The Father

Harry laid in his bed and stared up at the ceiling. The loss of Sirius was still so sore and raw that there were times he could think of nothing else. Dumbledore was right. He not only lost his parents but the only father figure he had ever known. The first person to offer him a home was now gone.

He had arrived at Grimmauld Place two days earlier after spending a month with his relatives. During his time there he hardly spoke and it was an effort on his part to answer his relatives on the odd chance they actually spoke to him. He knew that they were afraid, not for him, but for themselves. They were afraid that Tonks, Moody and Remus were being serious when they threatened them that day at Kings Cross. Not to mention the fact that he wasn't talking scared them.

There were other changes in Harry as well. He had grown taller and his skin had become more pale causing him to look more sickly than before. He had also become more focused and guarded with his thoughts thus causing his face to be expressionless. The only thing about Harry that looked alive was his eyes. Though they changed as well. While they were still the same startling green they were before there were times Harry could have sworn that they glowed.

While Harry laid awake, the rest of the occupants of the house were sound asleep. The fact that Harry wasn't sleeping wasn't much of a surprise to him. The pain that surrounded him throughout the day also invaded his sleep not allowing him to rest. It didn't help that nightmares were a constant occurrence and he didn't want to give Voldemort anymore chances to enter his head than he already had.

Headquarters was a buzz of activity since there were others staying there besides Harry. Remus and Tonks were there along with all the Weasleys minus Percy. The third oldest Weasley child still had not spoken to his family since Fudge's admittance to Voldemort's return. Whether it was because of guilt or another reason all together no one knew. Hermione was also there, having come a week before Harry's arrival. Both Dumbledore and Moody were also frequent visitors though neither stayed long. Even though he was close to all these people he didn't approach any of them for comfort and they didn't approach him to offer either. He had a hunch that Dumbledore had told them not to so that he could deal with his demons on his own.

Sighing, Harry looked at his watch and noticed that it was five in the morning. He knew it would be another three hours before anyone else would be getting up. He had no idea what to do to keep himself occupied in the meantime as he had already done his homework that had been assigned to him and read all his books from cover to cover. He had needed to keep busy in order to stop himself from focusing too much on what had happened at the Ministry.

Getting up, he walked quietly out the door as to not wake Ron, who was still snoring away on the other side of the room. Walking into the kitchen, he decided to make himself something quick to eat. When he finished his meal he heard a tentative voice from the doorway.

"Master, is there anything Kreacher can do for you?"

This was one of the strange things that Harry found out upon entering Grimmauld Place. It seemed that once Kreacher found out that Sirius left everything he had to Harry, which included the house, he was actually polite to Harry. Another odd thing was that even though he hardly said more than a few words to the elf, Kreacher still seemed to know what he wanted. However, he was still the same to everyone else who resided in the house, though he did stop using the term 'Mudblood' when he saw how it upset it made Harry. He often wondered why he wasn't angry with the elf but he quickly realized that it wasn't anyone's fault but Voldemort and Lestrange's that Sirius died and that getting angry at the elf would achieve nothing.

Shaking himself from his thoughts, Harry turned to the house elf. "I need something to do." He needed something, anything, to do to keep himself from thinking. He grimaced at the sound of his voice, which he hadn't used in weeks. It sounded at least three times deeper than it used to be.

Kreacher looked thoughtful for a moment before nodding. "Kreacher knows what Master can do! Master could paint!"

At Harry's puzzled look, the elf lead Harry to a large room at the end of the corridor. It was empty and was the only room that Harry saw that looked like it had been properly looked after. There was a large fireplace in the center of the wall at the far end of the room. On one side of the room there was what looked to be a large window but Harry could tell it was charmed to show a cliffside view of the sea. One the opposite wall was a plain white wall. He turned toward Kreacher, silently asking for an explanation.

"Master Black started this room but he didn't get to finish. If Master wants to finish the other wall Kreacher can get paint and anything else Master needs to get started."

Harry looked at the blank wall and considered his options. He was reasonably good at art and he already had a good idea for the wall and for above the fireplace as well. He knew it would keep him busy for a while and the fact that no one would come in here to disturb him was a bonus. He nodded to Kreacher and the elf quickly disappeared with a crack.

Ten minutes later Kreacher returned with all the necessary supplies and Harry quickly got started. He soon realized that the paint had some sort of charm on it that made it easier to work with. This pleased him because it meant that he had a reasonably good chance at finishing the wall before he had to go back to school.

After a few hours of work, Harry looked at his watch and realized that it was already after nine o'clock and everyone else would be eating breakfast in the kitchen. He needed to make an appearance. Harry left the room and started to walk down the hallway. He had almost opened the kitchen door when he heard voices on the other side.

