"Why did he have to be the one to suffer? Why did that bloody prophecy have to mean him? He should be able to enjoy his last year at Hogwarts, not take off on a 'Horcrux Hunt'!" Lily Potter whispered.
"Not to be rude, Lils, but I can still hear you," James Potter said solemnly. He looked at his wife with concern in his hazel eyes. She had been like this since Harry's fifth year, when the whole Ministry battle coupled with the loss of Sirius took its toll on her nerves. The fact that they could do nothing, only listen and observe, didn't help, either.
"He'll be fine. Harry, Ron and Hermione are a fine trio. I remember their third year, when the whole Pettigrew nonsense came up. It was because of them I was 'free', so to speak," Sirius offered, a misty look in his eyes.
"I know what happened in Harry's third year, thank you!" Lily snapped. Sirius arched an eyebrow and looked at James, who returned the look with a shrug.
"Lily, there's no need to get snippy. Sirius was only trying to help. I know you think Harry is being thrust into this mess head-first without any help, but Sirius is right. He's got his friends, and he's a very powerful young wizard, considering his age," James said, his voice full of pride.
Lily looked over at James and sighed. "I know, but it's still not fair."
"Life's not fair, love. This is Harry's battle, and he's gotten this far, hasn't he? Just look at what he accomplished in his first year, when he barely knew about magic!" James said proudly.
A small smile flickered across Lily's face, but quickly disappeared. "I don't care about what was, James. It's the future that scares me. He might die, and I don't want to see him here at age 17!" She looked over at the pensieve, worry etched on her face. The others looked at it, too. The pensieve's emerald liquid shimmered, then swirled to reveal a dark room. It was a small room, sparsely furnished with a bed, a desk, and a wardrobe. The bed was occupied by someone, and that someone was thrashing and kicking in a frenzy.
Lily let out a small gasp, then turned to her companions. "See? He shouldn't have to deal with these horrible nightmares! If I could get my hands on Voldemort, I . . . I . . ."
James stared at his son in the pensieve, a worried expression on his face. The nightmares were getting worse, and soon Harry would have to leave for his Horcrux Hunt, as they were calling it. When the three finally did leave, how bad were the nightmares going to be? With Voldemort's soul parts being destroyed, how bad would the pain in Harry's scar become?
"Lily, you can't get your hands on anyone. You've been dead for 16 years," Sirius said quietly. He knew he shouldn't have brought that up, but Lily wasn't facing the obvious knowledge that she couldn't do anything.
Lily whirled on him, anger burning in her bottle-green eyes. "I don't need to be reminded of my own death, Sirius! That was the day I lost my baby. How could I forget that?"
Sirius looked at Lily with sympathy. He had gotten to know Harry, but Lily and James, his own parents, had been killed when he was only a baby. "Sorry, Lil."
Lily looked away, eyes darting back to the pensieve. "It doesn't matter anymore, Sirius. If Harry lives through this mess, then I'll be happy," And with that, she continued to stare at her son, who was crying out.
"This is too much, Padfoot. He has to endure so much torture, while we got out of it all. I feel like we abandoned him," James said softly.
Sirius looked at his old friend sympathetically. "Don't do this to yourself, Prongs. Harry never once thought that you abandoned him, and that's all that matters, right? He's used to the nightmares; it's just the leaving Hogwarts he'll have to get used to."
Despite himself, James smiled. He knew what Sirius was saying, but it was hard to convince his heart. "Lily, are they in there yet?"
Lily was still looking in the pensieve, her gaze cold and hard. "Yes, and that big oaf husband of Petunia's is apparently not used to Harry's nighttime horrors," She spat her sister's name, her voice full of venom.
James and Sirius hurried over to Lily's side to look at what she'd described. In the room, which was no longer dark with the light turned on, was Vernon Dursley, screaming bloody murder at a white faced Harry. James and Sirius snarled in fury.
"Remind me again, why was our son blessed with their pleasant company?" James asked heatedly.
"We didn't have a will, James. Harry went to the only living relatives, and Dumbledore wanted him to be away from the magical world," Lily said quietly, never taking her eyes off her pale, shaking son. "It really doesn't matter, anyway. Harry will be of age in two days, and then he can leave for good."
