Mummy and Daddy
Harry's eyes remained wide throughout his journey and the last sensation he felt was falling into a heap onto a soft landing. He tentatively opened his eyes and found he was in a dark room. Harry gulped and looked down to find he had landed on a bed, there were two figures nestled inside and Harry felt a jolt of fear shoot through him as he realised that he was sitting on one of the figures. The effect was immediate, Harry screamed causing the person beneath him to sit up abruptly. while the figure he had sat on mid rift abruptly. The gasped as he looked into the small boy's face. However, Horror was soon replaced with a warm smile and a chuckle. The stranger grasped Harry's arm pulling him towards himself.
'Aw Harry don't you recognise me, stop crying and look at me.'
The howls slowly ceased as Harry noted the friendly voice, but sobs still racked Harry's small frame, he clearly did not recognise the man who was pulling him into a cuddle.
Small hands began to push him away and James Potter found a teary face looking up at him causing him to frown. He turned to find that his wife had shot up to see what the screaming had been about, she looked perhaps more shocked than he had done and she sat staring into Harry's face.
'I think we have a visitor,' said James with some amusement.
Lily smiled reassuringly although she looked quite unsure what to do, which James considered was something quite rare, he looked back into Harry's face who clearly had not even recognised Lily. James took on a mocking face and stuck out his bottom lip to mimic Harry's. Harry obviously did not find this amusing as James was repeatedly kicked and punched by small fists and feet.
'Hey!' said James sharply he held the child at arms length and swung himself out of bed holding Harry away from him in the air.
'Stop it, its me James' he dumped Harry on the floor where he stood looking vulnerably up at him and then to Lily who had regained composure and had rolled to James's side of the bed. She held her arms out to him.
'Don't you recognise us Harry? It me, Lily and that's James. You've travelled to 1979 like I told you to do.'
James and Lily looked at him curiously while Harry was obviously having a furious battle inside his mind. He did not seem to like what he had heard and James was sure that Harry was unsure of why they looked so much older than they had appeared at Hogwarts.
Confusion overtook Harry's face and he began to shake his head adamantly and he stepped backwards, away from James. 'No' he said quietly, then he began to shout it ' no, no ,no ,no!'
'What are you saying no for?' asked James, irritation starting to show in his voice. He made a quick grab for Harry and pulled him closer so that Harry would be able to see his face in the dark. 'Look same features,' he pulled him towards lily, 'look same Lily.'
'See it is us, we only look older because we're in the future now.' reassured Lily.
Harry glared at her mistrustfully and began to struggle against James's grip who let him go. He ran towards the door and out into the lit hallway, slamming the door behind him.
James and Lily looked at each other shocked. 'Okay I wasn't expecting him to turn up today, but I would have thought he'd greet us with a cuddle at least,' said Lily in confusion.
James shrugged his shoulders exasperated. 'We should go after him. Do you have any idea what the plan is to do with him now? We've no idea what we've got to do more than we did several years ago.'
'I—I don't know James. Let's—let's just go and find him.'
James looked curiously at his wife as she pulled on a dressing gown and walked out of the room, she was not behaving like he had expected her to. They had mentioned Harry's arrival repeatedly and she had been excited each time and now she was hardly showing any enthusiasm at all. He was sure that she would have grabbed hold of Harry even though he was struggling to get away from them. It could be Harry's reaction towards her he reasoned, but it wasn't anything personal he thought gloomily as he walked out of the room to help her find Harry.
James emerged squinting furiously as light flooded into the hallway. He stretched tiredly cursing that things couldn't have been a bit easier to deal with. He signed and crossed the hallway to push open a door to the spare room.
'Any luck,' he asked while standing in the doorway watching lily search the wardrobe.
Lily smiled, 'nope not under the bed or in here.'
James left and walked to the top of the stairs. 'Harry, come out we're not going to hurt you,' He shouted. 'Although I might hold you upside down if you don't come out soon,' he muttered to himself.
'James!' screeched Lily from the spare room.
'Joke,' said James holding up his hand with a guilty smile on his face. Turning away from his wife James walked down stairs and once he reached the living room he immediately recognised a small pair of feet under the sofa. Careful not to creek the floorboards he walked around another sofa and knelt down by Harry's feet. Smirking, James grabbed the small feet, causing a yelp, and he pulled the child along the dark floorboards. Harry immediately began to struggle as James picked him up.
'mwah, mwah' laughed James, kissing Harry repeatedly on the face while he kicked and screamed.
James looked up to find Lily watching over them a faint smile twitched on her lips. James sat down with Harry in his arms and Lily walked over to sit next to them. James started to tickle Harry who redoubled his efforts to get away by kicking his small legs harder.
