Disclaimer: Still not mine. Harry Potter and Twilight belong to J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., Stephenie Meyer, and Summit Entertainment, respectively.
Warnings: Same crap as before.
Author's Note: Seriously thank you for all the amazing reviews I have gotten for this story- that I kept getting even when I hadn't updated in ages. I cherish every one of them even if I do kind of doubt all your collective sanity, since I kind of think this is a piece of melodramatic crap. You are awesome.
The differences between Scotland in the autumn and Forks were so negligible as to be almost unnoticeable. It was a few degrees cooler in Scotland, though slightly less cloudy, and the damp green of the forest in front of him was so similar to Forks he might not have been able to tell that he had apparated at all if not for the sight of Hogwarts in the distance. For some reason this made him laugh- the idea that he had ended up in a place so close to home. He looked around a little to get his bearings, and once having determined the right direction, he set off.
Seeing Ginny again had made him feel…nostalgic. It made him want to curl up on the couch in Gryffindor tower with Ron and Hermione, made him want to visit Hagrid's hut for tea and inedible rock cakes, or sit in the kitchen at Grimmauld Place listening to Sirius and Remus bickering and telling stories about his parents.
His actual options for visiting his old friends were somewhat less pleasant or reminiscent of a children's storybook though and in the end he couldn't bring himself to visit Ron and Hermione's resting place in Weasley family cemetery, tucked into a quiet corner of the Burrow's property. Nor could he stand to see Sirius's empty grave in Godric's Hollow, flanked by Harry's parents on one side and Remus on the other.
Instead he found himself at the little potter's field on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. It was where all the bodies- unclaimed or unrecognizable- had been laid to rest after the final battle, and a place he had spent many hours at in the weeks following it. It was a pretty little clearing covered in wood sage and foxglove and a carpet of bloody red campion flowers over the unmarked graves of Death Eaters and Freedom Fighters alike.
He appreciated the irony in the name, and in the picture of so much beauty and life concealing the ugly death beneath.
He settled himself between two smooth, blank stones and busied himself with pulling at a patch of thistle. He didn't speak. Not to his dead friends, or the Death Eaters beneath him, and he didn't imagine the answers they might give to the questions he didn't ask. He didn't look at his hands and see them as they had looked, burnt and broken after the battle. He didn't hear long forgotten screams echoing around him. He didn't shout or cry or set anything on fire or blow anything up.
He just sat and weeded, and hummed a little; he thought it might have been a tune he'd heard Edward play on the piano once. He was a little sad, and a little angry and a little tired. Mostly though, he was just lonely. He missed Hagrid, and Neville and Luna, and God- even Parvati Patil. And he missed Edward. He kept thinking of how Edward might like this place, though he would surely get that look on his face- lips pressed together and jaw tense even as his eyes went soft and sad- that he got every time he thought Harry was being too morbid for his own good.
He thought maybe that he should bring Edward with him next time he came here, but then discarded that as he considered that maybe this would be his last visit to this place. He had spent too many days here already.
Ron and Hermione, Sirius and Remus, they had meant so much to him. Still meant so much to him. They were the family he had been willing to sacrifice everything for, the family he had been willing to die for. The Cullen's were not them and they never would be. They were something important though, even if he wasn't sure exactly how it all fit together. They were the family that made him think it might be okay to live. He wasn't quite sure how to go about doing that, but going back to Forks seemed like an obvious place to start.
It had been only 4 days since he had left, but he thought it was time to head back. He'd needed the time alone to think, but what he'd ended up deciding was that he was sick of being alone.
He'd spent a day holed up in a motel just outside Seattle writing and re-writing the letter he had promised Ginny, before sending it off with an overjoyed (and rather smug) Hedwig. In the end he wasn't sure it made any sense, but it served its purpose- letting his family know he was alive and sorry, and promising a visit in an unspecified future. He wasn't ready to see them yet, but Ginny was right, he owed them this much. And if it bought him a little more time before that world came crashing back down on his head, so much the better.
He'd visited Florence, just as he'd told Edward he wanted to. And though beautiful, it had sucked just as much the second time around as it had the first- maybe next time he'd bring some company and actually manage to enjoy it. This field was the last stop he'd had to make before heading back to Forks. Home. Maybe it was time he started using that word again.
He made a quick detour to La Push to say hi to Jacob and pick up a part for his bike and then headed back to the Cullen's. All said and done and one trip around the world later and he was back in less than the week he'd promised.
He spoke to Jasper first, mostly because he was the first person that he ran into after apparating into the entryway of the house. Well, spoke might have been overstating it a bit. Really Jasper had just looked up at him from the book he was reading and smiled, before nodding towards the staircase saying, "He's up in his bedroom, probably pacing back and forth like he has been all day."
"Alice?" Harry asked, a little surprised at the other's lack of surprise, though he supposed he shouldn't have been.
"You'll get used to it," Jasper replied, and Harry smiled, realizing that he would, he had plenty of time to do so after all. He headed upstairs without another word, sparing only a nod for Rosalie and Emmett when he passed the open door to their bedroom.
Edward was exactly as Jasper had predicted, pacing the floor in front of the large open windows of his bedroom, some soft piano music that Harry didn't recognize playing on the stereo.
"You're early," is all he said upon catching sight of Harry lingering in the doorway.
"Italy was too sunny," he found himself replying inanely.
Edward smiled brightly at that, and wrapped Harry into a ridiculously tight hug. He felt a bizarre urge to burrow into Edward's chest, climb under his ribcage and curl up in the cool stillness there.
"Looks like," he said.
Edward's arms squeezed tighter yet. "You are the most important thing in the world. Harry, you are my life now," he whispered, voice low and urgent.
