Disclaimer: I forgot this last time. Right, well, surprisingly enough I don't own Harry Potter.
This chapter is dedicated to everyone who put this on their favourites:
PadfootProngsMoony, Weaver of Words, Nimair Black, RJLluver400, Lilykins, Kaitee, ShadowReader, Nadia Greenleaf, Wizma, Myk, Trippmaster, mrs-osborne's-class, tempusfugit3 and Elfy19
Sorry if I've missed someone out but this site will only show me who's put me on their favourite author list.
This chapter is betaed now but if you've already read it before, I wouldn't bother reading it again. It's mainly grammer and sentence structure problems that have been corrected. It's really only betaed for the benefit of people who haven't read this before.
Harry stumbled and hit the concrete hard. He swore at the pain and picked himself up. His hands were bleeding, and he wiped them quickly on his jeans, staring around him.
Where the hell was he? He had just been in the back yard of the Dursley's when his scar had started burning and … where the hell was he?
The dark streets were totally unfamiliar, but at a guess, Harry reckoned he must be somewhere in London. Maybe a portkey had taken him here … or he had accidentally apparated.
He started to walk down the street while trailing his right hand along a garden wall like a blind man. His eyes were constantly darting around, trying to see something that looked vaguely recognisable.
There was a flash of light in the distance, and Harry heard yells. The next second, a man ran out from behind a building, holding his arm and limping slightly.
"Hey!" yelled Harry from where he was standing. "No - wait!"
The person paused, and Harry could see him peering into the gloom, trying to see who had spoken. Harry stepped forward.
"Are you an Auror?" he asked hesitantly. "Can you help me get to Hogwarts?"
"What are you doing here?" said the man suddenly. Something about his voice made Harry falter. "This place is dangerous; the Ministry's cordoned the area off."
"I'm lost. I think I must have apparated here accidentally … Er - even though I don't know how to apparate," replied Harry, wondering why the man's voice seemed so familiar.
"Well, step into the light. I need to check that you're on our side," said the man.
Harry stepped forward, and for a second, saw the man properly ... saw Sirius's achingly familiar features, before a wand was pointed directly at his heart.
Harry felt faint and dizzy. Staring at the man in front of him, he said, in a voice weak with pain and disbelief, "Sirius?"
Sirius looked angry and scared, and Harry could not fathom why.
"Sirius? But-but I thought you were dead. What's happened? How did you get back from behind the Veil?"
"Shut up, Harry," said Sirius sharply. "If you try anything, I'll kill you. Don't move, I'm taking you to Lily and James."
The words did not register in Harry's mind at first. "Lily and James?" he said blankly. He felt dizzy, as though this wasn't real; it was all just a dream, and he'd wake up soon… "But they're dead Sirius. I-I thought you knew. Why-how don't you know?"
Sirius's hand wavered, and he said, in a slightly dubious voice, "Lily and James are not dead, though you're meant to be. Stop talking rubbish."
But Harry just moaned and slid down to the pavement, burying his face in his hands. "No - no, I'm going mad. You're not real, you're dead. I'm just imagining this … Oh hell, I'm going mad, I'm going mad."
"Get up!" Sirius hissed, and poked Harry with his wand, "Get up!" and Harry rather wearily stood up. "I don't know what you're trying to do, but it won't work," said Sirius.
"I'm dead, aren't I," Harry stated flatly.
"The only way I'd be able to see you is if I'm dead."
Sirius looked worried for Harry's sanity now, but he turned abruptly angry and said, "I'm not listening to this any longer." He shoved an object into Harry's hand.
The familiar dizziness overtook Harry, and his feet left the ground as he clutched onto the portkey. Sirius was holding onto it beside him.
Harry's feet slammed into the ground, and he stumbled but remained standing. He looked around and saw that he was in some sort of Ministry building. Two men who had been slouched in chairs jumped up as soon as Harry and Sirius arrived, and one quickly sent a stunning spell at him.
Harry collapsed immediately, and Sirius caught him, before lowering him down to the floor and conjuring ropes.
"Thanks," said Sirius. "I found him on the Deatheater raid. Good job you stunned him, I think he was trying some dark arts trick on me."
"But what the hell is he doing here?" asked one of the men. "I thought he was dead, I mean, the Ministry said there weren't any survivors."