"All I'm saying Mum is that it isn't normal!" Came Ron's voice. Harry leaned closer to the door so he could hear better.

"I mean he hardly eats or sleeps and I don't think I've heard him speak to anyone besides that damn house elf! Even Professor Lupin said he didn't talk while with the Muggles. And to top it all off we don't even know where he is! For all we know You Know Who could have taken him," Ron all but shouted.

"Don't be stupid Ron," Hermione said. "Voldemort...oh stop it Ron it's just a name...hasn't taken Harry. He's grieving in case you forgot and the only thing we can really do is make sure he knows he can come to us when he's ready to talk."

"Hermione's right Ron," Mrs. Weasley said, "though I am worried about him. Everyone is including the Headmaster but Harry needs to work this out himself. The poor dear has more burdens on him than any child should ever have."

"What do you mean, Mum?" Ginny asked.


Harry decided that he should let them know he was there at this point and walked through the door. Once inside the room all conversation stopped and they all turned to look at him. Ron had a 'deer caught in the headlights' look on his face but Harry ignored it and went to sit next to Remus on the other side of the table. Whenever he chose to actually sit with them at the table it was either with Hermione or Remus. The man's soft quiet nature often soothed Harry and he knew that the other man would never pressure him into talking.

Remus looked at Harry with a soft smile on his face. "Do you want some breakfast, Harry?"

Harry nodded. It had been a few hours since he last ate and he was getting hungry again. Mrs. Weasley placed a plate full of bacon and eggs in front of him and Harry gently smiled at her. This seemed to reassure her that he was okay.

"Have you been painting Harry?"

Harry looked over at Remus confused before he realized he must have been covered in specks of paint and nodded.

"Can we see what you've been doing?" Catching Harry's hesitant look he quickly added to his question. "Or do you want to wait 'till after it's finished?"

Harry thought about this for a few moments before nodding again. He started to eat while the other's conversed around him. When he finished he got up and began to head for the door but was stopped halfway by Hermione's hesitant voice.

"Harry, I'm not going to ask you what you're doing but I wanted to know if you could at least make sure to eat and sleep properly? Please for me sake?"

Harry stopped but didn't turn around as he nodded. He continued walking out of the room and towards the room with his painting.

Soon Harry began to get into a set routine of waking up early and painting before getting himself something to eat. He did keep his promise to Hermione and did his best to eat and sleep regularly. if he didn't join the others in the kitchen he would have Kreacher bring him something. he was almost finished with the wall and was quite proud of what he had accomplished. While he worked he often listened to the new charmed cd player Hermione, Remus and Tonks had given to him for his birthday. It was charmed so that it ran off of magic instead of batteries. His favorite cd was one by a group called Evanescence finding that their music often fit his current mood.

This was his routine for several days until the dreams started. These dreams were unlike the ones he was used to and he didn't know what to make of them at first. They were always of the same two men and two women and Harry felt as though he should recognize them but couldn't quite place their faces. The dreams mainly centered on the same man who was always dressed in black and red and either had a symbol of a phoenix or a griffin on his cloak. The man also had a sword at his side and he had the same black hair as Harry though it was longer and therefor neater. The dreams often showed this man conversing with the other three though he could never see them clearly nor could he hear what was said. If he wasn't talking with the others he was dueling with the sword and even from Harry's limited knowledge he could tell this man was an expert with the sword.

Harry had no idea what the dreams could mean and vowed to talk to Dumbledore the next time he saw him. It was at this point that Harry had the dream that would ultimately change his world. Harry found himself in a large circular room that Harry quickly realized was Dumbledore's office at Hogwarts though it had a few differences. This room had no paintings on the walls and no fancy equipment that Dumbledore seemed to collect.

'Yes Harry, this is Professor Dumbledore's office, or at least it will be," came a voice from behind him. Harry knew that voice, it was one that haunted him whenever a Dementor came too close.

"Mum?" Harry slowly turned around and saw his mother standing there in front of the fireplace. There was a soft glow around her that made her look like an angel in Harry's eyes. Without even thinking Harry ran to her and hugged her tight. For the first time in who knows how long Harry finally felt safe.

"Oh Harry, my brave boy," Lily murmured as she tightened her hold on him.

Harry didn't say anything concentrating solely on the love he felt coming from her. After a few minutes Harry finally let go and she lead him to two chairs that he hadn't realized were there before.

"Harry, I don't have much time but there are a few things I need to tell you. First of all Child, you are not to blame for Sirius' death so please don't feel guilty it wasn't your fault. The second one is the main reason I'm here. I know this will be hard to hear but James Potter isn't your father."

"What? But how? Everyone says I look just like him?"

