Harry Potter and the Spirits Within
Chapter 23: Home Again
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: And now we've come to the final chapter of the first story. In compliance to an Overwhelming response, Draco will live. Thank you all for your unending patience and support. I hope you've enjoyed reading this story as much as I did writing it. There will be a continuation into second year, but it may be a bit before I start it. I may want to work on 'Hogwarts Helps' first.
A/N 2: For those readers who have asked (and those who are curious, but have yet to ask); Yes, that is me in the picture; Yes, that is a real tattoo; Yes, it is a tattoo of a golden snitch. I have ten total tattoos in various locations on my body, but that is the only honestly Harry Potter tattoo that I have. I plan on eventually sleaving it out with Hedwig, the Hogwarts Crest, maybe a hippogriff ... ideas would be appreciated.
Harry jerked from his half sleep as he heard the sound of the Hospital Wing doors opening. He'd been dozing off and on in the chair he'd placed between his two friends' hospital beds for the past week. School had ended the day after the 'incident', but Harry, Neville, and Draco had stayed in the tender care of Madame Pomfrey. While Harry had only had three days of recuperation to heal his arm and head wound, Neville had aggravated his injuries when he and Harry had checked on Draco the first night, to the point of needing the bones removed and regrown, individually. He was finally on his last set, those in his left foot, and was resting fitfully. Draco was still unconscious, having taken as many potions as he was able; he now sported a thick, purple rope of a scar across his torso.
The Medi-witch had been healed as best as possible in the chaos of that first night, and had to spend a few days afterward at St. Mungo's, being fitted with a magic prosthetic eye. Lily and James had been worried that she'd return looking like the illegitimate offspring of Mad-eye Moody, and the three of them (Harry had been shown a memory of what Moody looked like) were pleased to discover that her injury was hardly noticeable.
A silvery scar, as thin as spiders silk, was all that remained of the gaping wound running across her right eye and curved down beneath her ear. Her destroyed right eye was replaced with a normal sized, startlingly electric purple orb, which contrasted beautifully with her remaining bright blue left eye. The Potters figured that the various charms placed on the fake eyes were what gave them their colour and that Poppy had opted for an eye that aided her in her craft. Moody's probably had every feature possible put on, thus demanding an oversized orb.
Harry looked towards the source of the disturbance that had awoken him to find a somewhat haggard Lucius Malfoy practically trudging over to the empty chair on the other side of Draco's bed. He stood there for a moment, staring down at his son's face in misery, before dropping down heavily into the chair. The man seemed a shell of the aristocratic pureblood noble that had swooped into the Hospital wing demanding answers. Only to be met with the fact that the Dark Lord he'd followed so diligently had tried to kill the Last Scion of House Malfoy, his son, his only child, without the slightest hesitation. The man, who had espoused all that pureblood dogma that he'd believed so ardently, had almost ended one of the oldest pureblood lines, of one of his most devout followers. Not to mention the lines of Potter and Longbottom, light families though they may be; they were still two of the oldest families still in existence. While Lucius and his wife, Narcissa, might be able to sire another heir; those two lines were dependant on the lives of Harry and Neville to continue their existence, at least until the last scions bore heirs themselves. It had forced both he and his wife to take a large step back and seriously revaluate just why they had followed this man in the first place.
Then they spoke to Harry. He had told them the exact same thing he'd told Draco on the Express at the beginning of the year. The elder Malfoy's were just as shocked (if not even more so) to learn that muggle men had actually stepped foot on the moon, repeatedly, that muggle doctors were capable of switching out a critically injured persons organs, (heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, even parts of the eyes) for those of someone who'd already died and have that person continue living, or that muggles could talk to each other instantly from any two points on the earth, and beyond; the muggles had actually spoken to the men who were on the moon, while they were there! Having his only son almost ripped away from him negated the need for the blood purity speech, though Harry did mention the bit about Muggle-borns and Half-bloods eliminating the Purebloods to refresh the stock, so to speak.
The Malfoy's eyes were well and truly opened, and they were shocked at how blind they'd been, both about the muggles, and Voldemort. Now the two were sitting in shifts in silent vigil at their sons' bedside, waiting, hoping for him to wake up.
