Author name: DarkForest214
Spoilers: Books 1-6
Summary: While rummaging through some of his father's old things Harry comes across a note that inspires a dream in which he has a conversation with his dear, dead dad.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Aka… I own nothing!
A/N: I wrote this back in May 2006 (May 23 to be exact) but the idea came to me in January. If you think it's a bit odd or doesn't flow so well it's because I was distracted...it was 2 in the morning and I was watching Braveheart at the time!
Who is the one person—dead or alive—you would like to speak with the most?
Harry stared at the question scrawled out in front of him. He had spent the last week rummaging through the trunks of Sirius Black and James Potter's old school things. "I can't believe he saved these things…after all these years!" said Hermione. Harry didn't hear her. He was too distracted by the question in front of him.
It was an old note James Potter had passed to Lily Evans, and Harry couldn't help but imagine what had sparked that particular question.
Bugger off Potter, I'm not interested in you.
A typical response from his mother, Harry couldn't help but laugh.
I know it's a morbid question, my flower, but all this talk about the battles the ancient Druids fought against the Romans has me thinking about death… Who would you talk to, any person at all…dead, alive, non-existent…any at all?
I would talk to your future wife and tell her to run away while she still could. James, I'm serious. Leave me alone, I'm trying to take notes.
Lily my sweet, you called me by my first name! I'm touched. Really, I am.
I'm not writing to you anymore. This is ridiculous. You are ridiculous.
Think about it Lils… Just think about it, would ya?
The note ended there, Harry smiled as he tucked it back into a tattered old notebook. "Come on Harry, Mum will have dinner ready soon," said Ron. Harry's stomach rumbled, and he quietly followed Ron and Hermione downstairs to the kitchen.
For Harry, the Burrow was just as much his home as Hogwarts was. While cleaning out Dumbledore's office two old school trunks had been found. When it was discovered who they had belonged to they were immediately shipped to Harry.
"C'mon James, let's leave 'em here," said Sirius. "No use in taking them with us…"
"True, but what are they gonna do with all our junk?" asked James.
"Their problem, not ours," said Sirius. "Just think, maybe ol' Dumbledore will save them as a sort of tribute to the two most troublesome students he's ever had."
"You're insane, Padfoot," said James. "You're clearly insane."
"And you're not?" asked Sirius. "Let's just do it. We're never gonna need this old junk anyways. The only thing we'll need out there is our wands!"
"True… All right. Let's do it! Adios Hogwarts!"
"Smell you later junky trunks!"
"Let's get out of here! We're done!" said James. "We're free and clear."
"Not to mention legal…" added Sirius.
"C'mon, let's not keep Moony and Wormtail waiting. We've got our last night in this castle to celebrate!" said James.
And the next day when all the students and—most of—their baggage had loaded the train two trunks were left in the Gryffindor Boys' Dormitories and into Dumbledore's hands. Two trunks filled with seven years worth of mischief and evidence. Dumbledore knew who they belonged to and decided to store them. He knew not why he felt the need to keep them, and over the years he'd forgotten about them. It wasn't until after his death that they were found again and then shipped off to their rightful owner.
Harry was distracted all through the evening meal and the activities afterward. "Who is the one person—dead or alive—you would like to speak with the most?" He went to bed thinking about that question, he lie awake until the wee hours in the morning trying to choose between his mom and his dad. Who would he pick?
When he finally drifted off to sleep a dream came to him. As if inspired by the question his father came to him in his sleep.
"Harry, why do you toss and turn all night? Are you ill?"
"Who…who are you?" Harry asked, squinting into the night.
"Why don't you put on your glasses boy and take a good look," the man said with a chuckle.
Harry reached for his glasses, put them on and looked up at a face so much like his own. "Dad?"
"I knew you'd recognize me son…You look so much like I did when I was young. Except for your eyes, you have your mother's eyes…" James said dreamily.
"My mother…is she…I mean, is she doing all right?" Harry asked, feeling awkward. He wasn't exactly use to talking to the dead…
"She's doing just fine," his father said with a smile. "She misses you of course, but she is doing just fine."
"I'm sorry…I'm, er…I'm not use to talking to uh—"
"The dead? Yeah, I know…It's weird isn't it?" James laughed. "Sirius told me how great you turned out."
"You've spoken to Sirius?" Harry asked, his eyes filling with tears. How is it he felt more of a connection with his Godfather than he did his own father? Was it because he had been able to spend more time with Sirius than with his father?
"Aye, and he's sorry for leaving you like that…" said James.
"Survived Azkaban for thirteen years, escaped the dementors and killed by bloody drapery, it's not fair," said Harry.
"Son, nothing in life is fair. Your mother and I defied evil more times than evil was comfortable with. We knew the risk when we joined the Order, we're just sorry to have dragged you into things," said James.
"Dragged me into…I had no choice in the matter, I never really knew you and mum…How could I have known what I was missing?"
"It pains me to hear you say such a thing," said James. "I love you so much, and your mother, no two people mean more to me than you and your mother. I put myself between evil and the ones I love. It was selfish of me, I knew I could never live if your mother wasn't there at my side. I just hoped she could survive without me… There was a green flash of light and then nothing. Absolutely nothing. Until I saw your mother by my side once more in death. When you did not join us, my son I knew you were even more special than we could have imagined."
"Mum died to save me," Harry said quietly.
"Aye, she did .We're so sorry we missed everything. Oh sure we witnessed your first words your first steps…but your first day at school, sending you off on the train to Hogwarts…even your first detention with Filch. We missed so much."
Harry could say nothing, all words escaped him. Emotions took over, and his voice escaped him. James, noticing the disturbed look in his son's eyes leaned forward and placed his hand on Harry's knee. "Enough of this. Would you like to hear of some of the mischief your Godfather and I got in?"
"I've heard some tales," said Harry quietly.
"You've seen too much death, suffered too much pain for one of your years. I see it in your eyes, you've experienced more than one of your years should ever experience in a lifetime. My boy, I am proud of the man you've grown to be. May the rest of your years be filled with the happiness and love your childhood lacked. And know this, that your mother and I never stopped loving you."
"I know," Harry said with a half smile, fighting back the tears that threatened to blur his vision. "When I was little I use to dream about you and mum. I use to dream that we lived in a house in the country, just the three of us. A place where none would bother us. No fat cousins to steal my food, or to beat me up for what few broken toys I owned. But when Uncle Vernon would let me from the cupboard I had to hide those dreams so they couldn't take them away from me. I knew not that you had died to save me…"
They sat there in silence, father and son. So much to say, but no need to. A boy crying desperately for his parent's love and attention. A father begging his son for forgiveness for dying and leaving him alone. They understood each other, no words need be said…if only they could have met on happier terms…
When Harry awoke the next morning he found himself wearing his glasses and sitting propped up in his bed. The note clutched in his hand. Hadn't he tucked it away in the trunk? Looking down at the note once more he read his father's handwriting, "Who is the one person—dead or alive—you would like to speak with the most?" Had it all been just a dream?
A/N: As always, let me know what you think!