Harry opened his eyes slowly as he became more aware. His body felt loose and stringy. His mouth was dry, and his eyes wet. He remembered he had been screaming just before a calming voice had spoken to him. He remembered crying. He had then felt two fingers touch his forehead… then he was waking up. He had screamed and cried himself to sleep. How embarrassing did that sound? But he couldn't bring himself to care.
He was back. Or alive, at least... but he had lost everything.
He pulled his father's cloak closer to him, like a security blanket. He tried to set aside his emotions and let his mind focus on the facts.
God knew how many years had passed...
Most of his friends were married and had children.
The Ministry had damned him, but then, also cleared his name.
And his soul had been lost in Limbo the entire time.
What a bloody MESS. He sighed as he tried to sit up... and then slowly sat himself back down with a shocked look on his face. He looked down at his body, and tried to figure out what he had just felt.
For a moment he wasn't sure that he was in his own body... It didn't feel familiar to him. His muscles, his limbs, his own skin... It all felt... new.
He zeroed in at his knobbly knees and his scars, to assure himself that this was his body... But nothing else was like he remembered. He was nothing now but skin and bone. Even the shape of his hips and arms were foreign to him... even his skin. It was so pale that Harry could follow the blue lines of his veins from his shoulder to his finger tips... Merlin, it was ghastly.
Harry sighed as he realized he would somehow have to get used to his body.
He plopped his head back down on his make-shift pillow as he wondered just how long that would take... Weeks, for sure, depending on the state he was in... A single week if he was lucky.
No time like the present. He started by flexing and stretching his feet... first, by themselves. The left first, and then the right. Then both feet together. He was surprised at how easy the limbs followed his command... but still, it was obvious they were not used to working on their own.
He heard voices coming from the room beside him, and he turned his head in that direction to listen. His neck was so stiff and stringy that he couldn't hold it there for long... It protested violently against the action from the years of misuse.
But he couldn't make out the words anyway, so he just ignored it. He carefully added moving his bone-dry jaw along with the process of moving his feet. He had no doubt that the people in the other room would eventually want to talk... and he couldn't very well do that without the use of his jaw, could he?
How is it that ONE guy could cause such a stir? Dean thought as he downed another shot of whiskey. First, we were all willing to toast this guy... Now Bobby and Sam are acting like they want to freaking adopt him. And I don't even want to know what was going through Cas's mind.
Cas had been.. weird. Ever since Harry had shown up in his arms, he had seemed glued to him. Cas had held him, almost freaking hugged him, maybe even whispered something in his ear, and looked about ready for murder every time Dean had tried to insult him. And the weird thing was that Cas didn't even seem to notice he was doing it! He seemed oblivious to his own actions.
But this was Cas after all, maybe that last bit wasn't so weird...
He sighed to himself as he looked out to where the new guy was resting. Cas had put him into a state of deep sleep after he'd woken up. The guy looked wrecked. Even Dean had to admit, he felt sorry for the guy.
But how could Dean trust him? He had trusted Gordon. He trusted Ruby... Hell, he had even trusted Cas. And they had all come back to bite him in the arse. Gordon was a psycho, Ruby was a traitor, and Cas... Well, Cas came back to them. But that didn't change the fact that he had still freed Sam, and in doing so, freed Lucifer.
Dean was still hurt over that. Gordon and Ruby, he wasn't that surprised. But Cas? That was a nasty knock.
It was worse, because Dean had trusted the angel. Started to rely on him. Then BANG. Back-stabbed.
Dean wasn't ready to trust this guy. Even if Sam and Bobby were ready to jump on the Harry bandwagon. He would keep his head. He would watch this guy, and wait and see. This time, he would wait until the guy proved himself completely. Until then, no.
Until then, Dean wasn't going to let someone else betray them... Again.
No matter what.
He had enough time. Castiel had calculated how long it would take for Harry to wake up for the second time, and it was just about up. He was glad, because now that he had awaken him, it was time to start restoring him to his former self and quit overthinking about things.
They would have to talk to him and get Harry to agree to joining them first, but Castiel knew that would be no problem. Harry would not be returning to his unnatural sleep. As a champion of the light, Harry would join them. It was not in him to refuse. He would be a great asset and a winning warrior in this battle. Castiel felt his heart soar at the thought of fighting at Harry's side.
Things would change for "Team Free Will" now. Lucifer and Micheal would never know what hit them.
Cas turned to the other three men.
"Harry will be awake by now. We should join him and inform him of the situation. He will not be pleased to be kept in the dark for any amount of time."
Sam was already at the door. Bobby rolled his eyes, and he and Dean followed at a slower pace. Castiel trailed at the end. Yes, Castiel thought. A Fallen, A Savior, and a Vessel from ether side... If anyone is going to unseat Heaven and re-open the prison of Hell, it will be the four of us.
And for the first time since Lucifer had risen, Castiel felt hope.
Ron apparated to the Burrow. His hair a mess, his uniform disordered, and his face long and sullen. All and all, he looked horribly harassed.
NOTHING. Hours of searching St. Mungos, a dozen or so Aurors, and a meeting with the current Minister of Magic, and still, NOTHING. They hadn't found Harry's body, or had any idea who had taken him, or any clue as to how they had gotten in or out of the ward without being seen.
He had never been more furious in his life. Not just at the healers for not watching Harry close enough, the Aurors, Magical Law Enforcement and others for not finding any leads, the Minister for being a right foul git, but also at himself.
Harry had been helpless... and Ron hadn't been there for him. The cold stab of failure hurt his heart. He sighed as he walked to the front door, not knowing at all what he was going to say to his family. His wife, his mother, his son... Hell, his SISTER.
But he didn't have say anything. As soon as he opened the door, he was startled by screams and a bunch of arms that grabbed him and pulled him inside. His mind raced. But he should have expected his... he deserved to be punished for not being able to save Harry and his family had every right to be angry at him.
But then he realised: they weren't attacking him. He was being yanked, but he was also being hugged. His vision was a blur as they pulled him into the kitchen. His eyes went wide as he finally saw Hermione. His mum, George, and Fleur were all yelling incomprehensibly. Half-laughing, half-crying.
The whole family seemed to be there, and they all seemed to be in hysterics. He looked at all of them and tried to catch what they were saying... and then he caught the word "clock" being repeated again and again.
He turned around and looked at the family clock in the kitchen. His heart jumped into his mouth as he noticed Harry's clock-hand had moved... For the first time since that horrible morning when his mother's scream had filled the house, Harry's clock-hand had moved...
Ron couldn't help himself. He grabbed his wife in his arms, and joined in the hysterics.
Because the clock-hand now pointed at "Safe."