The Red Thread
Summary: What if Harry was not the boy who lived? Would Harry's life have been better or worse? Is destiny something that exists? Or has it always been power that controls these fates? In that case who has the power?
James watched his one year old son toddle around on the living room floor chasing their poor old dog Kitten. James had gotten the dog when he was eight years old and as a joke Sirius had named the dog Kitten. Unfortunately for James and Kitten the dog took to the name and would respond to nothing else. He smiled fondly as his son giggled with innocent happiness. Just outside these walls things were not nearly as light or cheery. Lord Voldemort was rising quickly to power and he had been forced into hiding to keep his wife and child safe. They hadn't been in contact with anyone for over six months, the only regular news that he received was from the paper and it was never good news.
The Order of the Phoenix and the Ministry were fighting hard but it was plain to see they were losing. It was widely believed that Voldemort would have the Ministry in his grasp by spring. James seriously considered that the Light should make some sort of negotiation with the Dark now while there was still time and before any more blood was shed. He was a practical man and knew that what Voldemort was proposing was not all bad; he was simply being very aggressive in proving his point. He also agreed silently that the muggles did have too much free reign in their world and that some of their most valued traditions were being lost.
There had to be a middle ground somewhere between Voldemort's ideals and the Light's. Revolutions were never easy and that was exactly what Voldemort was proposing. There were things he could never agree with for the sake of his wife who was a muggle born witch. If Voldemort had his way she would have been taken from her muggle parents at birth and raised in a camp with all the other magical children. He proposed that the muggle born child would be well cared for, but it was clear through other points of his proposed legislation that all muggleborns would be considered second class citizens.
He proposed that they be sent to separate schools from pure bloods and that all marriages and births were to be strictly sanctioned by his government to ensure the proper breeding of 'desirable traits'. The Dark Lord's policies had points that were well thought out and maybe even necessary, but on the whole they were unwholesome and immoral. They proposed the very worst ideals for the comfort of few at the expense of many. So while James could sit back and analyze the proposed changes with a calm and rational mind his heart would never allow him to agree.
As a half-blood his son would be just fine, since it was recognized and understood that infusions of 'fresh blood' made for more powerful offspring. However his beloved Lily would be considered as nothing more than a brood mare. He reached down to pick up his son who had given up 'playing' with poor old Kitten who looked a little worse for wear for the treatment. He looked down into bright green eyes as he complied with his son's demand to be picked up. As soon as the child was in his lap he immediately began to fuss and pull on his shirt.
James kissed Harry's forehead and contemplated the slightly hazy view out the window. Their house was under so many layers of protection that it was difficult to see outside. Lily was currently upstairs taking a nap. The little village of Godric's Hollow looked drowsy and quaint like a photo from a Christmas Card. The winter was just about ready to die out but a stubborn layer of snow and frost still covered the very new born buds of trees and the few visible patches of slowly growing grass. A figure all in black was walking steadily towards the house, and James assumed that he would turn at any moment.
Dumbledore himself had cast the wards on this house and no one could see it. He squinted when the figure drew right to their front window and peered inside. He looked right at James and smirked. James felt a moment of all consuming fear when he saw the slight red sheen on the figure's eyes and a handsome smile spread over the slightly waxy face. The man pulled back from the glass and offered a cheery wave. Harry had begun to doze off and James placed him gently on the couch and reached for his wand before he drew himself to his feet.
He had an impressive height of six foot six and at only twenty-six years old, he had spent his years after Hogwarts in rigorous Auror training. He was fit and he knew how to do battle but this was the proverbial 'final battle' Voldemort was at his front window. The wizard took in his battle ready stance and smiled, the front door blasted open and he strode into the house. The cold air from outside reached into every corner of the small front room. James faced his death with a certain amount of calm. The wards should have alerted Lily about an intruder if the sound of the door exploding hadn't.
If he played this right, if anyone or anything was watching over him and his family he would be able to buy his wife and son enough time to get away. James didn't risk taking a glance at Harry for fear of taking his eyes off the imposing figure of Voldemort. He braced himself as the wizard before him drew his wand with agonizing slowness. He had read reports of the way Voldemort duelled; he struck quick as a snake and more often than not left no survivors. For long moments Voldemort did not move or speak and James grew irritated, there was no reason to play with him like this. It was cruel, but apparently the man liked to play with his food.
The man before him released a low dangerous chuckle. "Eager to die then, growing impatient? Avada Kedavra!"
