The Unwanted Hero

A FanFic by the Lion of Gryffindor

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters from the books.

Chapter One: Life After the War

"What do you know, Hedwig, another article about the evil and terrible Harry Potter. You would think the entire wizarding world be grateful. Voldemort has been gone for almost four years now, but all they can talk about is the evil Harry Potter. The very same wizard who defeated Voldemort for them." Harry sighed heavily before throwing the copy of the Daily Prophet into the trash bin. His owl swooped down from her perch and landed on the table in front of him. She nipped his fingers affectionately. "At least I still have you." Harry muttered while stroking the snowy white owl.

Harry lived in a two bedroom flat in muggle Paris. It was large, the penthouse. The view from his master bedroom and den windows overlook the beautiful River Seine. Harry came here not too long after the world he knew and family he loved abandoned him. He paid for the place with money he inherited from his parents as well as Sirius Black, his deceased godfather.

Harry leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. He began to reflect on the events that lead him to be where he is now.


It was four years ago. The war had been over for only a few days. Voldemort was gone; only a handful of witnesses saw Harry kill him. What those witnesses saw is something they will never comprehend. Voldemort was not completely human any longer; therefore a simple killing curse would not complete the task. Harry had to use a complicated spell that he found in an ancient tome in the Room of Requirement at Hogwarts. He had been searching for ways to destroy the Dark Lord. Harry had given up hope in the library. He then guessed that the Room of Requirement would, as it always does, present him with what he needed. The spell essentially stripped the soul of Voldemort away, much like a Dementor. However, instead of devouring the soul like Dementors, the spell visibly drew the soul from the Dark Lord's body in a sickly green fog. As Voldemort's cries of pain echoed across the battlefield, his soul was destroyed in a visual display that rivaled many muggle firework displays. It was essentially dark magic. Once the soul was gone, all that was left was for Harry to physically kill the shell that had become Voldemort. Using the sword of Godric Gryffindor, Harry decapitated Voldemort and placed his head on a pike on the Hogwarts grounds. From that day on, Harry was regarded as a dark wizard. The moment after it happened, he turned around to see the disturbed faces of his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

"You bloody sick bastard!" Ron yelled. He grabbed Hermione by the hand and stalked away, pulling her with him.

The rest of the witnesses backed away slowly, terror etched on each of their faces. Harry didn't understand what was going on. Ron and Hermione had stormed out on him, and everyone else who had been helping fight the battle were running away from him.

Confused, he apparated to the Burrow, hoping to head off Ron and Hermione and explain to them what happened. When he arrived, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Ginny were standing outside of the door, almost waiting for him. The look on Mrs. Weasley's face told Harry that Ron and Hermione had already arrived and told them what had happened.

"You must leave us at once Harry," Mrs. Weasley commanded. She waved her wand and Harry's trunk appeared before him. "Stay away from my family, we don't associate with dark wizards. Leave now, and never come back!" She turned away and stormed back into the house. "Arthur!" Harry heard her call.

Mr. Weasley looked at Harry with a remorseful face, then turned and went inside without a word.

Ginny stood there staring at Harry, tears running down her face. "I'm sorry, Harry," she said. "I know you're not an evil dark wizard, but no one else seems to agree with me. They've all decided to believe Ron and Hermione."

Ginny ran to Harry and enveloped him in her arms. "I want to tell you something before I go," he told her.

"What is it?"

"I love you, Ginny. I have since the summer before my sixth year."

"Why didn't you say anything about it to me?"

"I didn't want to put you in any more danger while the war was going on. I'm sorry its come to this."

"Oh Harry! Please don't go."

"I have to, Ginny. The whole wizarding world is going to label me as a threat. I have to leave and hide until this blows over."

"Then I'll come with you."

"I wish you could, Gin, I really do, but you still have your last year at Hogwarts. Plus, if you come with me, then your mum is going to tell the world that I kidnapped you against your will, and that would only make matters worse for both of us."

"I'm so sorry Harry. I'll keep talking to my family, they have to come around eventually."

"Goodbye, Ginny. I hope to see you again soon, and under better circumstances. I love you."

"Goodbye, Harry. I love you too."

Harry leaned into Ginny and poured all of his love for her into a deep, but short kiss.

~*~*The Next Day

Harry sighed as he threw down the morning edition of the Daily Prophet.

"I can't stay here any longer, Remus," he said.

"Nonsense, Harry. This is your home, you can stay here for as long as you want," the older man replied.

"Remus, they are calling for my head! I can't stay here, I'll only be a danger to you and Tonks."

Remus knew that ultimately, Harry was right. If he stayed there long enough, both Remus and his wife Nymphadora would be in grave danger.

