Disclaimer: I do not claim any ownership over anything related to Harry Potter.
Warnings: Het, slash, swearing, violence, clichés, typos, etc.
A/N: Criticism, opinions, comments, all types of reviews welcomed.
He woke in a hospital bed. The sterile environment and harsh light were an almost comforting familiarity, but along with it came worry for the reason he was there. He did not remember much at first. The reason for him being here, with an IV strapped to his arm and rough bandages wrapped around his torso, everything was lost in the fragments of his shattered memory that was slowly leaking back, but not aligning in any way that made sense.
Flashes and images, faces, hands, blood and screams, horrors that would have made most men scream were familiar, not frightening. So few memories free of pain and torment, a childhood full of starvation and constant anxiety, a life that should have broken him. And perhaps it had, and that was the reason he now lay in a hospital bed.
A nurse came into the room and stopped beside another bed, where another man whose face was blistered and red, but whole, lay. The man's other leg was missing below the knee and the little finger of his left hand was lost. He was asleep, or perhaps in a coma.
The nurse had finally noticed he was awake, and with a professional smile on her painted lips hurried to him, and he blinked at the thick eye-shadow and outrageous hair. The bleached blond was curly and puffed up, her entire appearance was like a shocking flashback of the eighties he'd never experienced.
"Good morning sir," she smiled widely, her long painted nails shocking against the whiteness of her uniform. "Can you tell me your name? I'm afraid there was no identification on you when they brought you in."
He hesitated, and it was enough to make her frown, but it was worry, not suspicion that filled her face. So at least where they had found him was not a horror scene. Given his life, from which he still had not made full sense of, he'd worried they'd found him steeped in someone else's blood.
"How about the date?" she asked when he did not answer her. Deciding to play it safe, he shook his head numbly. "Anything you remember?"
He thought what would be safe to tell her, and then remembered something that had most likely caused his current state, and decided some of the truth would do. "Light, a lot of light, and sharp pain."
She was nodding, and moved to the end of his bed and picked up the chart. "Your condition coincides with an electric shock. And you were found near power lines."
"Could you tell me the date?" he asked.
"Would you like the year as well?" she asked, compassionate and he nodded. "Fourth of June 1988."
Numb, he closed his eyes and let the shock pass. He never doubted her words. Her appearance fit in too well, better than if she had been just a retro fan.
"I'll tell the doctor you're awake," she told him and left the room, leaving him alone to ponder on the odd images filling his mind, of the divided memories that echoed each other so closely that at times they seemed to be the images that belonged to a single life, not two.
He walked down the street in clothes one of the nurses had gotten for him, all his possessions gathered in a plastic bag, his wand still thankfully intact, along with a purse full of gold coins and American dollars, enough money to buy a small country. He carried most of his fortune in a specially spelled pouch, as he had from the moment it had become clear there would be no safe place, no home for him.
His first action was to find a homeless man and to steal his life. The man that had woken with amnesia in a hospital had already been wiped from the hospital's records and from the memory of everyone that had seen him.
He walked down the street that's name he remembered from the records he'd eagerly devoured when finding family had still been something that mattered, and searched through every alley, looked at every doorway, and under every staircase until he finally found the right one.
He found the body buried under a heap of dirty clothes, and there was a bottle of something by the pale hand. It was too dark to be water, and he doubted it was juice or soda. It could be alcohol or something poisonous. He wasn't interested in finding out.
Taking in a deep breath he kneeled by the body and moved a piece of cloth from the man's face to make sure this was the man he was looking for. Pasty white face, dark eyes open, staring up, mouth agape and matted dark hair, still just as unruly as his was.
Swallowing down his nausea he pushed back the rest of the blankets and other pieces of clothing and searched through the man's pockets, finding a wallet and a key to storage locker in a bus-station. The wallet was almost empty, there was no money, but there was a driver's license dated a few years back from a different state. The man in the picture looked like him enough that he could fool the officials before he got his passport, and went to England and disappeared to the Wizarding World.
Thomas Potter's life had been relatively uneventful until he'd turned fifteen. He'd been raised by his mother who'd been a witch, but had made her living as a prostitute. As far as prostitutes went, she'd been high-class and had made enough money to keep her son well-fed, provide him with decent clothes and a proper education in distinguished school.
That had all changed when the mother had died. If she'd been in contact with her brother in England, James Potter's father, it could have been possible that Thomas would have been sent to England, but instead he had been picked up by the state and tossed from one foster home to the other. He'd ran away at some point only to be found years later rotting in the back end of an alley. No one was quite sure what had happened to him, and no one had cared. He'd been Twenty-eight when he'd died. Only a year older than the man kneeling beside him.
He stood, the wallet and the key to a locker in his hand, pulled out his wand, pointed it at the corpse, muttered an incantation and the body disappeared. Thomas Potter stepped out of the alley much different then he'd stepped into it.