James smiled at Lily who cocked her head to the side and raised her eyes.
'stop it, he clearly isn't finding this very funny right now James. He needs a cuddle and sympathy, he's just found out that the people he was with a little while ago have turned into adults. That's a bit of a nightmare.'
Creasing his eyes in disagreement James stopped and carefully transferred Harry onto Lily's lap while keeping a firm hold of his legs. He personally thought that Harry would soon crack with just a little but of humour. But he soon changed his mind as Harry began to calm down when Lily gently smoothed Harry's hair. Harry glanced into their expectant faces with a scowl on his face, his eyes flickered between the two every so often.
'You didn't expect us to look the same did you Harry?' said Lily gently.
James beamed and ruffled Harry's hair, 'You going to give us a smile or what?'
Harry buried his head into Lily's dressing gown in response while James looked affronted.
Lily smiled at her husband sympathetically, 'I think it'll just take some time. Maybe we should start breakfast?'
James stared apprehensively as Harry bit into his toast. He was realising for the first time that he was directly responsible for keeping the child safe and happy. So far he was not doing a very good job of being a father since his child had only kicked and screamed at him. The silence carried on a James wished that Lily would come back down from getting dressed.
James jumped out of his thoughts in surprise as Harry spoke for the first time.
'You look a lot older now you're an adult,' he said shyly.
James smiled at him, 'Well it has been about four years since I last saw you, so I suppose I have changed quite a lot. Lily and I no longer go to Hogwarts. We are still the same people, you can trust us,' James reassured.
Harry smiled just as Lily walked into the kitchen.
'Oh good, are you feeling better now?' asked Lily.
Harry nodded and Lily bent down to talk to him.
'Look I have to go and speak to Professor Dumbledore about you being here. James and I love having you here but you need to go back to your own time. The Dursley's will be worried about where you are.'
Harry stared at her and shook his head. 'No they won't care. I'm not scared anymore I want to stay here with you and James. I'm not scared, honest.' He repeated and looked at James for support.
'Lily's right. You do need to go back to your own time.' He got up out of his seat and followed Lily out of the kitchen.
'I know he's got to go back, but why are you acting so quick on all this? We could leave seeing Albus till tomorrow, what's the point in sending Harry back straight away?'
Lily sighed and looked at James with a pained expression, 'I just have to get it sorted now, okay.' she left without waiting for James to say goodbye.
James shook his head in dismay. Why was Lily acting so distant? They had only one day with Harry and she was in a hurry to get rid of him.
'Can we go flying James?' asked Harry shyly when James re-entered the kitchen.
The feelings of anger at Lily's behaviour lessened when James realised that Harry was finally talking to him. However, his pleasure quickly passed and James shifted uncomfortably in his chair. 'Hmmm I don't know whether that's such a good idea.'
James forehead creased in concern as Harry's face fell. Fearing he was a bad father he tried to make it up to him. 'I mean it was quite dangerous last time, I've only got a racing broom and that's not really very safe for a beginner. We should probably do something more interesting for someone your age.'
Harry's expression did not change. James stared anxiously at him, when had he got so serious, surely he was going to be a boring father?
'How how about doing some painting?' James asked nervously.
Harry's face immediately flushed with excitement and he jumped down from the table ready for James to show him where the paints were.
James looked at him in surprise, but brightened. 'I didn't mean right away, I've got to finish my breakfast first'
'Oh!' Harry stood next to him and watched as James took a bite from his toast. James stared at him from the corner of his eye amused and he gently pushed him away. 'stop it.'
'Are you nearly finished?' said Harry taking James's plate off the table. James quickly snatched it back and took the last piece of toast, while Harry jumped up and down in excitement. 'I never get to do painting he puffed, Dudley always screams when I borrow his brush. He's not very good at sharing,' he said dully.
James rubbed his sons shoulder sympathetically, while a surge of anger blossomed in his chest. 'Well I promise to share my paints.' and he jumped up, leaving his plate on the table. He grabbed Harry's hand and led him out of the kitchen and into the living room. Harry stared anxiously back at the kitchen table as the door shut behind them.
'That's dirty leaving your plate on the table,' said Harry seriously.
James jumped in surprise, 'Are you going to tell on me then?' .
James brought out the paint gear and laid it on the living room floor. He watched as Harry dabbed paint onto the paper. This might be the last time he would do anything with Harry before he went back to his own time. What if Harry never realised that James was his father? Harry looked up and smiled pointing at his picture where he'd drawn three people. James smiled back, would it matter if he told Harry who he was?
'Harry do you remember me at all from your own time?'
'Do you remember anything at all when you were a baby''
Harry screwed up his eyes in concentration.
'I guess... I remember a green light. Like a flash and the pain here' he stood up and walked over to James intending to show him his forehead, but tripped before he reached him.