"I know...just hear me out. In order for you to understand I am going to have to start at the beginning. When I was in my seventh year there was a potion's accident that caused me to travel back in time. I was gone in the past for three years though when I returned I had only been gone for three days. While I was in the past I met and fell in love and married your father. We had just found out that I was pregnant when I was pulled back to my time. It was a very difficult time for me. Should anyone find out who your father was it would have put you in danger. That's when James had his idea. Before the accident we had been dating and I knew he still loved me and while I still loved him as well it wasn't as strong as the love I felt for your father. James came up with the idea that we would pretend to marry and we would say he was your father in order to protect you. In order to protect you even further we gave you a potion called the Blood Charmed Potion shortly after you were born. It changed your appearance so that you would resemble James instead of your true father."

"Who is my father?" Harry asked, still in shock of what he was hearing.

"Harry your father is..."

Harry's eyes snapped open when there was a loud crash just outside his bedroom door. He ran to the door and found Ron in a heap on the floor. Harry saw the wire that ran across the floor and figured Ron had tripped over it. He saw the twins a few feet away laughing hysterically and Harry figured they had set the wire as a prank. Anger swelled in his chest when he realized that he hadn't been able to hear who his father was because they wanted to play a prank! Harry sent a glare at them that could easily rival Snape's causing them to gulp in fear. Without a word he stormed past them and down the stairs. Hopefully someone would be able to give him some answers.

Entering the kitchen, Harry quickly made his way to the table where everyone else in the house was eating breakfast. All conversation in the room stopped upon his entrance and they stared at Harry fearfully though Harry hadn't noticed. Everyone was afraid because there was a glow around the teen that made him appear to be surrounded by red flames. None of this was noticed by the teen though as the only thing on his mind was getting answers and he had his sights set on Remus.

"Remus." The word came out in a hoarse whisper indicating that Harry's throat was hurting him again. "I need to talk to Dumbledore. I had a dream and Mum was in it. She told me some things..."

" spoke to Lily?" Remus asked, his throat clenching tightly.

"Yes, ask him to bring McGonagall and Snape as well. I need to know about the Blood Charm Potion and if there is any way to reverse it." His thoughts were in a whirlwind and he that the only thing that could calm him now was his painting. He turned to go into his painting room when Remus' voice stopped him.

"Harry, what is this about?"

Without turning around he answered, "My father."


Albus Dumbledore was worried now that the world knew of Voldemort's return. He was waiting for his first strike and he just prayed that they would be ready in time to stop him. He was worried for Harry as well and he wished that he didn't have to tell Harry the truth about the prophecy but it had been a necessary evil. Sirius' death had hit the boy hard and he was concerned for Harry's health. The boy barely spoke to anyone. He just hoped Harry was able to get himself together and soon.

What really worried him was the dream Harry had concerning Lily. He had been surprised when Remus told him of Harry's request and the fact that Harry seemed to be walking around as if he were caught on fire. He had no idea what either meant and it concerned him.

He was waiting for Minerva and Severus to turn up informing both of them of Harry's request. Severus was also bringing the antidote to the Blood Charm Potion though he didn't know why Harry wanted to know about it. Dumbledore looked up when he heard the door open as Severus and Minerva walked in.

"Dumbledore, what is this about and what on Earth does Potter want with us?"

"We won't find out 'till we get there, Severus. I for one am confused as to why Harry wants to talk to us about his father."

"Albus," McGonagall started, "what did Remus mean by Harry being surrounded by flames?"

"Once again I'm not sure though I have a few theories. Severus did you bring the reversal for the Blood Charm Potion?"

Severus nodded. "Well, let's go then."

The three professors took a hold of the portkey that was designed to take them to Grimmauld Place and a few seconds later they appeared in the kitchen where a commotion was already taking place. From what they could figure out Ron Weasley was demanding to know where Harry was and the elf Kreacher refused to tell them causing Ron to yell insults and threaten the creature.

Unknown to everyone else Harry was silently watching the whole thing. Hermione was trying to defend the elf and calm Ron down but wasn't having any success. Kreacher turned to walk away when Ron grabbed his wand and was ready to curse the elf when a hand grabbed his wand arm and forced him around. The redhead was surprised to see that it was Harry.

"Kreacher, please prepare a few rooms. We are going to have guests."

"Yes Master. Kreacher will do that right away sir."

Harry let go of Ron's arm and Ron turned to speak to him. "Finally, Harry! That damn thing wasn't going to tell me where you were. Look, I know you had a hard time but honestly five weeks is enough to mope around. You need to get over it and move on. Look..." Ron was unable to continue because Hermione and the rest of the Weasleys were yelling at him for being so insensitive.

