To Sleep is an Act of Faith
Summary: The war is over, but where is Harry Potter? The wizarding world has almost given up hope of finding their saviour, but Harry is now the one that needs saving; can an unsuspecting muggle help?
Rating: K (may change)
Author's Notes: As ever I am sorry for the wait and eternally grateful to those who have kept with it this long and left such lovely messages and reviews. Thank you.
It was several hours after Damien had left the room when Harry finally fell back into a fitful sleep, filled with dreams of rejection, hopelessness, and pain.
When he awoke, it was to the stinging shock of sunlight streaming through the window of his room. A nurse dressed in a light blue uniform had opened the blinds, and was now proceeding to check the myriad of machines that surrounded Harry's bed, all the while chatting away to him in that false chirpy voice used when you're trying hard not to show someone just how much you pity them.
Harry didn't even bother listening to what she was saying, no doubt it was utterly irrelevant, and to be honest – he just didn't care any more. It was like all the purpose and control he had regained over the past weeks had been sucked out of him, leaving an empty space that pulled all motivation from his mind and left him nothing but a burnt out husk.
After several minutes of bustling about the room that had been assigned to Harry, the nurse left. Harry revelled in the peace that filled the room once she had gone; all he wanted was to be alone, not with Damien, not with Dumbledore, not with doctors. Just alone, where he could do his own thing, not constantly being pushed around by people who thought they knew what was best for him.
He wished he had never met Damien, never gone to stay with him in the first place; but instantly regretted it. It wasn't fair for him to blame the priest, he had been nothing but kind and respectful to Harry, this wasn't his fault.
How had this happened? How had Dumbledore found him? Well, he supposed it didn't matter how, the long and the short of it was that his secret life was not so secret any more, and the thought of what would happen to him now that he had been found scared him more than anything.
He found that when he turned his thoughts towards Dumbledore, fear was not the only emotion that struck him. The mere thought of the man who so fiercely represented his past life was enough to make anger bubble in his stomach and rage clasp at his core. The pain of his memories was almost unbearable, and with such a strong reminder as Albus Dumbledore walking through his mind, he found he couldn't lock it up out of harms way.
And so he lay almost completely still for an undeterminable amount of time, pain, fear and anger all silently raging, just below the surface.
Meanwhile, Albus Dumbledore had been intensely pacing up and down the relatives room of Limerick Hospital for what he was sure must have been hours now. He just didn't know what to make of this massively unexpected turn of events. He didn't know what to do.
Harry was alive, that much was very clear. Which meant he had obviously survived whatever machinations Voldemort had subjected him to, which was perhaps not necessarily a good thing.
But what did it mean? What was he supposed to do? Harry may be alive, but he didn't seem to have made any attempt to return to Hogwarts and his friends. Though this might be due to the fact that he had been stranded without a wand, maybe he simply hadn't been able to make contact with the people he had left behind? However, much as he would have liked to believe this, he didn't really believe that Harry wouldn't have been able to find some way of getting in contact with them if he had wanted to.
Which lead Albus to the inescapable conclusion that Harry did not want to return, and when he considered it, he could quite understand why the boy might want to avoid them. Seventeen years old and he had seen more cruelty and experienced more pain than most men did in a lifetime.
But could Albus just leave him here? Surely the best thing for the boy was for him to be around the people who could really understand what he had been though? And surely the best people for that job were the ones who loved him, and had done so for the past six years?
But if Harry had chosen to stay here…?
Albus sighed and dropped tiredly into one of the chairs that lined the walls of the room. He would speak with the boy, and then make a decision; besides, there was a hell of a lot they needed to say to each other, even without the added complication of what Harry's future was to be.
And so the old man, feeling ever older with each step he took, made his way through the clean smelling corridors until he came to the ward where Harry was staying. He asked at the desk where Harry could be found, and made his way to the room he was directed to.
Upon finding the door marked 'Adolescent C', he paused to observe the man sitting outside it.
Damien Moore obviously to care for Harry very much, and it seemed he had shown the boy much kindness throughout the short time they had known each other.
Albus lowered himself into the chair next to where the other man sat, the movement rousing him from his obviously hard come by sleep.
Damien rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and upon noticing the person sitting by him, turned to face the other man.
"Hi," he said, tears and sleep making his voice sound rusty and unused.
"Hello," Albus replied, "How is he?"
"Physically, he seems to be doing okay, he has some kind of problem which has affected his ability to speak, but the doctors assure me that this is something that can be overcome with time and effort. Mentally… well, how would you feel?"
"He's upset then?"
"Upset!? Of course he's bloody upset!" Damien raged, not bothering to apologise for the profanity. "Just when he starts to feel safe around me – I go behind his back and dig around in things that he consciously chose not to tell me! Just when he starts to feel safe and separate from the life he's been tortured by for the past however long it is - you turn up and bring it all crashing down around him! Just when he's begun to heal physically from the trauma that's plagued him – he's shoved back into a hospital, the ability to express himself completely taken away from him! Yes, I think we can safely say he's a tad upset by all this."
Albus let his head drop a little in acceptance of this chastisement, knowing he deserved worse for what he and directly and indirectly subjected Harry to over the past years.
A short silence dropped over the two men, ad they acknowledged to themselves the ways that they had wronged the boy who lay hurting in the room behind them.
Albus was the first to speak.
"What did you say is wrong with his speech?"
Damien sighed, running his hands over his face, "There was some damage to the passages in his brain or something, anyway, it means he's sort of, forgotten how to speak. Or not how to speak so much, as which words to use, it's like, he's lost the ability to choose which words to say to express what he means. I think."
Albus nodded, "Has he said anything at all?"
"Yes, he thanked one of the doctors who helped him last night, and he said 'why' to me earlier today. He seems quite determined to get back to normal. Or at least he did."
Albus looked at him questioningly.
The priest sighed again, "He's angry with me, I told him I had spoken with you and that I knew about his history, and he just closed up on me. It's obvious he feels I've intruded on what little privacy he had."
Albus frowned, "It doesn't sound like him, to be angry with you I mean. Although the last day or so has done nothing if not prove that I do not know Harry Potter half as well as I thought I did."
Their conversation paused again for several minutes, once again to be broken by Albus.
"Would you mind id I went in and spoke to him?"
Damien recognised that the older man was showing recognition for his relationship with Harry by asking his permission, and much as he wanted to protect Harry from the person who had started all this trouble, he realised that he could not keep them apart forever. Dumbledore had shown no malicious intent towards the boy, and Damien had no real authority to keep the man away.
He nodded slowly, "I'm waiting right out here, so if you hurt him…" He stopped, unsure what the end of that sentence was, but Dumbledore seemed to understand. He nodded, stood, and walked over to the door to Harry's room, where he paused slightly, before turning the handle to go in.
A/N I'm sorry this stops here but I think this is all I'll get out of myself today and I figured you'd probably rather have that little bit than wait ages for my inspiration to find itself. Hope you enjoyed it even if not much transpired, thank you for reading.