LIGHTS PATH TO LIFE

CHAPTER 11: SOME MUCH NEEDED ANSWERS

Disclaimer: Still don't own Harry Potter….Dang it!

A/N: Sorry for the delay in this chapter. I came down with a pretty bad sinus infection and then I broke up with my boyfriend. I will definitely be thinking of him when I write the final battle scene between Harry and Voldemort!!! Don't forget to review…shiny gold stars for those who do!

Harry Potter watched the man in front of him bow. Normally he would have felt very uncomfortable seeing anyone bow to him but he felt calm around this person and he bowed in turn. He studied the man in front of him noticing how young he was; probably around his mid 30's. Harry could clearly feel the power the man possessed but he could also sense humility in the man. He took a few steps closer to the man and looked at his eyes. They were emerald green, just like his but they gave off a flicker of flame.

Harry looked around him. They were surrounded by darkness. The only light in the immediate area was that of the glow surrounding the man in front of him. The more he stood there the more questions began to form in his mind. He decided that now was as good as any to get some much needed answers. "Yuudai, where are we?"

Yuudai sensed the confusion inside of Harry but quietly waited until he was ready to ask his questions. A small smile came upon his face as he noticed that it didn't take Harry long to begin his questions. "We are anywhere you want us to be."

Harry looked at him and nodded. He looked at him again and raised an eyebrow to him, "Huh?"

Yuudai let out a roar of laughter as he put an arm on Harry's shoulder. "My apologies Harry, but I couldn't resist. I had asked the same question as you and I could not help but give you the same answer I received." He watched as Harry gave him a small nervous smile and decided to end his teasing. "To answer your question, we are in our subconscious mind. We can turn this vast emptiness into anything that we want. A house on a hill with a warm welcoming fire, a grand boat sailing the open seas, a school where you can learn to wield magic. Any place that you would like to be, you're mind can take you there."

Harry was processing all this through his mind. The possibilities were endless and he felt like a child excited about a new toy. "Yuudai, I know where I'd like to but since I have not achieved that goal yet I don't want to think about it. I noticed that you keep saying 'we' so can I assume that you can also transform this nothingness?"

"Very good young Harry. Why your friend Hermione keeps insisting that you don't listen is beyond me."

"You know about my friends?"

"Yes but let me bring us to a more welcoming place and then I can try to answer all of your questions."

Harry nodded and watched as the dark and blank space was slowly replaced by color. An open field appeared and he could smell the aroma of the green grass. A few yards ahead there was a small bridge made of stone. Harry could hear the sound of water running over the rocks below the bridge. Yuudai nodded to him and they began to walk towards the bridge. As they came closer to the bridge he noticed a small home just over it. The edges of the house were framed in dark cherry wood. The walls were white but as he continued to walked and moved closer to the home he saw that walls were thin and transparent.

Two steps led up to the door and Harry waited for Yuudai to take the lead. He watched as Yuudai removed his black sock like shoes and replaced them with a pair of slippers that lay by the side of the door. Harry, not knowing much of foreign cultures, decided to do the same since there was an extra pair there too. Yuudai slid opened the door and bowed to Harry, letting him know that he should enter first. He walked in and was amazed at the simplicity of the house. There were scrolls on the walls with symbols that he did not understand. He saw weapons were placed ceremoniously on alters but what caught his eye was a small thin Kitana that looked like the one he gave to Ginny.

His thoughts suddenly went back to his wife and his friends. He was just starting to wonder what they were doing. Did they bring him back to Grimmauld Place? Did Ron contact Remus and the other members of the order? He could picture them all worrying about him and wondered how he could somehow let them know he was ok.

"Harry, please sit and I will bring us some tea."

He followed Yuudai to the center of the room where a table made of deep dark wood stood. Around the table were straw mats. He walked up to the table and brought his knees to the mat. He sat on the back of his feet and noticed that the mat had a sort of spring to it that made it comfortable. He watched as Yuudai opened the door to another room and return a few minutes later with a tray containing a pot of tea and some cups. He carefully placed the tray in the center of the table and began to lay out the cups in front of them. Harry watched his movements as he took the teapot, slowly brought it to an angle, and neatly poured the tea into Harry's cup first. He repeated the process to his own cup and the entire process reminded Harry of a dance. Every movement had a purpose and a touch of grace.

He took the tea into his hands and felt the warmth of the tea spread throughout him. The aroma that filled his senses was nothing like he had experienced. In England you were given tea at a young age but Harry had never smelled an aroma quite like this. He brought the cup to his lips and let the not to hot liquid go slowly down his throat. He savored the flavor and try as he might he could not pin point what it was that made this the most delicious tea that he ever had.