James leapt quickly to the right and felt the deadly curse breeze past his shoulder and collided loudly with a wall containing pictures of family and friends. He rolled and sprang back to his feet conjuring a strong protective shield around himself. So far the Dark Lord had not taken his eyes off James, though he was sure he had seen Harry through the window. The man wanted Harry and James could only assume that he wanted him dead. It was the reason they had gone into hiding. He went through a mental list of what he could possibly cast at the Dark Lord and decided firing a curse silently.
To his surprise the dark wizard phased out into a dark mist and reformed almost at the same moment, the curse went through him and sailed into the kitchen colliding with the sink and destroying it on impact. He raised a mocking eyebrow at James as if to say well done. The slightly red eyes shifted to somewhere near his feet and James looked down in horror. Harry had woken up from the noise and was standing unsteadily by James feet and pulling on his robes for balance.
James felt an unpleasant shiver run down his spine at the look that came into the Dark Lord's eyes when he saw Harry. It was distinctly lustful and James was not entirely sure it was blood lust. Harry cooed and waved at the Dark Lord and James moved to the side so he could step in front of his son. He told him as sternly as you could tell a one year old to not move. Harry made some noises of disagreement but he felt some small tugs on the back of his pants which indicated that Harry was still behind him.
"Touching really, but I've delayed this long enough. Avada Kedavra!"
Quick as a snake just like he had read in previous reports the deadly jet of green light sped out of the Dark Lord's wand. James attempted a desperate block but he knew in his heart it would never work. He closed his eyes, courage abandoning him at the last seconds before his death. He would die trying to protect his son. Hopefully Lily would be alright though he had no idea how she was sleeping through this. He could almost feel the heat of the spell on his face when he heard a scream.
The world turned a bright green and red and then everything went black and James was blown backwards. His first thought when he came to was that death was supposed to be painless and he was in a lot of pain. He opened his eyes and saw the wreckage that had once been the front room of his ancestral cottage. A few feet away Harry was face down in the rubble. Lily who had finally made an appearance was poised on the stairs in apparent agony, she looked from James to Harry and back again and when she realised that James was looking at her she let out a sound somewhere between a gasp and a moan.
James struggled to his feet and made his way to Harry. His son's small body was lying in an ever growing pool of blood and James reached a trembling hand forward to check the tiny neck for a pulse. His sob of relief was immediate when he felt it faintly. "He's alive."
Those words seemed to pump new life into Lily she rushed over making her way through the rubble, pulling out her wand to release her familiar doe patronus to alert the Order. Within moments the Order arrived and the family was whisked away to St. Mungo's Hospital against all odds still alive, with only a suspicious pile of ashes, black robes and a deadly yew wand to mark the spot the darkest wizard of all time had met his death. Upon arrival to the hospital James passed out from apparent exhaustion and left Lily who had seen nothing trying to explain the situation.
Dumbledore was very confused but it was apparent after a through exploration of the Potter home that Voldemort had indeed been vanquished. Little Harry had suffered a blow to the head and some blood loss but healed up just fine. The Potters were able to move out of hiding and live life again a young family full of potential and hope. In fact the whole wizarding world erupted into wild celebrations and the maternity ward of St. Mungos was unusually full of new-borns nine months later. James would find himself forever trying to remember the details of what had happened that day but with no luck.
He was a hero the Slayer of the Dark Lord, awarded the order of Merlin first class, and appointed as Chief Mugwump of the Wizengamot. The Wizarding World was safe and the evil vanquished. Only one old and benign Headmaster of the finest Wizarding School in all of Great Britain was left to wonder what on earth had really happened?
Five Years Later
James scooped up the comet of hyper activity that was his six year old son and spun him through the air. The small child squealed in delight and poor old Kitten who was certainly much older than any dog had any right to be made his way much more slowly to the door to greet James. Lily leaned in and kissed him on the cheek and he smiled warmly at his lovely wife.
"What did you do today? Did you catch any bad guys?"
James ruffled his son's messy hair affectionately. Little Harry was convinced that he spent his day chasing 'bad guys' no matter how many times he told him he had spent his day doing paper work. The most exciting thing that had happened at work today had been Sirius placing a wild kneazle in the Head Aurors office for kicks. James had been offered the position but he turned it down, he was already expected to be some sort of super Auror as the vanquisher of the Dark Lord.
