LbN: I'm going to regret having two stories open, I'm sure, but I couldn't stay away from this idea any longer. Happy reading!
They leave us so to the way we took,
As two in whom them were proved mistaken,
That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook,
With mischievous, vagrant, seraphic look,
And try if we cannot feel forsaken.
"Daddy, please can we stop?" James asked, panting. He leaned against the nearest tree, eyes drooping.
"We have to keep going, son," Harry said. He looked at his watch. It was already eleven o'clock. He made a small purple fire and took his son's bag. "Unroll your sleeping bag and stay here."
"Where are you going?" James asked fearfully.
"Just to scout out the area. I'll be back soon," he said, smiling. "Rest while you can." He watched his son get into the small green sleeping bag. It only took about five minutes for James to fall asleep, and by that time Harry had finished putting up protective spells. He gave his son a kiss and began walking toward the town.
He counted the days in his head. At eight in the morning, they would've been on the run for exactly 600 days. 600 days since Voldemort had won the war. 490 since most of the Weasley family had been killed, Ginny with them. The rumor was that Fred, and possibly George, had escaped, but Harry knew better than to hope. 200 days since Neville had found them, and told them he was going after Bellatrix. 185 days since he'd been killed.
"3 days since we've had a decent meal…" Harry muttered, slipping into the shadows of a pub. He ran into the town square and sent out a Patronus in each direction. Within a second, he was surrounded. He ducked as a few stunning spells whizzed by. Quickly, he blew up the fountain to his left, noting with satisfaction the sounds of pain. Before anyone could recover, he Disapparated.
He Apparated into the clearing, holding his hands up so James wouldn't shoot him. Of course, at five, the boy couldn't do much more than shoot sparks, but you never knew what fear could do to help his magic along. "Come on, time to go."
"But Daddy, I thought—"
"I made a scene in town. The woods will be swarming with Death Eaters in a minute." He smothered the fire and helped James out of his sleeping bag. When the boy had rolled it up and slung it over his shoulder, he held out his arm. "Got your wand?"
James nodded, patting his jacket. He took Harry's arm and they Disapparated.
"It'll just be for tonight and tomorrow night," Harry told the innkeeper. On the outskirts of Edinburgh, he felt relatively safe checking into an inn instead of camping. Plus, James was falling asleep at his side and needed to eat.
"Room six, sir," the innkeeper said, handing Harry a key. "Have a good night."
Harry picked James up and carried him down the hall. Once they were in the room, he set the boy on the bed and spent the next twenty minutes making the closet into a suitable hiding space, making sure to make it sound proof. Finally, it was finished. "James, come on. Just ten more minutes, and then you can sleep all you want."
After a quick bath and a change of clothes, Harry tucked his son back into bed.
"Why don't we just leave, Daddy?" James whispered, already half asleep.
"Soon, James. I just want to find any family we might have left. Your Auntie Tonks is still out there. And your Uncle Fred too." Harry stopped. He shouldn't get the kid's hopes up. True, he'd heard rumors just in the last week that Tonks was still around and causing trouble for the Death Eaters. And Fred…. If the twins were alive, they were laying low. He hadn't had access to a Wireless in weeks, so he didn't know if Potterwatch was still up and running. "Just another week. I know two years on the run has been hard for you, but I promise, next week, no matter what, we'll start over. Sleep now."
James was already there.
Harry lay next to him, mind still working too hard and too fast for sleep to come. With a deep breath, he forced himself to close his eyes.
They ordered room service the next day, and stayed in. James nearly cried when he took the first bite of his waffle….They spent the day planning. James wanted to know all about America, and where they'd be staying. Harry was trying to think of the best way to find out some more information in the week they had left. It was a quiet, rainy day, and Harry was glad for it. By sunset, both Potters' spirits had been boosted considerably.
"James, I want you to stay in the hiding place tonight," Harry said as his son pulled on his pajamas. "I know, it's been a while since you've had a bed, but I want to be sure we're safe."
"Yes, Daddy," James said, a little sulkily.
Harry smiled. "One more week."
The closet was pitch black when James woke up, but he could see into the room just a bit. There were men there, all pointing wands at his father. The five year old grasped his own wand, which had been his mother's, and sat perfectly still, trying to stop shaking.
"We knew we'd find you, Potter," someone said.
"Where's the boy?" a wheezy voice asked.
"Somewhere far away, where you won't be able to touch him," Harry said calmly.
"Let's get this over with," the first voice snarled. "Call Malfoy. He'll want to see to this person—ack!"
James watched fearfully as his father fought the men. He heard someone say something he couldn't quite understand, and then his dad fell. "Daddy!" he yelped, but no one heard him.
"Damn it, Yaxley!" a new voice said. It belonged to a man who was now kneeling by the older Potter. "I said no Sectumsempra! Take him outside while Zabini and I clear the room."
"Look for the brat too," the man named Yaxley said. "He said he sent the kid away, but I think he's lying."
James scooted to the back of the closet and watched the scene through the crack under the door. Two men were dragging his dad away, leaving a trail of dark red liquid. The other two men were tearing the room apart.
"Whatever you're thinking, Draco, don't," the man named Zabini said quietly.
"How do you know I'm thinking anything."
"I know you. If we find him—"
"You heard Potter. He sent him away."
There was silence for a moment, then Zabini said, in a defeated tone, "I'll go make sure they've done the job properly, then."
James burrowed into the blankets as footsteps got closer and closer to his hiding spot. The man opened the closet and looked around. James stayed as silent as possible. He listened to the man chant in Latin for a few moments, and then he felt a hand over his mouth. He tried to kick, or yell for his dad, but the blonde man's grip was firm.
The man shook his head and put a finger to his lips. He picked up James and the backpack, vanished the sleeping bag and pillows, and Disapparated.
The mansion was vast. James was too scared even to cry. He was shaking.
"Don't be frightened," the blonde man said. "I won't hurt you. I'm going to keep you safe."
"Where's Daddy?" James sniffled.
The man paused. "He had to go away. You'll be safe with me." They walked into the house. "You must call me 'Father' from now on."
"You must. If I am to keep you safe, everyone must think you are one of my sons. Astoria, dear…."
A beautiful, if sleepy looking, woman was coming down the stairs. "No need to explain, Draco…I suppose a child is the next logical step in the odd things you've brought home."
"Get him to bed. In the morning, before the servants get to his room, I'll have to make him look like a Malfoy."
"And his name?"
"James Sirius," James answered quietly.
"Not anymore. Abraxas James," he told Astoria.
"Come, Abraxas," Astoria sighed.
James hesitated before taking Astoria's hand.
"You don't have to worry," Draco said. "But could I have your wand for safekeeping?"
"No!" James shouted, backing away quickly.
"Alright, alright," Draco said, holding up his hands. "We'll talk more tomorrow. You can meet your brother at breakfast."
James relaxed a bit as Astoria picked him up.
"Good night, Abraxas," Draco said.
LbN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are most welcome! :)