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Kjkit - Harry Potter and the Marcello School
Chapter 51 - Reawakening
Chapter 51: Reawakening.
"He hasn't moved for over a day... Poppy has been in though. She thinks he's sleeping..."
"What's that noise?"
"I think Albus has told the Weasley's that he is still alive."
"But he hasn't woken up yet."
"It's been nearly four days since his burning, I guess Dumbledore thought they deserved to know."
"What about your boys?"
"I thought I'd wait for Dumbledore to make the first announcement. I'll tell them this evening, I'm sure they'll come and visit tomorrow..."
"He's opened his eyes!"
"Todd, close the blinds, the light is too bright for him!"
"Hey there, Harry."
"How are you feeling?"
"No hope. I think he's drifting again..."
"Ron, keep your voice down!"
"He's awake, his eyes opened!"
"He's done that before. Now quiet! He needs his rest!"
"Look, your voice scared him off! He's gone back to sleep."
"Doesn't he look weird without his scar!"
"You thinking about starting up his fan club again, Ginny?"
"Pyro had a fan club?"
"Of course! He is the boy-who-lived-twice after all. The original club was founded by my darling little sister..."
"Ron! Shut up."
"If you are so intent on being in here, then I must insist you limit your talking to whispers, the poor boy has a lot of healing to do."
"Sorry, Madame Pomfrey..."
"Hello Harry. Are you with us this time?"
Harry blinked blearily as the outline of his friends became more prominent against the whiteness of the ceiling. He made an effort to talk, mumbling something that was incoherent and meaningless to everyone in the room, including himself.
"What was that you said, Pi?"
"Was that even English? It sounded like Parseltongue to me."
"He's going again..."
"You need to drink this, Potter."
Harry frowned at the voice of his old potions' professor and felt a hand gently support his neck as he obediently drank a potion. He took a deep breath, clearing his head as much as he could before attempting to speak.
He wasn't sure if what he said made any sense, but Snape seemed to understand, as he gave the boy a genuine smile and nodded.
"He's gone, Potter. For good this time. We owe you a lot..."
Harry let his words fade out as relief warmed his body, and he once again drifted away into the darkness.
Remus Lupin watched as Harry turned himself over in his sleep. Both of his hands were hanging off the bed, with his right arm pinned under his body as he sighed deeply and buried his head face-first into his soft feather pillows.
The last of the Marauders grinned at the boy's movements; happy to see the sixteen year old behaving like a normal teenage boy should, and silently thanked Merlin for allowing Harry the chance to act his age.
"Has he woken up again?" A voice from the door asked, and Remus let out a laugh as Harry's face jerked up and away from the pillow at the noise. He looked towards the ex-werewolf, his eyes smiling blearily through the hair that covered his face as he recognised the man sitting before him.
"He's just coming round now." Remus told Leo, then lowered his head so that he was on a level with Harry. "How you feeling, kid?"
Harry smiled a bit more and nodded slightly, before turning his head back into the pillows to stifle a yawn.
"You're certainly looking a lot brighter today." Leo observed, leaning over Remus' shoulder. "Might even get some coherent speech out of you before too long."
Harry gave him a writhing look and pushed against the bed to flip himself back over. The movement left him slightly breathless as he croaked out an "I'm fine!"
Remus immediately handed over a glass of water, which Harry sipped at gratefully after pushing himself to his elbows.
"I can see that." Leo said as Harry's sleepy hands spilt most of the liquid down his bare chest.
Harry swore under his breath before handing the glass back and falling back against the pillows with a sigh. "How long?" he asked weakly.
"Since you woke up, or since the attack?" Remus asked.
Harry shrugged, and the two men gave him a quick summary of what had happened since the day of the tournament.
"Burning day?" Harry slurred sleepily, trying to force his eyes to stay open. Leo and Remus grinned at each other, realising that Harry's mind still wasn't up to speed and he had missed most of the conversation.
"Go back to sleep, Pyro." Leo said gently. "We'll explain more when you are up to it."
Harry nodded in agreement, and yawned again before closing his eyes and drifting away into a peaceful sleep.
Dumbledore walked into the private room that ran off from the Hogwarts infirmary to see Ron and Hermione talking quite cheerfully. As he neared the bed he noticed Harry's emerald eyes shining tiredly from his pale face, a smile showing his gratefulness to his friends for sitting by his side.
