A/N: Wow! Who woulda thought I coulda got 5 chapters done in such a short time? ;3 I've been writing almost non-stop, because I actually got back into this story. Now, understand that a LOT has changed...and I hope I don't lose many readers because of it. I feel like the big stuff stayed the same, though... Somehow you'll recognize some things. I've got SEVEN chapters done, and I'll try to post pretty often. This is the shortest chapter of all of them so far... ^-^
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Twilight or Harry Potter. At all. JKR and SM do.
The New Dawning
Chapter One: Meeting His Eyes
"Always remember that the future comes one day at a time." ~Dean Acheson
August 6, 1999
La Push, Washington was darkening steadily by the time that Sam Uley let his pack off patrol. The boys, who hadn't seen any action in the last fortnight, immediately cheered and phased to their human-selves, leaving to find something to do.
Paul Walker found himself wandering the rainy, nighttime streets of the small reservation. It was quiet out, since not many people hung around after sunset. Though it had been a year or two since there had been murders in the woods (the pack made well sure of that), people still weren't quite comfortable with the thought of what could be lurking there, and as such, left before things got too dark.
The tall, muscular boy – who many said had an anger problem – found himself in the itty-bitty little diner on the edge of town. They served food twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and it was probably the best food on the reservation.
He ordered himself some food, smiling a quirky little grin at Leah Clearwater, who hadn't had patrol today. "Missed some fun stuff, Clearwater," he snickered.
The only she-wolf out of the whole pack huffed and crossed her arms. "Well, I would have rather been out there than in here. Hey, do me a favor and wake that kid up over there, will you?"
Paul glanced to where she was pointing.
Now, you don't see many pale people in La Push. Most of them are visitors from Forks, because most of the folks on the reservation are at least partly Quileute – an Indian tribe. But this boy was porcelain pale, his cheek on his arm, slumped over next to his food. His lips were slightly parted, and his face was undeniably angelic – not something you see on a boy very often, and Paul should know, since he hung around a whole pack of boys every day. He looked young, fourteen or fifteen at most, and he must have been sleeping for a while – his shake was almost all the way melted.
Paul slipped over and sat his food down before nudging the kid, who shifted and murmured something under his breath before blinking lightly and opening his eyes. They were the brightest green Paul had ever seen, and he just stared at the kid as if – as if the kid was his whole entire world. It was like someone had punched him in the stomach, but it didn't hurt – no, if felt good. Everything faded away, except this kid right here in front of him with pink sleep marks on his cheek and cold french fries and a melted shake.
Oh, god, did I just – but no, that's impossible, you can't imprint on the same gender. But I...
Everything he'd ever been told was pointing toward an imprint, and yet, Paul couldn't help but feel something was wrong. He jumped up as if he was burned, hightailing it out the door and into the rainy night.
An hour and a half earlier
The boy in the mirror made him sick to his stomach. His near-flawless skin was stretched tightly over ribs, so tightly that he could count each one of them. His fingers smoothed down them and he turned a bit green, dropping his hands to his side. His skin was pale – he couldn't deny that he was very, very unhealthy. The bags under his eyes made him look like a raccoon, nearly. He kept waiting for his stomach to growl, or something to say alright, Harry, you're hungry, it's time to eat. But nothing ever happened, and whenever he tried to force himself to eat, flashes of memories went through his mind.
They always started with Cedric staring blankly at the night sky. After that was Sirius, calling him James and then sliding through the Veil – as if it was some sort of sick joke to have your godfather's last words be mistaking you for your father. Then face after face, all the people he'd seen killed or injured, blood and skin and just so many crawling things that made him wish he never had to open his eyes again.
So he didn't eat then, either, still waiting for his stomach to alert him to its emptiness.
And when he slept, the images of the graveyard at Godric's Hollow swept past him. Heroes of the War, the memorial stated, 1966-1997, and then it listed every witch, wizard, or magical creature that had fallen on account of the Dark Lord or his followers. Name after name, etched deeply into sparkling, ebony-colored stone... and Dream-Harry's eyes would automatically pick out the ones he knew: "Cedric Diggory. Ted Tonks. Remus Lupin. Nymphadora Tonks-Lupin. James Potter. Lily Potter. Sirius Black," the last one was always etched in hurriedly at the end, the very last name, because Harry had thrown a huge fit until it was there. And then he'd left.
So sleep didn't come easily, either, but he tried – tried because if he didn't, he'd be in a ward at the hospital, or that's what his Healers always threatened him with. If he stopped eating and sleeping, they said, he'd be in a permanent ward where they could watch him always and make sure he was always healthy. That was a punishment, he felt, and why be healthy if he couldn't live? He'd rather be unhealthy and living on his own, thank you very much.
