Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Vaguely-IMPORTANT A/N: Right, yes, I am aware that this is another one of those INTERLUDE…s that you all hate – but apparently it's required. Interludes are the only way I can convey information that Harry or Ginny is not around to hear without completely changing the perspective of the story half-way through… Some of you still don't get who William and Adora are, and those of you who do aren't too sure how it could work with the other mechanics of the story, and I don't want to leave people confused for the rest of the story because unfortunately, the entirety of Blood and Chocolate is going to go by with only Ginny ever finding out who they are – right at the end. Harry doesn't find out until the sequel, and even then, neither of them find out why they are alive until at least chapter 10 of the sequel 'Butterflies and Hurricanes'.
And so you have another INTERLUDE right beside the other one to clear a few things up before I move on. Oh, and there are only two more of these things after this, I promise – one of them is over Christmas for reasons you'll understand in a couple of chapters, and the final is actually classed as the Epilogue, because it's from a teachers perspective – I'm not saying who ;]
Quote: 'Hate me today! Hate me tomorrow! Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you.
Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow - hate me so you can finally see what's good for you.'
Hate Me – Blue October
Blood and Chocolate
INTERLUDE: Hate Me
Albus Dumbledore's hand came down heavily on William's shoulder, not daring too look at him, more over his shoulder at the people sat in the kitchen at Grimmauld Place. Remus Lupin was stood confused beside Sirius Black near the sink, Mary McDonald was stood behind Harry, who was sat at the table opposite Severus Snape.
With a heavy heart, he sighed in defeat, looking down at where William was restraining a silently crying Adora but she had her eyes on Snape – a hateful glare on her face.
"You do not wish him to know?"
She sobbed loudly, breaking down and breaking free of her husband's grip, running down the hall. "My office, please…" He said softly, all anger gone by this point, too old and too tired to bother getting angry over something that, in all honestly, should have been prevented.
He looked to William, who shook his head. "Then you will have to explain yourselves." He stood back and waited for him to leave after Adora before motioning for Snape to go after them.
He leant heavily on the doorframe. "I… apologise for any disturbances, Sirius."
Sirius shrugged. "I'm not bothered. Just… confused."
"I know. We all are."
In his office all but five minutes later, all three of his old students sat before him in his office, looking rather sorry for themselves.
"I thought I could trust you not to divulge any information to the public." He said to William finally. "I am aware that they are just children and they do not understand, but this is a school, and I will not stand for that kind of behaviour here. Not to mention the fact that, if you are not willing to tell Harry, then you need to be more careful with what you say."
They all sat in silence for a while longer before he nodded his head to the couple sat nervously in their seats. "Drop your glamour."
Doing as they were told, Lily Potter took one look at the expression on her old school friend's face and stood, walking over to the window behind the headmaster's seat, leaning heavily on the sill. Her shoulders shook. "I'm so sorry…" She whispered, though to the headmaster or to Severus Snape it was uncertain.
James stood and walked around behind her, pulling her away from the window and into a hug, his face completely expressionless. Snape just sat there, in silence. Even after he had realised before, it had never really settled, not really, until he'd actually seen them walking around as themselves, her voice, exactly the same as it always had been, and her body frozen as it was 15 years ago. He couldn't find the words to speak.
Dumbledore could. "I do believe, I haven't quite heard the full story myself." He said softly, lowering his head to look at them over his half-moon spectacles.
James set his jaw. "I told you-"
"You told me nothing." He said sharply. "You came to Hogwarts the day after Harry collapsed in the Ministry and told me you were James and Lily Potter, alive and well, like you always had been, for all this time. You told me you had to leave to save Harry, and there was nothing you could do to change that until now. You said you weren't ready to show yourselves to Harry, and first wanted to insert yourselves into his life – get to know him, to understand. You didn't tell me how, or why you are, or can be. You just… were. You stood there, impossibly alive, and asked me to believe that you were safe to be around the Order, despite having abandoned everybody, including your son, all those years ago."
He let his wife go, walking around to face the headmaster properly. "We had no choice!"
"Then you'll have no problem explaining what happened." Said Snape quietly, voice sounding particularly raw.
He did as he was told, surveying the headmaster without a sound for a good minute before he started his explanation. "When Harry was born, and I realised what I'd done, what he was – I set about to find a way around it, to protect him. Back then Vampires were as badly accepted into the public as Werewolves were." He started.
Dumbledore nodded agreeably, waiting for him to continue.
"I didn't want him to go through the hell Remus did, with school and friends because it was my fault and I should have prevented it. Not that I ever could, I love Lily so much." He looked to where she was standing, rigid looking out of the window as he explained. "We set out, using Lily's power down in the Department of Mysteries to find out as much as we could about it, if there could be a cure, anything we could do. But there wasn't, and then you came to us about the prophecy, we were in hiding and Voldemorts arrival at our home was imminent. We were scared. We wanted to keep him safe. If we died and left him to deal with this on his own… he'd-" He stopped talking all of a sudden and Lily began to pick up after him, speaking in a hushed tone, still facing the window, but she was speaking.
