Chapter Twenty – Seeing the Future
Harry sat in the dark on the lone chair next to Sirius' bed; he was in the hospital wing at two in the morning since he was having trouble sleeping. Madam Pomfrey let him stay as she knew it was hard for him to visit during the day when the ward was full of families of the injured trying to engage him in conversations that he wasn't ready for.
"Come on Siri, wake up." He whispered, holding the unmoving hand and staring at the still, pale face of his godfather. "I need you." Harry bowed his head as silent tears streaked down his cheeks and fell onto their joined hands. "Without Remus and you I'm lost, I…I…" He suddenly found he couldn't continue; all he could do was squeeze Sirius' hand tightly in desperation, seeking the reassurance only a father-figure could give.
"Harry" Hermione whispered softly into the dark of the owlery, which was now fully repaired. Not getting an answer she tried again, a little louder this time "Harry?"
Harry heard Hermione say his name, he had a feeling she had had to physically stop Draco coming with her as she knew he would want Draco seeing him so…weak.
As silently as she could Hermione walked over to where Harry was sat in one of the windows, not wanting to disturb or surprise him.
"Hey" Harry muttered, turning his head slightly to look at her.
"You'll catch your death of cold sitting up here in a T-shirt"
Harry gave her a weak smile and returned to looking out of the window at the lake far below.
"Please Harry, we need you back" Hermione bit her lip nervously, obviously worried about Harry's reaction.
"Why?" Harry questioned, his voice hard and clipped, "Why do people keep looking to me? I…I'm just a nobody, there's nothing special about me." He turned to face Hermione, searching for an answer to a question that had been plaguing him ever since he had stepped into the wizarding world at the tender age of eleven.
"You're not a 'nobody'. I understand you…"
"Do you? You understand?" Harry suddenly stood, clenching his fists he faced Hermione, after a moment of silence he relented and sank onto the floor, face in his hands. "Sorry."
"It's ok Harry" Hermione sat next to him, her back against the wall and put her slender arms around him. "I know you never wanted all this, but like it or not you are the face of hope. Even now, after He's gone, people need that hope, they lost a lot during the war and need reassurance that everything's going to go back to how it was before."
"How can I reassure them? All I've ever known in the wizarding world is this war." Harry leant his head on Hermione's shoulder and closed his eyes. It felt as though he was swimming in a bottomless, endless sea with no escape and any moment now he was going to be sucked under.
"Harry James Potter," Hermione started quiet but firm, "You have been through more than any of us but war is not all you have seen. We've had the best of times here in this castle…"
Harry let Hermione's voice drift into the background as his mind took him back, to his first quidditch match, laughing and playing by the lake with his friends, teasing the giant squid, Hogsmead trips, Norbert the dragon, Sirius…" He sighed and stood up and stretched, "You're right." He smiled at Hermione briefly but then frowned as another thought struck him, "How do I reassure people? I don't really want to answer all their questions."
Hermione smiled in relief and lead Harry down the steps from the owlery, subconsciously pulling her cloak tighter around her, "We write an article and have it published in the Prophet. When you're ready we can hold a conference for journalists or you can give a speech…"
"Ok, ok" Harry laughed, "but I'm not very good with words."
"Yes you are, when you think about it. Even though Ron did mention that you're pre-battle speeches strongly resemble your pre-quidditch match speeches"
Harry blushed guiltily as Hermione jogged a little ahead of him, which soon turned into a full-on race back the common room where they fell laughing onto the sofa near the fire. Draco and Ron both looked astonished, but relieved that Harry was starting to come back to them.
A couple of days later Harry sat poised over a blank piece of parchment, his quill slowly stroking his right cheek as his lips pursed in thought.
Sat on the opposite side of the table Draco had stopped writing the letter he was composing to his cousins in France and was now staring at Harry as Harry stared at the parchment as though it held all the answers.
You going to write something? He asked suddenly, making Harry jump and drop his quill.
"What? Oh, Hermione wants me to write this stupid article but I don't know how." Harry leaned back in his chair and ran a hand through his hair.
Do you have to write this article?
"Why? Do you want to do it for me?"
No, Draco shook his head, I mean, can't you give a conference instead and then the journalists can write their own stories.
"But you never know how they're going to twist your words. And what if it gets out of control?"
Draco rolled his eyes, It won't be allowed to get out of control, if you feel uncomfortable you have the power to leave. I bet the ministry and the order will provide guards and you can have all the journalists to sign a magically binding contract that restricts what they write.