James still had no clear memory of what had happened that night and more often than not downplayed the whole thing, saying he had no idea what had happened. Still he couldn't go a day at work without someone making some offhand comment about his greatness. It was often more than he could take being regaled as some sort of Hero of the World. Only his closest friends Sirius, Peter, Remus and his wife treated him the same.
"We rescued a kneazle from Director's Longbottom's office today."
Harry looked up at him in awe and James placed him back down on the floor and scratched poor old Kitten behind the ears. A small boy was always easy to please. He made his way into the manor and removed his outer robe which was immediately taken by a waiting house elf. The little creature slipped Harry a cookie when his mother's back was turned and the young boy gobbled it down. For some reason the house elves adored Harry and often helped him accomplish his mischief.
"Mumma can I go play in the garden?"
Lily smiled down at her son and wiped the cookie crumbs from the front of his shirt. He had the decency to look slightly ashamed but she could hardly blame the house elves for giving into her son's undeniable charms. He was a handsome little boy with big luminous green eyes, rounded cheeks, a head full of soft black curls and an infectious grin. It was almost impossible to say no to him. She shooed him out the door and laughed softly as he squealed in delight and tore off outside, Kitten followed dutifully behind. Lily smiled at the faithful old dog who was protective of Harry in his own way.
"Sirius is still having too much fun with his little pranks, do you think he'll ever grow up?"
"No, that would be the day hell freezes over."
They shared a laugh and went to the kitchen to prepare dinner, it was something Lily used to do with her family and even though they had house elves Lily still liked to do most of the cooking. As for James well, he was still as taken with his wife as he had always been and would use any excuse, even pretending to like cooking, to spend time with her. Harry came in when he was called holding a bunch of flowers that he clearly ripped out of the garden to his mother. A huge clump of soil fell onto the floor and Lily smiled taking the flowers.
Luckily for Harry and the garden, the house elves could put it right. Lily wiped a smudge of dirt off Harry's little round cheek and swung him up and around and then placed him at the dinner table. The young couple were regaled with tales of their son's adventure in the garden right until the moment he fell asleep. They stared lovingly at the young happy boy who was still smiling softly. They assumed it was innocent adventure that he was smiling about, it never crossed their minds that it might be something else entirely.
Harry ran over to Tom who scooped him up into a bear hug and planted a soft kiss on his forehead. Ever since Harry could remember Tom had always been in his dreams. He couldn't always remember what happened when he woke up but he was always happy and Tom always promised that he would see him the next day.
"What are we going to do today Tom?"
Tom smiled at Harry and set him down gently. He clasped Harry's small hand in his large warm one and Harry looked about. Everything here was in magnificent scale and colour. Harry supposed that dreams where always like this. The sky was streaked through with purple and pink and orange and the sun seemed to always be setting or maybe just rising.
Tom lead Harry through a field of beautiful flowers and the two stopped when they came upon a bank of a small, perfectly blue lake. Without saying anything Tom crouched down by the bank of the small lake and Harry did the same. Harry reached forward to touch the pretty blue water and Tom pulled his hand away gently.
"I want you to pick something to offer this lake Harry, tell me what it is and I will bring it here for you."
Harry scrunched up his nose in concentration, he couldn't figure why he would offer something to a lake. Tom was always trying to teach him things and there were many times when Harry didn't understand but Tom would move on to something else without much fuss. Harry supposed he should offer the lake something it would want.
Tom chuckled and a fish appeared in his hand. It flopped around before Tom placed it gently in the lake. The fish swam in but then it seemed to dissolve, a cloud of red surrounded the fish and then it disappeared. In its place a beautiful flower bloomed miraculously right on the water. The flower floated to the edge of the lake and Tom plucked it and held it out for Harry.
"What happened to the fish?"
"It became this flower; magic is always an exchange you must give something to get something."
"But there are lots of other flowers why'd you turn a fish into a flower?"
Tom smiled gently and handed Harry the flower. He felt a little disappointed. He knew there was a lesson that Tom was trying to teach him, but Harry could simply not understand why the lake would turn a fish into a flower.
"Keep that flower Harry, put it in your pocket and when you need it, it will aid you."
"Ok, can we go flying now?"
"Harry, wake up sweetheart."
Sleepy green eyes blinked open and then the small boy rolled over with a groan. He had been flying but not on brooms like he had seen his father and uncles doing. Tom was holding him and they were flying and Tom was telling him something about flowers. He tried to burrow further under his covers but something started tickling his feet. He squirmed but the something kept following him until he was howling with laughter.
