Harry Potter and the Spirits Within
Chapter 1: Prologue
Summary: The night Lily and James Potter died is well known. What no one suspected, or even imagined, was that their spirits remained with their son.
Disclaimer: As much as I would love to own (or live in, magic rocks) the 'Potterverse' … I do not.
A/N: Based on a plot line I found (and lost) on this site long ago. There will be Dumbles, Dursley (duh!), and Ron, Molly, and mild Ginny bashing. This will have eventual shipping, not sure who yet (suggestions welcome). It will keep with basic cannon info (i.e. Snapes' reasoning in HP7 before/after his death.)
This is written under the assumption that readers have already read the seven canon books. There will be references to spells and abilities without their definitions (i.e. Occlumency) as well as spoilers for all books throughout. You Have Been Warned (spooky music). Also, I am doing my best, as an American, writing a British based fic to keep the words, spellings, and phrases accurate. However, any brit-picking is much appreciated.
A/N II: Completely re-written by popular demand, making more sense and including more detail.
The muggle village of Godric's Hollow has, for over a thousand years, had a notable wizarding history that quite possibly included the birthplace of Hogwarts co-founder Godric Gryffindor. Appearing to be just another village to muggles, its magical residents have included Ignotus Peverell of the infamous Peverell brothers, Albus Dumbledore; Chief Warlock, Grand Sorcerer, Supreme Mugwump, and Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Bathilda Bagshot; author of 'A History of Magic', and Bowman Wright; inventor of the Golden Snitch in the 1300s.
At the heart of the community was the picturesque village square with a post office, a pub, and a steepled church complete with a small graveyard behind it. On the outskirts of this quiet village was the residence of the Potter family. Starting with a low wall and trellised kissing gate that was surrounding an overflowing garden and the house itself, the quaint country cottage was a two-story red-brick structure and was the home of James, Lily and fifteen-month-old Harry Potter.
James Potter smiled as his wand emitted puff after puff of multi-coloured smoke balls to the delight of his infant son. Harry burbled and squealed as he tried to catch the miniature clouds. Lily Potter came in from the kitchen, drying her hands on a dish towel. Though she was a witch, her muggle upbringing had her occasionally doing chores by hand, or 'the muggle way' as James put it. "Alright you two," she said with a smile, "bedtime." James stood, scooping Harry from the floor, and handing him to Lily. Tossing his wand to the couch, he stretched and turned to follow his family upstairs.
A loud blast suddenly echoed from the front hall. Without a thought, James bolted to the entryway. There, framed in the broken doorway, stood Lord Voldemort. James' blood ran cold. Though it was true that James and Lily had defied the self proclaimed Dark Lord on three occasions before, none who had actually fought against this evil wizard had lived, let alone bested him in a duel. James defiantly looked into the face twisted by Dark Magic, the man was hideous, or perhaps "it" would be a more accurate pronoun. However, James bravely stood his ground, "Lily! Take Harry and go!" he yelled, "It's him! Run! I'll hold him off!"
It was then that he remembered tossing his wand on the couch, secure in the thought that the Fidelius Charm and his trust in Peter would keep them safe, it was now obvious that Peter Pettigrew, his boyhood friend, had betrayed them. He picked up a lamp from the side table in the foyer and threw it with all the strength and accuracy being a professional Quidditch Chaser had given him. But it was shattered in midair along with any hope of living to see November first.
The wicked spell was a deadly shade of green, and was accompanied by a sound reminiscent of wind rushing down a tunnel. There was no known counter-curse or blocking spell, if you are struck with it, you die, period. It is deemed an unforgivable curse, and the use of it against another human is punishable by a life sentence in the wizarding prison of Azkaban, where soul-sucking ethereal prison guards drain away your happiness and sanity. James Potter's last thoughts were of his wife and son, of how much he loved them; and he promised, in his final instant of life, that he would always be with them, to watch over them, and to protect them. In whatever way he could.
Lily raced up the stairs, cradling Harry to her chest; she bolted in to the nursery and placed Harry in his crib. Prophecy be damned, her maternal instinct still roared like the lioness she was. She reached in to her pocket, only to remember that her wand was in the kitchen… downstairs. She rubbed her baby boys' cheek tenderly, and smiled. Tears ran down her cheeks and splashed, scattering Harry's face and pillow with diamond like droplets.