The students' survival, it turned out, was all thanks to the combined efforts of Professors Snape, McGonagall, and Flitwick. They disabled the traps in record time and dashed into the final chamber just as Harry passed out. Professor Snape, a master of the Dark Arts, recognized immediately the spell Draco had been struck with and cast the almost melodic counter curse without delay. The three Professors were quite taken aback by the presence of Spectra, but decided to make no mention of it after both Fred and George had pat her on the head and praised her for a job well done ... with her practically purring (if dragons could purr) in response to the attention.
Dumbledore had returned to the castle after having been waffling at the Ministry for over three hours, apparently for no discernable reason. He'd received an 'urgent message' from someone in the Ministry, true enough, and dashed out of the castle to attend to the issue, only to be met with confusion from the supposed employee in need at the Ministry when he arrived. For reasons that he still wouldn't divulge, he then decided to stay at the Ministry, chatting to random employees for more that three hours. When he'd finally returned to the castle where he was supposed to be, Harry, Neville, and Draco were being levitated out of Fluffy's door by the three Professors and he was set upon by an irate Transfiguration Professor after switching her spell into the twins' control. The once venerated professor was now completely disgraced, and spending much more time at the Ministry, in a holding cell.
Hermione herself had stayed the night in the Hospital wing, suffering from shock. After she'd healed Poppy as best she could, the events of the day finally caught up with her and she started shaking badly. She had been on the verge of a nervous breakdown when the three Professors came running into the Hospital wing and discovered the goings on there. Professor Snape retrieved a calming drought for her while Professors McGonagall and Flitwick lent their aid to Poppy. Hermione was able to direct them to the danger happening beyond the third floor after she'd calmed and the three were out the door in an instant.
It was two days later that Draco finally stirred, though he did little more that blink at his parents and smile slightly before falling back asleep, those in the room all breathed a collective sigh of relief. He was out of the coma and now sleeping naturally, he would survive, though Harry wondered how the normally vain boy would take the news about his injury, and the fact that the scar would always be there.
Harry stepped smoothly out of the fireplace into Potter Castle, his large mansion house near Hogwarts. Harry could feel the extra magic soaking the air from the proximity of the ancient lay lines the Castle was situated on. He stepped quickly aside as the Floo flared again and his Godfather stepped out onto the hearth. He too quickly stepped aside as the Floo flared a third time and Remus Lupin exited the fire. Harry and Sirius had taken quite a long time to convince Remus that a dilapidated shack in the middle of a forest did not a proper home make. Harry (along with his parents) was adamant that he keep whatever decent 'family' he had left nearby, and shot down Moony's argument that a Werewolf wasn't any sort of decent. To Harry, what you were had no meaning; it was how you treated people (specifically him) that mattered. To that end he had done everything in his power to insure that Remus stayed with him and Sirius, up to and including a classic guilt trip.
The three men looked around the grandiose formal sitting room the Floo had deposited them in. This was the first property they were inspecting, and the one that had been empty the longest, according to the Goblins. Harry, of course, knew this from his parents, but could hardly tell his honorary uncles that. The room they were in was spotlessly clean, maintained by the cadre of Potter Elves, but rather ostentatious for the three laidback blokes. They took a cursory glance around the property anyway, just to give it a fair chance, but they had each already struck it from their lists. Moving back to the Floo, Harry pulled his list of properties from his pocket and showed the next address to the two men before grabbing a pinch of powder, stepping into the flames, and calling out,
The Italian countryside was all Harry could focus on for a moment after stepping through the Floo. A massive picture window was dominating the wall to the left of the fireplace. He came back to himself just barely in time to step out of the way of Sirius. The animagus also was captivated by the amazing view and let out a low whistle that turned into a yelp as Remus stepped through the fire and directly into Sirius' back, knocking them both to the ground. Harry cracked up, joined in his mind by Lily's gentle giggles and James' loud guffaws. The two Marauders shoved at each other for a moment before getting up and dusting themselves off. Remus then caught sight of the amazing view and he too was enthralled. Sirius joined Harry in snickering at the Were, who had stopped moving in a slightly hunched position with his hands halfway down his thighs and his eyes straight ahead; he looked like he was trying to pass gas.
Remus blinked and realized his position, "Very mature, guys." He said, straightening.
Harry held up his hands, "Hey, I'm still eleven. I'm allowed to be immature."
Remus looked to his still sniggering best friend, "So what's your excuse, Padfoot?"
"I could say that I've had precious little to laugh at these past ten years," Sirius said, with a mock grave expression, "but I'm just childish." He finished with a lopsided grin.
