Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or Harry Potter; the rights go to Stephanie Meyer and J. K .Rowling, respectively.
Author's Note: I have not read Harry Potter or Twilight, so any major canon changes/my general ignorance of Twilight do have viable explanations. I would like to apologize in advance if I step on any fanatic's toesies. It's not intentional; I'm just uninformed.
Bella sighed, resting her chin on her spread palm, avoiding Mike's concerned gaze. He had been getting almost annoying in his new role as 'concerned platonic friend', but now he definitely was getting on her nerves since Edward had been gone. Should she be jealous that her boyfriend was far away from her hunting down another woman, even if that woman was the accomplice of a Vampire that had severely injured her person?
The final school announcements concluded, none of which she had been paying attention to, and she sluggishly got to her feet, stuffing her books into her bag. Mike was right behind her, already talking busily away about some kind of chain of chat rooms that had the exact same conversation at the same time. She wasn't really paying attention, and tripped over the too-long cuff of her jeans, catching herself against the door frame. Angela snickered and she plastered on a fake smile for her, surprised that she had enough energy to do so.
She hadn't been able to sleep lately, and smirked at the irony of it; now that there was no one watching her sleep, which would have unnerved most people, she could not seem to fall into anything deeper than a doze at best.
Rubbing her eyes, she kept one hand against the wall for support as she slowly meandered towards the cafeteria, Mike and Angela finally going around her and saying that they'd see her there…except Bella wasn't going to go to the cafeteria anymore. An attack of abominable nausea had suddenly rocked through her insides and she changed direction, pushing people out of the way and heading as fast as she was able to the bathroom, one hand cupped pre-emptively over her mouth.
Throwing the flimsy door to the girl's bathroom open, she collided with a freshman she didn't know, and vomited all over the girl's sneakers.
She shrieked, leaping back and cursing at her even as Bella gasped for breath, stuttering apologies between struggling to hold down the remaining contents of her stomach. Realizing that it was a losing battle, she dove for the sink and made it in time, just a little sloshing over the rim and onto her shirt.
The younger girl was now beside her, in her socks, scrubbing the vomit industrially off her shoes. Bella could hear her muttering under her breath about how she had just bought those shoes and how this was so fucking stupid-
She threw up for the third and final time, nothing but a few lone chunks and stomach liquids coming out of her burning throat. Her knuckles turned white from gripping the counter, and the girl made a disgusted noise.
"What's the matter, Swan? Accidentally eat something for once?"
Bella furrowed her eyebrows. "Are you calling me anorexic?"
She shrugged. "Whatever, Swan." Scrubbing a stubborn bit of vomit off of the sole, she dried them with a wad of paper towels and slipped them back on. "You owe me for this shit."
The door slammed behind her.
Sagging against the counter, Bella swiped a hand over her face, mussing her new fringe that she'd been peer pressured into. She not only felt like shit, she looked it. Why would anyone be attracted to her, much less someone as wonderful as Edward?
Sufficiently in control of her own body once more, she cleaned up the sink and then the floor, wrinkling her nose at the foul smell. She had missed most of lunch, and the thought of food right now was disgusting, especially government-funded food.
Adjusting the strap of her book bag on her shoulder, she slowly left the bathroom, heading for her next class, intending to sit on the floor outside the door and wait instead of braving the cafeteria. Hopefully that bratty girl from earlier wouldn't spread it around that she had thrown up, or else she would have to handle worried friends and her father's occasional bouts of protectiveness.
The halls were only partially populated by kids that had skipped lunch or finished early, talking in small groups. They looked her over briefly, and she rolled her eyes once she was out of sight. When would the novelty of being the 'new girl' wear off?
Sitting down on the floor outside the very Biology classroom she'd first met Edward in, she dug through her bag until she pulled out the book on 'Cold Ones' she'd bought last year, cracking the cover and flipping to the last chapter. She'd read it god knows how many times already, and her highlighted sections framed with penciled notes in the margins made her eyes swim.
The day was only a little over half-way over, and she couldn't wait to go home.
"The witness protection program, Mr. Potter."
"Yeah, I heard you. That was disbelief, love." Harry sighed, rubbing his fingertips along his temples, trying to reign in his temper. It wasn't the fault of the Auror sitting across from him that he was being placed in the goddamn witness protection program, which was apparently code for dropping him into some inconspicuous town in the middle of America.
"Alright…I am very sorry that we have to do this, but it is the only way to preserve your safety. And you are of course, unbelievably, still a minor so you are a ward of the Ministry until you turn seventeen since the decease of Albus Dumble-"
"I know, I know. Do I get a chance to at least say good-bye to my friends before you cart me off?"
"We expect you to return to this office at eight o'clock tomorrow morning, sharp. You will be assigned a pair of Aurors to protect you until then, but you are allowed to leave the Ministry and spend what time you have left here as you see fit."
"Thanks, uh…" Harry peered at the man's nameplate through his spectacles. "Kenneth."
Auror Kenneth Haycraft nodded, smiling politely. Despite the circumstances of their meeting, Harry rather liked Kenneth. Not once had he asked for his autograph or stared at him like some kind of deranged lunatic or pervert (the kind that hang around playgrounds in trench coats).