She had barricaded the door with everything she could lay her hands on, including the dresser and changing table. However, it was nowhere near enough to slow down, let alone stop, arguably the darkest of the dark wizards to exist in the last half century. A single blast of magic obliterated not only the door, but also her impromptu barricade leaving her standing defenseless against the Dark Lord. There was no choice; there never is a choice for a mother who loves her child. She stood in the depraved mans path, and did the only thing she could do: Beg for her child's life, "Not Harry, please not Harry!"
"Stand aside, you silly girl … stand aside." His voice held something that simply radiated evil, malice, and hatred, "Now."
She refused to budge, "Not Harry, Please no, take me, kill me instead!" She bargained desperately.
"This is my last warning." Something, not so much a spell, but a blast of pure magic, a show of his power, burned a furrow across the floor and in to the wall, leaving a smoldering black groove.
"Not Harry! Please … have mercy … have mercy … not Harry! Not Harry! Please – I'll do anything!" She cried desperately, no budging from her position in front of her son, though the blast of magic had nearly hit her foot.
"Stand aside. Stand aside, girl!" He laughed, finally raising his wand to her. Lily's mind worked frantically, she needed to protect Harry, no matter what. As the horrid jade spell sped towards her, she glanced over her shoulder, locking matching emerald eyes for the briefest of moments with her beloved baby boy. Her dying thought, as the spell struck her chest, was a promise to him that she would always be with him.
The spirit of James Potter stood helplessly as the mortal remains of his wife crumpled to the floor. All he could do was stand and watch, unable to render any assistance or help. He cursed Voldemort, Peter, and most of all himself for failing to protect that which mattered most: His family.
Lily's spirit rose from her body, invisible to those of the living, including her poor son. She met James' ethereal gaze, and ghostly tears blossomed in their eyes as Voldemort closed the distance to his last victim and raised his Yew wand, taking aim at little Harry Potter. Both Lily and James charged to him on pure instinct and overlapped each other, together forming a protective barrier between their son and their most hated enemy. For the third time that fateful evening, a jet of viridian light leapt from the wand's tip.
Suddenly there was hellish chaos. Deafening screams, jumbled images, and wild emotions slammed and pummeled the unprepared spirits from all sides. Occlumency and Legillimency, the strongest of the Mind Magics, are not common or even widely known branches of magic, but the two members of the Order of the Phoenix had learned any and all magic to protect themselves both on and off the battlefield, especially after hearing the terrible prophecy. As the loving bond that united them in life, united them in death, they shielded their minds together from the overwhelming onslaught. Their interconnected protective barriers could only stand so long against the deluge however. Until, finally overpowered, both mother and father succumbed to the comforting embrace of unconscious darkness and blessed silence.
James awoke to a sky full of dancing colours. They reminded him, oddly enough, of the puffs of smoke he had been creating for Harry. Dazed and confused, the world seemed to shudder and skip around him, until everything came in to focus, and more importantly, the memories flooded back. Lily! Harry! Voldemort! The Killing Curse! Bolting upright and looking around, he saw that the swirling colors made up the ceiling and floor of a square room. The walls, however, reminded him of his own occlumency barriers… but with something different; with new, unfamiliar colours oddly blended and mixed with his own.
He spotted Lily across the 'room' and rushed over to her. Her emerald green eyes, so similar to their son's beautiful eyes, opened as he knelt beside her. Lily sat up slowly, taking in their surroundings. She looked sadly at James, "We're not dreaming, are we?"
James shook his head sorrowfully, "No Lily, we died. Last I remember we were trying to shield Harry from Voldemort."
She nodded slowly, "So where are we now? The walls remind me somewhat of my occlumency barriers, but what are all these colours?"
James' face suddenly brightened in revelation, "These walls are our barriers; they've joined together, meshing and interweaving. I remember putting up shields from an onslaught of sound and memories." Still kneeling, he placed a hand on the multi-coloured floor, "The ceiling and floor remind me of the smoke balls I was making for Harry."