"Come on let's get you cleaned up."
Harry sighed and followed dutifully behind his mother with stray giggles still escaping him. He reached for his mother's long red hair but she turned around before he could get a grip. She smiled at him and helped him get ready for the day. Harry brushed his teeth carefully and washed his face but his mother decided he needed to have a bath and quickly stripped him down and plopped him in the rather large tub.
"Mumma can you make me a fish?"
His mother gave him an odd look and told him that fish were not bath time toys. She did take out his regular bath time toys, and Harry had fun chasing around the little mermen and women. Their tiny voices screeched and wailed and they made a lot of bubbles. His mother helped him finish getting clean and then dried and dressed him carefully. Harry was sure from the way he was dressed that they were having guests today. His suspicions were confirmed when his mother told him to play in his room and stay clean. What felt like hours later to Harry a small blonde boy was led into his bedroom.
"Harry sweetie this is Draco, he's six years old just like you. You can show him the garden if you like."
Draco seemed to be about the same size as Harry. He looked around the room and back at Harry's mother when she turned and went down the hall.
"Hi Draco, wanna play catch, I have practice brooms."
The blonde boy seemed eager and then his face fell. "I'm not allowed on brooms, my mother says I'm too young."
"We don't have to tell her."
Draco grinned and Harry smiled back in response the two young boys made their way outside and with the help of Harry's favourite house elf Dobby set up a small game of catch. The rules were simple the quaffle, the ball which was used to score points in quidditch was passed back and forth, the only catch was the quaffle often took on a mind of its own and had to be chased which was where the brooms came in. The practice brooms were very limited and hovered no more than two feet in the air but to two six year old boys this height was quite impressive. The two boys played for a while until they got bored then Harry suggested they play detective. He explained to Draco that a detective had to solve a case using clues.
"But what's our case?"
Harry scrunched up his nose in thought and then grinned when a brilliant idea came to him. "Let's find out why your parents are here."
Draco's silver eyes lit up and he nodded enthusiastically. The two boys crept up to the parlour where their parents were meeting in and peeked through a crack in the door.
"Auror Potter, I was under the impression we were invited over for tea and to introduce our young boys to each other, not sit through an interrogation."
The voice of Draco's father sounded a lot like Tom's voice to Harry. Harry had never met anyone who spoke quite like Tom. He pushed on the door to get a better view but the door opened up instead and the two boys caught a full view of their parent's tense faces. All the adults were standing. Mr. Malfoy turned around and Harry gasped a little, unlike Draco's eyes which were silver, Mr. Malfoy had eyes like ice chips, he walked over to Harry knelt down and smiled, it gave him the same funny feeling he sometimes got when Tom smiled at him.
"You must be young Harry, it's a pleasure to meet you."
"You too Mr. Malfoy."
Harry shook the hand that Mr. Malfoy held out to him and the older man stood up leaving Harry to look way up. Mr. Malfoy was at least as tall as his Dad. Harry looked over at his parents and his Mum looked a little frightened.
"Harry why don't you say good-bye to Draco and go wash up for dinner."
"Can Draco come another day to?"
No one said anything and Harry said good-bye to Draco not understanding the sudden tension but feeling it nonetheless. His mother looked scared and his father looked worried. Harry waved good-bye to Draco and went to wash up for dinner. After dinner his mother spent more time than usual tucking him in. She sat on the edge of his bed and ran her long fingers through his hair which was nice. He drifted off comfortably not really understanding what his mother was apologizing to him for. Tom was there as usual when he closed his eyes.
"I see you met young Draco and Mr. Malfoy today. Did you have fun playing detective?"
Harry smiled up at Tom and nodded but then he wondered how Tom knew that. "How come you know I played with Draco?"
Tom smiled and placed a hand over Harry's heart. "I'm always with you Harry, I love you."
"I love you too."
Harry spent the rest of the night telling Tom about his day and about the things he and Draco had found out being detectives.
A few years had passed since the one day Draco had come over and the two young boys forgot about each other. So it did come as a surprise to Harry and his parents when the family received an invitation to attend Draco's eighth birthday party. His father mumbled something about everyone getting an invitation and that the Malfoy's would use any excuse to show off their wealth.
"Can we go? There's going to be unicorns!"
