A/N: Thanks to:-
Maiden of Books
Preetoaka Raven Potter Weasley
Flame me all you want people; this fic isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Chapter Fifteen - The Confession.
Harry woke up suddenly and for a moment wondered why, until he felt something on his arm. Turning his head he almost screamed as he came face to face with Hedwig, who happened to have a very torn up mouse in her beak.
"Lord Hedwig! Did you have to bring me a present this morning?" He complained feeling his stomach rolling in acute disgust.
Hedwig cooed at him through a beak full of mouse and Harry closed his eyes.
"You are a clever owl though, catching that all by yourself." Harry praised stroking Hedwig's puffed up breast.
He felt better this morning and pushed yesterday off as a fluke. Stretching his back, he gingerly took the mouse from Hedwig and placed it on his bedside table. He hoped to Merlin the house elves took it when they cleaned the tower dormitories, or failing that Forest would clean it up. Hopefully.
Getting up and petting Hedwig one final time Harry looked around him. His dorm mates were still asleep, not surprising as he looked out of the window and the pinky gold tinge to the sky told him it was just after daybreak.
Sighing Harry got a change of clothes and went for a shower, he didn't know why they had worn their robes yesterday when it had been Saturday, they didn't exactly have classes to go to and it was only required to wear school uniform on school days. The weekend wasn't counted.
After his shower Harry felt absolutely fine. He had no homework left, nothing he needed to do today and he was feeling better than he had in a long while. He checked in on Forest and Ice, both of which were sound asleep at the end of his bed. Deciding against waking them up, Harry picked up his law book and made his way down to the kitchens for breakfast.
He arrived quickly not seeing any teachers or ghosts or any living, or undead, thing, though he supposed they were all still asleep. He tickled the pear and smiled as it giggled at him, before turning into a doorknob. He greeted the house elves joyfully and smiled as they practically radiated happiness and beamed at him, coaxing him into a chair and feeding him fit to burst with an assortment of breakfast foods.
Once his slowly stretching stomach was full, Harry flopped back against the chair and groaned, feeling like he would never move again. He was just so full! Staying in his boneless position, Harry closed his eyes and thanked the house elves profusely, though he told them they would have to roll him out of the kitchens because he currently couldn't move.
He stayed as he was for a few minutes before he sat himself back up and cracked open his law book and started reading. He was disgusted by some of the laws and limitations placed upon the wizarding world's inhabitants, especially vampires, werewolves and centaurs. He didn't understand how people could be so prejudice and discriminating of anyone who wasn't the same kind as they were. It was wrong! They had feelings and emotions as well as the rest of them, why should they be made to live in squalor and poverty just because they had been bitten by a werewolf, or turned into a vampire? Most of them had been turned unwillingly in the first place! It just wasn't fair. If he ever got in a position to so something about it, Harry swore he damn well would. He would abolish half of the outdated and archaic laws and regulations he was reading, most of them didn't even fit into regular society anymore and had been outdated for over a century.
A warm bowl of vegetable soup was placed in front of him at lunchtime along with a plate of fresh crusty bread and Harry thanked the house elves for taking care of him. The soup was delicious and Harry even managed half way through a second bowl. He stood up and stretched, he needed to do something about his lapsing physical training and there was no time like the present.
He slipped down his special tunnel that the house elves had pointed out to him, coming out of the tree near the green houses and set off towards the lake. It seemed big enough that he could run decent laps around it. He would try three and see if he was gasping for air and his muscles were aching and burning at the end, if they weren't he'd run an extra lap. If it was too much, he'd try two laps and work his way from there.
Gasping and panting for air as he finished his third lap, Harry collapsed onto the patch of grass that marked his third lap around. Taking in a few, very deep, lungful's of air, Harry sat up and began stretching out his muscles so the lactic acid wouldn't build up and cause his muscles to cramp up on him.