When he had dreamed of defeating Voldemort, he had had only two outcomes in mind. The first was that it would be anti-climatic and everything would go back to normal, letting him graduate from school normally and eventually settling down to become a boring middle-aged person. The second was that he would die in the attempt, and finally be reunited with his parents, Sirius, and everybody else he had lost. Maybe even Hermione too, if what they said about magical comas thrusting one half of the mind into the afterlife were true. He swallowed.
He missed the sound of her voice, and Ron had been almost like a robot since her accident, sitting by her side hour after hour for days on end. It had been two weeks, and she showed no signs of waking or slipping into the freezing embrace of death.
The Aurors flanking him, whose names he would later find out to be Howard and John, were like silent gargoyles, massive in size and not prone to talking. They effectively intimidated all of those whom he passed on his way out of the maze-like Ministry of Magic, and he was able to 'escape' without being mobbed. The 'Boy-Who-Lived' craze had grown considerably after he defeated Voldemort for the final time, and life in England was insufferable.
Maybe America wouldn't have been such a bad prospect after all if it didn't mean leaving Ron alone to grieve. At the same time, though, separating Ron from his mum, who had already lost so much, would have been unbelievably cruel.
Checking into St. Mungo's was relatively painless and mind-numbing, the combined blindingly-white walls and smell of disinfectant making him almost dizzy. He fucking hated hospitals, and had seen enough of them in his sixteen years to last a very long and dangerous lifetime.
This was excessive, really.
Reading off the room numbers as he passed them, Harry silently gave thanks that Hermione was on the first floor, thus saving him from an awkward elevator ride with some stranger. The almost silent footsteps of the Aurors beat a rhythm against his ears and he found himself humming.
Turning red, he stopped and bit his lip. One of the Aurors chuckled softly and he turned still redder. He knew he wasn't the most impressive savior of the known world to exist, but acting like a normal teenager seemed to amuse people. He had been making a concerted effort to act more mature, and his depression helped to make him look more serious, but it still felt unnatural.
The room numbers had hit the 120s and he stopped in front of room 127, taking a deep breath before turning to the Aurors.
"Do you two mind waiting outside? You might upset my friend…" He trailed off when they nodded and mustered up a half-smile. "Thanks. I appreciate it."
"Hey, anything for you." The bigger grinned and winked conspiratorially, prompting a grin from Harry.
The door creaked slightly as he opened it, and Ron looked up slowly from the side of the bed facing the door, shoulders slumped and dark circles under his eyes like bruises.
"Hi Ron. Any…any change?"
He shook his head, looking away at the floor. There was a collection of tea mugs collecting dust and breeding mold on the bedside table, and Harry circled the bed to peruse them until he found one still steaming. It was bitter, but he drank it anyway. Once again he had been unable to sleep, nightmares of killing Death Eaters keeping him awake. Their deaths had been in the name of a just cause, but his mind still screamed at him that he was a murderer- that he had no right to do what he did, that he should have waited a few seconds longer until the Aurors could arrive and put them in Azkaban, no matter how ineffective that solution would have been.
Hermione was pale and still on the bed, the only signs that she was still alive and not a corpse the soft magical buzzing coming from her life-monitor, which looked shockingly like a retro Muggle toaster. Harry sent it a distrustful look, running two fingers down Hermione's forearm and stroking her hand absently, touching Ron's fingers in the process, which were clasping hers tightly.
He didn't even flinch, blue eyes fixated on her face.
Harry sighed, and removed his hand from Hermione's slightly chilly one, wrapping both his arms tightly around Ron's shoulders and forcing his friend to accept his comfort. If Ron was left alone, he would probably waste away until he was a mere skeleton, frozen in the same position, bones wrapped around her fingers.
Ron's shoulders shook and Harry squeezed his eyes shut, increasing the pressure around him and letting his shirt get damp, letting Ron retain his pride and hide his tears.
He spent the night there, much against the wishes of the nurses who were more than irritated with Ron's refusal to leave and did not appreciate Harry joining the movement. He awoke with a crick in his neck and one of his Aurors shaking his shoulder. It was 6 o'clock, giving him barely enough time to go back to the Grimmauld place to groom and pack up his belongings.
The two-way mirror Sirius had given him, now crudely glued together and displaying a foggy and regrettably empty landscape, was slipped into its velvet bag and then carefully coated with Unbreakable charms. He had spent months working on that thing, and it had only recently started showing him any kind of image. To have it break now while traveling of all things would be unspeakably aggravating.
After a brief, efficient shower, Harry pulled on a pair of Muggle denims and a hooded sweatshirt, making sure that it was pulled down over his forehead and hiding his scar before he headed downstairs to find Howard and John sitting side by side on his least-dusty sofa.
"Alright, let's go."
If all went well, he'd be back in the United Kingdom the day he turned seventeen next year, and could go on with his life as before.
He couldn't have known how much his life was going to change.
End chapter 1
So….what do you guys think? Oh, and this will be slash in case you didn't catch that. I'm sorry I took such a long break from writing (long by my standards) but I had an attack of writer's block and didn't know what to do with myself.