His mother smiled at him and looked to his father who nodded a little reluctantly. Harry didn't understand what was wrong between his parents and the Malfoy's but he knew they didn't like each other. The day of the party dawned and Harry was dressed in very stiff dress robes, his mother wore a very pretty gown of black and his father had on a dress robe very similar to Harry's. Kitten got up and wagged his tail at the fireplace which suddenly erupted into green flames. A huge black dog came bounding out of the flames and straight for Harry. The small boy was bowled over by the hefty weight of his godfather, he giggled as he was treated to doggy kisses all over his face.
"Sirius, I've just gotten him dressed!"
His godfather barked once and changed back into the grinning, slightly mad looking young man Harry was used to. He hugged his godfather tightly and was passed off to his other godfather Remus who hugged him just as tightly and even went so far as to straighten out Harry's rumpled robes.
"How's my favourite godson today?"
"I'm your only godson Uncle Sirius."
Sirius grinned and Harry ducked and went to his mother effectively blocking the jelly legs jinx his Uncle had tried to catch him with. He saw his Uncle frown and Harry smiled brightly holding up his arms to his father. His dad picked him up and Harry whispered in his ear to watch out for the jinx that had been spelled into the floorboard.
"Don't ruin all my fun pup, can I at least prank that slimy git Snape?"
Harry looked to his father for an explanation, he had no idea who Snape was. His father shared a grin with his Uncle but his mother snatched him away and told all of them sharply that they would leave Snape alone and not ruin little Draco's birthday party.
"It's not a party. That bloody ponce Malfoy just wants to show off!"
His mother covered his ears and Harry giggled, he knew many bad words that he wasn't supposed to know, but he had no idea what any of them meant. He snuggled into his mother's arms enjoying the scent of her hair which always smelt like apples. It felt like silk against his cheek. His mother adjusted him and kissed him softly on the cheek then placed him down.
"You're getting to be a young man Harry, you're almost eight years old, you can walk."
Harry pouted he really wasn't that much bigger. Neville was bigger than him and so were most of the kids he ran into that were supposedly his age. He liked being held close and cuddled but lately his parents had started to put him down a lot or outright refuse to pick him up. Harry supposed lots of young men were not held by their mothers. He gripped his Mums hand anyway and she held tight and smiled at him. They were getting to the party by apparition since using the floo made Harry sick.
"Now Harry you hold tight to your mum and me."
Harry smiled brightly at his father. He really looked up to him. James was a hero and always nice to all of his friends, he told Harry about the cool stuff he did at work and took him out flying on a real broom. There was nothing his father couldn't do. James winked down at Harry and the young boy smiled.
"One, two, three."
Harry would have screamed if he was able, the sensation of apparating was horrible. It felt like he was being squeezed and his parent's large bodies pressing in on him didn't make it any better. It stopped suddenly and Harry blinked. He took a deep breath and looked up to make sure his parents were still with him. His godfathers appeared a second later and his Uncle Sirius picked him up.
"Let's say we wreck this place, huh pup?"
Harry looked up at the manor in awe. Potter Manor was very impressive and large and had many rooms that were lavishly furnished, but Harry could tell from the front gate of this manor that the Malfoy's liked expensive everything. The gate itself seemed to be made of highly polished ivory and unless Harry was very much mistaken there seemed to be several albino peacocks strutting around just beyond the gate.
His uncle placed him down and took his hand, a bored looking house-elf greeted them at the gate and asked them to present their invitations. The little elf took them and vanished into smoke. The gates opened and Harry heard his father groan. His mother handed him his present for Draco and Harry rushed inside spotting the top of a very large and very fun looking tent. He ran right into a solid pair of legs and fell back on his bum. He looked up into the ice blue eyes of Mr. Malfoy. The handsome man smiled at him and helped him up.
"Not to worry, how are you today young Harry?"
"I'm fine sir how are you?"
"Lovely, is this for Draco?"
Harry held out the present a little unsure if he was supposed to be handing it to Mr. Malfoy, but he took it with a smile and gestured to the tent Harry had been running to.
"All the children are inside. They've just brought out the unicorns so run along young Harry."
Harry beamed and Mr. Malfoy smiled warmly at the young boy. His smiled turned cold once Harry was out of sight and his eyes lingered on Lily.
"Good of you to come. Harry and Draco seem to get along well."
"Yes, they had fun the last time they saw each other."