At this point no one noticed that the other professors had arrived or that Remus had left to talk to them. When Harry started to talk everyone left in the room grew quiet so that they could here him.

"I'm only going to say this once Ron. Might I remind you that you are currently staying at my home and I will not tolerate you attacking a creature that is practically defenseless against you! Is that understood?" Without waiting for Ron's reply, Harry turned and walked over to the professors.

"Will you four follow me, please? You too Hermione."

With that Harry walked out of the kitchen and lead them down the hall. he decided to include Hermione because out of all his friends she was the only one to stick by him through everything. Plus she always gave good advice and Harry knew he cared a great deal for her.

"Where are we going, Harry?" Remus decided to ask since no one else seemed to want to. Everyone else seemed to still be in shock over what they had witnessed. Not to mention the fact that Harry was glowing again.

"I told you that I would show you my painting when I was finished, Remus."

With that Harry led them to a door that they had never noticed before. Once inside they gasped at what they were seeing. The first thing that caught their attention was the painting above the fireplace. It was a phoenix bursting out of flames triumphant and glorious. It seemed so real that it felt as if there were really a phoenix there. The painting filled them with the same courage that was often felt shortly after hearing the phoenix's song.

"I wish Fawkes could see this," Dumbledore whispered. "I'm impressed Harry. This is wonderful."

"That's not all Sir. Look at the wall on your left."

As one they all turned again and Remus gasped and tears threatened to fall down his cheeks. Harry had painted a view of Hogwarts and it's grounds. It was the night of the full moon and there was a wolf, stag and a huge dog running together through the open field. The Marauders were united once again.

"You know, I thought about adding Wormtail too and have him being trampled over but then decided to leave him out since he was never really a true friend. After all he was a rat, the bastard."

"As much as I would like to stay here and gawk at your paintings all day Potter I do have other things to do."

"Shut up, Severus!" Although Remus spoke softly his voice had an edge to it and Snape paled.

Harry gestured for everyone to take seats in the chairs that were in the room and waited for everyone to sit down. He remained standing and looked at them. Harry could tell that they were curious as to why they were there. Even Snape though he had a bored expression on his face.

"Professor Snape can you tell me about the Blood Charm Potion and if you brought a reversal for it?"

"Very well, Potter. The potion you're talking about is an extremely difficult and dangerous to make. It allows you to take the form of another and the form will change as you grow older. To make it work you have to add the blood of the person that you wish to take the form of. There is a reversal but it is a painful process to become yourself again."

"Harry, why are you asking about this potion?"

Harry looked at Dumbledore, the man he looked up to the most. "Professor, do you remember when I asked you to tell me the truth in my first year?"

Dumbledore nodded, he remembered that day well. "Well, I'm going to ask you again. Professor, in my Mum's seventh year, was she involved in a potion's accident that caused her to disappear?"

The professors looked at each other, each one wondering how Harry knew about that. "Yes, Harry that is true. Your mum did disappear. We were all worried about her when she returned."

"Did she seem different to you?"

"Well, she seemed quieter I guess and a little distant at times too. She and James married really quickly after that as well," Remus answered.

Harry felt himself drop into a vacant chair and he had gone deathly pale. It was true....he wasn't a Potter.

"Mum told me that when she disappeared she was gone for three years but returned only three days after she disappeared. She also said that...she said..."

"Harry, it's ok. Take your time if you need to," Hermione said.

Harry looked gratefully at his friend but he knew he needed to say this now. "She said that James Potter wasn't my father."

There were gasps and shouts of protests from everyone. "That's impossible," was Remus' response.

"Lily would never cheat on her husband," came from McGonagall.

"Impossible, you look just like your father and you're just as arrogant as he was," Snape sneered.

"She said that she married my father while she was gone and had just learned she was pregnant when she returned. In order to protect both my mum and me, James married her and pretended to be my father by giving me the Blood Charm Potion containing his blood. Professor, do you know who my father is?"

Dumbledore was silent for several minutes. "No, Harry I don't. Like everyone else I thought you were the son of James Potter. Harry, did Lily say anything else about your father?"

"Only that he was powerful and that he will try and contact me. She was going to tell me his name but Ron woke me up."

Harry was silent for several minutes before he started talking to himself. "Why me? Why do I have to be the one that has to kill him? Why did I have to lose everyone I love? And now I find out that the person I thought was my father really isn't and not one bloody person knows who he is! Is it too much to ask to want to know who my father is?" Harry screamed this last sentence causing everyone else in the room to flinch slightly.

"I am," came a deep, quiet voice from behind him. Harry spun around in the direction of the voice. Standing in the room was one of the men who Harry had been dreaming of for days. The man dressed in black and red.

"Who are you and how did you get in here?"

"I am your father and my name is Godric Gryffindor."