This is the rewrite of Lock and Hale (still on my profile) hope it's alright. I promise not to abandon this one. EDIT: I've hopefully improved this a tad.
I don't own anything but any OC's that may appear in this plot. This is still a response to AbNaGbEyL's challenge that Lock and Hale was inspired by.
The faint beeps echoed throughout the white room, the only sign of life in the prone figure. A second person sat, folded up in a cold chair as he watched the line on the monitor spike, spike, spike. Vernon Dursely's breathing was even, regulated by the many machines that had been attached to him. He didn't look so large now, dwarfed by the various machines around him, covered in bandages as he slept. His skin had a grey undertone to it, as if he knew what waited for him beyond the shadows of sleep. Harry was watching him, knowing that this was essentially his last living relative, right there on the bed.
"Mr Potter." He turned, seeing the nurse who had been kind enough to let him stay these past few days. Her red hair was pulled back tight and her face was rather fresh; the only sign of her long shifts was the dark shadows beneath her eyes. "I think you should come with me." The sixteen year old boy rose, not really feeling his feet as he left the stark room. Where would he go now? Petunia and Sirius were dread. Molly Weasley could hardly take another child in. He supposed he'd end up with someone, there was bound to be at least one Order member who would take him in.
"Harry, my boy." The green eyes lifted to lock with that of the old man who stood in front of him. Albus Dumbledore looked more tired than Harry had ever seen him, as if all his troubles had been piled back on him again in these past few moments. "I believe I have found a suitable guardian to look after you until we can find a more permanent home."
Harry's eyes were slightly disbelieving as he listened to the man, there was someone else he could have stayed with over the years? Sure, now he was reflective and slightly mournful of the fact that Petunia Dursley was dead, he would never have wished it upon her. But he could have stayed with someone else for the time being? He turned back to look at the door that led to Vernon Dursley's bed, he didn't want to stay here, he knew that he had nowhere else to go.
"Who is this guardian?" he asked, looking up at the taller, more worn man.
"Jasper Hale," said Dumbledore. "A distant relative of your mother's, I barely realised he was still alive." Harry swallowed, but he knew he had no more choice in the matter as his head dipped into a nod. "You don't have to go, of course. Molly would be perfectly willing to look after you until school is due to start." The words were laden with hope, that Harry would stay with them rather than go with this unknown guardian.
"No." He shook his head. "I want to meet him, at least." Dumbledore nodded softly, he would have no true say in the matter, that much was clear. "Is he already here?"
Molly Weasley bustled around the busy kitchen of the Burrow as she watched the thin boy carefully. It was only when she compared him to her own son that she finally said, "Oh, do eat something dear," with a hint of distress. Ever the type to cook when she was worried, the meals Molly made were piling up on the small table. She didn't notice that the rate of consumption was significantly lower than the rate she was turning out food. Harry nodded, taking a small bite of toast to appease the woman.
The plump woman sent another look at the young boy, worrying for him as she placed another plate of something in front of the boy, noting the way Ron snatched up some already whilst Harry just stared at it blankly. The poor boy had already lost Sirius these past few months, and now on top of that his only family. She didn't want him to leave, but she knew she had little other choice, he had to go with some family. The least she could do was feed him right now, prepare him for what was coming. She just hoped that this guardian was a friendly face.
"Ea' some bac'n 'arry," Ron said through the large amount of food in his mouth. Ginny pulled a face from across the table as she herself had a few spoons of porridge. "Is good," he said, tempting Harry with a piece of burnt bacon. The thinner boy couldn't help the small chuckle, taking a few bites of the meat, just to test his friend's theory. Of course, Ron was right and it was fantastic bacon. But he was still too nervous to eat, not the way his friends were.
"Chin up mate," Fred (or at least that's what his jumper had on the front) said. "This Hale guy could be really cool." It was a silent agreement among the family that anyone would be better than the family who had claimed to take in Harry for so long. "He might actually be interesting, and a helluva lot thinner than the Dursley's." Despite the recent loss, neither of the Twins had been particularly sensitive about it. Molly moved to admonish them when the back door opened, revealing Dumbledore 's tall frame, and a slightly smaller one of this Hale character.
Jasper took in the faces in front of him, all covered in red hair except one. He didn't need the hair to pick out the boy though; he could smell Lily's blood flowing through her. His eyes were a dark black as his eyes swept over the group, watching as some, all, of them pulled back in fear. Not the boy though, not Harry. He merely watched the vampire with a mild interest in his eyes; though it was clear he recognised the older male as a vampire.
Molly's eyes locked onto that of the paler eyes of Dumbledore, concern lacing through them. Jasper could feel the fear and worry that came from the woman and the man. They didn't want the boy to go with him; they thought that he was too dangerous to look after a boy. "You must be Harry," he said, hoping to present no threat. They were taken aback from his stiff tone, expecting something more from the younger in front of them.
"I don't think Harry should be going with this, boy," Molly said. Her eyes were firm as she looked at the vampire, and it was obvious that the old man was in agreement with her. "He can just stay with me and Arthur." Jasper's lips pulled into a snarl as the smaller woman approached him. The boy would be staying with him, they were family. "Albus! Surely you can see that he's too dangerous!"
Molly spared another look at the young boy in front of her, she couldn't make Harry or Dumbledore say no but inside she knew it was dangerous. He was much safer with her, he'd be surrounded by friends, by family. He'd be with living, breathing people he knew. She didn't want him alone with this vampire, on his own and out of her protective reach!
"I'm afraid I'm inclined to agree," Albus said solemnly. "A vampire is hardly a suitable guardian for you." The pale blue eyes were fixed with the green ones, but it was already clear that Harry wasn't going to agree with the older man. "It's much safer for you to remain here, with your friends. In England." Having Harry across the oceans was too far for them, too unsafe. "But, it is your decision."
His eyes were dim as he looked at the young boy, already knowing he was fighting a losing battle, his only hope was that they'd be able to place someone close to Harry. Hope that Harry had a familiar face around him when being with this new guardian.
"No," Harry said firmly. "I'm going with him." There was barely supressed anger beneath his voice, the idea that Dumbledore was just trying to keep him away from his family. "Don't try to stop me," he said, eyes drifting to Molly. "I want to go with him." Ron was the only one nodding, knowing how much family meant to the younger boy.
Harry studied the black eyed vampire in front of him, gaze unflinching as they locked eyes. The vampire was his last family member, his last connection to his mother. He knew that he would be leaving, he just needed to get out and away from here, he couldn't stand hanging around his friends knowing that just a few miles away could be Voldemort.
"Harry," Molly gasped, "you mustn't!" She walked around the table, holding his shoulders between her hands as she tried to get him to look at her. "You can just stay with us," she insisted, though to no avail. She wanted her youngest son with her, that's all that she needed right now. She had already lost one in the last year, she couldn't bear being separated from another. "Harry," she begged as he walked up to the relative.
"I have to do this, Mrs Weasley." He turned to the vampire. "Let's go."
Hope it's a welcome improvement