Disclaimer – Hmmm…lets see…do I live in Scotland? Do I have three children and a husband? Do I have my own publishing deal and website? Do I have blonde hair? Since the answer to all these questions is a resounding no, then I think its safe to say I'm not JKR, and despite wishing on every star, lamp and 50 pence piece I've come across, I still don't own Harry Potter. Actually, that's not strictly true. I do have blonde hair. Still doesn't qualify me for HP ownership. Darn.
Greetings! I return, at long last! This story, first published last September and then abandoned, is finally making a come back! Its be revamped and rewritten until the only thing it really has even remotely in common with the original is the title. The plots changed, especially at the start, as ye all shall see. I rather hope this is a good sight better than the original, as well, as I was reading over it before I began re-writing, and think I can safely say it was utter rubbish. However, thus far I am quite pleased with the new version, and hopefully it will stay that way!
Dedication – Well, who else, but Beth? A rather strange child who shares a home, computer, and countless story ideas and theories with me, and who has practically re-written this story for me. Or at least given me several parts of the new plot. So, my temporary muse, you get this one. But you have to share it with Kate, and not argue about it. So Beth and Kate, my guiding beacons, this is for the pair of you, to keep you occupied now we've abandoned you to a life of Argoed without us.
I have decided to publish this today (Monday 10th July 2006) in recognition of it being 1 year to the day since I discover this site, and the amazing world that is fanfiction. Hums happy birthday And now I'm off to Berlin! Enjoy!
As many of you have hopefully realised, today is not the 10th July. That is because when I tried to update last Monday the entire of fanfiction appeared to have stopped working, for some unbeknownst reason. Therefore I decided to start posting today instead, seeing as how its one year since the publication of HBP. After this, updates will be every Monday.
So, at long last, it is with great pleasure that I present to you….
How Things Could Have Been – Mark 2
By Emma Nelder
Cam Jones moved aside her curtains for a moment, peering out into the darkened lane. The lanterns bobbed in the hedgerow, stretching along the track and round the bend, where they would eventually meet the road. It was something she and Mark had done every Halloween for several years now – decorating their bumpy track with lanterns and fairy lights to encourage the trick or treaters. Ever since the death of their only child, 10 years ago now, and the slow realisation they would never have anymore, the Jones's had thrown themselves instead into the lives of any and every child to pass through the neighbourhood, organising games and events throughout they year, and the "Halloween Trail" as it had been christened, was just one of them.
Most of the children had been round by now, and Cam was just debating whether she could turn the lights off when she saw two figures making their way up the garden path. They appeared to be staggering, leaning against each other for support, and something about the way they were moving told Cam this was no Halloween costume. She rushed to the back door, wrenching it open just as the pair reached it.
A man and a woman, in ragged clothes, with fresh cuts covering their bodies, stood there. The man wore glasses, with one lens missing and the other cracked, and the woman's left arm hung at an angle that no human arm should have been able to.
"Oh my…" Cam gasped. "Mark!" She shouted back into the house. "Mark, phone an ambulance." She turned back to the pair. "Come in." She said, ushering them inside. But they didn't move, apparently unable to take another step, instead standing on the threshold, leaning against the doorpost to remain upright.
Mark rushed down the stairs. "Cam?" he called, "Cam, what's wrong? What's happ…oh god." He had run into the kitchen and was staring in horror at the pair on their doorstep.
"Mark, ambulance." Said Cam sharply. Her husband was not good at the sight of blood.
"What happened?" He asked, hand reaching for the phone. Cam shook her head.
"Not now Mark." She snapped. The woman, however, had opened her mouth.
"Voldemort." She gasped, her eyes wide.
Cam shook her head, reaching out the stop the woman falling over. The word seemed to have agitated them both, and the woman was swaying dangerously.
Behind her, Mark was speaking into the phone. "No, no, just turned up…hang on," He put his hand over the receiver. "She wants to know if we have any idea who they are, or what could have happened to them." He said, looking at his wife. She had lead the woman over to a chair, and was helping the man across the kitchen.