Harry bit his lip, tried to keep the tears from spilling down his cheeks, all the while clutching his arm. There was blood everywhere and his teacher was screaming at the nurses and all Harry could think was that he wouldn't be fed when he got home, not after Dudley got detention for shoving Harry down the stairs. He was sure Uncle Vernon would blame him for getting Dudley in trouble.
A nurse finally came over, showed him to an empty room with a desk, an examination table and a few chairs, then closed the door and left him alone.
The second door leading to the door opened and another woman stepped out. She had blond hair, a kind smile and a white doctor's coat over a pair of jeans and a white shirt. "Hello Harry," she said. "I heard you were hurt."
Harry sniffled, pulled his arm away from his chest and showed her the bloody bandages the school nurse had wrapped around his arm. "It's…it's broken," he mumbled, remembering what the school nurse had said and why the teacher had brought him to the hospital.
The woman approached him slowly with a kind smile on her face, and kneeled down before him. She started peeling off the bandages, and every time her hand moved around his arm, the pain lessened a bit, until she was finally done, the bandage gone, and his arm didn't hurt at all, and the only proof that there had ever been anything wrong was the blood.
"That's that, then," the woman said, and for the first time Harry noticed the strange way she spoke, like some of the people in the telly. She sounded American. "Now is there anything else?" she asked and her fingers brushed against his forehead.
"It doesn't hurt," Harry said, knowing she was looking at his scar. It was in his forehead, shaped like a lightning bolt, and he'd always had it.
"Are you sure?" the woman asked, her fingers still on the scar. "There isn't much that can cause a scar like this, and none of them are nice things."
"What did you do to my arm?" Harry asked, insistent on getting an answer to his question.
"I healed it," she answered, smiling as if there was nothing strange about it. "Now let's talk about that scar of yours. Can you tell me where you got it?"
"In the car crash that killed my parents," Harry said.
The woman frowned, took her hands from his forehead and stood up straight. "There's no need to lie to me, Harry. If you don't want to tell me, you don't have to, but don't lie."
"I'm not lying," Harry said, fisting his hands in frustration. "That's how I got it. I've always had it, and Aunt Petunia told me I got it in the car crash that killed my parents."
The angry look bled from the woman's face and the kind smile returned, but there was an oddly sharp glint in her eyes now. "Harry, do you think, and I want you to think about it before you answer, but do you think your Aunt might have lied to you about where you got the scar?"
Harry did think about it, and even though he knew right away his Aunt could have very well lied about that, because she'd lied about a lot of things, he didn't say anything yet because he didn't want the woman to think he wasn't taking her seriously. So when he finally answered her, he shrugged and said, "Maybe."
The woman's smile twitched like she was trying to suppress a laugh, and the lines at the corners of her eyes deepened as she squinted. "That scar," she said and pointed at his forehead. "Came from something horrible, Harry, but it wasn't a car crash."
Her words frightened him, and nervously he glanced behind his back at the closed door and wondered where his teacher was.
"Do you believe in magic, Harry?" she asked, and Harry looked at his arm. Before he would have said no, but now he wasn't sure. "Magic, just like anything else can do a lot of good things, and a lot of bad things. Whoever gave you that scar Harry, did something very bad."
"You said who, not what," Harry pointed out and the woman smiled as if glad he'd noticed. That was something new for Harry. No one had ever been happy when he showed how smart he was.
"Very good Harry. I'm glad you noticed that." She even sounded pleased. "Someone, probably a very bad man gave you that scar, and they did something that left you with a piece of them inside it."
Harry swallowed and brought his hand to the scar. "Can you take it off?" he asked, for some reason believing the woman, even though it sounded strange. But something had always been strange about him, something that made the word 'magic' feel real. And he had dreams of green light and screams and pain.
"It can be done," the woman said, and something tight eased in Harry's chest. "Now I need you to sit down on the bed close your eyes and think of something you like. Can you do that for me, Harry?"
Harry nodded and climbed on the bed, wrinkling the white paper it was covered with. His feet swung and he bit on his lip and fiddled with his glasses, nervous. But then the woman was standing before him, taking hold of his hands and calm bled into Harry. He looked up and was almost blinded by the white light that spilled from her. The light travelled form their joined hands to Harry, filling him with warmth and happiness, and he felt it struggle with something bleak and dark, and angry.
It was evil, and it was inside him and he wanted it gone.
Harry gripped tighter on the woman's hands, and stared in to her eyes from which all the blue had bled to whiteness, and let out a scream, a cry of outrage and fear and pushed against the evil thing inside him. Something within Harry, something hot and cold, warm and icy, angry and furious and his, completely his, woke and rushed to push and pull and tear at the evil and dark thing, and together with the light they made it wither and shrivel and flee.
Harry felt his eyes roll in the back of his head, and lulled by the white light he fled to dreams that were gentle and light, and felt free and weightless and wonderful.