Harry looked at Yuudai cautiously. He didn't want to insult his host but he had to know what kind of tea this was. "This is delicious. May I ask what it is?"

Yuudai smiled and bowed his head towards Harry. "Harry, do not be afraid to ask questions. I understand that our cultures are very different. In my culture it would be an insult if we did not speak of the tea we were drinking." He watched as Harry smiled at him and bowed his head in return. "This tea that you are drinking is called Gyokuro and it is considered the best amongst our teas. I only serve it when the occasion calls for it."

"Thank you then. It is very good. I'll have to remember the name and see if I can find it somewhere in England."

They drank their tea in silence. Harry had not remembered the last time he was this relaxed. At this moment, there was no war brewing. There was no need for him to train and fight. There was only calm and serenity that he wished would not end any time soon. Yuudai picked up on his feelings and began to refill their cups. As he set the pot down he looked at Harry with a stern face. "Normally during tea we would not talk about anything unpleasant but I know you have questions and I have been chosen to give you as many answers as I can."

Harry sighed and picked up his cup again. He took another calming sip and braced himself for all the questions he would have to ask and the answers he would receive.

"First I'm wondering about my friends and how worried they must be."

Yuudai offered him a smile, "Young Harry, look inside you and feel for them. Seek out their energy and you will have your answer."

Harry took in a deep breath and closed his eyes. He searched for anything that could connect them to his friends and was startled when he could smell the flowery scent of Ginny's hair. He felt her worry for him but also a sense of calm. He opened his eyes, "She's worried for me but she's calm too. Does she know what's happening here?"

"She knows that you are fine. She can sense that you are seeking something and I am sure she has told your friends to leave you be. It would be harmful if they moved you. Someone who wouldn't understand the journey you are on right now might do more harm than good. I am certain she is making sure you are not disturbed."

Harry chuckled at the thought of her hexing Ron and Hermione. "Yes I'm sure she is."

Yuudai smiled and continued, "She is an amazing woman. Her loyalty and strength are very honorable qualities. I am glad that we have finally found her."

Harry's head snapped up quickly, "What do you mean by finally finding her?"

Yuudai paused for a moment thinking of the best way to answer him. He couldn't think of a simple way so he decided to tell Harry what he knew and try to answer all the questions that he knew would follow. "You are a part of one soul. Before you there were 50 lives lived by this one soul. We each have come into different families, cultures and time but the one thing that identifies us is our eyes. Just like you have your scar that identifies you and earns you stares, in my life I had my eyes. Emerald green is not a common eye color in Japan. I stood out just like you do with your scar."

"Each soul has a mate but when the two shall meet is not known. Yes we fall in love and we marry but we have never met our other half until now. Fate has decided that you should be the one to find her."

Harry's eyes were wide with surprise. The fact that his past lives had been looking for their own Ginny was unimaginable to him. Knowing that he was the one chosen to find her and be with her brought a look of pride to his face. "I really didn't know if I believed in soul mates but then that day when Ginny and I bonded…it was so quick that I wasn't really sure if it happened. Then when we married and the bonding was completed I knew for certain that she was my other half."

He thought back at the time when he first met her and how awkward and frightened she was. He remembered how she was the one who was able to bring him back to life after Sirius died. He remembered when he finally realized that he fancied her and how hard it was for him to watch other boys be drawn into her. "I think deep down I've always known that I loved her. It took me so long to realize it and admit to myself."

Yuudai shared a laugh with Harry but then sobered up quickly. "Yes, well with the life that the fates decided you should live, it is understandable why it took you so long to realize it." He watched as Harry moved his eyes away from him and his cheeks turn red. "Yes we know what you went through and you shouldn't feel ashamed. You are not responsible for the way those people treated you. We felt your hunger when food was being withheld from you. We felt your pain as you took all those beatings. Most people would have given up but not you. You showed strength way beyond your years and while you have every reason to be mad at the world and turn your back on it, here you are ready to fight and save it."

Harry was having a hard time fighting back his emotions. He refused to think about the time he spent living with the Dursley's and the only one who knew half of what he really went through was Ginny. "If you knew and you could feel my pain why didn't you do something? Why couldn't you have helped me?" Harry's anger was rising but he couldn't hold it back. It had been so long since he thought about those days. "Why come to me now!"