"Evidently, they were wrong," said Sirius. "I think something must have happened to him though, when he escaped I mean. He was really confused when I found him, he kept on saying Lily and James were dead."
"Maybe there's some truth in that rumour," said the other man in a frightened tone. "You know how Harry Potter was always threatening to kill them, I mean, m-maybe he's finally done it."
A worried look passed over Sirius's face. "I'll go check on them then, see if they're okay," he said in a distracted voice. "Put him in your highest security cell. Make sure he doesn't do anything."
"Don't worry," said one of the men, "go check on your friends."
There was a blur of voices inside Harry's head. People were talking nearby, but his scar hurt too much to understand the words. With an effort he opened his eyes, and propped himself up. From what he could see, Harry was inside a prison cell, with bars on one side.
"-need to contact Minister Fudge."
"He'll be on his way soon-"
"-bringing a questioner as well."
"Psychiatrist more like!"
Panicked realisations swept through Harry's mind as he woke up further. Where the hell was he? The last thing he remembered was seeing Sirius, but … but Sirius was dead! Harry was sure of that; he'd seen Sirius disappear behind the veil.
The voices Harry had heard before approached the cell, and a second later two figures walked past. He didn't have his glasses on, but he was sure neither of them were wearing black robes or white Deatheater masks.
Reacting quickly, Harry got up and ran to the bars, intending to grab onto one of the two person's robes, but the moment he got within half a metre of the bars a shock rather like electricity threw him back into the wall.
The two men passing Harry's cell jumped as if they were hit by the same curse themselves. Harry moaned and touched his head hesitantly, feeling for blood.
"Didn't like that, did you Potter?" one of the men jeered.
Harry ignored him and tried to focus his eyes, getting up slowly so as not to jar his bones. "You're Aurors, aren't you?" he asked. "Is this the Ministry? What am I doing here? Why am I in a cell?"
One of the men sniggered a little and the other said, "You're joking, right?" When Harry didn't say anything the man continued with a voice heavily laced with sarcasm "Well, I suppose it might be because you're one of You-Know-Who's most infamous Deatheaters."
"Don't be stupid," said Harry automatically. "I'm not a Deatheater. What am I really doing here?"
The man clenched his teeth and said, "You are locked up in the Ministry, Potter, because you are a Deatheater accused of murder and multiple uses of the Unforgivable curses. Is that reason enough for you?"
All that the man's words succeeded in doing was cause more confusion in Harry's mind. "But I've never used the Unforgivable curses!" he protested incredulously. "Except-" Had they found out about Bellatrix? "Except for that one time…" The man smirked wider now. "But she deserved it!" Harry shouted, now trying angrily to prove himself. There was no response from the man and this made Harry even angrier. "That woman bloody deserved it and-and I should have bloody killed her as well!"
"SHUT THE HELL UP!" shouted the other man suddenly. "Don't you dare talk about that again! She-she was one of the nicest people I've ever known, and-and you did that to her … you did that…"
The man's voice broke off suddenly, as though he was about to cry. The other man glared at Harry and muttered something to his distressed friend before leading him quickly away.
Harry sank back down onto the ground and leaned against the stonewall. His scar started to throb, adding to the pain from where he had hit his head. Despite himself, Harry grinned and started to giggle a little. Voldemort's happy about something, he thought. Probably me getting locked up in a Ministry cell. This trail of thought led Harry to struck by a sudden realisation, what if it was Voldemort doing this? Maybe he had somehow convinced the Ministry that he was a Deatheater.
A bolt of pain flared across his scar and Harry cried out in pain. He clutched his forehead and starting laughing harder now. Oh, it was such good news; there was so much he could do now. The Light side would be in a frenzy when they heard it, people would be scared, panic-
The voice jerked Harry from his increasingly frenzied thoughts. He opened his eyes and saw two figures standing outside his cell. Pain flashed across his scar again and Harry giggled, faintly aware that his face was wet. The two people exchanged glances as Harry continued to laugh uncontrollably. Everything was just so funny!
"Are you alright Mr Potter?"
His scar gave another painful twinge and Harry moaned, shaking his head. "My scar, my scar," he heard himself say and he pressed his forehead against the stone floor in an effort to sooth it.
