Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to the goddess, JKR

Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to the goddess, JKR. I saw the second trailer today and was completely blown away, then I looked at my calendar and realized that November 16th is still a long way off ::tries to think of way of getting that Time Turner from Professor McGonagall:: Anyhow, when I heard Alan Rickman speak his line in the trailer ("Mr. Potter…our new celebrity" ::goose pimples::), I was inspired to write this. I hope you like it…please let me know if you do because I love the constructive reviews. Flames will be used to set off my Canada Day fireworks (July 1st).

He is Here

So, he is here. I suppose I always knew this day would come. It is somewhat ironic that a few minutes of time can move so slowly and yet the last 10 years have seemed but an instant. Ironic that the son of a man I hated so intensely and, perhaps, hate still…no, I do not hate him any longer. Did he not die nobly? Did he not sacrifice himself for the sake of his family?

I understand that it took several owls for him to receive his letter of acceptance. His muggle relations were trying to keep him from discovering his true identity. I am not sure for whom I feel sorrier.

I hold the goblet and swirl its contents slowly. The fragrant vapours of the sleeping potion I have put together are already causing my mind to drift. I think back ten long years and remember the events which transpired…events which are etched in my memory like carvings on a rock. The passing of time has not softened the lines, has not eased the pain and has certainly not tinted my memories of that horrible night. A deep shudder runs through my body but it is nothing compared to the deathlike numbness in my forearm…it is my constant reminder that I was weak.

Standing up, I look around at my quarters. Some would say it is dark and somewhat gothic but what would they know? This is my holy of holies, my inner sanctum if you will. The dark furnishings, the canopied bed upon which I have never slept particularly well, the fur pelts which never seem to take away the cold that is always inside me…inside my heart…since that day…

There are no windows here…I have no need for the light. There are no mirrors here…I have no need to see what I have become.

He is here. His mother's son. His father's heir. Come to take his place in our world. Tomorrow I will teach him. He looks like his father…but he has his mother's eyes. How will it be for him over the next seven years? He is already looked upon as some sort of Messiah, a Holy Grail for all of us poor sinners. He is only an eleven-year-old boy who has yet to perform even the simplest of spells.

Yes, I know that all this fame and glory and praise is unasked for and I am certain that he would give it up in a heartbeat to have his parents back. That does nothing to assuage the pain in my heart. He may now know the truth about their deaths but I know the reality. I saw their faces; eyes wide open looking through me and past me, accusing me even in death…

I put down the goblet. My hand is shaking so much I am afraid I will spill its contents on the floor. Yes, I was a traitor but I found my way back. It still pains me to think that they never knew I had been on their side at the end. That I had tried to prevent the atrocity but was too late. Since that night, I have worked at Hogwarts and have hidden myself away from the others. I do not care what they think of me…it can hardly be worse than what I think of myself.

He is here and I will have to face this ghost-like remembrance of the past. I don't know if I can do this. But I swore an oath to her that I would protect him and I have never broken an oath.

He is here and I am his silent guardian who must hide behind the sneers and the insults.

He is here and I must face a reality of being given a second chance to redeem myself, no matter how undeserving I may think I am.

He is here and a part of me is glad…a part of me I must keep hidden.

I watched as he was sorted into the same house as his parents. I wonder if they can see him. He saw me and then flinched, as if in pain. At the same moment, I felt that pain again in my forearm, a pain long dormant…except in my nightmares.

Sighing, I force myself to pick up the goblet and down its contents. I lie down on my bed and feel the potion begin to work. I pray, as I do each night, that I will not dream. Tonight, my prayers go unanswered.

I dream of Lily, the one person whom I always considered to be my friend, who gave me the strength to break away from the darkness which had threatened to consume me entirely. I dream of James, the annoying prankster in whose debt I yet remain. I dream of a small, dark-haired baby boy with an unblemished forehead, his father's infectious smile and his mother's sparkling green eyes. The green eyes fade into an awful green light and then…and then I wake up, covered with a cold sweat and with a heart full of pain.

I quickly dress and prepare myself for the day's classes.

He is here, in front of me, in his first Potions class. I can see that he is frightened. I am reminded of his father, of his mother, of the past and the present and the possible future. I fight down these emotions and hide behind my well-known persona of the cold and unapproachable Potions Master. I look down on him, taking great advantage of my height and his seated position.

I hear myself say the words with a coldness that even takes me by surprise.

"Mr. Potter…our new celebrity."

He is here and so it begins.

A/N: This is where my muse took me. Maybe next time, I will get her a map ::big grin::. Just a short note that Chapter 2 of "Hour of Grace" and Chapter 8 of "The Error of My Ways" will be coming out on July 1st which is, of course, Canada Day ::waves Canadian flag enthusiastically::