Harry yawned as he walked outside. It had been a long week, he'd had to take some exams at his muggle high school and had to be extra careful not to be seen by the British Aurors. They had been patrolling the high school and if it hadn't been for the Cullens special abilities, they wouldn't have been able to fool them. Luckily the Aurors weren't allowed to enter the school, so the only problem was getting in and out of the place, undetected. Sometimes vampire speed came in handy.
The Cullens had been worried about the aurors, they were afraid that they would be able to track him to his home, so he had sold the place; making it seem as if he had left town when in reality he had simply moved in with the Cullens. He knew, without them, he wouldn't have been able to pull it off. He was forever grateful to them.
Harry sank down to the ground, crossed his legs and started meditating. He called his magic to him and released it through his hands into the earth. A soft glow illuminated his body as the grass around him started to grow before the magic settled and the grass returned to its previous height.
Harry smiled as he stood up, dusting himself off. He could feel the magic in the trees, the air, the ground, and every where around him. The past week his magic had been really reaching out around him and it had to be released twice a day. He could feel, rather than hear, someone approach him.
"Good morning, Harrison." Harry closed his eyes as the musical voice took him over. To hear his name being spoken in that certain way shot straight to his heart. It was like the most beautiful symphony that was ever created being played, right there, for him.
"Edward," he breathed. "I feel I should apologise for leaving so abruptly…"
"It's all right," the vampire told him as he took a step closer, taking in the appearance of the young wizard. "Did you sleep well?"
"Not so much," he was never able to lie to this vampire. Ever since fleeing Britain, he hadn't been able to sleep much. He would often wake up in the middle of the night with fear in his heart; afraid he was found or worse. The past week had been the worst. He kept waking up, thinking the British Aurors had found him and that they'd taken away C.J.
"You have carried the weight of the world on your shoulders for a very long time." Emerald green eyes locked with topaz ones. "Maybe it's time to share that burden."
"I…" Harry began but shook his head. Sharing was not his thing; it never worked out, anyway. If he confided in someone, any personal things, they would either die or betray him; why should he confide in this person?
"Trust doesn't come easily to you," the musical voice continued. "And your reasons not to trust people are justified but that doesn't mean you can't trust anyone. I'm not asking you to trust me completely." The touch on his shoulder was gentle, comforting. "Just trust me enough to share whatever you wish to share with me."
"You don't want to know," Harry sighed and pulled away from the vampire.
"But that's where you are wrong," the comforting touch was back on his shoulder. "I wish to know everything about you."
"Why?" the question was sad, inquiring, confused.
"You intrigue me." The vampire heard the question in the wizard's mind. "Everyone has a past, Harrison. There isn't one thing I don't want to know about you. If you don't want to let me in, let someone else in." The vampire chuckled. "And C.J. doesn't count."
The words touched his heart but something still nagged him. Could he really trust this vampire? He looked into the vampire's eyes and knew that he could or at least, he could talk to him and maybe this way he could find some peace of mind at last. Yet, the vampire didn't like him, did he?
"But you don't like me," he said, not knowing what else to say.
"What gave you that impression?" the vampire inquired.
"You've barely spoken a word to me in all the time we've known each other; I believe we had one or two conversations. I've even noticed how hard you work to avoid me…"
"I…" The vampire stopped, trying to figure out what to say. "It is true that I have been avoiding you, but not for the reasons you think."
Edward had been very cautious with meeting new people. This wizard, however, had found a way into his home and his heart. Not only was he taken with him but his entire family liked this man and his son. The wizard's mind was troubled and all Edward wanted to do was to help him; the pull that had established on their first meeting was tugging harder, nagging him to help this human out.
When he read that the wizard was giving in he asked, "Why don't you tell me about your old school. You seem to have at least some fond memories."
"Hogwarts," Harry cracked a smile. "It is a boarding school in Scotland and I spent most of my time there and for five years it was my home." Images of Hogwarts shot through his head. His friends, the Headmaster even the professors.
"Tell me about the headmaster," Edward probed.