"Professor!" Hermione stopped mid explanation of the finer details of how doctors operated on their patients in muggle hospitals, and looked up greet the headmaster with a smile at Ron's eager interruption.
"Good evening Ron, Hermione." He nodded at his two students and made his way around to the opposite side of Harry's bed. "I see you are finally able to stay awake, Harry. How are you feeling today?"
"Tired." Harry admitted weakly. "But I think my brain is functioning at a more regular pace now."
Ron laughed. "I'd say. It was quite worrying hearing your disjointed attempts at conversation two days ago."
Harry nodded. "It'll only get better." He said confidently, though Dumbledore could sense the effort in Harry's voice as he struggled to produce coherent speech.
"I was wondering if you were feeling up to a little chat." Dumbledore said to the patient. "Well, it'll probably be me doing most of the talking, but I can come back in a couple of days if you don't feel up to it."
Harry shook his head. "I should be okay." He said with a sigh and a looked pointedly at his friends. Hermione gave a quick nod in understanding and took Ron's hand.
"C'mon, you" she said. "Lets go and find Remus. I believe he said something about wanting to see us earlier."
"He did?" Ron asked, looking confused as Hermione nodded. "Oh! Well, I guess we'll see you later then, Harry."
Harry nodded and weakly raised a hand off the bed to wave at them as they left, not having enough energy to raise the rest of his arm off the sheets. He turned to Dumbledore. "What can I do for you, Professor?"
The Hogwart's headmaster smiled slightly and took a seat next to the bed. "I believe you've heard about your defeat of Voldemort a week ago?" Harry nodded slightly, wondering what was coming next. "I was hoping you'd be able to tell me how much you remember of that night?"
Harry focused on his hands, his eyes darting from side to side as he searched through his memories. Finally he shook his head slightly. "I remember the Quidditch matches well." He said in a quiet voice. He paused for a moment and then continued. "And I remember the alert going up, getting people into the castle. Then the Dance with Malfoy…" he shook his head and lowered his eyes. "I know it sounds sick but...it felt amazing. Natural. Like it was supposed to be, and that I didn't have any control over what I was doing." He looked up at Dumbledore. "I swear that if I had control of my actions then I would have stopped myself from delivering that final blow. But I really didn't have a choice. The sword just took over."
Dumbledore nodded in understanding. "I don't believe Draco holds anything against you about that." He said. "In fact, I believe he helped you soon after. Do you remember anything else?"
Harry sighed and shook his head. "I remember a lot of pain, and darkness. Snape came in yesterday and partially explained to me about Avery using his "talents" again. He also told me that it was Draco who stopped him. But I guess from then on the pain took over my memories, everything else is pretty much a blur."
"A lot of people owe you their lives for what you did that night." Dumbledore said softly. "You removed a great evil from our world and for that everyone is thankful." He paused slightly. "But I must say that I probably owe you on a more personal level. I thank you for saving my life, and wish to make you aware of the wizard's debt I now owe you."
Harry watched in tired amazement as Dumbledore lifted his left hand off the cool bed sheets and held it to his forehead, then to his lips where Harry could feel his white bristles tickling the skin as he placed a light kiss there and then returned it back to the bed.
"I – I don't understand." Harry murmured, moved by the old man's actions.
"I'm a foolish old man, Harry." Dumbledore said. "I have had my share of battles in the past, and although I still have my strength I am afraid to say that I am losing control of my wits. I made a mistake in that battle that certainly would have taken my life, and risked the lives of many others had you not been there." He took a deep breath before continuing. "I unforgivably turned my back on the most powerful dark wizard of this time. Not entirely intentional, I can assure you. But I let myself get distracted."
"…Do with me?" Harry murmured, and Dumbledore could see that Harry's strength was beginning to leave him again.
"Voldemort sent an unforgivable at me." He said, cutting to the chase and telling the tale as quickly and as bluntly as possible before he lost Harry to unconsciousness once more. "And like another phoenix I know, you jumped in its path, absorbing it's energy and morphing its purpose to apparate me to my desk in my office and to form a strong protective barrier in front of the school."