"We didn't know what to do. One day, early October 1981, I was walking past a room in the Department of Mysteries. There was a bright light coming from inside – it had always been blocked off, no one had ever been in there, not for decades. But something called my name. Next thing I knew there was flash of colour and everything went black, this… thing, in the middle of the room, glowing. It looked like a young girl, but it wasn't, she looked so old, and inhuman."
"The epicentre of the Ministry for Magic." Said Dumbledore, seeming to understand without her having to explain. He turned to Snape. "When the Ministry was first built, it was chaos, nothing fell into the correct place, with the sheer amount of magical folk inhibiting the building, the building itself would soak it up, become more and more a thing of its own, like Hogwarts. Unlike Hogwarts, it did not have people like the founders to keep everything in place, stop it from becoming dangerous and keeping it that way. There was a rumour, that the only reason why it is still in use today, rather than splitting up the different departments and scattering them across the country, is because an unspeakable one day brought her daughter, a seer, to work, for examinations and the like, so they could learn from her. Only she wouldn't talk to them. She locked herself in a room down there and refused to come out. She was a powerful young witch. Descended from Slytherin, I think. But she was a seer, she knew her place, she knew what she was destined to do – she brought the cracking seams of the magic battered building back together, brought order, but in the process, integrated herself into the system. The Department of Mysteries is the way it is today, with files and artefacts finding their way into certain rooms, books opening on the correct pages to help the workers along – because she's down there, overseeing everything."
He turned to Lily. "But I heard there was a collapse in the lower building earlier this year – if she was down there, she isn't now."
She nodded, squeezing her eyes shut re-opening them with what appeared to be great effort. "She died – that's what made it collapse in the first place."
He motioned for her to sit back down and this time she did as she was told. "What did she do for you?"
She looked briefly to James before opening her mouth to explain properly. "She offered me a choice. Harry was born the way he was, but he wouldn't really come into what he is until his 4th birthday, when his magic started to play up. But she knew we didn't have that amount of time, she knew that we were going to have to leave him soon. She also knew that it would stay latent in his system until his magic activated it – when he was ready. So, like I said, she gave me a choice. She told me that if I left it the way it was, James and myself would die, and Harry would be left alone. But if I let her help, she would keep both of us alive, and he would be given a chance at a normal life – but with a sacrifice."
"You had to leave him?"
She shook her head, her jaw shaking slightly as she fought back tears. "She could take this…'gift' back, from Harry. But it couldn't just leave him and vanish into nothing, it had to go somewhere. And because it was in his blood…" She looked to James and he understood without the words she couldn't say.
He nodded. "It happened quite suddenly. Harry started crying and I was in a lot of pain. A week later… I was the way I am now, and Harry was fine – a healthy, albeit odd, 1 year old boy."
"That doesn't explain why you left."
James grimaced. "There was a catch. Were I to make contact with my son – everything would revert. Both of us would die."
Snape shook his head, standing to his feet and storming towards the door. "That's bollocks and you know it. You were with your family right until the end. Stop trying to cover your arses and just admit that you left because you were ashamed of what you are, and what you did, and let us be done with it." He tried to open the door but it was locked.
The headmaster ignored him. "He's right; you stayed at Godrics Hallow right up until the day you died."
"Yes. I did. But I couldn't go anywhere near him. I was terrified that if I so much as held him everything would go wrong. Then, the more time I spent around him, the weaker we both got, until it was getting closer to Halloween and – I got angry. I knew I had to leave, that I had to go, but Lily wouldn't let me. She wouldn't leave without me, and as much as we love our son, he was safer without me around. And if Lily wasn't going to let me go alone…"
She picked up where he left off. "We packed up, ready to leave, and I was going to leave Harry with Sirius and Mary. They would raise him, and I would see him every day. I could never leave him, not truly. But James being around him was killing them both, and not being able to hold his own son was driving James around the bend. I love James so much; there was no way I was letting him go."
"What happened on Halloween night?" Asked Dumbledore finally, after a few moments of silence.
"I… bit her." Said James simply. "She said that if she was leaving her son for me, then she didn't want to grow old while I was going to stay 21 for the rest of my life. To be honest, I would have done it earlier if it weren't for all the worry and stress we'd gone through with me not being able to be around Harry. We didn't know how long it would take for her to change properly, but she was weak, so we stayed at Godrics Hallow for Halloween night, waiting. But we'd been betrayed, and sometime after midnight, I was sat with her in the living room while she slept when he came knocking. We didn't have much time, I woke her up and sent her upstairs after Harry, to take him and run. Then of course he broke through the door and I got smashed back into a wall. While I was unconscious, he found Lily and Harry in the nursery. He killed her and tried to kill Harry, but it didn't work."
"I sacrificed my life for my son, and it protected him from harm. But something went wrong." She said softly. "Apparently dying was all it took to kick-start my changing into a vampire, like James. I woke up two days later, like him; by that point we were in America and went into hiding. We couldn't face going back. We assumed that Sirius would have Harry, he was safe, and they thought we were dead. It would workout in Harrys favour because he was alive, and he didn't have to go through the hell of having a father that could kill him at any moment, and a mother that was only ever half there because of her love for her husband."
