Chapter Six – Revelations
"Hell is empty and all the devils are here" The Tempest Act 1, Scene 2
They stood in a circle shape around the room, one that allowed them to see everyone clearly without turning their heads to odd angles. James was stood the farthest away from everyone, carefully choosing his words before he spoke. The next few things he was about to say were important and had to be said in a certain way in order not to make a mistake of saying too much, or too little.
"Lily, you remember the circumstances of how Sam and Harry were born." James started. "They were almost two weeks late and the Healers couldn't do anything as the natural magic was too strong."
The red-headed woman nodded. "Yes, we had to leave them for two days in St Mungo's for supervision to check whether the birth affected them at all. What does that have to do with anything?"
"During that time, I met one of the Healers. His name was –" Caius Fritz. James hesitated. He couldn't say the name. No, it was one of the things that had to be omitted. "Nevermind, the name is not important. He was one of the Healers supervising Harry. When I spoke to him, he...he told me some troubling things."
"What things?" Blurted out Sam. He was just as curious as everyone else in the room. He didn't notice the door creeking open and two figures sliding into the room; neither did anyone else – everyone was concentrating on what James' had to say.
"The Healer said that there was an old prophecy that he and his...family guarded for hundreds of years. He said that it concerned my son – Harry, in fact. He said that it was of utmost importance that the prophecy never became reality, or there would be terrible consequences."
"Terrible consequences? What could a newborn child do that could be so bad?" Asked Viktor, who was unsure of whether James was speaking the truth or simply spinning lies to hide behind. Viktor would bet on the latter, however he wasn't certain. James didn't seem like the type to make such intricate lies.
"Try the end of the wizarding world as we know it." James muttered bitterly in response to the older Krum teen's question. "He told me exactly what to do to prevent it...steps to never let that happen. Of course, it came with a price."
He paused, letting everyone take in all the information. Everyone looked thoughtful, apart from the two figures that no one noticed before. Those two, those two looked livid.
"That price being ruining Harry's childhood? You didn't even have any proof of him actually being the child the prophecy spoke of!" Growled a male voice. Everyone turned to see a witch and a wizard stood near the door – Mr and Mrs Krum. Both looked anything but happy at James' revelations.
"I...I did. The Healer – he – he showed me so much! I found out so many things, but...I cannot possibly tell you." The eldest Potter tried to explain himself, however he stumbled over his words. "However, yes, that was unfortunately part of the price. The Healer told me that I had to belittle him, be cruel. Harry had to be hardened to accept negative emotions...because – because if he was praised and loved for all his life and then suddenly it all was to be lost, then he would snap. He would break and destroy everything in his path."
"James." Lily's voice was threatening, her mouth open aghast. "You cannot possibly tell me that this Healer is the reason you act like this."
The man hung his head low, not answering his wife. The red-headed woman sighed in exasperation, muttering to herself as she shook her head. "James, what is wrong with you?!"
His body stiff, James winced at the red-head's shriek. "Nothing is wrong with me, Lily. I did what I had to do. That boy has the power to bring us all down." He whispered. "Do you want that to happen?"
"I assure you that I have no intention of destroying the world." Harry piped in. "And you should stop being so gullible."
James' hand turned into a shaking fist. He lowered his head, eyes darkening. "I have my reasons to believe him. I'm not as gullible as you think, boy."
Mr Krum stepped forward, ready to lash out at the Potter patriarch. Only his wife's delicate hand on his shoulder prevented him from battering the other man within an inch of his life in the good, old fashioned way with his bare fists.
"Father, don't. He's not worth it." Harry said, his back already turned towards James. He stepped towards the door, not wanting to hear another word of James' pathetic attempt at explaining his ridiculous actions. Angry beyond belief, he was slightly disappointed too and even though those powerful emotions were swirling within him, Harry did not allow himself to show it, wearing a mask of stone on the exterior.
"Is that all you have to say?" asked Harry, a mere step away from the door.
James hesitated before replying. "Yes."
"Good, because I no longer want to hear you."
Leaving everyone in silent contemplation, Harry left the room.
He slumped down against the corridor wall. What James said, it was definitely not what he expected to hear. And since he didn't expect it, it caught him off guard. He didn't know how to react, making him feel vulnerable. He hated that.
It made him irritated and angry.
He fished out a small vial of a silvery-blue potion out of his pocket, almost immediately opening it and drinking its contents in a single move. The sour taste burned in his throat as the potion, the Calming Draught to be specific, travelled down to his stomach where it took its effect and a warm, relaxing feeling spread through his body. He knew very well that he shouldn't, that his frequent use of the draught was borderline on addiction. However, he didn't care.
Eyes closed, he allowed himself some time to let the potion fully take his effect. He counted to ten, in order to slow down his breathing and sort out his thoughts that were running wild. Silence surrounded him with pretty much everyone in the Great Hall for the feast. Which meant that the ceremony would begin soon.
