Chapter One: Who?
He could hear them whispering, but could not make out the words or exactly how many people there were. Oh, he could make out the various emotions that were flowing around the room, drifting through the conversation, adding in different hitches and rhythm, almost making an entirely new conversation on it's own; there was a deep, chilling fear that was underneath every word, followed quickly by anger to cover up the fear, remorse interjected, quickly denied by ridicule, which in turn was overcome by compassion. All in all, it was a confusing jumble of noise that was just getting louder and louder and he found himself wishing that they all would just stop.
And then, to his surprise, they did; the cacophonous turmoil of their voice simply ceased, they did not fade or dim, they were simply cut off mid-mutter... He had not gone deaf, that was apparent as soon as he sat up and heard the bedsheets rustling underneath him, but it was as if the universe just hit a giant Silencing Charm on the conversation going on around him... Which brought up an interesting point; where exactly was he? Or for that matter... who was he? ….And what in the hell was a 'Silencing Charm'?
Struck by the sudden realization that he had absolutely no clue as to who he was or where he was, he jerked out of the bed he was sitting in so fast that he had to hold onto the bedpost to steady himself... which pointed out another pressing problem for him to deal with(and also confirmed that he was, after all, a male)... That, and the feminine shriek that was let loose as soon as his body cleared the bed, which in turn was followed by the oath and the bedsheet being thrown over him once more. Grateful for the fact that someone threw it to him so that he didn't have to try and move himself, he just pulled the bedsheets around him in a sort of robe without asking who had thrown it to him or even what had happened to him.
"For Merlin's sake, boy, get dressed first and then move! Merlin's wand, kids never think...!" The voice was sharp, stern even, but he could detect the note of worry that threaded through it. It was the worry that made him feel ashamed more than the coldness of the voice for some reason... 'Boy' must also be him, for he guessed-he hoped-he was the only naked one in the room, or that he had been the only one that had done anything to be screamed at. It must also be an insult or just random name that they shouted at him; after all, what kind of parent would name their child 'Boy'?
"Sorry, I didn't know I was naked..." He muttered, making the chatter that had started up again, die down for the second time that night... morning... whatever time of the day it happened to be... Merlin, he was getting a headache just trying to figure out what the bloody time it was! What in the bloody hell was wrong with his bloody memory? What in the bloody hell happened to him? "My head feels like it's being pulled apart by bloody trolls..."
Another little tidbit he now knew; he was a British male... not to mention he thought of Merlin as some sort of deity, despite the fact that he had no clue as to who this Merlin was, as well as how he had any relation to him as a person... Just another thing for him to chalk up to his faulty memory...
It struck him then that the chatter had yet to start up again, which would have been a blessing if he did not feel the tension that seemed to coat the very air he was breathing in its' absence, making his heart kick up beating to triple time. Shaking his head to clear out the cobwebs-and immediately regretting the action when the small pain in his head turned into a piercing migraine-'Boy' lifted his gaze and pointed it at the general direction the now-dead chatter seemed to originate from.
"Why is everything so blurry?" Whatever that had happened to him seemed to have affected his eyesight as well as making his body feel as if it had been slammed with at least a thousand Bludgers... Wait, what in the bloody hell is a Bludger? Dammit, why were there so many things bouncing around in his head that he had no clue about? He didn't know where they came from or even what they bloody meant! It was infuriating and just causing the pain behind his eyes to increase so much he pressed one of his hands against his forehead in a vain attempt to lessen the ache. "W-what the hell happened to me?"
"Here," One of the blobs detached itself from the others and made it's way over to what he believed to be his nightstand before removing something that was pressed to lips, but not forced down this throat. Taking a few minutes to consider the fact that they might be trying to poison him, he sniffed the drink before throwing caution to the winds and drowning it down in one long swallow, gasping aloud at the bitter taste and blinking his eyes at the sting.
The drink seemed to focus his vision; the blobs turned out to be a pair of teenagers that he assumed were the same age as him, a redhead and a brunette, as well as an older woman that had her hair done in such a tight bun it made his head hurt just looking at it. Being the focus of all those stares made him even more aware of his own nudity and he pulled the bedsheets even tighter around himself, which seemed to break them out of their stupor.
"You were hit with the Avada Kedavra curse, but it was only a glancing blow, so we figured that's how you survived... and you've been in the Hospital Wing for a good three weeks!" The brunette gave him a smile as she motioned to the foot of the bed he had been laying on, reveling a pile of clothing that he hadn't seen before, slightly rumpled by his hasty exit from said bed. "Here, you can get dressed in these, that way you don't have to stand around... you know... naked."
The last part was said in a whisper as a rather becoming blush spread across her cheeks and he was struck with the thought that she always looked adorable when embarrassed. When he tried to put a name to the face in front of him, however, the thought disappeared; so he instead just attempted to smile back at her as he gathered up the clothing, trying not to flash anyone his bits, and headed toward a door he saw in the corner that thankfully turned out to be the lavatory.