Harry continued to talk, "Think about it, Remus. The wizarding public is intolerant to things they want to be rid of. With Dumbledore dead, there is no one that the public will listen to. They know how close you and Tonks are to me. It won't take them long to figure out where I am."

"I know, Harry, I know. You're right, you probably should go. That doesn't mean that we want you to leave."

"I know that, Remus. You don't have to make that clear to me."

"Where will you go?" the werewolf asked him.

"I don't know for sure, but right now I think it might be best if I leave the country."

"I think you might be right. Go on and pack your things, then we'll have breakfast before you go."

Harry went upstairs to his bedroom in 12 Grimmauld Place. The house had come to him in Sirius' will, but he quickly turned the deed over to Remus. After all, Remus was newly married and wanted desperately to start a family. When Tonks and Remus told Harry two months ago that they would be having their first child, he was thrilled for the couple. They asked him to be the child's godfather. Harry was reluctant to accept at first, what with the war going on and all.

"Harry, ever since tapping into the essence of your magical powers, you are the most powerful wizard since Merlin himself. There is no way that you will not be victorious in this war," Remus had told him.

"Is everything okay, Harry? Remus said you have to leave us." Harry was roused from his memory. It was Tonks, apparently awake from her nap.

"Yes, I have to go. It will be safer for the two of you and the baby if I leave."

"You and Remus have talked about this?"

"Yes, we have. The wizarding public wants to see me thrown in Azkaban or publicly executed. If they find you giving me sanctuary, then they will seek no mercy for you either."

"Where are you going?"

Harry sighed and shook his head. "I don't know, but I must hide somewhere in the muggle world. I'm going to change my appearance like you taught me to." Upon tapping into Harry's unknown powers, he learned that he was a metamorphmagus like Tonks.

"That's a smart idea. I would also recommend changing every week or so, that way no one catches on. Also remember to leave your hair long enough to hide your scar."

Harry nodded and waved his hand, shrinking his trunk. He placed his trunk in a pocket inside of his robes. He then summoned his Firebolt and followed Tonks back downstairs.

They ate breakfast quietly, no one spoke a word. This could possibly be the last time they ate a meal like a family, and nobody wanted to mess up the memory. It's a memory that Harry would remember fondly for the rest of his life.

Finally, he stood and gathered his broomstick. "I'll owl you whenever I get settled somewhere," Harry told Remus and Tonks.

"Don't forget to change, Harry," Tonks told him.

"Oh, yeah!" Harry ran his hands over his hair. As he did, it changed from jet black to golden blonde locks that flowed to just past his shoulders. His bangs hanged just far enough over his forehead to mask his infamous scar. When he opened his eyes, they were no longer emerald green, but a hue of blue so bold that they could pierce right into the soul. He then concentrated and his eyebrows thinned and faded to match his new hair and his chin and jaw line formed into a more distinct square. "How's this?" he asked.

"Perfect," Remus and Tonks said together.

"Okay, well I'm off. You two take care."

"Harry, be careful," Remus told him, pulling him into a fatherly embrace.

"Stay alert, Harry. Always remember 'CONSTANT VIGILANCE'!" Tonks told him.

Harry pulled her into a warm hug. He pulled away, wiping the tears from his eyes. "Goodbye."

And with a small 'pop', the boy that Remus and Nymphadora Lupin had come to love as there own was gone.

~*~*Present Day

Harry began to stir from his memories. He wiped the tears from his face and stood to change into his French muggle clothes. Harry knew that he could live a lavish life solely off of his inheritance. However, that was not in his character, so he has taken up a hobby of going down to Concorde Square or the Tuileries Garden and painting. He could sell one of his paintings for about a hundred or two hundred Euros, depending on the size and the difficulty of the piece.

"I think I'll go to Concorde Square today, Hedwig, if you need me," he said as he gathered his bag with his supplies and left.

Harry was sitting in a perfect spot by the fountain in Concorde Square, watching the muggles go back and forth. He was just finishing up on a particularly nice piece that was of the cityscape, with the Eiffel Tower prominent in the background.

His fiery red hair (a tribute to Ginny) was reflecting the lazy early afternoon sun, causing it to look even brighter. It held his natural untidiness. His eyes were an almost unnatural yellow; much like Madam Hooch's used to be.

"Combien pour qu'un là-bas? L'un des Louvre?"

'American tourists, they're so easy to spot,' he thought to himself.

"Its okay, I speak English," he told the lady, who looked to be in her mid to late thirties. Harry had become quite fluent in French. It was necessary, seeing as he lived in the middle of Paris. "The one of the Louvre is a hundred Euros."