Cold smiles were exchanged all around just long enough to be awkward.
"Well, refreshments are being served in the back parlour; we will have a view of the festivities and be able to stay out of the children's way."
James smiled stiffly at Lucius and followed behind the stuck up ponce and his frigid little wife. The party, while outrageously expensive did seem to be thoroughly entertaining the kids. James felt he could not really fault Lucius for wanting to spoil his only son and heir. He was determined to keep conversation light and not spoil Draco's birthday. The result was rather stiff conversation but he pressed on.
"Hello, I'm Harry."
The rather lanky red headed boy turned around and looked down at Harry. He smiled and offered his hand. "I'm Ron Weasley."
Harry shook Ron's hand and noticed that his robes while nice seemed to be a bit faded. "Is your dad an Auror too?"
Ron shook his head and Harry nodded, he remembered his father telling his Mum about someone named Weasley.
The slightly plump boy ran over, seeming relieved to see Harry. Harry was relieved too, he didn't know many of these kids and he had yet to spot Draco. Neville waved shyly at Ron and he smiled back. "My Mum says we're not to touch the unicorns, she thinks it's cruel to have them on display like this."
Harry looked at the small, nearly blindingly white unicorn and agreed. It was a baby and it looked scared. He finally spotted Draco who was waving at the scared baby unicorn. He didn't seem to have grown much since the last time Harry saw him. "Hey Draco, Happy Birthday."
"Harry! Have you seen the puffpods yet?"
Harry followed Draco feeling excited. Puffpods were very interesting little balls of multi-coloured fluff that could triple there size without warning. It was cool. Ron and Neville followed behind and Draco introduced Harry to his other friends. It escaped Harry's notice that Draco did not even acknowledge Ron or Neville. The two simply followed along remaining silent. By the time the party was over Harry was nodding off on his godfathers shoulder. He mumbled a goodbye and was whisked off into dream world and to Tom.
"Lucius could never quite resist flashing his gold around, did you enjoy the party Harry?"
Harry beamed and launched into an explanation of all the cool things he had seen at the birthday party. He stopped when he realized Tom was simply smiling at him gently and running his long fingers through his hair.
"You're turning into a young man Harry, I am so proud of you."
The young boy looked down shyly, Tom was giving him that smile again that made his insides go all funny.
"Little One, I'm going to give you something and you need to promise me that you will keep it safe. No one can know that you have this, no one can see you with this, and above all, no one must ever see you use it."
Harry nodded getting more and more excited by the second. Tom winked at him and pulled out a long pale wand. Green eyes blinked at it in confusion.
"This is my wand. I'll need it back one day but until then I need you to guard this for me."
Harry gasped and took the thirteen inch yew wand, there was an immediate rush of warmth through his body that tingled and lingered. He gave the wand a mighty wave and silver sparks shot out of the end. Tom smiled and kissed Harry's forehead.
"That's my boy. You keep this safe. I love you."
"I love you too."
Harry's eyes snapped opened and he looked around his dark room. He was never up this early. He blinked as he felt a thin piece of wood in his hands before looking down at the thirteen inch yew wand in amazement. He shuffled out of bed and went all the way to the back of his closet. He stuffed the wand into a little hole at the bottom of the wall, he moved some clothes in front of it, he would need to think of a better hiding place soon.
He felt a bit panicky he looked around for Kitten who was always trundling around close by but didn't see him.
He turned on the lights which were voice activated thanks to one of his mother's house hold charms. Kitten was on the end of his bed like always but there was something strange about how he was lying so still. Harry inched closer and reached out his hand to pet the dog's head.
No one came and Harry couldn't say what was wrong with Kitten but there was something horrible about the way he was lying so still. He opened his door tripping the alarm wards set around his room and tore down the hall. Harry was crying and couldn't see very well. "Mummy! Daddy!"
His dad opened the door still sleepy but looking alert. He looked down at Harry and picked him up after one look at the sobbing child. His mother came up behind his father and patted Harry's cheek.
"Honey what's wrong."
"Kitten! Something happened to Kitten."
Harry was handed to his mother and his father went down the hall to investigate. Harry sniffled and breathed in the scent of his mother's hair. She brought them through the sitting room and into the bedroom and placed Harry onto the large soft bed. He scooted backward until he could snuggle into the pillows. As his mother sat down beside him and ran soothing circles into his back, gradually he stopped crying and climbed more fully into his mother's lap. He looked up when his father came back, his eyes looked sad.
