Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter and Co. J.K. Rowling does.
Summary: After one very eventful night ten years ago, Voldemort was destroyed and Harry disappeared. Harry lived as a muggle to forget about his past life. But his old friends have found him and now he is forced to tell to tale…
Author's note: I throw myself at your mercy! Yell at me, punish me, take away my chocolate and Johnny Depp movies! Just forgive me for taking so long to post this sequel! I apologize more profusely than anyone as ever apologized, and I promise to update more often (as in once-a-week often, not every five months!). So read, and enjoy, and try not to hurt me too badly!
Chapter 1: A Re-cap and Much Bickering
Outside, the aurors were still working at the dome, trying to make it go away. James knew they would not find a counter-spell quickly. He had essentially made up the spell for the dome. His knew his power was too strong to stay within the confines of written spells. He also knew that E levels before him were the people to create most of the spells and hexes in the world. Sure, a regular witch or wizard could create a spell, but it was difficult, and could only be a simple spell. The dome was complicated. Yep, it would take hours for the aurors to remove the dome, perhaps days. Time was not a problem.
But did he really want to confront his past? As Ron said, nobody could make James talk about it. He could just stay in denial. But denial was getting to be hard work, and James was rather tired of running from his past. Why not let his story be known? Why not let out all the horrors he kept hidden in his memory, beneath layers and layers of denial and lies? The wizarding world was going to find him one day. There was already going to be tons of press about this incident. And the pills didn't work. James no longer had a protection from his past, from the wizarding world, and from his power.
James looked to his friends, both groups. It wasn't fair to keep them in so much worry, in so much fear, and in so much secrecy. Hermione had gone nuts to find him. Peter had let his fear and suspicion take over. Ron seemed to be the only calm one among them, which certainly was a change since school. Hermione was supposed to be the calm one and Ron was supposed to have a short temper and unreasonable logic. Peter was supposed to be James' best friend, but feared James the most at this moment. Maybe James didn't know his friends as well as he thought he did, and maybe (he thought) it took some openness on his part to get openness on their part.
None of his problems was going to be solved by lying anymore. James had to come clean. No, Harry had to come clean. There was no more James Potterson. There was only Harry, and his past.
"Fine," said Harry, summoning all the courage inside him. "I'll tell you. I'll tell you the whole story."
Harry took a deep breath to calm himself. His friends stood around him, watching his every move.
"As some of you know, the war with Voldemort started in Britain. By the time, people were being taken hostage and Voldemort had seized the governments of Britain, France, Germany, and Spain. And he was at war with China and the United States."
"Hold on!" said Sarah. "Wait two seconds. Just exactly who is this Voldemort?" She looked around. "And why do those wizard friends of yours wince when I say Voldemort?"
"We do not!" said Hermione indignantly.
"Um, yeah you do," said Sarah. "You're scared."
"None of us here are frightened of him," defended Hermione.
"Fine then," said Sarah. "Say 'his' name. Say Voldemort."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Sarah, Hermione, cut it out. I really don't care who cringes and who doesn't when I say Voldemort." Harry turned to his non-wizarding friends. "And if you had to live during the war, you would cringe too, so just drop it. Look, I'll do a quick re-cap for those of you who don't know my and Voldemort's history."
Sarah nodded her head a bit to show that she would drop the argument with Hermione.
Harry tried to think of the best way to start. It felt so odd for someone to be asking about his relationship with Voldemort. "Well… it all started when I was a baby," began Harry. "A prophecy was made and Voldemort found out that I would one day be the most powerful wizard alive. This, of course, ruined his plans for world domination, so he decided to kill me before I was able to even speak. He came to my parents' house, where he murdered both my mum and dad, and them tried to kill me. Unfortunately, the curse rebounded and turned Voldemort into a spirit thing… or something."
Emma raised an eyebrow.
"Most of the wizarding world assumed he was dead and I was famous overnight. I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle--"
"So those were the people we met the other day…" said Jacob.
"Who were not the most loving of people--"
Fred snorted. "Yeah, locking your nephew in a cupboard isn't what you'd exactly call 'hospitality'."
"But I was re-introduced to the wizarding world when I was accepted to Hogwarts, one of the best schools in England," continued Harry in a slightly louder voice. "In my fourth year Voldemort created a new body for himself using my blood and gathered his followers, who were called Death Eaters."
