There are some HBP spoilers in this one-shot. Read at your own caution.
Summary: Harry returns to Godric's Hollow looking for strength and finds precisely what he needs to carry on. Post-HBP one-shot.
Written by Secret Lily
As Harry James Potter stood in front of the cemetery's gates, he inhaled a deep soothing breath. The neatly aligned gravestone's seemed to all be facing him, looking through him. He knew that it would be harder than he had prepared for. He wasn't sure if he was ready to face his parents. After all that he had been through, he had never known them. Yet, somehow, they'd been with him the entire time. By viewing their graves, the reality that they were completely and entirely dead would only become more chilling.
He backed away from the gate, his hand trembling at will, and he turned to face the muggle village he had passed through. Godric's Hollow had been where his parents were murdered. For some reason, he knew he had to go to their house. He knew that by visiting the home to which they had lived together, he would enable himself to conquer his fears and receive the strength to fulfill Dumbledore's wishes.
He walked down the stone road and walked towards the home he instinctively knew to be his own. It was presentable from the outside and it seemed peacefully undisturbed. Harry knew otherwise. He walked towards the house and opened the front door. Even after all those years, it was still completely and utterly destroyed.
The couch was overturned, the pictures on the mantle smashed, the curtains torn. Everything seemed to have been touched by Voldemort's evil. Harry gazed around, fighting back tears of rage that were promising to come out.
He darted his emerald green eyes to the stairs. He knew that some of his mother's last steps were on those very stairs. He traveled up them slowly, mustering up all the courage that he could. He walked into the nursery and saw that the crib had been blasted to pieces and that he, himself, had laid in the ruins, awaiting Hagrid's arrival. He wondered if he was standing in the very spot that his mother had died. He quickly moved from the room, unable to cope with a thought like that, and noticed a pair of stairs descending from the ceiling. He walked up them and entered a dusty attic.
He gazed around and smiled thinly. The attic, his parents' attic, was sure to be filled with all their memories and possessions. He only hoped to find something meaningful.
He glanced around at the boxes stored on the left side of the attic. He sat down and started digging through them. What he found seemed to take his breath away. In his hands he was holding a leather bound journal. He opened it up and read it slowly, embracing every word that was written.
Dumbledore seems to feel that one of the Marauders is a spy. He told me and Lily last night, just after we'd put Harry to bed. I can't even imagine to pretend that I'm not upset by this news. A Marauder? One of my best friends in the entire world is on Voldemort's side? After all that Lily and I have been through, I would have never thought it possible.
My friends have been there for me at times when everyone else was against me. We have proven to be a solid structure, a constant in one another's lives.
I can't allow myself to dwell on this too much. There is a possibility that Dumbledore is wrong. There is always that slight chance that his information was unreliable. Yet, when is Dumbledore ever wrong?
I just don't know. I want to protect my family from the dark side, but how can I do that if one of my best friend's is in a league with Voldemort? I just don't know what I should do.
I try so hard to tell myself that it's not true, but as I sit and think about it, it seems entirely possible. Impossible, but possible. It's impossible that I would ever feel any distrust towards my friends, but I suppose it's possible that one of them could turn. I never would have thought in a million years…
Perhaps I'm just naive. I thought that we were all a family. I guess I thought wrong.
Harry closed the journal, not wanting to read on. He knew all too well of Peter Pettigrew's betrayal. He only wished that someone could have known and told his parents before they named him as Secret Keeper. Yet, Harry knew that they were dead and he had much bigger problems to face in the future.
He dug deeper into the box and grinned as he pulled out a thick photo album. He wondered why no one had bothered to empty the house after his parents had died, but then again, he supposed it was far too hard for any of them to enter it. He dusted off the cover and read "The Potter's"
He opened it to find still muggle portraits of a small red headed girl. He recognized her immediately. Her almond shaped emerald green eyes were identical to his own. He knew that these had to have been his mother's childhood photo's. He saw a sullen Aunt Petunia one of them.
He turned the page and his eyes grew dizzy as photos blurred in every direction. He assumed that these photo's were from his father's childhood. Opposed to being in every single one, young James Potter seemed keen on taking pictures. Many were of his feet walking or a neighbor woman yelling at him. Yet, it seemed that in most of them, he had failed to keep still.