It was perhaps four in the afternoon now and Harry was feeling a bit contemplative. His mind kept slipping back to the Boggart. That woman. Seeing her again had released all of Harry's old nightmares and memories. He tried to keep them locked up, but he couldn't, he was still terrified of her and what she had done.
She had never physically hit him, but what she had done was much, much worse. Harry believed he would have rathered a slap now and then to what she had done to him. All of the pain she had inflicted upon him, the things she had exposed him to, the things she had said. He had sworn he would take the details of his ordeal with him to the grave, but that was before now, when he was younger, when he had had no one but himself, when he believed his parents were dead. Could he go back on his word now he knew his parents were actually alive and well? Would they believe him? What if they didn't and called him a liar? Would they still love him afterwards?
Harry sighed and thought about it rationally. They had no proof he was a liar and Harry could prove it, he was after all telling the truth. He couldn't be claimed a liar if it was the truth. They might not believe him, but all he had to do was offer them his memories in a Pensieve, they would be able to see then that he was telling the truth. If they didn't love him afterwards, well…Harry would be glad that he hadn't gotten to know them in depth yet, it would make the pain easier to bear when the time came for him to separate from them, but that was only if they didn't love him anymore and they had no reason not to.
Making up his mind, Harry set off back to the castle, he wanted an early dinner and he needed to pick up his law book from the kitchens anyway, then he would go and see his parents. He needed to talk to them, but he didn't know how. It was always going to be hard to talk about his very early childhood, he could hardly bare to think about it as it was, but to actually talk about it willingly? Perhaps it would be easier if he had them around him, his Father had already saved him from the Boggart, perhaps he could save him from the actual thing, but could he save Harry from his own memories? There was only one way to find out.
No one was in the Marauders quarters when Harry got there, but Forest was, he was curled up in front of the fire, his dark green scales reflecting the flickering light of the flames like a mesmerising mirror. Harry's eyes were drawn to the flickering light, hypnotised by it, and it was only Forest speaking that broke Harry, rather reluctantly, from his gawking.
"I knew you would come here." Forest hissed lazily.
"Where is Ice?" Harry asked shaking his head slightly to rid it of his drowsy feeling before looking around carefully in case he had missed her somewhere in the rather large room.
"She was having it out with that blasted bird when I left the nest."
"They are not harming each other are they?" Harry asked concernedly.
"No, she was hissing up a storm and that blasted bird would not stop squawking. I left to save myself the trouble of trying to sleep with that level of noise."
Harry chuckled and sat on the settee, curling up with his law book. Forest slithered up and draped himself over Harry, they both shifted until they were comfortable and warm, before settling down, Forest to sleep and Harry to read more of the hideously, grossly, prejudice and iniquitous laws that actually made up the justice system and power structure of the world he now lived in.
It was an hour or so later when the portrait door was opened to admit an arguing pair of men and two disgruntled observers.
"…how can I possibly know where he is!" His Father was almost growling at Sirius.
"Don't you have some sort of radar that tells you where he is and any given moment in time?"
"Of course I don't you stupid twit, I'm human not…" His Father was cut off by his Mother who finally took note of her surroundings.
"Harry!" She exclaimed in great relief. "Oh baby we have been looking for you."
She rushed to him then and wrapped him in a hug, Harry fought to keep himself in check, to stop himself from flinching, he partly managed it, he didn't flinch, but he felt a tremor running through his body at the sudden contact.
"How long have you been here?" His Father asked.
"About an hour." Harry replied neutrally. Had he done something wrong? He had been told he could come here whenever he wanted, had that been a lie.
"Where were you before that?"
"You found the kitchens and it's only October? Hell, the little rat is beating our record already!" Sirius whined.
"Sirius!" Lily scolded as she felt Harry tense. "Ignore him Harry, he's being mean."
"So did you need to talk about anything?" James asked, sitting down on the other side of Harry, cringing away from Forest who raised his head and hissed lowly at being disturbed.
"Yes. Draco and Hermione were talking in the library and I didn't understand very well."