Emma and Sarah were staring at Harry like he was nuts. Okay, so it does sound a little weird when I say it out loud, thought Harry.
"To make a long story short, Voldemort killed lots of people, used me as a weapon via mind control, attacked the school twice, haunted me from the back of a professor's head, unleashed a Basilisk who could kill with a single glance, tried to kill me as a memory, controlled the Ministry, and generally created havoc. Voldemort wasn't too happy with me, which is why I was at the top of his hit list. I think he was almost obsessed with killing me. It's not like I was that big of a threat… I didn't even know that I would one day be an E level wizard. It didn't help that Dumbledore, the head of the school, was using me as a pawn in his little game of cat and mouse. I was a very conflicted teenager…"
"I'll bet," muttered Jacob.
"You know," said Sarah. "This is a wonderful story. But it can't all be true."
Hermione laughed and rolled her eyes. "Shows what you know. This is only half of what happened."
"Well I'm sorry," shot back Sarah. "It's just that it's rather hard to believe that a war was going on that I never heard of."
"If you understood Harry, you would know that he wouldn't lie about something so serious!"
"Like you know him any better that I do!"
"Yeah, apparently so!"
"Guys, please!" shouted Harry. "Can you two just calm down for a moment?"
Both women stopped talking and sat back down rather guiltily.
"Thank you. And yes, Sarah, this is all true. You knew about the war, everyone did. It's just that the non-magical people didn't know that was a wizarding war."
Emma opened her mouth to say something, but was cut off by Harry.
"--And you might have not known it was a war. Do you remember when they were talking about attacks from the North Ireland groups in Britain? Or the revolts against the French government in France? Germany blamed their war problems on terrorist groups and Spain said it was a rise in support for fascist groups?"
"And China had that civil war…" said Sarah.
"You see?" said Harry. "You knew about it. The countries were just blaming the attacks on other things so that the non-magical people never found out about Voldemort."
"But what about the United States?" asked Emma. She had, after all, been living there ten years ago, and her parents were still living in San Francisco.
"They were not directly attacked," said Harry. "Canada, Mexico, and the states were working to protect each other. It was only after representatives from the anti-Voldemort groups in Britain and France asked for help that the magical government in the United States declared war on Voldemort. And the States helped only because most of Europe was under Voldemort's control and China's defenses were crumbling. The weaponry and defensive systems of the State's magical government were some of the best (enough money was being poured in to it, after all) and they sent both troops and machinery over to Europe and Asia."
"So we never could have known that America was in the war?" asked Sarah.
"No, not really. Unless you knew magical friends who left the country to fight."
"Ohhhh," said Emma in realization. "I see."
"Okay," said Sarah. "So the war is real. Now continue with your story."
"The war broke out six months after we graduated," Harry continued. "Our school, Hogwarts, was attacked and anyone over the age of eighteen was sent off to fight. I, of course, was used as a pawn by Dumbledore and was promoted to the rank of general within a year. Draco Malfoy, one of my best friends, was also promoted to general."
Ginny gave a small sigh. "We had been married for almost a year…"
"You got married when you were eighteen?" asked Emma in shock.
Ginny looked up at Emma. "Yes. Draco was nineteen. We were perfect for each other."
There was an awkward silence.
"Ginny," said Harry. "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault…" Ginny said dismissively.
Sarah spoke up. "Um… what's going on? James, can you please tell the story without all these secretive history pauses?"
Peter, who was still sitting quietly as far away from Harry as he could get, nodded his head in agreement.
Harry was snapped out of his reverie. "Oh, yes, of course. Draco and I had been secretly training to be Aurors for two years. Of course, it was set up by Dumbledore. I should have seen it coming…"
Sarah rolled her eyes. "What coming? You saw what coming?"
"Being promoted to general so easily," Harry answered, a bit bitterly. "It was part of his plan. I know it. And while Draco and I were leading our units, Voldemort was planning something, too. Proof of his twisted obsession with killing me. Voldemort started taking hostages. He would attack the person's house in the night, take them away, and cast the Death Eater sign, a green skull and snake emblem, into the sky. And on every door or tent, for every hostage, he left a lightning bolt symbol, written in the hostage's own blood."
A shiver went through the group listening.