"Really?" Harry raised an eyebrow and then added, "The ministry and order are too busy putting the world back together, I can't ask them to come to some stupid little interview."
Harry, this isn't 'some stupid little interview'. And anyway, I bet they'd love for you to do this, it'll take stress off them. At Harry's quizzical look Draco explained patiently, Harry, at the moment people are still panicking, many can't believe He's gone, after all, last time he came back. People are scared and the only thing that will calm them down and allow the wizarding world to be re-built is reassurance from their saviour. Seeing Harry was about to refute this Draco quickly added, You are their saviour Harry, whether you like it or not.
With Draco's confident tone Harry stopped thinking about arguing and instead blushed slightly, "You think I can do it?"
No, I know you can do it.
Harry looked Draco in the eye, smiling, "Come here you."
A couple of minutes later Ron came running into the room and almost ran out again as he spotted Harry and Draco kissing passionately, Draco sat on the table with his legs round Harry's waist and their hand exploring every inch of each others bodies.
"Hey!" Ron shouted, covering his eyes. "Guys?"
"Ron!" Harry blushed guiltily and stepped back from the still panting blond.
"Sirius is awake" Was all Ron managed to get out before Harry darted past him, out of the door, heading for the hospital wing.
Very eloquent Weasley. Draco drawled as he straightened his robes and followed Harry at a more sedate pace, wanting to give Harry time alone with his godfather.
"Sirius!" Harry exclaimed as he bolted through the doors to the hospital wing, startling the occupants, many who suddenly shot to their feet at the sight of their slightly dishevelled saviour.
"Mr. Potter" Madam Pomfrey advanced upon him sternly but for once not even the scary healer could cower Harry as he spotted his godfather sitting up in bed peering round from behind a screen.
"Sirius!" Harry exclaimed again, quieter this time. Skilfully he dodged the scowling healer and barely stopped himself from launching himself at Sirius, instead settling for a gentle hug. "You're awake."
"As astute as ever" Was Sirius' dry reply, his voice slightly scratchy from lack of use.
"Mr. Potter" Madam Pomfrey appeared just behind Harry's left shoulder, her hands on her hips and a frown on her face. Although Harry was sure he could just see a smile threatening to break through.
"Mr. Potter, I will not have that sort of energetic behaviour in my infirmary, my patients need rest."
"Sorry Poppy" Harry turned his 'puppy-dog' eyes on, bottom lip protruding ever so slightly "I won't do it again, promise."
Madam Pomfrey sighed as she lost control of her facial expressions and a smile twitched over her stern face, "five minutes." Was all she said as she spun on her heal and stalked off to treat some other unsuspecting victim…patient.
Harry turned back to Sirius and grinned when he noticed their 'puppy-dog' expressions mirrored one another's. "How are you pup?"
"Shouldn't I be the one asking you that?" Harry hugged Sirius again and settled himself on comfortably on the edge of the bed. "I've been out of the infirmary for ages."
"Yes, but I have heard you didn't leave legitimately."
Harry blushed guiltily and was about to comment but Sirius interrupted, "Just like your father."
"Really?" Harry looked surprised, but pleased.
"Yes, you are perfect mix of James and Lily." Sirius said gently, slowly running his hands through Harry's hair before bending his head forwards so he could place a soft kiss on Harry's forehead. "I'm proud of you pup, as would they be." Sirius looked away as he added, "And Remus." His eyes filling with unshed tears.
"Sirius." Harry whispered, thankful for the screens hiding them from view, "It's alright to cry you know. Hermione showed me it's not… it's not good for you to hold it all in."
"Bright girl that one," Sirius sniffed, "always knew that. Smart cat too." He added as an after thought, a small smile appearing on his face as he wiped his tears.
"Alright! Times up!" Madam Pomfrey was back in full force, this time unprepared to let big eyes convince her to leave her patient.
"I'll come back later." Harry promised as he stood and squeezed his godfather's hand, leaving Sirius looking put-out at being left with the scary healer.
Ginny, Draco, Hermione and Ron were all waiting for him as he left the hospital wing, "He's going to be OK, he's going to be OK." Harry leant into their hugs in relief. "It's going to be OK." He whispered into Draco's shoulder, finally he could see the future.
Good ending? If not, I'll try another chapter, or alter this one. I'm not very good with ending stories so constructive criticism extremely welcomed :D
Thanks to everyone who review throughout this story, your review really make a writer smile ;)