"Harry, Kitten has passed on. He was very old, and it was well past his time to go."
Harry blinked confused. "Where'd he go?"
His mother sighed and sat him down on the bed and knelt so they were eye level. "This might be hard for you to understand Harry, but everyone dies one day. They move on to the afterlife. Kitten lived a very long and happy life. He loved you and all of us, but now he's gone."
Harry blinked not really liking the sound of what of his mother was saying. "But why? If he loved us why did he go?"
His mother sighed and his father pulled him into his lap.
"Harry, one day everything will die. That's why life is so precious. Cherish every moment and think of all the fun times you had with Kitten. He will always be in your heart and he's in heaven now he's not in any pain."
Harry burst into tears. It just didn't make any sense! Why did anyone have to die? And how did it make life precious? Then a horrible thought came to him. "Are you and Mummy going to die to?"
His mother sighed and hugged him tightly. She rubbed his back in slow circles and peppered his forehead with soft kisses.
"Not for a very long time dear. Not for ages so don't you worry about it."
Harry cried harder. Death seemed horrible, did Kitten even know what happened? His beloved dog had simply gone to sleep and never woken back up. The house was quiet and even though his dad said death was natural he looked sad all day too and when they buried Kitten in the garden, his favourite place to play with Harry, his father started to cry. His uncles cried to and so did his Mum. Harry stared at the fresh mound of dirt trying to comprehend that Kitten was gone; his eight year old mind could not find a way to reason it out.
"Tom can you die?"
Tom picked Harry up and placed him in his lap. It had been a long time since Tom had held him like this. When he had been a little kid Tom would sit him in his lap and tell him all sorts of tales. Though lately he had been telling Harry that he was growing into a nice young man and wouldn't hold him as often. Harry sighed when Tom's long fingers began to card through his hair.
"I will never die Harry, and neither will you. When you are older we will be together and you will be mine for all of eternity."
Harry scrunched up his face, he didn't want to live forever if everyone else died. "What about my parents and my friends and everyone else?"
Tom turned Harry around so he could look into his eyes. He smiled gently and wiped Harry's tears away with a handkerchief. "Not everyone wants to live forever Harry, not everyone can and not everyone should. I love you."
Harry looked into Tom's blue eyes not understanding this explanation of life any more than he understood his father's. "Are you even real Tom?"
A weird smirk blossomed on Tom's face, Harry couldn't decide if he liked it or not. "I'm real Harry, and when the time is right I will show you. I am sorry about Kitten. It's horrible to learn about death, but I want for you to never fear death Harry. My sweet Harry, I will never let that happen to you."
"And my Mummy and daddy?"
Something dark settled over Tom's face and he smiled at Harry but there was no warmth in it. Harry scooted back not wanting to be on Tom's lap anymore but the older boy held him in place with a well-placed hand in the middle of his back. "I will do anything that is within my power to keep you safe and to keep you happy."
Even Harry could not miss that Tom did not really give him an answer he opened his mouth to ask another question but he was abruptly woken up.
"Good morning sweetie, get up, get up."
Harry giggled and tried to squirm away from his mother's tickling fingers but he quickly gave up and just howled with laughter and wriggled his way off the bed. He stopped laughing once he caught sight of the end of his bed now bare of both Kitten and Kitten's favourite blanket. They had carefully wrapped Kitten up in that yesterday before they buried him in the garden.
"Oh sweetheart, I know you're sad about Kitten. We're all going to miss him. I have a surprise for you though."
Harry looked up at his mother expectantly and she told him to get dressed and ready for breakfast. Harry huffed loudly but did as he was told. He bounded down the stairs and into the kitchen. It was just his mother and father at the table as usual. Where was his surprise? Harry tucked into his breakfast and his mother laughed at his sullen face. "Well hurry and eat or we'll never make it to Diagon Alley."
Harry gasped and started shovelling his eggs down at record speed. After a quick inspection from his mother, the family was off to Diagon Alley. Harry loved the Alley, there was always so much to see. His father made a beeline for the quidditch supply store and Harry gaped at the new broom in the display window; 'Nimbus 2000 coming soon!'
"Now that's a broom Harry. It's to be released next year, perfectly groomed for top aerodynamics."
Harry was nodding and father and son stared at the display of the unreleased broom practically drooling. Harry had only just been given permission to use his father's old Cleansweep and even that was under strict supervision. "Can I have one for school dad?"