"Mr Potter!" A new voice rang out, impatient and angry. "Get up. We don't have time for this and neither do you. The Ministry has very kindly provided a questioner and we need a statement from you before we send you to Azkaban."
The earlier voice spoke up in a softer tone. "Minister Fudge? Are you sure that's necessary. I can come back any ti-"
"Yes, I'm sure it's necessary Smethwyck! And if you don't mind I have some other much more important business to attend to. I'll leave you with him now. Make sure you don't go too near the bars."
Silence. Silence except for Harry's laboured breathing as he lay on the ground trying to control the pain in his scar.
The pain was almost gone now. Harry sat up and looked at the slight man standing outside the cell, looking inquiringly at him and clutching a clipboard. Harry felt very tired all of a sudden.
"Go away," he muttered and pulled himself onto the bed, his legs shaking slightly.
Smethwyck grinned, as if this was all he expected. "I'm very sorry Mr Potter but this is necessary. Answering these questions will help you and it won't take very long."
Harry's scar twinged and Smethwyck's voice seemed very grating all of a sudden.
"Fine!" he snapped, wishing the Healer could just leave him alone.
"Now, first of all Mr Potter … may I call you Harry?" Harry gritted his teeth but nodded. "First of all, would you object to using Veritaserum? It's a standard question."
Everything that Harry didn't want the Ministry to know flashed through his head. His connection to Voldemort … Sirius … the Order of the Phoenix …
"I don't want to use it," he said quickly.
Smethwyck nodded as if he hadn't been expecting anything else. He tucked the bottle of Veritaserum back into his bag. "Now, first question. What do you remember directly after the fire?"
Harry glared at Smethwyck in annoyance. "What fire?"
"Right. Memory loss," Smethwyck muttered, writing something down on his clipboard. "Or possibly denial," he added, looking shrewdly at Harry.
Harry felt suddenly very cold. What was happening? Had this fire really happened and he had just forgotten it?
"I'm not in denial," he said out loud. "I just … don't remember any fire. I don't see when anything like that could have happened."
Smethwyck was still looking unrumpled. "Perhaps some more basic questions," he said. "Your name?"
"Date of birth?"
"July the 31st."
"And what are your parent's names?"
"Lily and James Pot - is there any point to this? I'm sure you already know my name?"
The healer smiled at him. "I'm just trying to get some basic facts straight."
Yeah, more like trying to find out if he was mad, Harry thought in annoyance. Had the Ministry really believed everything the Daily Prophet had written about him?
"Harry?" asked Smethwyck, breaking into his thoughts. "Can you tell me where you've been for the last year?"
"You already know!" Harry snapped. "It was in the Daily Prophet. Everyone knows what happened last year."
"You mean the fire?" Smethwyck asked eagerly, leaning forward with his pen poised to take notes.
"No," said Harry, giving him a funny look.
Smethwyck sighed and tapped the clipboard with his pen. "You don't remember the fire. Okay, I get that. So what have you been doing for the last year?"
"Um-" Harry started. "Well, I went to school…" he eyed Smethwyck, who was scribbling down everything he said. It was extremely off-putting. "And-um-I just did normal school things. There was a new teacher … Professor Umbridge and-uh…"
"You went to Hogwarts?" Smethwyck interrupted.
"And 'did normal school things'?"
Smethwyck stood up abruptly. "I think I've found out as much as I can right now. Goodbye Harry. I should be back tomorrow."
Smethwyck strode off and Harry sank back onto the bed. Well, that had been pointless. It had only succeeded in confusing him even more. What on earth was going on? Why did everyone seem to think he was dangerous? And why was Sirius alive? But … maybe that part had just been a dream, and the reason he was locked up was because he cast cruciatus on Bellatrix … the Auror had said that Harry had murdered someone … and that he was a Deatheater…
Feeling annoyed at his own helplessness and ignorance Harry curled up on the bed. There was no blanket but as it wasn't that cold he slept peacefully, having told himself that everything would be clearer in the morning.
Sirius banged on the door as hard as he could.
"Lily! James! Are you there?"