Yuudai sighed as he saw Harry quickly wipe tears from his eyes. "Harry, the other thing that all of your past lives have in common is that we are all wizards. As you know, a wizard does not come into his full powers until he reaches the age of 17. The fates allowed you to begin to reach yours at 16 and you are not done yet. We couldn't have helped you no matter how much we wanted to. But we tried to offer you what little we could." Harry gave off a disbelieving snort but Yuudai continued. "Those nights when you were in your cupboard without a blanket we helped to keep you warm. When the storms were heavy and loud we were the music you heard that kept you calm. When you were bruised and bleeding on your mattress we opened up your mind so you can feel Lily's arms around you. We could not do much but we tried the best we could."

Many memories floated through Harry's mind. He remembered asking for a blanket and being told by his uncle that he could go ahead and freeze for all he cared. He remembered how warm he felt that night while it was so cold outside. Slowly he was remembering all the times he felt someone's arms around him holding him tight. He never stopped to think about any of this, never questioned it. He let a tear slide down his face as he looked up at Yuudai. "Thank you", he choked out.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Back at Godric's Hollow Ginny was crying while holding Harry's hands. Ron and Hermione walked in with a tray full of sandwiches and some chips. Noticing the state that she was in, Ron placed the tray on the end of the bed and went over to kneel by Ginny's side. Hermione walked in front of Ginny and sat on the table next to the bed.

Ron placed his hand on Ginny's arm and gave a squeeze. "Ginny? Are you all right? What is it?"

With her free hand she wiped the tears from her face and continued to stare at Harry. "He's in so much pain right now. Not physical but emotional. He was happy and content at first and then all this anger rose inside him. He's remembering things that he's chosen not to remember. The hurt and anger that's inside him is so overwhelming and I can't do anything to help him."

"Ginny, can you see his memories?" Hermione hesitated in asking.

"No, I can only feel what his emotions are. I don't know why but I know he has to face all of it."

Hermione brought her hand up to sooth Ginny's hair. She looked at Ron and gave him a quick smile. "While we were downstairs I was thinking and I think I have an idea as to what's happening to Harry. I'm not a hundred percent sure but it seems to be the only answer."

Ginny finally tore her eyes away from Harry and looked at Hermione with deep interest at her theory. "What is it that you think?"

"The American Indians believed in spirit guides and how they revealed your destiny to you at a certain time in life. They would prepare themselves to enter into a trance and wait for the spirit to come to them. Before their future could be revealed to them they had to face their past and acknowledge the pain that was placed upon them or they brought upon another. There are some wizards who also believe in this, that this can be achieved."

Ron spoke up a bit confused. "I've never heard of this before. What is this called?"

"It's called a Vision Quest and it is believed that spirits guide you into preparing you for what your future holds. It's not something that's talked about much because if it's done wrong then the person can remain in that state for a very long time."

"'Mione do you think that Harry will come out of this? I mean, he'll be ok right?"

"The difference between a Vision Quest and what Harry is going through is that Harry's is not self induced. I think that his powers decided that it was time to reveal where his energy source comes from. You know how he always said that he wished he knew more about his energy lights and how to fully yield them."

"That makes a lot of sense Hermione. I keep feeling moments of surprise from him. I also feel like he's talking to someone. I can sense all the questions that he has. It's like a heavy load but then I feel the load lighten a bit. It leads me to think he's getting answers. Right now I feel him calming down." She took a wash cloth from her lap and gently wiped the sweat that was forming on Harry's forehead.

"Ginny, why don't you eat something. I brought you something for your headache too. You look exhausted; Ron and I can watch Harry for a while."

"I want to stay with him. I need to stay with him. He needs to know that I'm here."

Ron stood up and brought Ginny up with him. "You and Harry are connected. I don't think you have to be standing next to him to know what he's going through. Why don't you sit next to him on the bed and try to eat something. Lie down when you're done and try to rest. If you can feel him I'm sure he can feel you and right now he needs to know that you're ok and relaxed."

For the first time in a few hours Ginny smiled. She moved to the other side of the bed and ignored the tray of food at the foot of the bed. She lay down next to him and placed her hand on top of his. Slowly she fell asleep while Ron and Hermione watched over them.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After a period of silence where Yuudai allowed Harry to compose himself, Harry began asking questions again. "So we've all been wizards and we are one life force but we're not related?"

"No, none of our lives have been related to another. When you pass from one life and are ready to be reborn into another we are sent into a family that is worthy of us. A family that will help with whatever destiny lies ahead of you. Now before you say anything I understand the confusion you feel right now. Yes, your parents died when you were young but family is more than just those that share our name. Family is anyone that love and protect you. They helps you make the right decision. They would die for you, just like James and Lily did for you. You, young Harry, have the largest family there is."