"I have to try," he said to the mirror, and the mirror copied his mouth's movements, but this wasn't a talking mirror like at the Burrow. This was a muggle mirror, and so it didn't talk back to him, for which he was thankful.
"I have to try," he repeated, and turned away from the mirror. He tugged on a too-loose shirt and too-loose pants over his too-loose boxers, stuffed his feet into some shoes, and grabbed his keys. His wand, as always, was on a holster on his thigh... always within reach but out of sight.
The streets were filled with chattering people, happy and sad and indifferent. He avoided their eyes, slipping into a diner on the outskirts of town. It was warm inside, and pleasant, and for some reason his shoulders relaxed a little.
His glasses slid down on his nose and he pushed them up, wondering if he was supposed to go sit and wait for someone to take his order, or if he placed his order at front. Self consciously, he stepped a little closer to the door, looking around shyly. Another man was ordering at the counter, so he followed this example, eyes scanning the hand-written menu behind the cashier.
Fries, he decided, because he had always liked fries. Mostly because they were salty and he liked salt.
The cashier was pretty in a down-to-earth way, her short hair cut choppily as if she hadn't a care in the world. It was dark brown, nearly black, with caramel highlights from being out in the sun. She had on a smudge of lipstick, not too much but enough to tell it was definitely there, and the diner's apron over a white tank-top and black slacks. He observed all of this in the moment it took for her to call, "Next."
There was a scar next to her eyebrow that Harry rather liked. It kind of accentuated her strong jaw and high cheekbones.
He placed his order, looking away from the girl – she seemed the type to hit people, and he didn't need any bruises for his next appointment.
"Anything to drink with that?" he was asked, and he began to shake his head before asking her opinion. She, eying his thin frame critically, muttered, "You should try a shake."
So he did, if only because he thought the extra calories might make him look a little less sickly. Afterward, he sat down in the only empty table and began nibbling on his fries.
Harry was a picker – you know, pick, pick, shove the food around, pick a little more, decide you're done eating, move food around again, pick some more. Because of this, the two oldest Weasley boys had taken to calling him Bird, saying that's what birds did.
Before he knew it, he had half the fries gone – more than he'd eaten in one setting in... weeks. Half the shake was gone, too. Harry was almost happy with himself, but he didn't quite feel 'happy' anymore, so it was just a pleasant feeling in his chest.
And then he was dreaming.
Not a nightmare, like usual. It was a...nice dream, it made him feel good. A small redheaded girl chasing a train, and it felt like a thousand years ago, but Harry knew the exact date it had happened. September 1, 1991 at Kings Cross station on Platform 9¾. Her cries echoed in his head hollowly, but unlike the usual cries in his dreams, these ones were sort of nostalgic and wanting instead of pained and dying. She didn't want the train to leave.
The next thing he was conscious of was being nudged gently on the shoulder. He mumbled, "Don't go," but he was sure it was unintelligible. He blinked slowly, aware of the fact that he had just been sleeping, and not a tossing-and-turning, half-awake, nightmare-filled sleep. A sleep that actually physically renewed him a little.
He glanced up at the person who had woken him, almost immediately remembering that the last time he was awake he'd been in the La Push diner. He blushed – falling asleep in a diner?
The man in front of him was huge, and for a split second, panic shot through Harry. Was the man angry? But no, he just looked confused. They caught eyes and Harry's breath went out of him.
He'd never liked a man before – actually, he'd never really liked anyone except Ginny Weasley, but she was out of the question now. This man, however, was perfect. Molten brown eyes, swirling with emotions, nose just a tiny bit upturned, strong jaw and cheekbones, hair a little too long on top and flopping into his eyes, muscles straining against his black wife-beater, cut-offs sagging a little. The man swallowed and then was gone before Harry could say anything at all.
But Harry was filled with this warm sensation, and he wanted to go after the other man and just...well, he didn't even know what. Just wanted to see him again. Harry glanced at his cold fries and melted shake, and then ordered some new food to take home with him.
And he ate it all, though nobody ever said it stayed in his stomach – after eating too little for a long time, and then eating too much, Harry's belly wasn't used to all the food and rejected most of it.
But he still felt good about himself, and curled into his bed hoping for a good night's sleep.
It mostly was, but near the end, when the warm feeling was wearing off, things turned dark and cold again and the graveyard was back.
In the morning, though, Harry didn't look like a raccoon. And he had a little color back.
And that was a good start, yeah?
Review, please. Whether you didn't like it or you did, or you can't wait for the next chapter, or I'm a terrible writer, or you hate me, or anything really.