"Oh, thank God! I've been getting strange looks from all of these French artists and store owners when I try to speak to them in French."

"The trick with them," Harry began, "is to say 'bon jour' first, and then ask them, in French, if they speak English. Try that and see if you have better luck."

"Thank you so much. I will take that one there," she pointed to the painting in question. "These are quite good, I like your attention to detail."

"Thank you very much," Harry nodded politely. The woman gathered her money together while Harry wrapped and prepared the painting for easy transportation.

"Thank you very much, Ms."


"Thank you, Ms. Jones. Enjoy the rest of your holiday in Paris,"

"Thank you, Mr."

"Parker, James Parker."

"Thank you, Mr. Parker."

The lady walked off past the fountain carrying her new painting. Harry stared after her. These short interactions are the only face-to-face interactions he has anymore. Sure he corresponds with Remus and Tonks, and he has occasionally sent and received letters from Ginny through Remus. But those were only letters. After a while, you get detached, almost like the people you are writing to and hearing from are no longer real. They become a figment of your imagination. This is how Harry was slowly beginning to feel. Remus, Tonks and even Ginny were no longer real to him. They were just memories of a past life or of a dream he once had. He learned to savor the short moments of human interaction.

The lady was gone, and Harry resumed his work on his newest painting. The reason he chose to paint in the first place was to keep his mind off of his past. Musing over his past only brought pain. Even the good memories were hard to bear; they only reminded him of the family and friends that had turned their back on him.

Harry realized, shortly after arriving in Paris, that he had been nothing more than a specialized tool for the wizarding world. Once he finished the job they needed him for, they had no more desire to keep him. It was only too easy to cast him aside and never think of him again. What hurt the most to Harry, however, was that his friends found it just as easy to discard him. People who had accepted him into their home and considered him one of their own cast him aside like last weeks Daily Prophet. That is what caused him most of the pain.

Harry drew himself out of his musings and put the finishing touches on his work of art.

And this is how the 'Boy Who Lived' now spends his days. He wakes up and has breakfast, reads the latest slander written about him, goes down to the park or the square for his self prescribed therapy of painting and conversing with strangers, then he comes home, eats, sometimes writes to Remus, then goes to bed and starts the process over.

This is the cycle that's been going on for nearly four years. Harry absolutely hated it. He wanted nothing more than to go back to England, give Remus and Tonks huge hugs, play with his god daughter Lily (whom he's only seen pictures of), and hold Ginny close and never let her go. Was it too much to ask that he, the savior of the world, get to do these three things?

That evening, Harry was sitting on his couch in front of the fire. His thoughts, as they always were this time of the evening, were of Ginny. Her red hair, her cinnamon eyes. . . he could still remember the way she smelled and tasted the last time he saw her, like it was just yesterday.

A tapping on his window brought him from his reverie. Harry looked up to see a tawny owl on his windowsill. He opened the window, and the owl came in and perched on the mantle.

"Well hello, Hector. Do you have a letter from Remus for me?" Harry asked the owl.

Hector the owl stuck out his leg so Harry could remove the letter. He gave the owl a treat and brought Hedwig's water from her cage to him.

"Wait for me to write a reply, okay," he told the owl, who hooted his affirmation.

Harry took the letter back to his sofa. He opened it slowly, cherishing the feeling of the coarse parchment on his fingers. He learned to live for these short moments of anticipation before reading a letter. As he laid down the envelope, he noticed a photograph hidden inside. Figuring it to be another photo of Lily, he decided to read the letter first.

Dear Harry,

I hope this letter finds you well. Things in England are quiet for now. The ministry is slowly giving up their search for you. Tonks and I are well. We have just learned that we will be having another baby. Tonks is hoping for a boy, but I'm so excited that I don't care.

Life at Hogwarts is normal, or as normal as Hogwarts can be. Headmistress McGonagall asks about you often. She also believes that you are far from a dark and evil wizard. I'm finding more and more people every week who see things from your side. Hell, even Snivelus has told me he knows you are not a dark wizard. "Extremely conceited, but not evil," I think were his exact words. Unfortunately, most of the Weasley family still has yet to come around.

Tonks has been promoted to Lieutenant. She is quite proud of that. She misses you, Harry. We both do. Lily is constantly asking us to tell her stories about her "brave Uncle Harry." She adores you, Harry. She can't wait to meet you in person.

Ginny sends her love. She has been spending much more time here with Tonks and I. The three of us have taken to calling ourselves the 'Believers'. We believe in you, Harry. Things will be right again you must believe it.

We love you, Harry. I hope to see you soon.



Harry read the letter again.