"Well what was it honey, I'm sure if none of us know it we can find out together." Lily told him with a beautiful smile.
"We were seeing which one of us was older and who was the youngest and Hermione was speaking about something her parents said to her before she came to Hogwarts and Draco said his Father had given it to him as well and answered his questions."
"And what's that Harry?" Lily asked, giving a glare to James and Sirius as they pulled faces at Draco's name and the mention of Malfoy Senior.
"They had something called the 'talk' but they wouldn't explain any further. Draco said his Father called it 'making love' how do you make love? Love is an emotion it can't be made or given can it?"
Sirius coughed deeply and quickly made his excuses and wandered off to his room. Remus smiled at James, before picking up a book he had left on the coffee table and went into his own room, leaving Harry with his thoughtful Mother and his bright red Father.
"Harry, do you know where babies come from?"
"I know general anatomy. I know the baby grows in the Mother's womb and is then either birthed out or cut out, but the book didn't explain how the baby got there in the first place."
"Can we tell him the stork version please?" James begged his Wife who shot him a stern look.
"Do you honestly believe Harry will accept that pathetic attempt of explaining the birds and the bees? He's eleven, not five."
"What does this conversation have to do with birds and bees? I thought we were talking about babies." Harry asked, looking questioningly up at his Mother and Father.
"The birds and the bees is another way of saying 'The Talk' Harry. It actually has nothing to do with birds or bees."
"Oh. Then why is it called the birds and the bees if it has nothing to do with them?"
"It doesn't matter Harry." Lily told him gently. "Now I think you are a bit too young for this talk, but as you are curious, it's better to get it out of the way, though when you are a bit older, fifteen or sixteen, your Father and I will go into more depth."
Harry nodded slowly, he didn't understand why this talk needed two parts or why one needed to be given when he was older, but he trusted his parents enough to at least get this right.
"Now, when a man and a woman…" James started only to be cut up by his Wife.
"Or a man and another man."
"Er, yeah, okay. When a man and his partner love each other very much, they decide that they want to take their relationship to the next level, you know about relationships don't you Harry?"
"Good. Now the next level of a relationship is physical intimacy."
Harry screwed his face up. "Like hugs?" He asked, not understanding.
"No, more like…like kissing deeply and touching without clothes."
"James! That part of the talk is for when he's older! This part is just explaining the whys and hows."
"Fine, you do this part, I'll do the one when he's older." James replied petulantly.
"I'll hold you too that." Lily hissed at him, before turning back to Harry. "When a couple want a baby Harry they will 'make love' with each other, making love is another way of saying sex."
"I thought that part was for when he's older?" James asked.
"He need's to understand!" Lily snapped. "Do you know the male anatomy Harry?"
"The male sex organs?" James asked.
"Yes." Harry replied, he had read that in the anatomy book, but how did that work.
"When a male has sex or 'makes love' with his partner, he…"
"James! That part is for when he's older! He wont understand."
Harry felt like he was caught in the middle of a brewing argument, so he ducked out whilst he could.
"I get that 'making love' is sex and that the sex talk will come when I'm older, but how do babies get inside a woman?"
"Her partner put's it there Harry."
"Right and that coincides with the sex talk and is for later?" He asked, just to be sure.
"Okay. I understand better now."
His parents let out sighs of relief and Harry shook his head, he wondered if the Hogwarts library had books explaining sex or if he was going to have to buy them in Diagon Alley next summer, he couldn't wait until he was sixteen for this information, he wanted to understand as soon as he possibly could, his interest was piqued and it wouldn't simmer down until he had at least quenched a little of his thirst for knowledge on this certain topic.
"Right, now that's out of the way, was there anything else Harry?" James asked, his grin coming back.
"Yes. I wanted to talk about the Boggart. You did something to get rid of it, what was it? Can you teach me how to do it?"