As he pulled on the pants and trousers, he tried to put a name to the faces that he had seen crossing the room; the older woman with her hair in a severe bun who invoked a feeling of deep respect and a small amount of fear, but no name was to be found in his frustratingly empty mind, nor did he have a name for the redheaded boy that stood next to the brunette that had spoken to him, although the look of annoyance that had flashed across his face when the girl had mentioned that he was nude told him that the redhead probably had some claim on her... and he didn't look like a brother, so that idea was out as soon as he thought of it.
Which was a shame, because she was rather pretty...
Shaking his head, he pulled the sweater he had been given over his head as he bullied his thoughts to get into some kind of order. Now's not the time to be thinking about some pretty girl! I don't even know who I am, so that could be my sister out there! The flash of horror that flew through him dispelled all romantic feelings that he had toward anyone at the time as he resolved to find out who he was, where he was, why he kept remembering things that made no bloody sense, and what in the bloody hell had happened to his memory!
Ruffling his hair out of his face because he had no comb to brush back his shoulder-length mop, the-boy-with-no-name pulled the loo door open to utter silence, making him wonder if they had been talking about him the entire time that he was in there. The idea was considered void when he realized that they hadn't even moved since he had entered the loo, with the girl standing by his bed and the boy side-by-side with the older woman, wearing matching furrows between their brows that was really starting to make him feel more than a little uncomfortable.
The girl decided to break the tense silence by talking again, throwing information at him like she had always done before. Dammit all to Slytherin's Snake Pit! Why do I keep remembering these bloody things without ever really bloody remembering them? "He's going to be so happy you're awake; he's been by your side for the past couple of days, not even leaving to eat or sleep, he just had the house-elves bring him his food here and slept on the bed next to you and you know how much he hates the Hospital Wing, so that has to say something, right?"
She looked at him as if begging for him to agree with her, but he didn't have a clue as to what she was talking about-not even who she was talking about-so he said and did nothing. Taking his silence as a determent, the girl decided that he obviously needed more assurances that the mysterious 'he' really did mean to be there; "It was because I told him he needed to get out of here, that it wouldn't do any good for you to wake up and see him looking like a skeleton. 'I'll tell you the minute he wakes up' I said... which I haven't done yet!" Her eyes grew comically wide and she rounded on the boy beside her, causing him to jump. "Ronald Weasley, you know that you were suppose to remind me to send him a Patronus the exact minute-"
"Hey! This isn't my fault, Hermione!" The redhead interrupted right before he was sure she was going to finally say his own name, making him glare at the boy. 'Ron' apparently caused him to glare often, if not all the time, for the boy didn't even bat an eyelid at his mutinous expression. "I was just as shocked as you by him waking up like that! You would think he was talking a nap and not in a bloody weeks-long coma! I swear, if the bloody sky turned purple, you'd find a way to blame it on me!"
"CHILDREN!" The older woman gave both 'Ron' and 'Hermione' a fierce glare, causing them to blush madly while looking at the floor like a pair of toddlers being taken to task. Despite the fact that the woman looked rather formidable in spite of her advanced age, he felt a smirk bloom across his lips, a smirk he quickly hid before the woman turned her gaze to him. "Why don't you send him the Patronus now, while Madam Pomfery is still in bed?"
"Oh, of course!" The girl, Hermione, flushed once more before pulling out a long-elm, his mind supplied helpfully, before retreating again once he tried looking for more clues, like how he knew that-stick and flourished it in front of her for a bit as she intoned, "Expecto Patronum!"
A stream of light shot out, causing him to jump nearly a foot in the air before it solidified into a silvery otter that flowed around 'Hermione' like it was swimming through the air. Thankfully, everyone was too busy paying attention to the otter-thing to notice that he had nearly wet himself in surprise, which he was extremely grateful for and made no motion to bring up. Instead, he was just about to ask what the otter-thing was when Hermione started talking to it:
"He's awake now and has been moving about, so your fear was entirely unfounded." She turned from the otter-thing and gave him a smile like him managing not to fall flat on his face was some sort of great accomplishment before turning back to the creature in front of her. "Don't come barreling in here like you always do-Don't glare at the Patronus, it can't help what I tell you-or you might knock him over, he's still very weak..."
"Hey!" He might have had a hard time walking across the infirmary, but he still made it there! Ron, the redhead, sniggered at his exclamation and got a triple glare for it, as well as reminding him how to flip someone the bird, which earned him a glare as well. "I am not weak, I'm just a little tired, that is all... You did say that I had been in a coma for a couple of weeks, not to mention that I was hit with a... a... What did you call whatever it was that hit me? An Abracadabra Curse?"