Remus shook his head with a smile and moved to the window, "This is amazing!" He exclaimed.
Harry and Sirius joined him and gazed out over the landscape. Immediately before the window was an immaculate flower garden, resplendent in every colour of the rainbow. Butterflies flitted over the buds and petals in droves, adding their bountiful colours to the riot before them. Beyond the beautiful flower garden, separated by a lovely marble fountain and cobbled walk, were rolling hills of bright kelly-green fields of grass, spotted by small clusters of snow-white sheep. Off to the left, past the Olympic sized pool, they could see the edge of a vast field of vineyards. To the right, beyond the large cobbled deck, was an orchard forest, with at least four different types of fruit trees immediately visible. Off in the distance of the green hills, two sets of shining Quidditch hoops were just visible.
"Harry," Sirius whispered, "If the house looks anything like the lands, we're moving in today."
"I'm right there with you, Pads." Harry agreed, Remus nodding his acquiescence.
The three of them wrenched their gazes away from the amazing view and began their tour through the amazing villa. They had entered into a large two story great room, furnished with several comfortable looking brown leather chairs and two burgundy settees. A large oriental rug was centred before the beautiful marble fireplace over which hung a portrait of some Potter ancestor, asleep until woken by the master of the house. As they exited the great room, to their left, was a small annex with two additional doors, the first they entered lead into a large master bedroom.
The first portion of the room was designated as a sitting room, with a plush royal blue loveseat situated before another fireplace. The formal bedroom was positioned on a two-step platform; a massive mahogany four-poster bed flanked by a set of matching side tables. At the foot of the bed was a door leading to a huge master bath complete with his and hers vanities, a large whirlpool tub/Jacuzzi, and a walk-in shower big enough to hold all three of the men, with room to spare. Two doors in the loo lead to his and hers walk-in closets; the 'hers' closet being much larger than the 'his', of course.
Off the master bedroom's sitting room was an entrance to a private study full of bookcases and a large mahogany desk and chair. The study had a second set of doors leading out to the grand foyer. Two sweeping grand staircases bracketed a splendid entryway framing a gorgeous crystal chandelier. Across from the study doors was situated a formal dining room with enough seating for eight around the rectangular mahogany table.
To the right as they exited the great room (through which they had arrived), was a long hall/gallery; that had sleeping Potter portraits gracing the walls. The gallery led to an informal dining room, flanked by a top of the line kitchen to the right and a family room fully stocked with a high quality entertainment centre and pool table. A utility room/laundry room/elf quarters were down a hall off the family room. A second bedroom across from the informal dining room, with its own private attached bath, rounded out the ground floor.
Up the stairs were three more bedrooms, three more bathrooms, and a large library full of hundreds of tomes, scrolls, and books. A well ventilated, fully stocked potions room and a warded duelling room complete with targets and duelling dummies. Two balconies, one shared by a bedroom and the potions room and one off the library, completed the upstairs.
Outside were two two-car garages, though both were empty. The motor court between the two was closed off by a portico and beyond was a long sweeping drive leading to the end of the property. Heading behind the house and down the hill, before they reached the Quidditch pitch, they came to a set of stables. These too, were empty though the sizes of them put the men in mind of Abraxan as opposed to normal horses; something Harry was resolute in obtaining.
They explored the pitch, finding out of date brooms and two sets of Quidditch balls, as well as a few practice snitches. They also walked among the fruit trees and vineyards, sampling their produce. They discovered a six-seater hot tub next to the pool and Harry took a moment to stalk the butterflies in the garden, determined to get one to land on him. It ended up working too well when one of them landed directly on his face, between his eyes, causing him to freeze and cross his eyes to stare at the insect, a massive grin splitting his face.
They finished their tour back in the great room, sitting around a roaring fire in the hearth, and Remus half-heartedly asked if they should head out to look at the other properties on the list. Harry simply shook his head and voiced what the three had been thinking since their first glance out the window.
A/N: End of book one. Did ya'll ever think I'd get this far? I'm amazed I was able to accomplish something like this and look forward to the next ones. Thank you all for sticking with me so long and I hope you all enjoyed it. By the way, the butterfly thing happened to me when I went to the zoo with my four year old daughter and tried to get one on my hand so she could see it closer. It shocked me silly and I had the exact same reaction that I gave Harry.