Disclaimer: Harry Potter and his world are the property of JK Rowling and I will put them back when I'm done borrowing them.
A/N: Well...after ten years away from the fan fiction world I am going to dip my foot back in and see if anyone likes what they read. Answer to the Severitus Challenge. Translation of inscription: In watchfulness thus you will conquer
Web of Lies
Sirius was dead. Three words that changed his whole life. Harry was lying across his bed at number four Privet Drive, thinking of the events that had led to the death of his only remaining family. His throat closed up at the realization that it had been his fault. All his fault. He hadn't listened to Snape, hadn't applied himself to learning Occulmency nor even really taken it seriously. And what was worse, he could have gotten everyone killed. Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna and Ginny. They could all have been killed, needlessly.
Harry stood and walked to the window. It was late and a moon was hanging low over Little Whinging. He made himself a promise. He would never endanger anyone, ever again. And he would do whatever it took to prepare himself. His head dropped and rested against the glass. As ever he was alone.
His birthday was a surprising break from the monotony that had become his life here in Surrey. He was greeted by owls, presents and letters. He sat up reading each and every one. First came the ones from Hermione, Ron and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Then he was surprised to get letters from Neville and Luna. There was also an envelope with his name written on it in elegant looping letters. He paused over that letter and after a moment opened it.
My dearest one,
If you are receiving this letter, then you have reached the age of sixteen and I am not there to see it with my own eyes. The war has taken several dark turns my darling, and made the writing of this particular letter all the more important. It is likely that what I have to reveal to you will come as a great shock and you may not believe it.
I loved James with all my heart Harry, but sometimes love is not always constant. You will understand this as you get older. And while I regret my moment of weakness, I will never regret that it gave you to me. What I am trying to say is that you are not James' son as you likely have been told all of your life. When you were born I cast several spells on you so that no one need ever know of my indiscretion, something I am ashamed to say. I wove blood spells to make you resemble James in any way that you might have actually resembled your own father. Those spells will begin to lose their potency tonight. It will be gradual my son...and I hope you can be patient to see your true face revealed.
I have sent a letter to your father, your real father, also to be delivered this night. I will not risk committing his name to paper in case this falls into the wrong hands, for it would be his death. All I can say is that he will find you my love. Please, forgive me.
All the love in my heart,
Ps: Enclosed is a locket that your real father gave to me when we were still in school. I Hope that it will help you find him. I wore it next to my heart from the day he gave it to me. Now I pass it to you.
Harry found the locket in the envelope and held it in his palm. It was very old, intricate scroll work covered the surface and it had a heavy antique chain. He opened the locket to find two inscriptions. One was very old, tarnished with time and in latin. In Vigila Sic Vinces. On the other half was another inscription, clearly much newer. It read 'While I breath, I hope.' Harry closed it and slipped it over his head and stroked it against this heart.
He tucked the letter safely in his trunk and after looking through his other gifts...none seemed to matter to him. He put the books, quidditch cards and poster away and nibbled at the little cakes and candies that had been sent along.
Harry woke the next morning, head thumping a little as the daylight streamed in through the windows. He was looking forward to the coming weeks, his family was leaving for a family trip to France. And naturally the 'freak' was not coming with them. They'd left him groceries and been very clear that he was not to be seen in the neighbourhood, and if he damaged the house he'd hear about it. Harry rolled his eyes a little and looked out the window, seeing the family piling into the car. He waited until he saw the car disappear down the street and then smiled and left his bedroom, whistling. For a few weeks he would be free to do as he pleased.
He went into the bathroom and stopped, squinting a bit at the mirror. He looked...different. It was nothing he could put a finger on, it was something subtle. He traced his jaw line and decided that it had to be the enchantment wearing off, like his mother's letter had said. His mother. He closed his eyes and shook his head. He didn't know what to think. His whole life was a lie, and he had no idea who his father was, if he was even alive. He didn't want to but there was a tiny spark of hope inside that maybe...just maybe he wasn't an orphan anymore. Maybe his father was still alive, and he might not be alone.
In the dark rooms of Spinner's End a man sat in front of his fireplace, face set in lines of shock. A letter lay on the ground beside his chair. It had been short, and like everything about Lily, sweet. He closed his eyes and felt the tears gathering there. All of the guilt and pain had come back and hit him like a hammer between the eyes. His beautiful love, his friend. The letter was running through his mind, over and over. He could almost hear her voice speaking to him.
If you are reading this, it means I am gone. There are so many things I wish I had been able to say to you, to explain. I'm writing to ask for your forgiveness. I've done something that I am ashamed of. I've hidden your son, our son, from you. When the threat of the dark lord took hold and we were forced into hiding, I realized that I was with child. Our son. I used blood magic to hide him, and make him look like James. But as you know such magic does not last forever. Our son will be starting to change, and he is alone, or worse with my sister. Please Severus, however angry you are with me for not having the courage to leave James help our son. I've sent a letter to him explaining the changes that will start today, and that James is not his father. Your own identity is not known to him, but he has my locket now.
Help him, and try to forgive me.
Severus stood and paced, mind racing. If Potter...no Harry, was his son and the magic was wearing off, he could be in more danger than ever before. With the Dark Lord returning he was under closer scrutiny than ever. But it did present an opportunity. He headed up to his bedroom and packed many things, and shrunk them down. He needed to work fast, and get Harry away before anyone learned of what was happening. He dressed as a muggle and then knelt, prying a floorboard up and pulled out a picture. Harry would need proof. It was him and Lily. He stroked her laughing face in the picture and then slipped it into his pocket. He had work to do.
Ok, There it is everyone. Please Read/Review. TBC