He couldn't argue with that. It took him a long time before he realized just how big his family was. While he still longed for his mother and father to be by his side he was grateful for all of his friends that stood by him and gave him what they couldn't.

"If you'd like young Harry I can even tell you where your family line comes from."

Harry thought about that for a moment. While he had his suspicions about his lineage the more he thought about it the more he was certain he didn't want it to be confirmed. If anyone were to find out he'd become an even bigger celebrity in his world and that's one thing he knew he didn't want. "Yuudai, you keep calling me 'young Harry', and I really wished you'd stop, but I don't think I'd want to know about my lineage. I have my suspicions but I really don't want any confirmation."

He let out a laugh and Harry noticed that his laugh had a melodic tone to it, almost like a phoenix trill. "Harry I may look young but I am over 400 years old. However, I will refrain from calling you 'young Harry.' As for your lineage, I will keep that information to myself. But if you'd ever want to know you don't need to look for to find answers."

"Ok then." Harry looked again at his surroundings, taking every detail in. So many questions he had but he knew he had to get to the important stuff. "Yuudai, if there are 50 past lives how come I can only see you?"

He stood up and motioned to Harry to do the same. "Come, let's continue our conversation in the garden." As they walked out into a beautiful garden Yuudai continued speaking. "Three lives came when mine ended, but we decided that one would be your guide here. You only see me because you and I have many similarities."

"Really? How so?"

"Both of our parents died when we were young. Granted, you had less time with yours than I did but I understand how you feel. We both had to make our own way. We both have a sense of duty to our fellow man and a pride in doing so. Your friend, Hermione, what does she call it? Oh yes, you suffer from a 'people saving thing'." Harry laughed along with him. "Never think that what you do to help others is a bad thing Harry. It is a trait that can not be found in many people these days. So many are focused on whatever they need to do to get them ahead in life. Money and social standing is all that is desired. They do not notice the needs of others. They do not hear the cries for help."

Yuudai stopped in front of a lotus plant and brought his nose to it. He inhaled the scent, letting it fill up his lungs. "Then there are the few who put the well being of others ahead of their own. They have no need of fame or fortune and do not ask for anything in return. They do what they do because it's the right thing to do. It is what makes them great. It is what makes you great Harry."

Harry felt a blush creep up on him. "I am not great. Dumbledore was great."

"Yes he was a great man but his time has past. This moment is yours Harry. Your destiny will decide if your world, magic and non-magic, will exist in peace or in darkness."

Harry stopped walking and spotted a bench by a small pond. He walked over, sat down and ran his hand through his messy hair. "I know that I have this power but I'm not sure how to use it to my full potential. I can't even help Hermione with whatever she was hit with. Can you help me figure out what's wrong with her?"

Yuudai remained standing in front of him. Harry pleaded to him with his eyes; the student seeking guidance from the teacher. "What is it that you noticed when you scanned her?"

"At first I saw black and green like threads that seemed to coil itself around her aura. However, when I scanned her the second time it was beginning to blend in. I tried to separate them but I couldn't. It fought with me."

"Harry, what can you associate with these colors?"

He paused for a moment to think and only two things stood out. "I think of Slytherin when I see the green and black, well I was always told that signifies death."

Sitting down on the bench next to Harry, Yuudai thought about his answers. "Black does not always signify death. In my culture death is signified by white. Before I created this place we were standing in a black nothing but you felt calm. Black stands for something else. Think of the color and what emotion can consume you and bring you into nothingness and emptiness if not checked?"

Harry thought about the color and what feelings he could associate with them. For some reason the more he thought of the color the more he thought of people like Snape and Bellatrix but also Vernon and Petunia Dursley. At that point Harry understood. "Black means hate."

"Exactly Harry. Now you associate Slytherin with green and that is not too far off. Of some of the Slytherins you've come to know what other trait did they all share?"

"That's easy, jealousy. As much as they believe in their pure blood theory, if they could, they would knock down a pure blood family so they could have a higher status in the wizarding world. No hesitation and no questions asked."

"So now you understand what is wrong with your friend."

"So the spell that Hermione was hit with causes her to react with hate and jealousy? Then there has to be a counter spell for it. Why would it be directed to Ginny and not at the rest of us? And how come I couldn't remove it from her?"

"You can not remove the remnants of this spell. It is meant to magnify the natural emotions of the person."

Harry stood up and began to pace. "Wait, you're telling me that Hermione is jealous of Ginny to the point that she hates her? I've known her since our first year and she's never shown any signs of hate or jealousy. She even pushed me to acknowledge my feelings for Ginny!"