The headmaster watched as a shadow of pain crossed through the boy's facial features, causing lines to appear on his young forehead and his usually bright eyes to turn a dark, haunted green. "Because of that." Dumbledore continued. "I am forever in your debt. However, you are a strong young man, and I am sure that once you regain your strength you will hardly need me to save you at any time. So, if I can repay the debt in any other way then do not hesitate to ask."
He watched as Harry absently nodded, his eyes lightly closed and his facial expressions betraying his thoughts as they travelled back to the events of that night. It still amazed the headmaster to see how open the boy's emotions were, and yet, when the time called for it, he knew Harry could take great strength from those emotions in order to protect those he cared about.
After a long pause, through which Dumbledore was unsure of whether or not Harry had drifted off to sleep, he heard the boy speak in a quiet and weary voice. "I do not ask anything of you, sir. You have helped me a lot during my time at Hogwarts and to me that is enough. However, I know of the duty that binds you, and I hope that we can work something out when I am a little more... with it."
The headmaster smiled. "Of course, Harry." He said. "There is no rush."
He hesitated, trying to judge the boy's strength before continuing. It wasn't until Harry cracked open one eye and sent his silence a questioning gaze that he felt able to go on. "Before I let you rest, however, there is one thing I'd like you to think over during the next couple of days."
Harry's other eye opened in an attempt to focus his attention on the old man. "There are a lot of people who still think you are dead, Harry. We have not told anyone other than those who have regularly visited that you are still alive. No memorial or burial service has been performed. In fact, it has not been publicly announced that you are dead, or were dead, even though you were technically so for over a day."
Dumbledore looked openly at the young saviour. "I know you have never liked the attention you have been given due to your status as the boy-who-lived. And I'd like to make you aware of the possibility of keeping your recovery a secret. You can take on a new identity and we can organise a proper memorial service in your honour..."
"But?" Harry, his mind growing more sluggish as he tired, and could hardly conceive the possibilities of the life he could have with a new identity.
"But there is always the possibility of someone finding out. Especially since many of your close friends already know about your recovery, and the fact that you owe a lot to Marcello. You have the potential and are expected to become Doyen, and your sword will not allow itself to be passed onto any other until you are either dead or beaten. It is an obvious identification mark."
"So you suggest?" Harry closed his eyes as the world began to spin, it had been a long time since he had concentrated for this length of time, and he could feel reality beginning to slip.
Dumbledore took in a deep breath. "As I said before, it has not been officially stated that you were dead. I guess we all wished, deep down, that it wasn't possible. I propose a small media gathering, telling people that you are alive and slowly recovering."
"More publicity." Harry muttered with a sigh, and turned his face away.
"But not one that can follow you around." Harry frowned a little and Dumbledore went on to explain. "I suggest that once you are well enough, you take a holiday; A break from our world for a while to help you find your feet. Relax. Have fun and explore the world." He smiled at the wistful expression on Harry's face. "Go to the places where the media can't follow. And when you return, take over your rightful place at Marcello. No one knows about its location, and you can run the school your own way. If you don't accept the Doyen position, then the knowledge of the more ancient forms of magic that you learn there will likely be lost forever. And when you want to go on trips or visit friends, I'm sure you have enough knowledge of magic to be able to disguise yourself effectively."
Harry tiredly explored the edge of his bed sheet with his fingers. He looked paler than he had before, and dark rings were standing out prominently around his eyes.
"May I think about it for a while?" He asked quietly.
"Of course." Dumbledore replied. "I just felt you needed to know your options in good time before you had to make a decision."
Harry nodded, his eyes closing again. "I appreciate it, thank you." His head sank deeper into his pillow and he turned slightly onto his side as Dumbledore stood up to leave.
"Thank you, Harry." He said quietly as he straightened the sheets before walking around the bed to the door, pausing with his hand on the doorknob when he heard his voice being called quietly.
"Professor? What are you going to do now it's all over?"
Dumbledore thought about Harry's slurred question before replying. "I'm getting old, Harry." He said. "I'm going to start to think about retirement. It'll take me a few years to find someone suitable to take over Hogwarts and train them. After that I look forward to conducting some research. Maybe even write a few books…." He looked over to the bed to see Harry's peaceful face and his chest rising and falling as he slept. "Sleep tight, Little Phoenix." Dumbledore said with a smile, then pushed open the door and walked out.