James immediately picked him up and was startled to see tears brimming in his eyes. Harry held his head and squashed his face into James
'Shhhhhh,' whispered James, removing Harry's hand away from his head and kissing the bump, 'Look I just gave you a magic kiss, it should be all better now.'
Harry looked up into James' face and a watery smile emerged on his lips. James carefully wiped away the tears that had streamed down his cheeks.
'James are you my Dad?'
It had been the last thing he had expected and James blinked several times before he replied, 'Yes,' and he hugged his son closer to him, 'yes,' he repeated.
Pushing himself away from James to loosen the embrace, Harry looked back into James's eyes, which were full of concern. He was smiling 'And is Lily my mum?' James nodded and Harry's smile widened, but suddenly it fell. 'Why didn't you say? Is it because you don't like me? Is that why you don't look after me in the future?'
James vehemently shook his head 'no, no, nothing like that, we really are dead in the future, we didn't tell you who we really were because we didn't know how you'd react. We do love you, very much. How did you know? Was it because of my first and second name?'
'Yes, I realised that you lied when you said that there are lots of Potter's. I didn't think you could be my dad because you were still at school, but now you're big. So now I know does that mean I get to stay here,' said Harry his eyes lighting up, and then he hugged his dad not noticing that his father had not answered his question and that he was looking grim.
Harry looked shyly up at his father, 'Can I call you daddy?'
There was a slam and they both jumped. Lily entered the living room looking tired.
'I know you're my mummy'
Lily looked at James in shock, 'you told him? He's not going to want to go back now!'
Harry frowned. 'Oh honey I didn't mean it like that,' Lily sat down next to the pair. 'I love you very much. Why don't you go out into the hall, I just need to speak to James.'
Lily stared into James eyes, she had a feeling he wanted to say 'we could just keep him'. 'We can't, we just can't' she whispered her voice catching.
'Lily what's wrong with you? You loved having Harry around when we were at Hogwarts and now you don't even want to be around him. You just decided you were going to headquarters and abandoned him.'
Lily's eyes flared angrily, 'I did not abandon him, he has been with you. I—I've just been scared. Scared that if we get too close to him it will be harder for all of us. Harry isn't going to have us when he's older and I can't help thinking that it was cruel of me to make him come to us again. He doesn't belong in this time James, he has to go back and its going to hurt—' Lily's voice cracked, James put his arm round her.
'Look, I know what you mean. He is going to have to go back, it was selfish of us to tell him to come to this time. There is nothing we can do to stop what happens in the future apart from being very careful. But we should just try to make however long we have with Harry as happy as possible because we're never going to get this chance again.'
Lily gave him a watery smile and wiped the tears that had dripped down her cheeks. 'I know lets take him out somewhere and then take him to Albus.'
'You have no idea what it felt like when he called me daddy,' whispered James sadly.
James sadly rolled out of bed and walked down the hallway to the room next to his own, which he had routinely done for the last two weeks. He pushed the door open with little expectation, but his heart rose when his eyes settled on a small lump nestled in a duvet. He rushed over and sat on the bed.
Harry rubbed his eyes tiredly and rolled over when he felt a hand shaking him to wake up. He looked up in to the tired eyes of his father who was beaming down at him.
'Daddy,' he squealed holding out his arms.
James bent down and scooped Harry out of his bed. 'Your back!' he exclaimed and gave him a big kiss. 'Mummy and daddy have missed you so much, where have you been?'
Harry smiled knowingly, 'To see you of course and I told you and mummy everything you said to... about the lie... that I live with the Dursley people,' a confused expression overcame Harry. 'I don't have to go back to the past again do I?'
'No. Did you not like it?' asked James smoothing Harry's hair back just to check that his forehead was smooth and unmarked.
'It was okay but I prefer it here, you're much nicer.'
James smiled in relief, he and Lily had been patiently waiting for Harry to come back from the past for two terrifying weeks. They had reluctantly sent Harry into the past because they both knew that the old Harry, who they considered to be the boy who had lived with the Dursley's had saved their lives. The experience had warned them that they needed to be extra careful so they had chosen Albus to be their secret keeper and so far they had come to no harm. Harry had never had to live with the Dursley's, but they had recently realised that they would have to send Harry back into the past to ensure they got a warning.
Lily burst into the room, but halted in shock when she realised who James was holding. Relief flooded through her and she rushed over to the bed where she pulled Harry away from James and onto her lap.
'My Baby's back,' she said clasping him to her.
Harry grinned up at her.
A.N. Finally I've finished this story after so many years! I am sorry for such long delays between chapters. I am really grateful to those people who have read the story and sent encouragement. Thank you!