"We came back in 1991. I couldn't stand it any longer – I had to see him, see what he had become. Only… everything was wrong. Sirius was in prison, Remus was alone, and Harry was with my sister. The first thing I did was go to Harry, I wanted to take him away, tell him I'd made a mistake, that I couldn't leave him, not any more. But I was stopped. She came to me, the girl from the ministry, and told me that going back to him now would only lead to his death, that he needed to be with his aunt and uncle. He was unloved there, but safe. I didn't like it, I didn't want to believe her, and I went to see him anyway. He was in the back garden, doing some work on the plants for Petunia. Before I could go up to him, she showed me what the future would be like if I followed through with it. There were so many different images. Hogwarts in ruins, Harry lying dead in the Great Hall, Voldemort was alive, only different, snake like, he was laughing over his dead body. Remus was dead, and Sirius, everyone that we ever cared about in the past was gone, wiped out in one sweep. She said that I could go to him now, by all means, but if I waited, a time would come where James could be there too – that she was dying, and she wouldn't take him with her."
"So you left him." Stated Dumbledore, trying his best to take in all of the new information, Snape still standing by the door looking annoyed.
"Yes. We focused on Sirius and Remus instead. Under glamour, we found Remus and befriended him all over again, gave him hope, made him believe that he wasn't alone any more. We convinced him to go back to see his old friends, to you, and you gave him a job at the school. We moved in as Harry's neighbours and looked after him with every opportunity we got, watching over him and making sure he didn't fall into harm. Then we went to Sirius, and showed him how he could escape for himself. As far as we knew, he was in prison for betraying us, and for killing Pettigrew and those muggles. We thought that even if we came forward as being alive, he would still be in prison for murder. When he escaped, we stood back for a while and let things take its course."
"I went to go see Sirius after he first went in." James looked out at the Quidditch pitch through the window. "If I'd known that I could have helped him, I would have stayed! I would have got him out and made Lily stay with Harry, but I didn't, and he was left there to rot while we were off in America. When I went to check on Harry, he was with Remus." He said, looking at Dumbledore with anger. "He was in Remus' house, with you, and he was safe, why would you even think to move him to the Dursleys, what was wrong with Remus? They hate magic, he loved Harry."
He shook his head. "I took him to see Remus' one day a few months after I dropped him off with his aunt and uncle. I wanted to know that they were looking after him properly, and they were, at the time. They weren't at all happy about the arrangement, and they didn't treat him as their own, but they fed him, looked after him, and gave him a safe place to live. Remus was going away, and he wouldn't ever get to see Harry again, or so he thought at the time, so he asked to see him one last time. I wasn't about to say no. I'm afraid you came back at an odd day that year. Had you come earlier, you would have known. Had you came to me for help, I could have fixed this mess before you made it any worse."
"But could you." James shook his head. "Could you really? Sirius was a murder, Remus was so alone he left the country, Mary was off in New Zealand, and no one knew she was there. Dorcas and Coradoc died a month before we supposedly did. I couldn't go near my son without the possibility of killing him, and Lily was torn between caring for her son, and being with me. That's all of us, scattered, broken beyond repair, and unable to come back together again. How could you have helped?"
Dumbledore went silent, unable to answer, James looking particularly satisfied with himself. He turned to Lily instead. "10 years?"
She dropped her head into hands, looking particularly torn and stressed. "You have to be one of s to understand fully but… time moves faster for us. We would find ourselves standing watching the world slip between our fingertips from time to time because, in all honestly, it didn't feel anything like 10 years. 10 months. A year, maybe, but not that long. When time finally caught up with us, I had to go back, but it was too late, in a worse mess than what we'd left it in."
"And how is it that you can be around him now? You've been training him for weeks."
"When she died everything started to revert. Harry started to change, and I started to become human again. The day he died, I did. Only I woke up human, and he woke up a vampire. Lily bit me again afterwards – it's complicated, and twisted and so wrong, in so many ways. Everything is just… wrong."
Dumbledore sat back in his seat, looking older than he ever had done before this point, the weight and severity of the situation falling upon his shoulders. "What are you planning on doing next? You can't keep them in the dark."
"No." Said Lily quietly. "We'll have to tell him soon. I'm just… he's going to hate me. James had no choice… I just… left him all alone."
Nobody said anything for a while as she stood on shaking legs and walked towards the door, past Snape. "I don't know if I can even face him after this."
A/N: I am aware that that is A LOT to take in. I'm also aware that some people are going to hate me for this plot twist. But I've had this planned, it does work, it does make sense, and their emotions and feelings behind what they did will unravel and grow as this story progresses, but I reiterate – they will not show themselves until the end of this story. That's the way it's going to be, unfortunately.
Next chapter will be posted either tomorrow or Tuesday – please do NOT kill me for this addition to the story =S