In the dream he stood in a field of wild flowers of all kind and colours, under a perfect sky with white clouds, and soft golden light that was both warm and cool.
There was a woman there, and she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She smiled and held out her arms and Harry ran to her and she wrapped him in her embrace and held him tightly. "My brave little boy," she told him and caressed his cheek.
Harry looked in her eyes, green like the new grass of spring and knew them, remembered those eyes looking at him from that same face, surrounded by her red hair.
He felt tears run down his cheek, and they were cold against his cheek and she wiped them like a mother, his mother would and gave him a smile filled with love and anguish for his pain. "Mum," he whispered brokenly, and cried harder when she framed his face with her hands and kissed him on the forehead.
"We love you, and we are so proud of you Harry, never forget that," she spoke, and made him believe that not everything would always be grim and hopeless, that some day he could be happy.
She stood and Harry looked up and saw a man with messy dark hair, round glasses and a smile like his.
The light grew bright, blinded him but Harry kept his gaze on both of them for as long as he could and basked in their love and acceptance. It stayed with him when he woke, and opened his eyes in the doctor's office, with his teacher who blinked his eyes, looking confused.
"Come on Mr Potter, let's get you home now that the doctor's taken care of that cut on your forehead."
Harry lifted his hand to where he knew the scar was and felt a fresh bandage under his fingers.
He would have thought everything that had happened since his teacher had brought him to the hospital his own imagination if he hadn't noticed the strange man following him in the next weeks, or seen the owls with letters tied to their feet, and remembered the feeling from his dream, the love his mother had shown him.
But most of all he noticed his scar. It was still there, but fainter than ever and no one saw it anymore, unless they knew to look for it. And he felt better, less burdened like a great weight had been taken from him. The power he'd felt pushing away the evil thing was still there, but it was weak and strained. It rested inside him, gathering strength, but each passing day it grew stronger and so did Harry.
Nearly a month had passed from his visit to the hospital when the man appeared and changed his life.
Harry was in the backyard weeding the flower beds when the doorbell rang. It was a Saturday and he was alone with Aunt Petunia. Dudley and Uncle Vernon were gone for the day and Aunt Petunia was using the time and empty house by cleaning it from top to bottom. Harry she had sent to the garden after he had knocked over the water bucket for the third time.
He brushed his hands on his trousers and made his way to the door, toed of his worn sneakers and opened the door quietly. He peeked inside, and when he was sure Aunt Petunia wasn't coming into the kitchen, stepped inside and made his way to the dining room and to the doorway where he chanced a look inside.
Aunt Petunia, wearing a worn down dress she always wore when she was cleaning, looked flustered, twisting her hands together. The man sitting on the sofa looked dark and dangerous, yet something in Harry told him he shouldn't be afraid of him. It might have just been the way he made Aunt Petunia nervous in a way no one in the neighbourhood did, and in Harry's view anything that unsettled Aunt Petunia that didn't include a punishment for him, was a good thing.
"No, it is you who doesn't seem to understand, Mrs Dursley," the man's voice was cold, his face even colder. "I have in my possession statements from the boy's teachers, his hospital records that show neglect and starvation, and pictures of his living conditions. If I wished, I could have you sent to prison along with your husband, sue you for every pound and have your son taken from you."
"But the letter…" Aunt Petunia said, her voice weak.
"There are other ways to arrange for it, and none of them require anything from you." The man pulled up a briefcase, laid it on the table and opened it. He took out a sheet of paper and handed it to Aunt Petunia. "Just sign it. I'll take full responsibility of the boy."
"But Vernon… My husband… I need."
"Mr Dursley is not your nephew's guardian, you are. Sign the papers Mrs Dursley. One way or the other the boy is coming with me." Even Harry, who was safe from the man's icy glare shivered, so it was no wonder Aunt Petunia's hand was shaking when she took the paper.
She read through it quietly, and when she was done she had gained some measure of courage and lifted her chin. She looked straight at the man and with her lips still trembling set the paper on the table. "This says I give up all rights to him or his holdings. The boy has money?" she shrieked. "If the boy has money, it should have been ours! For over seven years we have cared for the boy, fed him, clothed him, given him a roof over his head, and we've had no compensation!"
The man snorted. "A drunk would have taken better care of him. The boy's money is his and if you try to use him to get it, I'll make sure you spend the rest of your days in prison, and your son will be send to an orphanage."
Aunt Petunia swallowed, took the pen the man gave him, signed the paper, and then screamed at the man. "There! I've signed the paper, now you can take the boy and leave and never come back!"
The man calmly took the paper and placed it in his briefcase. Aunt Petunia sat shaking in her chair, never looking up, not even when the man walked around her and headed towards the dining room. He stopped just before entering, and locked eyes with Harry, and the boy gasped when he saw the man's eyes up close. They were the exact shade of new grass, the same as his mother's eyes.
The man held out the hand that was not holding a briefcase, and without even a second of hesitation Harry took it and walked out of his Aunt's house.