He wanted to laugh. It was funny that he had spent so long worrying he had gone mad, thinking he wasn't fit to be around these people, when they were so clearly nuts. This wasn't just crazy, it was batshit crazy.
I'm sorry, I don't think this a great time for me to get involved in a codependent relationship. The flippant remark was on the tip of his tongue to say, but he bit the words back without really knowing why.
It wasn't healthy, this kind of love; he knew that. It was insane and dysfunctional and a little bit creepy; but it felt…good. God, it felt good in a way few things in his life ever had. It was in equal parts terrifying and intoxicating, being the subject of such intense focus. Altogether it was a very unsettling effect. Unsettling, but yeah, also really sort of amazing.
Sometimes it felt like the only person who had ever really loved him had been Sirius. It made him feel guilty to even think the words- they weren't true. The Weasley's had loved him. Hermione and Remus too. In his own manipulative bastard way, he thought even Dumbledore had loved him. Logically, he knew that. And he knew that he had loved them in return. Losing them wouldn't have hurt nearly so much if that weren't true.
Knowing and feeling are two entirely different things though and the love of his friends had never been felt the way he thought it was supposed to. It had brushed at his eyelashes and skittered along his skin like some ephemeral thing and never really sunk in. It had never quite been enough.
Sirius though- Sirius's love had been a tangible thing. It had been desperate and dangerous and Harry had felt it every second since finding out the truth about the man until the moment of his death. He had returned it with a violent and reckless love of his own. He vaguely wondered if being raised like he had been had made him numb to normal emotion or if he was just so thick that subtlety was lost on him. Or maybe he was just too fucked up; maybe he needed his love like this- all twisted up and shot through with need and devotion.
Remus had told him once that while he may have inherited his father's looks and his mother's eyes, his emotional instability was all Sirius'. And Harry had grinned, because it felt good to have something in common with his dead godfather- even if the thing in common was some kind of personality disorder.
It was probably not the best idea to follow in the emotional footsteps of an unbalanced wreck of a man; no good could come of this. No one had ever accused Harry of having good impulse control though and he surged forward without a second thought to crush his lips against Edward's own.
It was not a gentle kiss. It was hard, and bruising, and it hurt. It was all the jagged edges within coming together. It was all the old wounds, all the misaligned fractures inside him breaking anew and slotting back in to place- the right way this time. And for a moment, it felt like absolution. It felt like forgiveness, and peace, and home, and everything that Harry had ever wanted or needed. The tears squeezed out from behind his tightly closed eyelids before he could stop them, wetting his face and Edward's even as Edward's thumbs came up to trace under his eyes, brushing them away.
He thought of his first kiss, with Cho crying all over him, and the face Ron had made when Harry had told him about it. He thought of Hermione trying to explain complex girl emotions to him and he laughed; gentle huffing breaths that Edward inhaled and breathed back into Harry's mouth. He kept kissing until his smile grew too wide to make it possible and then he pulled away just far enough to press his forehead to Edward's and leaned into him, still laughing and crying all over the both of them, but unwilling to separate from this man, this creature who had so much faith in him. Because this… this was…how could he ever think he didn't need this?
It was like waking from a too long sleep; the uncomfortable sensation of pins and needles pricking as blood returned to his deadened limbs, mixed with the pleasure of that first blissful stretch. It was like a stray beam of weak morning light falling across his eyes and calling him back to consciousness.
They were not a matched set. They did not love the same books, could not play the same sports or eat the same foods. Their experiences growing up were completely different.
Edward was not the yin to Harry's yang. He was not cheerful where Harry was somber, boisterous where Harry was quiet; he did not drag Harry out of his black moods or push him to get out when Harry was being an anti-social bastard.
Nor was he the Romeo to Harry's Juliet (or vice-versa, because really, why should Harry have to be the girl in his own analogy?). There were never any opposing forces holding them apart and double suicide for two immortal beings was too stupid to even contemplate.
They were Edward and Harry and that was it. And sometimes Edward drove Harry stark raving mad, and sometimes he kind of wanted to punch him a little, and sometimes he maybe hated him just a bit; but he also loved him and he didn't want to contemplate going back to living without him. Ending up in that hospital room with Carlisle taking care of him was pretty much the best thing that had could have happened to Harry.
And all of the horrible shit, every bad thing that had ever happened to him… well that had all still happened. He couldn't forget it; it paved the road that had brought him here, and for better or worse it had made him the person he was. And this didn't make it better and this didn't make it go away. He would never be totally complete, and God knows he wouldn't ever be normal. He wasn't okay. He wasn't. But for the first time in too many years, he wanted to be. For the first time in years he thought maybe…well, maybe he could be.
Two months later…
"Who are they?" he heard the new girl ask as he got up to dump his tray in the bin.
Another girl, one whose name he couldn't remember, though he knew she had introduced herself before replied, "That's Edward, Emmett and Alice Cullen, and Jasper and Rosalie Hale. The one who left is Harry Potter. They all live together with Dr. Cullen and his wife."
"They are…very nice looking."
"Yes!" the other girl giggled. They're all together though – Emmett and Rosalie, Jasper and Alice and Harry and Edward." She whispered the last two names as though it were very scandalous indeed. "And they live together."
"Which ones are the Cullens? They don't look related…"
"Oh, they're not. Dr. Cullen is really young, in his twenties or early thirties. They're all adopted. The Hales- the blond ones- are brother and sister, twins, and they're foster children. And Potter just moved in with them this year. I heard he's Alice's cousin or something like that."
He heard her ask about Edward as he turned to make his way back to his table and he looked up to see the vampire in question quirk an eyebrow at him in humor. Harry smiled and rushed to get back to his seat beside him. Well, at least this year wouldn't be totally boring.
AN 2: Yeah, that sequel will most likely never happen, but if it does it would start somewhere around there...