Author's note: Hey guys. Welcome to the sequel to Ashes in the Wind! :-) I have to admit that I never thought people would actually like Ashes so I never figured I'd be writing the sequel. Yet, here it is! And I hope you'll all like it as you did Ashes. I may have to tell you that while Ashes had a time periode of about a year, LKILY doesn't. I'll let you guys know when a new period has passed in each chapter. Also, I've decided that only Edward will be calling Harry 'Harrison'. I think it makes it more intimate, don't you?
I also want to take my wonderful beta's: Alister Eternia, Haramiya and TalaDentro.
Anyway, please read and review!
Harrison "Harry" Diggory sat in the passenger seat of the Viper while Edward drove the two of them to Forks' High School. These past months had passed by quickly for the wizard. Even though the funerals of his two adoptive parents had been hard on him, he hadn't shed a tear, but he'd been shaking all throughout the service. He had, with the help of his mate and son, managed to get through it and leave it all behind him.
Nevertheless, he had taken the deaths of Severus Snape and Poppy Pomfrey hard, and blamed himself for it. He had known Severus was going to do something the moment he had heard the potion master's message in the vaults. The young wizard hadn't known exactly what Severus was planning to do. However he could have talked the potion master out of his kamikaze mission, if only he had known of Severus' intentions. Harry wished he had said something when they'd talked back in Grimmauld place when he was there this past summer, but he hadn't said anything. Now he had to live with his regret and guilt.
Maybe it was his fault. Didn't everyone leave him anyway? Just take a look at his dear old friends. He had met Ronald Weasley on the train to Hogwarts the first day and had quickly become friends with him. They had even been the best of friends until his so-called friend had turned on him the moment he'd found out Harry was gay. What kind of best friend would turn on you the moment they found out you are not what they thought you were? Harry was certain now that Ron only became his friend because he was the Boy-Who-Lived; hoping he would get fame, wealth or perhaps both. When Harry was accused of wanting more fame by entering the Triwizard Tournament, Ron had turned on him... The wizard may not have known much about friendship but he knew that that wasn't it.
Then he had Hermione. She had become their friend after they had saved her from the troll in the girls' lavatories. She had even lied to the teachers about it; preventing them from getting into trouble. In the beginning he had followed Ron's example and found her a noisy know-it-all, but his opinion quickly changed once he had gotten to know her. He had found her a loyal and honest friend, someone he could trust and someone who he respected. For five years she had proved him correct; Hermione was as loyal as a Hufflepuff and her friendship was something he had always cherished.
Of course, his opinion changed again when she blindly followed Ron after they found out he was gay. He was certain Hermione of all people would understand it, given the fact that she had always stood up for those who were different: S.P.E.W, werewolves, Hagrid, Neville. Maybe she did but loved Ron too much and was too afraid of losing him if she went against his opinion. Thus Harry had lost both of his best friends; the only ones he had. All because he didn't turn out as they expected. Which was weird, considering what the Daily Prophet had continuously written about him. They knew he was not the hero the papers made him out to be and would never live up to the image the Golden Boy represented. So, why then did they turn away from him when they found out he preferred men instead of women...or at least one man at that time?
Then there was Cedric; his friend, his confidant, his husband, his life... Who'd been killed right in front of him. Why? Because Harry was who he was; the bloody Boy-Who-Lived. Oh, how he had cursed that bloody title, especially after his husband's death. Besides Voldemort there wasn't anything in this world that he hated more than that unimaginative designation. That stupid title that had cost his husband his life and much more.
Was it really true? Was he really fated to lose all that he loved? He had loved Hermione, he had loved Ron, and he had most definitely, desperately loved Cedric. Now all three of them were lost to him, in one way or another.
Though he had lost his best friends, he still had friends at Hogwarts; Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. They had always accepted him as he was and never believed the rubbish in the paper, nor did they agree with Ron's opinion of gay men or homosexuals (as they weren't familiar with the muggle term 'gay').
In his fifth year they had been some of the very few who had believed him when he told the wizarding world that Voldemort was back. Those two had showed him what true friendship was. Oh, how he missed them both.
