– Comes Around
Author – Kazzy
E-mail address – Rating – PG
Spoilers – Half Blood Prince
Category – AU, angst
Summary – It's been a year since Voldemort was defeated by Harry. Most of the Wizarding community has moved on, but for those who were personally involved it's a bit harder. Then a something surprising arrives and Harry realises he's going to have a whole lot more to deal with now.
Disclaimer – Rowling lives on the opposite side of the world from me. You actually can't get much further away from my home than she is right now. So out of all the people in the world, I most definitely cannot claim to own Harry Potter or anything else in the wizarding world.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- that myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts -- That hope always triumphs over experience -- That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. –Robert Fulghum
Happy or unhappy, families are all
mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be described --and
will be, after our deaths --by each of the family members who believe they know
us. – Gloria Steinem
"Stupify!" The Death Eater Harry had been chasing (one of the few left to round up) collapsed unconscious on to the field.
"Well done, Harry," said Tonks brightly from beside him, and they both walked forward to examine and tie up their quarry.
Harry didn't bother responding to her remark. It wasn't as though the Death Eater was any good as a fighter. Lumbering and stupid, Gregory Goyle was not exactly a difficult person to catch. It was only because he'd been hiding out, acting as a personal guard to Lucius Malfoy, well away from the Order of Phoenix, and the Aurors, that he'd escaped capture this long.
Tonk's wand emitted a series of brightly coloured ropes to tie Goyle up, and Harry nudged his former schoolmate with his foot. Intelligent, he might not be, but no one would deny as a personal bodyguard to Lucius, Goyle might hold important information to capture one of the leaders of the Death Eaters.
Still, it seemed sort of ridiculous to be rounding up in the inept remains of the dead Dark Lord's followers. Even more so than they had been nearly eighteen years ago, they were defeated. Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange being the only real challenge. The new self-styled Dark Lord had his own domain and was certainly causing trouble, but no one had any doubt it wouldn't be long before he was caught and this nonsense would be over.
This was the only work available to Harry currently. Like Ron and Hermione he had not done his N.E.W.T exams, and so could not reach his goal of being an Auror. They had spent that year hunting down horcruxes and finally defeating Voldemort. Now all Harry could do was aid the Order in eradicating the last of the Death Eaters and try and promote the healing of a badly damaged magical people.
Malfoy and Lestrange were powerful enemies, but their followers were not exactly all that useful to them. The best and brightest (if you could call Death Eaters that) had been destroyed in the war. Not even Draco Malfoy had survived, and Harry suspected that was the death that Lucius felt the most. Not because he loved Draco especially, but because Draco had at least some talent and leadership skills. Unlike Gregory Goyle, who was right now being taken back to the Ministry of Magic for questioning.
Harry watched Tonks tiredly, letting her take over for the sake of legalities. He wondered if all these little mop-up jobs would ever be over, and what he would do if they were. He had spent so much of his life to date fighting that once even this relatively dull job was over he could go on and live a normal life. The concept seemed so strange.
"You all right, Harry?" Tonks came up beside him. She would need to finish this without him. Harry had no official capacity here.
"Shouldn't I be asking you that?" he asked, turning to face her in concern. "You were pretty sick this morning."
"Fine," said Tonks, not quite meeting his eyes. "Probably just ate something bad yesterday."
It was unlike Tonks to be so indirect, and it made Harry suspicious but he didn't say anything. He hoped that everything was all right for her and Lupin. There was a relationship that had gone from strength to strength, and it warmed Harry to see the way his friends were all beginning to show signs of moving on with life. It gave him hope that someday he might be entitled to a happy life too.
If they finally managed to put an end to Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, of course.
"Harry!" His head whipped up as the frantic call grabbed his attention. "Harry!" Hermione was running towards him at full tilt, hair flying behind her. When she stopped in front of him, he took in the frantic expression on her face and wondered instantly what was wrong.
"Harry! You've got to come immediately!"
"Hermione? What? What is it? Where?" he asked worried, if something had happened… but they were so careful right now, unlike the series of mishaps after the war. Too many people had been so exultant that Voldemort was gone that they'd forgotten some of his supporters were still more than happy to take them all out. They'd lost several valuable people that way.
"Grimmauld Place. Quickly!"
"Hermione, what is it?" Was there something wrong with one of the Weasleys? Was it Ron? Ginny?
"Oh, Harry, it's… it's… Oh, you just have to come!" Harry and Tonks exchanged glances.
Staying just long enough to make sure that Tonks was able to cope with Goyle (like that was a hard task), Harry and Hermione quickly Apparated to the kitchen in 12 Grimmauld Place. It was still not Harry's preferred method of travelling, but when speed was called for, it was certainly convenient.
Ginny met them, wringing her hands. She spared a quick kiss for Harry and then drew back nervously and focused on Hermione. "We put her upstairs. Lupin is sitting with her right now, but she's still unconscious and Mum's on her way. Did you tell him?" she flicked her head at Harry.
"No, I didn't know what to say. How do you tell someone something like that?"