Lily's eyes lit with her own revelation, "We're inside Harry's mind?" She stood and went to a wall, placing her own hand upon it, "So what happens if we lower our shields?"
James shrugged, "Judging from what we heard and saw before the shields went up, I'm guessing we'll hear and see what Harry does. He's too young for complex thought yet, so we can't really talk with him, but I imagine we can send emotions to him, basic feelings of love, joy, happiness, and peace."
Lily nodded, "So if he's still upset we can calm him." She took her hand off the wall and laced her fingers through those of her husband. "Ok, let's do it on three." She said nervously.
They braced themselves and counted down, dropping the barriers together, ready for the assault on their senses. The walls faded, the colours brightened, and there was ... nothing. Then they noticed a low pitched rumbling permeating their surroundings.
"He must be asleep," said James thoughtfully, "That's why we don't see anything; the colours must be his dream, and the rumbling must be part of his surroundings." He cocked his head to the side listening intently, "It sounds like Padfoot's motorbike."
A mix of relief and worry passed over Lily's face, "So Sirius has him. Although I'd prefer he not take Harry on that bike, Harry's too young to hold on, especially while sleeping, and Sirius needs both hands to work the controls."
James patted Lily's hand in his, "They'll be alright, and Padfoot could always conjure a sling or side car for him."
Lily smiled at her thoughtlessness, forgetting about magic was something she still did on rare occasions when deeply strained. She then jumped as the rumbling stopped. She opened her mouth, wondering where they were, when they heard a voice they were not expecting, saying a name they were not happy with: "Hagrid, at last. And where did you get that motorcycle?" came the unmistakable voice of Albus Dumbledore.
"WHAT!" Lily and James yelled, drowning out part of Hagrid's response. Asleep as he was, Harry still jerked, almost as if in sympathetic pain to what his parents were feeling. Despite everything, his parents were barely able to calm themselves, to wait, to see just what was unfolding about them.
"... Sirius Black lent it to me. I've got him, sir."
"No problems were there?" Dumbledore asked.
"No sir," Hagrid replied, "house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol."
There was silence for a moment and James looked at Lily in confusion, "Bristol? Where would they be going to need to fly over Bristol?"
As Lily was pondering this a new voice spoke in a whisper, "Is that where -?"Lily and James gaped at each other, recognizing the short, clipped tones of Professor McGonagall, and wondering what in Merlin's name was going on.
Albus spoke again, "Yes, he'll have that scar forever."
Their faces drained of color, scar?
"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?" McGonagall asked, echoed by the nods of Harry's ghostly parents.
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy ..." he stated as James and Lily's faces reddened, looking livid, "I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground. Well – give him here, Hagrid – we'd better get this over with."
"Get what over with?" Lily asked dangerously.
James was saved from answering by Hagrid speaking again, "Could I – could I say good-bye to him, sir?"
There was no answer until there came a howl like a wounded dog, and both spirits jumped in surprise.
"Shhh! You'll wake the muggles," said Professor McGonagall.
"Muggles?" James asked, completely bewildered. Lily's face, however, had once again drained of colour. She did not need to see out of her son's eyes to know where they where: A street with identical cookie cutter houses, and pristine "golf course" cut lawns.
"S-s-sorry," sobbed Hagrid, "But I c-c-can't stand it – Lily an' James dead – an' poor little Harry off ter live with muggles."
Trapped within the confines of his son's mind, James went from confused to enraged in a split second in realization, as tears started streaming down Lily's face, "Oh, James!" she cried, "They're leaving him with my sister!"
James pulled her into an embrace, knowing he could do nothing besides hold his wife in his arms, and rage in silence. Damn Voldemort! Damn the Order! Damn the Ministry for its cowardice! Above all else however, thought James Potter savagely, Damn Dumbledore for his blasted interference!
A/N: Reviews are appreciated and help to flesh out the story more; any constructive comments, requests, or critiques are welcome and encouraged. However, derogatory flames and comments along the lines of "you're writing/story sucks" are rude, childish, and betray the low I.Q. level of the commenter. If you don't enjoy the story there are exactly 455,980 (as of this posting) other Harry Potter stories on this website, read one of them.