During the time that Dumbledore was still alive he hadn't dared to send a letter to them but a few weeks after the headmaster's death he had contacted them and told them that he was fine. Thankfully they hadn't blamed him for leaving and understood why he had to leave. But Harry knew he would never believe the words until he could look them in the eyes and knew them to be true.
It had been a difficult decision for him to leave all that he had known and loved behind to start a new life in a foreign country and new city. The thought alone had been terrifying, but he chose to start a new life for his son. Any and all decisions Harry made from that point on revolved around what would be best for C.J.
A soft smile played on his lips as he remembered the argument he'd had with Severus Snape about moving to another country. Even though both had agreed that Harry would move to America, he had been against taking his son on the plane. C.J. had been just a few months old at the time and he wasn't certain it would be good for the infant, afraid the pressure would damage his ears or worse...
After a much heated argument, for both had explosive tempers that easily rose to the occasion, they had settled with taking C.J. to a muggle doctor. The doctor explained that it was all right for the infant to fly. However, Harry being as stubborn and paranoid as a Malfoy, insisted his son be checked for any and all illnesses before their departure. For the pressure of take-off and the landing could hurt the infant's ears. Only when the child was given a full bill of health by both the muggle doctor and by Poppy (not to mention after Severus had promised to send him some healing potions) he and his son had been on the next plane to America. Knowing that there, C.J. would be safe there from the headmaster...or so Harry had believed.
Once he arrived in America, he needed to decide what to do with his life. He was a sixteen year old boy with a four month old child... That would most certainly raise suspicion about them in the muggle world.
Harry didn't want the hustle and bustle of a large city, but neither did he want the seclusion of a small town. So he had settled on Forks, Washington and sure enough it was precisely what he had wanted; not too big and not too small.
Finding Forks had been a happy accident. He and C.J. were at a diner near the airport thinking about their next step, when he overheard two people talking about Washington. Harry figured it didn't hurt to check it out and somehow stumbled on the town of Forks after stepping in a bus without knowing its destination.
He walked through the town, carrying C.J. on his hip and a small magic backpack that held all their stuff and was given to him by Severus and Poppy. A small smile had made its way to his lips. Yes, this would do perfectly, had been the exact thought that ran through him as he walked around and took in the sights. Even C.J., with his happy gurgles, seemed to like this town. He found a small house where he and C.J. could settle down and start their new life. Luckily it had been in good condition and he didn't need to change a lot; all he had to do was furnish it and make it childproof.
It had been a small piece of luck that he had found a small magical community not far from Forks. The doorway to the community had been magically warded; he had felt the magic encircle him, as if it called out to him, when he passed by the door. Being the curious Gryffindor that he was, Harry took a peek. He knew what it was and a feeling of joy went through him; now he wasn't totally cut off from magic. Even though he wasn't able to use his magic, too afraid that Dumbledore could track him down; he thought it would come in handy should he ever have the need of magical supplies.
When he settled in Forks, he had never imagined he would be going to high school, let alone a muggle one. But he had met the lovely Esme Cullen, and she had been so kind to him that he decided to take her up on her offer to babysit C.J. while he was at school. Decision made, Harry had enrolled himself into the muggle high school. Figuring that it couldn't hurt to graduate from high school considering it could help him get a muggle job (preferably something other than flipping burgers at the local diner).
His decision to enrol himself into the magic school had been made when he accidentally bumped into the headmaster of that school, Jack, who had talked him into enrolling. "Adult muggles have difficulties raising a child, and it's especially difficult for a wizard. You never know when you'll need the use of magic. I highly recommend that you graduate...if not for your sake then do it for your son. He'll grow into his powers. I can feel how powerful he already is. You might need to resort to magic and until you graduate you can't," he had said.
Harry had been sceptical of being part of yet another magical community. However, he changed his mind after his son's first piece of accidental magic. They had been at the only diner in Forks, when C.J. had levitated his bottle to himself when Harry hadn't been fast enough to offer the bottle. Thankfully no one had noticed, but needless to say, he had accepted Jack's offer.