"We'll see son."
Harry beamed and his mother took his hand and led him and his drooling father away from the quidditch supply store. They had ice cream and Harry ate so much his stomach hurt. He looked around at the stores and lingered in front of the candy shop. His father rolled his eyes and walked in and Harry whooped. "Not so fast Harry, one bag, this bag."
Harry pouted at his father and the small clear bag for him to fill with candy. Harry took his time making his selections carefully since he was only allowed the one bag and then happily brought his full to bursting bag of candy up to the front of the store. A flobber gummy worm flopped out of the bag and when the nice lady smiled and handed the piece of candy to Harry he quickly gobbled it down. His father paid for the candy and Harry stubbornly held on to his bag.
"Come on you two."
Harry stopped walking when he caught sight of the wand makers shop. "I'm getting a wand!"
Harry's bag of candy was quickly handed to his father and he tore off into the wand shop. His parents followed at a more decent pace smiling at their enthusiastic son. Harry had been showing more and more signs of spontaneous and what sometimes looked like on purpose magic. It was time to get him a wand and let him learn simple childhood spells for practice. Harry walked into the shop and stopped short at the dark and dusty interior. It was creepy, he quickly looked behind himself for his parents; he was relieved when they came through the door seconds later.
A creepy old man seemed to materialize behind the counter. He smiled broadly displaying yellowing teeth. His eyes were a funny pale colour. Harry gulped and reached for his mother's hand. The old man chuckled and winked at Harry.
"You must be young Mr. Potter, Auror Potter, and the beautiful Mrs. Potter nee Evans. A pleasure. Let me presume you are here to purchase young Harry's wand?"
"Harry this is Mr. Ollivander."
The old man smiled and Harry smiled back, he liked this man, he decided, even if he looked a little creepy. Mr. Ollivander clapped his hands together once and came around the counter.
"Well, let's get you measured."
A measuring tape sprang to life and began to measure Harry all over. He got dizzy trying to follow its movement. Without warning the measuring tape snapped back to Mr. Ollivander and Harry was left a little dazed.
"Very interesting, let us see. I think we will try this one; nice and swishy dragon heart string. Give it a wave."
Harry took the wand and gave it a wave but nothing happened. This went on for quite some time and when Harry's head was swimming with wand descriptions and core types Mr. Ollivander finally took a pause.
"My but you are a tricky customer Mr. Potter. Not to worry, not to worry, I wonder…"
The creepy old man since Harry had decided twenty wands ago that yes Mr. Ollivander while interesting was indeed creepy made his way to the back of the store and came back with a single box.
"Holly, eleven inches. Nice and supple with phoenix feather. Give it a wave."
Very slowly Harry was handed the Holly wand he grasped it carefully and felt the same rush he had felt from Tom's wand. The little shop glowed and filled with a gentle breeze before everything went back to normal.
Harry looked at his father who was gazing steadily at Mr. Ollivander.
"Why, it is curious that your son would be destined for such a wand Auror Potter. As fate would have it, the phoenix provided me with two feathers; one was fashioned into Yew thirteen inches rather unyielding and the other, why the other feather resides in your son's new wand."
His father shook his head and paled, Harry was confused.
"Perhaps there's been a mistake."
"The wand chooses the wizard Auror Potter, let us hope your son is destined for great things..."
"Great things? Are you taking the piss Ollivander?"
The creepy old man seemed ready to say more but Sirius came into the shop. He was dressed in his official Auror robes which meant he was on duty.
"James it's been stolen! No one knows who did it!"
Harry looked up at his godfather and was surprised to see him looking so stricken. He was always playful and smiling.
"What's been stolen Sirius?"
"Voldemort's wand, it's been stolen from the ministry."
Authors Note: ff..net takes away all my formatting once I load page breaks and italics disappear which is super annoying if anyone knows how to fix this please help. I changed page breaks which were *** into hplvhplvhplv and dreams to /Dream/ and / end dream/ instead of italics. Please let me know what you think? I would really like to secure a beta before continuing with this story if anyone is interested please let me know. Thanks for reading and please leave a review. New Note: I have a beta, Jade Tatsu! She's done really really great I'm so grateful! I'm so surprised at the huge amount of favourites and follows thank you guys so much glad to see everyone is enjoying this so far. With a little reminder from Jade I figured out how to restore italics! As always read and review!