Disclaimer: I hereby disclaim anything that may belong to JK Rowling or the Harry Potter universe.
Through Another's Eyes
Harry Potter was very aware that he was a strange boy. It had taken him some time to come to terms with this fact, but up until about a month and a half ago, he'd thought he'd finally begun to accept it. He understood that he was a wizard, that as an infant, he was the only person to ever survive the Killing Curse. He understood that he was quite possibly the only person to ever survive an encounter with Lord Voldemort the number of times he had. And he understood that he couldn't step foot into the wizarding world without crowds of people staring at him, whispering, and gaping at the lightning bolt scar on his forehead.
It wasn't until a few weeks into his summer holidays that Harry began to realize that not only was he a strange boy, but he could very well be the only person to ever land in the situations he became tangled up within. Following a freak occurrence in Vernon and Petunia Dursley's cupboard under the stairs (the words "interdimensional jelly" came to mind), Harry had somehow found himself in another world. On the positive side, he had parents and siblings here; on the negative, the friends he'd known since his first year at Hogwarts either loathed him or eyed him with suspicion whenever he stepped foot in their vicinity.
The strangeness hadn't ended there. Harry began receiving flashes of memories belonging to the alternate universe's version of himself, even having full conversations with the other boy. Then, on 1 September, on platform 9 ¾, Harry was once again proven to be a very strange person. He and the other Harry had been hit with a Killing Curse sent at them by Draco Malfoy. The only thing that had saved any boy named Harry Potter that day was the fact that the two of them had been sharing a body—when the curse hit, it had its desired effect: it did kill somebody. Unfortunately, that somebody was the other Harry, the one who belonged in this world.
The reactions of Harry's parents and their friends were quite understandable, even if some of them were a tad overdramatic. James Potter, angry and grieving over the loss of his son, had kicked his best friend, Remus Lupin, out of Harry's hospital room after discovering Remus had known all along that something had happened to his son. It had taken Harry's disappearance from St. Mungo's Hospital and a full day's search before James realized things could have been much worse.
Overall, and very much to his surprise, Harry had been accepted by his family.
Currently, the fifteen-year-old was sitting on an examination table in St. Mungo's while a Healer took his sweet time peering into each of Harry's eyeballs with a lit wand, walked around the table murmuring things under his breath, and asked Harry stupid questions about his health. At various moments during the entire Healer visit, Harry glanced at the woman sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. The redheaded, green-eyed witch was looking on with twitching lips while Harry glared at the Healer.
Funny, Harry thought grumpily, I always thought mothers were supposed to be on your side...
"Well," the Healer said, finally straightening up after he'd tested the reflexes in Harry's knees for the fifth time, "there don't seem to be any lasting effects from the curse, aside from this cut." He gestured at Harry's forehead where a lightning-bolt shaped cut sat between the boy's eyebrows. "I don't see any reason he couldn't go back to school, Mrs. Potter, so long as he's being looked after by Madam Pomfrey—she'll of course need to be apprised of the situation; if you'd like, I could take care of that for you. And at the same time, I can inform her of the potions we'll need Harry to continue taking for the next few months."
Harry stared at the Healer. "Months?" he whispered incredulously.
The Healer nodded grimly. "Mostly things to keep your strength up and assure that your immune system is able to fight off colds and the like. As I've said many times, we've never seen a case like yours, Harry, and as such, we don't know what effects you could develop. Best to do what we can to avoid whatever we can manage."
Following instructions given to Lily that Harry ignored while he was buttoning his shirt, the Healer shook the boy's hand, wished him luck at school, and ushered them out of the room.
"Why do I have to take so many potions?" Harry grumbled as his mother led him down the hospital corridors.
She chuckled and draped an arm around his shoulder. "Because, my dear, you are a medical miracle, and as such, you are going to be used for observation until further notice."
Harry rolled his eyes as they left the hospital and stepped onto the busy London sidewalks. "So when can I go back to Hogwarts?" he asked as they headed towards a small restaurant for lunch.
"Well, since you've been given a clean bill of health, I'd say you can go back on Monday morning if you want," she told him. "That will give you a few more days to relax and it will give your father and I a few more days to adjust to all this."
The boy nodded silently, holding the restaurant door open for his mother. She smiled and winked at him, and approached a podium just inside the door. As a waitress led them to a booth, Harry allowed himself a few moments to let his nerves float back to the surface. He'd had time to settle in with his family and for them to get to know him. But at Hogwarts, everything would certainly change. While most of Harry's time in his own world had been spent ignoring the stares and whispers of the other students as he passed them in the corridors, he'd still had Ron and Hermione to fall back on. Everything here was different—he shuddered a little at the recollection of his birthday party a few weeks back where Lavender Brown had thrown herself at him and kissed him until he couldn't breathe anymore.
Harry was going to be alone at school this time around. He had his younger brother Caleb, but he was only a second year and probably had his own friends to hang out with. There was always Hermione Granger—Harry hoped he'd made some headway with the bushy-haired girl over the summer: she'd gone from hating this world's Harry to being willing to converse with him.
"Sickle for your thoughts?" Lily asked, startling Harry back into the present.