Upon enrolling, Harry told his new headmaster of his situation, all of it except for the fact that he was Harry Potter. "Everyone needs a second chance, Harrison, and I'm willing to give it to you," the headmaster had told him as he welcomed him to the school.
Besides, he could afford it. Knowing he had enough galleons in Gringotts to last several lifetimes. So he didn't need a job but he had wanted to belong somewhere. If he graduated from muggle high school he might be able to find a job in the muggle community or when he graduated magic school he could find a job in the magical community. This way he had options and one option was a chance at a normal life, which he still wanted despite everything.
Harry almost laughed out loud and glanced over at his mate. A normal life, indeed, he thought as he stopped himself from shaking his head. He was in love with a vampire. He and his son were wizards and not to mention the 6 other vampires he called family.
He realised now that he would never have a chance at a normal life but, none the less, he would try and graduate high school. He would do so even if only to prove that he could do it to himself, especially since he had quite a bit of trouble understanding most of the subject matter at school. He was never a good student, always below average but, during his time at Hogwarts or even at the Primary school he went to before Hogwarts, he had never felt stupid before.
Whenever he opened one of his school books, he felt like an idiot. He didn't seem to grasp anything that was in those bloody books. It didn't matter how often he read it and reread it, he didn't seem to understand it. Sometimes he even thought that those books weren't even in English. It also didn't help that his mate was so damn good at everything.
It was funny; he almost wished Voldemort was back, just so he could face him instead of the math class he'd have first period. It didn't help that he'd be getting his grade back on the test that he was sure he screwed up. He mentally snorted, what kind of wizard couldn't even pass a stupid math class?
The British Wizarding world would laugh if ever they found out their beloved 'Boy-Who-Lived' failed muggle high school. Already, he could imagine the headlines 'The Boy-Who-Is-More-Stupid-Than-A-Muggle' or 'The Boy-Who-Is-An-Idiot'. Sometimes he was glad that the British wizarding world had spit him out; he never liked all the attention it entailed anyway.
Sneaking another glance at his mate, he sighed. He was certain he could ask Edward for help, but he didn't want his mate to think he was stupid. Harry couldn't even understand how he had passed his previous year of muggle high school. The end of the school year he had missed because he had been in hiding with Edward and C.J. He'd also had troubles with math. So, how had he passed? Frankly he didn't care; he just wanted to pass this year with some dignity. Asking Edward was out of the question, its better his mate thought he was at least an average student rather than the idiot he really was. If he'd found out, he would leave him wouldn't he? Nobody likes an idiot...
Dread took hold of his heart as he remembered the past few months. After the funerals, Edward stayed close to him; they'd even started sharing a bed. Yet the vampire did his best to give him his space as well. The vampire would hold him and watch over him, sometimes even chase the nightmares away as he slept. These days the first thing he saw when he woke up was his mate's beautiful face and kind eyes. It had never failed to bring a soft, tired smile to his lips.
Lately, things were changing though. He would wake up in the middle of the night and find his mate gone, when before his mate had always been there beside him.
One time he had even woken up as his mate rolled him off him, before settling down again. He had never told Edward this but it had hurt him. Didn't the vampire want him anymore? What had he done or said that would make his mate pull away from him?
He couldn't imagine what it was that he had said or done but it was probably his fault. It was always his fault after all, wasn't it? Everyone around him either left him or died. His friends left him, his parents, his godfather and his adoptive parents died. Even his husband had died. Did that mean he was going to lose his mate as well?
Lately, he'd been getting feeling that something was going to happen. Something similar to when he had known his magic would get out of control or when Dumbledore had tried to take C.J. from him. Was all this connected? Was this feeling telling him he was going to lose his mate?
Knowing fate as he did, he was. There was only one constant thing in his life and that was death. Even his son had left him...of course it hadn't been Harry's choice but still...
He had known he could never raise a child at a school. Taking him back to the Dursley's was out of the question. Buying his own place hadn't been possible since he hadn't been an adult at that time and in the British Wizarding world you needed to be an adult to buy your own lodgings.