Ginny shook her head quickly and glanced nervously at Harry, who by now was starting to get impatient. He had never had the best temper and it hadn't been improved by the fact that he'd been woken early that morning to the sounds of Tonks throwing up, and the fact that in the last week the only Death Eater they'd managed to capture was Gregory Goyle.
"What is going on?" he said through gritted teeth.
But Ginny was shaking her head. "Oh Harry, maybe you better come up and see for yourself," she said.
"Maybe I better," he answered grimly.
He followed Ginny up the stairs silently, Hermione following behind that. None of them said a word, which was probably just as well, because Harry didn't feel like dealing with Mrs. Black should she be disturbed. This had been the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix for nearly four years and Harry's property for three of those years, but still no one had managed to unstick her, or the Black family tree. Harry was beginning to doubt that they ever would.
They reached the floor that the majority of the bedrooms were and Harry was lead along the hall until they were at the door opposite Lupin and Tonk's and next to Ginny's.
Ginny tapped lightly, and they heard Lupin's response, muffled, from the inside. Wringing her hands again, the red head turned to Harry. "Harry, we don't know how to explain this, how it happened. She just appeared here a couple of hours ago."
The nervousness of his girlfriend was starting to get to him, and Harry sought to comfort her. He reached a hand out to touch her arm. "Ginny…"
She just looked up at him sadly. "Just be prepared Harry, it's not what you think."
With that she pushed the door open to reveal Lupin sitting beside a bed, holding the hand of an unconscious woman that Harry had no real recollection of, but whose face was burned in his memory anyway.
Lily Evans Potter.
"Mum—wha…what?" He looked to Lupin for answers.
"I don't know what happened Harry, why – or how – she's here, but it's definitely her," his old teacher told him softly.
Harry's knees went weak and he grabbed at the doorframe to keep from sinking to his knees. The whole world receded as he could focus only on the woman in the bed. Beside him, someone wrapped their arm around his waist to support him as he walked towards the bed. Ginny, he supposed, but he couldn't see her. Couldn't see anyone except the prone form of his mother.
He looked down at her drinking in the details. She appeared older than any of the pictures he'd ever seen of her. She looked around the age Lupin was supposed to be – but always seemed older than – around the age she would have been if she had not died. She was not especially beautiful, but there was definitely a curious beauty about her anyway. Harry could see a resemblance to Petunia Dursley, but where on his aunt the features were hard, unforgiving and plain, on his mother they looked strong and determined, refined almost.
In her face, he could see only a slight similarity to his own, but then he knew he physically most resembled his father.
"Where did she come from?" he asked and was surprised to find his voice rough. Not angry, but forced, as if it had to be pushed passed a restriction in his throat.
"Neighbours reported a disturbance at your home in Godric's Hollow. When we investigated we found her upstairs there." Lupin said quietly, and Harry was able to regain enough of his senses to look over at the older man.
It always amazed Harry that he who had once lived in a cupboard under the stairs now owned two homes. He usually lived at Grimmauld Place, because it was closer to the places he needed to be. Also, Godric's Hollow, allowed to slowly disintegrate over the years, still needed significant repairs to make it a comfortable place to live. For all its dark madness, at least the Black mansion was warm and dry.
But right now that was neither here nor there. What was important was the woman in front of him, slumbering peacefully. "What's wrong with her?"
"Nothing so far as we can tell," Ginny answered. "Madam Pomfrey – we didn't want to take her to St. Mungo's if we didn't have to – thinks she's probably just unconscious and she'll wake at any time." Harry nodded, registering the words and filing them away, but tracing over his mothers features with his eyes just to make sure he couldn't see some other malady that the others had missed.
Physically, she looked just fine. He reached out and took her hand noticing how warm and soft it was. It remained slack in his grasp.
"Harry?" Hermione was still standing quietly in the door watching the scene before her.
"Can I be alone with her for a while?" he asked hoarsely.
They all mumbled their agreements and began to move out. Ginny kissed his cheek, and Lupin briefly came around and squeezed his shoulder. "We'll be downstairs if you need us, Harry."
Distracted, Harry nodded, and went back to staring at the woman in front of him, still trying to disturb the shock of seeing who was in front of him, and wondering how it had come to be. All thoughts of Tonks' mysterious illness, capturing Death Eaters, and his worries about the future had been wiped from his mind.
He didn't know how long he sat there, but it was long enough for Mrs. Weasley to come up, and fuss over him, leave him some food, which he ignored, despite her admonishments when she came up to collect the trays. She clucked her tongue at him and cast several worried looks at the woman on the bed.
Ginny checked in on him twice, but he gave her no more than a cursory response to anything she said or did. The second time she sighed and left him alone. Harry sat on. At some point, Lupin came up and offered to relieve Harry so he could get some rest, but Harry refused. Eighteen years without a mother and even sitting beside her unconscious form was better than missing a single second to have a bath, or a quick nap.
It was sometime deep in the night, when everyone else had retired that everything changed. Lily opened her eyes, blinking in the dimly lit room and looking around her. Her gaze settled on Harry and she frowned.
"James?" she asked.