"She keeps saying something like 'Voldemort', but I've no idea what she means." Said Cam, sitting the man down. "What's your name?" This was spoken to the pair again.
"James." Said the man in a raspy voice. "James and Lily. Potter."
"Voldemort." Muttered the woman once more, and then, so quietly Cam, who was coming over to her, would later doubt she even heard it, "Harry." And she collapsed, a thud from behind Cam telling her the same thing had happened to the man.
The ambulance arrived and whisked them off, but not before Cam thrust their phone number into the hands of a young medic, who promised the ring with any news. And she did, the next morning at about 9 o'clock, sounding absolutely exhausted, and admitting, after questioning, that she had only just got off her shift after a particularly busy night. The Potters, she said, had been stabilised, and were currently in the intensive care ward. Neither of them had woken since the night before, and did Cam have any idea what had happened to them? Cam replied to the negative, and instead asked if she and Mark could come in and visit. Naomi, the medic, told her to ring the hospital.
So she did just that, and after almost an hour of talking and arguing with various doctors, was told that since the Potters had no relatives that were coming forward, they were welcome to visit. Mark grumbled about loosing his afternoon, but drove over with her anyway.
The Potters were lying in a small room, two beds side by side, hooked up to more bleeping instruments and flashing lights than your average spaceship. They had been cleaned up, given hospital clothes to replace the tattered rags they had been wearing, and the wounds dressed. They looked much younger in the stark hospital lighting – Cam wouldn't have said they were older than 25. A doctor had come in and talked to them, and explained that as far as they could see they had treated all injuries – there was no damage to the internal organs, both brains were functioning properly, and aside from a couple of broken ribs for James, and Lily's broken arm, they were all in one piece. All they could do now was wait for them to wake up.
So they did. For nearly 6 weeks the Potters lay silent in their room, surrounded by the bleeps and whirs of the machines. The doctors said they had slipped into comas, and there was nothing they could do now but hope. And Cam hoped. Mark teased her, saying her heart was getting in the way of her head, but he still entered into helping to try and trace their relatives. The hospital had allowed them to take photos, and Cam plastered the local villages and towns with them. But it was to no avail. And so when Lily and James woke up, simultaneously, almost 6 weeks to the day after collapsing in Cams kitchen, they had nothing left of their lives. Not even their own memories.
The hospital were suddenly presented with a rather complex problem at this point. Lily and James Potter were physically sound, but, for obvious reasons, could not be discharged. When Cam arrived one Sunday afternoon, two weeks after Lily and James had both woken, she was shocked to discover there were plans in place to send the pair to Meadowside, a hospital that specialised in memory loss. It was also in Scotland – a good six hour drive from their Somerset home. So, on arrival home that night she informed Mark to set up the guest bedroom, and make the bed in Gwen's old room, much to his bewilderment. Gwen's room had lain practically undisturbed for nearly ten years, aside from a few bouts with a hoover and duster, and it was as much shook from Cams no nonsense way of telling him that someone was going to sleep in it as much as anything. Even after Cam explained that after yelling at various hospital officials for the better part of the afternoon, she had eventually persuaded them that the Potters would be best off in a normal home, with regular visits to the counsellors at the hospital. And so, 3 months after they first appeared, the Potters came back to The Stables.
The following few months had been interesting to say the least. Lily and James, according to the specialists, had a particularly interesting type of amnesia. Of course, the specialists thought all types of permanent amnesia were interesting, but even so. And so Cam, whose patience could outlast a saints, started teaching them again.
