First off I want to thank you all for your amazing reviews and for reading my story. When I first started this out I never dreamt that I would get such a response. And for however slowly I may be (for which I am dearly sorry) I want you all to know that I have not forgotten about my stories, "A Time Out of Memory" in particular. I have already begun to rewrite bits and pieces of the beginning of this story so that I can revisit ideas that I have brought up in the past. As you can tell, this story is drawing itself to a close and I don't want to leave any mentioned ideas unexplained. So hopefully if something has been confusing, it will all be cleared up in the few chapters this story has left. To prove to you that I am still thinking of this story here is a little preview of what I have in mind for the next chapter and hopefully it will set your minds at ease. I'll do my best to get a complete chapter out to you as soon as possible, but in the mean time...
A Time Out of Memory
by S. L
A light laughter flooded James' mind. He remembered that laugh. From somewhere, from sometime... but that was so long ago.
"Come on James!" The sweet voice cooed again, followed by giggles. "Hurry up!"
"I'm coming!" He wanted to call out to the familiar apparition that danced through his memories, her bright baby curls bouncing off her shoulders. No words could be found though, only silence came from him.
Slowly the voice changed. Instead of the bright cheerful voice it had been, it was now panicked and frightened.
"James?" It called to him. He pushed it away, only wanting to sleep. "Please James!" It was desperate now. "Please!"
Still James resisted, but the force and the need only grew stronger.
Gradually he felt himself being pulled to the distressed pleas. Until he could almost see the image of the caller.
She wasn't the carefree girl with neatly pinned up curls, but the face was the same, and the eyes... the eyes hadn't changed at all. "James..." she cried, tears falling from those familiar eyes.
Suddenly he felt himself fall into place. No more was he drifting over himself, trapped within his memories. He was there, with her.
His eyelid's fluttered. "Lily?" He whispered breathlessly.
She just flung her arms around him.
"How are they?" Harry asked distractedly, his eyes drifting towards the window where he could see the Ravenclaw team practicing for their upcoming match against Slytherin.
"Well enough," was what the old man gave in answer, his fingers running up and down the smooth plumage of his phoenix. "James is still pretty weak, but all of the curses have been removed. Susan..."
Swallowing Harry turned to face his headmaster. He looked burdened. "Susan Potter, is stable, but there's nothing else that I can say for sure," Harry winced at this. He hadn't wanted things to turn out this way.
"You did a good thing Harry." His godfather reassured. "You saved James."
Harry smiled bitterly. "He shouldn't have woken me up like that... especially in that situation. James couldn't have known..."
"Hey," his godfather rebuked giving him a stern glance. "That's not your fault, you couldn't have known what was going on. James knew perfectly well what he was doing."
"I still hurt him, and I hurt Susan.," Harry sighed, shuffling his feet.
It had been nearly two days since that dreadful meeting with the Dark Lord. Two dreadful days.
Harry had returned, with the bodies of the three Potters, to find the castle in an uproar over his disappearance. Luckily he hadn't had to face anyone. He was whisked away to the hospital wing immediately to answer questions there. He still didn't know what happened exactly. One moment Daniel had hit him with a curse and the next he found himself being shaken awake by the falling body of James Potter.
What had happened next was not at all pleasant. There was a reason that no one dared touch Harry when he was forced into an unconscious sleep. He'd never figured out the reasons himself, but Dumbledore (the Dumbledore of his time at least,) suspected that Harry built up defenses when he was startled that were ready to be released should anyone try to wake him or surprise him again.
So as Harry had woken up, the unnoticed defenses had been released, hitting anything within his range. Which happened to be all of the Potters and the unsuspecting Dark Lord.
The curses had been no where near enough to stop the Voldemort, but it had given Harry time to take in the situation. To find the dead Daniel and the thankfully breathing forms of James and Susan. He'd apparated away (a useful little trick that Sirius had taught him to get out of tough situations) with the bodies immediately.
By no means had Harry's curses spared his family. They had been completely random, striking out at anything and everything against Harry's will. Harry had been devastated to find that he'd hurt James quite badly and that Susan Potter was in no better shape.