"Headmaster Dumbledore was sort of like my mentor. I guess, sometimes, I even looked at him as if he was my grandfather." Harry turned away from the vampire as he continued. "All I ever wanted was a family. Someone who would love me as much as I loved them. I had thought I found my family at Hogwarts and I liked to think Dumbledore was part of it.'
"In my first year everything changed for me; not only did I not have to live at my relatives for months at a time. I had never had friends but at Hogwarts I did, actual friends that looked up to me, friends, with whom I could discuss things with. I felt it was a place where I could belong and for once be myself.'
"I was still so naive to believe everything people told me, and didn't question much. In my third year I had that murderer after me. He turned out to be my godfather and a friend of mine and I rescued him from a certain death with the help of the headmaster. He told us to go back in time and the rest was up to us or so he let us think.'
"I didn't question it at first but over the summer I started to think about what has happened to me in my three years at school. Why would the headmaster encourage me to seek adventure? Why would he keep a dangerous stone locked up at a school? Why did he keep hiring those idiots for the Defence Against the Dark Arts position? And why did he tend to look the other way where I was concerned?"
"What do you mean?" Edward asked as they sat down on the ground.
"Well, as you might understand there are rules at Hogwarts; just like any other boarding schools. But whenever I was involved the headmaster tended to look the other way. When he kept looking the other why I started to test my limits, trying to get expelled." Harry shook his head as he remembered all the times he was caught when he wandered the halls of Hogwarts or when he went on another adventure and was certain he'd be expelled. "It didn't matter what I did, I was never able to get expelled."
"Did you want to get expelled?"
"No," Harry answered truthfully. "It was merely to test the limits. I've always had boundaries and to have none didn't feel right to me. I was willing to do almost anything to find out how far I could go before some drastic actions were taken. Turns out all I had to do was fulfil my destiny and murder the one person that was after me…"
"You think he was preparing you so you'd be able to kill the dark lord?" Edward inquired, reading the thoughts in the wizard's mind. The more Harry spoke about these things, the more Edward was able to read. It was quite fascinating.
"Yes," the word was filled with so much agony that it broke the dark void that was the vampire's heart. "You know I've never trusted anyone before, especially grownups. So, I tried to solve everything myself and later with the help of my friends. In my fifth year the trust I had placed in everyone was diminishing; something didn't feel right.'
"The headmaster acted as if I didn't exist. His behaviour only made me more suspicious. Unfortunately I didn't have time to think much about it. Nearing the end of my fifth year I was lured to the Ministry of Magic by the dark lord. I have told you that my godfather was killed that day and I killed the dark lord?" he waited for the nod. "I was so angry at everyone at that time…'
"In the end it wasn't anger that got me to kill him though," Harry could see the confusion shining in the vampire's eyes. "It was love. I remembered how much I loved my parents how much I loved my godfather, how much I loved my friends, my fellow students, C.J. and…" Harry licked his lips not continuing that sentence. "I found a way to channel all that into my magic and directed it at Voldemort, killing him instantly.'
"I already told you I ended up in a coma for two weeks after defeating him but I didn't tell you that they kept me in a coma…"
"What do you mean?"
Harry hadn't realised how close they had gotten. His mind told him to move away but he couldn't. He needed the closeness. "The headmaster kept me sedated using potions and spells."
"Then how did you wake up?"
"The potions professor, Professor Snape and the mediwitch, Madam Pomfrey helped me out. Being a potion master, meant Snape was in charge of the potions I would need to take; he'd made sure they woke me up instead of putting me to sleep and Madam Pomfrey kept me under a spell so it would look like I was still asleep to everyone else, except for them… They were two of the few people that had helped me out."
"You told us that this Professor Snape helped you and C.J. move here?"
"Yes," Harry cracked a smile. "He and I never got along. Right from the moment I entered Hogwarts. He had been such a bastard to me; always picking on me, telling me I was nothing, like how my father was nothing."
Edward growled, too low for the wizard to hear, as he saw the memories play out in Harrison's mind. He didn't like how this man kept telling Harrison he was nothing and kept lashing out at him.