Lily sat up straighter. James had filled them, meaning her, Remus and Sirius, in about the Boggart and why Harry had been in bed with them when she had woken up. She had wanted to sit down with Harry and ask him about it, but James had made her wait until Harry approached the subject himself. She had been on tender hooks for days, willing Harry to come to them and explain who the woman James had seen was.
"It is a very simple spell Harry, but one that thirteen year olds learn in their third year here. You need to gain control with a wand and over your magic first, or it can go very wrong."
Harry nodded his head and took a deep breath.
"I know you are curious about who she was." He said softly, he could feel their anxiousness when he brought up the Boggart.
"Who was she Harry?" James coaxed gently.
"She was my caretaker. She looked after me when I was very young. She said she found me in the woods when I was just a baby and that she took me in to give me shelter from the wild animals and elements."
"Was she a witch?"
"No. She was just a Muggle that lived in the woods about five miles outside of Godric's Hollow."
"You…you were that close to us." Lily breathed, thinking back to that night.
"Yes, from what I understand I used accidental magic to get myself out of danger and ended up in the woods where she found me."
"Who was she Harry, do you remember her name?"
"She never gave me her first or last name. I was always instructed to call her Madam Ambriel, though I knew that wasn't her real name."
"When did she start hurting you Harry?" James asked even softer, thinking back to the terror he had seen in his son's eyes as the woman in white advanced on him.
"Ev…everything was fine for a while, she did look after me, or at least, I don't remember if she hurt me back then, but when I was perhaps two and a half, she changed dramatically, she started making me do things."
Harry shuddered as the image of her holding out a pipe to his two-year-old self. He had trustingly taken that pipe and held it in his mouth as he had been instructed to, not knowing that it was poisoning him slowly.
"She took me in her car when I was three, nearly four. She drove us into the slums of a city twenty miles away and left me there."
"How…how long were you on the streets Harry?"
"I don't know. More than a week, less than a month. A gang of teenage boys found me. They were all between the ages of seventeen to twenty. They all had large knives and I just ran. When I was running I wished myself away from them, far away. I just wanted to be safe, to go somewhere safe. I vanished and reappeared in Godric's Hollow. The one place, the only place, I had ever really been safe and that's where I stayed."
"If…if we had only gone back for our things." Lily moaned as if in physical pain.
"Shh Lily. We both made the mutual decision not to go back." James soothed, though he was having his own misgivings.
"Why didn't you ever come back?" Harry asked.
"We couldn't face going back to where we had been so happy." James told him, pulling him in tighter and 'accidentally' dislodging Forest onto the floor. "We didn't want to see all of your old baby things, the photos, the demolished house where our friends, and supposedly you, had been killed. We were being cowards."
"No. Not cowards. Just unhappy and unwilling to face the horrible past." Harry whispered. He had wondered for so long on why they had never come back to the house.
Harry felt better for having told his Mother and Father about Madam Ambriel, he felt calmer and safer, though he knew Madam Ambriel couldn't hurt him any longer, she didn't even know he was still alive, let alone where he was, but that did not stop his memories from trying to confuse him. His parents had taken this part of him better than he could have hoped, it made him think that perhaps he could tell them the whole of what he had been through in his life, and not just a little part of it.
Cuddled now between his parents for the first time, Harry wondered if this is what actual love felt like. It was like a fluttering, clenching muscle had been attached to his heart and stomach. Thinking about harm to his parents caused the new muscle in his stomach to clench painfully, thinking of being held like this forever and always made the muscle on his heart flutter happily. If this was love, Harry never wanted to give it up. Not now, not ever.
A/N: Yes, I am well aware that I haven't updated this fic in over a year. Just know that no matter how long it takes me to update, I will not abandon it. I have been more focused on The Life and Trials, but I found a spare couple of hours to write this chapter.
No this story will not be slash, will not be het, will not be anything as I believe that eleven year olds can not have relationships and I have said already that I am only doing this fic up to the end of Harry's first year. There will be a sequel of Harry's second year and then third and so on up to the seventh and final one.
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