"You believe in me, Remus," Harry said. "The question is do I believe in myself anymore."

Harry sighed. He went to his study and sat at his desk. Pulling some fresh parchment from his desk, he dipped his quill in an inkwell and began to respond to the letter from his friend.


Things are always quiet here, and unfortunately your letters never find me well. Of course, you know this already.

Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy. I'm really happy for you and Tonks; if anyone deserves happiness, its you.

As far as the Weasley's are concerned, I've all but given up on them. Why shouldn't I, really? They were quick to give up on me. I've harbored an aching desire to be with them again for four years, and all they feel for me is malicious contempt. If things ever do blow over, it's going to take a long time to rebuild those bridges.

Don't tell Lily this, but I feel anything but "brave". I've been in hiding for years. I feel like the biggest coward on Earth.

I have to ask you a serious question, Remus. What would my parents think of me? If they could see me now, and the way things turned out, and what happened to make things this way, what would they say to me? How would they feel? And what about Sirius? Or Dumbledore? What would they say?

I'm dying, Remus. This isolation, this . . . existence is driving me insane. That's all this is, existence. This isn't life. I don't know how much longer I can take it. I feel as if I'm bleeding to death slowly. I try to hold on, but every day that passes is like another reason to just let go. Memories of you and Tonks and Ginny are all that keep me going.

I've stopped hoping. I would love to see you all soon, but what is the point in hoping that I will. I know that I probably won't.

Give my love to Ginny, Remus, but give her something else for me too. Give her my blessing. I feel like shit because she is waiting around for me, and I may never be able to set foot on English soil again. Her life is too precious to waste it away waiting on a coward like me.



Harry reread his letter to Remus. "God, that is the most depressing thing I've ever written."

He folded the parchment, placed it in an envelope, and sealed it with hot wax and a seal. He then returned to the den and secured the envelope to the owl's leg before giving it another treat and sending it back to his long lost friends.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed the envelope with the photograph still hidden inside. He sat down on the floor next to the envelope and picked it up. When he turned the photo over in his hand, he drew in a quick breath and dropped the picture suddenly as his heart began to hammer uncontrollably. Closing his eyes and shaking his head he tried to steel himself.

"Come on, Potter. It's just a photo. You can look at it." He sighed. "What am I saying? I haven't seen her face in ages."

He closed his eyes, trying desperately to screw up any courage he had left inside of him. He reached down and lifted the photo again. He held it in front of his closed eyes for what felt like hours before finally opening one and then the other.

It was a picture of Lily, but not just Lily. She was on the floor of the den in 12 Grimmauld Place. Holding the child from behind was the redheaded beauty that has haunted Harry's dreams and thoughts for the last four years.

Ginny looked as stunning as ever. Her hair seemed to have darkened a little, turning more into a bold auburn than the traditional fiery red/almost orange hair that crowned the rest of the Weasley clan.

The young woman in the picture was hugging the child from behind while kissing her cheek. She would then look up toward Harry and smile and wave. Harry could see her mouth the words 'Hi Harry'.

It was amazing. It took Harry forever to work up the nerve to look at the picture, and now he couldn't take his eyes off of it if he tried. She was absolutely a work of art.

It was in this moment that Harry, without even thinking about what he was doing, retrieved a blank canvas and put it on his easel; he got his supply of paints and began working on the new painting. He painted with a fervor and urgency that he'd never had before. It was almost like being alive again.

He was done with the painting in just under three hours, a record for him. He stepped back from the canvas and studied the work of art. It was an exact replica of the photograph of Ginny and Lily that Remus sent him. The portrait Harry painted was frozen in the moment where Ginny was smiling and waving at him.

"Now for the finishing touch," he said. He signed the portrait in a way that he had never signed any other painting that he had ever done.

'Harry J. Potter'

He cast a quick drying charm on the canvas. Then, he gathered all the materials he would need to ship the portrait to London. Once the painting was packed and ready, Harry took a quick shower and picked up the photograph that spawned his sudden inspiration. He went into his bedroom and laid down, never taking his eyes off of Ginny. Tears began to freely fall down his face.

"I miss you, Ginny," he muttered to his love.

"I miss you."

A few minutes later, Harry Potter was fast asleep, with dreams of his love, Ginny.

A/N: Here it is, my new fic. Many many thanks go out to my beta, dolphingirl79, also known as Superwoman. She's authoring two of her own stories, co-authoring another, and has two children and a husband (which everyone knows is just another child) and somehow found the time to read over my new story. You really should check out her fics, they're quite good. You can find both of them (as well as the one she's co-authoring 'Never Thought') in my favorite stories list.