He heard the door creek open and a single pair of heavy footsteps walking towards him. He didn't open his eyes, nor acknowledge the person's arrival in any way.
"Calming Draught again? You know how I feel about it." Viktor's thick voice said.
"And you know that I don't care."
A nearly unnoticeable smile tugged on the corners of his lips as he heard his brother's loud sigh of resignation followed by a mutter of words. Harry didn't hear them, however he knew that they were somewhere on the lines of 'Why do I even bother?'. He heard them enough to know. "Come on, get up Harry. Let's go to the feast, the Durmstrang Champion would be announced soon." Viktor said clearly.
With a final deep breath, Harry stood up from where he was slumped on the stone floor and dusted his robes off. Eyes once again open, he regained his usual relaxed composure and while sending Viktor a confident smirk in reassurance, he started to walk towards the Great Hall with Viktor following his every step like a shadow.
It was that moment when the Potters as well as the two older Krums decided to exit the room. Whilst Lily was storming off towards the grounds with James following her, Sam awkwardly went in the same direction as the Krums. He looked hesitant and certainly not as confident and obnoxious as he usually was.
Stood before the anxious students and teachers of three wizarding schools, Albus Dumbledore was beyond excited. Dressed in another obnoxiously clashing combination of robe and wizard pointed hat (burgundy and lime green), he smiled brightly at everyone. The Goblet of Fire stood to the right of him, blue fire swirling wildly within it and soon enough the names of the remaining Champions would be announced. Already the Goblet spit out the name of the Hogwarts Champion, a rather talented Hufflepuff boy called Cedric Diggory.
Out of the corner of his eye, Albus saw the flames flaring up. The eyes of the hundreds of students were all directed at the flames, sitting on the edge of their seats while waiting for the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons Champions to be announced.
With a flash of light and a burst of roaring flames, a piece of parchment flew out of the Goblet. Albus caught it mid-air, his spindly fingers curling around it. He lowered it to his eye level and straightened it out.
"And the Durmstrang Champion is..." Dumbledore's voice boomed through the hall. "Mister Harry Potter-Krum!"
The doors to the Great Hall flew open, a thundering sound over the cheers coming from the students. There stood the one and only Durmstrang Champion, with his brother at his side.
Holed up in his office, James Potter was nursing his fifth glass of fire whiskey. The minute that him and Lily arrived back home, his wife refused to speak to him and stormed off to Merlin knows where. Their house was certainly big enough for her to disappear for at least a couple of hours without James being able to find her. Not like he wanted to, after their conversation he didn't want to face her until at least the next day.
Taking a swing from the glass, he thought back to when he met Caius. His life took a turn for the worse as soon as the blasted Healer introduced himself. James always knew that the man was bad news, however he genuinely believed that Caius was correct with his assumptions.
"Brother light and brother dark..." James muttered drunkenly. He remembered that Healers' words perfectly – the prophecy that started it all. It was as clear as day, even in his slightly hazy state.
"Brother light and brother dark,
Born at the end of the summer night
Late, but not, hear them come
Jaded eyes and jaded not.
If the dark is to loose it's light,
Prepare for a night painted in vengeance and fright.
But if the light was to never be dark's,
Another night will pass in peace."
He had no choice. In order for the peace to be continued, Harry couldn't feel disappointment when love and positive things like that were to be taken away from him. He couldn't break down and destroy everything...
James sighed deeply. His thoughts sounded ridiculous even to himself. He denied love to his child. His first born. And yet, he didn't feel bad about it. He should have put up more resistance when the twins were born. Maybe his marriage with Lily wouldn't have suffered then. Maybe they would all have been a happy family.
No, he couldn't think that. He made his choice a long time ago. It was the right choice. He couldn't start regretting things now, he was too far gone.
"I made the right choice." James whispered, leaning his arms on the desk in front of him. His head was hung low, thoughts hazy from the alcohol. "This was the right thing to do...Caius is right...I did the right thing."
As he did almost every night for the past fourteen years, James fell asleep while convincing himself that he did the right thing by ostracising Harry.
A/N: It's December and NaNoWriMo is officially over, so here is the promised chapter!
For anyone who's wondering, although I wrote like crazy for an entire month, college got in the way more than I wish it did and I didn't reach the target of 50k words. However, I have learned a lot over the course of November which I will use in writing this fanfiction.
I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter, although it was not the best one. It was very difficult to write (as you can guess, because of James) and I'm still not happy with it, but I did do my best with it.
I'm still looking for a Beta, so contact me if you're interested (British English is preferred).
Your reviews, favourites, follows and comments are appreciated as always :) Thank you for sticking with the worthless me that is terrible at keeping to a schedule or doing anything but procrastinating!