Severus and Poppy had both offered to take care of C.J. while he was at school, but it would be difficult to explain to the Headmaster who C.J. was. Especially since he looked a lot like both his fathers. Knowing how fond Cedric had been of his parents, and how much he had trusted them, Harry decided that the only solution to their little problem was taking C.J. to the Diggory's and hoping they would help.
He had given birth to C.J. there and had stayed for only a few hours; never letting C.J. out of his sight. But then the time came for him to go back to school before the old coot became suspicious. How he had cried and begged to be allowed to stay with his son but eventually Severus had dragged him away and flooed both of them back to his private rooms at Hogwarts. There he had sat Harry down and gave him a calming potion and had explained why this was for the best.
The upset wizard had argued with 'how could a parent leave his own child?' but deep down he knew that Severus was right. Yet it didn't stop the feeling of abandonment that had fallen over him.
A lone tear fell from his eye, which he quickly wiped away not wanting his mate to realise he was a little upset. Apparently, his mate had seen it and gave him a look filled with concern and a squeeze, hoping it would give him a little comfort. Giving Edward a quick smile hoping it would reassure him; he turned his attention back to the scenery.
It was times like these that he knew Edward still cared for him. Then why was he pulling away from him? Harry didn't want to lose him. He was madly and hopelessly in love with him. The vampire had quickly found a way into his heart and he wasn't going to let him go easily.
Harry had loved Cedric, of that he was certain, but he had also fallen in love with Edward. There was just something he hadn't been able to understand; Cedric and he had bonded on the night before the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament. It may have been an illegal bond, one not recognised by the ministry, but it had been a complete bond; there was white light and all. Yet, he now also had a bond with Edward. They hadn't completed the bond yet but once they consummated the bond, it will be complete as well. Which was impossible, a witch or wizard shared one true bond with their mates and Harry's had passed away, which should have resulted in his own death as well, yet here he was - still alive.
He had told Edward that he and Cedric hadn't been truly bonded but now, the more he thought about it, he realised that wasn't true. They had been bonded. After Cedric's death, he had felt the pull of death himself but somehow he hadn't died. Some things just didn't add up but he was certain he would figure them out with time.
What he also knew was that had Cedric still been alive he would still be with him and not with Edward. It was the simple truth but he knew that he loved Edward as well. Maybe, he loved Edward even more so then Cedric.
Edward had been the only one who had been able to cut through the shields he had built when Cedric died. He'd felt so empty inside after his husband's death that he was certain he was never going to find love again. The only person he had let in was C.J. Yet, Edward had done the impossible. He'd found a hole in Harry's shield and had dug his way through. A challenge no one had been able to achieve until Edward.
Wait, did that mean that since he had reached his goal he was no longer interested in the challenge?
No, he couldn't believe that. Edward would never be that cruel... Then again he had never thought Dumbledore would want him and his son dead either. Maybe Severus was right and he really was a poor judge of character.
No! Harry snapped at himself mentally. He refused to believe Edward was that cruel. Hell, even C.J. likes him, and he was rather good at judging people. Merlin, he even calls Edward 'Papa'. He's an empath for crying out loud!
But he still hadn't been able to find the answer to the question: 'Why was Edward pulling away from him?'
These past months they'd spent in total bliss. With Edward and C.J.'s help he had been able to put the deaths of his adoptive parents behind him. Sure, he still had nightmares about their deaths and other ones, like Cedric's death, and at times like these Edward would wake him with a concerned look on his face. But then, Edward would hold him and everything else just seemed to fade away. Or place a gentle but sweet kiss on his lips; a kiss that made him feel loved, cherished and wanted.
Everything had been fine, for three whole months. They had gone on another date - this time Edward decided where they would be going and had kept it simple. He decided to take a stroll through the park, which lasted for over two hours. The two of them just talking, making out and even dancing under the starlight. The two of them had become inseparable, so much so that Harry now asked Edward's opinion about the decisions regarding C.J.
It had been a big decision for Harry, but he knew that if he and Edward would ever become a family, a real family, then he would need to become the parent C.J. desperately wanted him to be. That included helping make decisions about raising C.J.; among other things. Harry knew that Edward was rather nervous to begin with. He'd been afraid that he'd replace Cedric in C.J.'s eyes. Harry had quickly informed Edward that while C.J. had been told about his biological father, Edward was going to be the father that C.J. was going to know.