Of Voldemort, they'd heard nothing. Nothing at all, and that was what most unnerved Harry.
"Come on Harry," his godfather sighed pushing him gently. Harry stirred briefly and tore his eyes away from the Quidditch pitch. Unlike the Potters, Harry had returned in near perfect health and it was time for him to rejoin his friends. "Hermoine and Ron are worried sick about you."
This got him up and walking mechanically out the door, not even giving Dumbledore a goodbye wave. Shrugging Craley said goodbye to Dumbledore and followed his godson in his steady march.
"I should probably be used to this by now," Harry said, not even looking up at Craley.
His godfather sighed, finding no words to reassure the boy.
"HARRY!" The familiar cries of his best friends weren't even enough to put a smile on Harry's face as he was rushed by both by his futuristic friends and the Marauders.
Silently Craley sidestepped them all and left his godson to be welcomed alone.
"Harry, where were you! What's been going on?" Sirius demanded, slight worry showing on his face.
Harry ignored him and faced Ron and Hermoine instead who were waiting silently for any reply.
"How was it?" Ron asked in a calm voice, Harry decided that Craley must have filled them in.
He just closed his eyes for a moment in thought. "Bad," he said in a strangled voice that was enough to silence the Marauders.
Now all of them, even Sirius, were silent and solemn.
"What? What was bad?" Sirius asked in confusion.
Still Harry ignored him. He bypassed the Marauders and caught sight of his godfather disappearing around the next corner, then his eyes flickered back to his friends. "I want to go home." His friends nodded in understanding.
"I still don't get it." A voice said behind Harry, nearly giving him a heart attack. He was still very touchy since the night he'd returned and didn't like surprises. Especially surprises that came in the form of an annoying godfather who was even younger than you were.
"Get what Sirius," Harry said breathlessly. He'd been stealing a moments calm in the library after just escaping his friends. He'd thought that he hadn't been followed, but obviously not.
The boy crossed his arms across his chest. "Well last week we all go down and have a nice game of Quidditch then I'm walking back up to the school and you fly by me, on your broom- knocking down McGonagal! You summon the Marauders Map in front of me (something that you shouldn't even know about by the way) and another broom and speed away.
"Then you, Mrs. Potter, James, and Daniel disappear and the whole school's in a panic. In the middle of the night you guys return, minus Daniel. The Potter's get sent to the Hospital Wing and Madam Pomfrey won't let anyone see them, then you get sent to Dumbledore's straight away.
"Now I want to know what's bad."
The boy looked determined, yet hopelessly clueless.
"You want to know what happened?" Harry asked in a low voice.
Sirius blinked in confusion. "Yeah, that's what I just said."
"I was flying through the school so that I could hopefully prevent the Potter's abduction by the Dark Lord. My Firebolt, is about ten times faster than any school broom so when I got the chance I wanted to use that over the one I had. About the Marauders Map," Harry shrugged. "I just found out and I knew it would be useful.
"As for what happened," Harry lowered his eyes. "I was too late to stop anything and I myself got included in the kidnapping. Daniel died, the Potter's are in a bad state and I got us out of there before I'd be killed as well. Now is there anything else you'd like to know? Or maybe you'd allow me the only bit of peace I've been able to scrounge up since I returned?"
His eyes flashed dangerously, but Sirius shuffled away.
Feeling instantly awful for his reaction Harry sighed and returned to his reading. He tried to tell himself that he was angry because of all that had happened, but he knew what was really bothering him was the parchment that lay open before him. It was the clue to his return home and though he wanted nothing more to be back where he belonged he couldn't help thinking of what he would be leaving behind. If he left, he would never see his parents again save in the dreams where blinding flashes of green light would take their lives away forever.
"But you must leave Harry," a second visitor's voice pierced through the darkness. "You have a destiny still left unfulfilled. Think of what you've left behind and what you have before you." Harry turned to stare into the twinkling and understanding eyes of Albus Dumbledore. "This is your past Harry, you know that you don't honestly belong here."
With a gentle smile, the wise old man placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's time for you to go home Harry."