"It's funny; when I was younger I always thought he said that to hurt me, but I learned there was much more to his words than what I first believed. He kept me grounded. He made sure that I never believed that whole Boy-Who-Lived crap. It took me a while to realise that his attitude was mostly a cover. Many death eater children were in the school and if he was seen being polite to me they would have told their parents who would tell Voldemort. I owe a lot to him."
"You sound as if you love him," Edward observed.
Harry took a moment to think about the observation. "I guess I do," he eventually admitted. "He has done a lot for me and I guess I sort of see him like a parental figure." He stood up, the wind softly playing with his hair as it picked up. "He distracted the headmaster long enough for me and C.J. to flee the country to Ireland. Snape had a house there, which the headmaster didn't know about, and he let me stay there for a while. We had to stay low a little longer, for C.J. was barely old enough to fly. A week or so later we took a plane to America, then the bus to Forks to start a new life here."
Harry sighed as he turned back to Edward. "I had hoped they would leave me alone, especially if I didn't use my magic, but fate likes to play with me and I don't want to imagine what will happen if they catch me." Sad emerald eyes landed on concerned topaz ones. I'm scared, Edward, I'm afraid they'll take C.J. from me.
Edward had taken a step closer to the wizard. He'd read the thought and knew the wizard would never admit it out loud. "We won't let anything happen to you or your son," he promised. He lifted his hand and caressed the soft cheek.
"Harrison, a fireplace has appeared with a strange head inside," Esme's sweet and cautious voice called out. She had met a Madam Pomfrey like this but, this man, whoever he was, wasn't Madam Pomfrey. But since he had asked for Harrison she'd knew it was all right.
Harry stepped away from Edward, nodded to Esme and followed her inside. He cautiously walked over to the fireplace and saw the head of his former potions professor. He smiled as he stepped into view. It had been too long since he last spoken with him.
"Harry? Are you all right? May Poppy and I come through?" Although the potion master was worried, nothing about his demeanour told you this. He was as controlled as ever and showed no emotions.
"Yes, of course," Harry immediately replied. His instincts told him something was wrong, not to mention the slight worry he had seen in his ex-professors eyes; which had been quickly replaced by his usual blank mask when he saw his student.
First Severus Snape and then Poppy Pomfrey passed through the flames. Harry immediately went to Snape. "It's good to see you again, Severus." He hugged him and then turned to Poppy and did the same. "And you as well, Poppy."
"I'm sorry we didn't contact you sooner, we weren't able too," Poppy explained. "I take it the British Aurors are here?"
"Yes, they are here or at least in the magical community," Harry looked around the room, noticing the six vampires that were cautiously looking at the two newcomers. "These are Professor Snape and Madam Pomfrey," he introduced the newcomers to the vampires. "And that's Emmett, Jasper, Esme, Edward, Rosalie and Alice Cullen. They've been helping me out."
"How is C.J.?" Poppy asked when the introductions were over. "May I check him over?" at Harry's nod Rosalie handed C.J. to the mediwitch who examined the boy.
"What has you so worried?" He asked turning to Snape. The potion master should have known he wouldn't be able to fool the young wizard.
"We just got notice that the aurors have found out were you are staying," Snape told him. "We were worried we were too late…"
"No, they aren't here…not yet at least," Harry looked around the room. "I guess we should leave soon before they find us…"
"Yes, but first let us give you an update, I believe you're friends can keep their ears open and notify us when someone's approaching?" When the vampires nodded he continued. "Dumbledore's getting suspicious, he's aware someone inside the Order has been helping you out but he doesn't know who yet."
"Are you and Poppy still safe?"
"Yes, for now." Snape could see the guilt building in the young man. "Don't you dare, Potter," he began using the most teacher-like voice he could master. "You are not to blame for any of this."
"Severus is right, dear. A child should never have been used as much as they used you." A sadness fell over the room. The only sound that was heard was C.J.'s soft protests as Poppy looked him over.
"What else have you found out?" Harry asked, changing the subject.
"I found out what they want to do to you once they've brought you back to Britain," Snape began. "They want to bond you to someone."
Harry heard the words but couldn't apprehend it. "Bond?" he asked after several minutes. "Bond with whom?" When Snape didn't answer he feared the worst. Names of his friends shot through his mind; Ron? Hermione? Ginny? Then it hit him. "He wants me to enter a half bond?" He had been studying bonds at the magic school and figured that was the only reason why Dumbledore wanted to bond him off to someone.
