James thought sarcastically as he wearily pushed himself upright. Who the hell is Sherlock? I'll have to ask Lily…
Lily. What had happened to her? James suffered a moment of panic as the implications of his failure to stop the Dark Lord hit him. With James out of the way, it would have been a simple matter for Voldemort to proceed up the stairs and murder Lily and Harry. James highly doubted they'd managed to escape, as Voldemort surely would have made an effort to finish James off faster had that been an issue.
Before it could sink in that his entire family had been murdered by the most dangerous wizard in history, however, an excruciating pain lanced through his head. Many years in Hell had taught James to suppress pain, of course, but it still hurt like the dickens.
Groaning and rubbing his head, James finally noticed the angry-looking middle-aged woman standing in front of him, wielding a mop like some sort of club.
Whap! The mop connected with his head again, and this time it took a minute to regain all five senses.
The woman, clearly not caring about James's well-being in the slightest, raised the mop again, shouting furiously, "Get out of my house, you ruffian! Out, out, out!"
James quickly jumped to his feet and sprinted in the direction of the kitchen door, stumbling slightly as his sense of balance had not yet returned. He flung himself through the open door, narrowly avoiding the swinging mop, and landed painfully on the woman's front walk.
"Serves you right!" the woman screeched, slamming the door shut behind him.
Well, James thought bitterly, I can see how badly the world has missed me.
All sarcasm aside, however, the fact still remained that James was stranded in the middle of a Muggle neighborhood with no idea how he got there. Clearly, something had to be done.
"Okay," James muttered to himself. "What does Lily always say I should do in a situation like this? The five W's."
Simple enough. What, Who, Why, Where, and When.
What: Somehow alive again, wearing torn robes, and missing wand.
Who: Himself and some psychotic mop-wielding Muggle.
Why: No idea.
Where: No idea.
When: That was the crucial question, wasn't it?
One of the W's was about to be answered, however, because as James stood contemplating his options, a street sign caught his eye. Curious, James moved closer so he could make out the words. Written in large, gothic black letters, were the last words in the world that James expected to see in such a tiny Muggle suburb:
"Welcome to Godric's Hollow!"