There was no answer. Sirius felt a numbness spread through him. No, Harry had been lying. Lily and James were alright. They weren't dead, they weren't-
"JAMES! LILY! PRONGS!" He practically bellowed, hammered on the door, becoming more and more panicked the more seconds passed. "OPEN! OPEN U-"
The door swung open suddenly, revealing a very disgruntled James Potter staring out, his hair sticking up and dressing gown on.
"What on-" he exclaimed when he saw Sirius, who was almost hysterical now. "Sirius? What are you doing? It's 3 in the morning!"
Sirius flung himself on his best friend, so relieved he felt near to tears. "James!" he practically sobbed. "I thought you were dead!"
James stared bewilderingly at Sirius, who had buried his face in James' dressing gown. "Um - maybe you'd better come in," and he sat Sirius down at the kitchen table.
Lily stepped out through the doorway and stared at Sirius. "Sirius? What's going on? Has something happened?"
Sirius looked up at Lily and tried to speak. "He said - he said you were dead."
"Dead? Who said that?"
There was a long pause as Sirius mentally squared his shoulders. "It's - it's Harry," he said haltingly. "He's, well, he's alive. I captured him myself."
Lily gasped and grabbed hold of James for support. "Are you okay then? He didn't hurt you-?"
Sirius shook his head. "No, he didn't try to resist at all. It was easy getting him to the Ministry. But - but the thing is … I-I think something might have happened to him. He wasn't talking right. He thought I was dead, he thought you were dead as well and he didn't seem to understand why I was taking him to the Ministry."
"Are you sure … that it's our Harry? Maybe that was a Muggle or-or someone who just looked like him," said James, who looked as though he was in shock.
"No, he knew who I was, he knew your names," said Sirius, speaking quickly in an effort to explain. "I think that - that … he might have been … damaged in his head … after the fire."
Lily had started crying. Sirius stared at the floor awkwardly and James spoke up in an odd voice. "Me and Lily will be going to visit the Ministry now. Tell Remus and Peter what's happened Sirius."
"Don't get any closer Lily, it's dangerous."
"But there's a charm on the bars and anyway, you heard what the Healer said. He's lost his memory, something to do with the fire … could be brain damage."
"What if he's … better? Like he used to be? James?"
"A person can't suddenly change like that, Lily. It doesn't happen."
Harry blinked blearily and opened his eyes. He stared up at the grey ceiling in a daze.
"Is he awake?"
Harry sat up quickly at the whisper, his eyes darting over to the bars, taking in the two people sat down outside his cell.
"Harry?" The woman with red hair spoke softly, her voice kindly and understanding, though her face was creased with pain.
Harry felt like his heart might burst out of his chest with anger. He had had enough. He couldn't take the bloody Ministry. He couldn't take any more dead people parading around anymore.
"Get out," he said, his voice tight with emotion.
"We're not here to fight," said the man. "The Healer said you had lost your memory and-"
"GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT! I don't want to see you! I don't want to see anyone! You're doing something to me, you're trying to make me believe. You-you just - You're dead, you're dead, you're dead!" In loss of anyone to punch Harry kicked the bed over in anger, sending it slamming into the wall.
The man and the woman were still standing there. Harry screamed then, clutching his hair and sinking to the ground.
Someone was crying. Harry realised it was him. He was sobbing, his arms wrapped around himself, rocking backwards and forwards. His face screwed up in pain against the emotion coming from inside of him.
"Leave me alone," he sobbed. "Go away, leave me alone."
The woman spoke. She sounded as if she was in tears herself. "Oh, Harry."
"No…" Harry moaned. "Please, just go - just go…"
Footsteps faded away but Harry stayed there, still sobbing.
Harry jerked awake. He blinked uncertainly into the darkness.
"Who's there?" he hissed.
"It's me, Draco. Be quiet, we're going to get you out of here."
"Get-get me out?" For a second Harry was uncomprehending. "You're Deatheaters!" he said, accusingly.
There was a pause before the voice answered. "Well, obviously. Come on. The Dark Lord wants to see you."
"What? No-no! I'm not going with you!" In a choice between the Ministry and Voldemort, Harry would choose the Ministry. "I'm not-"
His sentence was cut off when someone grabbed him and tried to cover his mouth. "Hey! Help! Aurors, Aurors!"
Something was shoved into Harry's hand and the next second he felt the familiar tug around his navel before his cell spun away.