"What does that mean?" Jasper was quick to ask when he felt how horrified and angry the young wizard was.
"It means his soul, magic and blood will be bonded to someone else, making him dependant on that person. When his bonded is hurt, he'll feel it as if it were his own pain," Snape answered when he noticed Harry didn't answer. "His bonded will also become more powerful as Harry will become weaker. If they aren't careful they could drain Harry."
"There's something you're not telling us," Alice observed.
"I could die," Harry said, emotionless.
The silence was deafening. Not even C.J. made a sound. Harry licked his dry lips as he turned back to his previous potion professor. "Do you know who they want me to bond to?"
"There has been talk about one of the Weasley's, Draco Malfoy and even Dumbledore himself."
Harry's eyes locked with obsidian once. "Who else?" he demanded. He felt as if Snape was holding something back. "You?" it dawned on him.
Snape nodded, not able to say anything. Harry may be Lily's son but there was a limit to what he'd do for her and bonding with him wasn't on the list of things he'd do.
"Great, so my choice is to either be locked away forever or be forced into a half bond with someone," Harry shook his head. "I can't believe I actually wanted to be a part of all that." He turned around and sat down on the couch. "The Weasley's agreed to this?"
"Yes," he saw Harry's defeated look and continued. "They think you've gone dark, Harry. Dumbledore has been manipulating everyone around him, making it sound as if you are regrouping somewhere so that you can strike when the time is right."
"And the Weasley's believe him?" A nod was his only answer. "I really know how to pick them, don't I?" he tried to joke but it came out as a sob.
Esme was beside him in a second, comforting him.
Edward was fighting his instincts. He wanted to smash something, hit something, and even kill someone. He was grateful his brother kept trying to calm him down. He saw the memories in Harry's mind. The first time he met the Weasley's. The first time he entered their house. He felt how happy the wizard had been to be part of their family, if only for a little while and now it was all in the past.
"Harry, we will do everything we can to stop this from happening," Poppy seated herself on the other side of Harry. "As soon as you are of age they won't be able to bond you off to someone."
"Yeah, but they can still throw me into Azkaban. Although I have to admit Azkaban is looking like paradise considering the alternative."
"There is an alternative," Snape began. "You've told us…"
"No," Harry interrupted her. "I won't do that."
Both Madam Pomfrey and Snape had learned a long time ago that once Harry set his mind onto something he wouldn't divert from it. He nodded, letting Harry know he understood. "Then you need a plan to keep them at bay for the next month or so. After that they can't take you away from here. You'll be an adult and they have nothing to hold against you."
"Easier said than done," Harry replied. "We've been able to fool them because of their vampire speed but it won't last a month. Especially if they are searching through every house…"
"They have been through your house the day before yesterday," Alice told them. "We made sure they didn't find any evidence of you or C.J."
"Thank you," he couldn't deal if they found out he had a son. They could use his son against him or worse he could lose his son. He thought a moment before he continued. "I don't want to be on the run for a month and I don't want to be away from C.J. for a month." He looked at the people around him. "And I really don't want to put any of you in danger. If they are willing to place me in a half bond there's no telling what they'll do to you."
"Harrison, we've told you before that we are not leaving you," Esme told him. "Do you need to stay at Forks?" she asked after a moment of silence.
"No, why do you ask?"
"We have a small manor in Canada. You are invited to stay there." C.J. made some sort of protesting sound. "And you as well, sweety."
Harry wasn't used to people caring what he wanted or needed. He always had to go after what he wanted or needed and often he wouldn't get it. The Cullens had been giving him so much he was sure it was too good to be true. Suspicion formed in his mind as he thought of what the Cullen's had given him; a place to stay, a free babysitter and now another place to stay. Something wasn't right. What would they get out of this?
"It's time to stop running, Harrison," the musical voice was heard from the far end of the room. "Let us take care of you for once."
Harry thought about it. Was he really ready to put his fate in someone else's hands? His eyes fell on his son, then he nodded; he'd do it for him.