"Every person has dark feelings. No one is immune to them. Even you have them Harry." Yuudai raised his hand to silence Harry when his pacing stopped. "Have you not been jealous at your friend Ron for having a family? Didn't you feel an overflow of hate when Bellatrix sent Sirius through the veil? No one is immune from these feelings but it is how we deal with them that sets us apart. But because her feelings are being magnified by the spell and she normally does not behave this way, it is causing her to act irrationally.

Harry began pacing again. He ran a hand through his hair trying to digest all of this information. "So basically I can't help her. This is something that she has to overcome herself."

Yuudai stood up and put is hands on Harry's shoulders, stopping him from pacing. "Your friend is very strong. She can do this but the longer she remains this way the harder it will be for her. What will be the one thing that will cause her to fight to be released from this spell, I do not know."

They began to walk through the garden again, stopping along the way to look at rare flowers. "Yuudai, if I am not related to you then how is it that I found your twin blade and Kitana in my family vault? At first I thought they were just similar but the longer I stay here I sort of feel a pull to them."

"While we are not related we are one and we are all bound by magic. All of the items we've used in our past lives will find a way back to us in the next life. You were able to summon Godric's sword to slain the Basilisk because the sword knew it was needed by its owner." Yuudai paused to give him a wink causing Harry to roll his eyes. "You found the blades and the Kitana because they knew you would need them. You and Ginny wield them expertly."

Yuudai looked up and saw the sun beginning to set knowing that his time was almost up. "Our time here is almost done."

"What? But I have so many things to ask you? I mean how can I even summon your life forces if it takes me so long to go into a trance. Won't that put me at a disadvantage?"

"Harry when you return you will go back more enlightened. Summoning us to help you will be easier for you. The magic and the knowledge of your past lives, along with the vast memories you have seen and experienced are the key to finishing your task. Do not forget that."

"I thought that the key was love, Ginny's love? Are you telling me that her role is not as big as I was led to believe? Because if I could I would keep her behind and out of harm's way." Harry looked at him with the hopes that he would give him the answer that he wanted so badly.

The teacher looked upon the student with a sad smile on his face and shook his head. "No Harry, Ginny has a very important role to play in your task. She must go into battle with you. Besides, she needs to face her demon and conquer him in her own way."

He sadly nodded acknowledging what Yuudai was saying. "I know and I understand. It doesn't stop me from worrying though. If something were to happen to her I don't think I could go on. I'm not even sure I'd even want to."

Yuudai roughly brought Harry into an embrace. He whispered, "Do not underestimate what you are capable of doing. Your task is set before you and you will meet it head on. We will all be here to help you and your enemy will not know what truly stands before him." Yuudai pushed Harry back but kept his grip on his shoulders. "Remember what you have learned here. Remember the dragon that lays inside of you, the secrets you have that you have not shared with your friends. You have many advantages over this evil. Believe in yourself and in your power. You are extremely powerful, eventually you will be the most powerful wizard since Merlin and you have to go into that battle knowing it. This is not about arrogance, this is about destiny and how you will bring yours about."

Harry looked at the wise man before him and felt a bit awed by him. "I have so many questions left to ask. I don't want to go back yet."

The teacher looked upon his student and smiled. "There will be other opportunities to meet within your mind, young Harry. You've opened up your mind and from now on using your powers will be easier for you. Perhaps the next time you will meet some of your other lives."

"Yuudai…" Harry was at a loss for words. He felt so much gratitude for the man standing in front of him. Harry honored him the only way he knew how; he took a step back and gave him a bow. "Thank you for everything. I will remember everything you have told me today."

Yuudai bowed back to him. "You are most welcome young Harry. It is time that you returned home. Do not worry for we shall see each other again." He placed a finger to the spot between Harry's eyes.

Harry felt himself floating away from Yuudai until he was surrounded by the black nothingness of his mind. He continued to float through all the memories of the day until he felt himself land inside his own body. Harry opened his eyes and took in a deep breath. He looked around and saw that he was still in Hermione's room. Ginny was laying by his side while Ron and Hermione were seated on the other.

Ron noticed that he was awake and gave Hermione a nudge with his elbow. "Harry you're awake! Are you ok? What happened?"

Harry's breathing began to normalize and he realized how tired he was. "Not now Ron. I've got to rest. I'll tell you everything in the morning." As soon as he finished speaking he turned over and wrapped his arm around Ginny. With a slight pop he apparated out of their room and into theirs leaving Ron and Hermione smiling.

A/N: Thanks for reading…please review and tell me what you think.