Writing and speech came first, re-teaching them turning out to be much easier than Cam had expected. The Doctors had said it was due to the type of amnesia – the memories were locked away by the mind, possibly due to some traumatic event, but some would come back naturally, seeping their may through from the subconscious when the conscious was reminded of them It had been curious too, watching the pair interact. Cam presumed that they must have been in love – they were married, after all, if the shared name and wedding rings were anything to go by, and yet, of course, they had no memory of meeting, going out, kissing, falling in love at all. But in the end, Cam decided, love was like reading and writing – you reminded yourself of it consciously, and the subconscious decided it was true as well. It had been one evening – Lily had gone out to check on the horses, and James had followed her. They had been gone sometime, and when Cam had opened the door to go and find them, she had seen them standing by the field gate, kissing like there was no tomorrow, and rather bewildered looking Snippet standing behind them. After this first show of true affection – in her head, Cam called it their second-first kiss – a cork seemed to have been unstopped. Nothing changed dramatically about their behaviour, or their manner, it was more a sort of feeling you got from them, and air of "yes, I love him/her. I forgot it for a bit, and now I remember, so its not going to change anything really."
But of course, in the end, it had. Cam noticed it one Saturday, when she and Lily were trailing round town, and Lily slowed down as they passed the estate agents, examining the properties in the windows. That evening, she questioned them both over dinner, and eventually James admitted it.
"It's not that we don't enjoy living here." He said hastily. "But we've been here almost a year now, and we need to start getting ourselves set back up on our own two feet again. Or four feet." He blushed, looking apologetic. But Cam and Mark smiled and nodded, and agreed, and so, the Great House Hunt began.
Both James and Lily had been working for some months now, but even so they would never have been able to afford a house on their own. It had taken some time for the officials to work out exactly what should be done, and in the end they paid an upfront payment of £75,000, with promises of an extra £1000 a year for the next five years to "get them going."
Even with the extra money, it seemed as though the Potters had no hope of finding a house within a 10-mile radius of Cam and Mark. The local area had become a hotspot for second homes, and so they were lucky if they found anywhere under £150, 000. They were almost giving up, when, one evening in late November, Mark came bursting into the house.
"I've found it!" he cried, waving a piece of paper. "I've found the house!"
This, understandably, caused much excitement, but Mark, who has a rather dry and evil sense of humour refused to tell them any more details, other than that he had the key, and they were going to look at it right now this minute. Chattering excitedly, the other three had followed him out and headed to the car. Mark, however, ignored the car, and marched straight over the courtyard. Bewildered the others followed him. He stopped triumphantly outside the door of the run down building opposite. He inserted a key, and swung the door pen triumphantly.
A moment may be taken now to explain the layout of the area surrounding the Jones' house. Once the centre of a busy farm, their own house was the original farmhouse, a long rectangle, with the never used front door on one of the longer sides. One of the shorter sides faced a large cobbled court yard, with the track winding away down to the main roads. At the other end of the house was another court yard, this one newer, built many years ago even so, and next to this was the stables.
On the opposite side of the front courtyard, however, there was a converted…thing. No one was quite sure what building it had been originally – some said a barn, some said a cow shed, and one village legend said one of the farmers many years ago had had two wives and so built them a house each. But whatever its original purpose, it was a house, with two floors, an attic, a good sized garden, and was under £90,000. It also had a hole in the roof, rotted beams and a great possibility of whole nomadic tribes having taken up residency in the garden, but the Potters didn't care. It was, or would be, home.
Of course, it had taken a lot of work to make the place habitable again; Lily and James were still paying off the loans they had taken out that year nearly 15 years later. But eventually, in October of the following year, two years after the strange pair had first turned up at Cams kitchen door, they moved in. They retook their wedding vows three months later, and so the Potters second life truly began.
And there we have it! The prologue! Please read and review. Constructive criticism will be much appreciated, flames will be used to cremate one of our hens that died yesterday. Updates shall be every Monday.
By the way, all the figures in this chapter were made up. I have no idea what the government do with people who have no past, I can't imagine it's a problem which comes up an awful lot. And I'm no expert on amnesia, so I made all that up too. If anyone knows any better, please let me know.
And now….off to Berlin!