Sirius snorted. "Is that really a good thing? When he leaves, he will be thrust into this bloody war. He's never had a choice in the matter."
Lily and James ignored him while they watched Vernon yell at Harry. He didn't do anything to defend himself; he just sat there, chalk-white and shivering.
Watching the three from afar, two figures stood. One was tall and thin, with a long white beard and half-moon spectacles. The other was young, about 17, with sandy-blonde hair and a handsome face.
"I don't know what they'll do if Harry doesn't make it, Dumbledore," The young man said sadly. "Before you got here, they never left his pensieve."
Dumbledore looked at his companion and sighed. "You have to understand their position, Cedric. They never got to know their own son, and this is as close as they can get, without him coming here."
Cedric considered this for a moment, slowly nodding as he thought. "Did you ever watch him with them, Professor? I would, but I feel like I'm intruding."
"No, I haven't. I felt the same. But, I do believe we've given them enough alone time, don't you agree? I'm sure they wouldn't mind us joining them, to witness the Dark Lord's downfall."
Cedric looked skeptically at the three at the pensieve. He didn't want to intrude on Harry's life, but he was sure that Harry wouldn't mind. Had he lived, Cedric was sure they would have talked more than they had. And besides, Harry had the weight of the Wizarding World on his shoulders, so what was a little added audience that he knew nothing about? Cedric looked up at Dumbledore, but he was no longer there. Cedric turned his head to look back at the pensieve, and saw that his former Headmaster had joined the group. Swallowing his apprehensiveness, Cedric ran toward them.
"You know, they were always scared by the fact that he had a felon for a godfather. If I was still alive, I could . . . could . . .," Cedric heard Sirius say as he joined the group himself.
James laughed. "You could what, Padfoot? Lick them to death?" Sirius' scowled at him. Cedric looked at Dumbledore in confusion.
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry, Cedric. This is Cedric Diggory, everyone," Dumbledore introduced him with a twinkle in his eyes.
"Cedric Diggory. Why does that sound familiar? You're pretty young to be here, son," James said.
Cedric blinked. He had not been prepared for the open welcome he received, but he wasn't complaining. "Yeah, well, that's a long and weird story, sir. But I did know Harry."
Sirius shook Cedric's hand. "Yes, I would say so. Harry was not right after that night. He said it was his fault."
"You know him, Padfoot?" James asked, surprised.
Sirius nodded. "He was in the Triwizard Tournament with Harry. He was the other Hogwarts champion, from Hufflepuff."
James slapped his forehead with his palm. "Oh, of course. Sorry, I remember you now. Helped Harry out of a tight spot with that Golden Egg," He smiled at the young wizard, who smiled back.
"Sorry, but how's Harry been?" Cedric asked slowly. Dumbledore looked from James to Lily, curious.
Lily sighed sadly. "Too many deaths in one's life can take a toll on you. Not to mention, the nightmares and scar pain that comes with them. He's suffering badly, but he doesn't complain."
Cedric closed his eyes. He never really knew all Harry had had to go through, but he had witnessed the scar pains. Right before Cedric died, Harry's scar had hurt terribly, like a warning signal to the approaching danger.
"Oh, okay, he's gone now," Lily said in relief. Cedric opened his eyes and looked in the pensieve, along with the others.
"Do you, by chance, mean his charming uncle?" Dumbledore asked.
Lily nodded. "Harry had another one of those nightmares, and of course, Vernon felt that Harry's cries were disturbing his peace." Her eyes had taken a steely glint, making the emerald colour darker.
"I'm sorry, but I don't understand. What's so bad about Harry's uncle?" Cedric asked in confusion.
They all looked at him, making his face flush. "Let's just say that Harry's Muggle relatives have always hated him, because they hate magic," Lily said, seething. Cedric was shocked. He never realised what Harry had to go through.
"Can we not do anything? He could probably use some help, in the time to come," Cedric asked as he watched the shaking Harry go back to a fretful sleep. He felt sorry for the almost 17 year old, who had already faced so much.
The adults all shook their heads sadly. Dumbledore spoke what they all knew. "We can do nothing, except watch."