"The Avada Kedavra Curse," Hermione corrected him, the look of worry that had been present when he awoke now back on her features as her 'Patronus' or whatever the hell it was flew out of the infirmary through the closed door. How the in the bloody hell did it do that? She seemed to be thinking about something before turning to him fully and he was hit with the unpleasant sensation that she was going to lecture him into a stupor if he did not answer the next few questions very carefully... "Are you telling me that you don't remember what the Avada Kedvara Curse is?"
"Of course I do! My head was just feeling a little fuzzy for a second," He was relieved to see that both the worry on her face and the feeling of impending doom that came along with it disappeared at his rather blatant lie, as well as how easy the lie had come to him. What kind of person was he before he lost his memory? Did he lie to these people a lot? Was that his job or just something he did for the hell of it? Was he just a bad person all around? If so, then why were they helping him? Did they want something in return...?
Absentmindedly rubbing his shoulder as he tried to figure these people out and the swirl of conflicting emotions they released, he was startled to feel a rough patch of skin on his upper arm. Pulling up his shirt sleeve so he could see better, he was even more shocked to see that the entire section was covered with reddish scars, almost as if someone had took a torch to him...
"He did that while you were sleeping," Ron was the one that spoke this time, drawing not only his attention, but the other two's as well. Blushing madly, the boy ran a hand roughly through his hair as he muttered, "How in Merlin's name did I get stuck explaining this? Bullocks... He had said that, if you died, he wasn't going to let your body rot in a hole because you were marred by your father's stupidity. That he was going to do it even if you hated him for it afterward, because he knew you would do the same for him if your positions were reversed..."
Everyone was looking at him again, but this time he couldn't find it in himself to care; part of him was utterly confused as to what had happened and what it meant for him, and the other half-the half that kept supplying him with random bits of memory-was going through equal parts rage and joy. Whatever it was that this man had done, part of him knew it was extremely dangerous and had changed his life, possibly for the better...
"What-?" He was just about to ask what it was that was done to him, explain that he couldn't remember anything that had happened to him and that he needed help finding out who he was, when the door opened with a resounding crash that had them all jumping in surprise as Ron and the older woman pulled out a pair of sticks as well. When they turned to see who it was that had entered, Hermione rolled her eyes and muttered something that sounded a lot like 'He never listens!' as the redhead laughed uneasily, "Merlin, Harry! You scared us half to death!"
Ron had obviously tried to lighten the mood, but he was only dimly aware of him; all of his focus had narrowed down to the boy in front of him as soon as 'Harry' had pointed his gaze in his direction. It was one of the most penetrating gazes he had ever seen and it made him feel as if all of his secrets were laid bare for this 'Harry' to look over, judge, and lay verdict to. He wanted to tell the man in front of him to stop, while at the same time he wanted him to keep on looking, for his gaze also came with the feeling that he might be somehow saved... He immediately knew that this was the mysterious 'he' that they had said stayed at his bedside while he was unconscious, that had done whatever it was that left the scars on his arm...
Reminded once more of the scar that marred his flesh, he rubbed at the spot, causing Harry's eyes to dart to the movement and stall his hand, before Harry turned his gaze back to his face again. Now it seemed as if Harry was the one at fault, and begging for forgiveness, for the look on Harry's face was so full of sorrow and remorse, that he was sure that if he saw an angel cry, it would not be more heart wrenching...
He must have made some sort of movement, some sort of sound or something, because Harry had bolted across the infirmary, rushing toward him in almost childlike desperation before stopping just inches away from him. Once more, he was split between two complete opposites; one part of him wanted Harry to touch him, to caress his face so that he could lean into it, give a bit without losing all control and the other side was simply repeating 'Don't, don't, don't, don't, don't, don't, don't...!
Harry seemed to have heard and understood both parts, for he lifted a hand but stopped just inches from his face. Harry also seemed to be fighting some internal battle, because his face seemed to be twisting into a grimace that was half plea, half pain. Harry was waiting for something, a request, a demand, a lenience, something that he was unable to give because of fear or despair... Maybe it was a little bit of both...
Why did he feel so lost? What was it about this man that made him feel that he had somehow disappointed him? That he should do something, say something, that would make everything make sense again, make Harry stop looking at him like that? Was there something that he lost along with his memories?
Something even more precious?
Suddenly, for the first time since he woken, he didn't want to know who he was or what he did. A deep chilling fear hit him and he was sure that he wouldn't like what he found out, that he would possibly even hate himself if he did find out... The rational side of him asked how could the man in front of him care about him if he were so evil, but he brushed away the glimmer of hope that thought brought with the reminder of how well he had been able to lie. Maybe even Harry didn't know the real him...
Why did that thought hurt more than everything else?
A.N: Wow, that was different! Yes, this is another Harry Potter fic, I seem to be on a fix of these for some reason... Anyway, I would like a review to see what you guys think and who you think the guy is! I love hearing feedback and what you guys like/dislike so that I can be a better writer!
See ya on the other side of of chapter 2!