He picked up the menu the waitress had left for him and studied it as he replied, "Just thinking about Hogwarts."
She gave him a sympathetic smile and reached over to pat his hand. "You'll be okay," she assured him. "I know it's going to be a bit odd, but I'm sure you'll adjust quickly."
"I guess," Harry replied with a sigh.
After another few moments or so of staring at him thoughtfully, Lily opened her own menu. "So what are you in the mood for today, my boy?"
James Potter stood in a small room beside his best friend and partner Sirius Black as they looked through a charmed wall that allowed them to see into the next room over without those in said room being able to see or hear them. The two wizards looked on without expression as a young blond-haired boy shifted nervously, his grey eyes darting this way and that.
"What do you think?" Sirius asked in a low voice, his eyes not wavering from Draco Malfoy.
James sighed. "I think I'm further relieved that my wife and I have raised our children better than Lucius Malfoy did his," he said tonelessly. "And I think I believe that he was under the Imperius Curse."
The other wizard nodded. "What now?"
"One of two things," James replied. "One, we send him back to Hogwarts where he'll be open to retaliation from his father and any other Death Eater annoyed that dear Draco's mission was a failure. Or we send him and his mother into hiding for who knows how long and risk that same retaliation for their disappearances, which probably wouldn't be any different from anything else Voldemort has tried to get us back for."
It was Sirius' turn to sigh. "I know what I would do," he began hesitantly, "but your kid and family was the one affected by this mess, so it's your decision."
Very slowly, James began to nod. "Right," he said decisively. "Instead of sending a teenager to Azkaban for life for doing something he couldn't control, we go after Daddy Dearest."
"And what of young Master Draco?" Sirius asked.
"I'll talk to Dumbledore," James replied. "Draco can come with me. Until we decide where he's to go, Hogwarts is the safest place for him."
Monday morning came much more quickly than Harry had expected it would. He woke before sunrise and trudged his way to the kitchen where his mother, father, and baby sister Piper sat around the table eating their own breakfasts. With a nervous smile directed at his mother as she placed a plate of food in front of him, he slowly began to eat.
"Worried?" James asked as he sipped his coffee.
Harry looked up to find his father's hazel eyes shining back in amusement. He shrugged. "A little," he responded with a shrug, taking a drink of his pumpkin juice.
"Well, you have nothing to worry about," Lily said for what had to be the fiftieth time since the Healer visit on Wednesday. "If you have any trouble, the Headmaster's door is open to you and Remus is just down in Hogsmeade—he says he'll be more than willing to help out if need be..."
"Lily, you're making the boy more nervous," James said quietly, glancing between his wife and son. "There aren't going to be any problems, Harry. Nobody knows what happened on the platform," the wizard quickly glanced at his daughter who was occupied playing with one of her dolls, "and anything they come up with is hearsay. The Ministry doesn't even really know what happened, and we plan on keeping it that way. Just relax, focus on your studies, and enjoy the Quidditch season when it begins."
"And I should tell you the rule when it comes to sending letters home," Lily said rather sternly. Her eyes gave away her humor. "We expect two owls a week—" James cleared his throat, giving his wife a look. She rolled her eyes and sighed. "All right, one owl a week. But if you feel the need to send more, I certainly wouldn't be against it."
Harry chuckled and nodded as he continued eating his waffles.
Following breakfast, Lily fussed over Harry, making absolutely certain he had everything he needed packed within his trunk before James reminded her that she'd checked it herself three times already. Finally, it was time for Harry to be off. He stood in front of the fireplace with his trunk—James would be carrying it with him through the Floo—and allowed Lily to attempt smoothing his hair, hug him tightly several times, and kiss his cheek, which only caused her to wipe off the lipstick she wore.
"He'll be fine, Lily," James said in exasperation. "We've got to go; we don't want him to be late for his first lesson, do we?"
With a heavy sigh, still looking as though she believed this wasn't a good idea, the witch backed up, giving Piper room to rush at her brother for her own goodbye hug. Harry kneeled down and accepted the hug happily. "I'll see you at Christmas," he reminded the little girl.
"Okay," Piper said quietly, looking as though she was ready to cry at the thought that her beloved big brother was leaving her.
Chuckling, James turned to the fireplace and retrieved the jar of Floo powder, holding it out to Harry. "You know how to Floo, I trust," he said with a raised eyebrow.
Harry snorted and smirked. "Yes, I do," he answered. "Though the first time I tried, I ended up in Knockturn Alley..."
His parents exchanged amused and concerned glances, but James managed to shake off this revelation. "Well, come on, kid," he said, gesturing for Harry to take a handful of the greenish-blue powder. "Off we go."
Nodding, Harry took a handful and stepped into the fireplace, taking a deep breath. "Hogwarts," he said confidently. "Headmaster's office." He tossed the powder at his feet and disappeared in a whirl of green flames.
AN: My most humble apologies for the horribly long wait. I won't waste your time making excuses. But here is the first chapter, short, to the point, and gives me time to get back into the universe. Thanks to whydoyouneedtoknow for beta-reading again. And please take time to review! Authors thrive on reviews!