He turned the page once more and saw pictures from his parents' seventh year. Many were of his mum. She never seemed to be smiling directly at the camera, but at the person behind the camera. There were some of both his parents together. It was almost heartbreaking to see two deceased people that had been so in love with one another.
Harry turned the page once more and saw the infamous wedding picture that composed of his parents and Sirius as best man. When he had first seen that picture, Harry had felt intense rage as he believed (like most of the wizarding world) that Sirius was a traitor. Now, he knew that Sirius belonged in that picture. He had deserved to be James' best man.
The next page was all filled with pictures of him as an infant. Some were of James holding him on his shoulders, others of Lily kissing his semi-plump cheeks. Only when he saw a drop fall onto the page did Harry realize he was crying. He wiped them away and looked closely. The resemblance between him and his parents was uncanny. He now understood why everyone mentioned it so much. He had seen them in the Pensieve, but seeing himself right up next to them was mind boggling. He only wished that their time together could have been longer.
Yet, they died protecting him. They knew that there was something special about him and they loved him so much that they sacrificed their own lives to save his. His parents, two people he could hardly remember, hadn't deserved to die. They were good, talented people and their time shouldn't have been up.
He saw a picture of Sirius swinging him in the air. He watched as he and his godfather laughed joyfully. The happiness in Sirius' gray eyes tore Harry up on the inside. He missed his godfather. When Sirius had been alive, there had been hope that he'd have a parent. There had been the tiniest shred of hope that he'd be able to leave the Dursley's. Now, the only parents he had ever had were all gone. Lily, James, and Sirius. They were all dead, leaving him alone to face life without them.
Even Professor Dumbledore had died. They had all been killed. Some of the only people who had ever shown him guidance or love had been killed. He turned to the last page finally, wiping more tears from his eyes.
It was a family portrait, probably done just before they had all gone into hiding. His parents looked entirely at ease, in love, and genuinely happy. They hadn't known that one of their best friends was going to feed them to Voldemort. They didn't know that in less than a couple of months' time they would be dead. All that they cared about was their love and their child.
Harry closed the book and carried it with him as he left the house. He knew that he would need it to help him through the storm that was sure to come in his future.
At seventeen years old, Harry Potter walked across that stone road once more. He glanced over at the house that his parents had lived in at one time, but did not stop. He walked forward, the Godric's Hollow Cemetery facing him. Yet, as he approached the cemetery once more, he was not alone.
Ron and Hermione were on his left, Ginny on his right. After what the four of them had gone through in the past year, they knew that nothing could break their bond of friendship and love. They were strong, stronger than the dark side, and Harry knew that the three of them were what had helped him carry through it all.
He stopped at the gate and looked over at Ginny. She smiled and her soft brown eyes gave him comfort. He touched her cheek and brushed away a strand of her fiery red hair from her eyes. The mistake he had made at the end of his sixth year had haunted him the entire summer. He knew that it had been for the best, but in the end, he realized that love was what he needed the most. It wasn't good to dwell on fear when true love only came every once in awhile. He had needed Ginny to find the strength to defeat Voldemort once and for all.
He turned to his friends and said, "Give me a minute."
They all nodded their heads, knowing he needed to do this alone. Ron wrapped his arm around Hermione and Ginny watched him as he walked towards his parents' graves.
Harry stopped in front of two joint graves with the words 'James Harold Potter' and 'Lily Marie Potter'. He saw that there had been a dozen white roses set before their grave, but they had been delivered many, many years ago. They were now brown and dead, but Harry knew who they had been from. Sirius had most likely stopped there before he had died. Harry knew that although they were dead, he wouldn't move them. They were a gift from Sirius to his parents, and that meant more to him than the state the roses were in.
He smiled and looked back at his friends once more before gently setting down the photo album before their grave. With that, he turned and walked away. Even though his parents were dead, they closely symbolized the same thing that the white roses had. Although they were dead, their presence gave out strength.
Harry knew that he would no longer be needing that photo album. He only hoped that his parents would be able to find as much strength from the photograph's as he had.
A/N: I apologize sincerely if that was completely horrible to read. It's been digging around in my brain forever. I had to get it out. I hope you liked it anyways. Please review. You'll make my day!