The three of them had become a real family, with Esme and Carlisle as C.J.'s grandparents and the other Cullens as his aunts and uncles. Harry hadn't only grown close to Edward but to the other Cullens as well. He knew that this was what family was really about; having brothers to fight over the remote with, having sisters who'd help him get rid of his awful fashion sense, having a father he could go to when he wanted advice and a mother who shares the secrets of the kitchen with. But most of all a mate to feel loved and adored...
Yes, those months had been a real treat, Harry thought as he remembered their first 'family outing' as Carlisle had put it. All nine of them had gone on one of the Cullens famous 'camping trips' when Harry had told them he had never been camping before. At first the vampires had been a little nervous to go hunting, not wanting to offend Harry but he told them not to sweat it. He had even made a joke that he'd rather have them eat the animals than him. That had been the icebreaker and all of them had a great time.
Those months had really been everything Harry could hope for. It was only these last two weeks that things started changing. Edward started to pull away from him. Normally when he was close by, Edward would always touch him whether it be a hand on his back or a brush of their arms, but lately the vampire kept his distance. When they were standing close together there would always be a small space between the two of them.
Harry couldn't explain how much he missed those small gestures. He missed how the brush of arms could send goose bumps over his skin, how the hot unneeded breath could make him shiver and most of all he missed knowing the vampire cared for him. As Edward pulled away from him so did his affections. Even through the bond he wasn't able to find out what Edward felt anymore.
Ever since the bond had been created on his seventeenth birthday, they had been able to feel each other's feelings, hear one another's thoughts. But lately the bond seemed to be blocked, maybe even dormant. Even though the bond wasn't completed. It unsettled him. He wasn't an expert in bonds but he knew this was a bad sign.
Even though the bond wasn't unwanted, it had yet to be completed. Maybe that's why it was waning. All he knew was that it wasn't a good sign that their half-bond was dormant.
Sighing, Harry pulled himself out of his musings; they were getting too morbid anyway. He noticed they had arrived at school and before he had unbuckled his belt, Edward had already opened his door and helped him out of the car.
"Thanks," he said, giving his mate a soft but sad smile as he remembered his previous thoughts.
They hadn't even closed the door already the gossip was back. Ever since they arrived back at school, they had been the center of attention. Most of it would just slide right off him, but there were times when it was too much for him.
His emotions would run amuck, it would depend on what their classmates were gossiping about, but most of the time his anger or fear would push his magic out of him. These were dangerous times; especially if he didn't have Edward close by. Whenever his magic would get out of control, Edward would need to touch him to remove the extra magic. Without the bond being completed, Harry wasn't able to control his powerful magic on his own. Normally he would push the extra magic into the earth, but at times like this he couldn't think. The only thing that would calm him down was his soul mate's touch.
As his control kept wavering, he almost lost it when Edward hadn't been at school with him. He had fought a raging war within himself to control his emotions until he finally calmed down enough to release his magic back into the earth. It had been a close call; his magic would have reached out to everyone around him and would've hurt them. He couldn't let that happen and tried everything he could to stay in control of his magic.
The only way for him to be perfectly in control of his magic, and never fear his stray magic again, was to complete the bond with Edward. He wanted to, Merlin, how he wanted to. But he was still afraid. He didn't want to complete the bond knowing Edward was pulling away from him. Maybe he was just being paranoid, he didn't know. What he did know, was that one way or another happy things didn't stay happy with him. He would almost bet his father's invisibility cloak that he was going to lose his mate.
One way or another, he was going to lose the things he loved and there was nothing he could do to stop it. But that didn't mean he wasn't going to fight like hell to keep those he loved! Maybe if he showed Edward how much he loved him, Edward would start loving him again... Then again what did he have to offer the vampire?
He was nothing but a used up, broken boy living for one person alone: C.J. He had nothing to give to the vampire except his love and even that was tainted. For whom in Harry Potter's life actually stayed around?