"My friend and a good sergeant, Seamus Finnegan, was the first to be taken. Then a brilliant professor and undercover agent, Severus Snape, was taken next. With each hostage, I became more and more enraged. But the ministry wouldn't let me do anything about it. Three years after the war started, my godfather, the closest thing I had to real family, was taken hostage. Even then, I was to keep following the instructions given to me, and not go after Voldemort."
Harry remembered striding angrily into his boss' office.
"Where is Voldemort?" he had yelled. "Why won't you let me track him down?!"
"Look, Harry," his boss had said. " I'm sorry about your godfather, but you have to understand… I'm taking orders directly from Dumbledore. And he says to keep following your instructions. He doesn't want you chasing after He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
"Oh, that's rich!" shouted Harry. "That I should, for once, not be chasing after that psycho Voldemort! Especially coming from that fruitcake Dumbledore! So letting me chase after Voldemort single-handedly in first year was enough? Or was it second year that capped it off? Or maybe being used to resurrect the madman was as far as he was going to let me chase him?"
Harry was starting to get hysterical. "Great, just great! The one time it is actually important to me, not to Dumbledore, does he start worrying about my welfare… like he ever did before. I've always been a pawn! To all of you! To everyone!"
Harry had been escorted out of the office.
"But it got worse," continued Harry, as his memory floated away. "Draco was taken away six months later. He was like a brother to me. I was devastated, and infuriated." Harry's voice had turned mocking and bitter. "The ministry knew that, and to placate me, they decided to promote me to head auror."
"And that's when you started ignoring us," said Hermione bitterly. "If Draco was your best friend, what we we? Chopped liver? You treated us like it."
"Neither you or Ron had fought by my side, battle after battle," shot back Harry. "He understood what I was going through. He never worried about whether or not people considered him second-best simply because he was my friend. He never nagged about my welfare or lectured me about my so-called 'destiny'. Draco was a brother to me."
Hermione was shocked. Ron seemed faintly surprised, too.
"We grew up with you, Harry!" shouted Hermione. "We were there for you! You barely knew that blond turkey!"
"That's my husband you're bad-mouthing!" shrieked Ginny.
Fred and George both narrowed their eyes at Hermione in brotherly protection for Ginny.
"Well, if we're going by number of years, Hermione," said Harry coldly, exasperated by Hermione's outbursts, "Then Dudley should be my best friend and savior. But he's not, is he? And neither are you. So get over it."
There was a frosty silence.
"James?" said Jacob tentatively. "Do you want to stop? You don't have to tell us what happened."
Harry flopped against the side of the tunnel with an adolescent sigh. "I don't even care at this point. After all, it seems like I'm going to be spending the rest of my life in this annoying blue bubble trapped with you people…"
Hermione through her hands up. "He's doing it again!" she said to Ron. "Don't you see? This is just like that time when he was head auror. Always picking fights. Like we were beneath him, or something." She glared at Harry. "You need a serious attitude adjustment."
Ron leaned in close to his wife. "Don't you get it?" he whispered into Hermione's ear. "Harry doesn't know what else to do. He's probably scared and nervous, and he knows no other way to deal with his anger. He's too frightened to let us in."
"Please, continue psychoanalyzing and whispering about me," said Harry loudly and sarcastically. "I know what you're trying to do."
"And what is that?" asked Hermione.
"You're trying to understand what happened those last two years. You're trying to apply reason to my seemingly insane actions. You always wanted a practical explanation, Hermione."
"And?" asked Hermione impatiently, earning her reproachful looks from her husband. "Are you going to regale us with an explanation or not?"
"You really want to know what was going on?" asked Harry severely.
"Yes, yes I do," answered Hermione.
"And so would we!" said Fred and George.
The Calgary group appeared interested, as well.
Harry stared furiously at Hermione. "Fine."
Thank you to everyone who read, reviewed, and enjoyed my last story! I love you tons and tons and I hope you enjoy this sequel as much as you enjoyed the first! Thanks bunches (there are too many names to list, but just know that you are in my heart)!
Love to all,
P.s. Yes, this is a shameless plug, but I'm thinking about posting another story soon… Ever see the movie "Meet Joe Black"? My new story is a bit like that. Death comes to visit Harry (in sixth year) and, needless to say, things are put into perspective. How does it sound? Good? Bad? I should just be working on this sequel and not distracting myself?